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Tips to restore GPU temperature reporting after Nvidia 190/191 Driver updates
Posted: Oct. 8th, 2009

Just a tip for any readers with an Nvidia card (in my case a Mac GTX-285 in a 2009 Mac Pro running Vista 64 via Bootcamp) that see a loss of GPU/board temperature reporting with recent Nvidia 19x.xx driver updates. You may or may not see this loss but many Windows users have apparently since the 190 driver updates. I noticed it early this morning after getting a mail late last night on the EVGA Precision 1.8.1 update. (As I mentioned back in June in the EVGA Mac GTX-285 review, I use the Precision utility in Vista with a Logitech G15 keyboard to show GPU temps, clock speeds, even FPS in some games.)
I had updated to Nvidia's latest 191.07 WHQL drivers in Vista/64 earlier this week but hadn't run Precision since then (until this morning) so I hadn't noticed the loss of GPU temperature reporting. It was still working with the previous 191 -Beta- as I'd checked to see if that driver update helped with the (appx 10-15C) higher temperatures I'd seen with 190.xx drivers vs v186/185 drivers in games (COD4 used) with the same clock speeds/auto fan settings.
Anyway, after the 191.07 update there were no options shown in Precision for monitoring/reporting temperatures. (I'd booted the system several times since then - that's the first thing to try.) Apparently this isn't uncommon as there's a tip/note about that problem going back to 190.xx drivers that includes a fix which worked for me (as well as many others that have seen this):

(Credit/thanks to "Unwinder" for the tip/note)
"That's an internal issue of all currently available 190.xx series. (and with 191.xx it seems.-Mike)
Problem background:
Since 190.xx series NVIDIA driver's internal resource manager is trying to precache thermal sensors information in the registry during the first startup after installation. This mechanism doesn't seem to work fine yet, under some conditions sensor detection and precaching algorithm can fail and store incorrect sensor type information in the registry causing temperatures to disappear till the ForceWare re-installation.

Temporary solution:
Until the problem is fixed by NVIDIA, there are still some temporary tricks allowing to solve it. First, you may just perform complete Foreware re-install, this will also cause precached thermal sensor information to be removed from the registry and to be re-detected by ForceWare on the next start. Second, you may manually remove corrupted thermal sensor information from the registry and this way cause the ForceWare to re-detect it on the next reboot. To do it open regedit then search and delete all instances of RmThermalProviderInfo and RmThermalProviderNum entries in the registry. Then reboot."

I used Regedit to delete these (multiple entries) and rebooted - temperature monitoring was then restored.

But I'm still seeing higher temps (in games of course) than with pre-190 (i.e. 186.xx/185.xx) drivers. I realize there's better utilization, bug fixes, and adaptive power settings (which I'm using w/19x drivers) but have avoided updating past 186 drivers on a gaming PC downstairs, which like the Mac Pro/Mac GTX 285 with 185/186 drivers, seems to not exceed 72C in gaming although it's a dual 285/SLI setup (two BFG 285's from the $179.50 BB store blowout earlier this year) in an HP BB case with good airflow in the PCI slot zone).
I saw an article on creating custom fan profiles/curves (via RivaTuner), but for now I'm just using Precision to bump the fan duty cycle to 65% (vs Auto) before running any games. This seems to keep GPU temps in the 70's (under 80C at least). With the "Auto" fan setting, I'd see 87C during that same test (within a minute or so of gameplay) and the fan duty cycle was reported as only 51%.) And to avoid any mails on this - I know the GPU is rated for much higher temperatures (and I saw no display corruption, freezes, etc.) but personally I'd like to keep the GPU temperatures under 80C. (I know Mac Pro owners hate fan noise but I'll trade higher fan noise for lower temperatures - and when gaming the audio drowns out of a lot of that anyway.)

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