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
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
insider said:
Dual slot OEM coolers should be as standard on high end cards and they barely cut it for anything more than light overclocking, for that you will need expensive 3rd party coolers.

You can't compare the X1950 with today's power house flame throwers, my old 1950GT can be clocked to insane clocks with just a crappy cheap arctic accelero X2 heatsink and dual 80mm fans with ease and the temps are still pretty low.
accelero was a top cooler for its time, and its still after market compared to what is stock.
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#2
Unregistered
It was NEVER a top end cooler lol, my old thermalright on a 1950XT was top end and miles better, today's cards requires much better coolers than what the X1950 can get away with.
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#3
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
im just saying for overclocking you had to buy a cooler to keep it cool, not run it stock, the 1950 Pro i have is running factory clocks and remains cool fine with the stock cooler. now if there is a problem with the current stock cooling they should rebuild the design of the cooling, i just believe that the sensors on the cards are too sensitive thats why the fan goes crazy. I swear things were much easier when fan sensors werent required, because they suffer the same fate as Motherboard sensors (rarely work Properly)
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#4
Unregistered
Yes but the problem with today's cards is the single slot cooler just doesn't cut it even at stock speeds when they all choose to slow the fan speed right down, it should be programmed so the fan hits 100% full speed when the GPU hit above 55C, we are seeing cards idling above that lol
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#5
Basard
i can draw a heatpipe cooler up on a napkin with a friggan crayon, single slot too... why cant ati or nvidia do it with their computer aided design programs??
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#6
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
insider said:
Yes but the problem with today's cards is the single slot cooler just doesn't cut it even at stock speeds when they all choose to slow the fan speed right down, it should be programmed so the fan hits 100% full speed when the GPU hit above 55C, we are seeing cards idling above that lol
should be able to open the bios and tweak it so it reads the temps differently and changes the fan speed.
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#7
Widjaja
I have to admit any games/apps with alot of HDR really pushes the heat up of my HD4850 and quite fast with auto fan speed.
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#8
Hayder_Master
newtekie1 said:
This issue is that, as newer games come out that stress the GPU more, they will be pushed to their failure point just like Furmark does. I would certainly care if my GPU was unable to handle a few minutes of max load, there is bound to be a game that will eventually do the same.

I believe this is mainly an issue with the single slot coolers on the HD4850, not the dual slot ones used on the HD4870.
right , just like fumark does with nvidia physics before
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#9
Nitro-Max
So there basically saying a top end card pushed to the max will fry its self "GREAT" so that automatically makes it faulty and destined for self destruct if enough people kicked up a stink they would have to reclaim every card sold and sort it.

btw i can never get my 3870x2 to run at 70% usage never mind 100% usage even if i open 3 games at once im pushed to hit 70 at all so is this designed to run like this too to stop overheating ?? would also mean this cards not living up to its true potential.
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#10
Wshlist
Don't worry about it, just don't run furmark for hours and you'll be fine, especially if you have a 4870 with its superior voltage circuitry there's no need to worry.
No games do what furmark does, and if you don't OC to the max and/or use 3rd market cooling even 4850's are OK.
And even with furmark on a 4850 on 8.7 drivers you can clearly see glitches when your card is pushed too much and you can OC less or simply quit furmark.
I can OC to a level that creates glitches in furmark but NEVER shows any anomalies in any game I play, and when I don't overclock furmark doesn't cause glitches on my 4850.
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#11
candle_86
no games do it yet, can you say in 6 months no game will push that hard, honestly can you?
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#12
HAL7000
I would dare say no game in the next 6 months will push it that hard, besides in 6 months we will be talking about another range of ATI and Nvidia cards anyways. To me this is just another bitch session about ATi, not with standing that we excuse Nvidia and there sub par build quality as of late...

http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/39045/135/

ATI has a great 4800 series but with heat issues. I've dealt with these issues with Nvidia and ATI in the past. but at least I spent less today for 2 4850's than I did for one card in the past. Gaming couldn't be better. I am also looking into some aftermarket cooling for these cards.
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#13
Nitro-Max
Well what about crisis ? that can push cards hard.
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#14
PVTCaboose1337
Graphical Hacker
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.
I raised my fan speed to 40%. It is pretty good.

The only problem is it is loud. At 100%, the fan is louder than hurricane Gustav...
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