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Screen Artifacts - What do they mean?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
February 13, 2013 10:16:28 PM

I just purchased and installed a new XFX Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition video card and a new solid state drive (OCZ Vertex 3). I installed a fresh copy of Windows 8 Pro and went about my normal computing activities.

Almost immediately, I started noticing small (about .25" square) white blocks that would very occasionally (once or twice in a 2 hour session) show up along the top of my screen about an inch from the edge. They seem so far to only have shown up when I'm using my web brower (Firefox), but this could just be a coincidence, and they appear to almost perfectly align with the web browser address bar and tabs. They also only appear briefly, for about a second or so, and then disappear.

I haven't noticed any artifacts when running games such as guild wars 2, Portal 2 or The Witcher 2.

Can anyone tell me what these artifacts might mean? Should I RMA my video card and get a new one or is this some kind of software issue?

For the record, I'm running Catalyst version 13.1.

Thanks for your help!

More about : screen artifacts

a b U Graphics card
February 13, 2013 11:08:15 PM

I can't imagine that your card is over heating. What kind of PSU do you have? It could be caused by voltage fluxing at lower loads if it's a cheap PSU. Sometimes these things will only happen at certain loads.

Otherwise it's a software issue, I'd think cause by firefox itself, and not the drivers so much in general. You could try the 12.11 or 13.2beta drivers though.
February 13, 2013 11:27:28 PM

Hey thanks for the response.

I have a Raidmax Blackstone series power supply (700W). I got it at newegg:

Is overheating of the card the only reason for artifacting? I have not messed around with overclocking the video card at all and my case has pretty decent cooling. It's an Antec 900.

I was reading that sometimes artifacting can be caused by bad or failing video ram. Is that not likely with a new card?

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a c 144 U Graphics card
February 13, 2013 11:40:15 PM

Try a different power supply raidmax power supplies are notoriously bad. Any decent manufacture would have rated that psu at 550w, maybe 600w max. And since its a raidmax i doubt it can actually deliver its rated power. Bad video ram is also a possibility.
February 14, 2013 1:32:54 AM


The thought just occurred to me that I should check to see if this is a known issue with Firefox and it appears that many others are having the same issue.

See this bug report:

and this:

It appears that the problem only occurs with the 7000 series of Radeon HD video cards though this hasn't been confirmed.

Anyway, there are people that posted pictures identical to what I'm seeing on my computer in that bug report. That combined with the fact that I've only had this issue when using Firefox leaves me reasonably certain that Firefox and/or the ATI drivers (more likely just Firefox) are the problem and not hardware.

Thanks to the folks that responded for your help.