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Rad 6850 CrossfireX Sudden Degredation!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 10, 2012 6:38:09 AM

Earlier during March the 9th, 2012, my AMD Radeon 6850s (got two of them in a crossfire) started presenting a series of random green dots tracing around different internet browser windows; the kind you normally see when an old Nvidia card is dying, for example.

Worried, I went through the checklist. Checked my cables, made sure nothing was loose. Tried the monitor on a different computer, and it was fine. Unfortunately I do not have any other compatible monitors to try on this one. So I went and updated my graphics drivers ( http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/windows/Pages/rad... Installing every non-optional driver listed here). Ever since, about nine of the games I had recently been playing now have severe graphics distortions of varying degrees.

Thought maybe the card was just really going bad since the primary card is always running about 20 degrees celsius higher than the other and always shows as a fire icon (SpeedFan is the program I use to monitor it; it usually shows the main graphics card as being 58 to 70 degrees celsius).

Thinking if maybe the main card is just going bad, I could temporarily swap the two cards around and use the old slave as the master. The green spots are gone, but the other problems since the update remain. Very brief video capturing the error shown here: http://youtu.be/BboKcmRJ_F4 This happens on Skyrim, Battlefield 3. MW3 seems to have a vertical synchronizing problem now and colored spots of blue and green. Assorted graphical errors in other games such as Crysis 2, Dead Island, and a few others that on the morning of March 9th, 2012, never existed before the first green spots.

I have never used any overclock settings, simply factory defaults. I don't tweak settings, and never touched them before. I simply set games to ultra graphics and play. For some reason though their quality has gone to *** today since those dots -- although it could be since the drivers, but those are the ones AMD automatically picked for me when I told it to detect my card/drivers.

Older games seem unaffected by this degredation, namely games like Dead Space, older Mass Effect games (but the newest one has suddenly turned to ***), etc.

Would it be the drivers? Or do I need to return the cards to the manufacturer for replacements?
Anonymous
March 10, 2012 6:42:14 AM

I think it's RMA time. Is it possible to try the cards in a friends computer, one at a time and try to run a few of the games? But it sounds like one has gone bad and the other isn't far behind.
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March 10, 2012 7:00:47 AM

stick only one card in. uninstall your drivers, and reinstall the newest from amd.
then do the other one.

post the results.

I think it's likely one is bad but I highly doubt they both died at the same time. If they both have the same problem try using driversweeper. Also try using only one card in each pcie slot.
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March 10, 2012 2:45:53 PM

@Greeneman510 Unfortunately I don't have any local friends (most people here are pretty computer illiterate and I recently moved in). I do have an older Dell computer, but the graphics cards are not compatible. It doesn't fit.

@ Slicedtoad To be perfectly honest I'm afraid to try and uninstall the drivers again -- I tried it once before already, the screen went black for more than 15 minutes and I was worried that it wouldn't even give me video again after restarting it. Reinstalled afterward, and the program Vision Engine Control Center were saying I did not have any AMD/ATI cards installed. So I uninstalled everything but the display drivers, and reinstalled a third time. The programs from AMD now work as they should (registering that I have two crossfirex ready cards), however.. It didn't fix the graphics problems. On the plus side I haven't seen green spots while using the browsers in Windows 7. However I still have the problems with Skyrim and Battlefield 3 (although on BF3 I can see through walls because of this error... >.>; ) But, I will try it again this time with one card at a time.

Now that I think about it.. The manager for AMD is called "Vision Engine Control Center." It used to be called the "Catalyst" control center before I updated. I only had green dots on windows programs before (but not in game). Now I got those funky transluscent dots or green and blue ones in games only since updating.

Computer's specs since I didn't mention 'em before.

Manufacturer: iBUYPOWER Computers
Rating: 6.0
Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 975 Processor 3.60 GHz
Installed Memory (RAM) : 16 GB
System type: 64-bit operating system
Display adapters (as read in Device Manager) AMD Radeon HD 6800 series
Used to be listed as AMD Radeon HD 6850.

System Information tab reads:
OS Name Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Version 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601
Other OS Description Not Available
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name KALONLACHEVET
System Manufacturer Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
System Model GA-970A-D3
System Type x64-based PC
Processor AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 975 Processor, 3600 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date Award Software International, Inc. F6, 8/31/2011
SMBIOS Version 2.4
Windows Directory C:\Windows
System Directory C:\Windows\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.1.7601.17514"
User Name KalonLaChevet\Kalon LaChevet
Time Zone Eastern Standard Time
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 16.0 GB
Total Physical Memory 16.0 GB
Available Physical Memory 13.8 GB
Total Virtual Memory 24.8 GB
Available Virtual Memory 22.3 GB
Page File Space 8.79 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys

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March 10, 2012 3:20:17 PM

If I remember correctly these premade pcs come with CRAP PSU's...
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March 10, 2012 3:48:29 PM

@diec4st I had mine custom built from ibuypower.com O.o; It's been incredible up until yesterday. Although I don't know what a PSU is.

Okay sliced. So I tried it.

Removed the bad card (the one that's always running hotter regardless of where it is) first.

With the good card (or rather, the former slave turned master that has never had a heating spike) was very complacent about removing the AMD software, including the display drivers. Restarted and redownloaded the drivers fresh after deleting all old downloads and install paths of it.

Battlefield 3 has sped up in terms of frame-rate, but sent me through the ground before I could even get fraps on. Something it used to do before I enabled crossfire when I had graphics on high, so not surprised. Lowering them quickly enough could fix it but don't care enough. No more seeing through walls before being pulled on a trip to 150 feet below, so that's somewhat of an improvement.
MW3 has improved (well, the game's graphics are still outdated but no longer spotty. The screen still bends for no apparent reason but it can't be frapsed so it has nothing to do with the card).
The other games with assorted problems seem to be fine.
Did not run the games for long, but no real heat increase.

With good card, Skyrim got worse.

Tried the "bad" card, before and after doing a full uninstall and reinstall. Instantly noticed it ran louder, had a more audible fan that quieted about a minute after windows started. Problems with skyrim unchanged from "worse." Problems with other games returned. Spots on Windows explorer programs returned. Temperature of card 9 degrees celsius higher, despite similar if briefer use in games.

Attempted uninstall of drivers to reinstall with "bad" card. Screen went black during uninstall. Waited long enough to eat a bowl of ice cream. No "loading/busy" light from computer. Screen was blank. Restarted. Display on start up. Display ended at login screen. No display.

Swapped back to "good card."

...Skyrim's still ruined.

Guess I could live with one card and return the other, but.. I'm thinking the Skyrim specific issue might be the latest driver released 3/7/2012 for AMD Radeon 6xxx series.

Skyrim footage (from "good" card). Did not bother including the footage of the other games since they fixed with the removal of the other card.
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March 10, 2012 3:49:34 PM

Forgot the link to the skyrim's worsened condition.

http://youtu.be/wfQbtoaiNfk

I have never changed the graphics settings from Ultra, which is where I've had it since I got the game, so it's not the graphics settings for Skyrim.
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March 10, 2012 5:38:33 PM

Green and red spots started appearing om movies even with "good" card. Both seem to be defective. Just great... Bought the computer and had it made November of 2011, so they're not even six months old yet. Damn shame.
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Best solution

March 11, 2012 6:26:51 PM

ok. First of all, ibuypower has at least a one year warranty. Consider contacting them about it if you don't like troubleshooting.

If you want to try more things, the following should identify the problem.
From powered off system:
1. Stick only one card in
2. Boot into windows and uninstal your dirvers (control panel-> uninstall a program->amd catalyst install manager->change->uninstall everything)
3. If it goes black wait a few minutes and restart. repeat step 2 if possible. keep repeating until screen doesn't go black or amd catalyst install manager stops apearing in programs list. Uninstall any "vision control center" or wtvr too.
4. download and install this file. Note: the installer to this program contains bloatware. Quickly read each page on the installer and unselect the 'i agree' for anything not related to driversweeper. the bloatware is not a virus but it is annoying.
5. run the program and sweep everything with amd or radeon in the name.
6. install this ccc download

Test some games, swap the cards (only use the first pcie slot), test some more. If both cards still have problems, stick only one card into the second pcie slot. repeat steps 1 to 6. Test, swap, test. Let me know the results.

Basically you're testing two things here.
-did something go wrong when you uninstalled ccc, causing problems when you reinstalled it.
-are both pcie slots the same.

If all that seems like too much work, try installing this older driver first and testing with a single card.
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