XFX 6870 All Games Freezes

DITC

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
394
Whenever I start a game, 9 times out of 10 it will freeze during the first few minutes of play. Picture locks, and sound often loops. Everything is locked up and I have to do a hard shut down.

This just started happening out of the blue one day, after months of everything being fine.

Temperatures are good.

Here's the weird thing, when I do the hard shut down, power up again and start the game for the second time, or any other game, it does not freeze. I can play for hours, and it never freezes.

But it needs to have that one freeze and hard shut down before it's working as should...
I have no idea what could cause that, why it doesn't freeze anymore after the boot.

The freezes occur only in games, btw.
 
Last edited:

DITC

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
394
Right now I'm on Catalyst 11.4. Mobo is Asus P7P55D.

PSU is probably unknown to you, it's called Mist and is a local brand, but they've gotten good reviews and all that, it's a 600w. From all tests I've read it's supposed to hold up. I'm going to replace it with something like a 700 or 800w anyway, so we'll see then, but my hunch isn't the PSU. And if it was, why do the games only freeze once before the boot and after that it's fine?
 

qbanb8582

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
2,063
I was just getting an idea of the overall system. I would try the latest drivers, update the bios to the latest.

Do you have your PC go into sleep or standby when its not in use?
 

DITC

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
394
I don't use standby or sleep, no.

My other specs: i5 760, no OC. 8GB Mushkin.
Windows 7 64bit.

BTW: My graphics card is 6970. Not 6870, my bad.

Going to upgrade to latest Catalyst and see if that helps. Going to check for bios updates.

Clock speed on this card is 880 mhz, but does anyone know the memory clock speed? In Catalyst it's at 1375mhz but in specifications it only says Memory Clock Speed 5.5 GHz so I don't know what the hell it should be.
 
Last edited:

qbanb8582

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
2,063
Thats fine, its just a number since its GDDR5 they multiply the clock speed by 4 to get that number. Or some shit like that.

4 x 1375 = 5.5GHz
 

qbanb8582

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
2,063
One important thing didn't answer which will make things easier, do you have computer go to sleep or standby when not in use?
 

qbanb8582

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
2,063
I would also check to see if you any memory leaks. Before you run a game see how much ram and resources are being used.

Unlikely but an option to look at.
 

DITC

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
394
Now the freeze have happened 3 times outside of games as well. Very random apparently.
I'm doing different things every time.

To describe how it locks up: Image is frozen, mouse cursor frozen or gone, sound usually goes on for some seconds after the freeze, I can turn num lock and that sort of stuff on and off on my keyboard but there's no other reaction, ctrl-alt-del etc do not do anything.

I recently moved into a new house, and because of this I'm kind of suspecting the electricity in the house, but at the same time that seems unlikely considering I can play for hours after I reboot after a freeze?
Also, I'm a bit suspicious to USB stuff, if this can cause that kind of freeze? I'm trying to test now with minimal USB devices connected, only mouse and keyboard. And I'm no longer using my USB hub.

Which tests/software should I start to do to rule out stuff? I'm thinking of running Prime95, 3D Mark, Memtest.
I've checked for apparent memory leaks and can't find any. Looks fine.

I've updated to latest Catalyst. Already had a couple of freezes after that.
Opened the case and went over wires, nothing loose. All fans running. Little dust.
All my temperatures are good.

I've also looked in Windows 7 event log and can't find any error for when the lock up happens.

CPUZ says DRAM freq is 668.8 MHz FSB:DRAM 2:10, puts me at 1337,6 MHz then?
 
Last edited:

Haste266

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
7,807
is your cpu/ram overclocked? if so, drop it back to stock and try some gaming
 

DITC

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
394
This is my RAM:
Mushkin DDR3 4GB Blackline Black FB"
"PC3-12800 2x2048MB 1600Mhz. (9.9.9.24)"

I have 4 sticks total, so 8GB.
 

Haste266

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
7,807
i think you may have your ram clocked too high. 668mhz with ddr3 would equal 2006mhz when its rated at 1600. unless im having a major brain fart, i think that may be your issue.
 

samuelmorris

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
5,506
Possible culprits:
Unstable memory (use memtest to test this)
Faulty motherboard
Bad graphics driver
Faulty graphics card
Faulty PSU (less likely)
Faulty CPU (least likely)
 

DITC

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
394
i think you may have your ram clocked too high. 668mhz with ddr3 would equal 2006mhz when its rated at 1600. unless im having a major brain fart, i think that may be your issue.
Can anyone else confirm this? Anyway, in BIOS it says Target memory 1333 or something, so
 

samuelmorris

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
5,506
That's false. At 668mhz base, the memory is running at 668x2=1336mhz. The clue is the FSB:DRAM ratio of 2:10, in other words, your memory runs at 5x the bus speed, which will be 133mhz, there or thereabouts. Apply the DDR (double data rate) effect, and you get 1336mhz. DDR3 does not mean you triple the speed.
 

Haste266

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
7,807
That's false. At 668mhz base, the memory is running at 668x2=1336mhz. The clue is the FSB:DRAM ratio of 2:10, in other words, your memory runs at 5x the bus speed, which will be 133mhz, there or thereabouts. Apply the DDR (double data rate) effect, and you get 1336mhz. DDR3 does not mean you triple the speed.

thanks. brain fart it was. :D
 

qbanb8582

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
2,063
Try running memtest, also try downclocking your memory to 1006 if it makes a difference. Try using two sticks of memory instead of 4 to see if that changes anything.

Also try using a different slot for your video card.

Run furmark or Unigine Heaven benchmark, this will stress the video card. If your card holds up to these then the GPU and PSU should be ok.
 

DITC

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
394
Has there been any reports of issues with P7P55D and the onboard high definition audio?
 

darkhorse

Gawd
Joined
May 10, 2005
Messages
972
Sounds like the exact same problem I have with my XFX 4870, it only works stable if I underclock by 100 on core and memory. I've googled the issue a few times and XFX cards came up quite a bit with different card models/gens doing the same thing, black screen-sound loop-hard restart.

I'm getting an MSI TFIII gtx 570 soon and don't think I'll ever look back to XFX, no more budget brand for me.
 

DITC

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
394
I don't get a blank screen, just frozen image. Didnt know.xfx was considered budget cards
 

samuelmorris

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
5,506
They aren't, people just assume they are if they have problems. The budget brands are usually those with the most obvious cheap components, which is usually the TUL based cards like VTX3D and Powercolor.
 

qbanb8582

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
2,063
I don't get a blank screen, just frozen image. Didnt know.xfx was considered budget cards

Its not, its that people have a bad experience and that means everything they make and the company is garbage.

I have had XFX cards before and they've been pretty solid.
 

IAMEVIL

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
142
Frozen image, looping sound without graphic driver reseting is not a video card problem. Most likely faulty memory. Test with one stick then the other to isolate the faulty one
 

Lord_Exodia

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 29, 2005
Messages
7,008
What power supply is running this system? I'm not the first to ask but I fail to see where you answer this question.

What is your powertune setting in CCC? Have you tried forcing +20, what temps are you getting with the card idle/full load?
 

samuelmorris

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
5,506
Frozen image, looping sound without graphic driver reseting is not a video card problem. Most likely faulty memory. Test with one stick then the other to isolate the faulty one

It isn't always a graphics card problem, but it certainly can be. One of the faulty 4GB HD5970s I had caused this exact issue.
 

DITC

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
394
What power supply is running this system? I'm not the first to ask but I fail to see where you answer this question.

What is your powertune setting in CCC? Have you tried forcing +20, what temps are you getting with the card idle/full load?

About the PSU, I answered earlier, but it's a local brand, here in Norway, it's called Mist, it's 650w, I wrote 600 earlier but that's wrong. It's certainly not the best money can buy, but it has gotten good reviews. Japanese capacitors.

http://www.hardware.no/artikler/mist_650_w/52129/4
http://www.hardware.no/artikler/mist_650_w/52129/5

When I first experienced the freezing it only happened in games, but since I've now also experienced them outside of games I'm less likely to blame the GPU. I actually don't believe it is the GPU anymore but who knows, it could be.

I ran 3D Mark 11 yesterday without problems, I'm downloading what was suggested here now, Furmark and Unigine Heaven benchmark.

What no one has been able to answer, if the problem is memory, or GPU, what can cause the fact that after the first freeze and restart, which happens within 40 seconds into a game, I can play for hours after that? It's just so weird...
For troubleshooting purposes I would've actually preferred if the games locked up every time.

CCC settings are at 875 / 1375. That's downclocked slightly from 880 which is the cards standard.
Whoever suggested +20, are you saying I should set clock to 900? And what would the purpose be? See if the freezes are more frequent then?
As for my memory, it's rated at 1600 and I'm running it at 1333.
 

samuelmorris

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
5,506
It looks like an ATNG unit by appearance, as it looks pretty much identical to the Nexus units. It uses Teapo capacitors, which while not the cheapest Chinese tat known for failure, are not japanese high quality units either, they're middle of the road Taiwanese caps, which are good enough (My Zalman uses them and is a very good PSU), but not top-end. I wouldn't expect a unit like that to be unreliable, but I would never want to overload it with confidence like I would with, say, a Corsair unit.It's a pretty average PSU to be honest, not the high-grade unit you're making it out to be. The relatively low efficiency confirms this.

Here's my 530W Nexus RX:
17-Inside.jpg


and here's the inside of the Mist 650W:
P5276483.jpg

Notice any similarities?
 
Last edited:

DITC

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
394
About the PSU, I said it's gotten good reviews, and that it was certainly not the best money can buy. Don't see quite how that's "making it out to be a high grade unit", but whatever. As you say, it looks to be ok? Good enough to operate without causing the issues I'm having. I was fairly certain the exact model I have though was with Japanese capacitors, but I can be mistaken.

Thanks for your helping out. These look indeed very similar...
I've been thinking about ordering Corsair HX750W, is that better than what I have?

To give an update:

I've ran all kinds of benchmarks and tests without problems. 3D Mark, Furmark, Unigine, Prime95.
No problems with temperatures arised and I've seen no artifacts.
And no freezing during these tests and benchmarks.
I ran all this one after the other.

Furmark benchmark preset 1080 gave a GPU temp of 63.
Ran the burn-in test with no problems.

Is this conclusive evidence that my GPU is OK, or what do you say? And as for the PSU?

And does it bode well for my memory as well?
 

samuelmorris

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
5,506
Was more commenting on the whole 'japanese capacitors' argument, because the specific review you linked says otherwise (assuming that is for your PSU). To be honest though, unless it's an obviously bad unit (which it isn't in this case, I use two PSUs with that OEM, and they're fine), I'm more inclined to blame the rest of the system, and since you're getting crashes outside games, while that does not completely absolve the GPU from blame, it's quite possible it's your CPU/motherboard/memory. Have you tried running memtest?
 

Lord_Exodia

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 29, 2005
Messages
7,008
+1, run memtest and test your ram, go down to one chip at a time if you get a failure to try and isolate the bad chip/s. Make sure to follow your motherboard manual for guidelines on putting only one chip in. Many times it's not as simple as putting the one chip in the first slot and many motherboard require a specific spot for a sole chip.

If memtest passes I'd test with another power supply.

I suggested you try different powertune settings. When you force +20 you are keeping the chip at high frequencies, without this force the chip is free to throttle and downclock to remain under the driver controlled TDP. If forcing +20 or +10 cause more crashing it leaves me to believe that there is stability issues with the card/power supply.

To add confusion your system even freezes when there isn't that much load on the psu (idle)

Could this be a bad driver install? have you tried removing the AMD driver, rebooting, going into safe mode, then using driver sweeper in safe mode to wipe all traces of AMD, rebooting then installing the 11.8 Catalyst with antivirus and software based firewall programs disabled?
 

samuelmorris

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
5,506
Whenever I've had this issue it's been a faulty motherboard to blame (or, when applicable, a bad overclock). While I'm well aware PSU problems do happen, they're far less common than a lot of forum users would have you believe. Unless there is an obvious problem (poor brand or inadequate wattage), the PSU should not be your first suspect when troubleshooting issues like these, especially not when crashes occur at idle.
 

samuelmorris

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
5,506
Sounds like it could be unstable CPU / faulty board or card then. If you have the opportunity to test a different GPU or PSU that would be handy, to eliminate another variable.
 

DITC

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
394
Isn't unstable CPU unlikely when I can run prime95 for hours? And since benchmarks like furmark cause no issues the gpu seems stable as well
 

Lord_Exodia

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 29, 2005
Messages
7,008
Isn't unstable CPU unlikely when I can run prime95 for hours? And since benchmarks like furmark cause no issues the gpu seems stable as well

Try a different power supply. Did I read correctly when you said putting powertune on +20 causes more crashes? Have you tried my suggestion of a clean install of the video drivers from a few posts up?
 

DITC

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
394
I haven't tried increasing the clock yet.
As for clean install of drivers, this problem started out of the blue after having no issues, for a long time. I didn't change the driver. But I have now tried a clean install of the latest drivers and it didn't change anything.

Also, consider the fact that I've now ran without issues for 10+ hours, that includes gaming, benchmarks and intensive tests. Weird how random it is. Not just when it happens, but the interval as well.

I will be ordering a new psu soon. To rule that out. But I'm debating if I should choose corsair hx750 or seasonic x750 or I think I saw one 780.

Thanks for everyones suggestions, I'm trying one after the other.
 

Lord_Exodia

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 29, 2005
Messages
7,008
I haven't tried increasing the clock yet.
As for clean install of drivers, this problem started out of the blue after having no issues, for a long time. I didn't change the driver. But I have now tried a clean install of the latest drivers and it didn't change anything.

Also, consider the fact that I've now ran without issues for 10+ hours, that includes gaming, benchmarks and intensive tests. Weird how random it is. Not just when it happens, but the interval as well.

I will be ordering a new psu soon. To rule that out. But I'm debating if I should choose corsair hx750 or seasonic x750 or I think I saw one 780.

Thanks for everyones suggestions, I'm trying one after the other.

I'd go with the corsair, but that's just me.
 

samuelmorris

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
5,506
I'd go with the Seasonic if you can afford it. More expensive, but a much better design than the Corsair, much quieter too.
 
Top