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My 4870 only works when underclocked on certain games

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  • Games
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 21, 2010 11:04:33 AM

Hi there,

I have been using my 4870 with games like Crysis, Far cry 2, Eve, The sims 3 for over a year now, and it has given me hardly any trouble.

However a few weeks back i installed 'Warhammer 40000: dawn of war', a relatively old game, it kept on crashing after 15 minutes of play, i tried a small underclock and it did the trick, no more crashes, weird uh?

This also happened with 'Empire Earth', i did the same thing and it stoped crashing.

Now, just a few days ago i purchased Battlefield:BC2, and the game crashes if my 4870 is run at stock, and usally right on the menu, before i can even start a game. I tried underclocking again, and found i have to do a huge underclock for it to run stable. (around 550mhz core 650mhz ram) which slows the card down alot.

The crash can be a blank screen, blocks all over the screen or grey lines with the audio of the game droping out soon after, I have no choice but to force restart the computer at that point.

I know my card is not overheating, i have run a 100% load stress test on it for 30mins+ using ATItool and the temp maxed out at 75 with no probs.

Why is this happening? it seems so strange to have to do this.

Asus PQ5 Deluxe

Intel Q9550

ATI 4870

Corsair 1066 2GB RAM

Corsair Hx520 PSU

WD Caviar black 640

Windows 7 64bit

HUGE thanks for any input or to anyone who has an idea of what could be wrong, i can't find anyone else with this problem online!

More about : 4870 works underclocked games

a b U Graphics card
May 21, 2010 11:11:15 AM

well if it helps when you underclock and it doesnt overheat then it may be the PSU, but you have a decent PSU so its hard to tell. what are your CPU temps and is the CPU overclocked?

EDIT: i strongly recommend to upgrade to 4GB ram, 2 isnt really enough nowdays for gaming etc..
May 21, 2010 11:21:41 AM

i've run prime95 and cpu temps dont go above 51C on full load, and all runs well. my cpu is not overclocked.

And yes i plan to get more RAM, but 2GB does ok atm.

What could this be?, It's really got me confussed.
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a b U Graphics card
May 21, 2010 11:50:54 AM

well its a bit strange, try reinstalling graphics drivers, get the catalyst 10.4 from amd's website :) 
May 21, 2010 12:01:57 PM

Yup i've tried that, do you think installing an old version of the driver may work?
May 21, 2010 1:50:49 PM

Anyone?
a b U Graphics card
May 21, 2010 1:53:16 PM

maybe, it doesnt hurt to try right? :) 
a b U Graphics card
May 21, 2010 2:44:33 PM

Try running furmark if you haven't already (about the toughest GPU stress program out), then if that is fine run prime95 and furmark together. If it crashes when doing both it could point to the PSU being on the way out as it will give you 100% CPU and GFX load at the same time, which is more akin to (probably significantly higher than) your gaming load. If your system handles that then you can probably rule out the PSU and will have to start looking at other components.
May 21, 2010 3:17:59 PM

Will give furmark a try when i get home. thanks
May 22, 2010 12:33:00 PM

I ran Furmark along with prime 95 for quite a while temps on the 4870 stayed under 74C and the CPU stayed under 60C so its not the heat or my power supply being strained,

I am thinking of RMA'ing the 4870, as i think sapphire have a 2 year warranty on it, do you think this is a good idea? Anyone hae experience with the sapphire warranty?
a b U Graphics card
May 22, 2010 1:50:42 PM

have you tried older driver versions?
May 22, 2010 5:31:01 PM

Yes. i tried it with no drivers at first, played BF:BC2, one multiplayer game then it crashed.

Installed 9.5 drivers, and exactly the same thing, it crashes on the menu. (maybe a few more fps) that time tho.
May 22, 2010 9:27:47 PM

I have now tried my friends 4870 and it worked fine with my setup, so now i know its the card.
a b U Graphics card
May 22, 2010 9:36:22 PM

The 4870's VRAM might be going bad. Or it could be drivers - have you tried a clean reinstall with drive sweeper & ATI's latest drivers?
May 23, 2010 9:05:36 AM

Bluescreendeath said:
The 4870's VRAM might be going bad. Or it could be drivers - have you tried a clean reinstall with drive sweeper & ATI's latest drivers?


Hi Bluescreen, i tried driver sweeper, no luck, exact same problems.

I hope this card had 2 years warranty and not just 1.
!