Strange Artifacts, I don't think it's the GPU.

Hey, First off I'll start with my specs..

Gigabyte GA-EG31m-S2- G31 FSB1333 DDr2 VGA PCIEx16 Sata2 mATX
POV 9800gt 512M DDR3
Kingston DDR2 2048MB(2x1G)Pc6400 800Mhz
Intel Pentium dual Core E5200/2.5ghz/2mb Cache/800FSB/LGA775
Zalman CNPS7000C -AlCu CPU cooler ball bearing. -fan max speed.
CoolerMaster Centurion RC334 Elite Blaack with 420W + HD Audio (Rc334KKR
Seagate SATAII 500GB 16m Cache
and an DVD Drive from Samsung.. Could get the name but I tihnk it's irrelevant :p

Here's the problem.... After playing a game (Doesn't Matter too much... but higher settings do bring the issue up quicker..) The game starts to screen tear and artifact with either blue\red.. (rarely green) speckles\pixels.

I've tried a bunch of different drivers.
Tried differen't OS's, Linux, WinXP\Vista\Seven
It's not heat, Max is 60c on the GPU. (When I play wow, never goes above 50c.. still artifacts)
I've run Memtest, No errors.
I've run Prime95 over night, No errors.
ATI tool - no errors.
I've tried underclocking the GPU. doesn't help.
The CPU temps are fine. Never above 60c under load.
Put CPU clock to stock, and even lower.
I tried diconnecting my DVD drive and extra case cooling fan, no help. so basicly just powering the cpu,gpu and HD.
I tried a different monitor just incase mine has packed it up, still artifacts.
I have tried a very old GPU, Radeon x300. Still artifacts.
^^^^^^
To me, Tht suggests it's not a problem with my GPU. The OL' x300 worked perfectly for me for about 4-5 years.

Here's something interesting, ALT+tab. When I get back to the game it works fine, For a little while. then the game repeats again.


Any questions feel free to ask. I'll be glued to the screen while waiting for replies - Your help would be much appreciated :)

http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/5619/wowscrnshot020110123827.jpg
http://img211.imageshack.us/img211/6388/wowscrnshot020110123949.jpg
http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/4832/wowscrnshot020110123831.jpg


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34 answers Last reply
More about strange artifacts
  1. i wouldve suggested a failing (not necessarily overheating) gpu, but youve sorta ruled that out by trying that x300. seeing how prime and memtest pass, id swap in a different psu. coolermaster never made a decent 420w anyway, and it may be starting to fail under load due to age and/or dust build up
  2. I'll try to get my hands on a different PSU and test it out. This has been happening since day 1 - out the cardboard box so it's not dust or age.. still, ill have a look.

    EDIT:: Just wanted to add, - When I loaded win7 up, the desktop would get artifacts. Idle. (I mainly use Linux as my main OS and XP for games so now so I can't show this..)
  3. fresh install of windows?

    different driver set?

    different screen?

    different screen cables?
  4. Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes \ I've tried with 2 monitors.

    ~
    Could it possibly be any setting in the BIOS other than the GPU Freq?
    I have the GPU Frequency set at the standard 100, Have tried +\- 10MHZ either way.
  5. It could be the screen cable.

    I had the same problem when I got upgraded my PC and at the same time changed the screen cable from VGA to DVI.

    Flickering color dots appeared on the screen after a few moments. After having tried everything I finally suspected the DVI cable. After changing to my old high quality VGA cable the screen is perfect and I haven't had any problems since.
  6. thats a good idea, give her a good old dust out. be careful.
  7. BUMP - Editied OP to include Screen shots.
  8. Bump
  9. Bump :(
  10. Well.. I was doing more research, this time on PSU's... I looked inside the box, Looked at what amperage the 12v rail offers and to my shock i found 16Amps... I did a quick google search and found Nvidia recommends 26amps on the 12v rail.

    Since I've checked everything else AFAIK.. IMO it points to the PSU could highly probably be the cause??

    At the moment I'm looking at..
    http://www.corsair.com/products/vx/default.aspx

    the 550 or 650.


    What do you guys think? If it doesnt Fix my problem I can always take the PSU back, for a small charge ofcourse.
  11. I would go ahead and ditch the 420w unit and go for a decent 650w class unit. I use an Antec EA650 and it is ok but not quite enough to be honest for my use but for a single gpu it is more than enough. Note that I did a redneck fan mod on the unit but I don't like heat in general, I like my PSUs nice and cold.
  12. Thanks.
    Do you think that it could be the GFX card not getting enough power causing the artifacts? I did try another low end card, x300 and that got artifacts... my old dell4700 had a 320watt power supply i think, 18amps on the 12v rail. More than the new one which is 16amps!
  13. kyle142 said:
    Thanks.
    Do you think that it could be the GFX card not getting enough power causing the artifacts? I did try another low end card, x300 and that got artifacts... my old dell4700 had a 320watt power supply i think, 18amps on the 12v rail. More than the new one which is 16amps!



    Hmm it is odd but modern cards are powered through the 12v source even the ones that get their power from the slot so psu first and if results don't improve try a easy cheap second hand card. Some times it happens but I have had cards go bad after years of not being used. But last weak I popped in a old Matrox MGA200 in my retro box and it worked first time since 2007.
  14. I've ordered an Antec ATX EarthWatts 650W and shall be picking it up tomorrow, Hope this is it...
  15. kyle142 said:
    I've ordered an Antec ATX EarthWatts 650W and shall be picking it up tomorrow, Hope this is it...



    I have one of those and it is fairly good should have bought it on newegg instead of best buy. You will be able to use any card you please including a 5970 or possible Fermi.
  16. Unfortunately I live in Australia.. the best I've found is umart.com.au Anyway, I better go to sleep late here. I'll post back as soon as I find out the results tomorrow.
  17. Just put it in.... 5 minutes into game, exact same thing. :(:( What next? The only last thing is motherboard? :S
  18. G31 isn't a spectacular chipset ... do you have the latest BIOS and INF update for the motherboard?
    Uninstall (and driver clean) the video drivers, make sure you have the latest BIOS and Intel INF then reinstall video drivers ... let us know
  19. Yes I've already done that and have tried an earlier update too. Reinstalling the vid drivers not necessary, I've reformatted several times and different OS's etc. Unfortunately If I don't figure out I'll have to take it to get looked at by the damn Pc shop. More money comming out of my pocket :( I just don't know what else to do now, feels like I've tried everything. Could it be any setting in the BIOS at all?...

    EDIT::: This is my BIOS's pdf.
    http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherboard/Manual_Model.aspx?ProductID=2891#anchor_os
  20. Something that may be Note worthy...

    In Left 4 dead 2 an video setting that makes a great difference is "Page pool memory Available"

    I can have all settings on high and this on low. Works fine. As soon as I bump it up to medium\high the artefacts appear.

    *** Left 4 dead 2 isn't the only game it artefacts on.
  21. Ouch ok then it has to be something else but at least you won't have to go through the trouble of getting another in the future. So either the cards are dead from something like and ESD or its the board. :( I don't remember if I have asked before but is it possible to test the cards in another pc?
  22. Was reading that bad quality psu's CAN screw up cards and other components.. is that what you could be meaning?? I will see if I can find someone to try the 9800 in their pc... hard when alot of people have lap top nowa days..
  23. kyle142 said:
    Was reading that bad quality psu's CAN screw up cards and other components.. is that what you could be meaning?? I will see if I can find someone to try the 9800 in their pc... hard when alot of people have lap top nowa days..


    OK and good luck, let us know how things go. :)
  24. Mostly these colors appear on screen due to overheating of gfx card,Did u tried another card,And try another mobo! I think this will show u the probllem!
  25. Yes, all the main details are in the OP. Haven't tried another Mobo though. I do plan on getting in contact with a friend who may have some spare bits I can play with\ he can test..
  26. I finaly was able to test the 9800 GPU on a friends PC. It worked fine.
    Soo... What now? :sweat:
  27. I assume your friend's PC is not using a G31 motherboard. Seems that the issue is being caused by the memory controller. Methinks if you were to RMA the board things would settle down. Sorry that this problem has been nagging you for over a month.
  28. dude check to make sure your cpu is not overheating.
  29. Interesting. I'd like you to do something.
    I doubt it's a blown capacitor or short circuit, but it could happen I suppose. But check for burnt parts on the motherboard, particularly under and above it near the capacitors.


    Theoretically a failing north bridge (overheating or whatever the reason) could cause artifacts... Can you download HWMonitor/ post a picture of the temperatures.
  30. Sounds like you have a tough probem on your hands. I somewhat have the same. I have a new system with a 5870 and I was getting artifacts. I swapped it out with my 8800gtx and they went away. I assumed it was the 5870 so I RMA'd it today. However, this evening I went to go play games with my 8800gtx and I cant get them to widescreen mode. On my desktop it runs well; 1920x1280. In games though it does not. Even on Civ IV the game loads and I have the black shaders on both sides and I have a widescreen monitor. One time I logged out of the game back to my desktop and I had diagnal artifacts on the bottom taskbar. I am starting to wonder if it is something else. My build is:

    EVGA P55 FTW
    i7-860
    Corsair 750w modular silver certified
    I ran memtest twice with no errors so I dont think its the ram

    My guess is that it could be my PSU. This is SUPPOSED to be a darn good PSU unit. I may try my PSU from my older PC tomorrow but its a much older style that is top mounted so I dont know if I can test with the new system or not.
  31. AsAnAtheist said:
    Interesting. I'd like you to do something.
    I doubt it's a blown capacitor or short circuit, but it could happen I suppose. But check for burnt parts on the motherboard, particularly under and above it near the capacitors.


    Theoretically a failing north bridge (overheating or whatever the reason) could cause artifacts... Can you download HWMonitor/ post a picture of the temperatures.



    Sorry for the late reply! Here's a Screen shot. Pls keep in mind that here in australia we usually have a higher ambient temperature then elsewhere... I also have After market CPU cooler from Zalmans on my CPU.
    http://img265.imageshack.us/img265/1471/hwmonitorkyle.png
  32. sounds like a board problem
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