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Sapphire 7950 artifacts/flickering on Windows 8

Llort

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#1
So, I have been experiencing this very strange yet annoying problem with a Sapphire OC 7950 3GB gddr5. The problem basically consists in the fact that, randomly, when I boot my computer as soon as I get the Windows 8 log-in screen, the whole screen gets full of artifacts (see image) and they never disappear UNLESS either I run a tool like EVGA OC scanner or I force a constant voltage using MSI Afterburner. However, sometimes I boot and this doesn't happen, and can I use the computer and play heavy games (like Metro LL) for hours without a single artifact or problem. Another thing is that this problem only happens after installing CCC, if I boot on safe mode, or if I use windows vga driver, nothing happens and I experience no problems at all.


http://www.freeimagehosting.net/54mmu


So far I have tried almost everything I could think of: reseating and cleaning the GPU and pci express lane, reinstalling driver after completely cleaning out everything using driver sweeper, raised 2D clocks with a profile, flashed multiple vBIOS to the GPU, trying with another cable or connector, verifying the temps, used different AMD CCC versions, and nothing has worked.

I'm currently using Windows 8 x64, with Intel Core i5 2500k 3.3ghz, 8gb ram DDR Corsair Vengeance, Seagate 2TB 7200rpm HD, Sapphire 7950 OC 3Gb gddr5, OCZ Stealthxstream 600w psu, and before I used an Nvidia GTX660ti and AMD 6950 and none of those gave me any similar problem :( could anybody here advise me what could be the reason for this problem to happen?
 
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#2
So, I have been experiencing this very strange yet annoying problem with a Sapphire OC 7950 3GB gddr5. The problem basically consists in the fact that, randomly, when I boot my computer as soon as I get the Windows 8 log-in screen, the whole screen gets full of artifacts (see image) and they never disappear UNLESS either I run a tool like EVGA OC scanner or I force a constant voltage using MSI Afterburner. However, sometimes I boot and this doesn't happen, and can I use the computer and play heavy games (like Metro LL) for hours without a single artifact or problem. Another thing is that this problem only happens after installing CCC, if I boot on safe mode, or if I use windows vga driver, nothing happens and I experience no problems at all.


http://www.freeimagehosting.net/54mmu


So far I have tried almost everything I could think of: reseating and cleaning the GPU and pci express lane, reinstalling driver after completely cleaning out everything using driver sweeper, raised 2D clocks with a profile, flashed multiple vBIOS to the GPU, trying with another cable or connector, verifying the temps, used different AMD CCC versions, and nothing has worked.

I'm currently using Windows 8 x64, with Intel Core i5 2500k 3.3ghz, 8gb ram DDR Corsair Vengeance, Seagate 2TB 7200rpm HD, Sapphire 7950 OC 3Gb gddr5, OCZ Stealthxstream 600w psu, and before I used an Nvidia GTX660ti and AMD 6950 and none of those gave me any similar problem :( could anybody here advise me what could be the reason for this problem to happen?
Look like it may be dying. Only thing left to try is putting it into a different pc.
 

Llort

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#3
Look like it may be dying. Only thing left to try is putting it into a different pc.
Definitely, I'll try it on another computer as I believe that either the GPU is dying, or my PSU is the one dying. Already tried a fresh install of Windows, so software is definitely not the problem.
 
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#4
You got a copy of win 7? You can try that too but yeah mate youve tried every trick in the book and seems the cards fried. Im not sure if you wana try the 7xxx bios editor ive seen posted somewhere here because it might also seems you have a voltage problem. GL.
 

Llort

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#5
You got a copy of win 7? You can try that too but yeah mate youve tried every trick in the book and seems the cards fried. Im not sure if you wana try the 7xxx bios editor ive seen posted somewhere here because it might also seems you have a voltage problem. GL.
Yes, already installed Windows 7 and even though the problem is not as bad, it still happens. One thing I have found is that the idle voltage for the card seems to be too low, since if I increase it from .850 to .950, the issue is completely fixed and I can run stress tests for hours and hours and never gives out any problem, the only problem seems to be the 2D mode voltage.
If you know a Bios editor for 7xxx series or a modded bios with increased voltage, that should fix it meanwhile (while I get another GPU)
 
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#6
Good that you have pinpoint the main thing. I would highly recommend that you send that card for RMA purposes rather then changing the bios.
 
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#7
Don't mod the bios, chances are that you completely break the card. Just send the card for a RMA the card.
 

Llort

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#8
Good that you have pinpoint the main thing. I would highly recommend that you send that card for RMA purposes rather then changing the bios.
I know, believe me that I usually consider to RMA in the first place xD but in this case is not an option for me, since I was not the original buyer so I don't have the receipt or info of where the card was acquired.

And, same as before, found another interesting thing: switching the PCI-E connectors creates different effects. For example, I did it just now, and next time I booted up, the issue was not as bad, but the sensors for temps were not working correctly. I rebooted, and same.
Then I switched the connectors back once more, and now I booted and no problems. I'm starting to believe my PSU could be the one that is not working (already has about 4 years), as whenever I switch or change the connectors, different things happen with the GPU.

Before making any more guests, I'll try another PSU, a Cooler Master gx650 to check if the problem is my psu.
 

de.das.dude

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#9
have you tried different driver versions?
there was a beta driver out recently. try that.
 

Llort

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#10
have you tried different driver versions?
there was a beta driver out recently. try that.
Yes, tested with 13.4 and 13.8, both on Windows 7 and Windows 8. Like I mentioned there, the PCI Express connectors are very suspicious to me, perhaps not providing enough voltage / amps, since if I shut down the computer, switch the connectors and turn it on, problem occurs. Shut it down, switch them once more, and problem is fixed for a while.

Also, I noticed that my PC is getting frozen for like 8 seconds some times, and computer sometimes is not able to boot correctly (like it's starting to boot, then it reboots, and then finally it's able to boot). Those problems were also happening with other GPUs, so in a few minutes I'll test another PSU like I said before, and I'll post the results here.
 

de.das.dude

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#11
i think your PSU is dying. OCZ made PSUs a long time ago and they were so-so. so its just probably old age. plus the 7950 eats 200W alone at bone stock.

PSU would also explain the random freezing. which i just saw you posted in the last line.

so im definitely sure its the PSU.
 

Llort

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#12
i think your PSU is dying. OCZ made PSUs a long time ago and they were so-so. so its just probably old age. plus the 7950 eats 200W alone at bone stock.

PSU would also explain the random freezing. which i just saw you posted in the last line.

so im definitely sure its the PSU.
Correct, specially since this PSU has about 4 to 3 years of use, and I believe it's starting to die, and probably that's why changing the connectors also afects how to GPU boots (probably one of the lanes is not giving the required voltage / amps any more)
 

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#13
(probably one of the lanes is not giving the required voltage / amps any more)
this indeed. to many channels on that psu. though one alone should be providing plenty of power.