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GPU Temp huge swings

GPU - MSI Radeon R9 280x

Hello recently had a lot of issues with a new driver causing me not to be able to boot with GPU drivers installed and red vertical lines but issue solved itself.

Now my GPU sits idle at 40C* but the second I launch a game and the GPU Clock rises it goes insanely hot, rising by 10-15C* per sec and crashes.

When doing nothing there is no problem and GPU doesn't feel hot only the core part.

Question is could this be because of lacking heatsink? Or could it possibly be driver related, fans are all working fine and everything has been cleaned and dusted.

Any input is appreciated.
Reply to Claus_3
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about gpu temp huge swings
  1. Do you have MSI Afterburner installed? If not then you should download it and monitor what your GPU is doing when you launch a game. The only thing I can imagine causing that rapid of a temperature increase is a huge amount of voltage being pushed into the chip. Do you have an overclock on it?

    I doubt your hestsink and fan isn’t working as long as it’s physically attached and spinning up. Have you taken the card apart at any time?

    You could also try rolling back your driver since it seems to be messing with your system so badly.
    Reply to Jwpanz
  2. Claus_3 said:


    Question is could this be because of lacking heatsink?


    What you mean by 'lacking heatsink'? If there is no heatsink properly installed to take the heat away from chips, it will not work no matter how many fans are there. The heat builds up too fast when put under any load.
    Reply to DRagor
  3. Jwpanz said:
    Do you have MSI Afterburner installed? If not then you should download it and monitor what your GPU is doing when you launch a game. The only thing I can imagine causing that rapid of a temperature increase is a huge amount of voltage being pushed into the chip. Do you have an overclock on it?

    I doubt your hestsink and fan isn’t working as long as it’s physically attached and spinning up. Have you taken the card apart at any time?

    You could also try rolling back your driver since it seems to be messing with your system so badly.


    I do have it installed yes, when I launch the game GPU Clock goes from 500 (idle) to 1000 and this is when the GPU overloads. I took the card apart to remove dust from the cooler and to inspect the thermal paste if there was any and there was a small bit.

    Im not sure about the overclock since I only use Afterburner for fans.

    DRagor said:
    Claus_3 said:


    Question is could this be because of lacking heatsink?


    What you mean by 'lacking heatsink'? If there is no heatsink properly installed to take the heat away from chips, it will not work no matter how many fans are there. The heat builds up too fast when put under any load.


    What I meant is how much the thermal paste could matter in this if there is only a small amount it wont work as a heatsink?
    Reply to Claus_3
  4. Best answer
    When you took your card apart were you sure to plug in the cords back where they were between the cooler and the PCB?

    Also, when you took it apart did you reapply thermal paste? Failure to do so can cause overheating issues since you broke the air-tight seal that the old thermal paste had. You create air bubbles between the GPU and the heat sink which does not conduct heat away from the GPU to the heat sink.
    Reply to Jwpanz
  5. Jwpanz said:
    When you took your card apart were you sure to plug in the cords back where they were between the cooler and the PCB?

    Also, when you took it apart did you reapply thermal paste? Failure to do so can cause overheating issues since you broke the air-tight seal that the old thermal paste had. You create air bubbles between the GPU and the heat sink which does not conduct heat away from the GPU to the heat sink.


    I plugged them in correctly, but I haven't applied new thermal paste I will do so when I can get my hands on some but you think this might be the problem?
    Reply to Claus_3
  6. At this point that is the most likely cause. You took the card apart and now you have thermal issues. My best guess and suggestion is that your thermal paste needs to be reapplied. Give it a shot and let us know if anything changes.
    Reply to Jwpanz
  7. Thank you very much!
    Reply to Claus_3
  8. Took the card apart and removed earlier thermal paste and reapplied new and everything seems to be working fine again, thank you very much for the help.
    Solved and closed.
    Solved and closed.
    Reply to Claus_3
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