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Low FPS, Major Flickering, GTX 460

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 12, 2011 9:27:26 PM

Ok so recently I purchased a gtx 460 hawk and have been having major problems in my games. I have flickering during different effects in SC2, and major color issues in Rift. Essentially, any game I play has an issue. Here is a rundown of my system

ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO motherboard
AMD Phenom II x2 555 CPU (Overclocked to 4.1Ghz and 3 cores as 4th was unstable)
4GB G.Skill Ripjaws DD3 1600 Ram (9-9-9-24 timings)
MSI GTX 460 Hawk
Antec Eco Neo 520W PSU
WD Caviar blue 500GB HDD
Windows XP SP3 32-Bit

Ok so heres the wierd part, the issue is temporarily solved whenever I reinstall the graphics drivers but the issue returns after a bit. I would be playing starcraft II and all of a sudden the game crashes and when I open it back up, the issue has returned and I have to reinstall the graphics drivers. My graphics card is not overheating as it is in a very well ventilated case and is running at stock speeds and I have also monitored the temps and they remain very low. I am fairly certain the card is not defective as I have already RMAed one and they simply replaced it with a new one

Any ideas on what could be wrong?
a c 172 U Graphics card
March 12, 2011 9:56:38 PM

for starters, remove the overclock from the cpu just to rule that out. Run you usual diagnostic tests, memtest 86+ and WD hard drive diagnostic tool. Do those things and go from there.
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March 12, 2011 10:36:35 PM

Ran both tests and they came back with no errors. Turned off OC and it seems to be running now however I remember turning off the OC before with no results so we will see if this is an actual fix or is merely temporary
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a b U Graphics card
March 12, 2011 10:55:53 PM

I'd agree, your overclock is too high, drop it down to 3.2Ghz to test things out. I assume the 460 Hawk was a bit setup up, SOOOO, your running faster in games now... that puts more LOAD on your CPU and now it crashes where before it WAS stable....


If you Really want to get a lot more performance out of the Hardware you own: Get a copy of Win 7 the 64 bit version ....... $89....

Video is single threaded in Win XP. So, your really holding your GPU back. You also have 4Gb RAM and 1Gb RAM on the GPU.... trouble is a 32 bit OS can only deal with 4Gb total. So, much of your RAM is wasted and, there's a whole lot of swapping going on. And XP doesn't handle multiple cores very efficiently.... there are pages of other reasons why it's time to dump XP too listed everywhere on the net....

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a b U Graphics card
March 12, 2011 11:37:36 PM

Dadiggle, LCD, to me this stands for Liquid Crystal Display. Are you saying his display is the bottle neck? Sorry, this doesn't make any sense to me, displays don't compute and therefore can't slow anything down.....
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March 13, 2011 12:07:36 AM

Quote:
you don't know much about LCDs do you.
Well let me explain to you. A LCD doesn't have a refresh rate coz it doesn't have a electron gun like CRT. But in windows you'll see a refresh rate due to compatibility reasons to work with the gpu. Now this is what happens. Read and learn something.

Your gpu will get the data from the cpu. It will race ahead and save the completed work on its buffers. It normally has two buffers. Now it will only sent the data to the LCD when it gets the signal from the LCD. now dvi bandwidth can only support 60mhz dual dvi and Hdmi 120mhz. Now when it gets the signal from the LCD it will try to clear the buffers. Now if the response time of the LCD is slow then the LCD will be tearing or do the so call Ghosting. Now to stop it from happening we must let the gpu work a bit slower coz the LCD can't refresh fast enough. So we enable vsync to keep it working at the frame rates just below the refresh rate or enable tripple buffering do it will save the data on a extra buffer on the ram. Which gives the LCD more time to respond.
Get it now? Bet you didn't know LCDs can be a problem. That's why never overkill a resolution. A gpu running at 300fps ain't a good idea its money wasted. Days of CRT is over.
Enabling vsync have a performance hit.

Sorry that you typed all this for nothing because lowering the overclock fixed the issue, been playing for about 2 hours now with no issues.

Can anybody tell me how to determine stable overclocks for games then considering 4.1ghz ran just fine but was apparently graphically unstable?
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a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2011 12:16:06 AM

Interesting thoughts, actually I work on the design team that Invented LCD technology, but, that's a different story......


Enabling VSync simply limits the display refresh, on an LCD display, to 60hz. However, this isn't a bottle neck, it just tells the upstream hardware that it's wasting it's time TRYING to send more than 60 FPS to the display.....

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a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2011 12:23:24 AM

Yes, BoogyBlur, as I pointed out, the FASTER video card is putting more LOAD on your GPU. SO, what used to be stable is now NOT.....

I usually use a suite of bench marks to determine what the highest stable CPU OC I can run. FurMark, Prime95, Call of Pripyat Bench Mark, and Just Cause 2 bench mark....

Basically 3.8Ghz is likely the limit on the AMD.... above that is only for "show"....
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a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2011 12:46:06 AM

Your right Dadiggle, Type-O on my part... the FASTER GPU is putting more LOAD on the "CPU" causing stability problems......

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March 15, 2011 4:26:19 AM

Bad news guys, the issue has returned even though I have reset every single bios and video card setting to stock. I tried playing with the Vsync and tripple buffering settings(I normally have both enabled) but had no luck. Any other ideas?

Also reinstalling graphics drivers still solves this problem at least temporarily but installing graphics drivers 2 times a day isn't something I want to be doing
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a c 172 U Graphics card
March 15, 2011 9:49:29 AM

jb6684 said:
Your right Dadiggle, Type-O on my part... the FASTER GPU is putting more LOAD on the "CPU" causing stability problems......

faster gpu's dont put "load" on the cpu, it doesnt work like that. If your comparing to a previous slow vid card that was the bottleneck, then yes the cpu will be doing more work than before. the cpu dishes the info as fast as it can to the gpu, and if the gfx card can handle more info from it then it waits for that info creating a so called "bottleneck" not a "load". In other words, the GPU does not suck power from the CPU and bog the cpu down if you have a fast GPU. if the gpu is processing faster than the cpu can dish out, it just waits and you dont see the most performance from your gfx card aka bottleneck.
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a b U Graphics card
March 15, 2011 11:20:44 AM

Ah, Semantics.... were are certainly saying the same thing.

Given CPU X with a GTX 460

And CPU X with a GTX 580

The CPU with the GTX 580 will have to work faster / harder to feed the GPU. When it does the CPU will draw more power, from the system power supply. This is what I meant by more "load" since we were in the context of a power supply & stability discussion. When the CPU works harder (it draws more current from the power supply). This results in more heat, in the CPU & power supply. And, it's often the case that running a CPU at a higher temperature will make it unstable (and, when supplying more current the power supply will get hotter, getting it closer to it's limits could result in larger voltage fluctuations from the power supply, which, might also cause instability in your CPU...)


Here's a quick energy saving tip (& a demo of this concept) : Pick any game that you system plays at say 100 FPS. Look at the system power draw while playing (I use a KillAWatt meter, $20 on-line). Now, go into the game settings and turn on VSync (this will lock you to 60 FPS used by most all LCD monitors). Now play the game & measure the power draw.

Power draw will be much lower.... (CPU & GPU are doing less work...)
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March 16, 2011 4:09:11 AM

I'm a bit confused by what the suggestion is to fix this issue from the conversations going on

EDIT: Another fix for the flickering issue is lowering shaders to medium quality in SC2. This give anybody a hint to what is causing this?
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a b U Graphics card
March 16, 2011 10:43:54 AM

Ok let's restate the issue(s) (I see two problems here)

Problem #1: system crashes while playing games
Solution: Return system to stock clocks & voltages for CPU, RAM, and GPU

Question: To confirm, does the system still run without crashing?



Problem #2: system flickers while playing SC2
Solution: Turn down shaders to medium.

Question: Does this stop all the flickering????

To Diagnose the flicker a bit further:

So, download and install FRAPS. Configure FRAPS to show the frame rate on-screen. Play the game, note the frame rate at any point you are describing as "flicker."

If frame rates drop below about 20 FPS:
- you can lower resolution
- lower quality settings
- tweak up you CPU OC a bit to see IF this improves your FPS at the SAME point in the game (or better yet run the games benchmark test if there is one for consistent test results)

If frame rates are 30 FPS or above when you note "flicker":
- I'd actually call that a pause or stutter in the game, some times it's just in the way the game is coded
- Example: I play DiRT 2 and average over 100 FPS. I Never drop below 75 FPS. BUT, I see pauses & skips while playing. Just crappy coding in the game.

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