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Old 01-12-2011, 12:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hardware bottleneck?

Hi eveyone, I've been having trouble with Starcraft II, I'm getting what I think is artifacting, long black lines are stretched accross the screen and eminate from the various character. I have everything set on Ultra and have the resolution at 1920x1200 on my 24' monitor. My hardware is:

cpu: q6600 no OC
Ram: 4GB DDR2 800, OCZ Reapers
Vid: gtx 480
HDD: Corsair black 1 TB
PSU: Corsair 850 Professional

I know the cpu is getting old, just wondering if that's bottlenecking the system as I figured the 480 would handle SCII no problem.

When I dropped the res down to 1200 it worked fine, but low fps, down around 20s. Just wondering if that's normal or not. I don't really have the $$$ to upgrade.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hardware bottleneck?

Does the 480 have any warranty left on it? I think you are right about the artifacting, and nothing you do will really help it.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hardware bottleneck?

Yes, it's Gigabyte and has a 3 year warranty. I'm running it OCed right now, stress tested it in FurMark and it seems to run fine. I had HWMonitor running on my second monitor while playing and the card never peaked over 60C. If it was the card shouldn't that have showed up in the stress testing?
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hardware bottleneck?

Artifacting doesn't necessarily mean high temps. I had a Sapphire X1950XT that starting artifacting but its temps remained the same. Usually artifacting is caused by a component in the card either dying or breaking connection. Grab some screenshots of it and contact their customer support and let them make the call ( as it always is the company's call to make). They may be able to tell you some other alternatives. Oh, and I wouldn't mention any OC to them.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hardware bottleneck?

Quote:
I'm running it OCed right now
That may be your problem. You should run at defaults and see if you still have artifact problems. If you do, then I still recommend running at defaults until this is resolved.

Quote:
If it was the card shouldn't that have showed up in the stress testing?
Not necessarily. Benchmarking and stress testing software only tests what the programmers code into the programs. They cannot anticipate every possible scenario the hardware will encounter in real world. If that were possible, all benchmarking and stress testing programs would be the same.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hardware bottleneck?

Yeah, I'll kill the OC tonight and see if that makes any difference. But to be honest it's not much of an OC, I kept it pretty minimal at this point.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hardware bottleneck?

Well, you did not specify which GTX 480 you have, but Gigabyte has two models, and the SO model is overclocked from the start.
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hardware bottleneck?

Well, posting that info at the start would have helped now wouldn't it?

I have the none OC version:

Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GV-N480D5-15I-B GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hardware bottleneck?

the cover comes off fairly easy exposing the heatsink for cleaning. Make sure it's clean, use compressed air if needed and then put the cover back on. Don't run it without the cover as it's needed to properly direct the air flow.

The GTX 480 get's pretty hot if it isn't well ventilated and continuous use at even slightly higher than normal temperatures can cause premature failures.

It could also be a problem with the driver, try using a different driver. There's a new Beta driver available at the Nvidia's site, the 266.35. If your already using the 266.35 then you should go back to the 260.99
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hardware bottleneck?

Ok, dropped it to stock speeds at 1980x1200 on Ultra everything and here is what i got around while fooling around in SCII:



P.S. no SCII comments please :P

Not good.

Anyways, I pulled the card out the card to get the model number to contact gigabyte and when looking at it, it's a clean card, no dust or hair anywhere, I know there could be some still in there I can't see but I gave it a few blasts of the CO2 and not much dust came out, it still looks like new. I'll try some driver messing around, right now I'm using the ones that came with the card as the newest ones from gigabyte wouldn't install without locking the system....maybe I should have taken that as a clue that things were just going to get worse.

Edit: Ok, I went to the 260 drivers (@ stock clocks), ramped the fan up to 85% (Jet engine) and played a quick game of SCII without any issues...but I'm concerned, if this is what I have to do to get a stable game of SCII going what about the more stressfull stuff out there? Seems to me I should expect more from a gtx 480. What would be other good stressfull games out there I can try to push the card with. If this is a lemon I want to send it back as soon as possible rather than be satisfied with just this when it should do so much more.
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