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Zotac 2070 Super Mini is running hot... Is it the card, or my case..?

bmichaels556
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TLDR: Cooling performance way under what is expected. Fans running way too high, and performance is being left on the table. Case is tiny, but opening side panel completely didn't show much improvement and want to just replace thermal paste maybe. What else could the issue be..?

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Recently got a great deal on a 2070 Super. It's a Zotac "Mini" and I'm really liking the massive uplift in performance from my old system! Unfortunately, this thing is running pretty hot. It's in a case without a whole lot of breathing room though - specifically a Dell 8920 w/ i7 8700 (non-K) with all their crappy cooler goodness I've come to know and love.

 

In Dying Light 2 just as an example, I'm hitting 83 to 84C with a pretty aggressive fan curve in MSI Afterburner (running 100% at these temps). Actually, I raised temperature limit and lowered power limit way down, but honestly, the latter hasn't even mattered because it can't boost up fully for very long and stretch its legs anyway. It's floating around 135-140w at around 1750 / 7000 MHz. If I first start up a game, it can go way up to like 1950+ MHz, but not for long, since it hits that 83-84C pretty quick. Also, I notice that just going back to default in Afterburner doesn't really change temperature much. The fans seem to be at more like 60%+ with clock speeds a BIT lower, maybe around 1700 MHz, but that's about it, which I found very weird.

 

I'll probably just apply new thermal paste anyway. I did try just straight up taking my tower's side panel off to see how it did. It ran with SLIGHTLY higher clock speeds and about 1 or 2 C lower temps, but the difference was negligible considering how much more open cool air it had access to..? That makes me think applying some new paste will help some and maybe it's not just the case, but every video I look at with this model seems to imply it has quite a bit better cooling than I'm experiencing, and definitely some more headroom for boosting up. Mostly I'm worried about longevity of the fans here, but all around better performance is nice too! What are your thoughts?

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P.S. - It looks like in MSI Afterburner than lowering voltage is also tied directly to clock speed, but I'm not used to this, especially coming from AMD not that long ago. Is that just how Nvidia cards in general are?

 

P.P.S. - This also has nothing to do with anything, but Magix Vegas is terrible at using this thing, and rendering with NVENC (if it's even properly doing this) is giving extremely lackluster performance. Is that expected? Is there ever any possibility that programs can render as fast as these cards can say, record at high resolution? Or will rendering always be slower? Seems like Vegas is partly using CPU, QSV as well as NVENC when rendering "with NVENC". On the other hand, rendering with QSV is giving slightly better performance (about 35FPS for 4K60 outputs) but seems to be also using full CPU, QSV (part of it anyway), as well as some "3D" and "NVDEC" on the Nvidia card. Actually, I had this same issue with a GTX 1060, but when I was using an RX 480 I never really checked in depth because 1080p performance on all of these is better and that's what I was exporting as, so it never mattered..? But my old CPU AFAIK didn't have QSV anyway and didn't seem to want to use so much CPU either when rendering using AMD VCE, so I'm kind of at a loss. I was figuring a 2000 series (certainly a 3000?) would be able to render out 4K60 in real time, but like I said above, I just might be misunderstanding the difference between just screen recording, rather than exporting video like that...

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It’s a Zotac mini so it’s going to be hotter than the average to begin with but I recommend getting some new thermal paste and new thermal pads applied regardless.


To sort of summarize what you said here:

-it’s a Zotac mini

-it’s used and you haven’t changed the paste yet

-it’s in a case with lackluster airflow

-it’s hitting 84c under load at max fan speed 

 

I feel the answer to “why is it hot” is just those first 3 points.

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Could be either.  Doing a better TIM job could tell you.  I don’t know if that thing will take liquid metal or not (liquid metal has numerous complications and may not be safe long term on that hardware) there are other systems though that work better than stock paste if not as well as liquid metal. Also research the mod.  You may also need thermal pads or tape of a specific thickness, and there may be other complications for that model.   I am fond of diamond filled pastes myself but they have their own issues.  If temps go down more than a few degrees it’s the card. (And you did as much as could be done anyway) If they don’t it’s your case

Not a pro, not even very good.  I’m just old and have time currently.  Assuming I know a lot about computers can be a mistake.

 

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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1 hour ago, 8tg said:

It’s a Zotac mini so it’s going to be hotter than the average to begin with but I recommend getting some new thermal paste and new thermal pads applied regardless.


To sort of summarize what you said here:

-it’s a Zotac mini

-it’s used and you haven’t changed the paste yet

-it’s in a case with lackluster airflow

-it’s hitting 84c under load at max fan speed 

 

I feel the answer to “why is it hot” is just those first 3 points.

Definitely makes sense... Despite being a "Mini" model, it felt reasonably beefy, but that still leaves the other two issues. I think in my mind, I'm just comparing to a giant full-tower case with not much going on in there, and then being naive to think this will be comparable. 😛 

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1 hour ago, Bombastinator said:

Could be either.  Doing a better TIM job could tell you.  I don’t know if that thing will take liquid metal or not (liquid metal has numerous complications and may not be safe long term on that hardware) there are other systems though that work better than stock paste if not as well as liquid metal. Also research the mod.  You may also need thermal pads or tape of a specific thickness, and there may be other complications for that model.   I am fond of diamond filled pastes myself but they have their own issues.  If temps go down more than a few degrees it’s the card. (And you did as much as could be done anyway) If they don’t it’s your case

Will give it a try. Thanks!

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Update... Applied new paste and lowered temps only about 1 degree C. Looks like it's definitely the case. I hadn't taken much of a look at the case in all honesty, but there's really very little intake OR exhaust on the thing, which definitely isn't helping! I do notice with the slight decrease in temperature, clock speeds have improved slightly.

 

Still have that issue of temperature difference between ~100% fan speed, and leaving default (runs about 66% and slightly hotter, about 84C) is just showing such a tiny difference in temps / clocks. VERY small. In my mind, that's telling me that the card is probably just receiving its own hot air from inside the case, so cranking up fan speed is having minimal effects on temps/clocks.

 

Really appreciate your guys' help! Personally, I think I'll just stick with letting the card run basically stock at lower fan speed. I feel like I'd rather it be 1C hotter (and still within safe temps from what I know), than be in the room with a jet engine and killing my fans at the same time. I wonder if I drill some holes in the case...? LMAO. I also saw one guy take off the interior part of the side panel since it's mostly just blocking air flow and not really dust or anything. Or maybe fasten a small case fan to the side, I think that would actually be the biggest game changer.

 

Anyway... Given how bad the airflow is in this case, I'm surprised everything is doing so WELL. Sorry for the essay again, and thanks for your guys' help! 🙂 

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27 minutes ago, bmichaels556 said:

Update... Applied new paste and lowered temps only about 1 degree C. Looks like it's definitely the case. I hadn't taken much of a look at the case in all honesty, but there's really very little intake OR exhaust on the thing, which definitely isn't helping! I do notice with the slight decrease in temperature, clock speeds have improved slightly.

 

Still have that issue of temperature difference between ~100% fan speed, and leaving default (runs about 66% and slightly hotter, about 84C) is just showing such a tiny difference in temps / clocks. VERY small. In my mind, that's telling me that the card is probably just receiving its own hot air from inside the case, so cranking up fan speed is having minimal effects on temps/clocks.

 

Really appreciate your guys' help! Personally, I think I'll just stick with letting the card run basically stock at lower fan speed. I feel like I'd rather it be 1C hotter (and still within safe temps from what I know), than be in the room with a jet engine and killing my fans at the same time. I wonder if I drill some holes in the case...? LMAO. I also saw one guy take off the interior part of the side panel since it's mostly just blocking air flow and not really dust or anything. Or maybe fasten a small case fan to the side, I think that would actually be the biggest game changer.

 

Anyway... Given how bad the airflow is in this case, I'm surprised everything is doing so WELL. Sorry for the essay again, and thanks for your guys' help! 🙂 

I’ve seen that done.  The tool used was a really big hole saw finding a 120mm holesaw is hard. It’s very much on the large edge of what a hand drill can run.  It was done with a wood cutting one because a metal cutting one wasn’t available.  It worked anyway but pretty much ate the saw. They cut the hole and mounted a fan with a grill.  Tempered glass CANNOT BE CUT at all.   Tempered glass is regular glass that is cut and then tempered.  It’s an insane process.  acrylic can, but tempered cannot.  Safety glass can.  It’s more expensive though.  Care windshields are tempered safety glass, so both. If I wanted to put a hole in a tempered glass panel I would remove the glass, pull the hardware off it, and replace it with a sheet of something I actually could cut a hole in.  Luan, metal, acrylic, whatever.

Edited by Bombastinator

Not a pro, not even very good.  I’m just old and have time currently.  Assuming I know a lot about computers can be a mistake.

 

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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