Well this one has me completely stumped. A friend gave me his old Sapphire Radeon X850 XT after upgrading to a new card, so I threw it in my rig. After installing the latest version of Catalyst, I tried demoing a couple of WMV HD videos just to see if everything was tip-top. Well, I got a mess of snow and red and blue pixels - the kind of artifacts you'd expect when things are getting a little too toasty inside.
I tried reinstalling the card a couple of times, and one time I ran the WMV HD video BEFORE installing the card (XP detected its presence, but I didn't give it any drivers). Worked like a charm. Picture was crystal clear. Every time I install Catalyst, or just the bare display drivers, the thing goes haywire, but with no drivers it is just fine. Any idea what could cause such a thing? Should I try to find an old version of Catalyst or something?
This probably is a bit of a silly pursuit, but it's just bugging the heck out of me that I can't get it to work properly. I'm holding out for Black Friday to see what prices on the 4850X2 look like (if it's out by then), or maybe even the 4870X2, but in the mean time, I really want to play through Doom 3 again and I'd love to get this little guy into some action.
I'd agree that the behavior of the card suggests it's on the way out, but I literally plucked this from a 100% stable install a couple of days ago. My friend was playing Crysis on low settings with no trouble whatsoever last week on this card. Furthermore, the fact that I can get 720p and 1080p video to play with no artifacting or issues when the drivers are not installed, but see noise all over the place when they are makes me think I'm looking at a software issue.
I'll go ahead and throw some old drivers on it this afternoon when I get home. Any suggestions on a good release? Looking at some early reviews of the card, it looks like people were running 5.4 or thereabouts.
I had an Asus GeForce (yes, the original one!) that had this same problem... try as I might, I never could get it to work correctly with the driver installed, but it outputted video correctly using the standard Windows driver.
It's my understanding that a video card will use considerably more power when the proper driver is loaded (in other words, it's actually using the hardware functions of the card) So it's at least worth looking into to see if a different PSU (if you have one handy) will clear that up... failing that, it looks like you've got a bad card.
I can't even begin to comprehend what's going on with this card now. So I've installed, uninstalled, reinstalled pulled the card, put it back in, tried different driver versions and finally a friend of mine just said he'd give me a 9600xt to hold me over until Black Friday, when I will have saved some money and can look for some deals on a 4870 or some other such thing.
Long story long, my buddy came over and before I swapped in the 9600xt, he wanted me to show him what it was doing since the x850xt was his as well and it had been working for him. I go, "well there are white dots and blocks of red and blue pixels whenever I play video or look at pictures." So I throw on the exact same video I'd seen artifacts on that morning when I was fiddling with it and... nothing. Not a single artifact. Looked pristine. I put on 3DMark05... worked beautifully. I proceeded to use it all evening with no trouble whatsoever.
Now how the heck could the thing be giving me so much trouble and then just a few hours later, WITHOUT turning it off or doing anything except letting it sit there at the desktop for 4 or 5 hours, it shows no signs of trouble??? I'm just going to keep my fingers crossed that it sorted itself out (whatever that means). I didn't have any games loaded, but tonight I'll see if Doom 3, Quake 4 or Far Cry can upset it.
Thanks for the tips, friends. I'm not sure we've figured much out, but it's been good to have some folks along for the ride.