Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I bought a HD3850 256mb second hand. Didn't come with any drivers so I downloaded the Catalyst CC that AMD recommended but I've noticed that the fan doesn't respond to load. It just sits there idling, allowing the temp to rise far too high.

If there a driver or setting I can change?

Info: Software

Driver Packaging Version    8.762-100803a-103692C-ATI   
Catalyst™ Version   10.8    
Provider    ATI Technologies Inc.   
2D Driver Version    
2D Driver File Path /REGISTRY/MACHINE/SYSTEM/ControlSet001/Control/Class/{4D36E968E325 11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}/0003 
Direct3D Version    
OpenGL Version   
Catalyst™ Control Center Version    2010.0706.2128.36662    


Primary Adapter     
Graphics Card Manufacturer  Built by ATI    
Graphics Chipset    ATI Radeon HD 3850  
Device ID   9505    
Vendor  1002    

Subsystem ID    2542    
Subsystem Vendor ID 1002    

Graphics Bus Capability PCI Express 2.0 
Maximum Bus Setting PCI Express 2.0 x16 

BIOS Version 
BIOS Part Number    113-B34003-101  
BIOS Date   2007/10/17  

Memory Size 256 MB  
Memory Type DDR3    

Core Clock in MHz   669 MHz 
Memory Clock in MHz 829 MHz 

Additional info: Idle temp:

enter image description here

When under load it jumps up to 80. Using Rivatuner I can force the fan speed up and this stops the temp rising but shouldn't these cards control their own fan speed?

share|improve this question
Dumb question, but when you say it's sitting there idling, you actually looked to make sure it's spinning, right? I've seen a couple video cards whose fans actually melted after they had gotten gunked up and stopped spinning. Also, what temperature does it get up to? Are you measuring the temp, or do you suspect it's getting too hot because bad things start happening? – rob Apr 19 '12 at 23:46
@rob Dumb for questioning the safety of hardware? I used HWMonitor to watch the temp. Right now it's idling at 50. Under load it runs up to 80, which I know is not normal. I used RivaTuner to force the fan speed up and the temp didn't rise under load. However I'd rather not have to manually change fan speed every time. – Nikki Apr 20 '12 at 0:23
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The full load temperature of the HD 3850 is 85C according to HardOCP

Plus according to this article they got a HD3850 up to 92C under load and ATI confirmed that was within operating temperatures.

The fan on the 3850 I had was much slower than other cards I've had.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for your response. I'm glad it won't melt. Just think it's a little odd the fan won't move off idle unless I make it. On a related note, what would happen if the card overheated? Would it damage the motherboard? – Nikki Apr 21 '12 at 4:00
If I remember correctly, the slow fan was an issue a few ATI cards from that same time. My guess is since the chips had a fairly high safe temp range they decided to let it be. I've seen machines with GPUs that were overheating and normally the computer just shuts down before the temperatures get high enough to do damage. Of course that relies on sensors at the chip so if the sensors have failed that wouldn't be the case. – djmadscribbler Apr 23 '12 at 16:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .