More flicker problems

Discussion in 'Videocards - AMD Radeon' started by mtmrop, Jul 24, 2009.

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  1. mtmrop

    mtmrop Member

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    Hi folks,
    this is my first post here so please be gentlew with me!

    I've read several posts on this forum regarding flicker when using ATI cards, which is the problem which am having.

    Set-up is:

    2 off Powercolor ATI Radeon HD4870 1GB (CF)
    Asus Rampage Formula mobo
    Q6600 (OC to 3.4GHz)
    4GB DDR2-800 (OC to 851MHz)
    1Kw Zalman PSU

    The set-up, from new and in original state, gave montior flicker.
    Both cards, used individually, cause it and on more than one monitor. Running in CF makes no difference. I've also tried different wall sockets and PSU's. Powercolor don't have an update for the card on their website. No level of CCC or AT driver has had any effect.

    From the other posts that I have read, it looks like the flicker happens when the cards are changing frequencies. Is this correct? Or could there be another explanation? I've tried a whole host of changes in CCC (as listed in a number of threads in a number of forums) but none have cured it.

    The only thing that has helped is to under clock the main display adaptor so that the memory freq. is set to 900MHz (i.e. it's minimum setting). This only helped, it didn't fix it.

    It looks like something that has worked for other people is to fix the freq. of the card so that it's always running at 'high speed' (i.e. so that it doesn't throttle back when work load reduces). Is this worth a go in my case? I don;t mind doing it, but only if it's absolutely necessary. s there anything else that it could be?

    I downloaded and have had a look around the Radeon BIOS Editor (c/o techpowerup) but can't find a good guide to prevent me c*****g it up.

    Is it worth trying Rivatuner frst? Again, I've had a look around the app, but can't seem to get it to work for some reason.


    Any advice or help that's out there will be greatly received!!

    mtm
     
  2. mtmrop

    mtmrop Member

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    geez my typing's awful
     
  3. EAK

    EAK Master Guru

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    Welcome to the forums!!

    I thought the default speeds for the 4870 is 750/900. Am I wrong?

    I am unclear on th "flicker" part. Is the monitor shutting down or is your refresh rate set too low possibly?? Is your screen clicking on and off? Are you getting waves on the screen at all? Some flat screens are set 59.9hz by default. Some are defaulted to 60hz. Most crts will run up to 75hz. What is your display set to?
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
  4. mtmrop

    mtmrop Member

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    Hi EAK,
    Refresh rate is fine. It's and LCD (LG W2252TQ) running at 60Hz, but have also tried 65Hz, 70Hz and 75Hz, none of which made any difference.

    The defaults for my card(s) is 780MHz GPU clock and 925MHz Memory Clock.

    The flicker is hard to describe. The monitor isn't shutting off....think i'll take a short vid and post it. Easier that way! Will get back with it soon.....
     

  5. mtmrop

    mtmrop Member

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    Ok, video posted at http://www.flickr.com/photos/40791812@N04/3752258785/ (flickr . com, get it!? Ok, i'll stop)

    My webcam is woefully poor quality, but you can still make out the flicker when it happens, notably at 19s and 6s remaining.

    In the video to induce the flicker i've opened Everest and CPU-Z. In reality it happens pretty consistenly what ever i'm doing - surfing, writing letters, spreadsheets etc etc.

    Obscurely (and perhaps consistenly with freq. changes) all tends to be well when I'm playing the likes of Crysis and CoDWaW. It's really only when new levels are loading up or when the games are loading up that it's a problem.

    Thoughts?
     
  6. EAK

    EAK Master Guru

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    Ok. I watched the video. Its weird. That almost looks like a power ripple. I am most ready to tell you to plug a different monitor and see if it does the same thing.
     
  7. GZJ9000

    GZJ9000 Active Member

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    It looks like power ripple like EAK said, but there is also other possibility when the capacitors of the LCD start to give up due to over heating.
     
  8. mtmrop

    mtmrop Member

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    just one problem....it does it on different monitors.
    This one, my spare and since reading your messages, just to be sure, I just tried it on the TV downstairs - same result. As additional checks I also tried again using a DVI to VGA adaptor, again, no change.

    The only thing i haven't tried yet is powering the PC off two different PSU's simulateneously (in case neither of my PSU's are working properly to run the whole rig). Will try it later, but I'm not hopeful that it will make a difference since it flickers no matter which rail I take power from when using a single card.
    Presumably there must be a way, using a multimeter, to check the voltage going into the graphics cards? Ok, I guess the question there is what should the voltages be?
     
  9. Poor Tom

    Poor Tom Active Member

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    Did you say that you underclocked your cards? Because I experienced similar flickering and screen jumping if I used ATI CCC to change speeds on my cards, but if I left them at default clocks everything was ok. If I changed clocks up or down using RT everything was also ok. If you have not tried default clocks already, give it a shot.

    Also ensure that both cards are running at the same speed if in xfire mode.
     
  10. lenne

    lenne Master Guru

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    try to run both of them at factory default speeds 750 / 900 !

    i have this strange issue where my 4870x2 always defaults at 790 / 900 ?? but for me it works, ich changed the cooler anyway, so a light overclock is not a problem, but it might me for u ?

    btw, why is everything mirrored in the vid ??
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009

  11. Redawgc187

    Redawgc187 Master Guru

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    One thing you could try if you have a battery backup hook it up to the pc as that will keep a constant voltage running to the pc I have seen the same issue where i live and it is becuase the incoming power to the house fluctuates. However yours could be slightly different situation do any of your house lights seem to dim and get brighter.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009
  12. mtmrop

    mtmrop Member

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    hi and thanks to everyone for your responses.

    @lenne: i didn't realise that the defaults were 750 / 900. EAK's first post should have prompted me into checking. Anyway, tried it and, as before, running the display adaptor card at 900Mhz mem clock improves the flicker but doesn't cure it.

    The vid is mirrored because I didn't check the 'mirror output' box!

    I'm not sure on what you meant when you said you "changed the cooler so a light overclock is not a problem"? I have plenty of room for manoeuvre on temps.

    @Poor Tom: It doesn't appear to make a difference what speed the other card runs at or what speed the GPU clock is set to on the main card.


    @Redawgc187: I'm slightly lacking a battery backup :( but back an earlier question, what input voltage should it be running at? And accross what pins?



    At this point I'm thinking Rivatuner is worth trying to fix the freq's...can anyone suggest a good guide?
     
  13. twtaylor

    twtaylor Ancient Guru

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    It doesn't sound to me like you're getting adequate power to your system. I'm not talking about your power supply, I'm talking about the current being provided to your system. A UPS would be ideal because they have built in voltage regulation. If you are going to throw out the money on a Crossfire system you might as well protect your investment.
     
  14. lenne

    lenne Master Guru

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    Ah i only mentioned that because in some ceses ( literally ) the airflow is too bad, or the environment temps are too high with the stock cooling solution to even overclock it a little bit, wasnt specific to ur case ;)

    for rica tuner, install it, start it under target adapter click on the little triable beside the text about ur gfx card and then low level system settings, theres all u need ! just make sure u put riva tuner in some kind of auto start, that it is started together with windows.
    If u look a bit through it, ull see it has many many more usefull funktions, like fan control according to ur actual temps etc etc fiddle a bit, its worth it.
     
  15. mtmrop

    mtmrop Member

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    twtaylor: could you explain more? The PC is plugged in to a 13A mains supply so there's no shortage going into the PSU. How would a voltage regulated supply assist with current supply?

    lenne: will try RT later today and feedback results.
     

  16. EAK

    EAK Master Guru

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    A UPS....usually the expensive ones contain components that facilitate voltage regulation....usually referred to as "AVR"..Automatic Voltage Regulation. This system nominalizes any voltage drops or voltage spikes coming from the wall source and keeping them from frying your pc. The system will switch to a battery when either of theses are detected and keep a constant and clean 120 volts/60 hz going to your pc's psu at all times.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009
  17. mtmrop

    mtmrop Member

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    Hi folks and sorry for the late reply. It turns out this weekend was filled with celebrating various people's birthdays, so no time to work on this!

    I've had a play around with Rivatuner and the good news is......I no longer have any flicker!!! I've set the memory clock and core clock to the levels they run at when they're not throttled back, set RT to start-up with Windows and it has done the trick :)
    lenne: thanks for the pointers on how to use RT

    However (and now i'm just going to be awkward!), that means both cards are permanently running full whack, which means they'll be drawing around 300W each http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4870,1964-15.html .....that's gonna get expensive on electricity.

    So, knowing that fixing the clock speeds cures the flicker, does that give any indication as to what the root cause of the problem is? Does it still indicate that it's a power supply issue?
     
  18. EAK

    EAK Master Guru

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    It still could be since they it stopped once you throttled them back....assuming you dont have cooling issues either with the gpus.
     
  19. bokah

    bokah Ancient Guru

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    get gpu-z and extract both gpus biosses to file and open with radeon bios editor.
    then check if all memory is set to same 900 or what ever it is on ur card.

    i remember other post here with similar symptoms got fixed when he changed em all to 900 as one of em was at 920 or something

    (was memory changing freq that coused this)
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2009
  20. EAK

    EAK Master Guru

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    I doubt he is comfortable modding his gpu bioses....though that would work..he could fubar his cards if he is in-experienced.
     

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