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Catalyst 3.8 driver causing overheating

By olefarte · 28 replies
Oct 18, 2003
  1. Catalyst 3.8 overheating problem

    I've been wondering if anyone here is using the newest ATi drivers. I've been seeing reports of the new drivers causing video cards to overheat as much as 10 degress C., especially the 9800 series. Also reports of monitors going up in smoke, with these drivers.

    Has anybody noticed any problems? Although I can't monitor my video card temps, I've gotten paranoid, and went back to the 3.7's, after noticing that my cpu and system temps seem to have risen by a couple of degrees, at idle and while gaming. I can't afford to by a new monitor and video card.

    I've been using the latest Omega 3.8 Beta drivers, and I can say that this is the first time that I can REALLY see a difference between Omega's and regular ATi drivers. The colors seem to be so much more brilliant with these drivers, it was very noticeable after restoring to the older drivers, I really hate to go back to the older ones.

    My question is, has anybody seen any of these problems with there systems.
  2. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    I have been using Omega 3.8 drivers with my 9600 Pro card since they were released, and I have not seen any issues whatsoever.

    As to monitor damage, the only way that could happen is if the refresh rate was cranked beyond spec for a long period, and I haven't seen this happen with any drivers yet. I can't see how your graphics card could possibly overheat due to drivers, unless they played a part in controlling the fan speed, or they overclocked your card without you noticing.

    These are the first drivers to support the new 'Overdrive' active overclocking feature, but as far as I am aware, this feature only works on the new XT version cards.

    If you already had your XT version (e.g. 9800XT) card overclocked, then maybe the active overclocking could push it over the edge when it cuts in, but I don't really know how this feature works with an already overclocked card, so I can't comment.

    If you have any links to those issues that you have pointed out, then please post them so that we can take a look. I haven't heard of any problems, nor have I experienced any problems at this time, so I see no reason to panic and swap drivers.
  3. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,345   +13

    After going back to the 3.7's, I can say positively, that my system temps have gone down about two degrees. I realize this is not a big deal in itself, but after reading about others having problems, I'd rather be safe than sorry. As far as going into a "panic", I've been using these since the day they came out, I just decided to change and see if ATi comes up with anything, afterall, I don't imagine they'll buy me a new monitor or video card if somthing happens.

    Here is a quote from Rage3D about the problem. Also, heres a thread at Rage3D, and another thread at FutureMark forums. And I've seen others. By the way, I have a 9700 Pro and do not overclock.

    I'll admit there are a lot of people in those threads that are like Nic, and have not had any problems, and people whose monitor's went out, might have went out anyway. Some are saying that ATi changed the bios of the card. As you can see from the quote, ATi knows nothing about the problem and is investigating. I'll wait and see, and continue to use the 3.7's for now.

  4. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    From what I have read in those links, it seems that those that are experiencing problems already have their cards overclocked to the max, and the new drivers are pushing the cards over the limit. Maybe the new drivers are stressing the graphics core more than the older drivers did, and are thus causing heating problems with cards that are already operating close to their limit. Can't think of why this should happen, unless there is some issue with the new 'Overdrive' feature that was added. If you don't overclock your card, then you don't have anything to worry about as far as I can tell.

    As to monitor damage, well I really can't see how that could be possible other than by cranking up the refresh rate, which is not something that is likely to happen without you noticing (you would lose sync, and your picture would disappear, before anything was likely to be damaged, I think, though I'm not certain).
  5. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,345   +13

    Here's a post from Zardon at Driver Heaven on this issue. Looks like ATi cannot find a problem with the drivers. They were able to see a 2 or 3 degree increase in temps though in some cases. If thats all that's happening, I wouldn't worry about it. As he says here it's all over the web, but a lot of it may be people just trying to give ATi a bad name.
  6. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    I found this posted by Hilbert on Guru3D's front page. For those of you running ATI cards it's a must read.

  7. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    You've just created a duplicate thread on this very issue, but at least you found more detail as to why the issue occurs. Maybe someone can move this post into the original thread posted by olfarte over here ...

    Catalyst 3.8 overheating problem
  8. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Check out the thread that Tarkus just posted ...

    Catalyst 3.8 driver causing overheating

    It would appear that 9600 series cards are not affected (lucky me), but 9800 series, and 9700/9500 series that have been soft-modded to 9800 spec (i.e. overclocked), should roll back their drivers.

    As suspected, monitors are possibly being damaged due to refresh rate/resolution being set too high in the secondary adapter settings, when no monitor is attached to that port. A bug in the drivers appears to be allowing these settings to be applied to the primary adapter port, which is in some cases causing damage to the user's monitor.
  9. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621


    Heh, sorry, missed the other thread. Now they're merged.
  10. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Isn't the new Overdrive feature for 9800 series only ?
  11. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    only for the new 9800XT in Catalyst 3.8, and the 9600XT in Catalyst 3.9.
  12. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    You have to login to view it, but someone at DriverHeaven.net did this:


    I think you'll be suprised at the results....
  13. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Can't you just post the findings, as many here are not members :=).
  14. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,345   +13

    I've been looking at that too. Here are the basic results. This guy did a very extensive test with a lot of pictures, if you can go there to look at them.
  15. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    So the beta's appear to be the worst ... hmm

    I guess we'll be hearing a lot more on this in the coming weeks ...
  16. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,345   +13

    Unfortunately, the Beta's were what I was using, before going back to 3.7's, but I sure think they had better IQ than the regular 3.8's. Maybe that's the reason for more heat.
  17. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,345   +13

    Omega's latest drivers were "leaked" drivers from Dell. Now there are some more "leaked" drivers from Asus making the rounds.

    Whats with all the leaked drivers? ATi hasn't let that happen before.
    I think I'll leave them alone, for the time being.
    But here's the links.
    Here's the drivers.
    And the Control Panel.

    [size=1/2]Credit to analyze at Driver Heaven.[/size]
  18. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    I don't think a temp change could be responsible for causing such mayhem, it's the re-fresh rate monitor killing that has me concerned...

    I've been using the CAT3.8's since they were released on my old 17"CRT that came bundled w/ my OLD (but state of the art at the time!!!) PIII500....(long since upgraded, several times)

    If there is any merit to this and the drivers kill my monitor, I'd like to get re-embursed the pro-rated worth of my monitor and grab a shiny new LCD flat-panel:grinthumb

    We'll know soon enough.....stuff like this either gets debunked or proven in pretty short order....
  19. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,345   +13

    Here's two reports about these issues, one from Rage3D and another from TheInquirer. I don't quite know what to make of this. If I read correctly, (and maybe I didn't) one says there is no problem, and the other says they are still investigating. Both of these statements are supposed to be from ATi reps.
  20. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    Here's the response from ATI:
    It's also curiouus how these rumours "were started by people who arrived on forums on the same day, spreading this gospel":suspiciou
  21. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    yeah, funny how it occured within days of the Catalyst 3.8 driver release. ;)
  22. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    Is the 9800pro heatsink supposed to be hot?

    i have a 120mm intake fan blowing at my 9800pro. when i feel my video card heatsink while idle, it feels hot. is this normal? i am using CAT3.8 and the video card is not overclocked. my mobo says my system temp is 36 C.
  23. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    If your system temp is 36 C, then your heatsink will be quite hot, as it will likely be 10 to 20 C higher than system. My system temps are pretty close to room temps, and is currently sitting around 20 C. I'd expect my heatsink to be around the same temp are your system temps. I think you need better cooling for your case, though I'd imagine that California is a lot warmer climate than UK, which would explain your high system temp.
  24. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    my system temps are usually quite close to room temperature but the weather is unseasonably hot right now. yesterday it was like 40 C outside and 32C at room temperature without the A/C on. the santa ana winds and the massive, out of control wildfires across southern california (where i'm at) is not helping either. :blackeye:

    right now my room temperature is 29 C. my system temp says it is 32 C. is this a normal temperature difference?
  25. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Sounds good to me.
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