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Diagnosing core and GDDR errors

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ok, I have an ATI X800 PCI-E card, and I decided that I might be able to get more horsepower out of it, but that's not really important.
The question is: how can one differentiate graphical errors caused by the gpu from graphical errors caused by the GDDR3 memory?
For example, my guess is that random "splinters" popping up on the screen would be artifacts from an overheating GPU, but would disappearing scenery, textures, and objects be caused by memory errors?
I can't really test my cards limits with ATI tray tools because it never displays any artifacts... even up to the point of my system locking up. So, I put the core to 420 MHz and the memory (which is supposed to be more overclockable than the X800's core) to 400MHz. Defaults are 390:350, respectively.
I was playing Madden 06 and it ran fine for an entire game, but the whole stadium and lots of 3d objects (maybe it was just the textures on the objects) disappeared during the ending celebrations, and got replaced by solid colors. It was really freaky-looking. My guess is that the objects or textures got corrupted in the memory and I should leave the GPU alone and reduce the GDDR3's frequency, but I want to be sure.
Does anyone have an answer?
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post #2 of 7
Well I wouldn't really worry about going as far on the memory as I would on the core.

1st what are your temperatures? Becuase there's a chance you'll have to get a new heatsink for going higher on your Core clock.

2nd do you have ramsinks on your videocards memory? the better cooling for your memory the better overclocking for your memory.

3rd is your memory hot? does your memory get pretty hot or does it stay fairly cool?
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post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesdealer
Does anyone have an answer?
In such a situation I would personally isolate both of these concerns. Make the memory one event and the core the other event.

Now you are left with overclock and test core increases.

When you reach your maximum core increase you can lower it by 10MHz. Set your core to default and do the same for the memory. Test the overclock at the game level as well.

Now you have max core and max memory increases separately created and you move on to test maximum for both. Make your decision which is more important to your overclock. Core or memory. If you are needful of higher resolutions then you move to the memory. If however, you are staggering at lower resolutions then you move to the core.

R
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Both those posts were helpful. I know about isolating the two, but like I said, ATI Tray reports no errors when I try to max... there aren't ANY artifacts until the system freezes. That makes it difficult to find maxes.

I'm just specifically curious if certain types of display glitches can be attributed to a single part of the graphics card.
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post #5 of 7
These "glitches" are in reality the same thing. What you have is memory transistors and data lines bussing the data around. Whether in dedicated memory, cpu memory or the data transmission lines, they are they same thing and the corruption is the same as a result.

Computers transfer and work on data in binary code. Simple 1's and 0's with corruption being a 0 where a 1 should be or vice versa. Thus corruption is corruption and the only way to actually diagnose where the corruption is coming from is to isolate them as I mentioned. You stand a possible chance to see if the error is GPU or dedicated memory. It really doesn't matter as you can not replace either at any rate and the board will need to be replaced.

Let's say you are not overclocking but you are getting corruption. You have isolated the problem to the graphics adapter by removing it and installing it into another system where the same problem occurs. You replace the initial system with another card and no corruption occurs. Thus you know the problem is your graphics adapter.

Now you can downlock the GPU and see if the graphical errors still occur. If they do then you can downclock the Memory and see if they occur.

Lastly. If you are not seeing graphical errors in your testing via ATi tray, this probably means that the CPU is locking up at a certain point and there is no errors being created in the data transmission. The errors are in the CPU processing unit and a halt is being created.

Really though, it doesn't matter all that much as a lock is a lock, just as a graphical anomaly or artifact is an artifact whether produced in the GPU or the dedicated dram.

Watch your overclock and don't walk away. Make a note of the overl**** numbers. When the crash occurs drop the overclock by 10MHz and then test in gameplay. If you do not see any artifacts in gameplay then you are good for the go.

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post #6 of 7
Quote:
I was playing Madden 06 and it ran fine for an entire game, but the whole stadium and lots of 3d objects (maybe it was just the textures on the objects) disappeared during the ending celebrations, and got replaced by solid colors.
It's weird that most of the times when someone has a problem blames the OC for that. I might be wrong, but I think it's a driver issue, not GPU/MEM. Try with the latest catalysts, (the 6.3s) 'cause for the newer games they improve both performance and compatibility.
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post #7 of 7
Well... I've just realized somthing, a friend of mine JUST bought an X700 and I attempted to overclock his card and the exact same thing you were talking about (system shutdowns / lockups) happened, so basically your problem is that your vidoecard just wasn't meant for overclocking that far.

I know it's a dissapointment but hopefully your card is good enought to be able to hold you over w/ its stock settings.
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