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Heat issues?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 12, 2006 5:21:07 AM

Okay.
So a buddy of mine just got a new graphics card.
ATI Radeon x1800xl.
And all of the sudden, it's beginning to freeze up on him, and just splashes garbage onto the screen momentarily, goes black, resets, and brings up an error message. The game is still running though.
His card temp apparently is at 65C.
Is it overheating, or what?
Any help would be great.

More about : heat issues

August 12, 2006 6:11:56 AM

@ 65C? Heat problem - neg. Unless thats idle temp.

Might be something else...
August 12, 2006 6:56:20 AM

Do you have a PSU that could handle it? If not, that may be the problem.
Related resources
August 12, 2006 7:22:06 AM

the first thing you should check is the driver, make sure it is the most up to date.
August 12, 2006 7:55:59 AM

What wattage is the PSU, this is a very heavy card power wise!
August 12, 2006 7:46:29 PM

He does have the latest drivers. He updated them when it first started happening.

It idles usually at around 55-60C. I'm still new to the whole hardware stuff, so let me know.

http://www.supermetroidclassic.com/screeny.JPG (image of his temps and some other settings)

His PSU wattage is 450. Thanks everyone.
August 12, 2006 11:21:21 PM

EDIT: Added system specs below.

Hi guys, I'm the one with the problem here and I'll give more specifics.

My card ( ATI Radeon X1800XL) arrived 2 days ago, and I installed it properly. Everything seemed to be working fine with the default drivers provided with the card. I even spent a few hours playing WoW with absolutely no problems whatsoever.

The following day I went to play again and for most of the morning it ran fine, up until it crashed for the fisrt time. Thinking it was a small driver error, I updated the software with the newest from ATI's site ( With the Catalyst 6.7 package ). Another couple hours later it crashed again, and then in a smaller space of time yet another crash occurred.

Now by crash, I don't mean system crash or anything. what happens specifically is this:
The video in the game freezes for a minute.
Then, a blank screen is produced and my monitor informs me there is no signal for a split second. Occasionally junk will appear on the screen momentarily as well.
Afterwards, Catalyst informs me that there was an error and that my card has been reset. The game is still running and I send the error report.

I recently updated my mobo drivers and cleaned up the spagetti in my case by moving wiring around a bit for more air flow, but without any luck. I went maybe 15 minutes in-game before it crashed and reset, which is a significantly shorter amount of time than before.

The current temperatures that the card seems to run are this:
Current: 50 deg Celcius
Last Desktop Session: 58 deg Celcius average
Last Gaming Session: Went up to around 65 deg Celcius max

I have requested help from ATI as well, but their first response was to update everything and then try minor fixes which I do not have (No bios setting for video caching-AGP only? And SMARTGART does not show up in the Catalyst control panel to disable Fastswitching ).

I will be mailing them back as well.

System Specifications:
Mobo: ECS RX480-A, Socket 939
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3800+
RAM: 2GB PC3200 Dual channel
OS: Windows XP Home SP2

Average system temp: 30-40 deg Celcius
Average CPU temp: 40-50 deg Celcius
( These I can only view in the BIOS as I don't have any active monitoring facilities )
August 15, 2006 2:31:25 PM

No responses? *bump*
ATI hasn't responed either...

I also opened the case and used a household fan just blowing on the graphics card. For the time I tested it, I had no problems, but just the other day when I went to try it without the open case and fan, it crashed within an hour.

Somehow, with the open case, ATI's temperature readings were basically unchanged. Under load it went from 65-70 Celcius but it didn't crash, which is the same temps that it said it had before. Is the default monitoring in the Catalyst Control Panel inaccurate? Do I just need more cooling then?
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2006 4:45:06 PM

Doesn't sound like heat for either, sounds like a power issue on both.

The 450W PSU of the first poster sounds like the problem unless it's by a bulletproof company like PC Power&Cooling.

Yours sounds the same.

Those temps aren't high and the reset sounds like a power reset (done by the PSU to avoid frying stuff, but don't keep doing it because it does stress a system).

If you have everest check your PSU health especially while gaming and especially after crashing check the temps.
August 15, 2006 5:24:24 PM

Just so you know...it's the same problem, jax was referring to me.

I'll give everest a try later then. Though it seems kind of odd for a PSU failure since everything else continues running. Would the power reset be somehow specific to the graphics card? It receives power through a molex chain, in which case, wouldn't other devices on the chain fail due to the reset?

Still doesn't explain how it has successfully run without crashes twice using the open case and household fan. Though admittedly extensive testing has not been performed in such a case and the crash seems to be relatively random.
August 15, 2006 5:31:17 PM

I would say that maybe power supply on both but jax_spades image has nvidia running and ati on the background. Wouldn’t that affect the driver also? I'm not but these guys here might know more about that.

If haven’t done it yet, and you previously uninstalled nvidia card from you system then you should uninstall the driver using drivers uninstaller from NVIDIA to clean the driver properly.
August 15, 2006 5:37:32 PM

Again, there is only 1 computer in question here, the image posted by jax_spades is a shot of my desktop. Yeah it's got nvidia running in the background...for an nvidia card no less. I have an old Geforce4 PCI card that I'm using temporarily while the X1800 XL is acting up. I suitably swap between them as required. Pretty sure that's not going to be the problem, as I installed the nvidia card following problems with the X1800 XL.
August 15, 2006 5:48:08 PM

Which exact psu is it?

This might be a case of both heat and power, what case with how many case fans do you have?
August 15, 2006 5:58:04 PM

Sorry about that CrimesonJustice. But like the guys here I would still think that it's the power supply. Given your discription.
August 15, 2006 6:04:45 PM

The exact PSU is unknown to me at the moment, but I can get specifics tonight. I can say that it came with the case, so it would likely be some generic brand.

I don't know the specific case details either, I bought it locally. As for fans, I bleive there are two, though there may only be one and I'll have to check tonight.

I was thinking of trying the ATI Tray Tools and setting the fan speed, as well as maybe picking up a slot cooler and an extra fan for the case. I'll probably get an extra fan anyway, even if heat isn't the problem.

Still I would like to know (because I'm not well versed in this, any experts?) how the power supply would cause the error exactly while leaving other devices on the molex chain intact (cd and hard drive are on the same chain I believe, one of them to be sure). Is it just dumbing down the power supply, causing the video card to have an insufficient amount of power to run in a heavy load environment?

Also, since the card has a (12 volt?) additional plug that it has attached via a molex adaptor, does it draw most power from this while still drawing some from the motherboard or what? Maybe these last questions are a bit more technical than normal, but I'd like to know either way.
August 15, 2006 6:16:06 PM

There's another one more way to check if its power issue. Connect 1 rail of power line just of the video card. And the next rail to power your HD, and the rest. And then try to disable as much hardware as you can just for testing, like your case fan.

Then try to find a crack for that game that does not let you require the cd/dvd drive to play the game. So you can disconnect the optical drive to see if that’ll we give enough power for the video card.
August 15, 2006 7:06:30 PM

Sounds reasonable, I'll give it a go tonight. It doesn't need the cd/dvd or anything, So I'll be able to hook up just the hard drive and the graphics card. As for the fan...it probably won't make much of a difference but I'll do that too.

Supposing it fails still, would there be any reason to doubt the PSU at that point? I mean one would think the PSU would be capable to run the simple setup alone, even for a generic brand.
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2006 7:07:43 PM

Quote:

I'll give everest a try later then. Though it seems kind of odd for a PSU failure since everything else continues running.


It's not a failure so much as dirty power, it will basically reset the VPU if it's not getting enough clean power.

Quote:
Still doesn't explain how it has successfully run without crashes twice using the open case and household fan.


Well since PSUs provide less power the hotter they themselves get, could be even the PSU needed better clean cool air. But you're asking people to trouble shoot from 1000s of miles away, really you should be taking it to a service centre if these quick fixes people offer don't fix it.

Quote:
Though admittedly extensive testing has not been performed in such a case and the crash seems to be relatively random.


And until you check them thoroughly, you'll be basically poking at the next best possible cause, until you elimintae them, at which point you're going to have to have it checked more throroughly by someone else with better tools.

These suggestions are based on , here's what you're displaying as a problem it matches this scenario most of all, but without you testing then it's just a shot in the dark. But if the PSU is 'unknown' and is a small Wattage rating then it's a likely suspect.
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2006 7:12:39 PM

Quote:
Again, there is only 1 computer in question here, the image posted by jax_spades is a shot of my desktop. Yeah it's got nvidia running in the background...for an nvidia card no less. I have an old Geforce4 PCI card that I'm using temporarily while the X1800 XL is acting up. I suitably swap between them as required. Pretty sure that's not going to be the problem, as I installed the nvidia card following problems with the X1800 XL.


REMOVE nVIDIA drivers!

You never run the drivers of the two companies on one rig and expect gaming stability. Run that PCI card as a standard PCI card using just the basic Windows drivers. Even for multi-monitor setups it's best to run one driver for your primary and then let windows run the second card.

Get DriverCleanerPro and blast out all remnants of nV. Sticky old drivers cause massive stability issues for both ATi and nV.
August 15, 2006 7:55:26 PM

As to my knowledge I don't think Everest is still downloadable since they drop the support for home version. Unless he already have it.

I use the Lavalys Everest Home Edition my self but I think PC Wizard just as good. I wonder do you know any other utility tool software for free?

He can try the trials from Lavalys, Ultimate Edition but I'm not sure if it has less or more options since I haven't tried it my self.
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2006 8:10:25 PM

Quote:
As to my knowledge I don't think Everest is still downloadable since they drop the support for home version. Unless he already have it.


*In my best Agent Mulder voice*
The file is out there.

It might not tell him what he needs, but it will give him more information without having to use true diagnostic tools.
August 15, 2006 8:13:21 PM

Well thanks for the replies guys. I'll give a couple of things a try tonight which will hopefully solve or at least narrow down the problem.
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2006 8:39:07 PM

Quote:
Great site:

http://www.oldversion.com/


Yep, just the kinda site I was talking about. SweEet, add another to my favourites list. 8)

ALSO if he wants the full corp version the are other way too. :twisted:
August 15, 2006 9:50:22 PM

Thanks, That is a nice site.
August 15, 2006 10:07:55 PM

Quote:
ALSO if he wants the full corp version the are other way too. :twisted:


I'm curios but I’m not going to ask. :D 


Before I use alcohol for my games, so I don't have to use the See Dee.
Now I just look for cracks ever since I got hook on it. :p 
August 15, 2006 10:12:10 PM

All I need now is grandtheif auto to restrain my self from purchasing new game.
. :twisted:
August 16, 2006 9:15:10 AM

I severely doubt the CD/DVD drive will make a difference.

In fact, given the way that modern PSU's balance load detaching drives may actually *decrease* the power available on the +12v rail.

I'd suggest ordering a new PSU from a company that has a good returns policy. It will give you piece of mind to check that.

Have you also updated your motherboard BIOS? Often compatibility for newer cards is introduced in later BIOS fixes?

For instance, the early editions of the Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe dont even work properly with 7900series cards out of the box!
August 16, 2006 2:21:48 PM

Well I don't know how much of a difference unplugging my CD and DVD drives did, but the card ran fairly well. I also removed all traces of the nVidia driver, so that may have helped. For the 2-3 hours last night I played, it ran reasonably well.

If I can find a good power supply with a higher wattage at a reasonable price, I think I'll upgrade it anyway, and a slot cooler would be good anyway as well. Even though the specific problem wasn't/isn't clear the liittle upgrades probably won't hurt.

Also, I did update my BIOS, it was one of the first things I thought of.

Thanks for all the help, and if I have any more problems I'll be sure to ask.
August 20, 2006 1:04:25 AM

Well just today I went out and bought another psu. This one's a 520 Watt sucker that's made for dual PCIe cards and such. If power's the problem, it can't even handle the one =/. The card's still crashing after random usage in 3d applications, not just World of Warcraft. My friend gave me Doom 3 and it also has the same problem: "VPU Recover has reset your graphics accelerator because it was not responding to commands", or something approximatly like that.

I got a couple fans as well to cool the system and got those in to help as well, but alas, still no luck.

ATI is taking forever to diagnose the problem, and it's really getting quite annoying. Sometimes it goes hours without problems, and then others it will go for only a couple minutes. It doesn't matter what settings a game is running at, 640x480 with minumum quality or 1280x1024 with all the settings maxed out, it still dies.

I guess if you guys can't think of something I'll have to wait until ATI responds. If I knew things were going so bad I would have picked something with a good return policy =(.
August 20, 2006 7:20:50 AM

Hey how is your card running?
I also have a heat issue too but i have 7900gt.
August 20, 2006 10:00:40 AM

I get something like that happening when I overclock my x600. if your card is factory overclocked, then try bringing it down to stock or even underclocking it if it is/isn't. If it stops when it does that, then you can safely say that your card is t3h suck and you should RMA it.
August 20, 2006 5:45:37 PM

It hasn't even been unlocked =(.

Yesterday I was trying to overclock it just using the overclocking stuff in ATI Tray Tools, but it wouldn't let me underclock it.
September 4, 2006 4:14:47 AM

Sorry for late reply, I was away for awhile.

It seems like you have more problem that I suspect.

If you haven’t done these yet try to check every connection on the system which might not be the case but what would you got to loose. Then try a clean install of the Operating System and updates to a different drive if you have extra. Next install just the games and don’t try to overclock anything yet and try stress test like 3dmark. If the games work fine then its driver issue. If it's not, then might be hardware issue.

I know it's a long shot but you've been waiting this long for an answer from ATI, why not try few things more your self. I understand your frustrations and I sympathize with you. Good Luck.
September 4, 2006 4:27:23 AM

One more thing, make sure your computer is not connected to anything else but the power outlet and make sure plugs are in tight. Ground loop may also an issue but highly unlikely, but for this one, you’re just eliminating the possibilities.
September 4, 2006 4:51:07 AM

I'm late to this, but want to add my two cents. Sounds like a driver issue to me.
Make sure you clean your system of any old drivers before putting new ones in.
Could be a combo of weak psu and drivers, especially since the symptoms seem to be pointing in several directions.
Best of luck.
September 4, 2006 5:54:03 AM

Well I have been talking with ATI and they said to test it in a friend's machine to see if it is hardware or just my system. He has a pretty good setup. Excellent cooling and a 600 watt PSU. His system was already runing a x800 GTO2. Once we got it installed and downloaded all the newest drivers it ran great in desktop and such. we started up Doom 3 and started playing. In 10 minutes it reset with the same old "VPu Recover has reset your graphics accelerator because it was not responding to commands" or whatever.

ATI support has instructed me to request an RMA. I guess I'll be sending it out on Tuesday morning once I get everything together.
September 4, 2006 2:34:56 PM

Good thinking. Glad you got that figured out. (Now why didn't I think of that... :(  )
!