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Windows 7: New rig + Radeon 6950 = trouble

17 Jan 2011   #1
RLapin

Win 7 x64
 
 
New rig + Radeon 6950 = trouble

As per title, getting nothing but trouble from this card.
The rig details should be in my profile (hopefully), I didn't analyze anything in-depth but it seems like all components are in place and compatible.

Issue(s):
Initially was getting BSODs on Windows login, fixed that with the 10.12a hotfix (apparently the only one that supports 6950 and it's not even listed on the XFX site).
Now BSODs are rare (I can still get them but it takes some effort) however that doesn't mean the GPU is working. Driver failures are still pretty common, although Windows does catch them and recovers.
Running any serious video app is impossible - Furmark won't even show a screen or window, just freezes everything permanently, some games "load" but "run" at less than 1 fps

What I did so far:
Reinstalled OS (at some point)
Reinstalled drivers (full clean before etc, etc)
Reseated GPU, tried connecting the monitor to either DVI out, tried putting the card into the second x16 slot on the mobo, no changes from either of those
Updated all other drivers (I think)
Played around with overvolting/overclocking to no avail (although flashing GPU BIOS to a 6970 and overclocking to that level made the system a lot more stable for some reason)
Ran Memtest and a cpu stress test (no problems)
Contacted XFX support, their current suggestion is to change RAM voltage to 1.6 from 1.5 (tried, useless).
Unfortunately I can't put this into another computer without taking out the PSU as well (which I really don't want to do) but I guess I could give it to a friend/co-worker to try out sometime this week.

Current leaning: Bad card, possibly some horrendous incompatibility to do with drivers but seems unlikely. Will wait for a day or two more, see if anyone comes up with anything smart and then either RMA or just return to Newegg for refund (then comes the choice of getting the same card or switching to nvidia)

I'm not sure if I actually got the old BSODs in this archive but will post it anyways, they were all the same, citing atikmpag.sys as the cause (although I might have accidentally deleted the dumps while cleaning)
Appreciate any input =)


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Jan 2011   #2
Johnathan Lyman

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Since it looks like you've tried almost everything.. have you installed the graphics drivers WITHOUT the Catalyst Control Center? atikmpag.sys is a CCC system file, very specifically and has no effect on the graphics drivers themselves. atikmpag.sys also runs in kernel mode (which is odd given Windows runs in user mode natively) and has been known to cause problems.

If not, I'd RMA it for a replacement first and see if your problem goes away. If it does, it was a bad card. If not, possibly something up with your motherboard or your PSU isn't giving enough clean power to your card.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2011   #3
RLapin

Win 7 x64
 
 

Edit: Turned on Aero just for kicks and got a ton of BSODs, here's the fresh info.

In regards to the driver install, I could try that, will have to fiddle with their installer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Jan 2011   #4
Johnathan Lyman

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RLapin View Post
Edit: Turned on Aero just for kicks and got a ton of BSODs, here's the fresh info.

In regards to the driver install, I could try that, will have to fiddle with their installer.
Here's a head start: https://a248.e.akamai.net/f/674/9206...win7_64_dd.exe

Just the display driver.

I could also go into detail about tweaking Windows to give the GPU more time to respond throug the driver (default 2 seconds) and also give it more time for all threads to leave the driver (5 seconds) and if after 5 seconds all threads aren't gone it BSODs. But We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Unless you feel adventurous... (at your own risk) http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device...m_timeout.mspx

HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers
TdrDelay - delay time for GPU to respond
TdrDdiDelay - delay time for all threads to vacate the driver
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2011   #5
RLapin

Win 7 x64
 
 

Well, installed just the driver, got a driver freeze within 5 minutes so it didn't help. I guess I could turn on Aero and see what happens...but unless it can help I see no point in doing it again, after all, it might not BSOD but still doesn't work properly...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2011   #6
Johnathan Lyman

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

I was discussing a similar situation with someone and their graphics card here and I think I'm coming to the same conclusion in your case as well (although they had a different card).

If you can, I'd RMA your graphics card since it's pretty new and shouldn't be past the warranty period, yet. There isn't anything else I can think of that could be causing the problem besides hardware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2011   #7
sygnus21

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Can you post a link to your RAM specs? And have you manually set the RAM to it's stated specs in the BIOS?

Let me know.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RLapin View Post
(although flashing GPU BIOS to a 6970 and overclocking to that level made the system a lot more stable for some reason)
tsk tsk tsk.... Always make sure an item is stable before overclocking or tweaking. This way you know it's not something you did.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2011   #8
RLapin

Win 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sygnus21 View Post
Can you post a link to your RAM specs? And have you manually set the RAM to it's stated specs in the BIOS?

Let me know.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RLapin View Post
(although flashing GPU BIOS to a 6970 and overclocking to that level made the system a lot more stable for some reason)
tsk tsk tsk.... Always make sure an item is stable before overclocking or tweaking. This way you know it's not something you did.
It was worse before the flash, became better after...I can always flash it back and enjoy three times the driver crash rate =)

I think my RAM was the 7-7-7 2*2Gig set, check newegg.com, DDR3

@John: Now comes the dilemma, stay with 6950 or move to nvidia...I love the flashable BIOS and price but it seems like ATI is generally less reliable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2011   #9
sygnus21

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RLapin View Post
I think my RAM was the 7-7-7 2*2Gig set, check newegg.com, DDR3
Actually you need to check as you need to know exactly what those settings are supposed to be.
And to be honest Newegg isn't exactly a reliable place to get such important info on your memory. You need to get this from the manufacturer!

Just trying to help you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2011   #10
Johnathan Lyman

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RLapin View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sygnus21 View Post
Can you post a link to your RAM specs? And have you manually set the RAM to it's stated specs in the BIOS?

Let me know.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RLapin View Post
(although flashing GPU BIOS to a 6970 and overclocking to that level made the system a lot more stable for some reason)
tsk tsk tsk.... Always make sure an item is stable before overclocking or tweaking. This way you know it's not something you did.
It was worse before the flash, became better after...I can always flash it back and enjoy three times the driver crash rate =)

I think my RAM was the 7-7-7 2*2Gig set, check newegg.com, DDR3

@John: Now comes the dilemma, stay with 6950 or move to nvidia...I love the flashable BIOS and price but it seems like ATI is generally less reliable.
This may be my personal opinion but I have a Radeon 6850 from HIS and I haven't had a single issue with it, whatsoever. For the $179 I paid for it (in comparison to the majority of the 6850s costing $200+) I didn't expect much but it performs like a champ. Borderlands maxed out, Far Cry 2 maxed out, WoW maxed out, Fallout: New Vegas maxed out (all on a 20" LCD 1600x900).

I wouldn't count ATI cards out completely just because you have one (possibly) bad card. You could easily have troubles like this with an nVidia card.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 New rig + Radeon 6950 = trouble




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