7950 throttling.. Is this card a dud?

I recently got a used XFX 7950, and it throttles when the temperature passes about 65c while the core is clocked at anything over 650 mhz, lower clocks don't throttle at any temperature, memory clock seems to have no effect. The card throttles down about 50 mhz give or take a few so if it's clocked at 900 it'll throttle down to 850 if it's clocked at 850 it'll throttle down to 807. reducing max power has no effect and i'd prefer not to add power. When the card begins to throttle it will jump back and forth between speeds fairly quickly and usage drops to 64% when it downclocks. I'll be getting new thermal pads in the mail soon so i'll be able to swap out pads and paste soon which should make it fairly easy to get it below 65c but in the mean time i'd like to figure out what the heck is going on with this card.

That seems weird - if you are using the XFX cooling solution.

Thermal throttling shouldn't kick in at that temperature. 65C is pretty far from the danger zone. I'm wondering if, perhaps, you have a VRM temperature issue?

How good is the airflow in your case? What is your ambient temperature?

the graphics card has a 200mm front fan all to itself, all drive cages are gone, so airflow is peachy. The ambient is currently 65F usually hangs around there.

That's... very strange. It's not even running at stock clocks.

If you had bought it new, XFX has a lifetime warranty policy, as long as you register the product within 30 days of purchase.

The 7950 cooling design wasn't as good at the 7970s, particularly when it came to VRM cooling. I can't imagine those getting too hot, though, it won't operate above 650 mhz.

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My XFX 7950 DD bounces around a bit when it is loaded up, usually not until >70f. When doing a bench I will pin the fans at 65%. Its loud but it helps with temps and thus the throttling.

yeah i have my fans jacked up to about that for 60C+ it helps... but this card certainly needs new thermal paste and pads it's idling at 45c atm

I would not crack it open if it still has a warranty. XFX is good with warranties. They replaced my 6870 with a 6950. Call XFX before you do anything.

  1. It's second hand all xfx warranties must be registered under your name
  2. Changing thermal paste and pads doesn't violate warranty within the US.