Seemingly random video blackout during gameplay, help!

By kitan ยท 12 replies
Oct 24, 2006
  1. Hello everyone,

    I've been scanning through the posts on this forum for a little bit hoping to find a remedy to my problem but i've come up empty. I finally built up the courage to ask for help in a new post... here goes.

    I recently bought a new video card... upgrade from an onboard radeon xpress 200 and a new PSU to power it but ever since I've put them in, ive been getting random black screens during games like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty. It has never happened outside of a 3d game and it seems to happen more often in certain areas of these games.

    I usually have ventrilo running while playing World of Warcraft and when these black outs happens, I can continue to talk to people on ventrilo but I lose all visual and control of the game. Not sure what else information I can give.

    Here are my basic system specs:

    AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3500+ - 2.2gigs
    SAPPHIRE Radeon X1800XT 256MB
    2Gig Memory 400Mhz
    500w Thermacare PSU

    I've ruled out the possibility of overheating by reading other threads and using methods suggested to test out the video and system temperatures. I've also tried to keep the case open to see if it would help and it had no noticable effect. The video and BIOS drivers are both up to date as of yesterday.

    Any idea what may be causing this?
  2. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    Have you got the latest chipset drivers for your motherboard, did you completely uninstall the drivers from your previous onboard card and do you have the most recent version of DirectX on your machine?

    How long do these blackout episodes last? Does the game come back?
  3. kitan

    kitan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I'm not really sure where to update my motherboard driver... =X

    I made sure to remove the onboard's drivers yes and the blackout indefinitely. I have to manually restart the computer to recover from it.
  4. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    With your PC turned off..
    -take out your video card and inspect it's ok (contacts clean, nothing looks damaged etc)
    -reseat the video card back, if you have a locking mechanism to hold the card down, make sure its on properly as well.
    -If it uses a seperate power supply then make sure thats in firmly
    -vga cable screwed in to the card and not the onboard etc.

    -close the hood and start her up. Access BIOS/SETUP.
    -Look for any references to video and make sure its set to your card and not onboard (AGP/PCI-E etc)
    -exit, save if you did find something and changed it.

    -your motherboard drivers can be found at the manufacturer's website, which is this:
    -download the ones you need and install them.
    -Reboot if necisary.
    -go to ATI and download the latest drivers for your video card. Install and if neccesary reboot.
    -go to and download and install the latest directx 9.0c
  5. kitan

    kitan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    My apologizes for not replying to this post until now... I've done everything you've suggested n30 but the problem still exists. Really not sure what to do.

    Edit - This is all just speculation but the blackouts seem to happen more often when using more demanding 3d applications... crashes much more readily in BF2124 than WoW for example.
  6. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    in that case, have a look at the sticker on the side of your PSU and tell me what it says. In particular the watt rating, brand and the 12V amps.

    Download SpeedFan and/or look into BIOS Hardware Monitor and write down the temps and voltages when your PC is idle (doing nothing) and again when its playing your game (time it to before your blackout occurs..)

    I'm speculating either underpowered system or heat problems.
  7. kitan

    kitan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Im not 100% sure if I got the ones you wanted so I listed a bunch that i thought might be it written on the sticker...

    Its called a TK2-500 ATX 12v 2.0 from Thermacare

    Im not sure what the watt rating is labeled here... but the 12v amps are :

    +12v1 12a
    +12v2 15a
    -12v 0.3a

    I downloaded Speedfan and got the follow results for while playing the game.

    Fan1 1015RPM
    Fan2 1575RPM

    Ambient: 42c
    Remote1: 43c
    Remote2: 125c
    HD0: 36c
    Core: 49c

    +2.5V: 0.00V
    Vcore: 0.00V
    +3.3V: 0.00V
    +5V: 0.00V
    +12V: 9.06V
    +33V: 3.30V
    +1.5V: 0.00V
    +1.8V: 0.00V

    Again... no idea what they mean but 'remote2' scares me a bit...

    With the game OFF:

    Ambient: 39c
    Remote1: 31c
    Remote2: 120c
    HD0: 37c
    Core: 40c

    Everything else remains the same. I'll time from when I start the game to when the system crashes... it fluctuates though so im not really sure how it'll help (maybe I misread what you wanted me to do) Update : 6 minutes 11 seconds while on battlefield2124 multiplayer demo.
  8. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    hmm.. i think speedfan isn't reading your info right.

    Plan B. Go into BIOS and check the temps and voltages there. Both pre-blackout and post-blackout..

    i couldn't find much info on the net about the PSU brand of 'thermalcare' nor its model no., so my conclusion is that its somewhat due to it not giving enough juice to your card.. in terms of amps available. Have a look at this PSU Calculator, input all your info there (add 20% or 50W, whichever is greater, to the total) and see what your minimum rating is.

    Right now, i'm estimating 70% PSU problem and 30% GPU temp problem, once we know what "remote 2" means
  9. kitan

    kitan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Hello... sorry about the wait again... was busy with all the christmas stuff :)

    The PSU brand is Thermaltake TR2-500w... must of read the label wrong.

    I got the temp of post-blackout but none of the others yet... I'll get them writen down as soon as I can.

    CPU - 50c
    System Temp - 46c

    Not really sure where to check voltage, ill be sure to look around again when I get a blackout
  10. Boogityboo04

    Boogityboo04 TS Rookie Posts: 302

    Try downloading ATItool and checking the temperature of your card with that.
  11. kitan

    kitan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I downloaded ATItool but I dont know how to read it...

    The line down reads...


    As far as I can tell... thats the only thing that seems to indicate temperature...
  12. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    neither do i.... :D

    .... boogityboo?
  13. Boogityboo04

    Boogityboo04 TS Rookie Posts: 302

    What version of ATItool is that?

    The top number should be core temp
    The second I don't know
    Third is percentage of fan speed
    Fourth and fifth may be CPU and ambient temps or something EDIT: It says "Temperature of the temp. chip" which means temp on the surface of the card I guess

    Try hovering you mouse over the #s and you should get a baloon with a description.
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