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GPU core clock speed dropping while gaming

By Trenchman
Nov 3, 2008
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  1. Specs:
    Asus A8n32-SLI Deluxe Motherboard
    AMD Athlon FX-55 processor
    OCZ4001024ELTE RAM Dual-Channel 400Mhz - 3 1 Gig sticks
    2x7900 GTX in SLI (SLI is not enabled)
    Creative Audigy 4

    Lately whenever I run games on my Primary Video card anywhere from 30 sec. to several minutes the screen will flash black and then shortly after the frames will drop significantly with the occasional black screen flash.

    I've used Gpu-z and Rivatuner to determine that at the first black screen flash the Core clock speed has dropped from 675mhz to 630mhz. At the major frame rate drop the core clock drops to 275, normally the idling speed. As far as I can tell the temperature has nothing to do with it as it has done it while the temp was anywhere from 65 to 74 degrees. The amount of time it takes varies, but older and less taxing games seem to take longer for the drop to occur. Nothing on my computer is overclocked it's all at stock speeds and timings. The secondary card seems to run games without any problems.

    I tried a variety of drivers, none of which seemed to make much of a difference. The only other thing I could think of was that I had installed Gears of War right before this happened. I uninstalled the K8 processor driver that it came with and installed the newest driver from AMD's website, but that didn't seem to help. I haven't tried actually uninstalling GoW yet. But I am very tempted to redo my computer to see if it is a software problem. Does anyone have any ideas as to what it could be before I go to such drastic measures?
  2. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 3,556

    What's your power connection situation like to the mobo and the cards?

    As a side note, I don't think they ever intended you to run 2 cards without SLI enabled. Have you tried pulling one card?
  3. Trenchman

    Trenchman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've had this computer for a little over 2 years. I never had any problems with having the cards in SLI but having SLI disabled. I have 2 550 watt power supplies hooked up with a cable between that turns them both on when I turn on the power. The cable came with my coolermaster stacker case which can use power supplies.

    The second card seems to run fine so I'm not sure if the SLI is an issue but I can try to take out the SLI bridge and the second card.
  4. Trenchman

    Trenchman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I removed the SLI bridge and tested it and then removed the second card. I also tried a different PSU and it sill did it. My first card still drops the clock speed after a little while. I posted on the Nvidia forums as well, here's a link.



    Since it started doing this I've tested Serious Sam SE, F.E.A.R., Painkiller, and Bioshock. It takes longer to kick in on Serious Sam and Painkiller. But it's done it when the temp was as low as 58 degrees.
  5. Trenchman

    Trenchman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I removed the SLI bridge and tested it and then removed the second card. I also tried a different PSU and it sill did it. My first card still drops the clock speed after a little while. I posted on the Nvidia forums as well, here's a link.

    http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=81092&st=0&gopid=460193&

    Since it started doing this I've tested Serious Sam SE, F.E.A.R., Painkiller, and Bioshock. It takes longer to kick in on Serious Sam and Painkiller. But it's done it when the temp was as low as 58 degrees.

    Edit:
    sorry about the double post, I forgot the URL the first time and I'm not sure how to delete posts.
  6. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 3,556

    Have you checked system voltages before and after this occurs?
  7. Trenchman

    Trenchman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I checked the voltages while it happened and they didn't seem to change at all. I've tested both cards on two power supplies and that card did it on both. I've even reinstalled windows on another partition to see if it was a software problem, but it still did it. Tomorrow I'm going to try switching the slots the cards are in and see if it still does it, so maybe I can determine if it's the motherboard or the video card.
  8. Trenchman

    Trenchman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I just switched the cards into the other PCI-E slots and the same card has problems. Apparently it's the card itself that has issues. Someone on the other board had mentioned updating the bios, would that potentially fix it? Could someone give me some idea how to find a newer bios and how to update? My current bios is 5.71.22.12.13
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