Screen Flickers Then Goes Black During Games (Radeon 4850)

Hey guys,

I've got an issue that I've been having for the past year and a half, I have gone through over 200 threads that are even remotely similar to my problem, and while some have been pretty close, there has either been a few differences, or the question was never answered.

First let me get my setup out the way. I'm running an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2ghz processor, with 2GB RAM on a DG31PR motherboard with a Radeon 4850 1GB GPU and using a 19" CRT LG Monitor as my primary display.

The problem: When I play any game that is made probably post-2004, after about a minute of playing the screen will start to randomly flicker a bit, followed by the screen turning black for a second or two, then coming back on for a few seconds and doing it again. The flickering and blackouts do seem to coincide with when the GPU is pushed, and happens around the same time as the fan increases in speed it seems. I can play games like Half Life 1 and Counter-Strike just fine without issue, but as soon as I even try to play Magic The Gathering - it gives this problem.

Now is where it gets a bit interesting. I have both a 19" CRT and a 42" FULL HD TV, the 19" is my primary device, though I have them set up as dual displays in clone mode. When testing, I noticed that if I played a game of 'MTG', my 19" CRT (using DVI->VGA converter) would do what it usually does and goes black and flickers - while during the whole game, my LCD had no problems. Now with that said, I have played other games before where my LCD also started to do the same thing, though it seems to be able to handle more than the CRT can. The confusing thing is, what would cause this?

I should also add that if I were to record the screen with software during an episode, it would record it without the black screen or the flickering - in other words, the problem is only visible on the display itself.

What hasn't worked: As I mentioned, I've gone through hundreds of threads that could be related to this and have tried all the suggestions I've seen. I've tried 5 different versions of drivers/catalyst control center - using DriverSweeper to remove them properly prior to the next installation - this has not worked.

I have tried all the usual stuff like trying different anti-aliasing and refresh rates - again, no luck.

I ran a stress test on the GPU and as I expected, when under strain around 60% through the test, the screen started doing what it has been.

Quite frankly this whole thing is eating me alive, I fail to understand what could be causing this. And I'm at the point of just buying a whole new computer just to escape this problem, but my bank account disagrees with that option.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, I'm interested to see if anyone knows what the problem could be.

I have uploaded a cellphone video of the screen giving the problem during the stress test if it helps:

6 answers Last reply
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  1. What is your PSU?
  2. FunSurfer said:
    What is your PSU?

    I have a 600 Watt PSU if I recall correctly, which should suffice well for the setup.

    And that's the thing that has me baffled, if it were a problem such as a PSU, or something faulty - wouldn't it cause the same problem to the LCD and the CRT, without any exceptions?
  3. But you said "my LCD also started to do the same thing"
  4. FunSurfer said:
    But you said "my LCD also started to do the same thing"

    My LCD also does, at times flicker - but not as much as my CRT. The LCD seems to be able to handle whatever the issue is a lot better. For example, I manage to get through 1 minute of a medium 'stress' game on the CRT before the issue occurs, but the LCD could last 10 or more minutes - I even got through a 20 minute game of MTG earlier where the LCD never had any issues, but the CRT was doing it the whole way through. My assumption would be that if it was a faulty piece of hardware or a conflict with something that the issue would occur equally... Though I may well be wrong.

    I should also add, that when I play with a game in a window as opposed to full screen, it doesn't seem to do it. I haven't tested this on many games yet, but when playing MTG, it breaks a minute in on full screen, but when I made it a large window as opposed to full screen, the game worked fine for the 20-30 minutes I was playing it.
  5. Just an update on the situation that may help in the diagnoses.

    Today I installed Skyrim to see how it will handle it.

    I started out with a medium graphics setting, despite it suggesting a high one. And the game played alright for 5 minutes and then the occasional flashing and black screen. I then turned down the settings to 800x600 with minimum textures etc. And the game runs better, though every 2 minutes or so the video will lock up and freeze for a few seconds. At this time when it does this, the sound of the GPU fan spinning stops - I thought maybe the fan itself stops and causes the freeze, but I tried with the case open and watched all the fans in the case and despite the sudden loss of spinning sound, all fans appeared to be turning as they were before.

    Unlike the other issue though, this problem occurs on both monitors. My CPU is also a 2ghz Core2Duo as opposed the to 2.2ghz originally stated. Which is borderline minimum requirements at best. So is it possible that the cpu is causing the hang on this issue?

    The two may well not be related, but I figured if I fix the original problem it may help with this one and any information may help in resolving the original issue.
  6. Bump.

    I can't accept defeat on this, with thousands of people here who have helped a million of my needs through google, there must be someone who can help.

    I installed some more GPU monitoring software and noticed that the fan speeds go up to 130% at times when under load, that doesn't seem right... I can't even find search results on people getting that. After running another benchmark test, with viewing the readings- as soon as the temperatures approach 100'C the flickering begins.
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