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Help me troubleshoot 5970 issues please.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 10, 2010 9:35:04 PM

Hi,

I have been having some odd issues with my 5970 lately. The other day, when un-installing the 10.5 catalyst drivers a whole bunch of red/grey lines showed up on the screen during un-install and I had to do a hard-reboot. The card is extremely sensitive to OC's and even just upping the clocks from 725/1000 to 800/1150 even with voltage changes will send the card to display grey lines all over my screen. Sometimes the OC will work great at say... 850/1200 and other times as soon as I change the OC or shortly thereafter it will show grey lines and I will have to hard-reboot. I had a "Stable" overclock for quite some time at 810/1150 and I had played games just fine for many, many days and also ran Furmark for ~15 minutes with no issues. Tried the same overclock again just the other day and the grey lines showed up.

Is my card failing perhaps? How can I test this?

I was unable to control fan speed when I got the card (Asus 5970HD) so I used Afterburner to control fan speeds. Recently, the shader clocks as well as the fan speed have greyed out and I can no longer adjust them. I know shader clocks move up with core/mem but the fact that the bar was green for both shader clocks and fan speed for months and now has suddenly greyed out is a bit worrisome.

Is there a good way to test to see if the card is failing or not? I am on the verge of RMA'ing because it just does not feel like it is performing to its full potential at the moment.

Thanks
-J
June 10, 2010 10:44:12 PM

Try on another comp...friends,relatives..you my have to RMA
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June 10, 2010 10:52:07 PM

I've heard that 5970s aren't that good at OCing... however...

First off, 5970s are basically in crossfire. The problem is, trying to change clocks on both chips at once almost never works. I have CF 5850s and I HAVE to change their clocks one card at a time. Trying to do both (via Afterburner's setting) will almost always result in a crash or lock up. I don't know how 5970s show up in Afterburner but if it shows up as 2 cards, try doing one at a time. If not, you'll have to try and see what others are doing to OC their 5970s but I'm guessing Afterburner isn't the right app for it. I had a good OC on my CF 5850s but I tried the "OC at startup" option which resulted in BSOD everytime windows loaded until I booted in safe mode and deleted afterburner, then booted normal and reinstalled and never tried that again haha.

Fan speeds are a different matter, the default settings are pretty lousy and Afterburner is great for fan control.

The other thing is, these ATI cards don't have shader control. That's Nvidia territory. Only having core and mem adjustments is normal.

One option for you is to flash a BIOS with higher CCC limits. That is, if ATI Overdrive works fine for you. That way you can raise the CCC limits to whatever you want - lets say 1000/1300 - and use that for OCing.
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June 11, 2010 1:01:27 AM

Leave the memory clock alone, from my experience an ATI 5870 at 1100MHz memory or 1300MHz memory show an increase of no fps, and +200 graphic card points on Vantage while causing vertical stripes.

Just increase the GPU clock settings to 800-850MHz. You will see a noticeable increase in fps and stable.
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June 11, 2010 3:09:21 AM

Just RMA the card...
why did you want to OC that card so badly? I guess that card still a monster that would eat any (mostly) games recently...
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June 11, 2010 4:31:44 AM

envolva said:
Leave the memory clock alone, from my experience an ATI 5870 at 1100MHz memory or 1300MHz memory show an increase of no fps, and +200 graphic card points on Vantage while causing vertical stripes.

Just increase the GPU clock settings to 800-850MHz. You will see a noticeable increase in fps and stable.


Not quite true. I assume you mean in FurMark tests? I ran a whole bunch of tests and the results were very clear. At 0xAA the FPS gain was only acheived through core speed. However at 4xAA, additional core speed didn't affect the FPS one bit, while memory saw large gains. Once the memory speed was maxed out, adding core speed didn't affect the average FPS but generally brought the min value up 1-2 FPS.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/259144-29-antialiasin...
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June 11, 2010 6:37:43 AM

I know exactly what i'm doing... that is why I have posted here with what I deem to be a very minor overclock as I have stated, which should easily be doable by a 5970. FYI, Metro 2033 is extremely demanding even for a 5970 and I gained a good 10FPS increasing to 5870 speeds... I also play Age of Conan occasionally and can only use one GPU, so I bump GPU1 up a bit for that as well. Furthermore, overclocking a 5970 does NOT void your warranty.. 5970's were designed for OC'ing in mind, why do you think they did not call it 5870x2 which is exactly what it is. They had to keep the power usage under 300W, overclocking to speeds that the card is basically made to run at and i don't recall anyone crying. Get your facts straight, or don't post at all.

Anyways, thanks for the constructive comments everyone else. For most other games your right however, the 5970 breezes through them.

Wolf, Afterburner shows the 5970 as one card.. a "5900 series" unless I am missing some setting somewhere. The reason I suspected the card in the first place is because of some BSOD's I have been getting on shutdown and the rig just seems generally a bit unstable. Could be due to my CPU overclock or something entirely different so I was hoping for some useful comments. Thanks Wolf.

Anyone else with a 5970 have issues with overclocks or similar symptoms?
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June 11, 2010 7:01:57 AM

what's your specs..?have you try reinstaling (clean)CCC?
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June 11, 2010 7:08:09 AM

I don't use CCC. I use ATI Tray Tools/Afterburner for my needs, I dislike CCC and I don't see any reason to use it over Afterburner.

Specs:
i7-920 @ 4.0 ghz
ATI 5970HD
3 x 2GB OCZ DDR3 RAM running @ 1600mhz (advertised running speed)
Asus P6T Deluxe V2 mobo
Auzentech Prelude X-fi 7.1 sound card
2x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD's
1x Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB HDD
Antec 1200 Tower Case
Win7 x64
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June 11, 2010 7:19:11 AM

Try downclocking your cpu 3.8 ,3.6..see if that helps.
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June 11, 2010 7:36:33 AM

Have you run some mem.tests?
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June 11, 2010 10:26:58 PM

I reset my overclock back to default and I still got a BSOD on shutdown.. so that is not the issue I don't think. I have run memtest86+ before overnight and no errors were reported as well as Prime95.

Strange this is that the 5970 does fine Furmark... so i'm a bit confused.
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June 11, 2010 11:06:12 PM

contact or return the card to the manufacturer or the store you got it from
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June 11, 2010 11:08:58 PM

whats your psu?
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June 13, 2010 2:59:55 AM

800W Corsair PSU
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June 14, 2010 5:14:24 AM

Whats your 3dmark vantage score?
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June 15, 2010 6:56:46 AM

I will run 3dmark vantage tomorrow and get back to you but I have a couple strange issues to report.

1. I have my i7-920 overclocked to 3.7ghz at the moment.. strange thing is that RealTemp shows the clocks fluctuating! It will show clocks at going from 3400mhz, to 3200mhz, down to 2800mhz... keeps fluctuating up and down. What the hell??

2. My GPU is doing the same thing! Sometimes the 2nd GPU on my 5970 will be at 725/1000 mhz in idle (which is the speeds it goes to during gaming/heavy load.) Only the 2nd GPU.. I thought it was some bug in Afterburner but GPU-Z just showed it as well.. after clicking on and off the page it showed it back at idle speeds but.. kind of worriesome.

3. My Asus P6T Deluxe V2 mobo seems to be running a little hotter than usual. Could these wild fluctuations be due to a motherboard issue?
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June 15, 2010 7:07:47 AM

Scratch #1.. I must have forgot to turn off SpeedStep the speeds stayed solid at 3.7hz once I started Prime95.

GPU however, as I typed this the 2nd GPU has spiked back up to 725/1000 clocks again... I thought it was a conflict with GPU-Z and Afterburner but it is showing again with just Afterburner up. I am confused... when I switched the sensor window on GPU-Z from GPU1 to GPU2 the clocks "Reset" back to 157/300.. but now they are back again.. and as soon as I open GPU-Z it shows the clocks back at 157/300..

EDIT: After 30s to 1 minute the clocks on GPU2 to go back to 725/1000 in idle each and every time. Going to see what it is like tomorrow after a restart... it still doesn't make sense to me how switching the GPU-Z windows resets the clocks back down to 157/300.. but everytime it will go back to 725/1000 until I switch the GPU-Z windows.. the clock speeds are reported this way in Afterburner and GPU-Z and only for GPU2 so I doubt it is a misreading.
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June 15, 2010 4:39:46 PM

I have also had some strange issues with running afterburner and other programs,hope you get it worked out
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June 15, 2010 5:15:27 PM

Overclocking your cards will mess up their idles if you're running afterburner. For best results you have 2 options. First is to have 2 profiles - default and overclock. Only load the OC profile before playing a game. The 2nd option is to BIOS flash your cards, which will make them behave normally but with whatever OC you set in the BIOS.
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June 15, 2010 9:28:31 PM

lol so much effort for 5-10 frames...as long as your minimum is over 60...who cares? i have a 5970 and have no desire to overclock, as everygame runs at max anyway. You run furmark, get your extra 500points out of your overclock...then what? Go and brag to all your forum buddies about your 3-4% gain?

'Back in the day' where overclocking graphic cards to run games better was necessary...sure i can see the point in that...but the latest generation power card smashing basically any game you throw at it? There is seriously no point.
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June 16, 2010 3:03:30 AM

This post is not about overclocking and if you had read the post I overclocked minorly for a few games.. it gets pretty annoying when people come on here asking why I had to overclock... the card hasn't been overclocked in a long time, and yes, your right! The 5970 is very powerful and the overclock is not required for (nearly) any games! I do not run benchmarks, I play games.

Still same thing today, 2nd GPU is at 725/1000 in idle. I don't care about overclocking at the moment or making a profile for overclocking.. I just want to find out why in the world the 2nd GPU is staying in 725/1000 in idle. I'm really close to RMA'ing the card... but, if anyone knows what could be going on please let me know.

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June 16, 2010 3:24:54 AM

Well I can't recall if you said you tried this but have you tried a clean install of catalyst 10.4? I've heard 10.5 can mess idles.
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June 16, 2010 4:07:32 AM

If you have a small monitor the 5970 can easily take any game over 60 FPS.

If you have something like 2560x1600, good luck running any game at 60 minimum at max settings without a overclock. A 2560x1600 screen isn't uncommon among people who are spending $700 on a GPU.

You can make a profile under CCC to adjust idle and load clocks manually though I don't think that is your problem. Many people have issues with idle clocks being way too low at 157mhz core, thats why ATI made 10.5 force higher idle clocks to prevent crashes. I can't imagine why running 750mhz on idle would cause a crash.

Have you tried over volting your card without upping the clocks? Maybe the chips aren't as good since the 5970s cypress cores uses lower standard voltage than the 5870 and 5850.
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June 16, 2010 8:46:44 PM

Well, I guess this has turned more into a topic of what is wrong with my computer. I thought it was many things, and based on the scores the 5970 is getting in 3DMark Vantage and how well it typically performs I am not as worried about it as I thought I was. It doesn't seem to overclock too great at the moment, but an RMA can wait if it is necessary.

My 3DMark Vantage scores for my CPU is a whole nother story however...

Here are my results:



The CPU scores should be in the range of my GPU at least, people are getting in the 30,000 range with my setup at the very least... i7-920 speeds were clocked at 3.8ghz for this test, with hyper-threading disabled, speedstep disabled, intel virtualization etc.

Specs:
i7-920 @ 4.0 ghz
ATI 5970HD
3 x 2GB OCZ DDR3 RAM running @ 1600mhz (advertised running speed)
Asus P6T Deluxe V2 mobo
Auzentech Prelude X-fi 7.1 sound card
2x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD's
1x Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB HDD
Antec 1200 Tower Case
Win7 x64
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June 17, 2010 1:05:25 AM

You're right, i apologise for not helping answer your problem. I used GPU-Z when i was measuring temps of card 1 when first 'quadfiring' and noticed the same thing...gpu 2 would appear to have clocked up, but with no temp change or voltage change. But switching to gpu 1 and back again would show gpu 2 sitting back at idle. If this is your problem, i wouldn't worry about it. Having had my cards for 7 months, i can safely say it hasn't affected them. Unfortunately i can't see that photo at work, so no comment there.


But as work is boring and i like talking crap, i'll continue on my other tangent.

rofl_my_waffle said:
If you have something like 2560x1600, good luck running any game at 60 minimum at max settings without a overclock. A 2560x1600 screen isn't uncommon among people who are spending $700 on a GPU.


Alright, so let's imagine your playing Crysis, everyones favourite reference for performance, @2560x1600. According to benches here ---> http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/balanced-gaming-pc-overcl...

You'd be getting an average of 27-28fps stock. Lets say, for arguments sake, you overclock the s*$t out of your 5970 and manage a generous gain of 30%. Using some extreme mathmatics, you can deduce an approx 'average' of 38fps. While this is only 10 frames below what is believed to be an acceptable 48 frames...you have to remember the minimum is what counts. So unless your frames are basically at the minimum anyway...there is really no point. And if it's over, then you're not seeing a difference anyway.

That being said, there are plenty of benchmarks around showing you can pull a few fps from here and there...cpu oc'ing, ram etc. And to bring up that minimum fps to that 48 frames...well, can't argue with that. But i'd say there are only isolated cases where that can happen.

But i like being proven wrong, so if you have anything for me, go for it.
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June 17, 2010 6:34:37 AM

What are your idle temps like on your 5970 boob?

I turned on hyperthreading and the cpu Vantage scores went from ~17k to ~24k which seems right on target. I cleaned out my case today and added one of these to my Hyper 212 + (replacing the stock fan) and added another one of those to the side of my case blowing fresh air on the GPU/ right below the intake for the CPU fan.. which is now blowing up out of the case via the giant 200mm on top.

GPU temps went from ~48C idle to 33C idle! I almost flipped when I saw this... those are awesome temps for an idle 5970! CPU went from 50C idle to 42C idle.

One question for 5970 users, or really anyone in general:

1. Oddly, when I play a game. Let's say in this case I was playing Oblivion. I quit Oblivion. I start Oblivion up a few minutes later, when the game first loads (as in the screen turns black) the screen will flash at this time and show for a split second the last scene that was displayed on the screen before quitting Oblivion.

As in, I would see the "escape" menu... and the Imperial Marketplace (a town in Oblivion) and my character, the last frame I guess you could say right before the Bethesda logo shows up.

Why could this be happening? It's as if the computer is storing stuff into memory that it shouldn't be. It's as if the GPU memory is storing a picture of the last frame that was displayed before quitting the game. Any time I load up another game it will show the previous game played, a quick glimpse of the last frame that was displayed before quitting... could the GPU memory clocks be defective or something?

Not too worried about it, but this has been showing pretty much since I built my computer I believe. I am just wondering what would cause this. Anyone know?
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June 17, 2010 8:02:25 AM

51c, but i enable overdrive so my gpu's only drop to 400mhz...was having trouble with crashes while watching vids without this. 35c stock.

And i get the same thing, even when switching games. Say i play bad company 2, then switch to killing floor...i will see the bad company 2 soldier guy from the main screen for a split second, then killing floor arcs up as usual. Obviously some memory module somewhere that is applicable to games/3d applications only is storing the last frame. We could speculate as to why it does this...but seriously...who cares?
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June 17, 2010 10:50:47 PM

Your right... it doesn't really matter at all, at least it's normal then. Thanks for the help people.
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