Possible mobo/video card problem?

Well this seems like a fairly knowledgable place to ask a question, actually several questions, so here goes. I decided to invest in a Radeon 9800XT card a little while back (Asus card if it makes a difference) and it seemed to be working fine. The Asus SmartDoctor monitoring utility however, says my AGP slot voltage is too low (the extra power connector from the power supply is fine). It wants it at 3.3V, but that doesn't seem to make sense because as I understand it, AGP 2X is 3.3V and AGP4X/8X is 1.5V. The board I have only does up to 4X so maybe it's picking up the slot incorrectly. Now I SHOULD have a board that fully supports my nice new card anyway, so my first question is does the jump from 4X to 8X make a noticable difference in performance? Particularly in newer games (like, oh say, Doom 3) that really push the card hard.

The second part is after using the card for a little while, I noticed that occassionally when WinXP boots up, there are discoloured vertical lines across the desktop. They don't appear until the desktop comes up, and the signal to the monitor actually goes blank between the WinXP loading screen and the desktop for about 10 seconds. If I reboot, they go away and they only appear occassionally. I thought it might be the display drivers (I'm using Catalyst 4.7s) since they didn't appear until the desktop came up, but I'm not sure. Now just recently, when playing Doom 3 I notice red and white speckles appearing across the screen and flickering a lot. As far as I can tell, this only happens in Doom 3 and only in the game or the main menu, not when looking at the PDAs for instance, so I'm not sure if this is a Doom 3 issue or something else.

Anyway, putting together the speckles in Doom 3 and the occassional vertical lines on the desktop, a friend of mine advised me it was probably a motherboard problem. Basically I'm just looking for other opinions and any insight into this you can give would be greatly appreciated.
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  1. No, there is no noticeable increase in performance by going from AGP 4X to 8X.

    Don't really have an answer for your lines and speckles. Doom 3 seems to stress vid cards in new ways. You might try underclocking your vid card a little bit, see if it gets rid of the artifacts/speckles.

    Mobile XP 2600+ (11X200)
    Abit NF7-S v 2.0
    Maxtor 60GB ATA 133 7200RPM
    512MB Corsair Twinx 3200LL
    BBA 9800 Pro
    Enermax Noisetaker 420 watts
  2. Yeah, searching around it seems other people are having the same problem. I loaded up the Omega drivers and downed the clock speed on my graphics card memory a bit and it reduced the problem greatly, but didn't quite eliminated it. Then I also downed the resolution to 800x600 and that seemed to fix the problem pretty completely. I never knew what those speckles were in the first place! You learn something new everyday. :) Thanks for the help.
  3. About your first question, 3.3v is the oldest agp standard, 1X. The smart doctor is just too old. Ignore it.
    I have seen the same marking, generally when a monitor is turning on. Try raising the refresh rate.
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