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Thread: Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

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    Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

    Hi All,

    I am having problem with my graphics card and have been scouring the net for a couple of days trying to sort it out. Basically when gaming (Mainly COD4 as an example), after a while playing (sometimes only a few minutes), the game will start artifacting (some parts of the screen flashing, random lines and areas flashing quickly), and eventually it will crash and go to a black screen with the sound still playing or on loop. The only way to get out is to hit the reset button. Not good! Sometimes on reboot Windows will say that the crash was caused by the graphics driver, and is searching for a resolution. Obviously it never finds one!

    My PC specs are:

    Intel Core 2 Duo 6300 - Stock Cooler
    Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3, Rev 1.0, F12 BIOS
    2 x 1 GB Geil DDR2-SDRAM PC2-5300 (333 MHz)
    Sapphire X1900 XT - With Accelero 2
    Nothing Overclocked
    IBM/HGST SATA 160Gig & Diamond Max 10 SATA 160Gig
    Jeantech 450 Watt ATX PSU with 120mm fan
    3 x 120mm fans in Antec P180 Case

    Vista Ultimate (Updated)
    All up to date motherboard drivers
    Catalyst 7.12 Drivers (Previous drivers removed / cleaned with DriverCleaner.Net)

    After a lot of searching, and playing with Riva Tuner, ATiTool, Speedfan, Coretemp, and CPU-Z I think I have narrowed the problem to the Voltage Regulator overheating, and/or possible a dodgy PSU.

    Basically if I leave my system to its own devices when gaming, the following happens (data gathered from RivaTuner):
    GPU temps gradually goes up to about 85 Deg C
    The fan duty cycle only goes up to about 36% (about 1300 rpm)
    Ambient temp rises to about 65-70 deg C
    Voltage regulator output goes to 1.45v
    Voltage regulator current hovers around 33A
    Voltage regulator temp steadily climbs up to 90-odd deg C

    I don’t think most of these figures are too bad, except the voltage regulator temp. So I tried setting the fan to 100% with ATiTool, and the situation is much better:
    GPU temps gradually goes up to the mid 60’s C
    The fan remains at 100% (just over 2000 rpm)
    Ambient temp steadies at about 45 deg C
    Voltage regulator output goes to 1.45v
    Voltage regulator current hovers around 33A
    Voltage regulator temp hovers around 70 deg C

    One other thing I have noticed is that the -12V line from the PSU seems to be at approx -17V & the -5V line –seems to fluctuate between -8V & -5V. This doesn’t seem right, but I couldn’t find anything about this anywhere!

    (If someone tells me how, I can post some pics of the artifacts in COD4, and the .hml RivaTuner log files if they are any use in helping diagnose the fault! Also, is there a plug in to monitor my motherboard voltage settings with RivaTuner? I think it would be very helpful to have all the data collected by the same app!!!)

    So, can anyone make anything from this? If it is the voltage regulator over temping, what can I do about it – is there a decent heatsink I can buy to help reduce the temps. Or could this be fixed with a better PSU – I’m thinking of perhaps the Corsair HX Series 520W Modular PSU - ATX12V v2.2 APFC. It should be plenty powerful enough!

    Any comments & help greatly appreciated! TIA,

    Cocksy.

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    Re: Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

    Overeating can be a problem for all of us at this time of year.

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    Re: Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

    Right, I received my brand new Corsair HX620W modular PSU (yeah, I went for the bigger one!!), along with a 120mm case fan (noctua nf-s12) and a new hard disk (WD Caviar sE15 500GB) installed them all, and.............

    I'm still getting the artifacts and crashing poblems!!! I think my problems are very similar to this guys problems (expect mine is with the PCI-E version, and his is AGP, and his is the 1950, but which is identical to my 1900xt except for clock & mem speeds), but I can't seem to get the sign in / up to the sapphire forums to work, so can't post there to ask for help!!

    Now I think the problem has got wose since I installed the new PSU, I had artifacts and a crashes whilst playing COD4 with the fan on 100%, and different artifacts and crashes in Crysis, also with the fan at 100%.

    I did notice after one of the crashes, that there was artifacts on the POST screen when booting (a couple of coloured dots that flashed a couple of times), so Ipowered off and left the sstem to cool before I rebooted 10 mins later, and everything was fine in vista again.

    Please can anyone help - is it bad RAM on the card - is there any way to check the RAM on the card? I'm running out of options and the card is 18 months old so I prob cant replace it under warrantee now, which is a royal pain in the back side.....!!!!

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    Re: Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

    Eek! Doesn't sound good.

    Artifacting on boot screen might mean hardware problem.
    It might be some of the ram is corrupted or personally I think its a heat problem but your ram may have been damaged already.

    I would reapply the thermal paste to see if it helps.
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    Re: Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

    I have recently re-applied artic silver 5 paste to the GPU, but the RAM chips on the 1900XT are not at the same 'height' above the circuit board as the main graphics core.
    So on both the stock cooler, and the accellero 2 (which I have fitted), there is a small 'shim' of spongy heat conducting material to help keep the mem chips cool.

    Now I'm pretty sure I have fitted them properly, there isn't a lot that you can really do wrong when fitting them (just peel off the 'covers' on both sides and apply to the chips), but the problems did occur before I fitted the accellero 2 too (too many twos ), so I'm 99% convinced I have not fitted the cooler wrongly.

    But that doesn't mean the memory isn't getting too hot (is there any way to tell?), or isn't already heat-damaged (is there any way to test the graphics memory?) but there aren't any other x1900xt owners with accellero 2 coolers complaining about this, as far as I can see!!! Any thoughts?

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    Re: Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

    I've not fitted my Accelero on my 1900xt yet so can't say. However, I reckon it might be hardware problem (overheating) but have you tried a clean install running earlier catalyst releases? I use ATI Tray tools to monitor temps, etc although I've not come across GPU ram temp monitoe before. I guess if you could get access to another PC you could try it in there to see if it still causes problems.
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    Re: Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    I've not fitted my Accelero on my 1900xt yet so can't say. However, I reckon it might be hardware problem (overheating) but have you tried a clean install running earlier catalyst releases? I use ATI Tray tools to monitor temps, etc although I've not come across GPU ram temp monitoe before. I guess if you could get access to another PC you could try it in there to see if it still causes problems.
    I have installed the 3 most drivers and the ones that came with the card, and have all had problems with all of them. Unfortunately I haven't got a spare PC or Mobo lying aroung to check it on, the only mobo I have only has an AGP slot.

    I haven't tried with a completely clean install yet, but was having these problems the first time I installed a game after installing Vista for thew first time, I had only been using Vista for a week or 2, so I hardly had any 'crap' installed, so it was very nearly a completely clean install!

    But I think the problem is more hardware related (even though windows has said that the drivers had crashed a couple of times), as some artifacts have occured during the POST screen when rebooting after an in-game crash.

    I may try removing the Graphics card again and checking that the AS5 hasn't 'leaked' and isn't briding any contacts or anything. Other than that, I have no idea what to do.

    Any ideas / thoughts?

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    Re: Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

    Right, I have just taken the card out and thoroughly cleaned the face of the heatsink and GPU. There was a little more AS5 than I would have liked, but not loads floating around the place.

    There was no dust or stuff blocking up the fan or heatsink in any way at all. I put a small amount of AS5 on the GPU and replaced the heatsink. I left it for 20 mins, then took it off to check I hadn't put on too much and take a photo. I think the amount is fine - a thin layer and you can even read ATI through the AS5 on the GPU and a 'reflected' image in the AS5 on the heatsink!!!

    (if someone can tell me how to post or link to an image, I'll put it up here)

    So I put it all back together and the temps have dropped a bit (core went to mid 70's, atmoshperic to low 60's, voltage reg to mid 70's too while gaming COD4), but still getting artifacting after a couple of minutes gaming. I didn't play for too long before I quit back to windows to post this!!

    What the hell am I doing wrong?!!! Is my Sapphire dead, cos I really dont want to have to replace it - its only 18 months old, and should still be able to keep up with games for a while yet!!

    Can Anyone help me?!!!! Please?!!!!!

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    Re: Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

    Just skimmed the thread, but artefacts on the boot screen are 90% certainly the graphics RAM gone dodgy. It's not getting to the stage of using graphics drivers and already you have problems - I'd put my wallet on it being the card itself, and unless you've a qualification in swapping out GDDR, then it'll be a new card (or RMA if it's still in warranty).

    85c isn't anything to worry about on a X1900XT.

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    Re: Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

    I am thinking I may have to buy a really cheap card to test to make sure nothing else in the system is wrong. Can anyone recommend a very very cheap graphics card to buy in the UK & install to test my system, or while mine is away being RMA'd?

    It needs to be PCI-E, DVI (dual if possible), ATI (so I have less issues removing and reinstalling the drivers when I chop & change between the cards) and if possible a DX10 card (but not sure if they exist really cheap yet!).

    Any ideas? Cheers!

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    Re: Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

    Your requirements don't really work out if you're including gaming in the mix (presumed from the DX10 mention).

    HD2400Pro? You won't be gaming on it, but they don't come much (any?) cheaper if you're just going to test it. HD2600Pro will probably be the cheapest with 2 DVI sockets, but should suffice for very light gaming, though you're getting into the sort of money where you might as well just buy a HD3850 or something then.

    2nd hand cheapy card off eBay just to test will suit you better.

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    Re: Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

    Yeah, I'm wondering if a cheap job off ebay will do the trick! Cheers for the info!

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    Re: Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

    OK, I think I'm going to RMA the card, so I need to put the stcok cooler back on.

    So, does anyone have any close up high detail pictures of the back of their X1900XT 512MB cards so I can see exactly what screws and washers were attached to the card?!!!

    I think the Sapphire is the same as the reference ATi card, but I'm not sure of the other manufacturers!
    Cheers!

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    Re: Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

    Quote Originally Posted by cocksy_boy View Post
    OK, I think I'm going to RMA the card, so I need to put the stcok cooler back on.

    So, does anyone have any close up high detail pictures of the back of their X1900XT 512MB cards so I can see exactly what screws and washers were attached to the card?!!!

    I think the Sapphire is the same as the reference ATi card, but I'm not sure of the other manufacturers!
    Cheers!
    you voided the warantee by fitting the after market heatsink. from the symptoms you described i gather that the mem chips weren't adaquately cooled and have been damaged. doubt the rma will be successful.



    not sure why the link isn't visable.
    Last edited by bigbloke; 14-01-2008 at 05:19 PM. Reason: added url to pic

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    Re: Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbloke View Post
    you voided the warantee by fitting the after market heatsink. from the symptoms you described i gather that the mem chips weren't adaquately cooled and have been damaged. doubt the rma will be successful.



    not sure why the link isn't visable.
    Yeah, I realise that the warantee has been voided, but I may be able to get over that by replacing the orignal heatsink....?!!

    On another note, I have just had a new 'semi-crash'!

    I was gaming with Oblivion trying some stuff out, when it semi-crashed: the screen went black / to stand by temporarily, then came back after a couple of seconds. The game continued to work, but I quit to windows as RivaTuner was running and I wanted to see what had happened.
    Windows came up with a window saying the display driver had crashed and that it had recovered from the error. I looked at the RT monitor file and took a snapshot:

    and here is the link to the zipped RivaTuner file if anyone wants to look at it!

    Basically it looks like when it crashed, the fan went off and the temp shot up (obviously). Before the crash, there was a small amount of artifacting, but you can see that the temp of the card wasn't actually very high at all - low 70's. So maybe its nott he temp of the card causing the crashes?

    I'm confused!

    So can this help anyone diagnose the problem at all?!!!

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    Re: Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

    Well, I replaced the Accellero 2 with the orignial heatsink with some AS5, and the PC still crashes during gaming. If I set the fan to 100%, some games run OK (like Oblivion), but I still get a bit of artifacting and 'stretching to infinity' in Crysis and COD4. In crysis with the fan at 100%, i get the following:

    Core temp is 60°C - not very hot at all, but still artifacting
    Ambient temp 51°C
    Voltage reg temp, about 60°C

    So it seems that the temps aren't very hot, but the problems are still there.

    Anyone have any ideas how to fix it?! If not, I'm gonna try and RMA it. Not ideal!

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