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Does my gfx card need replacing ?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 18, 2012 11:51:52 PM

Hello, I've been having crashes on my system for over a year now and lately I think I've narrowed the problem down to my gfx card.

My gfx card is a Club 3d HD4870 Overclocked 1024MB.

Pc Specs :

RAM - 4096MB-KIT Corsair XMS2 PC8500,CL5
PSU - Corsair TX650W 650 Watt
Mobo - Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P, Intel P45, ATX, DDR2
CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
OS - Windows 7 64bit Home Premium

So the problem is I am frequently getting system crashes where the screen will freeze, display multi-coloured artifacts (mostly shaped as squares) in a mosaic-like pattern, often give a loud constant buzzing noise, followed by a pc restart after around 10 seconds.

A BSOD is usually displayed upon restart giving a message that the display driver atikmpag.sys crashed.
Lately I've discovered that if I control alt delete just when the artifacts appear I can avoid the system restart.
However, when I do that it will usually continue to cause trouble until the pc restarts.

When the screen freezes I can usually move only the mouse for around 2 seconds before the whole screen locks, turns black, then restarts.

The system usually crashes whilst running demanding programmes such as games and oftentimes youtube or any videos.

I have had the crash whilst playing BF3, counter strike, dirt 3, arma 2 etc.... I could solve the Dirt 3 and arma 2 crashes by putting the graphics settings on lowest which indicates that its the higher stress processes that cause the crashes. I was once capable of playing Arma2 on medium to high graphics without ever having crashes so I think my gfx card is slowly failing.

I have completely uninstalled and reinstalled display drivers using the recommended techniques (driver sweeper etc..) countless times.

I have researched the atikmpag.sys error aswell as other errors I thought may be connected to this issue for over a year now with no success in fixing this problem.

I bought this custom build pc from hardwareversand in november 2008 and it has'nt had many problems with it since then other than this. So whilst im considering getting a refund for the card, I think it may be over its warranty deadline. Still have to confirm.

So, do you think my graphics card is failing and any solutions ?

Thanks.

http://i42.tinypic.com/207asn9.jpg
http://i39.tinypic.com/2pzi2qt.jpg
http://i43.tinypic.com/30vznr5.jpg
http://i41.tinypic.com/9horvr.jpg
http://i43.tinypic.com/30l32qa.jpg
http://i40.tinypic.com/qzhc34.jpg
http://i40.tinypic.com/2i1fvnk.jpg
http://i43.tinypic.com/novcqv.jpg

Also heres a link to symtoms of a failing gfx card which seem to be similar to mine:
http://www.ehow.com/about_5410687_si...hics-card.html

More about : gfx card replacing

a c 365 U Graphics card
April 19, 2012 12:07:09 AM

I would try a completely clean install of Windows. It might have become corrupted over time.
a b U Graphics card
April 19, 2012 12:44:34 AM

Sounds like it is failing, but see if you can use another system to confirm. swap graphics cards with another machine and fire up games on both (preferably the same games you were crashing under).
Related resources
April 19, 2012 11:51:38 AM

quilciri said:
Sounds like it is failing, but see if you can use another system to confirm. swap graphics cards with another machine and fire up games on both (preferably the same games you were crashing under).


Only thing about that is I dont have access to another PC, especially one which would have games installed.
April 19, 2012 12:01:32 PM

jaguarskx said:
I would try a completely clean install of Windows. It might have become corrupted over time.


I cant see how it would be linked to a corrupted windows as the graphics card works but seems to crash whilst running stressful programs.

Is it possible to backup all my data to external hard drive if I decide to reinstall windows ?
And copy the data back over when its installed.

Should I backup and just format whole PC ?
a b U Graphics card
April 19, 2012 12:06:28 PM

Yea, It is possible to back up important files like, Images, videos, and other personal stuff.

But games and the such will have to be re-installed. it's not that bad..... Just all part of being a windows user...
April 19, 2012 12:09:30 PM

scout_03 said:
i would try the latest driver http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/windows/Pages/rad... but if you still have graphic issue then time to get a new card


Its the latest driver that I have installed atm. And over the last year I've installed older versions and newer versions using the proper uninstall method and still the system crashes.
a c 94 U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 4:18:56 PM

try the graphic card in another system and do a stress test on her
a c 197 U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 4:50:57 PM

As I recall the 4870 could run hot, even new, mine certainly did, perhaps its just a case of dustbunnies clogging the cooler-use GPUZ to check its temperatures before spending a couple of days reformatting and rebuilding the software system.
April 20, 2012 8:37:47 PM

coozie7 said:
As I recall the 4870 could run hot, even new, mine certainly did, perhaps its just a case of dustbunnies clogging the cooler-use GPUZ to check its temperatures before spending a couple of days reformatting and rebuilding the software system.



Well I cleaned the inside of the computer around 2 months ago including some dust on top of the graphics card. Could dust be caught in the fan of the card ?
a c 197 U Graphics card
April 21, 2012 1:10:26 PM

Is this the card?

http://www.club-3d.com/index.php/products/reader.en/pro...

If so you'll clearly see any dust build-up.
I suggest you grab a copy of GPUZ (it's free and does n't require an install) to check the card temperatures and fan speeds. The sympoms you describe indicate overheating, amongst other things, and it'll eliminate one possible cause quickly and easily.
April 22, 2012 8:42:45 PM

Ya thats the one. I downloaded the software and the gpu temps seem normal even when playing games they dont seem to be overheating.
a c 197 U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 10:17:07 PM

One down ;) .
Again, simple and easy: Download Speedfan or RealTemp and do the same for the CPU to check it's not getting too hot.
If all is well there (as I suspect it will be) try running Memtest to check the memory.
Yes, you can put your data onto an external drive, either a hard drive or optical then restore it later.
I fear you're right, though and the card is on its way out, try dropping the clocks down to stock, or even underclocking it and retesting.
Apart from the time, there's no great harm in formatting a hard drive and reinstalling everything, just run a virus scan on any files you intend to keep.
As a matter of interest the HD5770/HD6770 give the same performance as a stock HD4870, the only difference is the 6770 offers hardware Blu-ray decode, otherwise they're the same.
April 23, 2012 2:15:10 PM

Got real temp and cpu temp is averaging at 35C so no trouble there. Ran memtest and passed the test, no errors detected.

Im going to backup what i need from the HD and do a fresh install.
May 1, 2012 11:15:58 PM

Just to update you on what happened with regards to the problem. The graphics card ended up basically failing while I attempted to do a clean install of windows 7. I was'nt able to carry out the OS installation because it would keep crashing / freezing before the install would complete hence it would corrupt the install. I pretty much knew at this stage that it was the graphics card that was the problem. To verify that was the case I brought the pc to a computer tech who confirmed that the card failed. Since then I have ordered and replaced the card with a new hd 6870 which is working grand. No more issues !

Thanks coozie7 and everyone else for the help :hello: 
!