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-   -   Finally solved a serious video card issue (http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthread.php?t=34020662)

SOCOM Ops Mar 3, 2015 08:57 PM

Finally solved a serious video card issue
 
I have a Sapphire Radeon HD7850 that has been good to me, I dont overclock the card its at stock speeds, and temps have been very average at 32C idle and up to 58C intense gaming. However now and again over the past two and a half years I have gotten spates of vertical stripe crashes, grey screens of death and black screen crashes. Usually these were driver based or unstable memory overclocks, but since November last year I had to endure months of vicious gsods, vertical stripes, black screens, freezes and coloured bar crashes that crippled my system.

I began the usual series of checks by first complete and thorough uninstall of all AMD video driver software by using the AMD driver cleaner, then in safe mode using DDU , then using CCleaner to clear everything. During re install process the system gave me a red screen crash, when I finally completed re install the crashes came again. So mark out drivers, I then took out the card blew off any little dust that was on it and put back in, no cigar same crashes. Took out Memory modules ad tested them one by one, no deal. Changed video cable from the monitor same crap. Did the uninstall device driver from Device Manager and update video driver, crashes continue. Checked for virus infection or malware multiple times, nothing found.

One thing I noticed during this period however, NO ARTIFACTS when it gives me a hour or two to game. I mean no performance slowdowns, no artifacts, no gaming instability. As a matter of fact the system achieves some form of stability when gaming but crashes at idle, browsing the web, or watching flash videos. I found this behaviour quite weird to say the least, a dying video card is supposed to fail at its core function, right? I decided to confirm the video card by downloading Furmark and running it as long as there wasnt any crashes, Furmark returned no artifacts. Then WTF is going on with my card? Was it the memory then? Memtest showed nothing after hours of testing without a crash during the night. Must be the PSU, thats right my sucky no name PSU was the problem. Nope replaced the PSU with a 600W EVGA 80 bronze PSU to no avail.

I was at my wits end and decided the card has become defective and it was now time to retire it. I began to check Newegg for a replacement and settled for a Sapphire R9 280 3gb video card which looked like a heck of a deal to me. I was just waiting on pay day to set up the order to buy the 280 but before I committed myself I made one last try at finding out whet the heck was going on. It was then I saw something inconsistent, I have a WD Blue 1Tb HDD and I saw I was using 458gb of HD space.:hmm: I was like nah I couldn't be using so much space. I dont have gigs of movies or music on my system, just games some mix tapes miscellaneous software and work files. I began to search the HD for what kind of files were taking up so much space, found noting that I could pin point. So I decided to a thorough disk clean up with further cleaning of system restore files and shadow copies.

After the cleaning up of Windows Update restore points, shadow copies, and service pack back up files, I got some screen flickering but no crashes. I began to see system stability returning with no more video card related crashes for a full week now. It seems there was some kind of driver/windows update conflict with the multiple system images that was causing some serious headaches for me since November 2014. Im asking people to also include thorough disk clean up of unnecessary system files like multiple old restore points that may impact video card stability. Maybe I can now hold out for a Radeon 300 series video card later this year.:heart:

Lupine Mar 3, 2015 09:27 PM

Wow. Would really like to hear an explanation of how two seemingly unrelated factors created the issues you experienced. Glad you seem to have resolved it!

SOCOM Ops Mar 3, 2015 09:55 PM

I also think they are supposedly two unrelated factors, but I haven't gotten any severe video crashes since then after months of trying to fix the problem and having no luck. I forgot to mention I had formatted the HD and reinstalled Windows 7 which only bought a day or two of respite.

The only two things left to do was try reflow the video card with the oven trick or take off the heat sink to see what was up with the VRAM modules and capacitors. Other than that a new card was in order. Some days were so bad I couldnt get into Windows.

Whats with Radeon cards and black screens and vertical stripes? Ever since I had my 256mb X1600 pro I always run into these BS problems.

SOCOM Ops Mar 20, 2015 09:48 AM

Seems my optimism has turned into a sad reality. Video card has become totally unstable for the past week. Constantly crashing upon boot up and OS login screen, vertical stripes and now pixels coming up. Seems the VRAM was going bad all along and is now gone.

Elpida VRAM..

Lupine Mar 20, 2015 09:51 AM

:(

Flyordie Mar 23, 2015 01:15 AM

How has a card that new failed already? Pull the heatsink off and re-apply paste, check to see that the vram chips aren't caked in dust n such. I found my primary HD5770 that I bought had an airbubble in the corner of the die in the thermal paste that wouldn't let it get over 1Ghz. (it capped out at 915-925)

I hope its not 100% dead.

My HD5770s are still running strong. The primary one when not Xfired has seen hours of gaming at 1Ghz core. When xfired they sit at 950Mhz each.

VRAM is running 1270Mhz (GDDR5) Samsung built (5G Modules)

SOCOM Ops Mar 28, 2015 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyordie (Post 1337684909)
How has a card that new failed already? Pull the heatsink off and re-apply paste, check to see that the vram chips aren't caked in dust n such. I found my primary HD5770 that I bought had an airbubble in the corner of the die in the thermal paste that wouldn't let it get over 1Ghz. (it capped out at 915-925)

I hope its not 100% dead.

My HD5770s are still running strong. The primary one when not Xfired has seen hours of gaming at 1Ghz core. When xfired they sit at 950Mhz each.

VRAM is running 1270Mhz (GDDR5) Samsung built (5G Modules)

Thank you for your input Flyordie, much appreciated. Its not 100% dead but definitely unusable. I did take off the heatsick and blew off what little dust was there on the VRAM modules. Applied thermal paste and tested it but got the same symptoms, vertical stripes and bars galore. I noticed a metallic area on the board was pitted (chrome flaking off and slightly rusted) dont know if that has anything to do with the card's problem.

Got me a new Sapphire R9 270X this Thursday, working like a charm. Thankfully it has Hynix VRAM which should stand me in good stead like my old ATI 9200 PRO and X1600 cards which I had to give away.

Might give that 7850 a go with the oven trick, lol. The card had served me well through many a game.


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