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Artifacts: ATITool doesn't find any, but the show up in games: why? [pics]

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#1
Hey guys,

my Radeon 9600 Pro (128 MB - core: 397.64 MHz, memory: 299.45 MHz) has recently caused me a lot of problems. When I first bought it, it worked flawlessly. For the last year or so, it has been generating three different kinds of artifacts:
  1. polygons "extending" out of its model, resulting in long, "pointing" pyramid- and stick-shaped artifacts
  2. texture distortion (usually showing up as bluish patterns, very evident in games such as Half-Life 2 and Quake 4)
  3. in some cases, some polygons even flash and flicker in different colors. I've only seen this artifact in Quake 4, though (and no other games).
In older games (Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory), the artifacts don't show up at all while others (water surfaces in Far Cry, various textures in Half-Life 2) are full of them. I've enclosed a few screenshots to illustrate what the artifacts look like (please ignore the captions in Swedish, they are basically just there to highlight the problem):

Just Cause: (extended polygons)


Half-Life 2: (distorted textures with blueish patterns)


Quake 4: (flashing green textures)


Using ATITool 0.26, I've been scanning for artifacts for a few hours straight. In this case, the program hasn't caused one single artifact. It works like a charm. Still, when playing games, the artifacts show up. I have no idea what causes them and I would really like to know how to deal with the problem.

I'm using a Shuttle FN45V10 and an AMD Athlon XP (1.8 GHz), 1 GB RAM (2 * 512 MB DIMM) and Catalyst 7.1. In the last few months or so, I've tried different versions of Catalyst and also the Omega drivers with the same result.

Why do the so many games generate artifacts while ATITool doesn't find a single one? What do I need to do to make the Radeon-card work again? (since it has worked perfecly before, I'm not sure if the problem is hardware- or software related) Any help and suggestions would be really appreciated!

Kind regards,
Darth Mountainbike
 

Old Bear

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#2
Hi. If I remember corectly, settings for artifact scaning are on 2 or 3 page of ATItool, chk for that. Since having crashes with newer ATItool versions I'm using old 0.24. Chk for minimum system specs for this games too. Some people was using older drivers, CCC6.6 etc for better framerate in games. Is your card OC'd?
 
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#3
Is the 9600 overclocked? It may be wearing out. Automatic artifact detection isn't perfect either. Part of it is up to you to look for artifacts the old fashioned way, the clock down accordingly. Some games may generate more artifacts if they are more demanding, or if your card takes issue with the games graphics engine. I know you hate to hear it, but it's possible the card may be ready for the graveyard, but let's see if we can try to figure something out first.
 
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#4
I had a 9600XT doing the same thing and to find out, for me, the card was dying and finally one day, it died:cry:
 
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#5
No - the card hasn't been overclocked, ever

Old Bear, Thermopylae and Taz100420,

thanks for answering. As I stated in my first post, my Radeon 9600 Pro isn't overclocked and never has been. It is - and always has been - running at its default speed (core: 397.64 MHz, memory: 299.45 MHz).

As Thermopylae suggests, the card itself can still be fried. I don't understand how that would have happend, though, as it has never been overclocked.

Any help is much welcome!

Kind regards,
Darth Mountainbike
 
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#6
Could be overheating? Because when my old 9550 got hot, it artifacted like crazy playin any game
 

Old Bear

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#7
Khm, Thermo & Taz are right but... Let's try to live up your card! Do ATItool give you temps & other info about card? Do you want to O/C your card, to try enhance the performance? Not much to ... Nothing wrong with card, it's just out of date a bit. If overheating, you can open settings in ATItool & override fan speed. Set that on 100% and try again. If that doesn't help, set video settings on medium. If it's stil same, O/C the card.
 
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Video Card(s) Radeon 9600 Pro (128 MB, not overclocked)
Storage IDE, 3.5"
Display(s) ICL ErgoPRO VE15C (CRT)
Case Shuttle FN45V10
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Software Windows XP Professional SP2
#8
Overheating unlikely (no artifacts in ATITool scan)

Taz100420 and Old Bear,

I don't think that my Radeon 9600 Pro-card is overheating. The last time I opened the Shuttle case, the fan was running. Like I said, having run the ATITool artifacts scanning test for several hours, it didn't report any errors nor did I actually see any myself.

Unfortunatly, I'm unable to report card temperature and fan speed as the card itself doesn't feature any sensors at all. Hence, overriding the fan speed is not an option either. As the problem still seems to remain, I'm open to any additional suggestions!

Kind regards,
Darth Mountainbike
 

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#9
Well, Darth, you can buy something new or try with O/Cing. Doubt that O/C will get much in performance, but worth to try, untill you upgrade. Try with unlocking overdrive clocks in your CCC. Don't know is 9600 have that option in Catalist's but o/c's in it are lower than those in ATItool so it won't fry the card (i hope so). Whatever you do, start save for new card, you'll need it in few months anyway! Hope you manage something, good luck!:)
 

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#10
My 9600XT would just turn the desktop screen into millions of green vertical lines and then one day it disappeared.. And then I said "hmm, upgrade!".
 
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#11
Its dying D: The two people in HL2 are probably thinking... "Oh damn... somethings going to break"

EDIT: freakish artifacts like that only occur when the GPU is overclocked near crashing-state. Just try another heatsink and new thermal paste, that might be the other cause but if you constantly game, the damage is probably irriversable then D: