Bad 7900gt?


OSNN Addict
Got a new xfx 7900gt for my system and wondering if it's a bum card that needs to get RMA'd.

It can't seem to make it through 3dmark06 without screwing up the system. Usually around CPU test 1, either the screen will just freeze on an image and hang there waiting for me to hit reset, or more often than not the screen will start flashing the desktop with some crazy artifacts there and there too. I can still move the mouse in between flashes but the only way to get rid of the problem is to reboot, after which is works just fine again.

I tried running the 3D demo with atitool and the temps with the stock cooler go from 46C to around 62C but no higher, while the CPU and system temps are usually in the mid-40s. After the demo runs for a few minutes and the gpu temp is in the low 60s the same flashing and artifacts will occur.

Is heat the problem even though ntune says it never goes over low 60s? or is the card likely just shot?

Oddly enough, it performs alright in games like BF2 at 1600x1200 and high settings so far, no problems yet, but I don't usually play that long at a time.

Any ideas what the problem might be?

Here's the card:

I'm using latest drivers and I think my system is powered enough to run it all.

Athlon64 3700+
Zalman CNSP7000alcu hsf
Asus A8N-E latest bios
2x1gb Corsair XMS pc3200 cas2 @ 2.75v
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 120gb sata
liteon cdrw
asus 52x cdrom
Soundblaster Audigy 2ZS
Antec Truepower 2.0 550w PSU


The One and Only
..... i thought the CPU tests were done using mostly the CPU itself, and very little from the video card? hence CPU test. am i wrong? every time i run 3dmark06 i get around 0-1fps in the CPU tests.


OSNN Addict
I just did a fresh reinstall of XP and installed my nf4 driveres 6.7 and vidcard driver 84.21 and then ran 3dmark 06.

It got to the polar graphic test but towards the end crazy black objects started appearing all over the screen and then it froze. After a short bit it "finished" the test and gave me the results screen but I couldn't read my score because it was corrupted.

3dmark then gave me this error message:

idirect3ddevice9::present failed: driver internal error (d3derr_driverinternalerror)

The fact that this doesnt manifest in any of my games so far is cool, but I'm just afraid that this 3dmark issue might be an early warning.

Just can't figure why this and atitool gives it so much trouble when nothing else does yet.


OSNN Addict
I've been trying to hunt around the various forums on the net for info on this and I can't seem to find a clear answer to the issue.

The theory put forth most often is that the PSU is the offender, assuming the card itself isn't just a lemon.

Another guy in a different forum told me I should just drop the cash on a PCP&C PSU or an elite FSP PSU, but I find it hard to believe that my system is so taxing that in order to simply run it without incident I would have to drop over $200 on a PSU to make it work, especially since it's not SLi.

My Antec Truepower 2.0 550w has 19A on each 12v rail, shouldn't that be enough to run one 7900gt card, even factory oc'd to 550/1630mhz?

Also, given that I've forgotten most of everything I learned in my second semester of physics about circuits and such, since I have 19A on each 12v rail, do I effectively have 38A on my 12v rail?

Just wondering if my PSU is up to the task of running what I thought was my humble system.

Athlon64 3700+
Zalman CNSP7000alcu hsf
Asus A8N-E latest bios
2x1gb Corsair XMS pc3200 cas2 @ 2.75v
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 120gb sata
liteon cdrw
asus 52x cdrom
Soundblaster Audigy 2ZS
Antec Truepower 2.0 550w PSU

Shamus MacNoob

OSNN Veteran Addict
Political User
Antec are very good PSU's I would not think it is at fault, unless it is not up to par, but the Antec 550w is plenty strong enough.


OSNN Addict
Yea, that's what I'm thinking too.

I am RMA'ing the card and going with an evga version instead (that warranty is amazingly good) so we'll see if that changes anything.

Thanks for all the input.

Oh, and hope your Habs win, but the Sens will run through everyone anyways :p
Just an update, I got the xfx card returned, received my evga card, and much like the xfx, after a few days of flawless operation where it would sale through 3dmark06 and atitool demos without a hitch, it began doing the same thing. Artifacting and tearing during those two tests, while performing fine in WoW and BF2.

However, this time I am also getting mild artifacting on the XP desktop too, just got an RMA number for the evga, starting to wonder if my experiment with nvidia cards should be cancelled and I should hurry back to ATI.

The evga was a factory oc'd card too, also wondering if I might be better off with a default speed card.


OSNN Veteran Addict
I won't touch a factory overclocked card. The first and last I bought died after 11 months.

If the GPUs were reliable at the higher speeds Nvidia would rate them there. If you haven't sent the evga back yet try reducing the gpu and clock speeds to normal and see if the problem goes away.

As for the power supply, it's fine. If it were the supply it would not take a few days to show up. That sounds more like the GPU is prematurely aging under the extra stress fromt the OC'ing.

Burn in of new equipment is a wonderful thing. It's a shame the commercial outfits don't do it. They let you do it and you eat the shipping costs if you have to RMA. Some of the specialty houses like Alienware do run a burn in so you don't get the infant mortality when the parts are overclocked.
Yea, I am RMA'ing the evga. Whenever I tried to lower the frequencies in the nvidia control panel (with coolbits changes) the card would freak out and start artifacting and stop sending a signal to the display. So I couldn't even really try to clock the thing down.

Also, I tried a fresh install of XP since it was giving me Direct3D error messages when I tried to run 3Dmark06, after the install it would get through to the deep freeze test, and actually make it through, but during that test it would do some artifacting and tearing, but most noteably, penny sized circles of blue and red light would start showing up on the screen and start moving around wilding while the test proceeded, was crazy looking and always happend at the same time. Anyhow, that was enough to finalize the send back.

I'm going to give the 7900gt one more try, ordered another evga this time just barely overclocked over default (I don't think evga sells a regular speed one) and with an improved cooler. Hopefully this one will survive burn in, if not, I'll just RMA number three and try to decide between an equal priced x1800xt or spending considerably more on an x1900xt. Just noticed that evga came out with a super duper overclocked 7900gt, like 600/1600 or something, blows my mind, though supposedly evga paid nvidia extra for their best chips. Good luck to whoever buys that card.

Thanks again for all the help just wish I knew exactly what was wrong with all these cards.

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