I recently built a new computer and installed an ASUS R9 290 DirectCU II OC videocard. When I power up the machine, other fans in the case - two chassis fans and the CPU cooler fan - turn on immediately, but the graphics card fans don't budge.

I double-checked the auxiliary power connections; they are both tight and have a green light next to them on the card, so that shouldn't be the problem.

I have a display plugged into the card, and it seems to be functioning normally: the screen showed the UEFI BIOS just fine, and I used it all the way through the Windows 7 install process. Once Windows was up and running, I installed the GPU Tweak program and drivers that came on a CD with the card, and the fans remained stationary. I even ran a few minutes of torture tests and watched the GPU temperature climb to 80 C, but the fans still won't spin.

Is there a possibility that I have a corrupted config file that could be fixed through software, or is this a hardware issue? Should I ask for a replacement card?

  • Have you contacted ASUS with your concerns what were their response?
    – Ramhound
    Jan 9, 2015 at 19:35
  • Sounds like a busted card to me. If they're willing to replace it under warranty for this (and they probably will) do that and try a new one, if it still does the same thing, then it's probably not the card. ;) Jan 9, 2015 at 19:41
  • @Ramhound: I have not yet contacted ASUS. I wanted to check here and make sure I wasn't missing something first.
    – Matthew
    Jan 9, 2015 at 19:46
  • The fans on the card should have a power connector somewhere on the card itself, take the card out of the computer and look round the card for some wires coming from the fans and make sure they are actually connected the power.
    – Mokubai
    Jan 10, 2015 at 8:37

3 Answers 3


A few suggestions:

  • Some CPU/GPU may required a specific temperature for optimal performance, although 80C seems to be on the high side (this is usually 30C-50C).

  • Does your card have an "external" power plugged in? I've seen some cards kinda "work" without it, but until that 4 (or 6 or 8) pin connector from power supply is connected, they'd be all kinds of glitchy.

  • Try to take the card out, blow some air into your PCIe slot and put it back, see if this makes a difference.

  • With the computer turned off, try to turn the fans by hand, when you give it a spin, see if it continues to make a couple turns.

  • If this is an option, try the card in a different computer.

  • As the last resort, get a replacement card.

  • Both the card and the motherboard it is in are new. The external power (one 8-pin + one 6-pin) is plugged in properly. The fans spin freely by hand. I don't have ready access to another computer that would fit the card. Is there anything important that I haven't covered?
    – Matthew
    Jan 9, 2015 at 19:44
  • Then the card sounds faulty. I'd try to replace it...
    – nurchi
    Jan 9, 2015 at 22:30

A torture test on a graphics card and it didn't go over 80C? That's not that bad. Are you sure that the fans are not running or can you just not hear them? Open the case and take a look if you havn't already. A graphics card should be under 100C under heavy load, and since we are talking about a high end graphics card like the R9 290 it's probably fine even more than that.

Either way, if it's only 80C on a stress test you're fine.

EDIT: From a forum about GPU temps

Everything below 90C is good, everything over 100 is bad

  • I know 80 C isn't high enough to hurt anything, but it concerns me that they were physically not moving at that temperature. Yes, I have had the case open and looked. They spin freely when moved with a finger.
    – Matthew
    Jan 9, 2015 at 19:39

Did you make sure the fans are connected to the fan connector on the board of the graphics card? Maybe it wasn't properly plugged in at assembly or came loose in shipping.

You can see the connector hanging from the top right of the heatsink-fan combo and the connector on the bottom right corner of the board:

You can see the connector hanging from the top right of the heatsink-fan combo and the connector on the bottom right corner of the board.

Edit: The card not going over 80°C in your stress test might mean that it clocked down in self preservation and managed to dissipate the heat that was generated on lower clocks with just your chassis cooling. So unless you can confirm that the performance didn't suffer I wouldn't run it in that state.

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