I trying to work out how long can my graphics card last with its fan off without overheating.

when I'm browsing the Internet, the graphics card fan is the loudest thing in my computer.

So my question is, how do I monitor the GPU temperature of my ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics card.

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    it has to do with ubuntu or linux because i want to find a program compatible with it that will allow me to see my gpu tempurature Commented May 6, 2012 at 5:37

8 Answers 8


If you are using the proprietary driver (fglrx), then the command you want is aticonfig --odgt.

So far as I'm aware, for many cards this sensor will not be exposed through lm-sensors.

  • 1
    and aticonfig --odgc for GPU load (current usage %), along with clock speeds
    – MestreLion
    Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 17:24
  • Can you also try Psensor Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 18:13

Not long until it fries. Depending on the amount of graphic workload you're doing, manufacturing process, accumulated dust could be minutes, hours. buy an aftermarket fanless cooling replacement if noise is a problem.

To monitor your GPU Temperature, use this Q&A to help find the GPU sensor:

How to use lm-sensors?

  • I just cleaned my graphics card from dust today, and no there will be almost no load on it, since all ill be using is like firefox. Im asking how long will it last without causing ANY damage at all? Commented May 6, 2012 at 4:35
  • Of course it will cause damage, heat causes damage to all electronics under extended periods of time, the card can get to ~120°C and it's supposed to shut off or it will fry. I'm certain no one has ever tried to just burn a card just to see how long does it takes too happen.. Commented May 6, 2012 at 4:41
  • but would it last 20 seconds? Commented May 6, 2012 at 4:44
  • I'd guess it can hold up 20 secs, you can install lm-sensors to monitor the temp so you don't get past the threshold. Commented May 6, 2012 at 4:46
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    it doesn't show my graphics card fan or temperature even thpught i got the drivers installed Commented May 6, 2012 at 4:57

Firstly, (See http://www.unixmen.com/howto-install-ati-display-driver-in-ubuntu/ to install) then type

sudo aticonfig --initial


aticonfig --odgt


Default Adapter - ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series
                  Sensor 0: Temperature - 45.00 C
sudo apt-get install lm-sensors

Which outputs something like:

Adapter: PCI adapter
temp1:   +48.5°C  (crit = +120.0°C, hyst = +90.0°C)

Since proprietary drivers are not supported anymore, I chose hardware solution. I took ventilator with standard power connector for atx case and taped it over the card. Suppose it's not good for gaming and cryptomining but works well for me.


I have solved this using bash script which sets fan speed to actual temp. I mean if chip temp is 60deg fan speed id 60%. Then I run this under root cron every minute. I created /bin/atiSpeedCron file with this content:

read temp < <(/usr/bin/aticonfig --od-gettemperature | grep "Sensor 0" | cut -c43-47)
echo temp: $temp
aticonfig --pplib-cmd "set fanspeed 0 $temp"

then I updated cron using

crontab -e

under root account I entered this line:

* * * * * /bin/atiSpeedCron

this made me forget about ati fans. btw/ I think grivers should do it.


Do modprobe it87 and if you are lucky, lm-sensors will give you the info.

If the card runs really hot, you can try to reduce its performance (if the drm module allows that):

echo low > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_profile

Sadly, the HD 4xxx series does not have particularly good power saving features in the Open Source driver today, let alone when this question was written.

Unless the card was designed to run with the fan off, it will not be able to run at all without it. Additionally, most AMD cards contain firmware that regulates the fan. I would not recommend forcing off the fan, but instead simply relying on the card's internal firmware to regulate the fan speed.

To reduce the fan speed, you would need to simply reduce heat production. I would recommend reading up on the latest power save options to force the card to remain at minimal clock speed. This will give you decreased heat production at the cost of decreased performance.

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