Sapphire HD 7870 OC crash with black screen and sound loop

Discussion in 'Videocards - AMD Radeon' started by Zahlokhnir, Jun 16, 2012.

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  1. terryble

    terryble Member

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    Last edited: Sep 2, 2012
  2. Frequency

    Frequency New Member

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    My first post here, wanted to share my experience with this infuriating but interesting issue.

    Firstly, crash with sound loops is nothing new. I used to have a lot of trouble with this with my 8800 GT. IIRC, it happens when the GPU driver crashes and is unable to recover or the OS otherwise loses contact with the GPU. The sound loop is simply the sound driver's way of reacting to this, which is why some people with different sound drivers don't get a loop. The same symptoms happened when a poor power supply meant the GPU losing power, so a new power supply fixed it for many people. But it is something different with HD 7000 series.

    I have 3 systems with a variety of hardware and after testing certain combinations of hardware and software, I have come to the following conclusions:

    1. It is not related to GPU hardware exclusively.
    2. It happens only under certain permutations of hardware and software. So far, it looks random, I don't see a pattern yet.
    3. Many of these can be fixed by drivers.

    I have 3 motherboards and 3 CPUs (2 AMD, 1 Intel), and there's only one combination which results in issues, i.e. AMD Phenom II X6 1090T and Gigabyte 880GM-UD2H. All other combinations are table. This is the important bit and all further observations are on this system only.

    I don't remember exact drivers so do excuse me here. But drivers does affect, a lot. Running HD 7970 and HD 7750 with Catalyst 12.1 or 12.2, Battlefield 3 crashed within 5 minutes. This was fixed somewhere as with later drivers Battlefield 3 is perfectly stable on the HD 7750. However, to bring up the point of being random, HD 7970 isn't perfect yet. I mean, it can still go for hours just fine and is of course much better than at release time, but it isn't quite perfect like HD 7750. Overall though, both 7970 and 7750 react mostly similarly to different games. There are other games as well which were very prone to crashing but have been slowly fixed over time. Unfortunately, the process is extremely slow and I don't know when or if all combinations will be covered. There are many games that are perfect, others crash once in a while, and a few that crash within 10 minutes and are virtually unplayable. Right now, the most problematic game is Crysis 2, guaranteed crash within 5 minutes on both 7750 and 7970.

    Suggestions like disabling ULPS, downclocking, undervolting may or may not help. As I said, it is pretty random and I have no idea what might work.

    For example, with Sleeping Dogs, frequent crashes were the order of the day. I noticed that it took much longer when my air conditioner was on. That let me to try something, I underclocked the CPU to 2.8 GHz, disabled Turbo, increased fan speed to max. Hey presto, Sleeping Dogs is now perfectly stable! I have been playing the game on my AMD system with 7970 and not a single crash since then. Turn it back up to default clocks and it crashes. What is funny is that I can run my GPU overclocked, doesn't matter at all, the whole thing is totally dependent on the CPU.

    Of course I have tried that in other games, but it doesn't seem to work as well, although in some games like Diablo III crash frequency is somewhat reduced, but still pretty unstable. Crysis 2 is not affected at all, it still crashes within minutes.

    So basically, those are my conclusions, it is random and it affects certain permutation and combination of hardware and software. My hope is that they have hold off the 9.00 branch for so long to have some kind of a widespread relief, but I am not sure. For now the best way to get rid off this issue is to a) switch to Nvidia (although Kepler drivers have crippling issues of their own...) or b) change your CPU and/or motherboard (may or may not work). RMA or upgrading to a different HD 7000 GPU will most likely fail. Of course try downclock/undervolt/max fan on both CPU and GPU, may or may not work depending on the game.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2012
  3. terryble

    terryble Member

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    Thanks for the info~from what u mentioned, heat may be an issue~~for my case~~after trying multiple drivers (including non official 1s), down clocking seems to significantly increase the stability in Diablo 3 FOR NOW. I think some how down clocking and hardware temp is related. downclock = less stress for the card = less heat = less voltage

    some how they are all related~~

    AMD forums kept on deleting related post~~including the 1 that was related here where i mentioned...they are definitely hiding something from users~~
     
  4. Genesis

    Genesis Active Member

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    I opened a ticket with Sapphire, no answer in 3 days... Terrible customer service on top of terrible products?
     

  5. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    ^what do you have against Sapphire?
     
  6. terryys

    terryys New Member

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    nope, the thread is not deleted. They updated the forum and the category id is somehow changed but you can still use the search function to find that thread.
    The new link is
    http://forums.amd.com/game/messageview.cfm?catid=445&threadid=160398
     
  7. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    I do wonder what is causing this, some titles trigger it far faster than others as well albeit there's no obvious pattern or such that I can see and there's no real solution either and it's so random that it's quite difficult to test properly.

    No log files or so to go by either, hopefully AMD sorts this out eventually unless it's some bios or hardware problem/conflict in some way, nothing I would know about though.
    (It's pretty rare with the current 12.8 drivers but some games trigger it within minutes but there's no common factor that I can see, some of these titles are quite old and others are brand new, weird issue whatever it is that is causing this behavior.)

    Maybe the 9.00 driver branch will resolve it?
    (But that's just a guess, haven't tried the newest leaked August 9th drivers either so I don't know.)
     
  8. teknov

    teknov New Member

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    Since i got this card(Gigabyte 7870OC) iv'e had problems since day 1!

    -BSOD (fixed using Catalyst 12.6)
    -Call of Duty BO and MW3 FPS very low (fixed updated to the latest driver and modding config file(blackops))

    Now i get the black screen with Black Ops and Sleeping Dogs and even COUNTER STRIKE GO yes you read that correctly! or if i do random things.

    Battlefield 3 plays great but, that's about it.....

    Stock settings still giving me problems. My old EVGA 465 765MB runs no problems what so ever since day one. I've always wanted a ATI card but, after this experience never again! I have 7 days to return/exchange and i am going to do just that! Going to get a MSI 660TiOC and hopefully, that will get rid of all this headache! :bang:

    You spend this kind of money the cards are supposed to WORK PROPERLY both software and hardware wise!!!!
     
  9. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    I got a constant System Service Exception BSOD after I half uninstalled then reinstalled 12.7 drivers, Installed again the 12.8's and is all gud now.

    I do get black screen if my memory is overclocked too far (I think this is to blame in many cases, maybe crappy batch of vram??)...
     
  10. Genesis

    Genesis Active Member

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    They sell cards that constantly black-screen and offer no support for that.
     

  11. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    In case you hadn't noticed, the problem isn't confined to just Sapphire - it affects all brands.

    Sapphire are pretty much the top AMD graphics cards partner, I'm on my third from them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  12. BlackZero

    BlackZero Ancient Guru

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    I think this has been suggested before but disabling ULPS might help. It certainly does for games like skyrim or other CPU sensitive games where the GPU load can shift erratically.
     
  13. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    Yeah but isn't ULPS mostly Crossfire where the second card can be turned off when GPU load is particularly low or well during 2D / Windows desktop work.

    Come to think of it maybe the problem is similar with how the 7000 series can "power off" or how to describe it? but I don't think ULPS affects that feature.
    (Well it might help some but it hasn't solve the problem with what I've tested - which is most of the things mentioned in this thread, would be really nice knowing what exactly causes this behavior and then work out how to fix it from that info but we'll see I guess, maybe the next driver release improves things even further.)

    EDIT: Ah I see, so that's how it is then, learned something new, useful info. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  14. Genesis

    Genesis Active Member

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    So because other brands have the issue too they don't have to offer any support or answer support tickets in days? What kind of hardcore fanboy are you?
     
  15. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    Oh please just GTFO and lurkmore.

    You're claiming Sapphire make poor quality cards when in fact it's more like AMD's problem, this should be obvious to you.

    Sapphire do not make shlt cards.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012

  16. BlackZero

    BlackZero Ancient Guru

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    It also applies to single cards. It probably just has a larger effect on crossfire due to the obvious increased number of variables and extra added features.

    I haven't played around with 7 series cards but with my 6 series card having it enabled with an overclocked card almost always leads to a grey striped screen/black screen with sound looping issue in games like Skyrim, most likely for the reasons mentioned in my last post.

    I would imagine the same applies to 7 series cards.


    Edit:

    Another way to test whether power states are at fault would be to enable unofficial overclocking mode from MSI Afterburner's configuration file. This will disable power play and can be done by changing a line from C:\Program Files (x86)\MSI Afterburner\msiafterburner.cfg

    UnofficialOverclockingMode = 0

    Replace the '0' with either '1' or '2'. It used to be '2' but I think '1' seems to have the same effect since the '-xcl' switch option was introduced, at least this is the case for 6 series cards.

    In any case, by disabling power play the card should remain at max clocks and hence power state. For my card using the 'reset' button from MSI Afterburner resets this back to standard power play settings. There's also an option to manually set 2d clocks via profiles based on MSI Afterburner's 3D detection procedures.


    Edit 2.

    According to W1zzard ULPS only effects crossfire. However my experiences are as mentioned.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  17. Genesis

    Genesis Active Member

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    Sapphire chooses to use AMD hardware so it becomes their problem as they're selling them? I'm mainly criticizing the lack of support/acknowledgement of the problem, but you seem to be using an entirely different card anyways? Maybe you shouldn't be condescending if you don't black-screen every 5-10 minutes in a game.
     
  18. vladamir

    vladamir Member

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    Just as an update, even after the fixes I previously mentioned, the dreaded black screen of death has come back (oddly enough, only in Guild Wars 2). I still havn't gotten one in D3 or LoL yet though. I have experienced 3 black screens while playing GW2 in as many days. I have also noticed occasional screen tearing as well. I'm now going with BlackZero's suggestion and turning off Ulps through the registry (run regedit, search for "EnableUlps" and set every "1" you see to "0"). Will report back to see if this has any effect.
     
  19. terryble

    terryble Member

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    Opps >.<

    Anyway, here is an update of me for downclocking the card to its original specs (1000mhz core & 1200mhz memory)....the card is seems to be much more stable in Diablo 3 and Dota 2...only crashes once for the last 2 days...

    SURPRISINGLY, the crash occurs when i am screening through the auction house in D3...which should not be GPU intensive processing~~hmm~~does this support the "random" crash pattern theory?
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  20. Genesis

    Genesis Active Member

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    Useless Sapphire support told me nothing but to send back the card to the retailer after several days of no answer, I doubt it will fix anything as it seems to be a problem with the card itself. I'm so ****ing done with this AMD/Sapphire ****...
     
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