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Can't run brand new 6950 unless bit mining..constant driver crash

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 28, 2012 3:21:20 PM

Hey all,

I've been slowly piecing together a brand new rig for myself ever since Christmas. The last thing to get replaced was my ATI Radeon 5770, which was showing some texture flickering and z-fighting in video games. I replaced it with a Diamond 6950 2gb which for some reason won't even start any sort of 3D application at all...unless I'm bit mining.

I first tried reinstalling drivers. I used driver sweeper in safe mode each time, and tried various different versions of the drivers. Whenever trying ANY sort of 3D app (usually furmark, but I tried games as well) I would immediately get a black screen with a slight amount of static and then I'd get sent back to my desktop with the message "The display driver has stopped responding and has recovered successfully." It plays flash videos and any other videos (including blu-ray quality videos) just fine.

I then formatted my disk, and completely reinstalled Windows. The first thing I did was install my chipset drivers and the video drivers...reboot...install Kombustor, and bam, same issue. Instant crashing to desktop with the "Display driver has stopped working" message. I did ensure that OpenGL/DirectX were both up to date.

So that should rule out driver issues.

I then remembered that I used to use GUIMiner, a Bit Mining program, to stress test my GPU's in the past. It works similarly to Prime95 (I think..don't quote me on it) and doesn't load any 3D display. It stresses the GPU very well, and I've always used it to test for proper cooling.

Anyhow, I started it up, and it was running perfectly. The card was mining at the rate that it should've been mining at. I think that this tells me that the GPU itself is fine, but I'm not 100% sure. Then I had the bright idea to start up Furmark while I was bit mining. It started up and ran perfectly, albeit only 90FPS. I stopped GUIMiner and it hopped up to 400 FPS. It worked fine for about 3-4 minutes until it began to incessantly crash the driver as it had been doing before, forcing me to end the process.

I tried loading games with GUIMiner running in the background, and they all loaded fine, though of course reduced performance since the GPU was being stressed by GUIminer. They would run fine until I stopped GUIminer. They'd run a *bit* better for 3-4 minutes until crashing incessantly to desktop until I ended the process.

With all of that being said, I think that I have it narrowed down to either my GPU or PSU.

I want advice as to which I should RMA. Right now the only thing I'm afraid of is RMA'ing one just to find out that the other is bad.

My PSU is a Corsair CX600 which I only bought a few weeks ago. From what I've been told (and what I've been reading), it's one of the crappiest Corsairs one can get....and I've read of similar issues happening with the exact same PSU and GPU. I tried using my 3 year old Antec Basiq 500W to see if there was any difference, but there was none. I tried unplugging my fans my other HDDs, my optical drives, and there was no noticeable difference. I tried downclocking the card, and undervolting it, but no noticeable difference. I even underclocked my CPU...no difference.


Other specs, in case they may be relevant:
8gb(2X4) of Corsair XMS3 RAM
Phenom II X4 960T OC'd to 3.9GHZ
Corsair CX600 PSU
WD Black 7200RPM 500GB HDD
Samsung "green" 5400 RPM 2TB HDD
Windows 7 x64
Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2P Motherboard

Thanks for the help, and sorry if I'm a bit too wordy.
January 28, 2012 4:18:31 PM

DO not use a registry cleaner.

uninstall the drivers from control panel ,add/remove programs only.
try the 11.12 drivers,some reports on the amd game forums about the 12.1's having issues.
January 28, 2012 4:28:59 PM

Earnie said:
DO not use a registry cleaner.

uninstall the drivers from control panel ,add/remove programs only.
try the 11.12 drivers,some reports on the amd game forums about the 12.1's having issues.



I've tried 12.1 and 11.12, I've tried using registry/driver cleaners and I've tried not using them. There is no difference at all.


Though I've been playing around a lot with this and came up with a few more facts.

Using MSI Afterburner and Hwinfo, I've determined that there are two VRM voltages on this card. First is marked as "Volterra VT1556" and is controllable through Afterburner. It's set at 1.1V. The second is "UPI UP6266" which is set at 1.15V. They both seem to fluctuate. I tried forcing a constant voltage through Afterburner, but it will only affect the Volterra one. The UPI one still fluctuates from .95 to 1.15. When I start up GUIMiner it brings the second up to 1.15 and doesn't effect the first (since it's forced at 1.1 now). I then started up Furmark, and stopped GUIMiner. Furmark ran for a good 15 minutes with no issues, and the voltages did not fluctuate. I then stopped Furmark, and the 1.15 dropped down to .95. I started Furmark again, and the driver crashed.

So it seems as if I've found a fix, but starting up GUIMiner every time I want to play a game seems very...wrong. It seems as if the voltage fluctuation is my problem, or at least is a point of concern. Is there any way to force BOTH voltages at a constant voltage? If so, I may have found a fix.
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January 28, 2012 5:06:44 PM

Why are you using afterburner? Are you overclocking it? You shouldn't be messing around with voltages unless your doing some massive overclocks.

I think your digging to deep, uninstall afterburner and go back to stock settings on CCC using the latest driver. I'm using 12.1 with no issues on an older card.

January 28, 2012 7:43:50 PM

geekapproved said:
Why are you using afterburner? Are you overclocking it? You shouldn't be messing around with voltages unless your doing some massive overclocks.

I think your digging to deep, uninstall afterburner and go back to stock settings on CCC using the latest driver. I'm using 12.1 with no issues on an older card.


Using afterburner to set up a better fan profile, and to check voltages...I'm only forcing it to stay at stock voltage, I'm not actually overvolting it. I'm also not overclocking it at all yet.

12.1 worked fine on my 5770 before it was replaced...and it's been reinstalled so many times now that I'm fairly certain that it isn't the cause.

I've tried it with and without afterburner and with and without CCC (of course the display driver was still installed) with no luck.
January 28, 2012 9:59:30 PM

I bet a fresh windows install would fix it. I don't think it's a hardware problem.
January 28, 2012 10:15:32 PM

geekapproved said:
I bet a fresh windows install would fix it. I don't think it's a hardware problem.


Already tried reinstalling Windows. No difference.

I just removed the card and put my 5770 back in (didn' touch drivers or any software at all) and it's working flawlessly, save for the z-fighting and texture flickering issues that lead me to buying the 6950.

I guess I need to just RMA the card, which is a shame because I was really looking forward to using it. Oh well.

Best solution

January 28, 2012 10:31:37 PM
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I'd pop the 5770 back in and reinstall the drivers just to ensure that it still works. If that is the case, I think you're pretty safe in RMAing the card. It sucks, but I think you've got your bases covered. Perhaps it is something with the card's on-board memory, which wouldn't come up in bit mining because GPU compute often uses very little in the way of video memory.

Have you tried any small, standalone stress tests like Furmark?
January 29, 2012 2:42:28 AM

Xenturion said:
I'd pop the 5770 back in and reinstall the drivers just to ensure that it still works. If that is the case, I think you're pretty safe in RMAing the card. It sucks, but I think you've got your bases covered. Perhaps it is something with the card's on-board memory, which wouldn't come up in bit mining because GPU compute often uses very little in the way of video memory.

Have you tried any small, standalone stress tests like Furmark?



Furmark was my main testing utility, but I tried testing games and using a few other utilities to make sure it wasn't just a furmark only problem. OCCT seemed to actually run fine. I've already popped the 5770 in without even having to reinstall the drivers and it's working fine...so off to RMA the card -.-.

Only downside is that the card is out of stock at Newegg, so I probably won't get another reference design (which means unlocking it is probably a no-go). Either that or I'll just get a full refund and go for an Nvidia or something.
January 29, 2012 3:07:23 PM

Wow you installed Windows and all your drivers and found it didn't work in 15 minutes?
January 29, 2012 3:25:15 PM

geekapproved said:
Wow you installed Windows and all your drivers and found it didn't work in 15 minutes?


I did it long before starting this thread. In fact, I even mentioned doing it in my OP. It's ok though, I understand that I'm longwinded and that it's often hard to sift through my posts.
February 1, 2012 10:07:32 AM

Just an update for anyone interested:

Instead of waiting for an exchange from Newegg, I received the full refund, and purchased a Sapphire 6950. Installed it, and it worked like a charm. It was definitely an issue with the card.

Thanks everyone who tried to help. I was almost certain that it was a driver issue too, but I will only bang my head against a wall for so long.
February 1, 2012 10:07:50 AM

Best answer selected by Cramer21.
February 1, 2012 10:49:04 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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