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Please help me diagnose a video problem - Gainward 8800GTS 512mb

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 17, 2008 9:00:10 PM

I've got a bit of a running problem with my PC. Before I start, here's my specs:

Intel e6600 Core 2 Duo
MSI 945P Neo 3 mobo
3GB 667 DD2 RAM
Gainward 8800GTS 512mb graphics card
80GB SATA HDD
Windows XP - Service pack 3

As far as I can tell, the problem stems from since I bought the graphics card from another forum, a couple of months ago. At the time however I thought Crysis was just buggy (it was the only game I used with it for several weeks) - but now using Crysis Warhead and Warhammer Online, I get similar issues.

The problem is that without any rhyme or reason, I will get my graphics corrupted in a variety of different ways. In Crysis and Crysis Warhead the effects can be varied, but tend to involve the whole 3D aspect of the screen being replaced by lurid colours and shapes. They're not the same as what I got a few years ago with an overheating ATi card - they completely replace everything. It's a very psychedelic sort of thing, like you're on acid or something - but there's not the sort of twitchey polygons and flashing shapes I've seen before with overheating. It covers the whole screen and replaces everything. The weird thing is that I retain the HUD without corruption - occasionally the ammo numbers are replaced with coloured rectangles, but generally the radar and stuff remains intact. I've tried to get a screen shot but it always comes out as a totally white screen with the HUD over the top. Once or twice I've been able to identify the graphical weirdness as massively zoomed in textures from things like guns, peoples faces, and objects. Weird.

In Warhammer Online, I've found a less complete version of the same issue. Instead of the whole screen being replaced, I get large patches of the ground, the sky, and buildings as random textures or bright pink. Literally a square of grass texture is replaced by a tiled series of shield textures, or elf faces. And they change as you move. I've also found my character lose his textures and appear transparent, or appear to have had his skin peeled off.

In both Crysis and WAR, i've found that I could be playing for an hour, a minute, 30 seconds, all afternoon... the weirdness will suddenly appear without warning or reason. It can be within moments of turning the PC on or after 6hours. Generally it then has a little spasm and does it several times in a few minutes.

I've been playing World of Warcraft a bit recently too, and it has started doing a similar trick - mainly isolated textures with solid colours like bright blue or black. It picks one texture, say a particular roof texture and then replaces them all. It has also done a similar thing to Crysis and WAR.

I have found that by simply CTRL-ESC back Windows, and then immediately clicking the game on the task bar, it will clear the issue instantly. Again. Very odd.

Nothing is overclocked, and every driver is up to date (mobo, GPU, Windows).

Temperatures (via GPU-z and MSI Monitoring software)?

GPU - 55c-ish under load in Crysis
CPU - 25-ishc under load in Crysis

Doesn't seem too hideous to me.

Voltages?

Vcore = 1.3v
3.3v = 3.3v
+5v = 4.94v
+12v = 11.68v

Here's a couple of screenies of what I get in WAR - not the same as Crysis though:



This one shows the way it adds rectangles around the HUD numbers:



This one is from World of Warcraft:



I've also run 3DMark a few times with no issues at all - not even a flicker of the problem. I also ran this VRAM error checker: http://mikelab.kiev.ua/index.php?page=PROGRAMS/vmt_en with not a hint of a problem either.

Any clues?

October 18, 2008 4:57:50 AM

Sounds like a bad card.
October 21, 2008 2:40:35 PM

I have good news and bad news. Bad news first, I don't have a resolution to this issue you are having. Good news: I am also having this issue and maybe we can eliminate some possibilities that I tried.

Intel E8200 2.6 45nm Core 2 Duo
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L
2GB Kingston HyperX 1066 DDR2
EVGA 8800GTS 512MB Video Card
250GB Sata @ 7200rpm
Windows XP - Service Pack 3

All my drivers are up to date, that is DirectX 9c, the latest Nvidia driver (178.24) etc.
In addition I came from Vista because I had a similar problem and thought going to XP would solve my last issue. With Vista I had "Display driver stopped responding and has successfully recovered".

Here is a link to what I have been through so far in my WAR Guild Forum.
My name is Thendrik.
http://thecrusadeofshadows.com/index.php/topic,544.0.ht...

I should also note that after reading this forum last night I went ahead and tried a different video card.
I borrowed my roommate's EVGA 8800GT and guess what...? The same issue occurred just as fast as it would have if it was my 8800GTS

I am out of ideas.
Here is video of what we are experiencing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLfjlBgrSO4
October 21, 2008 5:39:28 PM

Thanks for the reply. Interesting we share the same graphics cards, and have similar issues. That Youtube video is exactly what I get, although it's not what happens in other games.

Fingers crossed however, I think I might have cured it. I put in a new, decent quality 500watt power supply to replace my old 550Watt Q-Tec model. Now, after three pretty full days of gaming in WoW and Crysis, I've had no issues at all - touch wood. I can now exit games without needing to restart the PC, and I've had no graphical corruption at all. I've not tried Warhammer though.

Maybe borrow or buy a good supply (unless you have one already). I only did it as it was cheaper than a new graphics card to match my GTS.
!