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Sapphire 7870 driver issue

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
I've got a problem that I hope someone can help me with. I just bought a 7870, and I'm having some hardcore driver issues.

I installed the latest 12.3 drivers on a fresh windows install, and they worked for a little while. Pretty severe fps issues, but meh. Then the display drivers crashed while playing wow. They continued to crash after that, so I uninstalled them, thinking I would try the drivers that came on the CD. Installing those resulted in a continuous loop of display driver crashes if I try to open up the AMD graphics control panel.

The long and short of it is that it seems no matter what driver version I use, I get continual driver crashes on this card. Did I just get a bad card? Anyone have any insight?

System specs:
MSI 790FX-GD70
AMD Phenom II 955 black
4GB OCZ Reaper
4GB Patriot (had some of the OCZ die on me)
Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Any replies will be much appreciated.
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post #2 of 36
Thread Starter 
In the end, I was able to fix it via my own troubleshooting. Googling '7870 driver' puts this thread on the first page, so I figured I'd share my findings for any others that may encounter this problem.

I had the AMD Vision Engine open to the performance tab while in wow, and I noticed that the core clock would flicker back and forth between 300 and 1000mhz while I was playing. Running a dungeon caused my framerate to drop to 5, and the core clock was still flickering. This caused a driver crash, and also seemed to corrupt my graphics drivers completely. Rebooting and then just being on my desktop would cause driver crashes after that, and a system restore or windows reinstall was needed.

So, obviously, I want to lock my GPU to a frequency and have it not fluctuate. A little googling revealed that AMD PowerPlay and ULPS were the culprit. Using the instructions found here I was able to set the min and max for the GPU to 1000mhz. This is an older post, so I bolded the only parts I followed (the only ones that apply to a 7870). I also edited the quote a little bit for clarity.

http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=334535
Quote:
Originally Posted by hunuok (guru3d) 
To change powerplay:

1 Open CCC and choose Overdrive tab, unlock (by clicking on the " Gold Key" icon)
2 Go top options, profile and choose profile manager.
3 In the composition tab, choose "The following settings" and in the "ATI Radeon HD 58xx/57xx series "make sure only ATI overdrive is checked.
Then enter a profile name,then save and close it (Do not activate).
4 Go to C:\Users\Your UserName\AppData\Local\ATI\ACE\Profiles.xml (It's hidden so make sure you unlock hidden files and folders)


(Lowest possible GPU frequency, change to match highest)
(Highest possible GPU frequency)


(Lowest possible memory frequency, change to match highest)
(Highest possible memory frequency)


By changing these 2, your idle 2D clocks changes. Make sure to activate the profile in CCC when you make changes.

To change ULPS:

1 Go to regedit (Start -> Run -> "regedit")
2 Ctrl-F -> "enableulps"
3 For ALL instances (keep pressing F3) change the "1" value to a "0".
4 Reboot.

Since these 2 changes, I have not had a single crash yet. Played WoW for awhile, and then a whole night of uninterrupted LoL. I will post again if I have further issues.

Hope this helps somebody out there!
Edited by Stormtalons - 4/2/12 at 8:55am
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Kaizen
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post #3 of 36
This is not good news. I recently ordered a Sapphire 7870 and didn't know these type off issues were occurring. I plan to use the 12.4 beta drivers, as they have been working fine for me with my 5830. Disabling the power saving features is something I wouldn't want to do since this kinda defeats the purpose of the chip being more power efficient. Hopefully the 12.4 drivers don't give me this issue.
Big Bertha Jr.
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Big Bertha Jr.
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post #4 of 36
UPDATE: RMA'd the card, now working fine. More details on post #14.

I have also just bought a Sapphire 7870, and am also having issues.

I get green dots on the screen whilst the card is idle. In-game its fine.

447

The dots are actually 1x1 pixel, but have clustered into small rectangular pockets.

On a fresh install of windows 7, there are no dots until the first reboot after installing the Catalyst drivers. If I uninstall Catalyst, the card is fine (but without 3D features using standard VGA driver)

I was also getting 0x0000116 BSODs (video drivers not responding), so its going back.

I have already sent the card back for RMA so can't try this suggestion now, but if I get the same issues on the replacement I will do, thanks.

My system:

Asus P8P67
Core i5 2500k
8GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3-1600
Crucial M4-256 SSD
Antec Neo HE-550W PSU

I tried the Catalyst 12.3 drivers and the previous drivers at http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/HD78007Support.aspx
Catalyst 12.2 wouldn't install as it couldn't detect the card, too old?
Edited by stalks - 4/20/12 at 2:24am
post #5 of 36
I had some issues with mine, but that was entirely due CCC Overdrive + MSI Afterburner conflicting.

There is a reason why folks think AMDs drivers are hellish. I plan to Xfire my 7870 but not until the drivers have matured a little (2 or 3 revisions)
post #6 of 36
Thread Starter 
@Swiftdeathz - Let us know the results of your 12.4 testing. If you're feeling particularly frisky, it would be interesting to try the 12.3 drivers first to see if you get the same results. I'm probably not gonna try 12.4, since I have mine stable and don't want to mess with it. The power consumption doesn't bother me.

@stalks - That definitely sounds like a clock issue. Normally I see that kind of pattern with a loose DVI connection, but the correlation with the driver install is pretty indicative. And yes, the 7800 series is ONLY supported by 12.3; no previous versions. Also let us know the results when you get your new card.

Also, I have not had any issues with the card since then. It seems to be resolved completely.
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Kaizen
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post #7 of 36
@Stormtalons

I did a little bit more research on the 3D clocks at idle issue with the 12.3 drivers. My idle clocks are 400 MHz / 1450 MHz (from 1050/1450) when I have two monitors plugged in, one DVI and one DisplayPort. I unplugged the DisplayPort monitor and my card now idles properly at 300 MHz / 150 MHz. I think I remember reading about someone else with the same issue... probably here on OCN, actually. I'll link it later if I find it again. I'm having this issue with 12.3, 12.4 OpenCL 1.2 betas and the earlier betas from February, basically all the drivers that will install on a 7800 series.

I'm about to try EyeFinity with this. Will report back.


--
Clocks are stuck high with three displays hooked up.
Edited by flamesniper - 4/4/12 at 7:09pm
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post #8 of 36
@flamesniper I think that may be the normal behavior when connecting multiple display devices. I recall on my 5830 when I had both my LCD monitor + my plasma TV then it's clocks would be higher even at idle, when I simply have one device active at a time, it downclocks to the full idle clocks of 157/300 (from stock 800/1000)
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Big Bertha Jr.
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Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD Seagate 2TB HDD Asus BC-12B1ST BD-ROM TRUE Black push w/ Rosewill 120mm 
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Seasonic X750 Rosewill Gear X3 X-Fi XtremeMusic + Audio-Technica M50S headphone 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiftdeathz View Post

@flamesniper I think that may be the normal behavior when connecting multiple display devices. I recall on my 5830 when I had both my LCD monitor + my plasma TV then it's clocks would be higher even at idle, when I simply have one device active at a time, it downclocks to the full idle clocks of 157/300 (from stock 800/1000)

Thanks... but now my memory idles at 1450 MHz if I overclock. Is there a possibility of damage over time if I leave it there? If it's intended behavior, then I'm hoping it'll be, but I've never had a card before this that idled at its 3D clock, at least for memory, multi-monitor or not.
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post #10 of 36
Thread Starter 
There is always the possibility of damage with overclocking, but most of the risk comes from overheating and overvolting. If you haven't added any voltage and your temps stay low, the possibility of damage (other than just wear over time) is minimal.
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Kaizen
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