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ATI Radeon X850XT passes all benches, crashes with most recent 3D games

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by Zforgetaboutit, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. Zforgetaboutit

    Zforgetaboutit New Member

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    Using ATITool, I let it slowly try and find an OC for the vid card. There was some improvement in test scores.

    Then, when the room became 12 degrees C cooler due to wintertime and an open window, I thought I would try again.

    Except I manually specified a GPU/RAM clock of 600/600. That soon crashed. :ohwell:

    I tried to take advantage of the temporary frigid conditions in a lab sense. I would never leave the card set to that once testing was done and room window closed.

    I let 3DMark06 have a go at it and left the room.

    When I returned a short while later (room still frigid) I found my booting BSOD's, and the mirrored HD array partition table was borked.

    Fortunately the data was still OK on the 2 drives. I copied one drive to an empty one, reformatted the array with a fresh copy of Win XP SP2, as before, and have started to restore apps/games via re-installation from app/game media.

    My PC and Radeon are running at stock speeds. Radeon was purchased 2005-June. Before the experiment, I had been running a 30% CPU overclock, with no Radeon OC. The Radeon worked flawlessly with everything.

    Current Observations:

    • vid card passes all 4 Futuremark, Aquamark benchmarks with reasonable scores
    • Windows doesn't have any visible glitches at 1600 x 1200
    • Unreal Tournament 2004 now crashes at the game type menu with monitor losing sync and stuttering sound - reboot needed
    • BF 1942 does the same
    • F.E.A.R. soon crashes after a few minutes of play
    • Nanosaur Hatchling plays ok (great game BTW)
    • regular video files play OK - I.E. Windows Media Player, PowerDVD
    • TV card is OK
    • vid card fan goes to high for a few seconds after normal PC boot, which is normal, then resumes almost silent operation
    • everything used to work before

    I haven't had time to try other 3D games yet. I think I'm using Catalyst driver ~ 5.7.

    Can anybody suggest a cause or new area of investigation?
     
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  2. zekrahminator

    zekrahminator McLovin

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    not that I have any experiences with this, but...I would reccomend that you try to find some way to fool with fan speeds (ATItool?) and get it as high as possible. I know its loud, but...c'mon, theres no competition between games and case noise. if that doesnt solve it, either you need a better cooler (ATI Silencer 5) or you cooked your card.
     
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  3. trog100

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    usually the 3dmarks are a good test of gaming stability.. but it could be a memory thing.. some things use lots of it some things dont.. when something uses the bad bit the lot crashes.. i had similar problems with farcry and 2 512 memory sticks..

    i had run these two sticks perfecty for about three months.. tried to play farcry it crashed on the load screen or shorty afterwards.. i knew it used to play okay.. after much experimenting i removed one memory stick.. farcry played perfectly.. just the same as it did the last time i played before i fitted the second memory stick..

    my conclusion was that farcry was the only thing one my system that used a bad bit of memory on the second stick.. i couldnt think of any other reason why everything else worked perfectly with the two sticks and only farcry didnt..

    PCs can do wierd things..??

    trog
     
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  4. Zforgetaboutit

    Zforgetaboutit New Member

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    Sorry, I forgot to say I ran Memtest86 for almost 6 hours.

    Under this circumstance I don't suspect the memory.
     
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  5. Solaris17

    Solaris17 Creator Solaris Utility DVD

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    sounds like an unstable oc mine did the same thing ran every thing fine for hours but games would crash instantely try prime 95 for bout 4 hours with large fft's
     
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  6. Zforgetaboutit

    Zforgetaboutit New Member

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    I'll try Prime95 overnight.

    I'm also adding FarCry now only runs for about 3 minutes. Heck, I finished the game on this box last year.

    I also had a crash when I used ATITool to set the GPU fan on at 100%. I could certanly hear it running at max speed, compared to its usual sedate noise level.

    With all respect to other posters, I'm not sure I can return sticks of ram that actually pass ram testing on my PC.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2006
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  7. Quake2owns

    Quake2owns New Member

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    try a different stick of ram my pc was restarting and my games were crashing i thought it was my x1800xt/drivers messing up but it was my ram messed up brand new too so you never know.
     
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  8. Zforgetaboutit

    Zforgetaboutit New Member

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    With all respect to other posters, I'm not sure I can return sticks of ram that actually pass ram testing on my PC.
     
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  9. JC316

    JC316 Knows what makes you tick

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    The thermal paste on the heat sink could have broken down due to excess heat. I had my old Geforce 4 TI4200 do this. It also could be that you fried the memory.
     
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  10. Zforgetaboutit

    Zforgetaboutit New Member

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    I removed Catalyst driver 5.7 and installed Catalyst driver 6.2 .

    Suddenly I could play FEAR for like 30 minutes. I quit, not it.

    Initially it was about 10 minutes before it got stuck, so I decreased the vid card settings to what FEAR though was suitable.

    I was able to play BF 1842 for 2 minutes before screen became static vertical stripes. Had to reboot.

    I'm pretty sure that my chipset temp is higher than normal by 3-4 degrees. It's taking a longish time to cool off.

    Something going on there. Maybe because my room is hotter but don't think so - heater is usually off.

    Maybe thermal stuff has dried out and lifted off from the mobo chipset. I'm going to verify that I haven't accidentally made the chipset voltage too high.

    I'm also considering the remark by JC316.
     
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  11. trog100

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    "Sorry, I forgot to say I ran Memtest86 for almost 6 hours"

    mine ran that as well.. it might sound silly but i dont think its a good thing to totally reply on..

    my system ran perfectly for three months all my games the lot except farcry which i had played right thru before and then went back to some time after the extra memory stick was installed.. .. i had to remove a memory stick to run that.. had to be memorry i cant think of anything else.. i tried everything in the book to get it to run.. the only thing that worked was removing my additionall memory stick.. make of it what u will.. ????

    i couldnt rma that either.. it just sat on the side of my computer table for ages.. he he he

    trog
     
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  12. Zforgetaboutit

    Zforgetaboutit New Member

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    I got distracted last night and forgot to run it. I hope I'll remember to do it tonight.
     
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  13. JC316

    JC316 Knows what makes you tick

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    What happened with my Geforce is that it literly BOILED the thermal paste. It was caramelized when I pulled the heatsink off. Little pockets that didn't make contact anymore caused the instability and the lines on my screen. Once I reapplied the thermal paste and got some better cooling, it ran perfectly.
     
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  14. Zforgetaboutit

    Zforgetaboutit New Member

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    JC316, I find this to be the most likely explanation, since one RAM test I did for almost 6 hours passed.

    To explain how the card could pass the benches, well I'd say the card is asked to do a little of everything for a short time.

    In games the card is asked to do a little of everything for a long time.

    I'm still perturbed about how the latest Catalyst drivers made the gaming experience longer. I didn't use them before. I had the 5.7 drivers longterm, and my system is freshly installed.

    After work today, I'll see about checking out the GPU's TIM situation. I do have AS5 handy but realize the procedure may be difficult if disassembly is tricky in my case.
     
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  15. trog100

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    "To explain how the card could pass the benches, well I'd say the card is asked to do a little of everything for a short time."

    thats one explanation but running 2005 for repeated runs heats my grfx card up far more than any game does.. so i dont see how it can be heat connected..

    course the other big difference between the 3D benches and games is that some games use far more system memory than the benchmarks do.. in my case the extra memory useage did turn out to be proved true.. it will be interesting to see whats causing your pass the benches but crash in the games problem..

    u will sort it in the end.. he he.. just dont forget to come tell us what was causing it..

    running prime or memtest is not a good way to test overall system stability.. in fact both of em can be downright misleading if u rely on thier results too much.. many an overclocked/tweaked system passes both of em but still fails when its put to real usage.. real life usage is the only real stabilty test that matters.. if it passes that its okay if it dosnt it isnt.. he he he

    its also mistake to become too fixated one one certain aspect.. it can stop u from finding the real cause of the problem or at best prolong the search an awfull long time..

    bin there done that a thousand times..

    trog
     
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  16. Zforgetaboutit

    Zforgetaboutit New Member

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    Agreed. I must not dismiss the possibility of ram gone flaky. Or the cpu TIM gone flaky. I still haven't replaced it with AS5 because it was OC'd for 7 months without problems.

    Things can change slowly and one day they just fall off the edge.

    My PC became flaky after the OC'd Radeon incident- both seemingly close in time.

    So many "usual suspects", :laugh: , including me.
     
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  17. Quake2owns

    Quake2owns New Member

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    try another stick of ram only way to know! lol
     
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  18. Megatron

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    Did u find instability before or after running 4 * 512Mb dimms?
     
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  19. Zforgetaboutit

    Zforgetaboutit New Member

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    I had been using 4 x 512 dimms 2T@200 MHz for 8 months, with a CPU OC to 2.6 GHz. Everything was great.

    My problems started a short while after trying to OC the Radeon to 600/600. I assumed the Radeon thermal protection (Catalyst driver) would save it from damage.

    At the same time I may have inadvertently set the CPU clock too high. This in turn would have also pushed the dimms.

    FEAR runs much longer with 2 sticks. In fact it may be running "normal". I had to stop playing to write this. Tomorrow, I'll try switching with the other 2 sticks to see if I can eliminate them.

    Now, I'll start prime95 overnight.

    I appreciate everybody's input.
     
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  20. Zforgetaboutit

    Zforgetaboutit New Member

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    Well, Prime95 ran all night - no problems.

    I made sure the Radeon was being cooled enough. Then I relaxed my RAM timings from 2.5-3-3-6 to 3-4-4-8.

    I was able to plar FEAR for 15-30 minutes at 1024 2xAA before encountering a freeze-up.

    This is quite an improvement.

    I'm still not there.
     
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  21. bubba New Member

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    I have an X850XT
    I use Catalyst 6.2 and run overdrive at 594mhz memory(max) and processor at 560mhz
    I let the overdrive find its optimum clock settings using the Automated clock configuration utility.

    As for crashing, its most likely due to heat build up. The card chucks out a HUGE amount of heat that I have custom built a cooling scoop onto the card and drawing in cold air from outside the house but I still crash after about an hour of playing BF2 (the best game ever).

    Mine dies at 80c during the heat of battle, but normally runs at a cool 33c.

    I would suggest you run at stock speed on both X850XT and your pc processor and see if you can run stable to establish a baseline.

    Hope that helps

    regards
    bubba
     
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  22. trog100

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    "I made sure the Radeon was being cooled enough. Then I relaxed my RAM timings from 2.5-3-3-6 to 3-4-4-8.

    I was able to plar FEAR for 15-30 minutes at 1024 2xAA before encountering a freeze-up."

    ##

    not quite there but when u do something that shows a consistant improvement it tends to suggest u are on the right track..

    the fact that things run for say 15 minutes says things are nearly there.. try slowing your actual memory speed down and see what happens.. u can systematically try slowing every thing down one at time to see what happends.. cpu.. grfx card.. memory.. basically anything thats running unstable will become more stable if its slowed down..

    this is a common way of testing each bit of your system to find out which is the problem bit..

    also try running with the side of your case off during tests.. this should cool everything down a bit and help if it is hear problem..

    trog
     
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  23. Zforgetaboutit

    Zforgetaboutit New Member

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    Finally, I'm apparently relatively stable. I further relaxed the Dimms to 3-4-4-10 and am seemingly able to play FEAR at 1280 x 2xAA, smoothly, without any system freezes.

    This time around I'll note that setting.

    I haven't changed anything else.

    Now I'll try BF 1942 - which was also freezing.
     
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  24. Megatron

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    Lowering asynchronous and read preamble could help. I know when I tried 4 dimms together I couldnt get it stable at all. 3 dimms was ok.
     
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  25. trog100

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    so what are the default memory timings of that stuff u are running.. ????

    trog
     
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