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Random crashes then artifacts after long periods of play

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 17, 2012 6:02:43 AM

Hello, recently I upgraded my computer with an ASUS M5a97 Motherboard from an M3a76-CM motherboard;

I have a Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 with no history of overclocking. Recently when I installed my motherboard and 700w PSU unit I started to get random crashes with spouts of artifacting during the freeze-up.

This occurs on GTA EFLC. I have not tested any other games. When GTA EFLC crashes, so does skype, and I get random artifacts on my desktop.

I managed to capture my steam window when it occured.



It's a very odd occurence.
a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 6:20:16 AM

may I please what are your temps?
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a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 6:22:53 AM

hmm. Perhaps overheating might be the cause, have you tried to diagnose temps of the cpu and gpu?

Have you cleaned and applied cpu thermal paste correctly?

Be sure the motherboard is properly secured on spaces and nothing is shorting out underneath. Also be sure when securing the motherboard, the screws aren’t too tight as it may cause bowing in the motherboard.
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June 17, 2012 6:26:51 AM

teh_gerbil said:
may I please what are your temps?



45c idle, 70-78c no hotter under extreme load


CPU reaches 66c, no higher
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 6:27:46 AM

What is the model of your new PSU and what driver version are you using for that 6870?
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June 17, 2012 6:29:37 AM

blazorthon said:
What is the model of your new PSU and what driver version are you using for that 6870?


APEVIA ATX-AQ700W-BK 700w PSU, and 12.5 Catalyst Beta.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 6:32:02 AM

AlexGT said:
APEVIA ATX-AQ700W-BK 700w PSU, and 12.5 Catalyst Beta.


While I look up that PSU, I recommend upgrading to Catalyst 12.6. 12.5 beta was known to have some problems.
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June 17, 2012 6:32:54 AM

blazorthon said:
While I look up that PSU, I recommend upgrading to Catalyst 12.6. 12.5 beta was known to have some problems.


My mistake; I do have Catalyst 12.6.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 6:35:15 AM

AlexGT said:
My mistake; I do have Catalyst 12.6.

Well, then the drivers probably aren't the issue. Have you tried a roll-back? It would be the first time that I've heard of 12.6 causing problems, but it's possible.

Also, that PSU seems to be fairly inconsistently performing. it might be the problem.
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June 17, 2012 6:41:28 AM

blazorthon said:
Well, then the drivers probably aren't the issue. Have you tried a roll-back? It would be the first time that I've heard of 12.6 causing problems, but it's possible.

Also, that PSU seems to be fairly inconsistently performing. it might be the problem.


How so? And no, I have not tried a roll back
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 6:44:38 AM

AlexGT said:
How so? And no, I have not tried a roll back


Reading the newegg reviews shows many people with either DOA or quickly dying and/or poorly performing units.
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June 17, 2012 6:47:33 AM

blazorthon said:
Reading the newegg reviews shows many people with either DOA or quickly dying and/or poorly performing units.


I strongly doubt this'd be the issue; this PSU works efficiently just like it should in-game; until later something goes down.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 6:50:19 AM

AlexGT said:
I strongly doubt this'd be the issue; this PSU works efficiently just like it should in-game; until later something goes down.


A PSU can cause seemingly confusing problems of many, many different types. Maybe it's not the problem, but maybe it is.
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June 17, 2012 6:55:04 AM

blazorthon said:
A PSU can cause seemingly confusing problems of many, many different types. Maybe it's not the problem, but maybe it is.


and if it isn't?
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 6:56:06 AM

AlexGT said:
and if it isn't?


Then we will need to do some more trouble-shooting in order to solve this problem. Again, a driver roll-back might help. You could try Catalyst 12.4 or some other version.
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June 17, 2012 7:02:30 AM

blazorthon said:
Then we will need to do some more trouble-shooting in order to solve this problem. Again, a driver roll-back might help. You could try Catalyst 12.4 or some other version.


Understood; Do you have a steam? This can go quicker.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 7:04:30 AM

AlexGT said:
Understood; Do you have a steam? This can go quicker.


A steam? What do you mean by that? A Steam account?
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June 17, 2012 7:06:34 AM

blazorthon said:
A steam? What do you mean by that? A Steam account?


Yes sir, the screenshot in the main post shows the interface...or atleast it was an interface
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 7:07:03 AM

AlexGT said:
Yes sir, the screenshot in the main post shows the interface...or atleast it was an interface


No, I don't have a Steam account. To be honest, I'm probably going to sleep soon.
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June 17, 2012 7:09:34 AM

blazorthon said:
No, I don't have a Steam account. To be honest, I'm probably going to sleep soon.


I understand, will you still be on? This'll be rather hasty for the troubleshoot and I can come back to you with details in 10 minutes flat.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 7:11:25 AM

AlexGT said:
I understand, will you still be on? This'll be rather hasty for the troubleshoot and I can come back to you with details in 10 minutes flat.


I can stay on for a while longer, but i'll need to go to sleep within 20-40 minutes.
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June 17, 2012 9:02:04 PM

blazorthon said:
I can stay on for a while longer, but i'll need to go to sleep within 20-40 minutes.


I did a BiOS Update and uninstalled AMD Vision Engine Control Center but it still says it's in 12.6. I'm thinking about testing again with AMD Vision Control Center completely off.

I've got yet another screencap with this happening.




I really hope I won't have to RMA this card.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 9:22:34 PM

Boot into safe mode and completely uninstall all of AMD's drivers, profiles, and such for your graphics card. There are utilities such as (if I remember its name correctly) Driver Sweeper that can help you do this thoroughly. After that, restart and then boot into safe mode again, install the driver version that you want to try, and repeat testing. If this doesn't work, then there is probably a hardware problem that an RMA should solve... Granted, I can understand why you wouldn't want to deal with that potential frustration.
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June 17, 2012 10:04:10 PM

I did as requested. I booted into Safe Mode, uninstalled all AMD - Display Drivers via Driver Sweeper, and downgraded to AMD Catalyst Version 12.3.


I will be back with the benchmark results. It should take a while to induce but I beg of your attention for a few moments more.
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June 17, 2012 10:28:26 PM

blazorthon said:
Boot into safe mode and completely uninstall all of AMD's drivers, profiles, and such for your graphics card. There are utilities such as (if I remember its name correctly) Driver Sweeper that can help you do this thoroughly. After that, restart and then boot into safe mode again, install the driver version that you want to try, and repeat testing. If this doesn't work, then there is probably a hardware problem that an RMA should solve... Granted, I can understand why you wouldn't want to deal with that potential frustration.



Negative; test failure. Same thing occured.

- Random artifacting on freeze up, sound cut out, then immediate crash.

This isn't good. I just got my computer back from being R.I.P'd and now it turns out something is screwed up, but I have no idea what is.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 10:38:12 PM

AlexGT said:
Negative; test failure. Same thing occured.

- Random artifacting on freeze up, sound cut out, then immediate crash.

This isn't good. I just got my computer back from being R.I.P'd and now it turns out something is screwed up, but I have no idea what is.


Okay... Try uninstalling again, but do not upgrade/downgrade Catalyst this time. Restart and then open up the Programs and Features folder from the control panel. Tell me if there is anything in it that has AMD, Ati, Nvidia, Intel, or any other graphics related text in its name in the list of installed programs and features.
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June 17, 2012 10:46:51 PM

blazorthon said:
Okay... Try uninstalling again, but do not upgrade/downgrade Catalyst this time. Restart and then open up the Programs and Features folder from the control panel. Tell me if there is anything in it that has AMD, Ati, Nvidia, Intel, or any other graphics related text in its name in the list of installed programs and features.


Wait, so what version of the catalyst do you want me to keep? I'm currently using 12.3.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 10:48:11 PM

AlexGT said:
Wait, so what version of the catalyst do you want me to keep? I'm currently using 12.3.


If possible, keep none. Get it as bare of graphics drivers and such as possible, then please do the check that I asked for. We might be able to get it working. When there is no AMD driver, Windows should use its default graphics driver that works with pretty much all graphics cards, albeit not at full performance and support for stuff such as games and all until you re-install AMD's drivers after we attempt a few fixes.
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June 17, 2012 10:50:39 PM

blazorthon said:
If possible, keep none. Get it as bare of graphics drivers and such as possible, then please do the check that I asked for. We might be able to get it working. When there is no AMD driver, Windows should use its default graphics driver that works with pretty much all graphics cards, albeit not at full performance and support for stuff such as games and all until you re-install AMD's drivers after we attempt a few fixes.


Understood. I'll get back to you as soon as I can after all of the drivers from third-parties are completely gone.
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June 17, 2012 11:03:33 PM

As I post this I'm completely bare of drivers; it's even showing the default monitor device when it usually recognizes my ASUS VW24.

What's next?
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 11:07:12 PM

Okay now...

Did you ever have any problems with flash videos, IE on youtube.com? If so, then now would be a great time to test if it is AMD's drivers or not.

Also, go to amd.com and re-download Catalyst 12.6, but don't install it yet.
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June 17, 2012 11:09:03 PM

Flash videos had no issues. They had issues after the EFLC artifact crash - sound would be messed up and stuff, but no, flash videos have no issues but they put a load of 5c on my GPU.

Also, would uninstalling atiesrxx.dll be potentially dangerous or should I just go ahead?
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 11:13:56 PM

Look that one up, I will too. I'm not sure about it.
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June 17, 2012 11:34:43 PM

blazorthon said:
Look that one up, I will too. I'm not sure about it.


Okay, so it's not fatal. I just removed it.


What's next?
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 11:38:34 PM

AlexGT said:
Okay, so it's not fatal. I just removed it.


What's next?


You might have said something about this and please forgive me if you have and I've forgotten, but were there any particular actions that you did that were prone to causing these crashes and if so, while doing these actions right now (if you can), are you still experiencing crashing?
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June 17, 2012 11:44:06 PM

blazorthon said:
You might have said something about this and please forgive me if you have and I've forgotten, but were there any particular actions that you did that were prone to causing these crashes and if so, while doing these actions right now (if you can), are you still experiencing crashing?


The only actions that were causing this were simply running around in GTA IV: Episodes from Liberty City.

I will benchmark; would it be safe to do so?
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2012 11:48:50 PM

AlexGT said:
The only actions that were causing this were simply running around in GTA IV: Episodes from Liberty City.

I will benchmark; would it be safe to do so?


It should be safe, but I don't know if it will work. If it works, then turn the settings and resolution down to or near the minimums. The Windows default driver is not optimized for performance, just basic compatibility.
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June 17, 2012 11:53:03 PM

blazorthon said:
It should be safe, but I don't know if it will work. If it works, then turn the settings and resolution down to or near the minimums. The Windows default driver is not optimized for performance, just basic compatibility.


Couldn't intialize D3D. So GTA IV refuses to work at all without my drivers.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 18, 2012 12:00:21 AM

Okay. reboot into safe mode again and now try installing the re-downloaded Catalyst 12.6, but recheck to make sure that you have nothing from AMD/Ati. Heck, even go into your programs folder and delete any remnants of the un-installation (uninstalls don't always get everything). Then, reboot outside of safe mode once everything is installed and then try GTA IV again. If it still doesn't work, then we'll try some more tricks, but at that point, it'd be starting to look more and more like a hardware failure.
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June 18, 2012 12:40:43 AM

blazorthon said:
Okay. reboot into safe mode again and now try installing the re-downloaded Catalyst 12.6, but recheck to make sure that you have nothing from AMD/Ati. Heck, even go into your programs folder and delete any remnants of the un-installation (uninstalls don't always get everything). Then, reboot outside of safe mode once everything is installed and then try GTA IV again. If it still doesn't work, then we'll try some more tricks, but at that point, it'd be starting to look more and more like a hardware failure.


Test failure; it happened again. I have two more things to do;

- Lower my motherboard setting (there are 3 settings for it, power saving, normal, and asus optimal (MAX) )
- Defrag my drive
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June 18, 2012 1:25:38 AM

Update: I think I found it. It was an odd board setting related to my memory clocks or something like that. Hooray!

I'll be posting back if things go down.
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June 18, 2012 5:00:03 AM

Okay so, I found the setting that's causing my computer to flip out.

Ai Overclock Tuner has something to do with it. While playing GTA IV and the freezeup occured, I checked my BiOS settings on startup and saw that the Ai Overclock Tuner was on Manual even though I set it to Auto before.

Kind of an odd occurence for a board this great of advancement.

If it keeps doing it I'll update you guys.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 18, 2012 7:02:11 PM

Glad to read that the problem seems to have been solved. I should have thought to suggest that you check the BIOS settings.
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June 19, 2012 7:28:58 AM

blazorthon said:
Glad to read that the problem seems to have been solved. I should have thought to suggest that you check the BIOS settings.


Update; it turns out that the power supply was bad. Just quit. Haha!

I'm using a CX430, it's actually giving me much better performance than my other one. That one didn't give me bad performance at all really, but this is actually working 5x better than the other one and it's 500w.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 19, 2012 7:31:24 AM

AlexGT said:
Update; it turns out that the power supply was bad. Just quit. Haha!

I'm using a CX430, it's actually giving me much better performance than my other one. That one didn't give me bad performance at all really, but this is actually working 5x better than the other one and it's 500w.


Okay, so with the new PSU, all is well now?
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!