Dual card cooling solutions

Does anyone have any experience with cooling off 2 cards (not SLI)? I have two RTX 2060’s, they are dual-slot width, with a single empty slot between them (i.e. not quite next to each other). The top card is massively overheating on DL runs, reaching up to 85C (maximum rated is 88C). I have tried changing the fan curves, adding more fans, changing exhaust fans to intake and vice-versa…nothing seems to have any effect. Any tips would be appreciated.

Well this might be another one of my famous “reply to myself” posts. I found a partial solution which manually runs the GPU fans at 100%, using Ubuntu 18.04. It’s loud and amplifies the coil whine, but it’s better than having the cards overheat:

  • To run 100%: nvidia-settings -a “[gpu:0]/GPUFanControlState=1” -a “[fan:0]/GPUTargetFanSpeed=100”
  • To return to normal: nvidia-settings -a “[gpu:0]/GPUFanControlState=0”

I think this may also require adding this line: Option “Coolbits” “4”
to the xorg.conf file. (Mine is /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-nvidia.conf but traditionally it is in /etc/X11)

Unfortunately I can’t get it to work on GPU/fan 1 (the second card) but the heat isn’t as much of an issue there. I think I will just swap the cards every month or two, to even out the wear and tear.

Top card still hovers around 80C and hits 83 on occasion, but it’s better than 85. Will experiment with adding another high-power case fan, either as exhaust or jerry-rigging it to blow air between the cards.

Update: Tried the second option, with a Noctua 140mm fan on the side (just resting on the power supply) to ventilate the space between the top and bottom cards, and it worked fairly well. Temps stayed below 80C. I’m sure a liquid cooling solution would do better, but it would be more expensive and risky as well.