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Weird boxes / display hiccups...assuming its my vid card...any advice?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 11, 2012 12:02:09 AM

Hey everyone.

First off, here's my system specs:

1050 Watt PSU
Intel Core i7 CPU ~3.1GHz
XFX Radeon 5970 Black Edition
8GB DDR3 RAM
1TB HD
100MB SSD

This computer has been running fine for about a year and a half.

Now onto my problem:

A few weeks ago I started getting some weird graphical issues, that I noticed mainly while playing games. Over time though, it got worse and worse, and now sometimes even occurs when a game is not loaded.

I originally thought it was overheating, so I used some canned air to blow out my video card. It didn't fix anything. I tried using DriverSweeper or whatever to get rid of all drivers and then reinstall them...it did nothing either.

Sometimes I get display driver crashes, and even blue screen lock ups because of it. Normally when I reboot my PC it is gone, at least for a while...usually until I start up a game. Sometimes I can play games for hours without issue, sometimes I get the issue but it doesn't affect the game, and other times it's constantly distorting my screen, and progressively getting worse. Doing things like moving around the window that is jacked up can make them disappear, but they usually come back in some way shape or form. Usually if I leave my PC off for a while, then turn it on, it stays a way for a while which is why I thought overheating or something, but when I run CPU-ID it shows the card at about 50-60 degrees celsius idle, and the highest it got under load was 74, which I think is fine.

I'm assuming the card is in someway dying, but XFX is terrible and will not support the card. They won't RMA it, or even look at it, because I did not transfer the license when I bought the card from reseller within their two week period, but rather after three weeks. They never brought up the issue until I recently inquired in how to RMA this card.

Anyway, I'm sort of looking for two answers...1. What do you think is wrong? I'm sure as I said, my card is jacked up. If that's the case...

2. Is there anything I can try to do to fix it before just tossing it in the trash can? I'd like to at least try something, cuz I can't afford a new card at the moment.

I'm attaching some screenshots to show you what exactly it looks like:







Actually as I type this (last image you can see) it's REALLY bad, and every few minutes or so locking up, crashing my display adapter, it goes away, then comes back after a couple minutes and does it all again.

Any advice on what to try, other than what I've listed above, or "contact XFX" (Trust me its useless, I've tried), or "youre screwed" would be greatly appreciated!
April 11, 2012 12:17:45 AM

Have you been using the same driver for the last year and a half? Do you think Windows Update may have downloaded and installed a more recent driver? Otherwise, try to get a hold of another graphics card to make 100% sure it is the graphics card if you can.
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April 11, 2012 12:33:39 AM

It's possible that I had used the same driver for that year and a half, though I think I updated it at least once. Like I said, since then I ran DriverSweeper or whatever and reinstalled fresh from their website, but maybe I did it wrong.

If this is the issue, how would I go about fixing that?

I'll also try and get a friend to let me borrow their card to test that, but probably won't be able to for a day or so.

Thanks for the help so far.
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April 11, 2012 1:05:37 AM

Sure, go to:
-Start Menu.
-Control Panel.
-System and Maintenance.
-Device Manager.
-Display Adapter.
-Driver.
-Roll Back Driver.

This is for Windows Vista x64. Should be the same for Windows 7.
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Best solution

a c 112 U Graphics card
April 11, 2012 1:23:08 AM

That looks allot like bad vram(I would guess if you turn aero off, it would not happen as much because the video card would not be used for hardware accelerated desktop), but better check older drivers as others say too.
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April 11, 2012 1:43:33 AM

The current driver date is 12/5/2011, version 8.930.0.0 so I don't think that's it. Like I said before, I uninstalled all drivers and reinstalled fresh new ones, and it did nothing.

Sorry nuke but I'm kinda new to this...what exactly is vram? I also turned off Aero.
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a c 112 U Graphics card
April 11, 2012 1:52:52 AM

Your video card has its own memory. Generally this is called vram(video ram).

You are more then welcome to try the latest drivers from the AMD website(if that is not how you got them last time), but it kind of looks like your card is failing.

I know that 12.1 worked very well for my while 12.2 had some bugs with the game Star Wars : The Old Republic. 12.3 seems fine, but have not played that game with this driver set.

Does aero off help it any? It will not help with games(those load up the card), but at least windows should mess up less. Just to check, after cleaning you make sure the fan is turning properly right(a failed fan will let the card get hot enough to do this kind of thing).
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April 11, 2012 1:54:30 AM

If it is my card, is there anything I can do? Someone told me theres a way to put it in the oven or something to fix things?

EDIT: After uninstalling and reinstalling the new driver fresh from AMD, as well as disabling Aero, the problem hasn't occured yet, but sometimes it would go for a bit without happening. Is there a way I can sort of "stress test" this to try and trigger it to see if it's actually fixed?
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a c 112 U Graphics card
April 11, 2012 2:24:45 AM

If you have solder joints that have failed(due to heat cool cycles), you can use the "re-flow" method, but normally that issue is an actual issue with the chips them selves(so re-flow does not help).

Either way, you would have to remove the heatsink and everything to even try to re-flow it. I simply have never done that.

That just sucks that you are getting the warranty run around. I mean i had XFX send me a heat sink for a 5770 without any problems. I had registered it, but i do not even remember if it was within the 30 days or not.

I would ask to talk to a supervisor or something because that just sucks.
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a c 112 U Graphics card
April 11, 2012 2:27:20 AM

GameGuideWorld said:
EDIT: After uninstalling and reinstalling the new driver fresh from AMD, as well as disabling Aero, the problem hasn't occured yet, but sometimes it would go for a bit without happening. Is there a way I can sort of "stress test" this to try and trigger it to see if it's actually fixed?

Playing any game should stress it.

As for the oven idea.

http://www.addictivetips.com/hardware/fix-your-graphics...
http://hackaday.com/tag/reflow/

and many more. Many users use a heatgun to reflow as well
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April 11, 2012 2:35:56 AM

Been playing Starcraft II on max for about 25 minutes now with no issue...surely that is a good sign? :p  And yeah XFX gave me a bad runaround...it's very pathetic.
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April 30, 2012 6:31:20 PM

Best answer selected by GameGuideWorld.
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a c 272 U Graphics card
April 30, 2012 8:54:17 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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