Need help figuring out a cooling solution for an old graphics card with broken temp sensor.

Joined
Jul 14, 2021
Messages
1
I have an ancient Radeon HD 6970. Right in the middle of the GPU shortage, the temperature sensor on the GPU broke. Apparently, there's a failsafe on the card that tells the fan to spin at 100% 24/7 when the temperature sensor isn't working. The fan sounds like a jet taking off. It's so loud I can't stand to have the damn thing on. It's been many months since I last booted it.

Since I don't live in Antarctica, you can be certain the GPU core temp is NOT -128.0 degrees C (see below). But yeah, the fan is spinning at 100%. Since this is a hardware issue, I can't use software to set the fan speed.

GPU temp sensors and fan speed.jpg


I had planned to install a manual fan controller, but I failed to take into account the fact that the fan on the GPU is 4-pin mini and doesn't fit the "standard" kit I bought. I looked for a female 4-pin mini to standard 3 or 4 pin adaptor (I have manual controllers for both), but I can't find any such animal. I'm beginning to doubt that a female mini 4-pin connector exists.

I also looked for a manual controller for a 4-pin GPU fan and couldn't find that.

At this point, I'm stuck and very open to suggestions.

Perhaps there's a way to re-wire a mini four-pin connecter to fit a standard 4-pin connector? If that's possible, is it possible to create a female-to-female or male-to-male cable without screwing something up? I'm not an electrical engineer and don't want to destroy the video card or motherboard.

Thanks in advance.
 
Last edited:

Kardonxt

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
3,588
I believe for the most part GPU fans use the same pinout as case fans as witnessed by Zarathustra[H] here https://hardforum.com/threads/gpu-mini-fan-header-pinout.1880726/post-1041993373. That said you should check it with a multimeter first as mentioned by another user, just to be safe.

Once you confirm that you should be able to just chop then end off and solder a full size 4 pin cable to it.

If you're not comfortable with splicing on a new end or playing with a multi meter, you can probably just take the GPU fan shroud off and zip tie on a couple of regular case fans.
 

vegeta535

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
8,858
I have an ancient Radeon HD 6970. Right in the middle of the GPU shortage, the temperature sensor on the GPU broke. Apparently, there's a failsafe on the card that tells the fan to spin at 100% 24/7 when the temperature sensor isn't working. The fan sounds like a jet taking off. It's so loud I can't stand to have the damn thing on. It's been many months since I last booted it.

Since I don't live in Antarctica, you can be certain the GPU core temp is NOT -128.0 degrees C (see below). But yeah, the fan is spinning at 100%. Since this is a hardware issue, I can't use software to set the fan speed.

View attachment 497390

I had planned to install a manual fan controller, but I failed to take into account the fact that the fan on the GPU is 4-pin mini and doesn't fit the "standard" kit I bought. I looked for a female 4-pin mini to standard 3 or 4 pin adaptor (I have manual controllers for both), but I can't find any such animal. I'm beginning to doubt that a female mini 4-pin connector exists.

I also looked for a manual controller for a 4-pin GPU fan and couldn't find that.

At this point, I'm stuck and very open to suggestions.

Perhaps there's a way to re-wire a mini four-pin connecter to fit a standard 4-pin connector? If that's possible, is it possible to create a female-to-female or male-to-male cable without screwing something up? I'm not an electrical engineer and don't want to destroy the video card or motherboard.

Thanks in advance.
The GPU shortage is over.
 

duronboy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
328
Since this sounds like a jet, I assume this means it's a blower-style card?

I recently put an 80mm fan over the blower hole of such a card, then took a rotary cutting disc to the hole to make it larger than the stock 65mm hole so it matched the 80mm fan. The fan runs at 100% all the time, but isn't obnoxiously loud like the blower would be at 100%. Furmark takes the card to 85c and Kombustor takes the card to 88c(with an ambient temp of 27c/81f), but none of the games or apps I tried took it close to those numbers. CS:GO 78c peak, 70c average, FalloutNV 47c. Some folks in another thread brought up Witcher3 and MetroExudus and it looks like those games are murderous on cards.

20220730_112734.jpg


I ended up soldering the wire to the rear of the PCB onto one of the 6-pin power connections so I know it's 12V full time and there's one less wire floating.

Downside is, with a fan at 100% full-time, keeping on top of the dust buildup is going to be a priority such that making a reminder in your phone is probably a good idea.

Other downside is SLI/CF might not fit anymore.

Now your card is a 250w card, I think, and mine is 195, so I think you would want an ever so slightly more powerful fan. I think mine was .2A at 12V so like a 4 or 5w fan that's static pressure oriented. Moderate pressure, moderatly high CFM. You don't really want a case fan rated for only 30 CFM or something like that. But, you don't need a 9000RPM server screamer, either, or you're back at square 1.

If you do get a fan that's more powerful than necessary, it's easy to dial it back with a little buck converter like a mini360 or something like that. If you want one I'll mail you one free. I bought like 24 of them for a project where I decided I wanted more current.
 

duronboy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
328
you can probably just take the GPU fan shroud off and zip tie on a couple of regular case fans.

You have to be careful when you do that. Blower-style cards don't dump all the heat back into the case. When you go to an open style card with a couple big fans, that often only works when the airflow is already amazing. Two 200 - 250w cards died in my dad's Mac Pro because of the hilariously inadequate cooling in that part of the case. It's passable with the original blower-style card because almost all the heat exits out the back of the card/case.
 

michalrz

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 4, 2012
Messages
3,670
but I can't find any such animal. I'm beginning to doubt that a female mini 4-pin connector exists.
In cases where you don't feel comfortable busting out the soldering iron and rewiring the thing on your own, there are these adapter kits for proprietary fans. Noctua's Omnijoin is one, if you don't mind the cost.
 
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