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I have a dell studio 1555 notebook with Core2Duo CPU and ATI Radeon GPU. Recently, I noticed that, during idle time, the CPU heat kicks down and the temperature reduces to some room temperature level. But the GPU never gets below some level, even if it remain Unused.

CPU/GPU Temperature and usage graph;

Graph AND GPU Temp

As you can see, the red line is not coming down like yellow. GPU remained in 46 while CPU came below 25.

Here is the image of studio 1555 motherboard;


The heatsink they used is;

Heatsink >>


Which covers CPU, GPU, 2 GPU memory chips (2 other chips remain untouched by heat sink on the opposite side of motherboard, exactly below these 2 chips) etc.

Why is my GPU temperature not coming down, and is there any way to make it come down?

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Is this actually a real problem, or just something you think is a problem? If there's a real problem, talk to your hardware manufacturer about a warranty claim. – user261217 Nov 24 '13 at 9:03
GPUs tend to get hotter than CPUs. 46 at idle isn't anything to get worried about. Also, most modern desktops use GPU accelerated composition. The premise that it is "lying unused" is false. – Sathya Nov 24 '13 at 16:19
There are many reasons why it may be hotter (fan speed control, cooling design, dust etc.) but there is no indication that anything is wrong unless it goes above 80-90 degrees when under heavy load. – James Nov 24 '13 at 18:09
@Sathya I see GPU temperature spike when running command line programs which are CPU intensive but display nothing, and are not linked to use the GPU at all. – Michael Jan 14 '15 at 4:29
up vote 2 down vote accepted

To save power, and to avoid shock heating or cooling, your notebook isn't running the fan any faster than needed. This is by design.

Every time your GPU changes temperature, there's stress on the bumps that connect the GPU to the motherboard because the materials expand at different rates. Excessive cooling of the GPU would increase this stress and increase the risk of thermal stress failure of the bump underfill. Problems caused by thermal fatigue are the most common cause of spontaneous death of notebook GPUs.

If a sudden burst of load raises the GPU temperature to its thermal cutoff, would you rather it climb from 46 or 30? Which do you think will produce more stress?

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