My current graphics card, an eVGA GeForce 6800GT, has been running very hot recently. Spending time in Half-Life 2 or Oblivion causes temperatures in excess of 75 degrees Celsius, scorchingly hot by most standards. As a result of these high temperatures, video output routinely becomes corrupted, requiring a power-off of the machine to set things right. This occurrence seems fairly recent, and I’m not entirely certain why. My computer has always done a good job of controlling its temperature, thanks to my Cooler Master aluminum case. I’ve inspected all of my system’s fans: three of my four chassis fans (I’ve disconnected the one on top for being too noisy), the power supply fan, the CPU fan, and the fan on the graphics card. Each one seems to be spinning, and airflow doesn’t appear to be blocked.
I’ve been looking at building an entirely new system for some time now, and this problem is only pushing me closer to actually going through with it. Switching to a more energy-efficient AMD processor should help somewhat, and I plan on adding an after-market cooler to my new graphics card (I’m currently looking at a GeForce 7900 GT). Hopefully these steps will bring my system’s temperatures down considerably.