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Can Integrated Graphics Cards Overheat?


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#1 bsk8r

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 11:00 PM

Ok so I have to take out my current graphics card to RMA it because the fan is dead and I was wondering, while I am stuck using my integrated graphics card, which is a Nvidia GeForce 9100, I think, can integrated graphics cards overheat too? And what damage can they cause if they do overheat, or how do u fix it.

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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 10:04 AM

Hello and welcome to Bleepingcomputer.

To answer your question about integrated graphics cards over heating, the answer to that question is yes.

The reason is anything that processes requires a great many transistors to do the processing, the faster the transistors have to switch on and off to crunch the data being thrown at them, the more heat they produce in the process.

In order to draw (scan) a complete picture in pixels across the screen with high resolution graphics included, the video processor has to scan faster with more detail in each frame, this creates more heat in the process. If this heat builds up on the transistor network built into a processor of any type, the transistors either heat up and shut off or burn open.
In the case of burning open, this means the transistor has suffered permanent damage and will no longer work again.
Transistors built into todays electronics are integrated into an Integrated Circuit also called IC chip. There is no way to service such a chip, because the chips have microscopic circuitry built into them and the chips are sealed, so there would be no way to repair a burned transistor inside an IC chip because the chip would be damaged further if such an attempt was made.

So in this case the whole chip has to be replaced. Even this is not easy to accomplish, since the chips soldered connections to the motherboard are surface mount technology and very hard to accomplish without the use of a microscope and an ultra fine tipped 15 watt grounded soldering pencil and a very steady hand. One solder bridge between the leads on the chip could damage the new chip. ( A solder bridge is when a bead of solder joins two leads together, that are not meant to be connected.)

So now we get back to the questions you asked above.

Yes, the integrated graphics card can over heat.

Yes you can replace the chip, but most motherboards have the darned chip soldered to the motherboard. I wish they would start installing them into IC sockets rather than hard-wiring them to the circuit board.

Hope this helps answer your question.

Bruce.
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#3 bsk8r

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 01:01 PM

TY, 1 more question then

If the card does overheat, will the integrated graphics card cause any damage to the motherboard itself preventing things on the computer from working? Or will it only affect the graphics itself. And how hot is too hot for an Integrated Graphics Card

#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 01:49 PM

To answer your first question.

Since the graphics chip is built into the board's circuitry, it can cause problems if it totally fails.
The chip failure can create a short circuit in the circuits it is connected to.

Some motherboards allow through BIOS settings the ability to turn off the integrated graphics card completely, some do not. But either way you still have a damaged chip in the mix.

As far as how hot is too hot goes. If a transistor reaches a temperature hot enough to burn your finger, there is a good chance the dielectric in the transistor has reached a dangerous level.

It also depends on the transistors threshold, some can tolerate higher temperatures than others before they burn up or burn open.

I would have to say that once a transistor reaches a temperature above 120 degrees Fahrenheit it is above its safe threshold, however, some can tolerate slightly higher temperatures than that.

All processors come with documentation which list the specifications for the processor, which includes the safe operating temperatures for that processor. Once that safe level has been exceeded, the processor will begin to act up or shut down completely causing a system crash. Some processors have safety features built into them to shut off the flow of electrons to prevent possible damage, some just burn up and fail do to burned open circuits or shorted circuits when transistors and resister circuits melt together.

Bruce.
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#5 bsk8r

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 12:00 PM

Ok thanks

1 more,

If i unplug my graphics card I have in right now, and switch to using my integrated graphics, will the heat from the integrated graphics card heat up my CPU or anything aswell?

#6 abauw

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 04:15 PM

yes...it will heat some component on your motherboard around the integrated graphic adapter...

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#7 ReviverSoft

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 04:42 PM

My 2 cents...

1. Chances of the integrated graphics 'chipset' overheating are negligible, if you have a well-ventilated PC case (cabinet) and do not max out the graphics settings.
These chipsets also feature a 'heatsink' if you haven't noticed.

2. You have to remember that the integrated graphics chipset is obviously less powerful than a discrete one, so in a real world scenario, there isn't a whole lot of performance outputted, to generate the kind of heat you are concerned about.

Edited by ReviverSoft, 26 July 2010 - 04:47 PM.

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