Getting my gpu outside of the case for better cooling

Discussion in 'Video Cards' started by partikl, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. partikl

    partikl Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    I'm looking for a not too expensive solution to get my gpu outside of a minitower for better cooling. I installed a sound card which sits just just below the gpu fans, and it is cutting off too much airflow during gaming. I suppose a riser cable will do. But which ones don't suck? I think I'm going to need a long one so that I can place the gpu on top of the minitower. Current temps are reaching into the low 80's during gaming, and the gpu is a GTX 1070 TI mini. Before installing the sound card, temps were reaching mid 70's.

    And replacing the sound card is definitely not an option. This thing is a rock solid performer for my needs (RME 9632).
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
  2. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,985
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Instead of GPU why not relocate the sound card. Much easier. Get a 1x riser for a mining rig and use that instead. Idea?
     
  3. sknight

    sknight [H]Lite

    Messages:
    124
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Yeah, what Tangoseal said. That soundcard is MUCH less demanding than your GPU. GL!

    Silver
     
  4. whateverer

    whateverer Gawd

    Messages:
    994
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Who designed your motherboard that poorly that the legacy PCI slots are right next to the top x16 slot? Usually those are interleaved with x1 PCIe slots, to give better video card clearance.

    Also, can you provide the motherboard model, so we don't have to deal with such a retarded design?
     
  5. partikl

    partikl Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    It's a Dell 9010 minitower. Pretty old at this point, but it still performs well enough not to want to upgrade.

    The slot layout can be seen on pdf page 35 here: https://downloads.dell.com/manuals/all-products/esuprt_desktop/esuprt_optiplex_desktop/optiplex-9010_owner's manual2_en-us.pdf

    The gpu is in x16 slot 5. Sound card is in PCI slot 2. Firewire card is in x4 slot 1. There is less than 1/4" between the gpu and sound card.
     
  6. ChoGGi

    ChoGGi [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,470
    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
     
  7. whateverer

    whateverer Gawd

    Messages:
    994
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    You bought a MicroATX system. We can't work miracles here, unless you buy something. Either a new system, or a new USB sound card, or you try a PCI riser, or you pay for a closed-loop water cooler to install on your video card (you will have to research if they are compatible with your card, since PCBs vary from one card to the next.)

    Moving your GPU outside the case is definitely the most expensive option here, as you'd have to buy a Thunderbolt adapter. Last time I checked, those were temperamental about which motherboards they were compatible with.

    PCI risers are a lot less temperamental, but they're probably a lot harder to find than they were ten years back. PCI is dead man.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  8. partikl

    partikl Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    That is why I am asking about riser cables. Maybe someone here has experience with what is good and bad. I'm not asking for any miraculous solution.

    PCI isn't dead. It just isn't mainstream. It's a niche. There are companies still making PCI devices today. And they continue to do so because PCI still has solid performance and meets requirements. And there are still lots of users running older systems and depend on PCI availability for their hardware devices. For example, there is not an audio device that uses another interface type which can give me better performance than what I get right now with PCI. And it has been that way for almost 20 years, while other interface types have came and gone and none performing better and most not performing nearly as good.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  9. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    55,115
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    PCI is functionally dead in North America outside of specialized applications. There are very few motherboards produced with PCI slots and virtually zero mainstream devices. PCI is still very much alive in emerging markets like China, but that doesn't translate to the United States.
     
    Furious_Styles and whateverer like this.
  10. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,060
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    PCI isn't dead it's just breathing funny.

    get one of those cases that you can use an included riser to mount the gpu perpendicular to the board.
     
  11. whateverer

    whateverer Gawd

    Messages:
    994
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Right, Intel has removed the built-in PCI bridge from their chipsets starting with Sandy Bridge (2011, your Dell system). It took four years after that to disappear entirely off mainstream boards, but PCI has been put to bed for a half decade now.

    It's time for you to move on, or learn to deal with clunky workarounds for the rest of your computing days.
     
  12. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,039
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    You could try something like this so you can move it down to the lower pci-e slot. https://www.amazon.com/PCI-Express-...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=NQEVY1M196KEVEE4CEMA

    You will need to mod your case some to mount the Sound card and possibly to attach some of the dongles (if you are using those ports). A couple of the reviews specifically mention it working with RME sound cards in their systems.

    (Also low 80's isn't going to hurt your gpu. Personally I would just live with it. )

    If you are dead set on GPU location this riser cable from thermaltake looks much higher quality than all of the jank ones I used to use when mining. https://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=8SWZJWTXAZ4ZFQV8XQMT (stay away the the grey ones with blue tape. When GPU mining was new, these were our only option, and I had to order them from china in bulk because no one in the US carried them. I swear they have a 50% defect rate lol.)

    As others have mentioned they also make PC cases that relocate the gpu. However you may have to do some finagling to get your Dell guts to work with them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  13. partikl

    partikl Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    There are still motherboards with PCI slots.

    I may end up looking at one of them and an ATX case, which would be more expensive than using a riser cable, but it would be a better solution. And it would not be nearly as expensive as also upgrading the cpu and ram.
     
  14. partikl

    partikl Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    I'm using the lower PCI-E slot for a firewire card. The firewire card is only used for configuring a firewire device, though. Once it is configured, the firewire cable is disconnected and the device runs in standalone mode. But I do need to be able to change settings on the firewire device once in a while, so it would be best if the firewire card stays put.

    Gpu performance at current temps mostly seems ok, but sometimes the heat starts to noticeably affect it. When temps are in the mid 70's, performance is solid.
     
  15. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,039
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Added some more info to the post you quoted, just an fyi. My edit skills were way too slow lol.
     
  16. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,039
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Another option is to pop off your side panel and hang a 120mm fan there. If your temps go back to acceptable you may be able to get away with a simple case mod to add a fan.
     
  17. partikl

    partikl Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    I didn't think about that. And I might already have a fan around here to give it a try.

    Thanks too for the recommendation on the riser cable.
     
  18. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    55,115
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    After PCI disappeared from Intel's chipsets, motherboard manufacturers had to supply a third party PCI bridge to add support for it. This went on for about four years as you said. I flat out asked ASUS, MSI and GIGABYTE why they still had mainstream motherboards at the time which still had PCI slots, and they told me flat out that those boards saw next to zero sales in North America, but were big in China and places like that.

    I'd get a decent USB DAC and call it a day. That would clear up all your issues.
     
  19. partikl

    partikl Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    USB performance for audio is pretty miserable in comparison to PCI. I'm not just talking about playing audio files. Music/audio production requires low latency and stable performance. USB can work at much lower performance than PCI, but it is not a good solution for music/audio production despite many USB devices being produced and marketed for that use case. The exception to this is what RME does with USB, using custom FPGA hardware and software to get solid performance over a USB connection but ultimately not being the typical USB situation that ends up in a stumbling mess of clicks and pops. But RME's USB audio interface is very expensive.
     
  20. cyclone3d

    cyclone3d [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    13,126
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    PCI risers are readily available for pretty cheap from China on eBay.

    The only thing about using a PCI riser cable is that it isn't going to be any further away from the GPU than the PCI card is... so it won't really help.

    Relocating the GPU is really the only solution short of getting a different case and motherboard.

    a 120mm fan on the side of the case to blow cool air in between the cards might help the overall temperature inside the case but 1/4" or less between the PCI card and the video card is what the real problem is.
     
  21. whateverer

    whateverer Gawd

    Messages:
    994
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016

    And you know how much those external Thunderbolt 3 cases cost: the same cost as a new case and motherboard.

    And even if the OP finds an inexpensive Thunderbolt 3 adapter card that will work on his system, he's going to still be the biggest experimenter ever:

    If he's using a Sandy Bridge CPU, DOES the Thunderbolt 3 converter just pass-through those 4 lanes at 2.0 speed (you get x4 PCIe 2.0 to choke your graphics card), or does it act as a PCIe switch, and convert at least x8 PCIe 2.0 bandwidth to x4 PCIe 3.0?

    The world doesn't have an answer for you because nobody in their right mind has ever tried it on a system this old. But PCIe 3.0 x2 bandwidth is definitely going to impact your performance, so at that cost it's not an experiment I'd undertake willingly.

    If he's using Ivy Bridge , then he doesn't have this issue. But OP hasn't been very forthcoming about anything, so I'm left to a guessing game here.

    partiki, can you give us the full specification of your system so we can stop playing guessing games? The specs you provided from Dell say it can have Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  22. cybereality

    cybereality [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,876
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    This may sound silly, but do you have a custom fan profile in MSI Afterburner?

    If you put a more aggressive fan speed curve, you should be able to get below 80C (at the cost of more noise but no money cost).
     
  23. partikl

    partikl Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    Of course I didn't think to adjust the fan speed. Setting the curve flat to 100% keeps the gpu hovering around 73-74. I suppose it will have some impact on fan life though. As far as the noise, game audio mostly drowns out the fan.

    I may still end up ordering one of those riser cables though. I'm getting tired of screen tearing without g-sync support and am considering getting a vega card and selling the nvidia, which would definitely need to be placed outside of the case.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  24. whateverer

    whateverer Gawd

    Messages:
    994
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Turn on Fast Sync for all games in the NVIDIA control panel.

    Turn off vsync in every game you play.

    Never again see tearing, as it uses clever triple-buffering without the latency. May have issues with older games, but I've had a good experience with no tearing in games so far. And I've varied the framerate from 30 up to 75hz just to be sure.

    https://beebom.com/what-is-nvidia-fast-sync-enable/

    You still haven't told us what processor your system is using partikl, and it's incredibly important if you're heart is set on putting that GPU outside the case. If it''s a Sandy Bridge system, then using an external Thunderbolt enclosure will slow down your GTX 1070 Ti to 1050 Ti speeds.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  25. partikl

    partikl Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    Admittedly, I know jack about gpu's. I capped my frame rate to 65 (60 hz monitor) and there is no tearing. So then, why would I need any sort of adaptive sync at all? Might as well keep rocking the mini.
     
  26. partikl

    partikl Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    I didn't notice your reply before my last post. I never use vsync. But I just noticed that when I cap my framerate above my monitor refresh rate I don't get any tearing. Since my monitor is 60 hz, I capped the gpu at 65 and all seemed well. Maybe I could go a bit lower too.

    I had the gpu capped at 60 before (since I have a 60 hz monitor), and I was getting lots of tearing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  27. whateverer

    whateverer Gawd

    Messages:
    994
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016

    Well, Fast Sync is still a hack, so it doesn't work for all games. But if works well for the games you're playing, and your monitor has a high enough refresh for you already, then there's no need to buy Adaptive Sync.
     
  28. partikl

    partikl Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    I'm curious why I'm not getting tearing without any sort of sync enbaled after capping the gpu above the monitor refresh rate. It didn't seem to matter if I set the cap to 65 or 80. No tearing either way. Maybe 61 will be ok.
     
  29. cybereality

    cybereality [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,876
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    From my understanding of Fast Sync, you will need pretty high FPS for it to be worthwhile. Generally it is recommended to have at least double your refresh rate (e.g. over 120 fps on a 60 Hz screen). Otherwise there is not enough information for it to work.

    I did try it, and initially it looked good but upon further inspection it caused hitching and uneven motion. While playing it is not really that noticeable, but I wrote a script that moved the mouse horizontally at an even rate, and then recorded with the slow-mo on my phone and it was apparent the updates were uneven.

    The only case where it might be good is esports titles, when you are talking about 150 or 200 fps, then it probably works. Otherwise I would not recommend using it.

    In terms of the OP, if you want to keep you current monitor, just enable a 62 fps frame cap in RivaTuner and enable V-Sync if you want to remove tearing. Tearing is always a possibility without some Sync technology, but if you don't notice it I wouldn't worry.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  30. partikl

    partikl Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    So there actually is some tearing going on with the gpu capped above the monitor refresh rate. But it has been reduced so much that it isn't bothering me. I can see it if I look up toward a tall structure in front of the sky and move my mouse quickly side to side. During gameplay I don't notice it. But before I was getting a terrible looking line in the middle of the screen that would gradually migrate upward and then come back from below. Now I am not getting that, and that was all that was really bothering me. Maybe it wasn't tearing, but I don't know what it would be called.

    In case it isn't bleedingly obvious, I know very little about all this video card and graphics stuff. Maybe I would take more notice of it all if I were a player of face-paced shooters, but I'm more geared towad single-player action rpg's.
     
  31. cybereality

    cybereality [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,876
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Yes, that is what tearing can look like. Sometimes you can get lucky and the line will be close to the top or bottom and stay there, but it's kind of luck of the draw.
     
  32. partikl

    partikl Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    Much thanks cybereality and everyone else. Kicking up the fan and capping the gpu above the refresh rate is working well enough for my lowly gaming requirements. I'm happy enough not to have to be gaming at 30 hz on a console and without any major artifacts.
     
    cybereality likes this.
  33. CAD4466HK

    CAD4466HK [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,218
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Agreed. For that low of a refresh rate, I would just use Adaptive V-Sync since it only comes on once you hit your refresh rate, and kicks off when below it. It will also keep the temps down once he hits 60Hz since the GPU isn't running at 100%.
     
    cybereality likes this.
  34. Furious_Styles

    Furious_Styles [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,415
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Seriously, I used my PCI card as long as I could and it limited my mobo choices even back in the 1155 days.
     
  35. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    55,115
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    You held out allot longer than I did.
     
  36. cybereality

    cybereality [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,876
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Thanks. That is a good point. Adaptive Sync would probably be good in this situation.
     
    CAD4466HK likes this.
  37. partikl

    partikl Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    Is there a one-stop guide somewhere to all the curently available sync technologies?

    Here I was originally thinking that I absolutely needed a g-sync monitor for tear free gameplay with my nvidia gpu (barring vsync for the heavy lag), then found out that I can run without any sort of sync (capping framerate above refresh rate) for only minor tearing (which isn't an issue for me), and now finding out that I can use adaptive sync for tear free gameplay without kicking up fan speed and still stay a few degrees under 80 or adaptive sync with the fan speed up to stay around 70.

    Any way, thanks again for the discussion on this stuff. It's been very helpful.
     
  38. cybereality

    cybereality [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,876
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    No, I haven't found one source for all the sync techniques, though you can search to learn more for specific techniques (if you know what to search for).

    Glad to hear you found the answers helpful.