Why copper? The answer is simple; it improves heat conduction and offers better cooling efficiency than the other common metals, such as aluminum or nickel. Furthermore, there is a tendency nowadays to use exotic shaped and bulky sized GPU coolers with several heatpipes; they quickly conduct heat from the chip’s surface to protect it from overheating during stressful situations. Personally, I prefer the watercooling solutions in combination with little ramsinks rather than buying a huge cooler limiting my case size and probably harming my tower’s airflow (and maybe its overall ambient temp).
In case you monitor your card’s temperature and notice that it exceeds 85 Celsius (under load – playing a game or running a stressful 3D application) then you have problem. Before it’s too late, you need to provide a sufficient cooling mechanism to your hardware, in order to operate under normal conditions. But if you think that your cooler is sufficient enough, then please try to replace the thermal paste. All GPUs are coming with low quality pre-applied TIM (thermal interface material), and this is what we are going to replace in the next paragraph.
Final step is to place back the plastic body and fasten any clips that holds it on top of the card.
Okay, now you ‘re ready to test your little achievement. Plug your GPU back to your motherboard and start playing a game in order to put your graphics card under stressing situation. Simultaneously, please monitor your GPU temperatures (using lm-sensors) and after a couple of hours of gaming, see the log files. Normally, there will be a delta temp of -5 Celsius than before.
However, if you GPU is still hot then you need to check the fan. Many Linux drivers are not able to operate successfully the cycle fan duty, thus PWM technique fails. The best thing here is to try both available drivers for your GPU model, meaning open-source and proprietary version. In worst case scenario, you need to manually setup thermal thresholds and fix your cycle duty. For example, a rule would be: “if GPU temp exceeds 70C then put its fan at 80% RPM”. Try different combinations and see what works best for you. For example, trying 100% cycle duty is very loud and noise, so do not overestimate, because you will end up with a headache.