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MSI 7850 Problems

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 30, 2013 11:39:19 AM

Hi everyone.

I have to share my pain with some more experienced users in case I might find out the right thing to do.

My specs:

ASUS H87 PLUS
i5 4570 3,2 GHz
8GB RAM Gskill 1600
PSU OCZ 600W
SAMSUNG EVO SSD 120GB
Windows 7 64 bit

Two days ago I upgraded my Sapphire 6670 1GB DDR5 to an MSI 7850 OC 2GB. It's been 2 very difficult days. Main problem is that the card is artifacting in some games and also sometimes flickering when I browse with Firefox (both when using DVI or a DVI-VGA adapter). My monitor is a BenQ make, rather old, maxes at 1280x1024 resolution.

In Skyrim I see flashing pixels at random times if I play at any resolution higher than 1024x768. The same stands for Metro 2033 (those flashing pixely artifacts and also CTD followed by the "display driver stopped.." message), however, if I switch to DirectX 10 or 11 the game runs without problems, even at 1280x1024. RAGE and Left 4 Dead 2 are the other 2 games installed at the moment and they both run without problems. I wanted to install more games from steam (especially DX9 games) and test further, but here is what I actually did. I thought that maybe my new card and my old monitor were not best buddies so I went to my HD TV. Used the HDMI port to connect and tested games at hi-res (that's why I got the bloody 7850 in the first place, planning to buy a good HD pc monitor). Metro 2033 at 1080, frequent flashes and artifacts, skyrim as well. RAGE and L4D2 were still fine. I have tried:

-Altering the 2d/3d clocks with Afterburner and Asus gpu tweak,
-Catalyst 13.1 and 13.12 drivers(with 13.12 the DVI port of the card was acting stupid with the little monitor, basically refusing to light up on startup, had to replug to get some picture)
-underclocking the memory clock
-increasing voltage (sice this is a factory OC card and maybe needs some extra juice. V was set at 1138 I raised it to 1225)
-Switching on/off AA, Vsync

Nothing worked. I was almost certain this was a skyrim issue but when I saw the same pixels in Metro 2033 I was mortified and convinced it's the GPU. I will test more games tonight and see what happens at hi-res with games like Fallout NV, Borderlands 2, Bioshock Infinite, Witcher 2 and Guild Wars 2 but I was hoping for some advice too. Should I RMA the card or insist on fixing the issues? I would give the extra 30-40 € and go for a 7870 or a R9 270. I have read soo many posts from heart-broken AMD 7xxx owners and I don't know what to do.

To anyone who actually took the trouble to read my huge post: You are awesome and you have my sincere thanks. I'd be eternally grateful if you could help.

My kindest regards.

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December 30, 2013 11:44:10 AM

i did read the whole thing :)  but im not exactly sure what is wrong i think you might just have a dud card. i have a 7950 and am totally happy with it. If you can upgrade to a 270x they are really good :)  the 270 would sorta be a downgrade :p 
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December 30, 2013 11:47:57 AM

I have the Gigabyte Radeon 7850 2GB OC (975MHz) and i love it. I used AMD Overdrive to OC the card more to 1050MHz and it works like a charm. The Memory its a bit...meh, i cant OC much or at all :(  But overall, i am very happy with the card.
You might be a bit unlucky :(  just RMA the card.
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December 30, 2013 12:25:18 PM

Oh my, I wasn't expecting such quick responses. Thanks guys.
Artifacting is usually either drivers or OC issue, right? I would expect that the 13.xx WHQL drivers should be fine running DX 9 apps. I thought that skyrim no longer has issues with high-end cards.. and like I said when I saw the same type of pixely flashy artifacts in Metro 2033 at hi-res I was almost convinced it's the card. The only thing I haven't tried is flashing the BIOS but I know this is risky and might toast things. Definitely not worth it if it's just one faulty card. By the way, my 6670 was running smooth like butter, every game, without problems. (I can recommend that Sapphire 6670 DDR5 to anyone looking for decent occasional gaming, the card is a beast and ultra-silent, I just got greedy and wanted to upgrade to the 7850). I am downloading Borderlands 2 and Witcher 2 atm and I will update this post with some snapshots too (which, If I'm right, proves it's the GPU and not the display).

Thanks again. Oh.. and I happy new year too, just a few hours left :) 
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December 30, 2013 12:28:52 PM

Jimmy Gibbs Jr said:
Oh my, I wasn't expecting such quick responses. Thanks guys.
Artifacting is usually either drivers or OC issue, right? I would expect that the 13.xx WHQL drivers should be fine running DX 9 apps. I thought that skyrim no longer has issues with high-end cards.. and like I said when I saw the same type of pixely flashy artifacts in Metro 2033 at hi-res I was almost convinced it's the card. The only thing I haven't tried is flashing the BIOS but I know this is risky and might toast things. Definitely not worth it if it's just one faulty card. By the way, my 6670 was running smooth like butter, every game, without problems. (I can recommend that Sapphire 6670 DDR5 to anyone looking for decent occasional gaming, the card is a beast and ultra-silent, I just got greedy and wanted to upgrade to the 7850). I am downloading Borderlands 2 and Witcher 2 atm and I will update this post with some snapshots too (which, If I'm right, proves it's the GPU and not the display).

Thanks again. Oh.. and I happy new year too, just a few hours left :) 


Skyrim most certainly dosent have issue with my 7950 ive played over 40 hours of it on my 7950 and have not seen 1 artifact :) 
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January 1, 2014 4:32:57 PM

OK, so I have a few pics and a little update after some thorough testing.
This is what I get in Metro 2033, Skyrim, Fallout NV and Borderlands 2:

http://i1328.photobucket.com/albums/w532/Tanuki13/Borde...
http://i1328.photobucket.com/albums/w532/Tanuki13/Fallo...
http://i1328.photobucket.com/albums/w532/Tanuki13/TESV2...
http://i1328.photobucket.com/albums/w532/Tanuki13/Metro...

The glitch is frequent enough to easily capture those screenshots with fraps, flashing every few seconds.

GPU temp hovers around 45 and peaks at 50 C. GPU usage is between 50-90 % at all games (usually hovering around 70% and spiking at 90%)
Core clock is fixed at 900MHz under load and 300MHz idle while Memory clock is 1200MHz load and 150MHz idle.
The artifacts appear on both monitors (my 1280x1024 BenQ and also the big HD TV downstairs at 1920x1080)
I am inclined to RMA the card tomorrow or the day after, I just want to exhaust the possibility that this might be some other hardware-related fault which I have yet not discovered (I would be really miserable If I get a replacement 7850 or If I buy a 7870 with the refund money and still have the same problems). Before packing the box to send the card back I will try the other PCI slot on the mobo. I don't want to flash the BIOS and risk frying up things, my ASUS H87 is brand new, I think newer than the GPU, and the whole computer worked fine with the previous 6670 card. RAM should be ok too.

I have tried catalyst 13.1, 13.12, and 12.6 with the same results. One interesting thing is that fallout, when auto-detecting specs, sets the game setting to medium quality, which I find hilarious but leads me to believe that the card is indeed the culprit. Needless to say that I could play at ultra high with the 6670.

For powering the card I am using the pci-e extension from the PSU not the double molex to 6-pin that came with the card and judging from my devices i shouldnt be using more than 350-375 W at highest loads.

Once again any thoughts, suggestions or expertise would be greatly appreciated.
Happy new year folks :) 
It's gonna be a good one...
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January 2, 2014 3:17:10 AM

This is gonna be my last day before I RMA and I wanted to see If there's anything I can try. From my reading and foruming I have gathered that's it's probably a VRAM issue. I know it's kinda cheating to bring the thread back up on top but I was hoping some nice geeky knowledgeable people would have a look at my tragedy (since they were busy partying for new year's and such) :) 
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January 3, 2014 2:22:54 AM

I have packed the card and I'm ready to ship it. The retailer offers to replace the card, give me a full refund or send another card (and I'll just pay the difference). I just noticed that almost all cards are 7-10€ cheaper if I get the 2gb version instead of the 1gb. Same model either OC or not, full retail or lite retail... The same card, 2gb is cheaper. Stands for MSI, Sapphire, ASUS etc.. What the hell is going on here??
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January 3, 2014 2:27:36 AM

Jimmy Gibbs Jr said:
I have packed the card and I'm ready to ship it. The retailer offers to replace the card, give me a full refund or send another card (and I'll just pay the difference). I just noticed that almost all cards are 7-10€ cheaper if I get the 2gb version instead of the 1gb. Same model either OC or not, full retail or lite retail... The same card, 2gb is cheaper. Stands for MSI, Sapphire, ASUS etc.. What the hell is going on here??


People just dont make 1 gb cards any more so they are harder to acquire. Thats why they are more expensive just go with the 2 gb and get a factory oc if you can :) 
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January 5, 2014 8:43:47 AM

I am inclined to blame the MSI OC version (or that one particular card which was probably a dodgy individual). If the Sapphire 7850 non-OC (arriving on Monday) is also iffy I suppose it's either my mobo compatibility with the 7850 series or some sort of thing that I haven't figured out yet (drivers, BIOS...I doubt it's my PSU it's OCZ 600W, but then again you never know). I shall post on Tuesday again and let you know (those who are interested).

;) 
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January 8, 2014 12:15:05 PM

Sapphire 7850 arrived today. Works like a charm, with latest Catalyst (13.12). Metro 2033 doesn't care if I use DX9 or whatever, It doesn't glitch, Skyrim doesn't glitch, Borderlands doesn't glitch, Fallout auto-detects ultra high setting and .... doesn't glitch. No flickering in firefox. Don't know what else to say. Either that one first card was a dud or you all should stay away from that cheap factory-OCed MSI 7850 2GB. In any case, the new card is flawless and I am a happy man! :) 
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January 22, 2014 10:30:43 PM

Jimmy Gibbs Jr said:
Sapphire 7850 arrived today. Works like a charm, with latest Catalyst (13.12). Metro 2033 doesn't care if I use DX9 or whatever, It doesn't glitch, Skyrim doesn't glitch, Borderlands doesn't glitch, Fallout auto-detects ultra high setting and .... doesn't glitch. No flickering in firefox. Don't know what else to say. Either that one first card was a dud or you all should stay away from that cheap factory-OCed MSI 7850 2GB. In any case, the new card is flawless and I am a happy man! :) 


Nice man enjoy your new glitch free card :p 
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