Is my ATI HD3850 dead, or just ''messing around''?

So, what's wrong with my card, judging from the pics and things described?

  • It's dead.

    Votes: 13 38.2%
  • Eerr... some sort of driver issue, I'd say.

    Votes: 10 29.4%
  • Meh, it's your mobo/some setting in your system.

    Votes: 4 11.8%
  • Something else..?!!

    Votes: 7 20.6%

  • Total voters
    34

Xolair

n00b
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Messages
20
Hello, I'm new to these forums. :D

Anyhoo, got myself a HD3850 two days ago, and it has been giving me trouble ever since I got it. The installation of the card seemed to go okay and without any problems, then installed the drivers and tried 3DMark06 along with NFS: Prostreet. Everything seemed fine in these two, maybe there was one or two occasional errors in Mark06 but didn't notice ANYTHING in Prostreet.


After that, I tried Crysis and the slope downhill began. This game gives me weird texture errors, like this:
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r150/Xolairs_bucket/error.jpg

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r150/Xolairs_bucket/error_2.jpg

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r150/Xolairs_bucket/error_3.jpg


And last but not the least, after putting the fan up to 75%, opening the side panel and changing the ingame settings a bit:
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r150/Xolairs_bucket/Crysis.jpg


After trying Crysis, I've tried another 4-5 games and 3 of them haven't basically given any errors at all (Enemy Territory, ET: Quake Wars and NFS: PS), while others share a similar problem as Crysis does. So far I've tried:

  • 1. To reinstall drivers, and installed Crysis hotfix.
  • 2. Doing that BIOS pipeline thingy that was posted to this forum (no help, only weird red boxes on the screen, looked like the card was dying).
  • 3. Tried ATITool and ran the artifact scanning @ stock clocks for 15min without ANY yellow dots.

I'm basically starting to run out of options here. Either the card is dead/dying, the drivers are TOTALLY messed up for some reason, or then it's something I can't think of with my small brains. Sure, it could be some sort of error with my mobo ''not supporting this card'', but I dunno, ASRock seemed to say that it'd work fine, at least the HD3870..? Guess I could try to reseat the card or something.

Here's my specs:
  • Intel Core 2 E4300 @ stock
  • 2 GB DDR2 667mhz
  • ATI HD3850 @ stock
  • ASRock 4Core-VSTA
  • Corsair VX450
  • Windows XP SP1

EDIT: Here's a few other kind of shots from my card:
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r150/Xolairs_bucket/HD_comparison.jpg

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r150/Xolairs_bucket/HD_layout.jpg
 

rennyf77

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
2,865
uninstall the game, uninstall the drivers, use a driver cleaner, reinstall drivers (should be 7.11), reinstall hot fix, reinstall game.
 

skadebo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
1,126
second to last resorts ( RMAs) is to do a clean install of the OS.
 

Xolair

n00b
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Messages
20
I've decided to RMA this thing, ''just in case''. Guess it's better to be safe than sorry... :)
 

Anarchist4000

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 10, 2001
Messages
1,659
That looks like some sort of memory corruption. So either your PSU is choking the card without crashing it or it's a hardware defect with the memory.
 

Comte

Gawd
Joined
Jan 2, 2001
Messages
946
second to last resorts ( RMAs) is to do a clean install of the OS.

And the stupid answer starts to pop up....Eventually, someone offers up this silly idea in response to everything....

"I got a new mouse"...."Wipe the OS..."
"I got a new cell phone"...."Wipe the OS"
"I got a new car"..."Wipe the OS...:"
"I got a new girlfriend"...."Wipe the OS"
"I got a good nights sleep"..."Wipe the OS"....
 

pfunkman

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 16, 2006
Messages
3,204
And the stupid answer starts to pop up....Eventually, someone offers up this silly idea in response to everything....

"I got a new mouse"...."Wipe the OS..."
"I got a new cell phone"...."Wipe the OS"
"I got a new car"..."Wipe the OS...:"
"I got a new girlfriend"...."Wipe the OS"
"I got a good nights sleep"..."Wipe the OS"....

The way to have the cleanest OS possible is to reinstall the OS when you change major pieces of hardware. There are some people (Myself included) that absolutely will not install any major hardware without reinstalling the OS. By doing this if you run into trouble you can eliminate alot of possibilities when troubleshooting.

Suggesting reinstallation of the OS as a last resort before RMA is not stupid its a good idea. Would you rather spend a couple hours to re-install your OS or be without your brand new video card for 2-4 weeks?

That being said OP try a clean removal of the drivers and reinstall the latest ones. How i do this is uninstall the drivers through add/remove like normal then run driver cleaner pro, reboot and install your drivers. If that dont work i would consider reinstalling your OS.
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2007
Messages
1,018
Suggesting reinstallation of the OS as a last resort before RMA is not stupid its a good idea. Would you rather spend a couple hours to re-install your OS or be without your brand new video card for 2-4 weeks?

A far better way to do this would be to install the bare-minimum OS on a separate hard drive while keeping your original OS install safe on the original hard drive. Or even better, keep a Linux distro installed side-by-side or use a Live CD. Then it really will just be a couple hours to see if it really is the card or the OS is the problem before needlessly reinstalling Windows.

Unless you have a very spartan install (say, just the OS, an office suite, and a couple of games), getting all the drivers and applications installed will take much more than a couple of hours. Even then, if you have a MMORPG, downloading all the updates since the discs were published will often take a few hours all by itself unless you have a much faster Internet connection than most people. And then there is reinstalling every...single...application that you own.
 

pfunkman

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 16, 2006
Messages
3,204
A far better way to do this would be to install the bare-minimum OS on a separate hard drive while keeping your original OS install safe on the original hard drive. Or even better, keep a Linux distro installed side-by-side or use a Live CD. Then it really will just be a couple hours to see if it really is the card or the OS is the problem before needlessly reinstalling Windows.

Unless you have a very spartan install (say, just the OS, an office suite, and a couple of games), getting all the drivers and applications installed will take much more than a couple of hours. Even then, if you have a MMORPG, downloading all the updates since the discs were published will often take a few hours all by itself unless you have a much faster Internet connection than most people. And then there is reinstalling every...single...application that you own.


Your right but suggesting someone dual boots can be a royal pain in the ass if they have never done it before. I considered suggesting that but if the OP has never done it before or is not very experienced it could turn out to be more trouble than just reinstalling.

If you play an MMO you can always just copy the directory over to a spare hard drive most MMOs dont install any registry keys so its as simple as copy/paste i personally install the MMOs i play to my backup drive and run them from there so if i reinstall windows i go right back to where i was with no patching.

Even still in the end if the OP had to reinstall every little piece of software it still would take far less time than RMA'ing the card and even if the card turns out bad he has a fresh stable platform for it when he gets it back and it gives you the opportunity to make sure your running the absolute latest versions of every program you use.

I guess its a matter of taste really. I prefer to reinstall windows to keep things fresh and running at 100% and to keep my system fully updated.

Point was its not stupid to suggest a reinstall of windows because it is the only guaranteed way to rule out software issues when troubleshooting a problem like this.
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2007
Messages
1,018
Point was its not stupid to suggest a reinstall of windows because it is the only guaranteed way to rule out software issues when troubleshooting a problem like this.

Yeah, sorry if it sounded like I was ragging you, it just sounded like you were oversimplifying matters a bit (just a couple-hour Windows reinstall...). I agree that it's not stupid, but it's not for everybody either, depending on their Windows setup and their tolerance for boredom. ;) Dual-booting really isn't that complicated or difficult, though it may be a bit daunting to someone who hasn't done it before I admit.
 

Xolair

n00b
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Messages
20
Ordered a Sapphire HD3850 instead and should get it in Monday. If it still doesn't work and the other shop proves my earlier card was actually working...

... then I don't know what I'd do, probably just sell 'em both and get a Radeon X1950 in AGP instead. :D
 

Xolair

n00b
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Messages
20
Damn, it seems that even the Sapphire card shares a similar problem. Haven't tried many games yet, but tried 3DMark06 and here's the result:
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r150/Xolairs_bucket/3dmark.jpg

I also get this kind of artifacts in 2D usage, in some sites:
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r150/Xolairs_bucket/artifacts.jpg

It's weird, I tried visiting those sites which give the probs and they don't seem to give any artifacts, when drivers ARE NOT installed, but instantly when I install Catalyst 7.11 those dots appear everywhere. Could all this be just driver-related, after all..? :rolleyes:
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2007
Messages
756
Damn, it seems that even the Sapphire card shares a similar problem. Haven't tried many games yet, but tried 3DMark06 and here's the result:
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r150/Xolairs_bucket/3dmark.jpg

I also get this kind of artifacts in 2D usage, in some sites:
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r150/Xolairs_bucket/artifacts.jpg

It's weird, I tried visiting those sites which give the probs and they don't seem to give any artifacts, when drivers ARE NOT installed, but instantly when I install Catalyst 7.11 those dots appear everywhere. Could all this be just driver-related, after all..? :rolleyes:

Possibly. I've been getting random lockups with CCC installed but never any artifacts. I think were all linked to a driver issue with 7.11. I will be doing a fresh install to Vista 64-bit and SP1 as soon as 7.12 is released. Hopefully this will help.
 

conscript

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 19, 2001
Messages
2,600
two different card same problem, i might look into other possible issues other than the card itself
 

Spare-Flair

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 4, 2003
Messages
7,471
That's video corruption caused by heat/instability. Lower the clockspeeds below default settings until they go away and then you'll know for sure.
 

Xolair

n00b
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Messages
20
I just tried the demo of Prey (which is an OpenGL game), and it worked just fine except for some strange stuttering here and there. No artifacts, no corrupted textures, or stretched vertices from what I managed to see. It indeed could be true, that these Catalyst 7.11's have an issue of some sort with Direct3D... that seems like an reasonable option now. Should get a hold of other OpenGL games too, just to be sure. :)
 

Blacklash

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
1,893

Bo_Fox

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 23, 2006
Messages
1,544
After disabling overclocking and custom fan control, I am starting to think that the random crashes are related to the card switching between 2-D idle mode and 3-D "low-power consumption" mode when doing anything slightly GPU-intensive on your windows desktop. For example, when you scroll down the page here on the forums, it uses up to 50% of GPU as shown in CCC! Rivatuner's monitoring shows that the core and memory are temporarily raised to 3-D levels whenever GPU goes over say, 30% activity. Sometimes when I scroll back and forth quite often, or switch between IE windows, the screen just goes blank, being bright white all over.

It's completely stable throughout 3-d applications, and can be overclocked a long way before artifacting in ATiTool. ATI's CCC's auto overclocking pushes it all the way to 860Mhz core! So, I really think it's related to the excessively frequent 2-D/3-D low power mode switching.
 

Bo_Fox

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 23, 2006
Messages
1,544
Anybody else have this crashing problem in 2-D desktop mode when doing "intensive" 2-D tasks like scrolling or moving a window around?
 

Bo_Fox

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 23, 2006
Messages
1,544
There are numerous monitoring software that monitors your voltages. Many times, a motherboard comes bundled with its own software (driver CD) that provides some kind of voltage monitoring.

Otherwise, use a digital multimeter (can be found at Radio Shack or for very cheap off Ebay) and plug it into one of the available molex connectors to see the voltage changes under idle and load.
 

Xolair

n00b
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Messages
20
So, I just got myself a hold of the Catalyst 7.12's and the problems in D3D still persist, only that Diablo 2 works in D3D now, flawlessly. Many other games, including WoW, Crysis etc. still keep doing the weird stretching and artifacting everywhere. Besides, it seems that these drivers have messed up my colours a bit in 2D... when there should be a blue link in a website leading somewhere, it's turned red and the other way around, plus some links are yellow. BTW, wasn't there some colour issue sometime that was solvable by changing some setting in CCC? Haven't got it installed right now, but could try it. :)

Oh yeah, I've spotted those dots in 2D to exist only on some images, never on ''blank screen''. Could this be a monitor setting issue, or something?
 

Xolair

n00b
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Messages
20
PROBLEM SOLVED!!!

I just got a hold on the new 2.20 bios from ASRock, tried it on my mobo and tested some games afterwards. Crysis works fine, WoW works fine... yes! :D :D :D
 

Bo_Fox

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 23, 2006
Messages
1,544
LOL, so it's the motherboard! That mother!!!

She's such a mother..!
 

Xolair

n00b
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Messages
20
God dammit, it seems that I haven't got any luck with these things. I've tried Crysis' multiplayer and it worked fine for a moment, then almost gradually I've started to see some weird texture errors everywhere, including a few triangles but certainly not as many as before the mobo BIOS update. So, tried the SP of the game and recently I've began to spot similar errors in it too. Then, dloaded the demo of The Witcher, and it also shows weird texture errors, here's some shots:

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r150/Xolairs_bucket/Crysis_1.jpg
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r150/Xolairs_bucket/crysis_4.jpg
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r150/Xolairs_bucket/witcher.jpg

I hate to admit it, but I think it's an overheating/hardware related issue this time around. My temps seem fine though, I don't know what could cause overheating. Perhaps my card has had some bad memory chip(s) all along..? :(

P.S. Got an email from my previous card RMA, they've send it back but dunno' if it's a new card or not. Hopefully there was something wrong with it.
 

Xolair

n00b
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Messages
20
Something quite... interesting happened when I tried to UNDERCLOCK my card in Saturday with ATITool. At first it seemed to handle the underclock fine, but then about 5-10 secs later the screen started to artifact weirdly and VPU Recover kicked in after a few weird on/off flashes on the screen (it went black, then came back on etc.), saying something about my GPU/monitor not responding. After a few reboots, the screen still kept on going totally white, mostly when going into Mozilla Firefox. So, therefore it was totally unusable and didn't stress it in the whole weekend.

Luckily, I managed to get myself the Club3D card I had RMA'd before, which was tested to be totally fine after like 10+ hours of intense 3D usage, and I installed it in. Did the same blinking, but then I managed to uninstall the display drivers. Now I'm using Internet Explorer, hasn't gone ''white'' just yet. Thankfully the other card is from a different shop, so I could try to get it RMA'd too and get my money back from it, perhaps spend some of that money into some new fans/mobo, to get better cooling for this system. :D

Would be a bit weird if the drivers got messed up somehow...
 

Bo_Fox

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 23, 2006
Messages
1,544
Here's a solution to this "white-screen" freezing problem with 3850 cards.. keep it overclocked via Rivatuner or ATiTool. That will force it to stay in 3-D mode, so that it does not frequently switch between 2D and high-performance 2D mode that increases the clock from its idle 300 MHz core.

Notice how whenever you scroll on a web browser or move a window around in your desktop, the GPU usage goes up to over 50% as shown in CCC or Rivatuner's monitoring? The clocks are also changed into 3D mode.

Those 3850 cards have incredibly low 2D voltages, to maximize power savings but I think it's most likely the cause of those white-screen freezes even when using stock speeds and voltages. When overclocking via Rivatuner, I recommend setting it as a boot option so that it stays in 3-D overclocked mode all the time, BUT I also highly recommending setting the fan to at least 60% fixed speed since the card will be getting warm in 3-D mode.
 

Ruiner

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 22, 2000
Messages
3,070
Here's a solution to this "white-screen" freezing problem with 3850 cards.. k

I'm getting this issue as well; frequent vpu recovers at random times, mostly surfing, rarely gaming. No artifacts or other issues when gaming.
Temperatures are all nominal, using 7.11 cats
No voltage falloff when running atitool/orthos combo.

No issues at all on the Ubuntu install on same system.
 

natterjack

n00b
Joined
Jan 25, 2008
Messages
1
Kudos to Bo Fox for identifying at least one cause of this problem.

I was also getting infuriating random freezes with my new HD3850 (freezing to a green screen in my case). These were only happening in 2D mode and with hindsight were only happening during 'intensive' activities like opening, resizing or dragging (especially dragging) windows.

When I monitored my GPU's clock activities I found that it was switching between its two 2D modes extremely often (oscillating would be a fair word to use) and I expect that this oscillation of the card's power states was causing the crashes. Maybe my PSU couldn't keep up with the changing power demands or maybe the clock generators or voltage regulators on my particular card are weak. Who knows?

Anyway, Bo Fox's suggestion works.

I've now used RivaTuner to force two speed modes on my card - a single 2D mode and a 3D mode.

So, whereas my card used to run at these three speeds:-

300/830, 300/880, 735/980

It now just runs at these two speeds:-

300/880, 735/980

and is rock solid.

Seriously, thanks for figuring this one out, Bo Fox. Your solution came at the end of three solid weeks of tearing my hair out trying to eliminate driver, mobo, mojo, securom, safedisk, ram, cpu, psu, sptd, karma, sun-spot, egyptian-curse, hard-disk, etc, you-name-it, issues with my system.
 
Top