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[Resolved] Solution to hd5970 driver problems?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 4, 2010 5:05:44 AM

Hey. I recently ordered my computer and I'm having what seems to be display driver issues. The card I'm running with is a HD5970. I ordered it because I wanted longevity in the computer market, but I was unaware of what seems to be an abundance of driver issues. Ever since I've been using the computer (March 2nd) it's been locking up at random times while in game (World of Wacraft). It's displayed different symptoms at times, from my screen freezing and taking on a strange green hue to the monitor losing a video signal entirely. I am running with Windows 7 and after the most recent time I went digging into my solution center logs and noticed a string of video driver malfunctions dating back to day one. The lock ups are annoying, but they aren't my main concern. Last time it locked up I felt the PCi slot on the back and it was very hot to the touch. I'm not computer savvy, but it seemed extraordinarily hot. I have a temp/fan gauge monitor but it doesnt have a sensor for my card, it only monitors the fan speed of the PCi slot. Now the confusing part is that the fan was displaying @ a 4% run speed while the card was exceptionally hot. This tells me that the fan isn't running like it should be.

That aside, I went ahead and tried to install the latest drivers myself. I went to ATI, ran the update software, but when I went to install my computer screen would go blank about midway through installation. So I've been unable to successfully install the new drivers. I don't believe the card has been damaged at all since I've yet to recieve any critical errors beyond driver malfunctions. The lock ups also are not consistent. They'll range from happening during periods of time while I am idle or afk to when a surplus amount of animations are happening at once. To this day I can still run World of Warcraft at Ultra ingame settings just fine until a random lockup decides to rear it's ugly head, my only concern is that I'm unknowingly burning up my card. It should also be known that the issue has not shown itself in any other instance beyond gaming.

System specs are:
i7-920 @ 2.66
HD5970
9Gigs @ 1333
875w PSU
300Gig 10k RPM HDD

Btw, the current driver version I'm running is 8.712.0.0 dated 3/2/2010. On a side note I was wondering how you install drivers on a dual gpu card? It lists the 2 gpus seperately in the hardware listing . Does updating the driver on one update the other as well?

Thanks in advance!
a c 169 U Graphics card
April 4, 2010 7:38:32 AM

Hello and welcome to the forums :) 
First about your last question,when you install a driver it applies for the whole card.
Many users have 2D problems with HD 5800/5900 cards,and Catalyst 10.4 which will come out this month is reported to solve this problems but for now raising the 2D clocks helps to take care of this problem(i had this problem and when i raised the 2D clocks it helped me a lot)so here is how to raise your 2D clocks:

1_Open CCC and choose Overdrive tab,unlock the settings(by clicking on the " Gold Key" icon)
2_Go top options,profile and choose profile manager.
3_In the composition tab,choose "The following settings" and in the "ATI Radeon HD 5900 series"make sure only ATI overdrive is checked.
Then enter a profile name,then save and close it(Do not activate).
4_Go to C:\Users\Your UserName\AppData\Local\ATI\ACE\Profiles (Its hidden so make sure you unlock hidden files and folders)
5_Open the profile with wordpad and do this edits:
<Feature name="CoreClockTarget_0">
<Property name="Want_0" value="40000" /> (default is 15700)

<Feature name="MemoryClockTarget_0">
<Property name="Want_0" value="90000" /> (default is 30000)

and for the second card:

<Feature name="CoreClockTarget_1">
<Property name="Want_0" value="40000" />

<Feature name="MemoryClockTarget_1">
<Property name="Want_0" value="90000" />

Save the changes and close.

6_Open CCC,in options tab go to profiles,profile manager and choose the profile that you saved before and then click on Activate and close.
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April 4, 2010 9:16:58 PM

Hello and thank you for the reply! My main question is what would doing this solve? My problems seem to be random ingame lockups and overheating/fan issues. The overheating is debatable, though. I'm not entirely sure what temperature it's at, it just feels hot. All of this seems to happen in a 3d, not 2d, environments. I can tell your knowledge is a world apart from mine, so I'm curious as to what this fix would do as a solution. Is this actually a known problem and the one I'm experiencing?

Thank you in advance!
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a c 169 U Graphics card
April 5, 2010 7:16:32 AM

I thought you had lock ups in 2D mode too.
Download GPU-Z and run 2 copies of it,(for checking both cores)and choose sensor tab, then open a game and play for 5-10 minutes and minimize the game(don't quit)and check your temps and report back
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April 6, 2010 7:26:22 PM

I spoke with a technical support guy and he pointed me in the direction of HWmonitor. I've been playing Crysis lately on very high settings to put my computer to the test and it's holding up perfectly fine, now. I'll play for about an hour and then close the game and check HWmonitor. Typically the max reading it got during game play on the GPU was 88C, which is within safe operating temps from some of the reviews I've read. They've said 85C is to be expected under load, so I'm comfortable with that now. It turns out the driver issues were power related. My PSU is more than powerful enough, at 875w, but the technical support guy asked me if I was using a surge protector and that if that's the case, it is what is causing my issues. He explained the the surge protector is acting as a bottle neck for the power, and the gpu being one of the first things fed, that it's getting power fluctuations and HD5000 series cards are very picky about that. He said it would report as a driver issue in the solutions center. I was skeptical, but after plugging my rig straight into the wall I have yet to have another issue with lock ups or driver malfunctions.

Here are my operating temps depending on the load that I've tested and discovered so far:

Idle - ~34C
2D - ~54C
3D - ~80-88C depending on load.

The only thing I'm trying to resolve now is increasing the performance of Crysis at very high settings. The only issue I'm running into is a framerate drop in graphically intense situations. It gets choppy here and there. I still need to install the 10.3 drivers, which may help, and someone in a different thread suggested I OC my CPU, since it's running stock right now @ 2.67. The CPU is liquid cooled so I know it could easily handle an OC, but I'm not 100% sure if it would void my warranty or not. I'm planning of finding that out today.
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a c 169 U Graphics card
April 6, 2010 9:08:16 PM

Well we both have pretty much the same rigs,i run Crysis with an average of 47FPS(in first mission) on 1920x1200 with very high settings so with your config it should perform well.
Definitely install Catalyst 10.3 and see if it helps.
Also are you sure that CrossFire is enabled ? open ATI Control panel and go to "3D" section and choose "AI" tab,make sure "Disable Catalyst AI" is unchecked
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May 1, 2010 2:20:31 AM

Maziar, If this works.. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!! i just did this with my 5770 which was crashing only on 2D, i changed it to 30000 instead of 40000 and 60000 instead of 90000 as you suggest but so far so good! the idle clocks are showing the increase, and so far it is stable! been having this problem since day one with this card, no help from XFX or new drivers, running 10.3 right now
Gary
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May 1, 2010 2:53:03 AM

Actually i'm using 10.4 and it was worse than 10.3.. but the clock increase seems to do the trick.
thanks
Gary :sol: 
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May 13, 2010 12:49:58 AM

problem is back, and i lost a memory stick 2 days later probably just a coincidence.. :( 
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May 13, 2010 11:04:34 PM

Either a coincidence or your PSU is faulty.

As an update for my predicament the problem never went away.

I updated drivers to 10.4.

Ran an exhaustive amount of diagnostic tests on the CPU/Memory.

Reinstalled the games I was experiencing problems in.

Nothing came back with any useful results.

Just yesterday I spoke with an Alienware tech guy and he sent out a local technician that replaced my HD 5970 with a new one today. So we'll see if it was the card or if something else is causing the crashes/hangs.
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!