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Black screen on Saphhire Radeon HD7850. A researching story

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 23, 2013 6:52:32 AM

Hello All,

I would like to share my experience of researching black screen problem of Saphhire Radeon HD7850 2GB, SKU 11200-07-20G. Not an OC edition. And i didn't OC also.
I hope this story will save some time or give some hints for people with similiar problem.
Later in the text I've put down all configuration details.

The videocard was bought on late December of 2012 as a component to my new home assembled computer.
Initially OS was old Windows 7 x64 with all the software migrated from my old system on an SSD drive which is the only part I took from a previous confguration.

I cleaned old drivers using regular uninstaller, device manager and driver sweeper, assembled new PC and turned it on. It worked fine, so I'd installed all recent drivers for Chipset and Video.
I've also flashed MoBo to the new bios.
And then I started Far Cry 3, 1020p, ULTRA settings, all the stuff. Oh God, it was a bliss... for 20 or so minutes. Then a black screen with buzzing noise come, no response from the system - you know sympthoms.
After short testing I returned the card back to a shop (citilink(dot)ru, to mark their name) for RMA, no joy from such New Year present. But they made their own 'testing' and decided to not RMA.

Here a true story starts. I needed a solid proof the card is malfunctioning on a hardware level. So I started my eduction in a HD 78xx problems area.

I've read dozens articles, probably getting their number close to hundred. Subjects related Radeon 7800 series, Sapphire, Ivy Bridge and Mobo chipset problems, other videocards families and models are in my list.
Of course, I did a lot of tests while reading, trying to apply different solutions. The problem is that syntethic tests (Furmark and similiar) did never crash the system. I've got only 1 black screen in a 7 hours night test using Unigine Heaven 11 v3.0.
But in games - FC3, Assasin Creed 3 - the black screen soon after start was inevitable. 5 to 30 minutes and my system goes down. So I've tested most solutions in FC3 and, believe me, it didn't feel like gaming at all.

I've got only one positive solution to make the video working without black screen - SLOW DOWN THE GPU:
1. Finally I got a temporary solution - dropping GPU clock to 630-650 (stock is 860). Raising GPU clock over 750 gives Black Screen in 30-40 minutes.
Of course I feel like being robed - if like to buy s slower video, i would take a HD 7770 for 100$ less price.
2. Also, I've tried new Radeon on my previous system (Core2Duo, ASUS P5QL, 4Gb). Interesting that on the dirty but optimized Windows installation I have got BS too.
But making a fresh install on it of Win7 x64 SP1 with the only Catalyst 12.11 installed (no Winupdates, even no network(i have a wifi) or chipset driver installed) the BS had gone.
However it didn't make me feel video is alright - the Farcry was running very slow, core2duo CPU itself limited GPU rendering speed. And thus video was running in a slow (idle when CPU is preparing data for it) mode.
So it is like downclocking and it fits me not.


Negative solutions tried:
3. Catalyst 12.3, 12.8, 12.10, 12.11 Beta8 and 11, and (yesterday, just to be sure) 13.1
4. fresh windows install of Win7 without (and later with) Chipset drivers on my new system. I've tried to reproduce #2 solution for slow test computer but it won't go on a fast new one
5. registry 'TDR fix'
6. overclocking fixes - power limit, VDDC
7. video drivers tuning - catalyst AI on/off and similiar
8. tunung mobo CMOS(BIOS) settings - disabling Intel Boost, power line controls, and similiar speedup options
9. disabling integrated Intel video. In some test cases, see #4, it doesn't work w/o drivers already. But I've also tried to cut off Shared Memory in CMOS and disabling the device in windows
10. Sound devices (HDMI onboard Radeon, HDMI on Mobo, HD on mobo) disabled, driver removed
11. Check the PSU (mine is 700W on new system) - I've monitor 12V line using diagnostic utilities, it's never dropped under 12,175V. Ok, it is not precise way but it is the best I have.
11.1 On the test system the were absolutely no problem with power even if old PSU was only 420W. So it cannot be a PSU issue even if I'm over paranoid with 12V
12. tested other components on my new system
12.1 old video card (Asus Radeon HD 4850 EAH TOP) work fine on new system in FC3 and others. Of course the game runs slow but with no Black Screen.
This is also a proof of PCI slot working well.
12.2 16Gb memory passed 11 hours of memtestX86+ tests (full 5 cycles)
12.3 CPU i5-3550 passed prime95 test and IBT extreme test (10 cycles)
13. Single/Multi-monitor configuration doesn't matter. I've tried single DVI and 2xDVI monitors connections to Radeon, and finally 3 display config - 2xDVI monitors to Radeon + 1 D-SUB to Intel video.
It doesn't matter to the black screen - it happens in all configuration, but with multimonitor setup it is easy to monitor sensors
14. As for sensors - temperature of all components is always fine. For video it is 57-59C in the game. In burning tests like Furmark it comes up to 63C but it is still a good value, almost cool
14.1. And yes - i've tested temperature of the heatsink close to the chip using handheld multimeter. Temperature was below 50C. So it seems that sensor work well

Conclusion:
Naturally, I will try to RMA again with all that info put down on the form.
The only question is what to choose for replacement.
Should i try another videocard of same family or try slower Nvidia ones for same price or pay 100$ more and get more fancy rig? A decision is hard.

15. Configurations
15.1 main system
cpu: Intel Core i5-3550
motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 (bios P1.90 from 12/04/2012)
ram: 2x8Gb Corsair CML16GX3M2A1600C9, running on their stock 1600 (XMP 1.3)
hdd: Hitachi HDS721010CLA330 (ahci)
sdd: OCZ-VERTEX4 (ahci too, of course)
video: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2BG DDR5 DVI-I/DVI-D/HDMI/DP, SKU 11200-07-20G (bios 113-221PROHE-SW1 from 08/17/12)
psu: Chieftec APS-700C 700W
chassis: Aerocool Vs-3 Advance
cpu cooler: Cooler Master Hyper TX3 EVO

15.2 test system
cpu: Intel Core 2 Duo E7300 BOX
motherboard: Asus P5QL/EPU (chipset is Intel Eaglelake P43)
ram: 2x2Gb OCZ Titanium XTC OCZ2T11502G, running on their stock 1066
hdd: WDC WD10EADS-00M2B0 (ahci)
video: EAH4850 TOP/HTDI/512M/A (bios 113-AB65505-104 from 12/10/08) with Dual-Orb cooler replaced original one
psu: Thermaltake TR2-420PP
chassis: Inwin
cpu cooler: Intel stock cooler
January 30, 2013 8:41:56 AM

An update (still no success):
16. After registering a ticked on Sapphire support, I had performed a lot of similar and minor tests. Finally Sapphire required to try another motherboard. Fortunately, shop where I've got mobo is very customer-friendly, so they did a replacement without any question and thorough expertise.
New mobo is still ASRock Z77 Pro3, but with an older (not upgraded) BIOS Version P1.60 (System BIOS Date 09/12/2012).
Black screen again
January 30, 2013 4:38:23 PM

they have told me to do some tests too, because they said it can be en incompatibility with the chipset from the motherboard.
I have amd driver on motherboard.

I tested also on a neighbours PC that has a motherboard with intel chipset, and still the same problem.... black screen too
Related resources
January 31, 2013 4:59:24 AM

It can be a CPU problem which is a controller of PCI-e devices. However I did some testing of CPU and found no instability issues. Will visit videocard&CPU shop tomorrow. They have no reason to deny replacement.
In your case it is absolutely proven - BS on independent systems is enough to RMA.
February 6, 2013 11:42:56 AM

After a second expertise in a service center the videocard was marked as faulty.
Hardware was returned to a vendor. I'm going to buy ASUS 7850 instead
December 14, 2013 5:44:34 PM

From what I've seen with my 7850 HDMI and DVI need to be hooked up at the same time. might or might not work but it does for me.
January 6, 2014 11:01:01 AM

Trubozaur said:
After a second expertise in a service center the videocard was marked as faulty.
Hardware was returned to a vendor. I'm going to buy ASUS 7850 instead


Hi i had the same problem , i found out it was a uefi/bios tweak that i needed , updated bios to support legacy g cards all good ! , got my update from my pc maker , hope this helps :) 
!