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Old Jan 7, 2007, 08:21 PM   #1
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MrChrumb
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Multi-GPU Graphics Technology Crossfire Flickering Possibly Fixed

Hey all,

Long long story, but I think I finally have my Crossfire flickering issue fixed and wanted to share with everyone.

First my system:

20" Samsung SynchMaster 204B LCD (1600x1200, 75hz)
Gigabyte Black Frankenstein style case
Asus P5W DH Deluxe
FSP Group 700 W PSU
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
WD 500GB HD SATA
Corsair 2x1GB Twin2X2048-5400C4
KB Saitek keyboard
MS Razer Diamondback Blue mouse
Liteon DVRW
MS WinXP Pro
Sapphire X1900XT
Creative X-Fi
Asus X1900 Crossfire

Story:

Built the system up with a single video card gamed for about a month without any issues. I then added the Asus Crossfire card in order to enjoy Oblivion a little better .

Had some trouble initially with graphical corruption in Crossfire, fiddled with the driver, set the refresh to 75 hz, turning on Vsync, settled it mostly down. When I turned PEG Link to standard in BIOS that helped a lot too (should have been a clue!).

But I still struggled with occasional screen flickers while in 3d games. I spent a lot of time in the BIOS trying to fix this problem. Turning up settings, turning down settings. Trying each new one hoping it would help. It be great for a couple days and then it'd flicker. Seemed to be post related. When it was good, usually no issues. Occasionally when it was annoying I would reboot and it might improve.

Tried changing the LCD DVI cable. No improvement.

Worked through all the bios settings (about 1 mos), and then went on to the video cards. Got to thinking that turning up Vgpu might help. Turned out to be the opposite. When I turned it up... it flickered like crazy. It was detecting at 1.425v. Turned down to 1.400v and it seemed to make a difference. But not a complete fix. I started using 3DMark06 as a tool to watch for graphical issues.

I ran Ati auto-overclock tool just to see what the results would be, very interesting. Default is 621/721 and it came back at 688/721. That's when the light bulb went on! The memory couldn't go any higher... in fact I don't think it's stable at default voltages (again in crossfire). I turned up MVDDC, MCDDQ and VDDCI a few percent... now the max stable detected overclock was 688/792 .... zounds. I THINK THIS WAS MY ISSUE.

I'm currently using ATITool to load these voltages at startup, and I have not seen it flicker in about a week. I score around 10,500 in 3DMark06.

If this stays good, I plan to go back and further tweak the voltages to only raise what I need to as much as I need to (I suspect I only need to slightly raise VDDCI). It just takes a lot of testing to be sure. But I'm confident that my video cards are more stable now with the higher memory voltage and believe the flickering is gone! Wahoo!

Hope this helps someone else too!


MrChrumb

Last edited by MrChrumb : Jan 8, 2007 at 06:52 AM.
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Old Jan 7, 2007, 10:25 PM   #2
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I'm going to try this out after I update my PW5 DH bios. I've had no issues with DVI-Flickering, instead my cards won't output a stable signal to my TV via HDMI.

Hopefully I can find some "magic bullet" settings for this mobo/card combo, but it seems like it varies from system to system.
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Old Jan 8, 2007, 11:46 AM   #3
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Hey all,

Did some more testing last night. I found that by only increasing VDDCI to 1.500v I was able to acheive the same improved stability (CC still auto detects to 688/792).

I've now got ATITool loading automatically with Vgpu at 1.400v and the VDDCI at 1.500V all other settings at default. Frequency of gpu's and memories are all stock.

I'll run there and confirm the fix.

MrChrumb
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Old Jan 10, 2007, 07:53 AM   #4
Rufus3d
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When you say Crossfire flickering, do you mean a loss of sync when using AFR, and a checkerboard corruption from only one of the video cards when using super-tiling?

I see both these on my HIS X1900XTs, and when super-tiling, it looks like the slave card is responsible, even though it runs fine on its own. I was starting to suspect the compositing chip on the mastercard, or its Accelero X2 cooler not adequately cooling either the regulators or the memory.

I'll have a play with mine, but'd still be interested to hear if your solution holds. So often I've though I fixed it, only to have it reappear after a while.

Let us know how yours goes.
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Old Jan 10, 2007, 09:22 PM   #5
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Try 3:
Does your screen flickering look like green or purple dots or streaks, or sometimes, loss of sync, when in AFR mode, or a checkerboard pattern of similar corruption when in super-tiling mode? If so, then I guess I have the same problem.

I'll be interested to hear if this solution holds. I was thinking I had overheating problems somewhere, as the fault would develop after a while, then eventually correct itself and be fine for the rest of that session, which could be hours.

Either of my HIS cards works fine on its own. The checkerboard pattern makes it look like the slave card is faulty, but it could also be the compositing chip or voltage regulation on the master card too. I'll check it further using Rivatuner to monitor temps.
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Old Jan 11, 2007, 05:21 PM   #6
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Hey Rufus3d,

The video card voltage tweaks seems to be a fix. Still holding.

I've been gaming fairly regularly and it has been great since adjusting.

For me, flickering looks a little bit like video tearing, like when you don't have Vsync on. The problem really seemed prone to happen on menu pull ups in Oblivion and at random throughout games. Not checkerboard, or any particular color, just a brief fraction of a second of flicker like there is screen interference (it's why I tried changing the DVI cable).

I don't see artifacting or banding or that kind of thing. Just a flicker. Sometimes it would happen one after another fifteen to twenty seconds apart. But usually no more then six times in about a half hour (very difficult to troubleshoot!) I had times when I could game multiple nights in a row without having the issue occur at all, and then it would 'come back'.

Regards,

MrChrumb
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Old Jan 22, 2007, 01:30 PM   #7
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Default Screen Flickering in Full Screen Mode with Crossfire

Here is my system....

Core2 Duo 2.4 E6600
4GB DDR2 667mhz RAM
Intel 975 XBX2 Motherboard
1950 XT ATI Radeon Crossfire Card
1900 XTX ATI Radeon Secondary Card
Creative Labs Fatality X-FI Soundcard
Dell E228WFP 22" Widescreen 1680*1050 60mhz
Dual Power Supplies- Antec 480 and Antec 650

I downloaded the ATI Tool you recommended and changed the voltage setting to 1.5 and everything seems good to go. I appreciate you taking the time to post the information. I do have a few questions about this....

Are there any potentially negative effects in making this change?
What is causing this to happen?
Can this easily be fixed by rolling back drivers to a previous version? (If so, what one?)

Thanks for your help.

Last edited by locutus71 : Jan 22, 2007 at 03:13 PM. Reason: Adding component information to complete picture.
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Old Jan 22, 2007, 04:59 PM   #8
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Hey locutus71,

Have you setup ATITool to autoload with the higher Vgpu value? Does it autoload the correct profile when it runs?

If so, then it's loading automatically when you boot into Windows. To return it to default, turn the setting back down save, and then uncheck the settings, load on startup.

In your case, it appears that you have to run more voltage on the GPU then you should have too. It'll cause the card to run warmer. You may want to watch the GPU temperatures to make sure this isn't significant (but it seems like you're in the safe range of stock cooling). Maybe game for a while at stock Vgpu, drop out to desktop and check temperatures, and then repeat with the higher voltage.

Regards,

MrChrumb
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Old Jan 23, 2007, 08:53 AM   #9
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Default Open for suggestions.....

OK- I thought I had this thing licked and it appears that I do not. Currently I have two power supplies hooked up to the machine.

Both are antec, 480 watt and 650 watt so there is plenty of juice in the rig. Both cards are hooked up to the 650.

The flickering is still present and I am at a complete loss as to what to do.

I do have a ticket submitted to ATI, but they have not responded since last week.

Last edited by locutus71 : Jan 23, 2007 at 10:16 AM. Reason: specifying where cards are set up on ps
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Old Jan 24, 2007, 01:39 AM   #10
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I was having a flickering green line problem which was only present by running a 3d app, this was solved by changing the dongle over, as the other one didnt quit fit in properly because of the screws.
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Old Jan 24, 2007, 08:02 AM   #11
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Default Dongle?

I know what the dongle is, but what do you mean by changing it over? Are you talking about flipping the dongle and keeping the dvi outlets plugged in the same way? Or are you saying that I should switch the way the dvi plugs are connected?

Or both?
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Old Jan 24, 2007, 09:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by locutus71 View Post
I know what the dongle is, but what do you mean by changing it over? Are you talking about flipping the dongle and keeping the dvi outlets plugged in the same way? Or are you saying that I should switch the way the dvi plugs are connected?

Or both?

Sorry for not making it very clear.

What i meant was, i have two dongle things come with my pc, one that had 4 screw things that had to be tightend up, however it never fitted in properly. At first i didnt notice this. One of the screws wouldnt fit in. Anyway the other dongle was slightly different, it had different screw with plastic on them instead of metal, this one would fit perfectly, so i didnt need to screw it in. Using the other dongle removed the weird green lines i was getting.

When i say dongle, i mean 1 dongle with 3 adapters on it. But i had 2 dongles come with my pc, with 6 adapters in total, 3 on each.
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Old Jan 24, 2007, 01:57 PM   #13
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I just got off the phone with ATI support. Apparently the power supply I have ( http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=23650 ) is not crossfire certified and is sending incorrect voltage to the card(s). While the ps I have is powerful enough, it the power distribution is not correct, thus causing the flickering.


Based on this list,

http://ati.amd.com/technology/crossf...dyourown2.html

I should be able to get one that meets the voltage specs for crossfire configurations.

While I question the validity of what ATI told me to do, I will be a good sport and get a new power supply this evening.

More to come...............
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Old Jan 24, 2007, 04:03 PM   #14
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Interesting but sounds like a long-shot. Let us know what happens.

I also have similar problems and happen to have the Antec TruePower Trio 550


But it's still hard to believe the TruePower 2.0 550 would work while the Truepower Trio 550 would not...

============
Question:
Right at the start (during the bios post,etc) look closely at the words and see if they are jumping right to left. If they are, then go back to single card with no dongle and see if it stops.
This is my symptoms.
===
Intel BLKD975XBX2KR Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz Conroe FSB 1066MHz 4MB L2 Cache 65nm LGA 775
CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
ATI Radeon X1950XTX 512MB 256-bit GDDR4 VIVO PCI Express x16 CrossFire Video Card
SAPPHIRE 100178 Radeon X1950 CrossFire Edition 512MB 256-bit GDDR4 PCI Express x16 Video Card
Antec True Power Trio TP3-550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply with Three 12V Rails
Western Digital Raptor 74GB 10000RPM 16MB Cache SATA
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Old Jan 24, 2007, 06:27 PM   #15
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Go figure............ I purchased the Antec HE550 as instructed by the ATI analyst. Same issues.
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Old Jan 24, 2007, 10:50 PM   #16
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Default Idiot?

Maybe I am the idiot for not doing my homework beforehand, but after dealing with the techs (if you call them that) at ATI, Intel and Dell I discovered that it was the max refresh rate on my monitor and it is not designed for gaming (at least crossfire or sli).

Luckily, I was able to return my Dell E228WFP 22" Widescreen 1680*1050 60mhz and get the 24" which I verified will handle runnig the applications I need.

Until then it is back to the old 17" Viewsonic LCD that has been my friend for the past 5 years.

Please review the refresh rates for your monitor and what is need to play your games before acting on a boner because you saw a smoking deal on a widescreen.

This is definately one that does not work- Dell E228WFP 22" Widescreen 1680*1050 60mhz

Thanks for everyones advice and time.
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 06:01 AM   #17
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My system finally seems stable now (fingers crossed).

I've using VGPU=1.45V, MVDDC=2.121V, MVDDQ=2.121V & VDDCI=1.498V, with both fans set to 100% when gaming.

Seems these chips can be more than a bit voltage sensititive! I might even try overclocking again now!

Thanks for the initial tip about VDDCI MrChrumb!
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 01:07 PM   #18
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Thumbs up

Hey Rufus3d,

Glad to hear you're having success...

MrChrumb
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 10:38 AM   #19
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I came across this thread trying to solve my own problem.

Here's my beastie:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Processor Socket 939 Retail
ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe Socket 939 ATI CrossFire Radeon Xpress 3200 ATX
Corsair TWINX2048-3200PRO 2048MB DDR400 XMS3200 ProSeries Memory
ATI Radeon® X1900 GT 256MB PCI Express Crossfire Edition
ATI Radeon® X1900 GT 256MB PCI
2 Western Digital Raptors WD360ADFD 36.7GB 10,000 RPM 16MB Cache

I've had the black distortion that seems to occur when the drives are hammering. I'm going to try the voltage option...that would fit with my own thoughts on the problem. ATI drivers haven't made a difference, nor does the overclocking bit.

Thanks for the info guys.
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Old Apr 13, 2007, 08:34 AM   #20
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Post Lowering vgpu fixes the issue for me

I've been having the problem as well , ever since I got my brandnew Connect3D X1900CF (1.2ns) out of the box.
I only get the flickering/black screen when vgpu is set to 1.41v or higher!
With black screen, i mean loss of signal; my monitor goes black for a couple of secs and then is viewable agian, only to be followed by another black screen again.., and soforth and soforth...

But.... When I set vgpu to 1.40 or lower, the flickering/black screen flashing stops immediately!
Setting vgpu to 1.45v-1.50v results in an direct black screen, with a sporadic viewable desktop in between.
I've been testing this with AtiTool.

The problem occurs in 3d mode but also in 2d mode.
Running crossfire enabled or disabled doesn't matter
Running with only one card in my systeem doesn't help either

At first, I thought it was VPU Recover kicking in, but I get it with vpu recover on and of.
It's almost like the GPU core of the master card itself cannot handle a vgpu of 1.42v or more.

My temps are good, the card is cooled with a full-cover EK waterblock , giving me 42 degrees Celcius stressed.

Hope this info sheds some light on this problem for you guys.
I'm still hoping to find a answer to this problem, because I'm limited to 1.4v on the GPU and I need more juice to take it over the 720MHz when overclocking.
My slave card (Sapphire X1900 XT 1.1ns) does 750MHz with 1.485v, so it would be nice to get those two cards in sync while overclocking

Last edited by Demon_Eyez : Apr 16, 2007 at 04:50 AM.
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Old Jul 1, 2007, 11:54 AM   #21
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Hi all. I'm having this flashing screen problem on my Radeon 9600XT. How do you change the vgpu settings? (i'm a noob )
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