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Display showing yellow and blue dots

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 15, 2008 8:25:40 AM

Hi all,

I have a Gainward 8800GT Golden Sample 1GB Graphics Card and it has now developed a massive problem where it displays yellow dots or blue dots all over the screen.

You would think this is due to overheating, but let me explain how it happened.


I was running 180.48 drivers and all games have been working fine (Crysis, Assassins Creed, Far Cry 2, Fallout 3, Grid). I get GTA IV and I've been playing that for about a week with no really problems (texture pops and the like but i think they're game bugs anyway).

Then last night I was on a mission where I can fly a helicopter, so I thought I'd take a fly around. Anyway as I was flying all these pink dots appeared on screen and the game crashed, then my computer went black and I had to restart it.

Upon restarting it the bios boot screen (memory checks, etc) had all yellow dots over the screen. I thought that the card had overheated or something, so I thought let it cool down and see how it goes.

I leave it to cool for about an hour, but still yellow dots on start up.

So I take the card out, give the heat sink a good dust clean up, put it back in and still yellow dots.

So I booted into safe mode and removed the drivers (not that it could be a driver issue I dont think as the yellow dots appear right at computer power on)

anyway, then I restarted the computer back into normal mode to allow vista to download the drivers again, which it did. But then the computer crashed, so I thought must be the card that is broken.

The I tried the 8800GT in a different PCI-e slot in my computer to make sure the slot was ok, but the other slot still showed up the yellow dots.

So I then tried my other computer (my media center) on the monitor just to check the monitor is fine and the monitor is ok.

Then I took the graphics card from my media center (ATI 2400HD) and put it in my main computer, and no yellow dots. So I think yeah the graphics card must be broken.

At this point I've decided to RMA the graphics card as I'm certain its broken. So I put the 8800GT back in the main computer to get some photos of the error as proof (just in case when I RMA it they argue that its fine).

Turn the computer on and the yellow dots have gone!!! The computer is working fine, no graphic glitches at all! I just dont understand it. This is running on the Nvidia 178 drivers (that vista download). So I think "I have no idea how, but the problem is fixed!"

I then download the 180.48 drivers again off the nvidia web site and upon restart the problem is back! Which means I was able to get my photos of the problem anyway smile.gif


I'm not sure whats going on though, I've checked the card temp and its only 46'C which is nice and cool!

Also what I don't understand is why GTA IV has caused this, and I know that sounds over the top and silly, but when I'm playing Crysis and its getting graphically challenging, you can hear the GPU fan kick in to high (to do its job of cooling). GTA IV never makes the fan kick in on high! So if GTA IV has been heating up the card with its graphic demands then why hasnt the driver forced the fan to do its cooling?!

Anyway, I'd really like someone to offer any more info on this issue as I really don't understand what's happened.

Here are the screenshots of my dots.


December 15, 2008 8:38:06 AM

increase the fan speed and lower the clocks by 50mhz each. then see.
December 15, 2008 8:42:58 AM

Yes, but I shouldn't have to up my fan speeds or lower my clock speeds. The card has been working perfectly fine up until the GTA IV.

I can try changing the speeds and see what happens, but I really shouldnt have to.
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December 15, 2008 8:52:50 AM

Just stick with the drivers that vista downloaded from the MS update site. Sounds like something with the newer drivers combined with the way GTAIV uses the drivers. It's obviously not the card if rolling back the drivers fixes the issue.
December 15, 2008 8:55:00 AM

No, because I've had the 180.48 drivers for ages (before I even had GTA IV) and I had no problems whatsoever with them.

This is card damage I think, but I cant see how the card has been put into a situation where it can become damaged.

If the GPU is getting too hot then the fan should kick in (like it does on Crysis).
December 15, 2008 10:20:01 AM

I've seen this problem with graphic cards before. The first I seen was an ATI 9800 atlantis card, and it had the same exact thing. (I'm serious. Same exact.) Then had the problem again with a customers Nvida 7800. It wasnt due to heat problems or drivers. It was just simply a malfunctioning card.

I'd continue your RMA process, and get it replaced.
December 15, 2008 10:22:05 AM

Oh, and I think it's about time for an overclock on that CPU. :p 
December 15, 2008 10:22:43 AM

I'm just confused as to why GTA IV seemed to prompt this problem. Maybe it's just coincidence.
December 15, 2008 10:23:50 AM

curnel_D said:
Oh, and I think it's about time for an overclock on that CPU. :p 


Yeah it's begging for an overclock :)  I've got a Huge Zippang cooler on it too!
December 15, 2008 5:19:53 PM

Yeah this is a heating issue. I had a 4850 and after about a week of using it to play farcry 2 it started overheating and doing this off and on. So I just RMAed it and got a 4870.
!