So in some three months of BitCoin mining with a Radeon 5770 in a dusty environment, there was eventual failure. From boot time with the computer at room temperature the graphics card would mine for about 10 to 20 minutes before the computer would shut off (and run up to 93C+). This computer previously had some issues with shutting off prior to installing this card, which was also prior to installing Windows XP Professional 32 bit over the Windows Vista which got rid of that issue. Anyway, I decided first to take a look at the inside of the graphics card to determine if there was any buildup of dust. My assumption of the dust was correct.
To open up the XFX RADEON HD 5770, every screw on the board needed to be removed, and the four screws for the heat sink needed to be loosened. After that the plastic case came right off. Carefully disconnect the fan lead from the board and the two halves can be separated.
I wiped off the old thermal compound from the chip and the heat sink. Then I unscrewed the four screws from the heat sink. There was quite a bit of build up of dust in one side once I pulled it out. I cleaned the fan up and blew the rest of the card out with compressed air. Then I replaced the thermal grease and put it back together. Now it mines again. 🙂
This is a dump of aticonfig. Forgive the formatting.
ATI Overdrive (TM) options:
The following options are used to get and set current and peak, core
and memory clock information as well as read the current temperature of
adapters. By using the "--adapter=" argument the ATI Overdrive (TM)
options can be targeted to a particular adapter in a multi-adapter scenario.
If no adapter is explicitly targeted the commands will be run on the Default
adapter as indicated by the "--list-adapters" command
Unlocks the ability to change core or memory clock values by
acknowledging that you have read and understood the ATI Overdrive (TM)
disclaimer and accept responsibility for and recognize the potential
dangers posed to your hardware by changing the default core or memory
Disables ATI Overdrive(TM) set related aticonfig options. Previously
commited core and memory clock values will remain, but will not be set
on X Server restart.
Lists various information regarding current core and memory clock
Including: current and peak clocks
the theoretical range clocks can be set to
the current load on the GPU
Sets the core and memory clock to the values specified in MHz
The new clock values must be within the theoretical ranges provided
by --od-getclocks. If a 0 is passed as either the NewCoreClock or
NewMemoryClock it will retain the previous value and not be changed.
There is no guarantee that the attempted clock values will succeed
even if they lay inside the theoretical range. These newly set
clock values will revert to the default values if they are not
committed using the "--od-commitclocks" command before X is
Sets the core and memory clock to the default values.
Warning X needs to be restarted before these clock changes will take
Once the stability of a new set of custom clocks has been proven this
command will ensure that the Adapter will attempt to run at these new
values whenever X is restarted
Returns the temperature reported by any thermal sensors available on
Enable/disable ACPI services. In the case of BIOS or kernel ACPI issues,
ACPI services in the driver can be disabled through this option.
The ACPI services are enabled by default.
Enable/disable display switching with ACPI methods on mobile platforms.
This option is enabled by default.
My card – ATI Radeon 5770. Enable overclocking and show values:
sudo aticonfig --od-enable – Enable overclocking
sudo aticonfig --odgc – Show current card clock values
Output from my example card (ATI Radeon 5770):
Default Adapter - ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series
Core (MHz) Memory (MHz)
Current Clocks : 850 1200
Current Peak : 850 1200
Configurable Peak Range : [600-960] [1200-1445]
GPU load : 97%
aticonfig --odsc=930,1400 – Set clockspeeds, in MHz [coreclock,memoryclock]
aticonfig --pplib-cmd 'set fanspeed 0 80' – Kick up the fanspeed