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Radeon 6870

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 11, 2011 1:20:25 PM

Hello all,

I'm having a problem with a Radeon 6870 I got about 5 months ago. System specs are below.

I installed the GPU and everything seemed to be working for about three months. Then occasionally I would get a momentary flicker, like the resolution had switched to a different size, for about 1/10 of a second. It didn't happen very often and didn't affect gameplay so I didn't worry about it too much. Then I picked up Bioshock 2 off a $4.99 deal on steam. I could play about 2 minutes of the game before the monitor went completely black and the tells me it has no input. The sound carries on for about 30 seconds, then freezes too. I can't ctrl+alt+delete or do anything else, so I have to hit the reset switch.

I thought it might just be the one game, but then after downloading Skyrim last night and attempting to play this morning, I had the exact same problem. About 15 seconds in it goes black and tells me the monitor has no input.

All my drivers are up to date. I don't know what to do next. I don't know if it is worth mentioning, but the Sapphire 5770 I upgraded from had a problem too, but it was an artifact issue which didn't affect gameplay. Suggestions? Should I send it to HIS for repair?

GPU: HIS H687F1G2M Radeon HD 6870 1GB
CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate
PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 SDRAM 1600 (PC3 12800)
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 AM3
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3750528AS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s

More about : radeon 6870

November 11, 2011 1:54:21 PM

This sounds like a typical heat and/or power problem. How are your temperatures (CPU and GPU) when at idle and under load? If you don't know, download and install HWMonitor (http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html). Run the program in the background and the program will log your system temps.

Also, how old is your power supply? And, are you overclocking anything (if so stop until the problem is resolved)?
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November 11, 2011 2:01:16 PM

I'm wondering if you have a lemon of a psu. You only get these type of problems when gaming correct? Do you ever get a cold boot problem, or any other weird computer issues?
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November 11, 2011 2:20:32 PM

I'll run HWMonitor when I get home from work. I got the PSU in March 2010 when I built the system. I don't have anything overclocked.

The screen flicker happens when I'm not gaming sometimes, usually when I'm browsing and using the scroll wheel or opening a new tab. I am able to run other less demanding games, such as WoW and TF2/Portal 2, without any crashing problems.

Something occurred to me when you said something about the PSU. Back a few months ago lightning struck close to my apartment during the night and it woke my computer from sleep mode. I got up restarted it and it seemed to be working fine, no other issues until this one.
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November 11, 2011 2:40:08 PM

You do realize that the Video card requires a power connection?
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November 11, 2011 2:46:08 PM

dfusco said:
You do realize that the Video card requires a power connection?


Not sure what you mean by that, but yes, it is plugged in.
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November 11, 2011 2:51:43 PM

please check you pc power need with this site.
http://educations.newegg.com/tool/psucalc/index.html
650W is very good psu power but let see if your pc need more power but psu can not support it, that will happen.
at idle most of all pc system don't eat much power from psu.
you know lol
but once you start play game with your monster pc, i am sure it will eat much more more power from psu.
so please check it out and lets start from there~ ^^
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November 11, 2011 2:52:30 PM

dfusco said:
You do realize that the Video card requires a power connection?

i like your baby puppy on your picture~ ^^
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November 11, 2011 2:55:08 PM

andywork78 said:
please check you pc power need with this site.
http://educations.newegg.com/tool/psucalc/index.html
650W is very good psu power but let see if your pc need more power but psu can not support it, that will happen.
at idle most of all pc system don't eat much power from psu.
you know lol
but once you start play game with your monster pc, i am sure it will eat much more more power from psu.
so please check it out and lets start from there~ ^^




"Our recommended PSU Wattage: 447 W"
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November 11, 2011 3:09:24 PM

bfulmer1014 said:
"Our recommended PSU Wattage: 447 W"

oh great remember 447W is estimate of avg 12v idle use.
Now little add power uses of 3V and 5V fan, usb device, so on.
150W add on it will be best PSU.
447 + 150 = 597W
Once you already have 650W
Therefore PSU is already stay in good condition~
Even with great GPU, so many different game give so many different review...
Therefore lets wait for expert user advice.
Sorry for can't help you further...
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November 11, 2011 5:20:18 PM

Just because the PSU is rated for 650w, doesn't mean it produces at that level. Will need to know the status of the operating temps to make a solid assessment.
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November 11, 2011 9:42:26 PM

Ok, I've been running CPUID in the background while I played around on a few games. The highest that I saw the card get was 63C while playing a less demanding game. After that I tried running Skyrim in windowed mode while watching the temp. The last temp I saw was about 60C and rising, then it crashed.

After that I tried to manually adjust the fan on the GPU, since I never noticed it adjust even under load. I bumped up the fan to 80%, which made it quite noisy, but I was able to play the game for about 20 minutes in windowed mode while watching the temperature. It topped out at 51C.

So is this a fix? Am I going to wear out my fan running it at this speed for hours at a time?
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November 12, 2011 12:00:32 AM

You will not wear out the fan. However, you fan should be able to regulate itself to stay within safe temp ranges. I suspect that your GPU (video card) is okay and that your PSU is flaky. It happens.

Do you have another video card or PSU you could swap for troubleshooting?
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November 14, 2011 9:47:48 AM

i have the exact same problem

amd 3.1 dual core
4gigs of ram
have HD6870
650w corsair psu
150gig raptor hdd

crashes 30mins-3hours screen goes black, then hear a repeating sound and then i power off the computer.

only problem is today it seems to happen every 5 mins. it NEVER crashes when in a dungeon, ever. only in the world.

also i have tried running on High - Med - Low with same results, and it stutters a bit on all of them except when i really put it high up there it begins to lag, but it crashes the same on all settings. makes no difference.

an quite pissed am thinking of asking for a refund for the game on steam.

FYI there is a very large thread about this here:
http://www.thenexusforums.com/index.php?/topic/456889-s...
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November 14, 2011 10:35:32 PM

Thanks for the thread link brotha1. This does sound exactly like my issue except that I crash in at least one other game too in the same way. Maybe they will patch it and it will be playable soon.

COLGeek: It went from playable to unplayable once I got out of the dungeon and into the world where it is rendering a lot more often. I don't have any other PSU or GPU sitting around unfortunately.

I guess I will see if I can get this patch to work with Skyrim and see what happens after that. The card has a 2 year warranty if I send it in so I shouldn't be running into that any time soon. I'm not sure of the PSU warranty, would it be worth sending it in to see if they can repair it if is in fact defective?
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November 15, 2011 10:48:37 AM

More likely that the PSU is failing under load and causing the issue. What level of detail (video) are you playing at in your games? If you turn down the eye-candy does it make a difference? Also, what resolution are you gaming at?
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December 2, 2011 9:25:37 PM

I'm back with an update. After trying multiple solutions based on the thread that brotha1 linked, I have not had any luck getting Skyrim to run. The thread on the Bethesda help site for a very similarly described problem that a lot of other users are receiving says that it mimics a GPU overheating.

After testing a few of the fixes suggested today and hard resetting a few times, my computer refused to reboot after coming to the freeze in the game that I described earlier. I ended up holding down the power and turning the system off. After waiting about ten seconds, I turned it back on. The fans started running and the case lights turned on, but then it turned back off after about five seconds. I tried turning it back on again and it wouldn't respond. I turned the PSU switch on the back off and left it for about a minute, then turned it back on and it booted up normally.

Does this event, along with the previous similar problem while playing a different game, make it sound more like a PSU problem instead of a software problem? Can anyone else weigh in on what a PSU failure looks like?

To answer your question COLGeek, I am gaming at 1920x1080 and the graphics are set to high. I have tried reducing the eye candy but had the exact same results.

As a side note, I downloaded Mass Effect 2, which was released at a similar time to Bioshock 2, and I have had zero problems playing it with graphic settings all the way up. I don't know if that affects the issue but I thought it was worth mentioning.
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December 5, 2011 2:48:31 PM

Another update, this morning I was trying to wake my computer from sleep mode and it turned on for a couple of seconds then turned back off. I restarted it and tried it again. It booted up really slowly with Windows loading one piece at a time, but seemed to work okay after the OS loaded. Still look like a PSU issue?
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December 5, 2011 3:17:57 PM

Still sounds like a flaky PSU to me. Especially when you had to turn it off and then back on to get it to start properly.
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