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[SOLVED] Screen flickering during game play

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] Screen flickering during game play within the Video Card Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi, My computer screen has begun flickering while playing some games. I'm not sure, but I think it may be


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Old 02-02-2008, 11:03 PM   #1
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Hi,
My computer screen has begun flickering while playing some games. I'm not sure, but I think it may be related to the video card. The screen usually starts out fine, but then after playing for a while the image begins to flicker. The main game that I've noticed it with is Call of Duty 4. When the screen flickers with call of duty, it looks like multiple lines starting near the center of the screen running outward, that appear and disappear. It's flickered a couple times with World of Warcraft, but not often. Also, when it flickers with World of Warcraft, it looks a bit different, it's more like blocks that appear and disappear rather than lines, it's much less annoying.

My video card is the Sapphire X1950XT http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102067 To try and figure the problem out, I installed ATI Tray Tools to look at the temperatures and etc. It appears that that the card runs at about 57-60 deg while idle. While playing Call of Duty 4, the max gpu temperature went up to 89 deg and the max environment temp reported by the program was 67 deg. I rebooted about 5 min after quitting the game, and the bios reported a cpu temp of 47 and a sys temp of 35. This led me to believe the card may be getting too hot, so I blew all the dust out of my computer, and I cleaned the video card fan. I put it back together and fired Call of Duty 4 back up. After about 10 min the game crashed to the desktop with the following error "VPU Recover has reset your graphics accelerator as it was no longer responding to graphics driver commands", the max gpu temp was 92.38, and the max environment temp was 67. I've gotten this error once in the past, and I've also had a couple BSODs (I don't remember the error message though).

I then installed ATITool to try and play with the fan speed. I tried a few things, but here's one of them. I set it to try and keep the gpu temp at 70. I fired up COD4, the fan speed shot up to 90% pretty quickly, the flickering started after a few minutes, but was less severe. The gpu temp ranged from 56.75 to 82.25. It does get pretty warm at the back of the case where the air blows out of the video card's fan.

So, what do you think? Should I send my card in for a replacement, do I need to add some aftermarket gpu cooling, do I need to configure the gpu fan some other way, could it be related to something else (PSU perhaps), or maybe it's not even the graphics card causing the problem.

Let me know if you need any more info, my system specs, or anything else.
Thanks for your help.

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Old 02-08-2008, 10:12 AM   #2
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Perhaps I didn't clearly describe what happens when my system messes up. After playing a game for a while (varies by game) various lines, triangles, and rectangles will appear and disappear over the top of the gameplay. The lines usually start near the center of the screen and run outwards. The triangles usually have one vertex near the center of the screen with the other two points off the screen. The shapes appear and disappear as you move in the game. I can attach an image if it'd be helpful.

The problem also seems to be getting worse. I used to be able to play Call of Duty for a long time with only the possibility of the lines, but now it usually happens after about 10 min or less. Also, World of Warcraft has begun to do it more often, usually more in crowded areas. I had only been playing World of Warcraft for about 30 min yesterday and it started.

From reading a bit, mainly on the sapphiretech forum, it sounds like this is a fairly common problem, usually caused by a weak power supply. This is probably likely since my PSU isn't too hot. My current power supply and specs are listed below.

So I'm thinking of trying a new power supply. I've looked at some of the Enermax and Silverstone supplies, since they seem to be highly rated, but I'm a bit unsure which to get. I'd prefer to spend less than $200. I guess I don't quite understand how you figure the amps on the 12V line when there are multiple 12V lines. Or, are those more for Crossfire\SLI setups?

Then if I still have problems after replacing the supply it sounds like the next step is to RMA my video card.

Does it sound like I've correctly assessed the problem, or could it be something else? Also, are there some PSU you might recommend?
Thanks!

Case: Raidmax Smilodon
PSU: Raidmax RX500S
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400
Memory: Corsair XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB)
Optical Drive: Liteon DVD Writer
Hard Drives: 1 Seagate IDE HD, 1 Western Digital SATA HD
PCI Cards: Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum

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Old 02-11-2008, 12:49 PM   #3
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So I went ahead and ordered this power supply,

Silverstone Zeus

Hopefully it'll take care of business.
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:58 PM   #4
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nice psu! keep us updated. i've had similar problems with a different ATI card.

instead of ati tools, i used rivatuner. have you tried just leaving the gpu fan at 100%?
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:23 PM   #5
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Thanks for your ideas Thimble, I've downloaded and installed rivatuner and have been playing with it a bit. I haven't tried cranking the fan speed way up. It does seem like the default fan speeds could be turned up a bit.

I installed the new PSU, and it seems like it might run a bit better, but there are still problems. A couple of times while playing games the screen has turned black, the monitor reports no signal, the sound loops, and I have to reboot. I even noticed some bad triangles while playing Sims 2. So I think I'm gonna go ahead and RMA my card and see how my system runs with a new one, perhaps the old PSU caused some damage to the card.
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:24 PM   #6
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Alrighty, so I RMA'd my video card, they no longer carried that card, so I upgraded to a GeForce 8800gt. I got it installed and have been playing quite a few games the last couple days. That seems to have fixed the problem.

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