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4870 1GB screen flicker issue

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 27, 2008 4:17:32 PM

Just assembled a new PC:
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P rev1, Q6600 CPU (OC'd stable @ 3.0GHz), 4GB (2x2GB) G-Skill 1066 RAM, 700W OCZ ModXStream, Powercolor HD 4870 1GB

I am running Vista Ultimate 64bit and using the latest drivers from ATI: Catalyst 8.12 for Vista 64.

CPU temps are in the low-mid 30Cs. GPU temp hovers around 45C-48C. So everything seems normal.

Here is my issue:
My screen flickers a LOT! Under regular use its okay, but anything that requires GPU activity, it starts flickering. For instance, I am using Photoshop CS4 and if I try to simply re-size an image, I get a lot of flicker. OR if I run a Vista screensaver that uses 3D I experience the same random flicker.

ATI Overdrive shows default clock speeds as GPU:780 and Memory:925. (I thought PowerColor had GPU factory OC'd to 800?) :heink: 

Anywho, in the process of diagnosing the issue, I started out w/ the following. Underclock both GPU and Memory to 700 and 900 respectively. Tried a simple resize in PS CS4 and no more flicker! So I incremented the GPU clock to 780 and then 800 in ATI Overdrive, and no issues in either. Then, I incremented the Memory clock to 925 and flicker was back. Brought it down to 900, no flicker. 905, flicker was back......

I ran the 'Auto-Tune' feature, keeping an eye on the temps, and it produced a result of GPU:780 and Mem:1010! :??: 

I tried gaming @ the default speeds of GPU:780 and Mem:925 and the flicker was driving me nuts. Setting Mem to 900 resolves it, however, I can't help but wonder if this is the only work-around, when Powercolor seems to be boasting 800 and 925 and no one else seems to be experiencing this (from my online searching atleast).

Any insight anyone can provide will be greatly appreciated!
December 27, 2008 5:02:15 PM

possibly a heat issue?

i know you said the card runs at 45-48c but look on everest and see what temperature the memio is running at?

when i was experimenting with under/overclocking this single entry showed the highest rate of change.
December 27, 2008 5:47:41 PM

Make sure u have the latest catalyst drivers installed.
Related resources
December 29, 2008 1:29:04 AM

montyuk: Doesn't seem to be a temp issue since I have two separate apps (EasyTune6 and ATI's CCC) both showing the same temp. I downloaded Everest as you suggested (Home Edition) but I can't seem to locate Temps anywhere on it.. when I click on the 'Sensor' node within the menu, nothing shows up.
December 29, 2008 1:40:11 AM

simmah said:
montyuk: Doesn't seem to be a temp issue since I have two separate apps (EasyTune6 and ATI's CCC) both showing the same temp. I downloaded Everest as you suggested (Home Edition) but I can't seem to locate Temps anywhere on it.. when I click on the 'Sensor' node within the menu, nothing shows up.


Nevermind... I downloaded Everest Ultimate and now I see MemIO:49C...

I also found a post on AMD Game Forums that seem to indicate that I'm not the only one experiencing this issue...
http://forums.amd.com/game/messageview.cfm?catid=260&th...

So I guess I'm going to have to leave it at 900 for now, until 8.13 perhaps? :sarcastic: 
December 29, 2008 6:24:32 AM

I don't know dude. The company advertise 925 for the Mem and it's not working. Now you have to downclock it to 900. How long before it starts flickering at 900 or how long before the mem just burns?

I would RMA the product. I know it's a pain now to RMA it but don't forget that it will be more painful when the card just dies and the warranty is over.
December 29, 2008 12:53:39 PM

Hottfuzz: I was actually heading in that direction until I saw the above link on AMD's forums... clearly indicates that there are a lot of folks experiencing the same issue, so it looks like RMA'ing the product might not help :-(
December 31, 2008 11:19:11 AM

im getting flicker with my brand spanking new 4870 1 gb powercolor.

do we have a solution yet?
December 31, 2008 1:35:35 PM

spwal said:
im getting flicker with my brand spanking new 4870 1 gb powercolor.

do we have a solution yet?


Assuming you are already running on Catalyst 8.12, go to Catalyst Control Center, turn on ATI Overdrive, and underclock Memory from 925 to 900. That seems to immediately eliminate the flicker.
December 31, 2008 1:40:17 PM

Hi yes, i have 8.12. I have changed the memory to 900.

Isnt the whole point of spending mad $$ on this card to work it hard???

When can i start getting more out of my investment....

December 31, 2008 1:45:54 PM

spwal said:
Hi yes, i have 8.12. I have changed the memory to 900.

Isnt the whole point of spending mad $$ on this card to work it hard???

When can i start getting more out of my investment....


Aaah.. I get your question now. Although I am in no position to answer it since I am in the same boat as you and am not affiliated with ATI/AMD.

I am just hoping 8.13 or whatever the next iteration is would have better support for memory clock #s higher than stock. I have heard that some people are having success with RivaTuner as well.. I haven't gone that route yet.

If you give RivaTuner a try, please post your experience on here.
December 31, 2008 1:47:01 PM

Thank you very much. I will look into Rivatuner.
January 17, 2009 11:47:58 PM

I recently bought a 1gb Powercolour 4870. i get the flickering also.
i did as instructed turned down the clock to 900mhz.
i rang the company, they know about the issue and told me to wait for a new set of drivers to fix the flickering.
in game, theres no flickering wat so ever, or so little that its not worth worrying about....
SO i came to the conclusion, that if im gonna be running a stupidly high end game id clock it back up, but if im just bumming around in explorer better to leave UNDERclocked at 900mhz.

SUMAMRY:
1gb 4870s in general
900 mhz = no flickering
925mhz = better performance in game, flicking while NOT under load.
January 18, 2009 12:43:32 AM

well i know for a fact without ANY drivers installed (at least on nvidia cards) the screen flickers a lot... just uses basic windows drivers with a low refresh rate.

btw the next drivers will be 9.1 not 8.13... ati makes a new driver every month. 9 being 2009, 1 being the first month. :lol: 

i don't see how higher clocks could cause flicekring butn ot aartifacts though...weird.
January 19, 2009 12:23:31 AM

there are no drivers yet released to fix the flickering. if ur card is clocked it wants to roar.
its liek a car tuned for racing. itll stall if its just left idoling, its tear it up wen racing.
browsing the net is idoling, playing crysis is racing.
Anonymous
January 24, 2009 7:31:45 PM

I have an XFX 4870 1GB and it was clocked at 950 out the box.

I've dropped it down to 925 and still get flicker, but less.

Dropping to 900 seems to fix it.

Temp is 69 degrees using the supplied fan (it was at 50% - seems a little hot - that's just while idling!).

Whacked the fan speed up to 100% and that dropped it to 40 in under a minute, 30 after about 3.

I used to be nVidia for all my cards but was convinced by the reviews for this one and now I'm thinking I should have stayed put...

--------------------
Vista 32, Biostar TPower I45 MB, Core 4 6600, 4gb OCZ Reaper ram, Creative X-Fi Elite Pro, XFX 4870, drivers 8.561, Cat 8.12



January 25, 2009 3:24:44 AM

Quote:
I have an XFX 4870 1GB and it was clocked at 950 out the box.

I've dropped it down to 925 and still get flicker, but less.

Dropping to 900 seems to fix it.

Temp is 69 degrees using the supplied fan (it was at 50% - seems a little hot - that's just while idling!).

Whacked the fan speed up to 100% and that dropped it to 40 in under a minute, 30 after about 3.

I used to be nVidia for all my cards but was convinced by the reviews for this one and now I'm thinking I should have stayed put...

--------------------
Vista 32, Biostar TPower I45 MB, Core 4 6600, 4gb OCZ Reaper ram, Creative X-Fi Elite Pro, XFX 4870, drivers 8.561, Cat 8.12



I have the same card, just got it yesterday. My card was idling at 75 C - I then discovered in the CCC that the fan speed was 0! I've turned the fan up to 35% now and I'm idling at 49 C.

I also scaled my card back to 750 GPU / 900 Memory and my flickering is gone.
January 25, 2009 3:44:31 AM

I had the same freakin problem..with ASUS 1 gb, it flicker constantly, I thought about rma it, but then i ddnt want to go through the whole aggravation. I flashed the BIOS and the flickering seems to stop, i m hoping these solves it.
Anonymous
January 25, 2009 8:12:07 PM

koala said:
I have the same card, just got it yesterday. My card was idling at 75 C - I then discovered in the CCC that the fan speed was 0! I've turned the fan up to 35% now and I'm idling at 49 C.

I also scaled my card back to 750 GPU / 900 Memory and my flickering is gone.


Cool - just done the same.

I find that 30% makes it just quiet enough to be a good balance between coolness and quietness and that keeps it at around 50 deg.

I'm keeping an eye on XFX's and ATI's site for a BIOS update that takes this card out of *BETA*.
Anonymous
January 25, 2009 8:13:28 PM

Oh - and I just _upgraded_ from Vista to XP and everything is just SO much nicer :-D
Anonymous
January 25, 2009 8:17:39 PM

Koala - you sure that was the fan? the CCC is a little badly laid out - the three items are Temp, Activity and Fan Speed. Looks like the titles are for the gaugues above, not below. If your fan was at 0 I think you'd be a little higher than 75 deg!
January 25, 2009 8:36:40 PM

I'm positive it was the fan, it really was not spinning. I even had the door off the side of my case to double check as I didn't believe that reading myself.

I'm quite anxious to get my new Zalman VF1000 and ZM-RHS70 on this card... the stock cooler is an absolute noisy joke.
January 30, 2009 1:49:14 PM

I have exactly the same problems as everyone else are describing with my XFX HD4870 XXX. (775/950)

With the memory on 900MHz with the fan basically off everything is fine.
If I crank the memory to 905MHz and put the fan on 100% (sounds like a vacuum cleaner) I get flickers.

Makes me fairly certain this is not a heat issue (my test at 905MHz ran on temps ~25 degrees lower than the 900MHz with fan off).

The Catalyst 9.1 drivers are out now, anyone tried them?
January 30, 2009 3:32:59 PM

I just received my zalman cooler and it is SO MUCH BETTER. Even on 100% fan speed its quieter than the stock xfx cooler at 25%.

At 25% fan speed on the xfx cooler I was idling around 54 C, with the zalman cooler at 25% fan speed I'm at 48 C... at 100% I'm at 44C (which leads me to believe I can cool it even more with better air flow, since it doesn't exhaust to the rear anymore like the stock cooler).

I want to try the 9.1 drivers but I'm reluctant... 8.10 were the latest I could get to work on my system (8.11 and 8.12 both gave me errors with 8 GB of memory installed).
January 30, 2009 8:15:22 PM

koala said:

I want to try the 9.1 drivers but I'm reluctant... 8.10 were the latest I could get to work on my system (8.11 and 8.12 both gave me errors with 8 GB of memory installed).


Yeah kinda the same here, 8.12 really screwed my system up. That's why I would like to know if someone who has these issues has tried 9.1 and been successful with getting clocks higher than 900?
January 31, 2009 12:51:24 AM

I'm using MSI R4870 T21G ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB, also experiencing the irritating little flickers, initially thought I had system stability issues but checked all my temps and they were all fine...

Tried downclock for the memory and solved the issue for now.... But what's the point of me paying so much for a card that doesn't perform perform... (it's not a cheap card, should have stuck to Nvidia urgh) Esp the fact that it comes with the option to overdrive under Catalyst and automatically does so to 925mhz when the overclocking mode is turned on.....
January 31, 2009 3:39:29 AM

Uninstalled CCC and installed Rivatuner!

Flickering has gone like magic.... Can't be bothered to download ccc 8.1.... Can't believe company's own software doesn't work proper....

SPEEDBLAST TIME!


January 31, 2009 9:44:58 AM

I just made a post on this subject didn't find this one earlier (through the search function) I got exactly the same problem with my powercolor HD4870 1GB PCS+, I thought it was due to the refresh rate or something at first. But i'll try to install rivatuner and uninstall CCC 8.12!
January 31, 2009 9:58:08 AM

Also, on the amd forum they said that if you install 8.11 it should solve the problem as well!
January 31, 2009 11:09:59 AM

shugs said:
Also, on the amd forum they said that if you install 8.11 it should solve the problem as well!


Lies, I am using 8.11, same thing there. (less than with 8.12 though!)
I'll try to uninstall CCC and hope that fixes it :) 
January 31, 2009 12:30:56 PM

Atleast 2 people mentioned that it solved the problem for them, I guess it depends on the config op the build. Could be multiple factors influencing the situation...I didn't say it would fix it ;) 

Anyways, what do you need to change in rivatuner to solve this issue?
January 31, 2009 2:47:15 PM

Rivatuner solved the problem for me, in combo w/8.12. Just turn off overdrive in CCC and adjust the clock settings in rivatuner.
January 31, 2009 6:34:45 PM

I think I know what the problem is now, seems to be some kind of issue with the memory clock switching from 3D to 2D clock. 2D clock is 900MHz and thus putting 3D on 900 eliminates this issue.
Checked all this with gpu-z's hardware monitor, the monitor itself made the clocks jump between 2D and 3D for some odd reason.

Uninstalling CCC and using rivatuner disables 2D-clocks.

Issue fixed for now, running 3D clocks while on Desktop is not a big issue for me and my card is stable at 800/1050 now :) 

(Only thing I miss is AA-settings, had my AA locked at 4X and I can't change it back now :D )
Anonymous
April 18, 2009 9:24:35 AM

I own an XFX HD 4870 XXX 1GB DDR 5 and have had this issue, there is a BIOS update from XFX specifically to fix this issue which is available in their support area after login. I expect other brand cards have similair fixes.
Anonymous
April 18, 2009 9:25:00 AM

I own an XFX HD 4870 XXX 1GB DDR 5 and have had this issue, there is a BIOS update from XFX specifically to fix this issue which is available in their support area after login. I expect other brand cards have similair fixes.
April 18, 2009 9:51:05 PM

Quote:
I own an XFX HD 4870 XXX 1GB DDR 5 and have had this issue, there is a BIOS update from XFX specifically to fix this issue which is available in their support area after login. I expect other brand cards have similair fixes.


Cool, didn't know about this, thanks a lot! :) 
June 13, 2009 8:22:45 PM

Thanks for your advices. But which BIOS you mean? It's main mobo bios or video card?
I just ordered XFX HD4870 and I am worried if I might have same flickering problem. Also, what memory needs to be under clocked from 925 to 900? Is it main memory or video card memory? Also, how to get the Rivatuner? Please let me know ASAP. Thanks.
!