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Problem with Sapphire X1900XT - Overeating, Artifacts & Crashes!

Discussion in 'AMD / ATI' started by cocksy_boy, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. cocksy_boy New Member

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    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.
  2. cocksy_boy New Member

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    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.....!!!!
  3. Namslas90 New Member

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    It appears as if your card is overheating. You should pull it out and clean it well, inside the fan housing. You may even want to redo the thermal paste on the GPU, or add an aftermarket cooler. Make sure you have good airflow into the case those cards get hot. Also you can use ATI TOOL to controll the fan speed of the card fan to increase the volume of airflow through the card fan by increasing the fan % or overall speed using the Fan controll feature.

    I have a 1900XTX that ran fine (with increased fan speed) and extra case fans installed for about 21 months until the thermal paste "wore out" and had to be redone. After redoing the thermal paste the card runs cooler than it did with stock thermal paste.

    :toast:
  4. cocksy_boy New Member

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    I have recently re-applied artic silver 5 paste to the GPU (having cleaned the GPU & heat sink properly with lint free cloth and isopropanol), and the fan and heatskin are clean from dust & build up.

    Also, 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 in contact with the heatsink and 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), and the problems did occur before I fitted the accellero 2 too (too many two's :) ), so I'm 99% convinced I have fitted the cooler correctly.

    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?). I have pretty good air flow in my case - I have the 2 standard P180 exhaust fans going, and the new noctua nf-s12 12cm 'sucker' in fan sucking air through the front grille & filter. So case temps should be OK, I hope!

    I am already using ati-tool to change the fan speed to 100% before game playing, and still having the artifact & crashes.

    But there aren't any other x1900xt owners with or without accellero 2 coolers complaining about this sort of fault, as far as I can see!!! Maybe it is dead / dying, but at 18 months old, and with a different cooler to stock, I may have problems returning the card now! I do have the original cooler around somewhere to fix back on, but I dont think it will fool anyone!!!

    Any thoughts?
  5. Namslas90 New Member

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    Well, aparently you have done almost everything you can. You can "Scan for Artifacts" with ATI TOOL, but we allready know you have them. There is a chance the GPU ram is allready damaged, it sure sounds like it. Check this thread it shows how to add Ramsinks to the Power Mosfets, and has proven to lower temps overall.

    http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=8385&page=1

    Edit; also check the in-case airflow make sure the card fan intake is not blocked by anything and that another fan is not pushing hot air into or at the card. I had that problem once, where the Chipset fan was throwing the heat off the CPU cooler directly into the GPU fan intake. Reversing the direction of the chipset fan solved the problem.

    :toast:
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  6. trog100 New Member

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    can u slow it done below stock speeds.. ???

    i think its dieing.. but slowing it down some might prolong its life..

    trog
  7. DOM

    DOM

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    So did it do this before you put it on the 1st time ?

    And why didnt you use MX-1 or 2 or arctic silver ceramique which are nonconductive ?
  8. cocksy_boy New Member

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    Actually, you are right - the first time I put the accellero 2 on, i just used the paste that was on the heatsink... and yes it did artifact and crash!

    As for why i used AS5 - it was the best that I had to hand!! I haven't checked up on the best paste for a while, but didn't think there was a major problem using the AS5 - am i wrong there?? I am unaware that the fact that it is conductive is a major problem.... is it?

    I may order some non conductive paste if there is a chance thta it is causing the faults.
    Any thoughts?
  9. DOM

    DOM

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    cuz when did it start crashing ? was it before you did anything to the card ?

    did you put as5 on the stock hs ?

    did you put as5 anywhere else on the card besides the gpu ?

    well its better for gpu's non conductive paste cuz is it gets on the card nothing well happen ;)
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  10. cocksy_boy New Member

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    It started crashing befire i added the AS5 or changed the cooler. They were ideas I had to try and help!
    I haven't put AS5 on the stock cooler.
    Only put AS5 on the gpu, and then only a thin layer of it.
    Why is a conductive paste any worse on a GPU / graphics card than on a CPU? I'm not being rude, I just didn't know there was an issue there!! :)
  11. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Your gpu is a bare chip, while most modern cpu's have an integrated heat spreader. In my opinion the AS5 should be fine as long as it's on the gpu only and not on any of the surrounding resistors or anything. I would try re-applying the paste anyways. Try using MX-2, it isn't conductive and there is no break-in time. The results are immediate. Good luck.
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  12. cocksy_boy New Member

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    Hmm, I'll have a look at getting some ceramique or MX-2 then. I'm pretty sure I kept the paste just on the GPU, but I'll have a look when I get a chance to open up my case next!
  13. DOM

    DOM

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    also have youy tryed running atitool scan for artifact in 2d mode ?
  14. mrw1986

    mrw1986

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    Don't know if anyone noticed, but his thread title says "Overeating" lol. Put it on a diet.
  15. cocksy_boy New Member

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    how do i do that, and what will that help me find out? Cheers!
  16. cocksy_boy New Member

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    D'Oh!!!
  17. Kammster New Member

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    i remember many threads in this forum about putting heatsinks on the voltage regulators
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2008
  18. jaxxxon New Member

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    It's not overheating 85c is fine for this card, and mid 60s with fan 100% is great whilst gaming. Nothing to worry about there, something else is wrong.
  19. cocksy_boy New Member

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    Thats what I think.

    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?!!!!!
  20. DOM

    DOM

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    open atitool > settings > X1000 Overclocking > uncheck "If the card has 2D/3D..." close atitool open it again and it should be in 2D
  21. cocksy_boy New Member

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    OK, I ran the test for 45 mins with no errors at all in '2D mode' - that is basically just slower clock speeds, right?
  22. DOM

    DOM

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    yes and lower volts on the VGPU, VDDCI

    cuz do you always have atitool running ? and did you make profiles ? so it can switch to 2D/3D speed and volts ?

    im thinking no, like you did to make it change to 2D, where it shows you the core and mem at the top it has Profiles click New and I would name it 2D if it 2D speed, then click settings and go to Votage control and click save at the bottom and put it on 2D and to get the 3D speeds go to the X1000 Overclocking and click the "If card" and close and open should load with 3D speeds and volts click New 3D then do the same for the volts

    then Settings > Startup look at pic
    [​IMG]

    then go to 3D Detection look at pic
    [​IMG]

    that should do it
  23. cocksy_boy New Member

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    I'm gonna have a look at those ATi Tool options later tonight, but in the mean time I'm 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!
  24. DOM

    DOM

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  25. cocksy_boy New Member

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    Cheap..... hmm, well bearing in mind that UK prices are massive compared to the USA, I'm talking about under £50. thats about $100. But it wont buy as much in the UK as it will in the states!

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