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Sapphire ATI HD 4850 CRAZY Artifacts

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Last response: in Graphics Cards
April 21, 2009 10:47:20 PM

Okay... here's the deal:

I built a system recently with the following specs:

AMD Phenom 9600 Agena 2.3GHz CPU
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 (with megasink/megafan)
Kingston 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM
Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500AAJS 250GB SATA HDD
Old MBD 450W PSU (pull from eMachines T2742)
XP Pro on primary part/ Vista on extended part

I purchased the video card from newegg for my previous, now defunct, system. Got everything put together and had no issues other than during 3D gaming. Fallout 3 wouldn't run for more than a couple of seconds before VPU recovery crashes. Left 4 Dead ran fairly stable but with green artifacts and low framerates. I RMA'd the card to Newegg, who replaced it with an open box of the same model. Fallout 3 now ran at max settings like a champ. L4D now runs very smoothly with high settings. HOWEVER, the character models have crazy beams of light coming off of them. Exact problem when running both XP and Vista. See pics:

I have taken the following steps so far:

1.) Checked card temperature in CCC. Running well under 80C most of the time. I took my comically large fan to 100% for good measure. No change.
2.) Pulled RAM and tested them one dimm at a time. No change.
3.) Uninstalled most recent catalyst driver. Used Driver Sweeper to wipe remnants. Rolled back to catalyst version 8.12 (driver only no cat suite) from 12-10-08. No Change.
4.) Installed clean version of Vista Home on extended part. Made sure DirectX was current version (10). No change.

I am now at the point where I question the PSU. It is 450W, and the video card has a dedicated power connection to itself (the HDD and CD rom share another cable), so I kind of doubt that it is really the problem. Before I go buy a new Antec or other name brand 500W psu, does anyone have any other (free) suggestions?


More about : sapphire ati 4850 crazy artifacts

April 21, 2009 11:23:15 PM

I'd say that the PSU doesn't have enough amperage on the 12v rail to be able to support it. Keep in mind that prebuilt computers like Emachines and Dell and such use PSUs that give out enough power to run only the components in the original computer. So if that computer wasn't high performance like yours is now, chances are that it's what's holding you back.

Also, download ATITool. Even if the driver for it doesn't install properly (I don't know if you're running 32- or 64-bit OSes), you can use the "Scan for Artifacts" button to stress test the GPU. It may be an oldish program, but it does a better job at stressing a GPU than any game could.
April 21, 2009 11:26:10 PM

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April 21, 2009 11:39:10 PM

Thanks for the input. I appreciate it. :) 

Would something as inexpensive as this Antec 500W PSU be advisable? It has a dedicated 430W PCI-E connector for video cards. How expensive should I go?
April 22, 2009 3:41:05 AM

That would work just fine. The description at Fry's is just plain wrong. It's not PCI-E connector w/ 430W dedicated. Each 6-pin PCI-E connector can only supply a maximum of 75W each. Even if what they meant was that the maximum amount of 12V current the unit can supply is 430W, they're still wrong. The unit itself says the 12V1 + 12V2 max load is 408W right on it...

Fry's took that info from Antec's website, but still managed to screw it up. What it says on Antec's site is this:

PCI-E connector: one for 380W and 430W, two for 500W

What Antec is saying is that the 380W model and 430W model have one PCI-E connector, while the 500W model has two PCI-E connectors.

GJ Fry's! LMAO
April 22, 2009 7:27:15 PM

Replaced OEM PSU with a Thermaltake PurePower 500W . Obviously a much higher quality unit based on size/feel/appearance (with respect to my OEM piece of crap). Hooked it up and......

Same thing. :fou:  Same Artifacts. Now what? Newegg will not RMA the card again. I was outside the 30 day return period and they made a one-time only exception for the first replacement.

The game is playable.. but man that is annoying. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
April 22, 2009 8:19:24 PM

Ok. Ran ATITool artifact scan for 5 minutes with no errors.

At this point, I am assuming that there is nothing wrong with my card or system, but have a problem with something in that specific game.

Thanks to everyone who gave suggestions.

April 22, 2009 8:50:18 PM

The Antec PSU you mentioned previously is slightly more powerful than that Thermaltake in regards to 12V current, but the Thermaltake should be sufficient.

Only thing I can suggest now is hitting up the L4D support site. That or contacting Sapphire, I mean submitting a support ticket to ATI (as they handle Sapphire's tech support directly). See if either of them have come across this problem before.

And what the hell? Newegg replaced a new card with an opened box one?! Odd... I might have had to refused that, but at least it works better than the first.
April 22, 2009 9:12:22 PM

And what the hell? Newegg replaced a new card with an opened box one?! Odd... I might have had to refused that, but at least it works better than the first.

I know. Since it was outside thier usual return period, they said that is all they would do when I protested. I sent back the original retail packaging with all cables/accessories and got back a cardboard box with the card and the cd. All of the accessories, including the PCI-E power adapter I needed to run the card with my old PSU were missing. The egg is usually kinder....

Only thing I can suggest now is hitting up the L4D support site.

That is my next step... so far no leads, but I will keep plugging away.

April 24, 2009 2:53:15 AM

UPDATE: Spoke with an different CS Rep at Newegg and she very happily agreed to RMA the card again, and they paid for shipping. On the RMA notes she specified to replace it with a NEW card, and not an open box. Third time is a charm, I guess. Shipped it out today. My faith in Newegg is restored. Hopefully, this is the end of my troubles. :) 
April 24, 2009 4:44:19 AM

Nice! That's much more like the service I'd expect from Newegg. Here's hoping that a replacement card solves your problems.
April 30, 2009 4:24:10 PM

You sucessfully created a wallhack!
May 3, 2009 7:03:05 PM

coulda told u it wasnt the psu, its a faulty card!