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Thread: Artifacts on gfx card

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    Artifacts on gfx card

    Hello everyone.

    Today my graphics card (XFX 6600GT PCI-E) has been showing up artifacts when playing games. It started whilst playing the free trial of eve online (which i was running all of yesterday with no problems). These artifacts appeared while playing Eve, Battlefield 2 and CS:Source.

    There are no artifacts when on the desktop or running any 2D apps (I tried playing Red Alert 2, and no problems). I also tried the Direct3D test in DXDiag, and there were no artifacts there either. I tried updating the drivers from nVidia to no avail.

    At first I thought part of my graphics card was fried, but I had to go out for a few hours so I tried leaving it off for a bit. When I came back I managed to run CS:Source for about 2 minutes before they appeared again which made me think it was a temperature issue. So I ran CS in a window with the nVidia temperature monitor open. The temperature was generally just above 70°C but once strayed up to 80°C, now correct me if I'm wrong but I thought this is within normal operating temperatures for a GPU. This card is a year old now, and I had been playing games through that heatwave last week with no problems.

    Anybody who's clued in got any ideas as to how I can solve this problem (without getting a replacement - it's out of its year's warranty). I've included a quick screenshot of CS with the artifacts if that helps at all.

    Thanks in advance.

    Last edited by altitude2k; 25-07-2006 at 01:42 PM.

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    Civilian Nick F's Avatar
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    Have you tried re-installing the drivers? Also take it out and re-sit it.

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    i've taken it out to clean all the dust off to try and reduce the temperature, same problem. how do you mean reinstall the drivers? i installed the latest ones AFTER it started doing it to try and solve the problem.

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    Civilian Nick F's Avatar
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    • Nick F's system
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    Go to add/remove and get rid of all the gfx drivers. Then install the latest ones again. There might be some conflicts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Flood
    Go to add/remove and get rid of all the gfx drivers. Then install the latest ones again. There might be some conflicts.
    Just tried it, no difference. Think it might be worth me reinstalling Windows. Needs to be done anyways.

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    Lucca Der Tuv (LCD) mart_haj86's Avatar
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    just out of interest, have you tried underclocking the card a bit? see if that makes any difference, not really a solution but you will have some kind of idea where the problem lies?... also try updating your motherboard drivers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mart_haj86
    just out of interest, have you tried underclocking the card a bit? see if that makes any difference, not really a solution but you will have some kind of idea where the problem lies?... also try updating your motherboard drivers.
    at the moment i'm finishing reinstalling windows. when i get to try a game i'll see if the problem is still there. if it is you can expect me back to ask how the above is done cheers.

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    right, its still doing it. so how do i go about underclocking my gfx card?

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    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    Do a search for coolbits.reg and download it and double-lcik it to add it to your registry...


    You should now have an overclocking tab in your advanced display properties which should let you over- and under-clock your card.
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    It does look to me as though its exhibiting the sort of behaviour that happens when a graphics card is overheating. Is it in an air conditioned environment? If not the hot weather we've had recently may back that theory up. Maybe there's dust in the heatsink which would lower its efficiency although as you said you have cleaned it.

    Maybe the fan could be upgraded or something. I know my mate's card started making artefacts like that (in CS:S too) and taking the side panel off his PC stopped it.

    I'd put my money on overheating. Maybe the thermometer on the card is wrong? You could try taking the side of the case off and pointing a fan at the card to see if that helps - if it does that points to the problem.
    Last edited by cubabit; 25-07-2006 at 07:17 PM.

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    I would hassard a guess at gfx memory/overheating, take the case side off and point a desktop fan at the card see if it makes a difference, if you try as sugguested and underclock the card and it still the same if it's in warrenty it could be RMA time.

    good luck, Curly

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    cheers guys. i reckon it is an overheating issue. left the computer off for a few hours after which it's fine. tomorrow i'll double check with the fan and underclocking tests. i know its a bit of a bodge but i guess i'll just not have to use resource-heavy games for the time being when the weather's like this. luckily i'm going away for a month next week so it should be cooler when i get back.

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    i've underclocked the GPU and stuck a fan next to it and it appears to make no difference. when i turned it on today i didn't try and games for at least 2 hours. when i did play it worked no problem for a couple of minutes then created artifacts again. after that its been the same. what i find odd is that until i played a game my GPU temp was measured at about 44 (idle), it increased during gameplay, and when i came out it was at about 55. this hasn't really dropped (lowest is about 53) since then, which i find odd, even though i'm only using it for MSN and the internet. the temperature also didn't drop when i had both sides of the case off and a massive fan blasting into the tower. does this sound like possibly a loose heatsink issue?

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    upgrade the cooler on your card, since it must be a shoddy cooler to remain at such a high temperature after idling... Look for either Zalman or Arctic Cooling. I'm using an Arctic Cooling Xcellero on my X1900 and it loads at around 70-80oC in this heat but it instantly drops down to ambient temp of 44oC which is because my PC is in a corner and its fans and stuff shoved against the wall
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    the temps you stated should not be enough to cause artifacts, I'll still say it's the gfx ram, did you underclock this..... if it's still the same after you do I would RMA the card before you start changing heatsinks and stuff, though if you do try a heatsink it will come in handy for the replacement card.

    Curly

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curly
    the temps you stated should not be enough to cause artifacts, I'll still say it's the gfx ram, did you underclock this..... if it's still the same after you do I would RMA the card before you start changing heatsinks and stuff, though if you do try a heatsink it will come in handy for the replacement card.

    Curly
    i underclocked it and it's still doing it so maybe it is dodgy memory. i doubt i'll be able to do anything seeing as it's outside the warranty. any way of doing a definitive test for myself to make sure before i do something about it?

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