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Screen flickers running 120hz - Radeon HD 7970

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 30, 2012 7:10:50 AM

Hi guys!

I'm really frustrated here with my new PC build and brand new BenQ XL2420T monitor.
Like the topic says my graphic card is a Asus Radeon HD 7970 DirectCU 2 Top card.

I have been running the build for 2 weeks without any problems, playing games like Battlefield 3 smoothly.

Now, yesterday I thought I would try testing my monitor's 120hz ability. After all it's the reason I bought the monitor.
I checked I had a dual DVI-D cable, connected it to the right DVI input on my graphic card. I also had to flip this little switch physically on my graphic card.

Wow, there it is! The 120hz option in Windows appeared. I enabled 120hz and for like 5 seconds it was amazing!


So to the downside of it all:
- When dragging a window around accross my desktop it had this black kind of lag hanging after it.
- There was these horizontal lines which was flickering accross my screen and they got worse if I opened the start menu for example.
- My monitor blacked out for a few seconds.


Now I got really upset by this new behaviour and it's impossible to use Windows like that so I thought I would switch back to 60hz. After all the computer had been running smooth on 60hz for 2 weeks.
The 60hz view seemed normal and I was relifed....for a short while. I got to my living room to eat dinner and got back to my computer. The powersaving had turned my monitor off so I touched the mouse to get it up and running again. It was just a simple monitpr powersaving.

I noticed the monitor used a lot more time than usual to get back on. It got back on after 10-15 seconds and this message box showed up down right by the clock saying something like "graphic card driver has stopped working and has been restored", clearly stating that it was the AMD driver.

I'm running the last official AMD driver on my system and card firmware.


Guys, do I have a faulty graphic card on my hands? Or do you have any other advice?
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
March 30, 2012 1:45:09 PM

That physical switch if i'm not mistaken changes your bios it is the 'Dual BIOS Toggle Switch'. you can change between 2 different bios versions switching it, not sure if you would need that to 120hz.

Well make sure your drivers are working, try an older version.

Check if your monitor is well configured and in the right profile, i think that AMA causes a little Black shadows following the moving objects on screen, but if it is lagging may be a video problem, horizontal lines across the screen, and blacked out, this looks like your video card run into trouble, it can be driver problem.

If your psu is enough to power it, it is probably driver issues. rollback to a stable version or something like that.
March 30, 2012 2:32:09 PM

Hi and thanks for answering!

I would like for the 120hz to work, that's my main reason for buying that monitor. It's a gaming computer so 120hz will make a difference.

My graphic card is only 2 months from the release date so I don't think there's that many older drivers I could use.

The black lagging is severeral cm og lag when I move a window around over my desktop and should not be there.

I have a 700W PSU from Corsair in my build. Nothing is overclocked.
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a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
March 30, 2012 4:06:47 PM

Yes psu is enough.
it is really a strange issue, it may be related with the new 7xxx series, try reseting your GPU switch to the original position...
By what you have described it should be working, and since you had driver failing problem it is certain a GPU/GPU DRiver related problem.
It is strange that you have bought a 3D Vision display and will be using an AMD video card. have you considered buying a 680?

maybe a new AMD driver will fix that issue... but... i don't think you will be able to know if it is only driver problem unless you change it or upgrade/downgrade drivers...
March 30, 2012 4:15:32 PM

I would love to replace my HD 7970 card with the 680. But when I ordered the computer parts the 680 was not released yet. Too bad because I like Nvidia better.

I was thinking about maybe returning the HD7970 and ask for a switch to 680. It seems like the 7970 has some sort of weakness which I can't pin point.
a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2012 4:20:13 PM

If you're still able to return that it would be a great idea. The 680 is $50 cheaper and faster, but out of stock everywhere. So you might have to wait a little
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
March 30, 2012 4:47:38 PM

yes if you could return it i would do the same. it will probably work normally with the 120hz display. and if you add extra cash and buy 3D Active shutter glasses you could even activate the monitor 3D, that would pay for the money invested in it ^^;
March 30, 2012 4:58:03 PM

I'm going to contact the store to see their response. It's been about 3 weeks since I got all the parts in the mail so I hope they will be nice to me.

If that don't work I don't know what I'll do really..
a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2012 5:08:13 PM

Did you order from newegg? I remember once I returned a $70 keyboard because "I don't like the feel of it" as I told the rep. They took it back without the restocking fee and even offered to pay the return shipping. They're great :) 
March 30, 2012 5:36:24 PM

I ordered from a Norwegian/Swedish online store as I'm a Norwegian :) 

I'm writting on these forums because you guys have a lot of insight :) 
a c 79 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
March 30, 2012 5:57:53 PM

they put too low idle clocks on them cards again....
do a little test, open youtube video on your browser and see if the flickering goes away. Youtube uses flash, and flash makes the card to run at slightly elevated clockrates.

you could use radeon bios editor and mess a little with the bios or wait for a driver fix..
http://www.techpowerup.com/rbe/

edit its the vram clock rate that's too low
March 30, 2012 6:08:40 PM

Kari said:
they put too low idle clocks on them cards again....
do a little test, open youtube video on your browser and see if the flickering goes away. Youtube uses flash, and flash makes the card to run at slightly elevated clockrates.

you could use radeon bios editor and mess a little with the bios or wait for a driver fix..
http://www.techpowerup.com/rbe/

edit its the vram clock rate that's too low


Hi Kari,

You think it would get solved with a driver update? Too bad AMD take so freakin long to do something about it!

I thought this was a serious hardware failure on some level...
a c 79 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
March 30, 2012 6:25:15 PM

well they have fixed something a bit like this earlier via drivers, though back then the issue was in multimonitor setups and people got flickering on the extra screens. They eventually released drivers that used higher idle clocks for the vram and that fixed the problem.

You could try RBE, though it seems the 7900 series isn't supported yet so it might not work... clockrates are also defined in the bios so it's possible to tweak them manually. And the card should have dual biosses so if you are carefull and follow the instructions flashing the bios should be rather safe.

or the ghetto fix would just mean running youtube constantly.. :p P paused of course. Current flash version is smart enough to let the card use the highest 3d clocks when proper load is detected so it shouldn't limit the gaming performance either, it will add few extra watts on the idle power consumption though...
March 30, 2012 7:58:52 PM

Hum playing a Youtube video and running at 120hz did NOT help at all...
March 30, 2012 8:02:48 PM

Damn....running on 120hz right now...

When pressing the start menu button the monitor turned black right now and a message from the monitor showed up in the corner just when the picture came back saying "you're using a wrong cable, please use the Dual DVI cable that came with the monitor".

And the picture was all fuzzy.

I switched back to 60hz and the picture is now smooth.

Wierd thing is that I use the DVI-D cable that came with the monitor :pt1cable: 
March 30, 2012 8:40:20 PM

Tried a driver update as I acctualy found a newer one.

There was no results regarding the 120hz.

Allthough I just installed the new driver at CCC, I didn't uninstall the one that I allready had on my system.
March 30, 2012 9:20:15 PM

Uhm, I uninstalled the drivers properly and then reinstalled after rebooting.

Still no luck.

Best solution

a b U Graphics card
March 31, 2012 5:17:44 PM
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Have you tried contacting asus to see if this is a common problem or maybe you have a defective card. Maybe take it back to the store you bought it and inquire about that too and they might exchange it for another one.
August 16, 2012 1:21:20 PM

i got the same problem with my 7970 DC2T + XL2420T. sometimes the wrong cable massages poped up.

anyone fixed the prob? or know how to?
August 27, 2012 2:02:32 PM

Best answer selected by enurweb.
a c 271 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
August 27, 2012 4:30:12 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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