Theoretically, 80 degrees is still safe operating temperature for a GPU, but it is also probably the maximum limit the majority of players will tolerate. I, for one, would not be happy with a temp above 80 degrees, even if I know that by the time it damages the GPU, I will no longer be playing games to begin with. Better to err on the side of caution. My 980 Strix reaches a maximum of 74 degrees in W3 (about 0.5% of the time) and is usually at 65-70 degrees
It's because game creates some kind of "synthetic" benchmark. I posted it some time ago with my R9 290 case. Power is just going waste, because with 60 FPS lock IT SHOULD NOT work at 100% all the time. Even Heaven benchmark doesn't suck 100% from the card with locked FPS. I lowered the details and it was still 100%. Power is leaking somewhere.
Why would you buy two 980s at $550 a pop to play games at 1080p lol?
On topic, yeah this game is pretty shit in the optimization of GPU resources department. I played Dragon Age Inquisition early for about four hours straight and my GPU never went above 58C and this is with an EVGA 970 with an ACX 2.0 cooler, a cooler which doesn't kick in it's fans at all until 60C... So I played DAI, which is a pretty damn good looking game for four hours and my GPU didn't even have its fans on and still ran cool... Side note: I am playing DAI because I can't currently play this game as it crashes instantly when I load my save every single time and I don't feel like restarting when I am 40 hours in.
But Witcher 3. Instantly up to the high 70s, a few times at 80-81C. This game runs every GPU at max voltage, max usage 100% of the time outside of menus. Pretty silly. Even with locked FPS.
Also lol at the people saying their temps with water cooling... "Oh my 970 never gets above 40C with my custom loop!" No fucking shit sherlock.
Just in case this has been an oversight, don't forget to clean out the dust in your case and especially around fans, heatsinks and coolers from time to time.
My overclocked i7 4770k was hitting 60c when playing The Witcher 3 and I knew it was already past time to clean out my PC. I went ahead and took care of that last week and now my CPU temps are max 48-50c in The Witcher 3 -yeah, there was a lot of dust on my CPU cooler's radiator!
A little update on this thread i recently have two new gigabytes gtx 980 ti g1 gaming s in sli, on full HD gpu1 can reach a temp of 83-84 after a while, but gpu2 never gets higher then 72c maybe 75c, those gpu,s are monsters performance wise but they generate allot more heat then with my old gtx 980 g1 gaming, and thats with one of the best cases out there, the cooler master haf x