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Flashing lights with 9800 GT EE

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 8, 2010 11:42:11 PM

All right, well, I run an vista on an inspiron 530 Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.40GHz with 3 gigs of RAM and a single PNY XLR8 9800 GT EE performance edition, and it has been working great for over a year now. However, it's always had a annoying little problem. In some games, generally the more demanding ones (Crysis, ETW, and Bad Company 2), I keep getting these sporatic little instant flashes of lights all over the place. They can be small as a pixel, or sometimes half an inch in dimension. They can be red, green, yellow, you name it. I want to know what they are and if I can fix them.
I run all my games in DX9 with medium-high settings, usually on my native resolution of 1680x1050. These flashes only occur in-game (not at the menu or in loading), and are much more prominent in darker (e.g. night) settings. They do not occur in some games like World of Warcraft, but in that game I have noticed very tiny white flashes on some darker textures. It doesn't make any game unplayable but it's understandably annoying.

My only theory was that these flashes were caused by overheating, but I don't see how that could be. I use EVGA Precision to set my fan speed on high-end games to around 90% and even on the toughest applications my GPU temp never exceeds 71 degrees, which I imagine is too low to cause these problems. Especially since they occur instantly, not over long play periods.

Those are all the details I could think to provide, sorry if I didn't explain it too well, I haven't seen anything about this problem anywhere else.
Thanks in advance.

More about : flashing lights 9800

March 8, 2010 11:49:36 PM

Try underclocking the card, it may be signs of a card dying.
March 8, 2010 11:51:37 PM

Ouch.
How would I go about underclocking it? I'm not too great with video cards.
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March 9, 2010 1:15:00 AM

Does performance mean overclocked, if it does you might want to RMA, hope you registered the card at PNY, their normal warrenty is one year, three if you register. I have their 9400GT, also try just lowering quality a little.
March 9, 2010 1:21:57 AM

I don't believe so, I believe it's the underclocked edition of the card, kinda like the Nvidia equivalent of the 4670. I got it so I wouldn't have to upgrade my stock PSU.
I've tried lowering quality, nothing.
March 9, 2010 1:27:19 AM

Dust on the fan? Open your case and see if all the fans are moving and everything is clear of dust. Good night.
March 9, 2010 7:54:09 AM

Still nothing. Everything looks completely clean. :/  Good night.
March 9, 2010 2:29:59 PM

Run memtest, could be faulty ram ballsing up your display drivers.
March 9, 2010 2:39:37 PM

Will do. So it doesn't seem like heat is the problem, right?
March 9, 2010 7:38:59 PM

Finished the test, no problems.
If I do underclock the card? How much should it be by? And how would I check if it's at a safe clock speed? I only encounter problems in higher-end games, and I don't want to underclock it to the point of being worthless in those games.
Also, it's been having this problem for at least several months, and I don't think it's gotten any worse.
March 10, 2010 12:54:29 AM

I'm not sure about info but how much amps are supported on your PSU, open the case and check, Even in EE version the 9800 is still a pretty powerful card.
March 10, 2010 2:36:47 AM

Although I can't remember exactly, I've checked before and am 100% sure my PSU can handle the card. I know at least a couple people who also use the card in their stock Insp 530s with flying colors.
March 10, 2010 6:09:52 PM

the 9800GT won't fit in slimline 530s systems.
a b Î Nvidia
March 10, 2010 8:32:34 PM

kloborgg711 said:
Still nothing. Everything looks completely clean. :/  Good night.


Are you sure there could be some fluf hiding inside the cooler. Replace the old stock compound if nothing else, arctic silver5 works best. What is the rating of your psu? Third load riva tuner and go into the overclocking and fan speed tab then turn the fan speed up and check your temps. They need to be below 70c to maintain stability on some gpus while some are lucky to be solid over 80c but won't last for no more than a year to two years tops with those temps. If cleaning if any fluf there is in the cooler as well replace the stock compound as well running the fan at max and still arctifacts at lower temps downclocking the card may help buy time however it will be slower. RMA then should be looked into if no warranty then I and other posters will give you further advice how to handle this.
March 10, 2010 9:38:58 PM

I already turn my fan speed up manually; this particular card doesn't like to get past 40 or 50%. And the only time it ever peaks to 70 is when I'm running a really high-end game, which in total can't have amounted to more than 5 hours. I've played maybe 10-20 hours of World of Warcraft, but it usually stays at 57 degrees there.
And so these flashes are definitely artifacts?

I'm not too crazy about the idea of replacing this card. It's been doing it for a while and I'll gladly stop playing those higher-end games if need be. Otherwise the card is flawless. I only really need the computer for WoW. I was just wondering if this was a known problem and if there was any simple solution to fixing it.
Thanks so far. If what I've been seeing are artifacts for sure, I'll downclock the card a bit and just stay away from demanding applications.
a b Î Nvidia
March 10, 2010 10:49:18 PM

What is the version of the driver are you using? Did you use riva tuner or the precession utility?
March 11, 2010 12:05:31 AM

8.17.11.9621
Have used both utiities at different times in the past.
Both work fine.
a b Î Nvidia
March 11, 2010 12:10:14 AM

kloborgg711 said:
8.17.11.9621
Have used both utiities at different times in the past.
Both work fine.


People have complained of issues with that version. 191.07 on up till the latest work fairly well. The fan speed should be able to max out at 100% (fixed) if defined by the user with one of the utilities. What is the rating of your psu knowing that this is a Dell pre build.
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