Banding of gradients and flickering graphics with Sapphire HD5750

As the title says I'm getting some banding in color gradients and flickering graphics with the Sapphire HD5750. I've noticed both problems in many games, though the amount is dependent on the game. Games affected are World of Warcraft, Mass Effect 2, Fallout New Vegas, Mirror's Edge, Just Cause 2, and many more. The flickering tends to occur at edges where two pieces of geometry intersect, like the edge of Sheperd's hair in ME2 or around the edge of a water mass in WoW. The banding appears anywhere there is a color gradient, such as sky boxes or shadows. FurMark runs and looks fine, and the video card tops out at 58 degrees celsius under stress. These problems cropped up sometime within the last three months, and its too late to RMA the card, methinks.

Shows what looks to be a combination of both problems. If you looks closely you can see that the water is divided up into squiggly horizontal lines that almost looks like runny watercolor brush strokes. If you could see this in motion, you'd see that these lines flicker all over the place as the character moves.

Shows the gradient issues really obviously.

I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Service Pack 1, ASRock 550 watt psu, ASRock M3A770DE mobo, Athlon II x3 @ 2.9ghz, 4gig Adata Gaming Series DDR3 ram.

I'm running the video card driver that Steam said was up-to-date as of yesterday, 11.6.

Thanks in advance for any help provided, and BOOOOO to any help NOT provided. Or something.
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  1. The flickering at the edges could be due to the lack of anti-aliasing or the driver release.

    As far as the banding, it could be due to your selected color bit depth or the possible color bit-depth of the game itself. Does the banding happen with all titles?

    Make sure your color bit depth is set to 32-bit for your resolution.
  2. I can verify its not the driver release. I've tried the current drivers, the last drivers installed, and the first drivers that came on the cd, to no avail. Flickering might not be a strong enough word, the pieces of geometry that flicker are quite large. It tends to be at the edges, but can extend away from the edge significantly. I believe that I know the flickering that comes from lack of anti aliasing and this is that times ten or more.

    The color is set to 32 bit as well, and the problem occurs in many games.

    I'm starting to suspect a bad video card. Still, help is appreciated.

    I'm thinking of really starting from scratch, is there a good driver cleaner for free so I won't leave any vestiges of the old one?

  3. Best answer
    If you've tried all that, I think you're right about the bad card, too.

    Phyxion has driver sweeper:

    This is essential when updating or rolling back AMD drivers. It's also essential any time you make a physical change to your AMD card configuration (ie adding another in crossfire). So, if you haven't done your driver installs using driver sweeper, I would suspect you could still have a driver issue.

    You have to re-install AMD drivers in the following order:

    1)Uninstall through the Control Panel->Programs->Uninstall a program option and choose the Catalyst
    2)Choose the 'Express uninstall...' option when prompted
    3)Reboot when prompted
    4)Repeat 1-3 for any other AMD/ATI components (ie AMD Stream)
    5)Run Driver Sweeper selecting the AMD/ATI components
    7)Install the catalyst drivers and control center

    If you re-install a different driver version (try from 11.3 up to 11.6) and you still get the banding, you can conclude you have a bad card.
  4. I smell a bad card. And if I can smell it it must be really bad. None of these things worked, but its still within manufacturer's warranty. Hooray! Unfortunately, Sapphire says to RMA to Newegg and Newegg requires packaging. Hopefully I can RMA to Sapphire directly.

    Thanks for your help Ubercake. I appreciate it.
  5. No problem.
  6. Best answer selected by Toggles.
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