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X1800XT 512mb Suspected Driver Problems

By wardy_uk ยท 22 replies
Jan 22, 2006
  1. Hey all,

    Ive recently just upgraded my PC and i'm experiencing problems with my new gfx card. Firstly my rig spec:

    AMD 64 X2 3800+ (bios 1009)
    Asus A8N-SLI Premium nforce4 Motherboard
    (ATI) Sapphire X1800XT 512mb
    Corsair 2x 1gb RAM
    250gb Western Digital Caviar SATA 7200rpm
    Antec 500w Power Supply
    17" TFT LCD Monitor

    The problem is whenever i attempt to play the latest games i keep getting what appears to be driver problems. I start games and can only play them on medium/low gfx settings, before the graphics eventually go wrong, roughly 5mins in. By this i mean there are multiple lines across the screen with the graphics all over the place, which leads me to believe ive developed a driver problem.

    The thing is, I have tried a few different drivers, all downloaded from the ATI website. The latest one of course being verison 5.13 with CCC and that is what im currently using and still having no luck with. Ive also tried going back to a few of the older drivers just to see if that made a different, but still the same problem.

    Example 1.

    Attempts to run 3dmark05 bench tests fail mid-flow everytime. The first scene runs fine and fps are great, then at near enough the same point in the second scene of the test, the graphics mess up.

    Example 2.

    Battlefield 2, runs ok at 800x600 with settings on 'medium'. Crank it up to 1024x768 on 'high' settings and after about 5mins the graphics problem occurs again.

    My old card was a 9800XT and could run these games ok on the same medium/low settings, so paying out 350 quid for the latest gfx card, my expectations were a lot higher.

    When explaining this problem to friends i always get the same response 'sounds like a driver problem', but i have the latest driver 5.13 with CCC...?

    Can anyone help? Im running out of ideas...

  2. mastronaut

    mastronaut TS Enthusiast Posts: 168

  3. wardy_uk

    wardy_uk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the info,

    Just tried version 6.1, run the 3dmark05 test again but graphics went wrong at the same point again...

    Does it sound like a driver problem to you? How can i tell if it is a defected card?
  4. iNoob

    iNoob TS Rookie Posts: 68

    I'm sorry to hear such an awesome card struggle like that, but umm....2 things

    1. I'm not too sure why you would use an ATI card on an nForce4 board, but that's not likely to cause any problem...it just seems...weird...

    2. When people physically mod their cards (such as opening up pipelines in the GeForce 6 entry lvl cards) sometimes the card would become messed up and artifacts would show up in game, and just basically all sorts of problems. This leads me to think that maybe your card is faulty. Not that you messed around with it, but that it's just wasn't made properly. If you just got the card, I say you return it for a new one...

    (IMO!!!) if you could, return it and don't get another X1800XT, get a 7800GTX 512 instead!!! :D lol, but that's just IMO!!
  5. wardy_uk

    wardy_uk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I read very good reviews about the A8N-SLI Prem board and even though i had my heart set on the X1800XT and knew i wouldnt be making use of the SLI feature, i decided to buy the board anyway.

    Is there a possibility i need to update/change something in bios?

    Yes, I am just running out of ideas now... just very frustrating with such a top gfx card :(
  6. wardy_uk

    wardy_uk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Another point im going to try...

    When i installed the Asus mobo and drivers, the chipset program driver was Nvidia. Do you think that its installed Nvidia chipset video drivers, which could be a compatibility problem with my ATi card now that im trying to install ATi drivers??
  7. iNoob

    iNoob TS Rookie Posts: 68

    nVidia has separatee drivers for their chipsets and their video cards. Unless you installed it from a CD, which COULD potentially install both the NF4 driver AND the Forceware (NV video driver)...to check this, go to add and remove programs and choose nvidia drivers, click change/remove and a list should pop up asking you which of the nvidia drivers you wish to uninstall. If the video driver is installed, then just uninstall it and maybe reinstall your ATI driver too
  8. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Hi wardy,
    First, there is absolutely nothing unusual about using an ATI card on an NForce chipset. NV's marketing foray into their mainboard chipsets may indeed point that direction, but the NForce series chipset is about as standard an AMD/Intel mainboard chipset as it gets.

    You didn't mention if you're using Windows XP x64. If so, the versions/files below will not be the correct versions as I'm assuming plain-old Windows XP 32-bit.

    First things first, as already mentioned, be sure to get the 8.22 NForce4 chipset drivers which you can get at www.guru3d.com. If the 1009 BIOS on your mainboard isn't the latest, you should also update this. Your system should also have at least Service Pack 2 (if not XP x64/64-bit).

    After these have been verified, you should attempt a "clean" install. Download and install Driver Cleaner Pro at www.drivercleaner.net, but do not run it yet. Also, download the Catalyst 6.1 drivers from www.ati.com and ensure you already have Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1+1.1 Hotfix, or .NET Framework 2.0 (or both) installed prior. Keep the 6.1 driver on your desktop for handy usage. Then:
    1) Hit Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs. Uninstall (but do NOT reboot until the last one) the following ATI items. You may not have them all, but uninstall the ones you do in this order:
    a- ATI Remote Wonder (I/II)
    b- ATI MMC/MultiMedia Center
    c- ATI DVD Decoder
    d- ATI Encoder
    e- ATI Catalyst Control Center
    f- ATI Control Panel
    g- ATI Display Drivers (Click "Select All" then OK)
    h- ATI Software Uninstall Utility
    ... THEN REBOOT.. and REBOOT INTO SAFE MODE.. (hit/hold F8 after BIOS/POST tests for Windows XP menu). Boot into Safe Mode as Administrator.

    2) Run Driver Cleaner Pro. Select "Multiple Cleaning Filters". CLick over ALL the ATI cleaners. Click "Start" and let it finish. If you do not see a shortcut for Driver Cleaner Pro, browse for it and launch the executable manually in My Computer, C: Program Files, Driver Cleaner Pro as the installer doesn't always put a shortcut in the Start Menu for Administrator.

    3) DISCONNECT your network cable.. there can be no broadband/internet past this point.

    4) Reboot in Normal Mode.

    5) Run the 6.1 Catalyst Installer, pick the Express.. Reboot when prompted.

    6) On the next reboot, wait at least 30-60 seconds for all the drivers to settle/complete, then you may reconnect your network cable/broadband.

    Give this a whirl to ensure you have no driver issues. This will attain a "clean" driver install.


    Your problem- I'd be leaning towards it being a cooling issue rather than a driver issue though. The above steps are just to ensure everything is on the level. If you still encounter a problem afterwards, I'd pursue power and cooling issues.

    To check temperature, the 6.1 drivers should have an Overdrive tab that will list the GPU temps. This wont give us all we need, but it's a good start to leave this open and run some benchmarks on the desktop to monitor how hot it is at idle or running windowed apps.

    You can download ATI Tray Tools if you want better monitoring in games. It has an Overclocking tab where you can enable GPU/ENV temp monitoring to a file.. then launch the games that exhibit the problem. Once hitting the problem, exit out and have a look at the log. Google for ATI Tray Tools as it's a handy, system friendly application for doing this.

    Good luck!
  9. wardy_uk

    wardy_uk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the advice!

    I have just got the standard XP Pro, unfortunatly not the x64 version. Will this make a difference at all for using my gfx card?

    Gonna go try out your pointers now, hope it works...!
  10. wardy_uk

    wardy_uk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Right, clean install of drivers completed but still getting the same problem with the games :(

    Your point that it could be a cooling/power problem does sound likely, as it does seem to happen at exactly the same point and when the graphics are at high/max settings.

    Ive downloaded ATi Tray Tools, Clicked Hardware, then Overclocking Settings. At the top when i clicked on the 'Fan' tab there are no setting options for me to choose, instead i have the message 'No supported hardware found'.... ? Does that sound right to you? As it wont allow me the option to monitor the gpu temps, which could back up what your saying that it is a cooling problem.

    I decided to restart the 3dmark05 test, which is what ive been using to test my gpu after each change ive made to see if im making any progress, and got to the point when the graphical errors start. I lightly felt my gfx and it was very very hot, thus more evidence it could be overheating.

    Another pointer, the fan in the gfx card just seems to spin at one speed. When i start my pc, it runs very fast for about 3 secs and i have felt strong air coming out the back of the gpu air intakes, but this dies down to a steady/quiet speed. In the 3dtest and games ive never heard the fan speed up though...

    As i explained earlier, im running a brand new 500w Antec NEO HE power supply and also have 3 internal fans, 2 blowing air out and 1 blowing air in. I have a fairly large/spacious pc case too.

    PC Probe Reporting Temps:
    CPU = 34'C
    Mobo = 32'C
  11. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Hi again wardy,
    The fan on the X1800 is supposed to spin up to 100% for about 3-4 seconds on boot. This is part of it's normal initialization process. The fan is also supposed to be thermatically controlled to automatically adjust the fan speed based on GPU temp.

    If ATI Tray Tools cannot find the temp sensor, it may or may not be an issue. It could be an older version of ATI Tray Tools or a newer BIOS revision on your card it cannot understand. I'd be sure you have the latest ATI Tray Tools (the "About" option within the program should be able to check for updates for you). I'd also ask if the ATI Catalyst Control Center has an "Overdrive" section near the bottom where it should also report GPU temps and speeds. X1800's should be around 60C-ish idle, 80C-ish under load temp wise.
  12. wardy_uk

    wardy_uk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    After saying about overheating possibilities i decided to check everything was connected ok...

    When checking my PCI connector from power supply to the GPU, it noticed that some of the pins were missing from the connector. So I have replaced this connector with a new one, this time all pin connectors were present. After rebooting, i attempted the 3dmark05 test, it ran through fine, scoring just over 9000.

    Just to be sure i played the main game i was having problems with Need For Speed Most Wanted. Testing it at 800x600 / 1024x768 all on high settings worked fine and looked and played better than ever. I did have the problem occur again when tryin at max res 1280x1024 all on high settings though, but i can understand it overheating for that.

    So, thanks to your great advice, it looks like the problem is sorted :):):)

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge, youve helped out a lot!

    Just a last question, do u know how its possible to cool down a GPU??
  13. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    I'm glad the new power lead seems to have helped a bit. I'm still discouraged though as that card should not be having these overheating-style issues at *all*, especially given your system.

    I'd be concerned about the temp monitoring and fan control. Your card should be able to keep cool for hours at extreme resolutions with AA/AF without any issues. Does your ATI drivers CCC report the GPU clocks and GPU temp at all? If not, this could be the core problem. Without this, it's possible the GPU fan control isn't functioning and therefore full-time low RPM's. I'd be less worried about ATI Tray Tools and more worried about ATI's drivers Catalyst Control Center. Right-clicking it's icon in the systray should pull this up and have a section for GPU temp and clockrate called "Overdrive"- if not, this is likely the root problem. If CCC find the fan/temps, then ATI Tray Tools (or a newer version) should also, at which point you can custom set the fan RPM's higher by default if cooling is a real issue.

    I'd also make sure you have your case fans oriented to produce an airflow. This means some intaking, and the opposite side exhausting air. This allows fresh air to be intaken, and hot air to be exhausted/out the case. If all fans point inwards or outwards, no current of air is produced and trapped hot air just circulates around inside the case. I usually orient front or side fan to suck inwards (intake) and back fans outwards (exhaust).

    The stock cooling on the X1800XT is sufficient for very heavy load with good power and cooling like you already have, so this should NOT be an issue. It's possible the heatsink was bumped/adjusted during shipping (either if you mail ordered it or the retailer shipping where you purchased it) and thus the heatsink/fan is no longer making a good thermal connection to the GPU or memory. Modifying this will totally void your warranty though so if there does turn out to be an issue, returning the card is the best bet.

    I'm still leaning towards a GPU/fan control issue though as the X1800's are pretty loud when hitting 100% fan rpm (as you can tell when you first boot your system!). The on-board fan should be hitting the louder, higher rpm's before experiencing artifacts or heat issues. I'd explore this first- by looking into CCC to see if even the OVerdrive tab is enabling/displayed.

    Good luck!
  14. wardy_uk

    wardy_uk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ATI Overdrive (specs)

    Graphics Processor Status

    Current GPU Tempurate: 53'C
    Requested: 621MHz (i can change up to 690)
    Current VPU Clock: 594MHz

    Graphics Memory Status

    Requested: 747MHz (i can change up to 800)
    Current Memory Clock: 693MHz

    Is there anyway i can monitor the GPU temps using CCC whilst playing? Or will i need ATi Tray Tools for that?

    I agree it does still seem weird that the card is possibly overheating still and no it still doesnt sound like the fan is getting faster to cool the card down at all. Ive not had any real experience in overclocking or modding actual CPU/GPU's before so im sort out in the dark at this point to be honest.
  15. wardy_uk

    wardy_uk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Just thought id show ya this for a few laughs....

    Great Asus customer service for you:

    My name is ZYC, and I would be assisting you today.
    Sir , i also read some problems with X1800/1600 series card with NF4 chipset board , and there is no good fix now ,i hope later ATI driver will fix it .
    For now , if it is possible , you can change to a nVIDIA GPU card, they run fine on this board .

    -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- - --- -- - -- -

    That was great advice dont you think lol and that was literally the whole response when i wrote to em with my gpu problem. what a complete waste of time they were...
  16. wardy_uk

    wardy_uk TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Was just playing Battlefield 2: Special Forces and my problem of grapical errors has returned to haunt me yet again :(

    I went straight back to my desktop and looked at the heat reading of my GPU on CCC and it was only 65'C. Im really starting to worry that either my card does not work with the motherboard, or worse still its a defective card :(:(

    Any more ideas? Or does it look like returning the card is the only option??

  17. SDALAX30

    SDALAX30 TS Rookie

    i would try to run drivercleaner again and then download drivers from omegadrivers.net just an idea. worth a quick try.
  18. wardy_uk

    wardy_uk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    whats actually the difference then between omegadrivers and drivers from the ATi official website?
  19. SDALAX30

    SDALAX30 TS Rookie

    Well the omegadrivers were made by some guy who wants to help out people like us. but other then that the omega drivers give you alot more control over how your video card works. reason that i suggested it was because i am having problems with my computer and was told to try that. didn't help me...but i guess it helps some people.
  20. TITAN440

    TITAN440 TS Rookie

    It doesn't sound like a driver problem, most ppl don't have an answer, so their first answer is usually always "it's a driver problem"...

    #1.) If the games will load & you can initiate all your tests or Benchmarks, then your driver isn't your problem.

    #2.) Since your able to run these tests & play the games for a short (very short) period of time, it's seems very clear that your problem would be heat related.

    At lower video setting, your card will not build up as much heat as quickly as it would with higher settings.

    If you intend to stay with fan type cooling, I would resolve the issue by removing the original HSF (heat-sink & fan) & either use some quality thermal paste & reattach the stock set-up, or upgrade your card to a nice silent Arctic Cooling unit.

    You may find that there is insufficient thermal paste between your factory HSF & GPU... Your issue can be solve fairly easily by yourself, however, being that it was shipped that way, it's a warranty issue & they should send you a replacement unit. Either way, your vid card has an issue with heat build-up... You can use this info in this post as leverage for your RMA to get a replacement card...

    Riva Tuner is a very nice program to use for monitoring ambient (board) & core GPU temperatures... It's also capable of manually controlling your fan speed, as well as overclocking your card (when your ready for that)...

    Try some sort of temp monitoring program (like Riva Tuner) to verify your GPU temps, because the symptoms you described, indicate excessive heat build-up with both the mem & core... Eventually, the vid card would prolly goto a black screen, or lock up your PC if the core runs too hot... Usually, your benchmark proggie runs into an "error" and closes, or simply tells you it cannot continue due to an error...

    Hope this helps...
  21. TITAN440

    TITAN440 TS Rookie

    Try this...

    When your checking the temps of your GPU, can you see a graph of how hot the temps increased & decreased to??? Riva Tuner allows you to run it's monitoring in the background (part of Rive Tuner), and you can see how quickly your card heats up when you start your game (or 3D load) and how quickly it cools off again when you stop using the 3D engine...

    My x850xt PE running overclocked @ 612 core & 1280 mem idles @ 37.9'c (core temp) w/ 39'c ambient (board) temps [with 13.5% fan duty cycle], and runs full load gaming or benchmark w/ [100% fan duty cycle] @ 49.2'c... My ambient room temps are 22.22'c (or 72'f), my ambient system temps are 34'c, so all these temps are all within normal "reasonable" limits...

    65'c = 149'f, which is rather warm, but shouldn't be enough to worry about, provided the vid cards temp sensor (or the program using it) isn't lying to you about it's actual temperature...

    There may also be a seperate component on your vid card which is overheating (possibly damaged in shipment or overlooked during the testing process), such as one of the voltage regulator circuits...

    If you want to test the temp theory, start to make note of how long you can play BF2 untill it runs amuck, then take the main access side cover off your case & use a small box or floor fan (or ???) & blow cool air directly into the case (trying to target the vid card), then go play BF2 again & see how much longer you can game... I have a feeling your not gonna see a big difference here because of the GPU cooling not working correctly already, so only expect the difference to be a slightly longer (but noticable) period of time...

    Let me know what you come up with... I'm curious to know what you discover...
  22. Taxidermy

    Taxidermy TS Rookie

    Hey, new member here.

    I have a similar problem with my Powercolor Radeon X1800XT 512

    In the Catalyst Control center in the override tab my Core and memory speed is too low according to what they SHOULD be.

    They are:
    Core Clock Speed: 593 Mhz (it Should be 625 Mhz, and I can rasie it too 690)
    Memory Clock Speed: 668 mhz (It should be 1.5 Ghz, and I can rasie it too 800)

    The temperature is according to teh control center 61`C.

    Ive tried, driver Cleaner, Reinstalling windows,Bios update, all teh different ATI drivers (including the omega ones) Different version of Direct X 9 and 3dMark 03-06. And My fps and scores are lower than they should be.
    For instance in 3dmark 03 I get 11000 marks.

    Ive checked all the cables and they all look like they should.
    I recently got my computer and built it myself, and ive been looking forward for some eyecandy in my games, but now im starting to dislike ATI..
    Can anyone help me?

    my specs:

    Pentium 4 3,4 Ghz 64-bit
    Corsair Value S. PC4200 1024 DDR 2 x2
    410 GB Western Digital 16 mb 7200 RPM
    Hiper type-R 580 W Silent 18db
    ATI Radeon X1800XT 512 GDDR3 PCIex-16
    ASUSP5ND2-SLI, nForce4 SLI Intel, GB LAN
    Saitek 1600dpi gaming mouse
    Logitech Media Keyboard Elite

    If its due to the nForce 4 chip and Nvidia and ATI not "working together", is there any solutions?

    And I got an SLI nForce 4 board due to me getting dual Nvidia Cards in some years when DX 11 or 12 is around.
  23. TITAN440

    TITAN440 TS Rookie

    Try using another video utility such as Riva Tuner... If your card clocks are in fact off, it will show up with Riva Tuner the same as the factory utility... Keep in mind that memory clocks are divided in half due to DDR specs, so a "668" clock, is not the actual "effective" memory clock timing, 668 x 2 = 1336 (or 1.336gig) effective...

    It sounds like your factory timings are in fact off slightly, and if these are the default timings (no overclock or down-clock), then the vid cards "BIOS" needs to be altered to correct the timing issue... Being the card was apparently shipped that way, I would contact the place of purchase, or the manufacturer for a replacement, since what you bought wasn't what they were advertising...

    I wouldn't mention anything to anybody about using the overclock utility to change the timings of the card, as they may try & use this against you, as leverage not to replace your existing card (possible voided warranty)... I would simply explain the situation & back it up with a few screen shots to help show them what your saying...

    Apparently that cards bios is set for 590 (or 600) for the core, and 670 (or 675) for the memory timings... This sounds about right considering you can use an overclock utility to achieve the supposed timings...

    690 is a respectable core overclock, and 800 (x2) = 1600 or 1.6gig, which is also a respectable overclock... Temps are fair & sounds like your card is working fine, but I would still try & exchange it for a replacement that has the correctly advertised timings...

    Hope this helps...
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