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MSI R9 390x 8GB. My story on how i tamed the red Dragon Beast.

James San
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my R9 390x as reference here. https://www.msi.com/Graphics-card/R9-390X-GAMING-8G/Specification

was running at a scolding 94degrees while underload and the gpu would underclock to protect itself.  

I happen to know that it was not a broken card.  mainly because there was no artifacting or glitches while it is running even when it was at 94-95degrees.  

so I set about for a solution.  I read which every  literature I could find online and started to slowly go thru the process that are listed and advice by the many netizens that has an opinion.

this includes and not limited too:

- changing and optimizing the fan curb on msi afterburner.

- optimizing my case fans for airflow.  on my https://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Chassis/Full_Tower_/Overseer/C_00001803/Overseer_RX_I/design.htm

top 2x 200mm pull/out

front 1x 200mm push/in

side 1x 200mm push/in

back 1x 120mm pull/out

-re-applying the thermal paste on the gpu.

-driver updates or rolling back to recommended driver versions.

and that would be the short list of it.

but it was for naught.  sometimes my idle would get a little better and at full load it would take a bit longer to reach 95degrees.  

by this time I gave up and found a good deal on a used gtx 980 on Kijiji and called it a loss and would put it on a shelf until I had more time to problem solve it.

the gtx 980 4gb was a very good card.  it ran quite cool with idle at around 55degrees and full load at about 75 degrees.  it was all good in the hood. (since its inside of a case and there is technically a hood in the case.  I should be a pun writer for linus).

now the story on how and why I revisited the R9 390x.  so around this summer my best friend who wanted to give me a birthday gift (way late of a bday gift, my bday was months before summer) has decided to purchase me a very nice monitor since I was in the market for a new one.  this beautiful human being (anyone who buys me any computer components are angels in my book) with not much prior knowledge of monitors happens to gift me a https://www.samsung.com/us/computing/monitors/led/samsung-24-curved-led-monitor-lc24f390fhnxza/ which is what you would call a budget gaming monitor.  this monitor happens to have freesync.  

with that In mind and this being my first freesync monitor, of course I am going to see how well it works.  so took out my R9 390x from its deep sleep from my closet, but I still have that annoying thermal issue.

well by chance, since it was my bday months before that.  someone has again gifted me a gift card for amazon.  which was by coincidence enough money for a https://www.nzxt.com/products/kraken-g12-white

and I happen to have a https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Categories/Products/Liquid-Cooling/Hydro-Series™-H50-Quiet-CPU-Cooler/p/CW-9060006-WW laying around on my old i5-3570k rig that I also was keeping in my closet. 

with all the tools that I thought was more than enough to deal with this dragon, I set about modding my R9 390x.  it was easy enough if your not afraid/ does not care if you break anything.  it was a pretty easy experience.  I would say I rather enjoyed it.  almost like putting an ikea furniture.  you just follow the instruction and hope for the best.  if anyone is wondering the thermal paste I am using is http://www.arcticsilver.com/as5.htm 

now since I did not was to put too much of a bend on the tubes I decided to mount the radiator at the bottom with the included 120mm at a push out config.  with this my idle was at 40-45degree.  It put a little tear in my eyes.  I have won.  so I thought...  I then started up a game that would put it at full load.  then the temperature started to climb again,  I was pretty confident at that moment that it would level out sooner or later (AIO tends to move heat well but retains the heat so it would take some time to see results).  I was thinking that it would level out at most 80degrees.  but after about 15 minutes of full load.  my msi R9 390x  runs at 1080mhz at full load.  it passed 80 degree.  I was in disbelief.  here I am having spent around $120 Canadian rupees (as linus would say) and my temps is still reaching 90-95 degrees.  I was losing this fight and I was not going down without a fight.  (well I almost gave up).  I noticed that I might not be getting good airflow with my radiator being mounted at the bottom.  so I set about re-orienting the AIO to make it easier to mount the radiator to the back exhaust. which made me worry since I felt like the AIO tubing was too bent for my liking. I decided to do a 2 fan configuration on my radiator.  it was a mix fan which im not sure what the fan speed is for each and since I had to use a hhttps://www.amazon.ca/Phobya-4-Pin-3-Pin-Splitter-Connection/dp/B007S3T4O0/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1543487806&sr=1-2&keywords=phobya to be able to use all these fans so I am not able to get a reading on fan speeds.  then with this sorcery I was able to tame the dragon.  now my idle is around 35degrees (I know right!!) and at full load tested for about an hour or so I leveled out at 73-75 degrees (I think I cried happy tears).  

 

now I don't recommend this path to anyone.  this was just my story and you could have better luck with just a very good custom fan curve and better airflow.

with all the components I used I had to spend an extra estimated $120 Canadian, a lot of time and patience.

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TL:DR?

Personal Desktop":

CPU: Intel Core i7 8700 @4.45ghz |~| Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212X |~| MOBO: Gigabyte Z370M D3H mATX|~| RAM: 16gb DDR4 3333mhzCL16 G.Skill Trident Z |~| GPU: nVidia Founders Edition GTX 1080 Ti |~| PSU: Corsair TX650M 80Plus Gold |~| Boot:  SSD WD Green M.2 2280 240GB |~| Storage: 1x3TB HDD 7200rpm Seagate Barracuda + SanDisk Ultra 3D 1TB |~| Case: Fractal Design Meshify C Mini |~| Display: Toshiba UL7A 4K/60hz |~| OS: Windows 10 Pro.

Luna, the temporary Desktop:

CPU: Intel Core i7 10700KF @ 5.0Ghz (5.1Ghz 4-core) |~| Cooling: bq! Dark Rock 4 Pro |~| MOBO: Gigabyte Z490 UD |~| RAM: 32G Kingston HyperX @ 2666Mhz CL13 |~| GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6800 (Reference) |~| PSU: Corsair HX1000 80+ Platinum |~| Windows Boot Drive: 2x 512GB (1TB total) Plextor SATA SSD (RAID0 volume) |~| Linux Boot Drive: 500GB Kingston A2000 |~| Storage: 4TB WD Black HDD |~| Case: Cooler Master Silencio S600 |~| Display 1 (leftmost): Eizo (unknown model) 1920x1080 IPS @ 60Hz|~| Display 2 (center): BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 1920x1080 TN @ 240Hz |~| Display 3 (rightmost): Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 3840x2160 IPS @ 60Hz 10-bit |~| OS: Windows 10 Pro (games / art) + Linux (distro: NixOS; programming and daily driver)
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