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2 x Gigabyte 6970's in Crossfire locking up while gaming

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 28, 2011 2:26:23 AM

Hi Guys,

I am a long time reader on these forums but a first time poster. I come from an IT background and consider myself reasonably good a troubleshooting these types of problems but this one is driving me crazy!

I have recently built a new PC with dual Gigabyte 6970's in Crossfire mode, with a triple 24" benq Eyefinity.

Specs

Antec Twelve Hundred (Version 3) Gaming case
1200W "Antec" TPQ-1200 TruePower Quattro PSU
i5-2500K CPU
Corsair 120GB Force Series 3 SSD
ASRock Extreme 4 gen 3 M/B
Corsair vengeance CL9 16GB kit
2 x Gigabyte ATI 6970 OC PCI-E 2.1 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 in Crossfire
Running Windows 7 64-bit

(Nothing overclocked)

Problem

When playing games (Skyrim, SWTOR Beta, Unreal Tournament 3) the display driver locks up and freezes, sometimes I get a blue screen, but most of the time it will just sit there with no other option to reboot / cold boot. Occasionally it will flick back to the desktop saying the display driver has stopped responding has managed to recover but this is a sure sign that it will lock up in the near future.

Typically it will happen 5-10 mins into the game but occasionally I can get 30-50 mins without a lock up.

I have tried the following.

1) Installed the drivers and CCC that came with Graphics cards
2) Re-seated both graphics cards, changed Crossfire bridge to a different slot
3) Turned off Crossfire mode
4) Took out each graphics card and individually tested both in different slots
5) Plugged a different power cable from a different railon the PSU into one of the graphics cards
6) Ran memtest on the RAM for 8 cycles which all passed
7) Upgraded BIOS to the latest version from the manufacturers website.
8) Uninstalled CCC rebooted into safe mode and removed the drivers with driver sweeper
9) Installed the latest drivers and CCC 11.11 from the AMD website
10) Repeated steps 1-4
11) Tried re-installing the latest display drivers and CCC as I thought it might be a bad download and the PC actually bluescreened trying to remove the display drivers. I managed to get them off in safe mode and uninstall CCC. I re-downloaded the drivers however the problem persists.

None of these things seem to make a difference, with the PC still locking up. It doesn't matter weather eyefinity / crossfire is disabled or enabled or weather I changed the graphics settings on the game.

I also ran FurMark Video Card stress test on the PC for about 20 minutes with both graphics cards getting to about 76c so I don't believe its an overheating issue. This actually didn't cause a crash at all

All parts are brand new 1 week old so this is incredibly frustrating :( 

Any help with this problem would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
a b U Graphics card
November 28, 2011 3:43:09 PM

I get this every now and then in BF3. Interestingly it only occurs in multiplayer, the whole game locks up and hangs for a bit then it will either crash to desktop or will require power off at the switch.

I get an error message saying that I have ran out of VRAM (Video Memory) I run two 6850s and although thats only 1GB of VRAM it should be fine I thought. However your 6970s are 2GB and 2GB should be more than plenty.

However I do notice some artifacts and weird blocks in the screen before it does this which leads me to believe that overheating is the problem. My card gets to 70c when playing BF3 so I'm not 100% sure but it could be a factor.

I know 76c is probably fine for your cards but I'd try making them run cooler to see if the games are stable then.

Sorry that I can't give too much help, just thought I'd share my kind of similar experiences :) 


Edit: I only noticed my problems after the AMD Display Driver 'uninstalled' itself. Uninstalled in quotation marks because I had to kill the PC at the switch when turning on Crossfire because it crashed when trying to do this, rebooted and Vision Engine says there's no display driver installed :p 
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November 28, 2011 11:04:26 PM

I'll bump up the fan speed on the case fans just to make sure they aren't overheating. I only got the 76c during a stress test, I'm pretty sure when I'm playing games its lower than that, I will have to check the exact temperature when I get home.

I also checked through the logs for the blue screen, each one seems to have problems with atimag.dll? and nostkrnl.dll? Not sure on the exact spelling, I can check when I leave the office.

I downgraded to 11.8 CCC and display drivers doing the usual driver sweeper in and safe mode last night but is majorly unstable, I was getting complete lockups with grey screens on all 3 monitors from watching videos on youtube, so i got rid of them and put back on 11.11 which seems to run fine on an operating system level but again 40 mins into SWTOR Beta, it locked up and I had no option but to power off :( 
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December 1, 2011 11:07:08 AM

Took both cards out and put in a 4950 from my old PC. Ran skyrim on ultra high no crashes.

I suspect it may be a driver issue as I find it hard to believe that two brand new 6970's would be faulty.


Does anyone know of stable drivers for the 6970? 11.9-11.11 seem to be no good
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December 7, 2011 11:27:15 PM

As an update to this issue I formatted my PC and re-installed windows, disabled the onbaord VGA in the bios and installed CCC 11.11 from the AMD website however I am still getting the same error. This time oddly enough I am getting grey and like lines down the screen when the PC locks up.

I have taken out the both 6970's and tested them in a different system individually and both exhibit the same behavior. Locking up while gaming, sometimes with the grey and black lines down the screen.

I have now sent a support request through to Gigabyte to see if they can shed any light on the issue.
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December 14, 2011 8:23:22 AM

As another update to this issue as advised by Gigabyte I have RA'd both cards and they have both turned out to be faulty ... What are the chances. Anyways I have the option to get store credit or two brand new cards, after all the problems Iv'e had with the 6970's might get some gtx580's instead.
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a c 88 U Graphics card
December 14, 2011 8:55:52 AM

2 x 580s in SLI is one killer set up...why not....you know you want to! ;) 
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December 14, 2011 8:56:52 AM

Yeah I was considering maybe getting the 3GB model of the GTX 580 done by Gigabyte. I'd have to pay about $300 extra though
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a c 143 U Graphics card
December 14, 2011 8:59:25 AM

kewldood said:
As another update to this issue as advised by Gigabyte I have RA'd both cards and they have both turned out to be faulty ... What are the chances. Anyways I have the option to get store credit or two brand new cards, after all the problems Iv'e had with the 6970's might get some gtx580's instead.

Were they a superoverclocked cards ?
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December 15, 2011 2:32:57 AM

I think you should check to see if the fans are actually spinning....I have two of these running bf3 for 4 hours only 61 degree celsius..I borrow one of the card to my brother's computer. His computer crashes after 30mins of bf3 gaming.... then I realized the fans on the card isn't spinning... it was because some metal was lifting the card causing the fans not running... I reinstalled it then everything works fine.... man he almost killed one of my card. my cards are oc edition with three fans 2gb ram.
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