Fan running constantly on fairly high-end machine

I’m running MSFS on a very new (and well-ventilated) Dell XPS 8930, and the fan runs constantly even with the graphics set to low end.

For comparison, in X-Plane the fan remains silent after the flight is loaded. While I know that MSFS is much more demanding, the problem is there even with low graphic settings. I’ve turned off multiplayer/group, AI or live traffic, and live weather.

The view is acceptable, with minimal stuttering, but the constant fan can’t be good for the PC, so I’d like to solve this.

These are my specs:

i9-9900 CPU at 3.10GHz
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080
Monitor 1080p at 60 Hz

As an example using the Cessna 152, this is my CPU and GPU usage, and FPS. (With the B747, the FPS is much lower, and in all settings is limited by MainThread):

Low-end graphics:
50-55 FPS

High-end graphics:
40-45 FPS

Ultra graphics:
30-35 FPS

Any ideas for solving this would be appreciated!

I have a very similar system and similar problems:

One option (just kidding) is to run the GPU into the ground so you have a good excuse to tell your significant other (or at least your bank account) that you just have to get an RTX 30 series card - they’re supposed to run 20 to 30 deg lower and I think that’s supposed to be in Centigrade! (a review quoted it as that but that sounds incredible!).

This reminded me of the most popular Flight Simulator review in the first week of release: “For a second the airplanes sounded super realistic…then I realized it was my PC.” Tarak2818


Theres absolutely nothing wrong with your fan running hard - its not “bad for your pc” - gpu’s are designed to be run at 100% just fine.

If you wanted to adjust the fan curve you could get a third party program such as ‘MSI afterburner’ which lets you do just that - but dont worry about it.

Changing your setting to low will not help with fan speed as you pc will just push our more frames per second and the overall utilisation will remain high. The only way if you insist on taking load off you pc (which is totally the wrong perspective, i mean why even have a high spec pc if you wont let it run under load) - would be to cap the fps below whatever it is capable of. Again a specific fps cap can be done through msi afterburner as well as other third party utilities.


edit - the above was wrote on the presumption that you’re talking about your gpu fan and not cpu fan - but the same principles apply regardless

edit2: it would probably be good practice for you to install a monitoring program to let you view temperatures of your cpu and gpu in real time just to double check that there isnt also an airflow problem. Anything under say 85degrees for either cpu or gpu is again just fine as a broad starting point.

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It is hard to say if he actually has any problem with fans. My current specs are i7-9700K/32GB RAM/GTX970 and even when I run MSFS on High/Ultra mix my GPU doesn’t push fans above 50% speed, staying at 70 degrees. CPU also doesn’t push CPU and case fans to 100%, I think not even 50% as well (they stay below 1000rpm)

Also, note that we talk about Dell XPS. I wouldn’t say they have great airflow.

Was just going to say that.
@DormantSet35693 Just watched a review on the XPS 8930, that cooling system is not adequate for a 9900 and 2080 combination, at least quietly. I think the reason for the main thread limiting is your system is that it cant be adequately cooled. A cpu cooling upgrade would definitely help.

The 9900 is a very warm chip and due to the design of the XPS 8930 you would be very limited for a CPU cooler upgrade. You are going to be limited to low profile coolers such as these:

Both the CPU and GPU will self protect under high temperatures so there is little risk of damage, you’ll just be limited in performance.

Well if you don’t like the fan noise just convert to water cooling. Honestly you want the fans to control heat , heat kills. Even if you set up a custom fan curve you could still run hot and the system will start to throttle back cutting your performance.

As the OP, I want to thank everyone for these very helpful comments. I had assumed that the constant fan was a signal that the PC was being “overworked”, but it looks like it’s just the appropriate response.

For those of you who suggested installing a cooler, can you tell me how complicated that is? I’m (clearly) not an expert in PC construction, and while I don’t mind opening the case, I wouldn’t want to do any damage to the components, or to take on something that’s too complex.

Is this something a novice can do?

Thanks again!

Go to the net and watch a bunch of vids on changing your CPU cooler, if you think its something you could do go for it. if not see what a local shop would charge. Also make sure the cooler will fit your case. I went full on water cool no the last to builds and love the silence and CPU temps never over 62c overclocked. .

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Hm, any pix I see of that the case doesn’t look like it has very good airflow to start with? If it’s getting too warm, you’d probably want to move it into a new case with better airflow. So maybe a bigger job for someone not experienced.

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I think the risk of damage moving all the components to a new case and installing a new cpu cooler is quite low.

Lots of reference material on YouTube on how to assemble a PC. It would me much the same process moving over to a new case. Its like adult lego.

Your optimism disgusts me. :face_with_monocle:


Totally agree with everything j4k1337 said, except in my research it’s best to keep these cards below 80 for longevity sake.

Also j4k1337, I’m having an issue with XP11 where my FPS is locked at 27 - nothing higher and very rarely lower. You mentioned products that lock FPS - I’d like to get your read on what might be going on. If you have XP11 I have a thread in that forum that I can direct you to. Its not an XP11 parameter, and it doesn’t affect other sims or games. So it has to be something system wide, but that only affects XP11. I’ve reset NVIDIA to factory so that’s not it.

ASUS ROG Scar Strix III-Intel I-7-9750; RTX-2070 8GB; 32MB System Ram. Purchased this LP to run this game powering video to a (HDMI) Samsung Curved 32" monitor. Plane at end of RW. engine running. Have FP for TO/circle/LD and my location. My Setting are default when game installed, most either Ultra or High. AI is on, 50 vehicles/planes/boats, etc.

CPU Temp 89C
Fan Speed 6900 RPM
GPU Temp 80C
GPU Fan 5100 RPM.
It is less noisy now than when simulator first came out, patch did something to lower the temp/fan speed.

Game is more responsive and seems to work better since patch.
But I worked on and built PC’s for several years, believe I would not worry about fan speed and temps, you have warranty. If really worried, get Dell’s extended warranty. These things are designed to run high end, and that is what its doing. I for one are not going to worry about it.
NOTE: In FSX when minimized, or not current window, fan speed would decrease, in this one NOPE, fan speed stays high, temps stay up.

I found I was able to reduce the GPU temperature about 2 degrees by just balancing the fans and optimising their placement. ie number of fans in = number of fans out. Having a front fan that sees the GPU gets its own supply of cooler air is a must. Using MSI afterburner I was able to up the fan profile for a given GPU heat to drop another couple of degrees. Before the changes 82c was normal, after about 74c was usual.

Just fitted a Corsair H60 water cooler to my I5 9400f CPU. A bit fiddly but not especially challenging.
With the standard CPU cooler I was seeing temps up to 80c in MSFS. After the cooler was fitted, the CPU never exceeds 60c. The water cooler has no benefit for the GPU temp, as my case fans on top of the case were venting the CPU heat from the old CPU cooler effectively anyway.

  • Cap FPS to limit CPU / GPU usage
  • Consider repasting, (liquid metal if laptop,)
  • Undervolt CPU/GPU to reduce power consumed and heat generated
  • Run a custom fan curve as you see fit
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For future reference, you will know your PC overworked when it shuts down under load (usually due to CPU overheating). It might also freeze due to GPU overheating but this can be caused by software issues as well. Increased fan speed is indeed proper and expected response to running demanding application.

I suggest downloading Open Hardware Monitor or similar software and observing system fans performance to make sure they are not reaching their limits - most case fans are designed for 1200-1500rpm max, so if they barely go over 1000rpm than your system gets enough air to keep the heat away.

A warranty doesn’t do much good when it takes weeks to RMA a part and you can’t use your PC.

I think it’s better to use RivaTuner or similar to limit frame rate to keep things cooler. I cap mine at 30 fps and things stay nice and cool while flying is still smooth and nice.

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Agreed. Did another test
GPU highest it got was 83C, Nvidia says highest would 89C, so under that for sure. It takes less than 15 seconds to get GPU down to 60, and another 10 or so to get it down to where it runs (no game) in the mid 40’s. The system/MSFS controls how much if going on, so not going to worry about it.

I would keep an eye on that GPU temp, Nvidia cards like to throttle heavily at 80 degrees, especially 10 series and up

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