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What was the worst graphics card for heat?

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by robfosters, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. robfosters


    Joined: Dec 1, 2010

    Posts: 35,009

    Location: Welling, London

    I haven’t had that many compared to many of you, but what is generally accepted as the worlds hottest ever graphics card? I know the 480 was legendary hot, but did any others beat it?

    What cards roasted you alive when really pushing?
  2. southernorth

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 1, 2016

    Posts: 2,118

    Radeon R9 295x2 - 500w TDP
  3. mmj_uk


    Joined: Dec 26, 2003

    Posts: 24,198

    GTX480 was pretty bad but I also remember having a 4870X2(?) that ran hot, I hated it more for the fan constantly changing speed though.

    I remember with the 9800XT people were complaining about those running hot and ATI's response was that they were okay up to 105C, that was more down to small cooler than TDP though.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  4. Buffalo2102


    Joined: Jun 9, 2004

    Posts: 820

    R9 390 is probably the hottest I can remember.
  5. Bounce

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Dec 22, 2011

    Posts: 1,423

    Location: Stoke-on-Trent

    well my 5700xt has been hitting 103c during the last two days.
  6. varkanoid


    Joined: Dec 31, 2007

    Posts: 9,925

    Location: The TARDIS, Wakefield, UK

    thats probably down to poor airflow in your case not the card being hot - mine tops out at 76c

    GTX 480 was the most notorious.

    R9 290/390 (same card rebadged) was hot but not as bad as the 480.

    295x2 did run hot but thats because there were two GPU's so it was kind of forgiven and did have a AIO cooler.
  7. robfosters


    Joined: Dec 1, 2010

    Posts: 35,009

    Location: Welling, London

    Out of the cards I’ve had, I’d say the hottest is definitely a Vega 64 I recently had. Card was a good performer, but it was so hot under load.
  8. Sargatanas2511


    Joined: Oct 26, 2013

    Posts: 3,487

    Location: Scotland

    Geforce 6600GT. They weren't overly power hungry but the coolers were awful. They ran anywhere up to 140C.
  9. flea.rider


    Joined: Aug 7, 2017

    Posts: 959

    def the vega needs water to do well .. tho the r9 290 came very close
  10. arc@css


    Joined: Nov 8, 2008

    Posts: 27,294

    Out of the ones I've owned, probably the 4870X2, though it did run much cooler - and quieter - if cleaned now and again.
  11. Phixsator


    Joined: Oct 10, 2012

    Posts: 3,570

    My air-cooled Vega 64 got some beef with you 2 :p. She purrs along at stock speeds at around 70c using a stock fan curve(it's very hot and humid here at the moment). That's not to bad.

    I would say the hottest card I've had would have been the 4870x2 and the R9 290, Hawaii was HOOOT. Other GPU's that springs to mind would be the GTX 480 inferno edition.
  12. Emlyn_Dewar


    Joined: Oct 15, 2003

    Posts: 12,750

    Location: Chengdu

    FX5800 Ultra was a bit toasty.
  13. C64


    Joined: Mar 16, 2007

    Posts: 12,576

    Location: London

    4000 series were george foreman grills
  14. BongoHunter

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 14, 2014

    Posts: 1,879

    God I hated some of the FX series cards
  15. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 69,072

    There are different ways to look at this - a card could pull 100s of watts and it is going to push out a lot of heat but if it has effective cooling and somewhere for that heat to go the card itself could well run cool. On the other hand a card with a much lower power consumption but sub-par cooling might run much higher temperatures as measured by software.

    The FX series was largely pretty hateful - in terms of performance only the late 59xx models were really anything worth talking about and that usually only came from overclocking them and while by the time it was exposed by newer software fairly late in the day they were lacking in colour precision in some functions and processing some features of new APIs at reduced resolution to make up for hardware inadequacy.

    If I hadn't got my hands on one of those special edition Gainward 5900XT that used higher spec detuned VRAM that could be overclocked by 50% and got a 50% core overclock with a replacement heatsink those would have been very dark days.

    Repurposed an old Intel heatsink but amazingly it both fitted perfectly and also worked - allowing me a much higher overclock than the stock cooling:


    EDIT: LOL forgot I did this - got my hands on a 5950 Ultra BIOS and customised it to work on the 5900XT to get better memory timings and a few other performance tweaks and I thought I was so cool:

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  16. gEd


    Joined: Jan 25, 2003

    Posts: 437

    Location: South London

    I had a passive one (who thought that was a good idea?) and IIRC it got so hot that some of the solder melted and a component fell out !
    Worst card I ever bought in nearly 20 years
  17. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 69,072

    That reminds me of my Gainward Bliss 6800 ultra extreme core bridged to AGP - another card that would overclock like crazy IIRC I saw it, at least according to the software monitoring, hit 125C under load but it was always stable (possible the sensor wasn't accurate).

    I miss the days when Gainward made some actual special cards that were heavily customised from stock cards.
  18. Psycho Sonny


    Joined: Jun 21, 2006

    Posts: 33,417

    All the cards I owned the gtx 1080 blower. So much so I replaced with a non blower card.

    All the cards I personally seen in friends rigs then 295*2. Now that thing is stuff of legend. My mate sold it for funny money several years after buying it during the mining craze. It paid for his 1080ti almost.

    It's crazy how he managed to run that card and it cost him nothing after so long apart from electricity.

    The person that bought it must have been a hardcore miner as I wouldn't touch an out of warranty card and not for the money we are talking about either but it's a common theme these days. You can buy brand new for cheaper or just a little more than some peoples asking and they sell quickly too which is crazy.
  19. El Jimben


    Joined: Jul 24, 2006

    Posts: 2,653

    Location: Essex

    The 2900XT was like a flamethrower from what I remember reading at the time.
  20. foster grant


    Joined: May 10, 2012

    Posts: 6,082

    Location: North London

    The hotest card I can remember owning was my MSI 290x think the hotest it ever got to was 81c so not too bad, in fact I still have it .