Hello, my card is a ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 which is about 3+ years old, it has served me very well, until the latest drivers were installed.. more like the catalyst control centre update.
Before i start out with my story, i'll just say im not an expert in software nor hardware aspects, i use common sense and come to a conclusion, which may be wrong, so im open to suggestions.
A few months ago it started, i loaded up Skyrim, and there it was, random "beams" across the screen everywhere and what i found out to be called "artifacting" happened. I instantly had a hunch this had to do with my gfx card, but i did not know what to do about it other than replacing it. But i wanted to make sure if it really was my gfx card.
So, i downloaded a gfx stress test program as to induce a BSD (blue screen of death), or see if i could see artifacting on the desktop. Knowing full well that this artifacting only happened INSIDE of a game, and not in BIOS nor windows which peaked my interest to say the least. To my surprise, there was no artifacting putting my gfx under stress (it reached 100 degrees! which i know is VERY bad).
Now.. here it gets weird, after running Furmark right before playing ANY game, would not make it artifact at all nor BSD, i could practicly game all night providing i did not shut down and turn the computer back on. But run without a stress test, and i'd have artifacting again.. it made NO sense to me at all.
This method i used quite alot of times to great success after i started to poke around in the control centre, as my fans on my gfx card went to max speed on the furmark tests, i wondered if it had anything to do with the cooling or temperature of my gfx card which was 90 degrees under no load according to catalyst, which shocked me as this is abnormally high on idle.
I decided it was time to clean my gfx card, had some dust on it, put it back together and was pleased to see the idle temp had gone down somewhat.. the artifacting was still there though (no stress test at windows boot), so had the damage been done then? Microfractures taken its toll on my trusty card?
Nope, turned my pc off, went into control center, put the fans on max to let the gfx temperature come down to 60 degrees.. and voila, no artifacting nor BSD's at all!
This method also i used quite alot of times until i finally uninstalled catalyst control centre and all "up to date" drivers of my gfx card.
My system runs perfect now, with out of date drivers and no catalyst control centre.
Conclusion: Catalyst control centre fakes artifacts making users think: "oh no my gfx card is dead! best buy a new one! or hey, bake it even, it might work a bit longer.."
Look at the software first, its a gfx card, these artifacts can easily be generated, and companies need money, it doesnt work if gfx cards keep working for a long time.. no profits!
So they design software that mimics a real hardware problem to fool the user. Let's just say my catalyst control centre/drivers where "bugged" or i had a trojan in mine... yeah, whatever.
You didn't fool me. I'm back enjoying Skyrim on my trusty ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 with old drivers (8.17!), which is working PERFECTLY!
Well AMD was pretty upfront about dropping support for the 4xxx series, so it really isnt surprising that the old drivers work better. The 4870x2 is and will be a strong card, but AMD wants to get everyone on the new products so we get planned obsolescence. Nvidia does the same thing too.
I looked on AMD's driver web page and it appears as though the 4800 series is no longer supported. You probably are best off with the old driver! I would think this is a question best asked directly to AMD. Skyrim has been a difficult game for AMD even on their new cards, they had to improve there drivers just to get decent frame rates. Most other games shouldn't be that bad, but I still think you are best off with your old driver. I don't think AMD is trying to fake you out, its more like turning their back on you! ( It's too bad, I have a nice MSI 4850 I was going to put in a HTPC from old parts, now I don't think I should! )
Wow. First of all, anybody that let's their card get 100c and complains about artifacting, shouldn't even be working on computers.
Secondly, why would they want to fake you into thinking you need a new graphics card when 90% of the time the graphics card would be under the 3yr warranty anyways (lifetime warranty with some brands like mine). Your making no sense.
It's likely that whatever driver your using just doesn't work well with that card, and dual gpu cards are known for driver and heat issues to begin with.