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Old 09-01-2005, 08:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ATI X850XT PE PCI-E Problems...

Howdy all, I'm having an issue with a new card I just purchased.
The card is an ATI 256mb X850XT PE PCI-E. The rouble started after gaming for a couple of hours (BF2) and I crashed to desktop,
I restarted the game and about 5minutes later it crashed again so I thought maybe drivers, maybe heat. I unloaded the drivers and installed the new 5.8's and everything was fine for awhile but out of the blue I got a VPU has restet your graphics as it stopped responding to the graphics controller/driver. I turned off VPU recovery option and verything seems fine again but once in awhile when I reboot my machine I see a bunch of white squares
on the post screen right up until it starts to load Windows XP and it seems ok again after that. I checked and double checked to make sure it was connected/seated properly, drivers seem good so I'm thinking heat but am still unsure. Will adding thermal paste help do you think or would it void my warranty? I have read these cards run hot but I'm not sure what I should do aside from returning it but if I do I have to return the whole system and I'll probably be without it for months and I really want to aviod that if at all possible. I'm not too concerned about warranty (Dell system) if it's something I can fix myself. The rest of my system specs are:

Dell mobo I955X
3.2 640 CPU/HT (800FSB)
2GB PC4200 Ram @ 533Mhz
Said Video Card.
Soundblaster Audigy2 ZS Sound Card.

Any help wouldbe greatly appreciated and thanks in advance!
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Old 09-01-2005, 09:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A couple of questions... 1. What kind / capacity power supply are you using and 2. Have you checked to see that the Vid card's fa is running?
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Old 09-01-2005, 09:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Igetshockedalot
A couple of questions... 1. What kind / capacity power supply are you using and 2. Have you checked to see that the Vid card's fa is running?
Thanks for the reply shocked. It's running a 630w PSU and the fan on the card, at least when I checked was running ok.
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Old 09-02-2005, 06:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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630 watt PSU? That should be plenty but theres still a small chance its just a turd PSU.

The artifacts (white squares) makes me think the memory on the video card itself is bad. White squares on Win XP should mean its not BF2 but the video card itself.

I had to return a video card for that once, I knew my power supply was good but having artifacts, if you have the latest drivers installed properly, its the video card. I would request to Dell that you'd like to send back the vid card and have them send you a new one.
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Old 09-02-2005, 08:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Is that PC a stock Dell model? Or have you done some upgrading to it? I've never seen Dell's coming with 630 watt PSU's. May-be their XPS systems, but I doubt that's what you have or you'd probably listed that.

What case do you have? It's Dell case right? If yes, Dell cases are really bad. Extremely poor air circulation.

As far as the problems you are experiencing, have you upgraded BF2 with the new patch, "1.2"? I've read hundreds of threads about BF2 crashing to desktop after a fair amount of gameplay.
Those white boxes or artifacting is 99% due to overheating. Stock coolers really suck. Not only are they too loud but they just don't cool the core or memory that well.

If i were you i'd shut the PC down for a few hours. Let it cool to romm temp. Then restart and see if the problem is gone. If it is and there isn't an artifacting then you'll know it's overheating.
One trick that I learned ---> Remove PCIe or AGP card and put it in a gallon zip lock bag, "make sure you remove and much air inside the bag as possible." Then insert that bag inside another zip lock bag. Then put it in the freezer for about 1 - 2 hours. It won't be froozen don't worry. After that time, remove the card from the bags and install it right away. If the artifacts are gone, it's a over heating issue. If they are still there, it's time to RMA.

If it is a overheating issue, i'd suggest an aftermarket VGA cooler. (2) that i've found are very good, Arctic Silencer or Zalman 700cu
both installed with AS5. With a Dell case i'd probably suggest the Arctic Silencer because it's set up to blow the hot air from the GPU out of the case through a metal PCI bracket with holes. The Zalman 700cu does not and more hot will increase the ambient air inside your case and create more overheating problems elsewhere. The Zalman 700cu is only good for a case with GOOD air circulation and plenty of case fans. (Intake and exhaust)

Good Luck!
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Old 09-02-2005, 08:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the replies and help guys! Actually it is an XPS system, Gen5, would have mentioned that but didnt realize it mattered lol. I just finished playing about 3 hours of BF2 (I have no life) :P with no probelms at all, wierd, I was just kind of waiting for something to happen but it ran pretty well. I did however call Dell tech support and apparently the warranty includes "house calls" so they said they will send someone by to take a look on the 12th Sept. I can't currently patch to BF2 vs 1.02 yet because I'm involved in running a server that is still running vs 1.0 (to keep weapons unlocked) to try and establish a good regular player base until 1.03 is released in hopes they will become farmiliar enough with the server to stick around even after the unlocks are no longer available..getting off topic I suppose. Regardless, I'll post back after the tech arrives to let you know what the end result was. Thanks again guys, truly appreciate all of your help!
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Old 09-02-2005, 11:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by HAVOC2k5
One trick that I learned ---> Remove PCIe or AGP card and put it in a gallon zip lock bag, "make sure you remove and much air inside the bag as possible." Then insert that bag inside another zip lock bag. Then put it in the freezer for about 1 - 2 hours. It won't be froozen don't worry. After that time, remove the card from the bags and install it right away. If the artifacts are gone, it's a over heating issue. If they are still there, it's time to RMA.
Wow,
That's an awesome suggestion. We learn something new everyday. I'm glad I responded to this post!
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XFX 6800GT AGP (OC to 390Gpu / 1100Memory)
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Igetshockedalot
Wow,
That's an awesome suggestion. We learn something new everyday. I'm glad I responded to this post!
Yeah, it's something I tried with a friend of mines PC. He was OC'n with stock cooling and artifacting like crazy... So I gave it a shot... After a few beers and a pizza we pulled it out of the freezer and reinstalled to find that the artifacts were gone... Basically it cools down the card and the core enough, quickly...

The first zip lock bag with as much air removed as possible is important. One of those vaccuum sealing things would be totally ideal, but we didn't have one of those. Removing the air inside the bag is important because the air will be warm and when it cools, you'll run the risk of condensation or water droplets forming on the card. You do not want this to happen. Removing all or as much air as possible will ensure very little too no condensation.

LOL - I take no responability for failed attempts at this method.
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Old 09-02-2005, 09:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Igetshockedalot
Wow,
That's an awesome suggestion. We learn something new everyday. I'm glad I responded to this post!
hahaha I think Havoc mentioned this method here before I can't remember or I read it from somewhere or someone else. But it's a creative method and a brave attempt. It surely isolates the problem though. haha
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