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Draw distance sucks - faulty card?

dixons_57

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#1
I got a new 7950 IceQ edition yesterday. I haven't been PC gaming for a while, so I can't remember what's normal. But in the games I've tried (Crysis, AC: Brotherhood, Far Cry 3) I can see a bunch of stuff (particularly shadows) rendering whenever they're 20 feet in front of me.

It's annoying.

My card is NOT overheating because I keep very good control of my temps. I'm running Catalyst 12.12 BETA (the same happened on 12.11) as well as CAP1.

Running Furmark shows no visual errors, neither does MSI Kombuster.

However is there a tool I can use which will definitely use all 3GB of my video memory and make for sure that there aren't any hardware problems whatsoever? Games are obviously difficult to judge for the above reasons.

Is hardware failure likely to be related to draw distance? I can't see how it could be tbh... but then again it seems fairly consistent. Or is it just that recent AMD drivers suck?
 
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#3
I found that using Custom Setting's on 3D mark, with My LCS 7970 Taxed it pretty Well. Even Vantage, if it has Custom setting's. Although there is NO diagnostic option, You could Compare your Results to others with Similar Systems online on their Result's page.

Settings I use are custom ,but if you run the resolution up to 1920x1200 ,or 1080 , or higher with Highest setting's, That thing Should sweat pretty Good.

Hope this is relevant to your problem, and it helps.
 
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#4
Cat 12.12 BETA ? Where?
 

dixons_57

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#5
Sorry man I meant 12.11 BETA (I figured that 12.11 would be stable by now and they'd be working on December's release, which is why I got confused)

I haven't taken any pictures yet but when I play FEAR3 or the Doom 3 rerelease I don't get any visual errors whatsoever.

It's only in Far Cry 3, Crysis and AC: Brotherhood so far.

My GPU usage is 90%+ when playing FEAR3 too. I don't get any artifacts from AtiTool or from visual inspection in 3dMark11 or Furmark either.

Does this rule out hardware problems?
 
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#6
I got a new 7950 IceQ edition yesterday. I haven't been PC gaming for a while, so I can't remember what's normal. But in the games I've tried (Crysis, AC: Brotherhood, Far Cry 3) I can see a bunch of stuff (particularly shadows) rendering whenever they're 20 feet in front of me.

It's annoying.

My card is NOT overheating because I keep very good control of my temps. I'm running Catalyst 12.12 BETA (the same happened on 12.11) as well as CAP1.

Running Furmark shows no visual errors, neither does MSI Kombuster.

However is there a tool I can use which will definitely use all 3GB of my video memory and make for sure that there aren't any hardware problems whatsoever? Games are obviously difficult to judge for the above reasons.

Is hardware failure likely to be related to draw distance? I can't see how it could be tbh... but then again it seems fairly consistent. Or is it just that recent AMD drivers suck?
What was your process in switching from the 4870X2 to your 7950? Did you do a driver clean/sweep in safe mode before booting into Windows and installing newer drivers?
 

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#7
There's no hardware issue here, only a potential software one.

It's not clear what you mean by seeing a bunch of stuff rendering? What does it look like?
 

dixons_57

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#8
Ok well I've been to the pub for a few beers so I don't trust myself messing about with FRAPS or whatever's used for recording stuff. But I'll describe it as best I can and upload a video or something tomorrow after work :D

1) If you have a rock or something in front of you. You could be at a distance where it is rendered in low quality. As you walk towards it, a shadow starts to render across the object (depending on what angle it is positioned at, i.e. some of the shadow may have rendered but not the furthest part of it).

As you walk closer and it becomes fully rendered, the shadow may then eventually disappear fully when you get a bit closer to it. Then when you're close enough (like 10 feet) it'll instantly appear in one go and the object will appear as normal. So it's sort of a draw distance issue combined with a pop-in effect.

This happens in a couple of games at least Crysis and Far Cry 3. Maybe in AC: Brotherhood but I can't remember.

2) Random texture flickering. I have noticed in Crysis, AC:Brotherhood and Crap Ops II in a random playthrough that there is a single texture (literally once in a 45 min session) that flickers like a graphics card when it has been OC'd too far. This happens literally on a single surface in each game. This is so ridiculously infrequent that I attributed it to a driver problem, but I never noticed this on a stock 4870x2 in over 3 and a half years of gaming.... I do know that this is what I used to experience as a lad when I overclocked my X800GTO2 but that was all over the place, so I'm confused.

3) Weird garbled texture fish tank thingy effect. This is harder to describe. When you walk towards a surface moderately distant (50 feet?) surface in Far Cry 3 or Crysis, the texture *sometimes* (like only a couple of times again) will go like someone has garbled the data, and you'll get a blurry messed up texture which is the same colour but almost like someone has mixed the paint around. This will then revert back to normal when you get just a bit closer.

4) Random black flickering over large parts of the scene. I've only noticed this maybe once or twice in a couple of hours. Fairly self explanatory. I've noticed it in Far Cry 3 for sure, maybe in other games but it happens very quickly it's difficult to tell for sure.


Also I did indeed driversweep and install fresh drivers. I've tried several driver versions from 2012 along with CAP profiles. I'm running Windows 8 as of today though (I read a random post that it might improve driver stability, but nope) and now I can't go back more than a couple of revisions as they don't support the new OS.

Thanks for your help so far guys! You're all very nice and helpful :D
 
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#9
Did you uninstall your 4870x2 drivers before installing the 7xxx drivers? or did you just install one driver ontop of the other?
 
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#10
Sadly, the random black flickering seems to affect all the 7000 series chips, and it annoys me too. The other stuff about the textures/models becoming more/less detailed as you get closer/farther away sounds like a LOD (level of detail) thing which is usually normal. To have the game be able to look good and actually run decently, developers have "cheap" and "expensive" models in the game that continuously interchange depending on your distance from them. It sounds like you either notice these changes very well or the transitions are poorly done (both are possible). :)
 

dixons_57

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#11
Ok I made some videos so maybe it's easier to understand. Making youtube compliant videos from fraps recordings that show in 1080p is a chore and has taken ages to find good software..but I finally did it :D

Please make sure to view all the videos in 1080p so you can see :D

Ok so this one shows the weird garbled effect in AC3. If you look at the market stall roof on the right hand side at the back (the second of the two, at the back), you'll see that it goes weird when you walk away, it's not even a LoD thing... as it is fine a bit further away, and is also fine a bit closer. It might be hard to see though.

AC3 blur - YouTube

This next one shows the same effect but in AC: Brotherhood. If you look closely at his right cheek (so left side of his face) just under his eyes, it's the same effect. It's hard to get this to show up on recorded videos though because it's very fine grain, but covers a large portion of the image usually.

AC Brotherhood blur - YouTube

This one shows level of detail problems. If you pay special attention to the line shadow at the top of the wall, as well as the plants and also the main Auditore villa at the top of the screen.. This sort of thing is present in most games that I play

AC Brotherhood draw distance - YouTube

Here you'll see a case of a texture flickering (like when you have an unstable OC). It's the texture in the middle of the screen in the distance, but it also happens on the city wall just above and behind the building. This happens in many of the games I've tried, but usually only on 1-3 textures in the whole game! It's always the same textures/objects too (which makes me hope it's not hardware problem).

AC: Brotherhood texture flicker - YouTube

This one shows general full screen corruption occurring in Far Cry 3. I think this is normal for 7950 though?

Far Cry 3 corruption - YouTube

This next one again shows shadows rendering only when you get very very close to the plant in front of you. This sort of draw distance thing (ESPECIALLY with shadows) happens in a fair few games that I've tried. This is probs the worst in terms of draw distance because it's literally a few feet in front of your face that it happens :( Very distracting!

Far Cry 3 draw distance - YouTube

Finally this shows instances of the blur effect when you get far away, as well as flickering and draw distance.

I've only shown a couple of different games because it's easier, but these sorts of issues are showing up in a fair few titles. I hope it's a crap AMD driver thing and not hardware failure :( I've ran ATItool artifact scan for an hour with no errors, but it only uses like 200MB of my 3GB video memory, and about 80% GPU usage. Also the tool hasn't been updated in many years I don't think...

The new Painkiller remake, and Doom 3 BFG, and Chronicles of Riddick remake are all fine though :S

Any thoughts as to whether it is faulty hardware or just poor drivers which are affecting lots of games?

A recent tool that can verify my hardware health (i.e. precise artifact scanning, which doesn't require just visual inspection with human eyes) would be great.

Thank you all for your time!
 

dixons_57

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#12
Sorry to double post, but I just noticed something. When I put the clocks stupidly high on my card, AtiTool doesn't report artifacts but they are indeed visible in the software, so the error checking thing isn't relevant.

I didn't visually see any throughout it though when I ran my standard clocks.
 
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#13
If it were a hardware failure, I'm sure you would be seeing other issues such as crashing games or drivers. Far Cry 3 is new and I bet the AC games use the same game engine so I would check out a garden variety of games before blaming your card.
 

dixons_57

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#14
Ok thanks. I ran Unigine Heaven and it looks great and there aren't any errors. Neither does 3dmark11 nor Furmark, Atitool or Kombustor.

I think that's sufficient evidence that it's just crappy drivers, otherwise I must have seen something by now in one of these programs.

I guess I was just paranoid because you read all these stories online of people getting cards which they immediately have to RMA because they're defective.

Thanks for your help :)
 
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#15
I know what your talking about, objects/walls etc not rendering as fast as you move forwards into the 3d environment, there is a program called radeon pro for free, download it and tweak it up to fix your issue, well worth a try anyways, iv'e had quite good results with it so far.

http://www.radeonpro.info/en-US


It may be game dependant too?