Thursday, August 28th 2008

ATI Deliberately Retards Catalyst for FurMark

It is a known flaw that some models of the Radeon HD 4800 accelerators fail oZone3D FurMark, an OpenGL based graphics benchmark application that has found to stress Radeon HD 4800 series far enough to result in over-heating, artifacts or even driver crashes. The Catalyst 8.8 drivers have found to treat the FurMark executable differently based on its file-name. Expreview tested this hypothesis by benchmarking a reference design HD 4850 board using Catalyst 8.8 driver, with two runs of FurMark. In the first run, the test was cleared at a low score, much lower compared to those of whatever successful runs on older drivers could churn out. Suspecting that the driver could be using some sort of internal profile specific to the FurMark executable, Expreview renamed the furmark.exe file, thereby not letting the driver know it's FurMark that's being run. Voila! the margin of lead the renamed FurMark executable gave over "furmark.exe" shows the driver to behave differently. A shady thing since Radeon HD 4800 almost became infamous for failing at FurMark, and at least passing it with a low score seemed better than failing at it altogether.

Expreview caught this flaw when testing the PowerColor Radeon HD 4870 Professional Cooling System (PCS+) when odd behaviour with the newer driver was noted. Successive BIOS releases didn't fix the issue, in fact, it only got worse with erratic fan behaviour caused due to a "quick-fix" BIOS PowerColor issued (covered here).

Source: Expreview
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89 Comments on ATI Deliberately Retards Catalyst for FurMark

#1
DarkMatter
Wile E said:
The only thing this shows me is that they need to raise fan speeds. Not that there's some inherent flaw in RV770 itself. This is a simple issue with a simple fix, ATI needs to get on the ball about it.
IMO if the fix was that simple, they would just have done that instead of creating a modified profile for Furmark. That way they would not only fix Furmark, they would also make many people having issues on some games very happy, don't you think? Sometimes uping up the fan beyond some speeds does not help a lot if the heatsink is bad, maybe that's the case, I don't know. I really don't know, I'm just speculating, based on what I said above. Ati has had a lot of time and a handful of driver releases in which they could have totally fixed the fan speed issue. I guess there's a reason for not making it go faster. But noise? Could they risk stability or reliability just to not make the card sound like a hairdryer?
Posted on Reply
#2
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
DarkMatter said:
IMO if the fix was that simple, they would just have done that instead of creating a modified profile for Furmark. That way they would not only fix Furmark, they would also make many people having issues on some games very happy, don't you think? Sometimes uping up the fan beyond some speeds does not help a lot if the heatsink is bad, maybe that's the case, I don't know. I really don't know, I'm just speculating, based on what I said above. Ati has had a lot of time and a handful of driver releases in which they could have totally fixed the fan speed issue. I guess there's a reason for not making it go faster. But noise? Could they risk stability or reliability just to not make the card sound like a hairdryer?
Its not ati but the Third parties that cant get anything right, also i believe some of these 3rd partie manufacturers have bad QA (making sure cooling is contacting everything etc) Beyond that most of these reports are for Benchwhores anyway, it doesnt seem this is a complaint about Game performance.
Posted on Reply
#3
EastCoasthandle
bangmal said:
LOL.
I see that all the long fraustrated nv boys who bought the overpriced GTX200 series are crawling out of the woodwork to celebrate.

It is amusing to see all the nv girls are having orgasm at the same time because a shady software and a shady website.

Anyway, I ran a test because of this "news":
My setup:
An overclocked 4870 running at 820/1000 using stock cooler
Furmark 1.4.0
Windows Vista Sp1

after running two tests for 1000 seconds, i took two image.

The first image was before the name change.

The second image was after "FurMark.exe" changed to "fuckmark.exe"

As you can see, the temperaure, the load, the VDDC current remain almost the same.
Also notice that the fan is even not spinning at half of the max speed.
so much for the "overheat"
So much for the "ATI Deliberately Retards Catalyst for FurMark" :laugh:
cheers:roll:
Driver Packaging Version 8.522-080731a-067980C-ATI

Catalyst® Version 08.8

Provider ATI Technologies Inc.

2D Driver Version 7.01.01.809

2D Driver File Path /REGISTRY/MACHINE/SYSTEM/ControlSet001/Control/Class/{4D36E968-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}/0001

Direct3D Version 7.14.10.0603

OpenGL Version 6.14.10.7873

Catalyst® Control Center Version 2008.0731.2322.39992
Thanks for the input :toast:. The name change shows the exact same GPU load, temps and power draw.
Posted on Reply
#4
Darkrealms
Thanks for the info btarunr.

There's two ways to look at it.
A. Either they try to keep the majority of their cards cool and functioning. Apparently by using drivers now.
OR
B. They wind up like Nvidia with a recall level failure rate. Right now ATI/AMD can't afford that. Hell look what it did to Nvidias stock. Try and tell me ATI can handle something like that. They are just getting back into the High End competition.

B is probably the right choice but right now they can't afford it. Hopefully AMD's new CPUs will help pull them out and get them going on stable ground again. Honestly what would people rather have them do?? Seriously think about that for a minute!

And remember I'm an Nvidia fan and I still don't want to see ATI take the hit Nvidia did earlier this year.
Posted on Reply
#5
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
I personally don't think it's a demerit as such. It's just a little ePenisMark application that faced the hit. HD 4870 is an asset to the computing world and it performs great with games.
Posted on Reply
#6
Wshlist
My 4850 (with 3rd party cooling) can handle furmark but it certainly radically reduces the amount of OC I can apply before it artifacts

I think ATI should have put something in the release notes of 8.8 as an excuse though, because after all the specific circumstance are very limited, nothing now or in the future of games will likely do what furmark does and it's mostly an issue for OC'ed cards.

I wonder though if the companies that released pre-OC'ed cards have something to do with it, I'm guessing those cards show the same issues but you can't blame the OC'ing customer then.

I also wonder if the brand of RAM has an influence, it seems there are 2 kinds of RAM used on 4850's now and the RAM is the stuff that gets bloody hot I find, and probably heats up the rest of the card too a lot including the heatsink that sits on the VRM's
Posted on Reply
#7
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
btarunr said:
I personally don't think it's a demerit as such. It's just a little ePenisMark application that faced the hit. HD 4870 is an asset to the computing world and it performs great with games.
It isn't about the application and the score, it is about the fact that this is evidence that the cards can't handle being put under load. The current situation in the gaming industry doesn't require that the card can handle full load in real world applications right now, but it should still be able to without problem.

Whatever the reason behind it, be it the cards over heating and needing a higher fans speed/better cooling or whatever, it is still ATi's responsibility to provide us with a quality product that will last.

Currently the cards aren't required to run at full load under normal gaming conditions, but as new games come out, the cards will be pushed harder and harder. Especially if they are required to do more than graphics, like is PhysX is offloaded to them, they are put under even more load.

Personally, I would be worried if my graphics card was unstable under load. But I am also one that doesn't like my processor to be unstable under 100% load, even if it functions perfectly except when under 100% load, and it will never really see 100% load.
Posted on Reply
#8
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
newtekie1 said:
It isn't about the application and the score, it is about the fact that this is evidence that the cards can't handle being put under load. The current situation in the gaming industry doesn't require that the card can handle full load in real world applications right now, but it should still be able to without problem.
The card doesn't fail running Crysis? How much more load would you ask for?
Posted on Reply
#9
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
btarunr said:
The card doesn't fail running Crysis? How much more load would you ask for?
Crysis with PhsyX. And we don't know that some crashes in Crysis are not caused by this.
Posted on Reply
#10
mikek75
My 4870 has NEVER crashed yet. I ran Furmark on the 8.7 drivers several times, all sucessfully! Theres far too much bitching going on about the 48xx series if you ask me. I couldn't give a monkeys about furmark, just nice to now there was a reason why the score went down with the 8.8's.
Posted on Reply
#11
candle_86
newtekie1 said:
It isn't about the application and the score, it is about the fact that this is evidence that the cards can't handle being put under load. The current situation in the gaming industry doesn't require that the card can handle full load in real world applications right now, but it should still be able to without problem.

Whatever the reason behind it, be it the cards over heating and needing a higher fans speed/better cooling or whatever, it is still ATi's responsibility to provide us with a quality product that will last.

Currently the cards aren't required to run at full load under normal gaming conditions, but as new games come out, the cards will be pushed harder and harder. Especially if they are required to do more than graphics, like is PhysX is offloaded to them, they are put under even more load.

Personally, I would be worried if my graphics card was unstable under load. But I am also one that doesn't like my processor to be unstable under 100% load, even if it functions perfectly except when under 100% load, and it will never really see 100% load.
excatly, my old 6800GT did fine for a long time, then came games that made it stop, i played COD2 on it, and Fear Combat. I started getting over heat issues, and had to go get a better cooler than that single slot the 6800GT shipped with to fix my issues.
Posted on Reply
#12
DarkMatter
candle_86 said:
excatly, my old 6800GT did fine for a long time, then came games that made it stop, i played COD2 on it, and Fear Combat. I started getting over heat issues, and had to go get a better cooler than that single slot the 6800GT shipped with to fix my issues.
Exactly! It has happened the same to me more than once, paradoxically one of the time I was with the 6800GT (Sparkle BTW).

Anyway that's the point, the one of yours and newtekie. It's not the benchmark, it's what this can tell us. The issue is not if the card is safe "on average" neither, because as I said there are many many places where the (usually rather favorable) conditions used to test the cards can't be replicated. Same for all those who say it has never failed for them. Average Joe won't have the same cooling as enthusiast here, and these cards are not only for enthusiast, thus the fact that changing the cooler or the fan speed manually, makes it run a lot better doesn't matter. For example, in some places summers are very hot and still the air is 96%+ wet. Not everybody has a centralised AC, and even if you have it, it will cost you a fortune to fight against the hot wet air of the outside. I know for sure that I don't live in the hottest and wettest place in the world, I'll be surprised if it's above the average, and still my GPU's are usually 5-10C higher on summers. That with the case opened and a big fan blowing directly to the case! Sometimes it doesn't matter how much air you throw at the thing because it has already warmed the air surrounding it and because this is wet it doesn't circulate as well as it would do on "normal" air (what is normal anyway?). That's just one of the possibilities.

Another good point is that as the card ages it will go worse. Not only because they inherently go worse, but most importantly because the verage joe never cleans the dust on interior of the case and the heatsinks. If the cards with one month of life are failing (and don't say it only happens on this benchmark) what will happen next year?
Posted on Reply
#13
erocker
Senior Moderator
btarunr said:
I personally don't think it's a demerit as such. It's just a little ePenisMark application that faced the hit. HD 4870 is an asset to the computing world and it performs great with games.
Exactly. If you are a die-hard furmark benchmarking enthusiast, might as well get two GTX280's. I didn't buy my 48xx series cards just for some OpenGL benchmark that does nothing but torture your cards to death.
Posted on Reply
#14
Basard
yeah, i love how they try to keep the fanspeed as low as possible, even though the card is running 100c.....

my friend had the same problem with his 8800gt, fan speed would not budge automatically, playing crysis the screen scrambles red and comp freezes cuz gpu's at 115c--fanspeed would stay at 40%. yeah, he could manually turn fanspeed up, but then you gotta do that always.... so he got that xigmatek hdt for it, it never passes 60c now...

my 3870 has the zerotherm cooler on it that things pretty nice.... i dont see why reference doesnt include a heatpipe.....

its like they go out of their way to find the absolute biggest bunch of idiots to come up with a plan for reference coolers... and pick the worst plan of the bunch. why even bother making a card if you cant cool it right?

the fault lies mostly with ati and nvidia, i think they need to make a WAY better reference, no reference at all, or chill out with the huge cards... manufacturers like xfx, powercolor, asus, they put the good coolers on because nobody will buy a reference card.

it would be nice to keep it all reference, that means cheaper for everybody anyways... reference coolers, single slot anyways, have been done since the 2900's came out, and they keep getting worse... a company puts together 15,000 reference cards, tests them, and like 75% probably fail, of that 75% like 50% get sent out anyways probably so they dont lose their ass, and now everybody is pissed off at ati again... ahaha
Posted on Reply
#15
Wile E
Power User
If this is happening at stock speeds, I still say upping the fan speeds would completely fix the problem. They really need to get on that, and quit worrying about silence. It's ridiculous.

As for those that are saying "it's just one benchmark", what if a game releases that requires the same amount of processing power? Then it does become a real issue. So saying "it's only one application", is no real excuse.

Now, if this is only OCed cards this is happening to, or some non-reference designs, then ATI isn't to blame at all. They put forth a reference, and they are not responsible for other manufacturers choices when they decide to deviate from that.
Posted on Reply
#16
W1zzard
EastCoasthandle said:
I didn't know that a 4800 series was suppose to give the same score when the ID is changed to another.
yes the scores will be the same unless furmark asks the driver "hello there little card, so alone? what is your name?" and then picks a different render path/quality settings based on manufacturer and/or device (happens in many games, but not in furmark afaik).
Posted on Reply
#17
swaaye
strange stuff. It will be interesting to see how the 48x0 series lasts in the long run. Cost cutting to hit that $200 price point, methinks.
Posted on Reply
#18
Unregistered
This is a fan speed issue that exists with both nVidia and ATI cards, damn manufacturers throttling the fan to insanely low speeds for such cheap crap slim profile coolers just doesn't cut it.

The easy solution is to use Rivaturner and set the fan to 100%, people shouldn't need to do this!

I only buy cards with slim coolers if I plan to bin the piece of junk immediately and replace it with something beefy like a thermalright VGA cooler, otherwise I would only buy cards with a decent two slot cooler.
#20
bubba_000
I just looked at the furmark homepage and the app is just 1.4 MB. sorry if i sound stupid, but ca a tyni program like this really stress a GPU more than, say Crysis or 3dmark06 and fry it?

And can't artifacts appear because of bugs in the program? For example, when i play mass effect on my radeon x1700-based laptop i sometimes get some flickering in the water ONLY in the virmire facility. I went through some intense combat scenes whitout any issues, so overheating is clearly not the case.
Posted on Reply
#21
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
insider said:
This is a fan speed issue that exists with both nVidia and ATI cards, damn manufacturers throttling the fan to insanely low speeds for such cheap crap slim profile coolers just doesn't cut it.

The easy solution is to use Rivaturner and set the fan to 100%, people shouldn't need to do this!

I only buy cards with slim coolers if I plan to bin the piece of junk immediately and replace it with something beefy like a thermalright VGA cooler, otherwise I would only buy cards with a decent two slot cooler.
My fan on the 1950 Doesnt do what these current ones do and its a slim cooler.
Posted on Reply
#22
Wshlist
Yes it only takes a small program to run it at max (shows as high stress in gpu-z too), and no it's not such bug-artefacts, the furmark ones disappear if you reduce your overclock, and don't show at all on 4870 people report, plus they look like typical overstressing artefacts, glitches and colored squares and such
Oh and furmark also rapidly heats up the temperature of the GPU which again shows it's really taxing it.

The thing with games is that it displays all kinds of objects and textures and waits for the AI and events in the game, whereas furmark just runs some very tight shaderprograms in loops in the GPU itself so it uses it at max but doesn't use all functions of the GPU like a game does I expect, that's why it's not a big worry in gaming because games are unlikely to stress a GPU in just that way in such a localised loop, however when the GPU would be used for only calculations like CUDA does on nvidia it might be an issue, but then you can just reduce the load a bit and not run it at 100% I guess.
Makes you wonder if ATI's folding client cause undue stress, you would not see it since it doesn't push the results to a display at full speed, but I guess if that was an issue people would notice it since the client would notice calculation errors and their scores would drop.
Posted on Reply
#23
Unregistered
eidairaman1 said:
My fan on the 1950 Doesnt do what these current ones do and its a slim cooler.
Exactly, it shows the slim cheap and nasty single slot coolers just doesn't cut it with today's generation of powerful high end graphics cards, I had an 8800GT that I RMA'd twice and still the same overheating problems (yes it works with the fan set to 100% but still too hot), the solution was to replace it with an expensive Thermalright cooler! :banghead:

We are paying for the card and a cooler pre-installed that is just not up to the job of keeping the GPU cool enough (no >70C full load nonsense!), I would rather they sell bare cards as well for say £10 cheaper than one with a fitted fan, left up to the customer to purchase their own cooler, it isn't any more difficult than fitting a 3rd party CPU cooler on a mobo anyway...

To make matters worse they throttle those crappy fan speed to ~40% on those coolers, retards! :cry:
Posted on Edit | Reply
#24
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
insider said:
Exactly, it shows the slim cheap and nasty single slot coolers just doesn't cut it with today's generation of powerful high end graphics cards, I had an 8800GT that I RMA'd twice and still the same overheating problems (yes it works with the fan set to 100% but still too hot), the solution was to replace it with an expensive Thermalright cooler! :banghead:

We are paying for the card and a cooler pre-installed that is just not up to the job of keeping the GPU cool enough (no >70C full load nonsense!), I would rather they sell bare cards as well for say £10 cheaper than one with a fitted fan, left up to the customer to purchase their own cooler, it isn't any more difficult than fitting a 3rd party CPU cooler on a mobo anyway...

To make matters worse they throttle those crappy fan speed to ~40% on those coolers, retards! :cry:
mine hasnt overheated, and only time i hear the fan is during boot Continuous high speed until it hits windows (i guess it does a reliability check or something) then it slows down, during gaming i dont hear it and the card is well within temperature specs, i guess the newer cards sensors are too sensitive that why they adjust too quickly. I also recall expensive coolers (dual slot) being for the overclocker, not for stock cooling. Also reason they do sell the cards with fans is because they will not cover warranty when people buy non factory fans from 3rd parties, basically meaning if you try to send a card in with the aftermarket cooler they will not cover it (Excluding just a finger full of companies)
Posted on Reply
#25
Unregistered
Dual slot OEM copper coolers should be as standard on ALL high end cards, they barely cut it for anything more than mild overclocking, anything more requires beefy 3rd party coolers.

You can't compare the X1950 with today's power house flame throwers, my old 1950GT can be clocked to insane levels with just a crappy air cooled arctic accelero X2 heatsink with a 80mm fan strapped on top with ease and the temps are still pretty low.
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