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X1900XTX "frame" hop, yet FPS remain consistent?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 29, 2006 7:37:59 PM

Greetings all!

I have been confounded ever since I installed my new Sapphire Radeon X1900XTX with an unexplainable and dizzying framerate glitch.

In all 3D rendering situations that I have so far seen, there is a very consistent "frame hop" that occurs every second, and it makes me dizzy.

Here is why the issue turns into a paradox.

If I monitor the actual frames per second or benchmark, my system performs outstandingly. If I turn on Vsync, thereby limiting the PFS to 60fps on my LCD's, it diligently sticks with that framerate. Yet, I still see hops in the rendering.

I've seen similar problems to this before with other video cards, and it has always been an LCD timing issue. Usually corrected by checking the option to reduce the DVI frequency at higher resolutions. I have tried it with this and without. Does not make a difference.

The car and the signs passing it being rendered on the catalyst control center display this unusual hop, the directX test in dxdiag that shows that spinning cube hops as well. Every game I have hops like this, without actually dropping frames. This occurs on both of my LCD monitors as well, one is a Sharp LLT-2015, and the other is a Dell 2405 FPW.

But what is interesting is I do not get these hops in the ATI demos. They are smooth as can be. The ATI demos I refer to are the ones I have recieved with previous ATI cards I purchased before this one. I have tried DebevecRNL, Rachel, Pipedreams, CarPaint and BearFur. They are all I can find that runs flawlessly.

It's very unusual to see such dizzying hops in 3DMark2001 yet the FPS stays consistent, haha. :) 

I have tried Catalyst 6.2 and 6.3. I have tried both Windows XP and XP-64 on fresh reformatted installs with selective startup enabled. All driver settings, even the lowest quality highest performance settings all produce identical effects in 3D rendering situations. Could this just be two bad DVI ports on this card? I doubt it could be a power issue, because I experience no crashes.

As an fyi, my previous Geforce 7800GT did not have this problem, with otherwise identical system specs.

Here are my specs:

Video Card: Sapphire X1900XTX PCI-E
Motherboard: MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra
Processor: Athlon64 FX-53
Memory: CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200)
Sound Card: Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum
Power Supply: ENERMAX EG651P-VE(FMA) ATX 550W
Monitors: Dell 2405FPW and Sharp LLT-2015


Thanks for anyones input, as I have never been this stumped before! :) 
March 29, 2006 8:19:15 PM

Interesting, my X1800XT is smooth and fluid always so far.
March 29, 2006 8:31:05 PM

Try uninstalling the crappy ATI Control Panel. Don't know if its the issue but its full of bugs and is a piece of crap anyway.
March 29, 2006 8:38:19 PM

I have tried removing the catalyst control center, and it does not impact this issue :) 
March 29, 2006 8:40:28 PM

Contact Saphire.
March 29, 2006 8:43:56 PM

One thing to try would be to install the Omega 6.2 Drivers (most current as of today)....Oooooooo, im wrong...the 6.3's are out today !!!

I have always liked these drivers as opposed to the ATi ones because they still incorporate the Ati control panel as opposed to the CCC. Give these a shot and see how you do. Other than that, you should try your card in another PC if its available to you, and see how it does in there. If its still skippy, then RMA it if you can.
March 29, 2006 8:55:05 PM

"I have been confounded ever since I installed my new Sapphire Radeon X1900XTX with an unexplainable and dizzying framerate glitch."

And you are confounded because....???

Next time just pay the extra $50.
March 29, 2006 9:08:09 PM

the extra $50 for what? this is the highest model ATI card out there. Are you saying pay $50 more for a name? :wink:
March 30, 2006 12:01:31 PM

I'm saying pay the extra $50 to get the card from the manufacturer instead of saving a little money by getting a cheap third party card.
March 30, 2006 5:13:00 PM

In this case it's $100 and by your definition, all nVidia cards are cheap third party cards. cmn
March 30, 2006 6:43:42 PM

Quote:
In this case it's $100 and by your definition, all nVidia cards are cheap third party cards. cmn


You are absolutely right, that bit about nvidia cards is hands down one of the smartest things anyone has ever said on these forums.

And you must know it to be true. That's why you are attempting to burn me on the ATI forum, and not the nvidia forum.

And if you want to get technical, it's more like $70 thanks to the $30 rebate on XTX's right now.

Ask the OP if he would pay another $70 bucks on top of the $500 he spent to not have the problems he made this post about. That's what happens when you buy 3rd party ATI cards. They are cheaper for a reason. cmn
March 30, 2006 8:40:13 PM

I am the OP and I'm not trying to burn anyone anywhere. I like ATI stuff better than nVidia, but I just think you overestimate the difference between a 3rd party manufacturer and ATI themselves.

ATI retail boxes come with minimal "goodies" and they're more expensive, and I see no credible reports from hardware reviewers that say the third party cards are, in general, lessened in quality when compared to the ATI-made boards.

edit, inserted thought:

ATI-made cards are more expensive because they do not want to directly compete with and therefore alienate their distribution network, which is the 3rd party manufacturers. ATI learned from nVidia's example that it turns out to be cheaper and easier to widen your market reach by “outsourcing” your actual board production to other companies (mostly Asian manufacturers), and let them take care of most of the logistics of making, packaging, advertising, and distributing the product. The market is that large. Many companies working under your banner makes you stronger and therefore make your products more widely distributable than trying to do it all yourself.

I do not know why, exactly, ATI still insists on making its own line of cards itself. My guess is that that part of the company still turns a profit and factions within it are stubbornly clinging to its pastime, on top of not wanting to have to lay off many good people. But that's of course supposition, as I've never worked there...
March 30, 2006 9:00:07 PM

I can't tell you how many people I know who have bought 3rd party and had problems with it. I've had like 4 or 5 different ATI cards in my life and have never had the slightest problem. That's why I don't buy3rd party. One guy I work with just told me today that he is moving to the ATI x1900xtx because his sapphire 1800 is overheating and having other issues, and partially because he is tired of hearing me brag about mt x1900xtx.
April 4, 2006 7:48:30 AM

I've owned a sapphire card for 2 years now and have never had problems with it, and i'm waiting for my Sapphire X1900xtx :D 
April 17, 2006 3:23:45 PM

I get the same problem too. I've been suspecting it's either a CPU problem, or a motherboard problem.

I have a:

Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego
Gigabyte K8N-Pro SLI
1 gig OCZ 3200 (duel channel)
Soundblaster X-Fi XtremeMusic
Ultra X-Connect 550 Watt

The thing i've noticed is that in games, i get this "frame hopping" prob. However, in tech demos, like the Ruby one for the 1800, or 3DMark05, everything is smooth as silk. Very interesting.

The games i have tried are Far Cry, Call of Duty 2, Quake 4, Unreal Tournament. I've tried different combinations of ingame settings, and in CCC. I have used all drivers with clean installs from Cat 6.2, everything from the official release, to Omega's, to Driverheaven's. And same as you...even with everything at their absolute lowest settings, I still get "hopping".

Understand that the games ARE playable...but just not smooth. The only time i do see smooth frame rates are when you walk down narrow hallways.

I hope someone knows what's up ^_^;.

btw...all my drivers are up to date.
April 17, 2006 4:07:08 PM

I was about to querry your CPU spec, until I saw your sig. Funny in deed. What's the chances of an NForce4 mobo being anti ATi?
April 17, 2006 4:35:06 PM

I experienced exactly this problem with my system - I have an Athlon X2 4400+ and an overclocked eVGA 7800 GTX. When I ran the FEAR frame rate test, the rendering would skip every second or so, but the skipping did not show up in the frame rate measurements. I realized the computer was paging during the skips--somehow time spent swapping data to the hard drive was completely ignored by the game!

The solution was to upgrade from 1GB to 2GB of RAM. FEAR now runs flawlessly for me.
April 17, 2006 4:41:09 PM

Well i just wrote myself ... about this .-.! as i,m getting the same problem too ..i have just bought the xtx... and when i play americas army (online Game ) it works ,but the fram rate is unreal... it go "Minus" -10 to -60 fps and if i log out and log back in again the frame rate goes from 60 to 240 fps.... i,m going to call my seller tomorrow when the shop opens again as i have tried many thing to try and get it working but nothing has so far.
April 17, 2006 4:47:03 PM

Funny you should mention Sapphire being a bad company, because from everything I have ever seen - Sapphire builds ATi's reference cards.

I'll try to look for a link to back that up today - I just know I've read it from a few credible sources.
April 17, 2006 4:59:12 PM

Quote:
Funny you should mention Sapphire being a bad company, because from everything I have ever seen - Sapphire builds ATi's reference cards.

I'll try to look for a link to back that up today - I just know I've read it from a few credible sources.


Don't worry about that guy. He's just an emotional ATI fanboy with little rational reason for his words. :) 

Anyway, I've solved my frame-hop problem. I replaced my nForce4 motherboard with the ASUS ATI Xpress 3200 Crossfire motherboard, the A8R32-MVP Deluxe.

I also replaced my power supply with the ENERMAX Liberty ELT620AWT to run a crossfire setup. I unfortunately do not know which solved the problem. I wasnt about to try my old PSU with this new crossfire setup.

Anyways, this weird frame hop is gone, in and out of crossfire mode.
April 17, 2006 5:03:20 PM

Good to hear that you got it resolved. For my money, I'd say it was the PSU. I've built a few systems with x1900-series cards on nForce-4 boards and not had the problem you experienced.

By the way - I love the Enermax Liberty - good choice on that one!
April 17, 2006 5:04:48 PM

yup, saphire builds some of ati's cards. They are one of the companies that ati leverages when they are short on product.

for above: ccc is not the issue. Mine runs flawless, no hops at all. fluid.

@ Vokofpolisiekar:
nforce is not anti-ati... in fact maximumPC has some #'s that show ati runs slightly faster on nv mobos than their own chipsets... meaning there are no "cheats" that kill other brand hardware in the mobo. Just FYI, I know you were only speculating. ;) 
!