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Black screen/game screen freeze, still running

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 28, 2013 2:39:24 AM

Hello, I am experiencing a REALLY REALLY annoying problem with my GPU (I think)...

Pretty much for some of the games I play, all of the sudden my game screen just freezes but it doesn't crash. I can still hear sounds, I can still click buttons, it's like the game is still working in the background BUT my game screen is frozen (or it turns back if I Alt-tab). This happens to the following games I play:

Call of duty: Black ops 2 (rare)
Battlefield 3 (common)
Sleeping Dogs (very common)

It happens at a really random time, some happen faster than others though. In the end I have to close and restart my game.

The GPU that I have is Powercolor AMD Radeon 6850. My catalyst is 13.1. My OS is Win 7. My CPU is AMD Phenom 2 955 BE at 3.5.

Is anyone else experiencing this problem? Thank you.
March 1, 2013 2:39:27 AM

Click Start, Click Control Panel, Click ( in power options) Choose a Power Plan
Check the Box that says "high performance"
Click "change plan settings"
Turn off display: set to NEVER
Put the computer to sleep: set to NEVER
Click: Change advanced plan settings
Select "high performance" from the drop down menu
Scroll down the list: Click on the + signs to expand the choices for each item on the list.
Require a password on wake up: set to NO
Hard disk: turn off the hard disk: set to NEVER
Wireless adapter settings:
Sleep: set to NEVER
Allow Hybrid sleep: set to NEVER
Hibernate after: set to NEVER
Allow wake timers: set to disable
USB settings:
USB selective suspend setting: set to NEVER
Power Buttons and lid:
Power button action: Setting: set to shut down
Sleep Button Action: set to: do nothing
PCI Express:
Link State Power Management, Setting: OFF
Processor Power Management:
System Cooling Policy: setting: Active
Display
Turn off display after: setting: NEVER
Multimedia Settings:
When Sharing Media: Setting: Prevent idling to sleep
When Playing Video: Setting: Optimize Video
Click APPLY
Click OK

Go into the power profiles,
set standby, hibernate and sleep to OFF
leave the monitor standby ON, that's OK (maybe not, try OFF)
Set the Hard Drive standby to NEVER
Set system Performance to MAXIMUM, not "quiet mode."

Open the bios set up and make sure "cool and quiet" is OFF. (AMD)
If there is a power saver or a "quiet mode" in the bios, shut it off...
There may be a performance setting in the bios setup you have...make sure it's cranked up to max.
in the bios, see that the allocation for video, if available, is maxed.

Now open the hardware manager profiles...
click start
click computer
click system properties
click device manager
double click on mice and other pointing devices
right click on HID compliant mouse
left click on properties
click on the power management tab
UN-check the box that says: "allow the computer to turn off this device to save power." (there is now NO check mark in this box)
click OK

Now repeat this procedure for all mice, monitors, keyboards, and ALL USB ports on the device manager list.

You must open ALL the devices one at a time, as above, and turn off the power saver, for each device.

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March 3, 2013 5:27:23 PM

I tried that... it still doesn't work...
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July 29, 2013 9:58:19 AM

having simmilar problems with my sapphire hd 7970 OC. I also play league of legends and I get random artefacts on the screen. also when I play Dark (another game) the game has the exact behaviour described by you: screen freeze/ black screen and then it unfreezes if I alt+tab. I did some snooping around and I found out that in my case it may be that I have faulty video RAM. To test for that run furmark and see if your system is stable. If that's the case then your GPU is intact.

To test your VRAM (video card RAM) you have to download a program named "memtestcl" and use it to test your vram. it has a readme coming with it which will explain everything you need to know (including how to use it). good luck!

Mine has >1.000.000 (more than 1 million errors) after the first 1 minute test :D ! (in the process of sending it back now)
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March 24, 2014 4:06:35 AM

Experiencing the same problem, but to me it happens very rarely. I've run memtest86+ and Prime95, both tests show no errors. And in steam games sometimes my screen blinks, only in steam games. I've tried non steam games and there is no blink to be found. Can anyone help? And I have not yet experienced screen freezes in non-steam games.
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March 24, 2014 1:30:58 PM

chefteddyfisher said:
Experiencing the same problem, but to me it happens very rarely. I've run memtest86+ and Prime95, both tests show no errors. And in steam games sometimes my screen blinks, only in steam games. I've tried non steam games and there is no blink to be found. Can anyone help? And I have not yet experienced screen freezes in non-steam games.


The general thing is compatibility. Many (and I mean roughly 70-80%) of all game devs make games with an Nvidia graphic card in mind. Running those games on an AMD GPU causes some misbehavior. AMD tries to cope with this by releasing drivers really often and thus making its GPU more flexible. Also some game devs offer "entry-level"support for AMD graphic cards; and so you see don't see glitches that often.

TL DR: AMD is not popular among game makers. AMD can run the games but glitches (such as screen tear, black screen) will appear from time to time. The graphic card is not at fault and it is not and will not be damaged by these glitches.
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July 3, 2014 8:51:28 PM

I do experience this problem and currently have no solution for it, but I suppose it is a graphics driver related problem, since I also use an ATI Radeon (6700 Series).
Do you use a customized profile within Catalyst Control Center?

To I3lue1: Is this really just a random glitch or is it related to certain settings?
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July 3, 2014 10:56:20 PM

Lamproly said:
I do experience this problem and currently have no solution for it, but I suppose it is a graphics driver related problem, since I also use an ATI Radeon (6700 Series).
Do you use a customized profile within Catalyst Control Center?

To I3lue1: Is this really just a random glitch or is it related to certain settings?


Random glitch. Whatever settings you will use you will see it; although after catalyst driver version 12 or 13, things cleaned up A LOT! Black screens reduced by half, screen tearing also, FPS dramatically increased in some games (league of legends: from 50 fps to 140 fps; Crysis 3: 50 fps to 70-80 fps).

Regarding testing VRAM (video RAM): you can't really test them. "MemtestCL" wasn't meat to test AMD cards except for a few models (some 4000's and some 5000's) and if you try to test any other AMD card you will get reports of memory errors even though they're ok due to lack of compatibility of the program.

Have patience, things will improve! I still support AMD for both CPU and GPU because these compatibility issues will get solved slowly but certainly.
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