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Yes it's me again... this time it's about my video card

Posted on 2004-03-24
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
Hey guys,

    I am now having issues with my video card.  On some games I get really bad artifacts, on others I don't get any.  Like for example, I downloaded 3DMark 2001 and when it runs the lobby test (the max payne looking one) there are really bad artifacts on the dudes glasses, and only on his glasses, they are definitely artifacts and arent supposed to be there. Another one, is I have a demo for Far Cry and when I play that I get terrible artifacts everywhere... but games like Splinter Cell, Max Payne 2...etc show no signs of this problem.  My system is not overclocked (in fact I underclocked my system and it still happens) I have all the latest drivers...etc I have tried 2 Catalyst drivers (3.9 and 4.1) and that doesn't change anything...

Sapphire Radeon 9800 pro (256 mb)
p4 2.6 ghz HT
512 mb ddr400 ram
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Question by:PoeticAudio
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10670181
PoeticAudio thanks for cheering me up I think you mean effects not artifacts :)

Regards

Pete
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by:Callandor
ID: 10670183
How about DirectX?  You may need to reinstall that.
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by:PoeticAudio
ID: 10670422
no, I mean artifacts, not effects... but... you're welcome!
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by:PoeticAudio
ID: 10670529
PeteLong;

Artifacts are glitches in the video due to errors (usually happens when you overclock a system too much) but in this case I don't understand why it's happening because it happens when my system us underclocked, even.

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by:Callandor
ID: 10670595
Artifacts are usually caused by bad drivers, so I can only recommend you try a different one.  I use 3.8 and it seems error-free.
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by:PoeticAudio
ID: 10670710
hmm... I tried 2 different drivers, no go
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by:Fl4wless
ID: 10670741
Artefacts are caused by either drivers or Heat.

I used to find in a standard ATX Case with no fans, excessive use of a good speed card would eventually cause artefacts. Ventillation should be someit you consider.

www.ati.com Download the 4.3 Catalysts
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10670745
????????whats an artifact???????????

Please dont say an old colectable thing?
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by:Fl4wless
ID: 10670754
the 4.3s fixed a few texture errors in UT2004 and FarCry.

Again though, get 2 quiet fans balanced against CFM and install one at the front of your case at the bottom and one on the back as high as possible. This will suck air over the Heatsink and Fan of your Video Card then straight out the top.
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by:Fl4wless
ID: 10670765
>>>
PeteLong;

Artifacts are glitches in the video due to errors (usually happens when you overclock a system too much) but in this case I don't understand why it's happening because it happens when my system us underclocked, even.
>>>

Read posts mate.

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by:Fl4wless
ID: 10670778
They are basically white dots and "sheering" (Black Lines or "Cut-Outs") on the monitor you see during graphical intensive procedures... like games...
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10670783
Thnx Fl4wless not only am I humbled, but Ive learned something :)
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Callandor earned 100 total points
ID: 10670793
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by:Fl4wless
ID: 10670802
lol... how've you got 1001726 XPP without knowing what an artifact is :D
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by:Callandor
ID: 10670822
That's because he's not a hardware kind of guy ;-)

But he has great tutorials on Windows procedures.
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by:Fl4wless
ID: 10670836
ok. cool.
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10670871
well I bum around a bit, and that is my total points over 63 TA's not just XP
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10670879
ahh isee XPP = expert points  :)
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by:PoeticAudio
ID: 10670951
Is it possible I damaged my video card?... because... oops... one day I severely overclocked my system just to see it's potential... but it's actually pretty rare to damage a VC due to overclocking... I didn't go that nuts... and it only happens on rare instances (artifacts)

Flawless... I have 6 case fans all aranged properly for maximum cooling =)
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by:Callandor
ID: 10670955
Pete, now you're scaring me - how did you get those points? ;-)
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10671051
just bumming around - dont have a clue me! http://petenetlive.hopto.org
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by:Fl4wless
ID: 10671270
PoeticAudio, RMA the card, if you can and see if that solves the problem. That will mean it is the card convienently :D.

Shame it aint heat... Have you got the 4.3 Catalysts? Follow the correct installation procedure when you install them (remove all in with new).

Some games are generally artefackery. Try disabling Antistropic, Trilinear and FSAA in games.
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by:cail
ID: 10676357
If you don't get artifacts in some games, and do in others, then there really should be no problem with the video hardware! If it was a hardware problem then you should have problems in all games! However, we don't have all the info yet, such as:

Do you run all the games at the same resolution, color depth, and AA etc settings? Remember that you can tell the card to act differently in different games. I don't have an ATI, but is there a way to reset all settings to defaults - if so, do it and see what happens.

You also didn't say if this problem started from day one, or after you played with overclocking? If it happened only after overclocking, then it has to be that the overclock damaged some memory chips on the video card. I'm sure there are differences in the way that video memory is handled by different games, so that may be why it works OK with some games, but not with others. You could search the internet for a video card memory tester - if there is such a thing. That would prove beyond a doubt that it is or isn't the memory on the video card.

Last thing to try is to put the board in another computer and play the same games. If you still get the exact same thing, then I would send it back for a replacement.

Hope this helps!
Andy
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by:cail
ID: 10676419
I know your not a dummy, but I'm a tech support guy, so I have to ask! Is the power connector connected to the video card? I mean one of the hard drive power connectors. I had a buddy who didn't connect that and he got similar problems. You may want to try one of the other unused connectors if it is plugged in now, just in case there is a problem with the one you are using now.

I think it's a low probability that this is the problem, but it never hurts to ask:-)

Andy
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by:PoeticAudio
ID: 10677600
To be honest I can't tell you guys when the problem started happening.  I have just a few games (Splinter Cell, Neverwinter Nights, Max Payne 2, Morrowind) and I have never seen any artifacts on any of those games before. I ran 3DMark 2001 for the first time and there are artifacts on this game (especially on the lobby test) I had only overclocked my CPU at this point (slight overclock) well, I thought maybe it was normal because I never see artifacts on AquaMark (or anything else), so I was stupid and proceeded to OC my system, I eventually ran the core at 420Mhz and severely OC'd my FSB (yes I have proper cooling) I still didn't get any artifacts on my normal games, but got artifacts on 3DMark (so really nothing changed)... well after this I put in a demo CD from the latest Maximum PC mag and played the game Far Cry. I get TERRIBLE artifacts on this game (but smooth as butter frame rates) and it doesn't matter what resolution I run the game at, or what I disable, I always get about the same amount of artifacts... well my normal games still run perfectly fine... I re-installed DirectX9b, re-installed all my drivers, totally disabled all the overclocking and I still have the same problem, but it's only on 3DMark and Far Cry. I am just worried that I damaged my card a little bit (can't return it, it's OEM, plus I overclocked it). Oh well, the new R420 GPU's are comin' soon anyways =)
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by:Callandor
ID: 10678243
The possibility of damage is always there when you overclock - most of the time, you can get away with it, but there are those times when something goes thunk.  I guess this is a good reason not to get the absolute latest and greatest if it's going to cost you an arm and a leg.
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by:Fl4wless
ID: 10679575
Is the card or CPU Currently overclocked at the moment?

If they are, then set them back to defaults and see if that fixes it.

The core of my 9800pro is 419mhz.... you sure its 420? If it still running at 420 core, then thats your problem. Its overclocked too far!
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by:PoeticAudio
ID: 10681107
Flawless,

    I have even tried underclocking and I still have the problem I have tried all defaults, I think I have tried pretty much everything... I am just hoping I missed somethin' that maybe you guys know about...

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by:Fl4wless
ID: 10681841
Just reading back, Cali said to make sure the external Molex connector was connected to the card. Just to clear this up, I assume its connected, but if it isn't, the PC wont boot and slings a big beep and errors at you.

Anyway... You say the problem is only in the latest games, namely FarCry, THE MOST demanding game ever released to date.

I have the Hercules 9800pro and I play it on most full options... Try scaling down everything in FarCry especially:

-Vertical Sync off
-Filtering to Bilinear
-Resolution to 1024x768
-Scale down all other options

As I said earlier, its probably just the game, if not its the card that's messed up and it will need an RMA
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by:PoeticAudio
ID: 10682732
Flawless, I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what you mean by RMA

Thanks for all the help,
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by:Callandor
ID: 10683278
RMA is Return Merchandise Authorization - basically, send it back.
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by:Fl4wless
ID: 10684966
Before you "Send it back", Try changing the settings I mentioned above on FarCry. If I have anistropic and V-Sync active on my card, I see little white dots in the water, "Artefacts"! Its probably just the game, so lower the settings as suggested.
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Expert Comment

by:GnarlyGuy
ID: 10687334
It is interesting to note that the problems seem to exist with the newer (ie DirectX 9) games and fine on older DirectX 8 supported games...I expect that, though the 9800 is a great card, you will need to scale back the video options until you have what you need.
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by:PoeticAudio
ID: 10687852
The weird thing, is that my frame-rates are normal to above normal, so it doesn't seem like it's stressing the hardware that much...

You guys have all offered great advice! I'm not sure how I should split the points... err... -=)
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by:Fl4wless
ID: 10689594
have you tried lowering the settings yet!? Its probably just the game as I first suggested if everything else runs fine.
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by:PoeticAudio
ID: 10691220
Well, I just bought the game anyways, i'll let you know how it runs
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by:Fl4wless
ID: 10691394
can u please just see if running FarCry on lower settings and removing V-Sync and Anstropic Filtering removes the artefacts?
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by:Fl4wless
ID: 10691454
Theres a point. I just reading through a magasine. The XT Models by ATI Chipsets have something called "Overdrive". This automatically overclocks your GPU when the card is struggling with an application.

This may be causing your problem, as Sapphire have a thermal diode on the card that allows itself to overclocking itself depending on temperatures.

To disable it:

Right click on desktop > Properties > Settings > Advanced.

Look through all the tabs that appear in that toolbox and try to find something called "Overdrive" and disable it.
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by:PoeticAudio
ID: 10691861
Flawless,

Hey man! thanks for that last pointer... i'm at work right now so i'll check it out later.

Sorry about the topic dragging on and on... i'll close it soon...
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by:Fl4wless
ID: 10691899
well, the Overdrive is only on the XT Models. I just read "Sapphire". Didn't see it was pro. I dont think you will have overdrive as its not an XT version, but its worth having a look-see anyway.
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