ATI artifacting...

By rebelyell
Sep 22, 2004
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  1. I'm am currently running my third ATI AIW 9800 Pro in thirteen months. The first one failed in five weeks, the next in eight weeks, and the current one has lasted nine months. The PCI/ACP busses are locked in BIOS and I'm not overclocking the video core or memory at all. I'm running Windows XP SP1 and the latest ATI Catalyst Suite 4.9 with Catalyst Control Center and Windows Media Player 10. My latest update was Media Player, so I rolled it back to version 9, ...no change. The last thing I changed before that was the video drivers, so I rolled them back to 4.7, the latest version without CCC; ...still no change. The artifact looks like small white verticle lines about an eighth of an inch high in a horizontal band across the screen. Sometimes they show up only on icons, like if I click Favorites in IE and the list drops down, all the little "e"s as icons will have these verticle lines running through them. Also it shows up in the Toolbar of IE across the icons for the tools. like Back, Forward, Stop, Refresh, etc. Anytime I open a window in an application or a new browser window, the buttons will have the artifact displayed on them. Windows and movies seem to be all that's affected at this time. Still images, documents, and 3D apps like games, are all unaffected. Also the artifacting appears during the load screen of Windows XP, before the OS and GUI are even finished loading. Does it sound like the video card has failed again? I contacted the vendor to see just how many RMAs they are willing to do. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance...
  2. Bug

    Bug Newcomer, in training Posts: 180

    Please test the card in another system. That will verify it is the card alone.

    The stock cooling on most 9800 pros were not enough. I recommend with any ATI 9700 or higher to get something other than the stock cooling. I would also look into the power supply. Improper voltage or power spikes can cause this type of issue and damage cards permanently.

    Bug
  3. rebelyell

    rebelyell Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Thanks Bug. The PSU is almost brand new and very high quality (well about 4 weeks old), a Vantec Stealth 540W. I also have the power protected and filtered by an APC Smart 750XL UPS. So I don't think it's a power issue, but thanks for idea. As far as cooling, I've got a hurricane going on in there with thirteen fans. But if the GPU is that susceptible to overheating, I guess I'll get a GPU cooler to install on the new card when the time comes. Here's a couple more questions. First of all, does the fact that I'm getting artifacts before the OS or GUI loads indicate the card is definitely going sideways? And second, what's the deal with buttons in apps and icons in IE being the only things that show artifacts, that is along with video? Documents, images, etc. are all fine. What the hey? Thanks again...
  4. Bug

    Bug Newcomer, in training Posts: 180

    You are correct, the PSU shouldn't have any issues.

    The artifacts are caused by something in the card not rendering properly (memory or GPU). It depends on how the OS or application calls for the video to render the graphic. The artifacts can be caused by memory overheating as well, so if there is no HS on the memory, I would look into adding some. I have and will continue to recommend the following video card coolers:

    Thermaltake Giant III: Variable fans, RAM sinks included, HeatPipe technology

    Vantec Silencer: Blows the heat directly out the back of the computer. Purchase RAM sinks to go with this one.

    I would also go into the bios and set the AGP voltage manually to 1.6 or 1.7. (1.8 only if the manufacturer recommends it or you know the card can handle it.) That can remove the artifacts.

    You might also look to see if there is a newer release BIOS for the card. My buddy updated the BIOS on his vid card and it caused artifacts that only show up on the POST screen and BIOS screens.

    Bug
  5. rebelyell

    rebelyell Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Hello all. Just an update to let anyone reading know how it turned out. I replaced the ATI card with an old GeForce 3 and all the artifacts disappeared. I RMAed the card with the vendor online and am waiting to hear back from them. I checked out the Thermaltake Giant cooler, but it will not fit the AIW series due to the size of the TV tuner on the pcb. Thanks BUG. Later everyone...
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