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6800 diagnostic tool?

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Hi,
Just wondering if anyone could offer me some advice.

I bought a BFG 6800 GS OC about 3 months ago, and its been working fine up until the last 3-4 days. The main issues I have are seen are in a game I play, which has been patched recently.

I've come to the conclusion that its either the patch thats responsible, or that my card is on the way out.

The effects I see are sparklie pixels, or odd triangular chunks of landscape that appear and disappear.

I have not modified the card at all, and speedfan / everest indicate it is running at normal temperature (cpu 50 C or so, card up to 62 C max).

I found some newer drivers and they reduced the problem in some areas of the game, and turning off vertex shaders reduces the problems some more. I do still have these issues though and it can get very nasty / messy ;(

Unfortunately thats about the extent of my troubleshooting expertise. Is there some free diagnostic software I can use to tell me if there is a problem with my card? Something easy to use for a 'novice' would be ideal. I have only the 1 machine, so swapping cards to another etc is near impossible. Anyone have any other suggestions by any chance? Could there be anything else responsible for these effects? Or is it time to find the warranty?

thank you!
 
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The sparklie pixels and other effects only appear in the game I play. I'm hoping the card is not on the way out since I have only just bought it recently to replace a card I had for 2 years.
The card came overclocked out of the box so I haven't touched it at all...no tweaking or anything

The pixel shaders I turned off from the advanced options in-game, so presumably they are just turned off for the game and not anything else. (I'm not sure if thats what you were asking)
Apart from this gaming, I don't have any issues (well I probably wouldn't since I don't really fully utilize the card for anything else).

So I guess I need to download whatever Snoops said and do some stress tests? And try and see if the card is the problem?

The other thing I wondered is could it be a lack of power from the supply? Or a power supply thats on its way out? (Is there any way to find out? I'm not even sure what I have in there ;p)
 
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I've never used any overclocking software.
Will this work ok with nvidia (I'm guessing so).

And can I run the artifacts scan part without doing any overclocking (since I assume it would invalidate the warranty?)

Any thoughts on this being lack of power (dying supply?). I'm not even sure what I ahve in there, but its been there over 2 years.
 
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Multimeter? Unfortunately I have no idea what this even looks like ;/

I guess I better do this ATItool / 3Dmark and see if it definately is the card. Sadly it does sound like it from what you guys are saying...
Hopefully they are easy to use...

Don't really play any other games, just this one MMORPG online one (Everquest).

Anyone have any tips / experience of returning cards to BFG? (I better start getting used to the idea I guess)
 
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After 3 hours play the card never got over 61-2 C. Or is this not what you mean? (remember complete novice here)

Any fast tips on using ATItool? Or some pointers to an idiot guie or some such?

thanks ;)
 
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Hello :confused:

Just no escaping some people I guess ;p

Well I just ran ATItool:

2006-10-04 21:19:55 ATITool v0.24 started.
2006-10-04 21:20:05 Scan for Artifacts started... Core: 0.00 Mhz Memory: 0.00 Mhz
2006-10-04 21:20:05 Scan for Artifacts running for: 0:00:00
2006-10-04 21:27:15 Artifacts detected after 07:10.57. 4 pixels don't match.
2006-10-04 22:00:34 Last message repeated 1783 times.
2006-10-04 22:00:34 Scan for Artifacts stopped Total runtime: 2428 seconds


I noticed it restarted 4 times (so 4 pixels don't match message I presume). So I guess I need to know if this level of error is normal or not.

I also had speedfan running and the voltages did not change much over the 40 mins I ran atitool (is that long enough?).

I didn't see any core temps on the atilog, but this is what i got off speedfan

vcore1 1,49v
vcore2 2.59v
+3V 3.01v
+5V 4.14v
+12V 11.97v

Is that reasonable?

temperatures were pretty much as i stated previously. Disk 45-51C, card gets up to 61C.

Tetras -- I have no idea about some of what you said -- AA / AF? And so no idea where to change them.

So, do I need to get the 3Dmark05 next? Or is the output above any more informative ?
 
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Not had too much time tonight, so not opened the case to look at the psu.

seems to have plenty of room around it, and I guess the airflow should be ok (after all the temperatures seem fine right?)

the atitool log did not seem all that informative to me, maybe i was expecting too much ;/

So would u say 4 artifacts in 40 mins was bad? (Not sure what / if there is an acceptable level). Card is dying? Or do i need the other software to double check?

Someone mentioned dust in the psu or the case ... would cleaning it out be worth doing? or am i clutching at straws now?

*I so could do without the hassle of figuring out where to send it, and then being without a card for weeks on end*

And who the heck are ya tetras? :)
 
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Firstly, thanks for all your help tetras. Its much appreciated!

So I just ran 3dmark05. I sat through the first few tests as they ran and saw some really nasty pixelation. Those were the movies running at 15-20 fps.

Now I'm not sure whats supposed to happen next, but is it supposed to then rerun the tests at 1 fps? If so, thats what it did, but basically I could not make out anything on the screen.

I then went afk for 5 mins, and came back to a black screen. Had to reboot the computer to get a desktop back. I'm guessing thats not so good.

I can't seem to find any logs or reports being created. Or do those only happen after successful completion? Anything else for me to do with this ? Or am i done now ? :eek:

The whole process from start to finish for me (black screen -> reboot) was less than 10 mins I would guess. I was expecting it to last like an hour or so...

Tips welcome
 
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I'll open it up tommorow and look at the psu and check it is still connected (it was connected but I recall my friend having some struggle to get it on)

So I guess 3dmark doesn't generate a logfile as it goes along then? And roughly how long should the tests last?

cheers!
 
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Possibly he could test it for me, but he is not really a gamer and I feel i would be imposing on him to download a benchmarking tool also ;p

Well I'll ask him anyway, but will check out the insides of my machine tommorow. Maybe the connector is loose or something /shrug

Will let you know, and thanks again :)
 
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Well ... here is what I did

1. Open case and got the psu info:
EAGLE DR-B350atx

Voltage Current Freq

V-input 115V 8A 60-50Hz
230V 4A

V-output
+3.3 +5 +12 -5 -12 +5vsb
28A 35A 16A 0.3 0.8 2

MAX 200W 192W 1.5 9.5 10


2. I then cleaned some general dust floating around in the case etc
3. Removed graphics card, cleaned off some dust from the card fan (not terrible, but was dusty). Refitted card and power connector. (My first solo foray!)
4. Changed my case fan to one i got from quietpc a while back (never got round to opening the case since). Its an acoustifan (dustproof). Old one was pretty dusty though I cleaned it off 3 months ago when the case was last open. Its always been noisy, so opening the case was well worth it.

5. I got 3dmark05 to run. I got the following:
4459 3dmarks
GTI - 20fps
GT2- 12fps
GT3- 22fps
cpu tests
CPU1 - 1.5
CPU2 - 2.6

6. After runing the tests I checked temperatures. Well it may not be a fair comparison, since the machine had only been on 30 mins (whilst previous temps I collected have been after the machine has been on for hours). gpu was 55 C after tests.
(previously 61 or so). I don't believe 61 is over temp anyway, so this may be irrelevant.

SO.
Presumably something was stopping the 3dmark tests. Whats it likely to be?
Is the psu powerful enough?
If dust was the cause, is there any way to minimize it? Or some decent way to clean it more efficiently from time to time? (I used a paint brush and vacuum cleaner ;p)
Could the old fan have caused an heat issues?
Do the temperatures taken by speedfan or everest represent the real temperature? Could my card have been overheating but i never knew?

The only remaining 'worry' I have is a wierd pixellation effect I see on the top right corner of my browser window. I don't see it any other place or with any other application. I posted it here in case someone wants to look : http://homepage.ntlworld.com/n.juty/NSJ/misc/


Suggestions / tips welcome. Thanks everyone for all the help, esp tetras. You all have been an invaluable help to me and I really appreciate it! This site is such a great example of community helpfulness! Its the most positive experience I've had so far ;p Thanks!
 
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Aye -- I saw not pixellation during the 3dmark run at all. No jaggedy black lines, and no black screen requiring reboot.

The card only gets past 60 C after its been run a while. Although after cleaning it of dust it is down even lower. But as you say, EQ doesn't push the capabilities all that much anyway.

I guess there is no way to tell how long it will last? I've only noticed this pixellation recently (as seen on the screenshot).

I don't have huge amounts running on this machine. 2 HDs, DVD drive, card, floppy drive. I don't suppose getting a new psu would help the card though?

Not tried EQ again yet. maybe tonight or tommorow.

cheers!
 
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Thats exactly what i was thinking about the return and getting the card right back with charges ;p

Warranty-wise, I spent that bit more than i had intended and got a bfg card with a great big 'lifetime warranty' notice slapped on the front of the box. I've had it less than 4 months so far...

PSU-wise. Well I think maybe you are right about it being a good investment in any case. (No pun intended). Any recommendations?
 
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I've got a made to order mini tower thing. Roughly 43cm x 47 x 19 (hxdxwidth). Looks about normal size. I couldn't find the dimensions of my current psu online, but roughly (going by what I can see and the screw positions), it looks normalish size.

I played EQ last night and it all seemed to be running ok.

mda96bjh is also suggesting the card is broke, and actually maybe my efforts have only stalled the inevitable. The in-between state its possibly in at the moment is so frustrating. It will currently pass 3dmark05 tests (well the basic free ones anyway).

I guess I'll go ahead and order a psu. Its only money after all lol. I'm interested in quiet, so the seasonic I guess.

I'll report back in a week or so once I get it. Other suggestions still welcome in the meantime. The browser pixelization is irritaing me like heck right now :mad:
 
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Well my problems in-game were not fixed for very long at all it seems :(
They are all back now -- massive triangular blocks of black, missing landscape, sparklies...

Mostlyl go away if i switch off vertex shaders and hw options in-game, but still a bit pixelly.

edit: actually now I am seeing pixelly effects on screen out of game. Usually they go after I reboot a couple of times.
 
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Ok I've come to the conclusion that turning off the options is not anything to do with what I am seeing. The effects were appearing with all options switched off, and they seem to come and go. eg effects for 30 mins, then fine for 30 mins, then back again.

I've posted some screenies here :
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/n.juty/NSJ/misc/screenshots.htm

One other thing that occurs to me. My case can get a bit rattly. Is it possible that my card is becoming 'loose' or not making a good connection so I see these effects between when its in an *ok* position, and *not ok* position? I can't really exaplin why the effects come and go etc.

Any ideas? Will order a new psu in a while...
 
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I just mean that the whole case has always been a bit rattly. When I push on the bacvk panel a bit it quietens down. I've just put it down to an ill-fitting panel in my mind. I can't see anything actually loose at all

I've ordered a psu from overclockers now. May get to put it in at the weekend if it arrives
 
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