PC graphics card and processor safe temperature range - is 113 degrees too hot for graphics card?

Posted on 2014-09-06
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
My Dell OptiPlex 790 PC is having occasional random restarts. Maybe once a week on average, so not too often but it’s definitely happening.

It is left on most of the time. Sometimes the restarts have happened overnight, as in I come to it in the morning and it’s either turned off, or at the login screen, having restarted.
It’s also happened when I’m using the PC not particular doing anything special.

I’ve checked the Event logs in detail, and there seems to be nothing. Just after the restart an log entry saying

“The previous system shutdown at 20:09:20 on ‎26/‎08/‎2014 was unexpected.”

I therefore consider could something be overheating and since the last restart I’ve left CPUID HWMonitor running and have included a screen shot of this at present  (it has been running for about a week without a restart, HOWEVER I have hibernated the PC a few times since this was running)

Screen shot of my computer temprature ranges
Are these acceptable ranges?

Note I have also run the Dell diagnostic which all passed including fan tests.
Question by:afflik1923
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 40307442
Well, both the Seagate hard disk and the Radeon GPU are very much at the high end of the range, albeit still within limits. Everything else seems fine.

As it's a Dell and therefore a bit proprietary inside it may be difficult to add extra cooling for these components, but it might be possible.

Have you checked the event log in the BIOS? That may provide more information about the unexpected restarts.

Author Comment

ID: 40307450
Actually, no I did not know about BIOS logs. I assume I access these by accessing the logs.

note the Crucial SSD was added by me afterwards. It was a second hard drive I added to the system.
I thought this did look like it was getting very hot at nearly 200 degrees seeing the max values.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 40307458
The right hand column is the maximum permissible temperature, the middle one is the minimum recommended temperature, and the left-hand column is the actual value reported by the system.

I doubt that the maximum value quoted for the SSD is realistic - that's hot enough to melt solder!
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Author Comment

ID: 40307484
Note the "Max" column IS reporting the maximum temperature reached since the program was started.
So the software IS reporting that the assembly reached that temperature. Check out the software yourself and also, I just closed it and restarted it again so that the values are reset and look in contrast what it shows.

So according to the software, my hard drive assembly reached 197 degrees and my graphics card reached 113 degrees.

See the new screen shot below after I closed the software and re-opened it again.

Either way, based on that you thought the software was just showing the maximum they can go to, it would indicate some problem one way or another, would you agree?

I'm open to other opinions on this too.
LVL 15

Assisted Solution

Perarduaadastra earned 350 total points
ID: 40307566
Oh, I see... my mistake.

In that case, the highest temperature reached by the Crucial SSD in the first screenshot is certainly cause for concern. As I said above, the actual value is probably incorrect, but does indicate that it got much too hot.
The Radeon is also rather warm; unless you're running games that heavily stress the GPU I would expect to see temperatures perhaps 20°C lower.
In the first screenshot the CPU temperatures got too hot for comfort as well; in fact, the only device in the computer that appeared to stay within comfortable limits was the Seagate hard disk.

In the second screenshot everything except the Radeon is running at temperatures I consider to be within the range of what is normal. Is the card actively or passively cooled? If the former, I've found that the fans on such cards often aren't of the highest quality and can perform erratically when they've aquired some wear and tear, especially if they are a little stiff and/or rough to turn when the card is cold. Also check that the heat sink for the GPU isn't loose or out of position, and that the fan assembly (if fitted) isn't clogged with dust and fluff.

Lastly, if the Radeon was added later on, does the Dell's PSU have enough grunt to run the Radeon reliably in addition to the other subsystems? Large manufacturers often specify PSUs that will run the hardware specification plus a bit, but sometimes an add-in graphics card will use up that slack and then some, leaving no room for any fluctuations in the power requirement. If the PSU is on the edge of what it can cope with then random reboots will be a distinct possibility.

Accepted Solution

afflik1923 earned 0 total points
ID: 40307968
OK. I checked the BIOS, no information.
Note, original graphics cards are being used. There are two of them, allowing up to 4 displays, but only two in use.

Nothing like gaming done, just IT support work so nothing intense.
Opened up the PC, quite a lot of dust, but I THINK the graphics card fans were not spinning as too much dust. I took them out cleaned them up and reinserted, and they are for sure spinning at present.
Temperatures after restart (but it was turned off for a bit, are lower than any of the previous screen shots.

I think I'm going to conclude that my restarts were heat related, maybe caused by non spinning graphics card fans, but I will leave the temperature monitor running and report back.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 40308268
any temperature above 100°C is disastrous for electronic components; even fran above 60-65°C i would take measures
so inspect the card -  verify the cooling fan is running (also the PC fans !) and of course, clean out all dust !

Author Comment

ID: 40321798
Below is a picture of my temperatures taken since my last time. Note the computer has been hibernated some times but not shot down.
Temptratures after dust removal etc.
Looks much better, although the SSD hard drive still gives some cause for concern, but I assume there must be some misreading going on here, particularly when considering it read 200 degrees before the clean up.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 40321852
it's very nice you did not shat it down - it will like that
i don't believe 120° c i s areal temperature - any device will melt down then
install another sensor, or measure it yourself
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 40322519
your SSD problem is till not fixed - why close the Q?

Author Comment

ID: 40322726
Well I debated it, but I'm happy to leave it open if people think there are other problems. I was just happy that my PC was not crashing and thought that maybe the SSD temp was just an occasional error in reading ( and at least it's not as high as 197 which was recorded before)

But happy to leave the question open, and do some more monitoring of the computer?

Is there any other software out there that can help?
Not 100% sure how I stop the ticket being closed.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 40322852
i would suggest no software; but connect the SSD to another PC, and check it's temperature(typical 30-40 °C)
or connect another disk drive to this pc for testing

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40332213
In the end this came down to a good clean out of the PC, assuming of course the problem does not re-occur.
Thanks for the input.

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