• Competitor rules

    Please remember that any mention of competitors, hinting at competitors or offering to provide details of competitors will result in an account suspension. The full rules can be found under the 'Terms and Rules' link in the bottom right corner of your screen. Just don't mention competitors in any way, shape or form and you'll be OK.

4870 Problems

Soldato
Joined
24 Jul 2003
Posts
5,663
Location
floating down the Liffey
Recently my 'Powercolor ATI Radeon HD 4870 PCS Extreme 512MB GDDR5' has been playing up.

Here is the rest of my system which I've had just over a year now:

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 @ 4Ghz
Asus P5Q-E Intel P45
GeIL 4GB (2x2GB) PC2-6400C5 800MHz Black Dragon
Xonar DX
Corsair HX 520W PSU
Windows XP

Basically what happens is everything is fine in desktop mode, but within a minute of loading up a game my video signal cuts out and my monitor switches off, requiring a hard reset. Sometimes windows is still active in the background, other times the whole computer has crashed. This has only started happening in the last few weeks and I've not had any hardware changes for a while now.

The strange thing is after a reboot, I can load the same game up and play it absolutely fine for hours.

At first I thought it might be heat or drivers, but despite cleaning the dust out of the heatsink and fan and trying several different catalyst versions (from 9.5 to 9.9) the problem still remains. Nothing seems out of order in the temperature monitor and the card itself doesn't feel too hot to touch.

Anyone have any ideas? Could it power related? I thought the Corsair was more durable than that! I can't afford new kit at the moment. :(
 

D13

D13

Associate
Joined
4 Oct 2008
Posts
989
how many hard drives you using?

have you tried putting the e8500 at stock and see if its still crashes?
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
24 Jul 2003
Posts
5,663
Location
floating down the Liffey
I'm running 2 sata hard drives and a blu-ray drive.

Just tried furmark with 100% fan forced and it crashed instantly on the stability test. What's weird now is it seems to have gotten worse over night, now it won't play anything without crashing!

I'm going to try the cpu at stock now, the gfx card had a small factory o/c on it but I don't think I can change that to any lower.
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
24 Jul 2003
Posts
5,663
Location
floating down the Liffey
Okay, now I'm stumped.

I put the cpu on stock, tried furmark again....crashed.

Unplugged the blu-ray drive, left cpu at stock...furmark runs fine and I managed to do a chapter of resident evil 5 with no crash!

So this leads me to believe it's power related.

Renabled my cpu OC and tested, runs fine no crash.

Now I've just plugged the blu-ray drive back in, so the computer is basically how it was this morning, and no crash. What the hell?!:(

It'll probably run fine for the rest of the day now then tomorrow the crashing will reoccur.

EDIT: Meh its crashing again.
 
Last edited:
Soldato
OP
Joined
24 Jul 2003
Posts
5,663
Location
floating down the Liffey
Update: After using GPUZ to check all the temp sensors I realised the cause of my all problems. The VDDC chips or whatever were hitting 150C in games despite the core only being around 60C!

After removing the copper heatsink covering the chips I saw that the original paste was all dried up and no longer doing its job. I removed the old gunk and reapplied some directly to each chip and now the temps are lower, but they still peak at 125C which is not crashing the card, however they are far too high for my liking.

Would it make any difference coating the whole base of the heatsink in a thin layer or was a blob on each chip the best approach? Maybe I should consider an aftermarket ramsink!

For reference, here's what the cooling on my particular 4870 looks like...

powercolorpcs01.jpg
 
Last edited:
Associate
Joined
14 Apr 2007
Posts
1,446
Location
Birmingham
Shamrock, did you find a satisfactory solution? been having the exact same problem myself. In both 7 and Vista whilst gaming I lose signal to the monitor and have to reset, could take 5 minutes, could take half an hour. Tried the card in a mates machine and had the same issues.

Going to get in touch with the retailer I think.
 
Soldato
Joined
7 Oct 2009
Posts
4,081
...

Why has no one asked what res he's running the game in and if his monitor supports it yet?
 
Associate
Joined
14 Apr 2007
Posts
1,446
Location
Birmingham
Not sure about Shamrock (though from his posts i think he'd have realised if that was the issue) Im running at my monitors highest supported res 1280x1024 which I know I could do with updating. When testing my card in a mates machine had the exact same problem as well.

Been looking on the ati and manufacturer boards and there are a number of people with this card and this problem.
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
24 Jul 2003
Posts
5,663
Location
floating down the Liffey
The solution in the end was to buy a Zalman ZM-RHS90, which is a heatsink for the VDDC's.

This stopped the chips from pushing 150C and kept them at around 80 under load. Check your sensors in gpu-z because although my core was fine under load the vddcs were literally cooking.

However, I think I was too late to realise this solution and over the weeks permanent damage was done. Now the temps were stable, but the weird behaviour continued such as crashing in DX10 games under win7 (another thread) and failing to post at boot and displaying funky graphics before signal loss.

I decided to buy a 5850 and everything is fine now.

Check your VDDC temps!
 
Top Bottom