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Thread: Possible EP35-DS3R/HD 4870 compatibility issues




  1. #1
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    Default Possible EP35-DS3R/HD 4870 compatibility issues

    My system's been plagued by an inexplicable problem for more than a month now, and I still can't find out what I am doing wrong. After trying virtually every possible fix I found on the net (well, almost every, only thing left is trying Windows XP which solved the problem for many users, but I'm on Vista Ultimate x64 atm and I started to like it, so it will be kinda hard to switch back; unfortunately, I can't try the card on another system either since I've got none avaliable, but I would take my whole system to my video card vendor for them to test it as a last resort), I've started to suspect a possible incompatibility between my mobo/graphic card, or perhaps some incorrect BIOS settings.

    So... here are my specs:

    Gigabyte EP35-DS3R F4a BIOS (had the same with F3);
    Intel Core 2 Duo E8400@3GHz;
    Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 512MB DDR5 (had NO problems whatsoever with my old card, GeForce 6600GT, on the same system, also, the card isn't defective because the one I'm using right now is a replaced one, returned the first);
    Transcend JetRam 2x2GB DDR2 800Mhz @5-5-5-18;
    CoolerMaster RealPower M700 52A@12v;
    As mentioned, running Vista x64 fully updated (both OS and drivers), and everything is at stock (no overclocking).

    The problem: randomly getting TDR messages when running intensive 3D applications (mainly games and 3dMark) - a baloon message in the taskbar saying: "Display driver atikmdag stopped responding and has successfully recovered." It always recovers by the way, never got a BSOD or anything, the screen goes blank for a few seconds and then I regain control, everything working normally.

    I've stumbled accross many posts that state that it MIGHT be a RAM/mobo compatibility issue, but I just can't understand how come I don't get any errors when running memtest/Orthos and only get such errors in games. So my question for you is, is memtest a reliable indicator that there's nothing wrong with mobo/RAM (since I get no errors after hours of testing, with every setting in BIOS on auto)? If not, could you perhaps suggest some BIOS settings modifications I could try before I blame it all to Vista/drivers/card?

    I would be EXTREMELY grateful for any suggestion since I've really ran out of ideas what to do next.

    P.S. Here's a list of the things I've tried so far (I'm sure I'll miss some, tried TOO many things to be honest):

    - OS reinstall (still need to try XP);
    - Removing 1 stick of RAM;
    - Swapping around the sticks of RAM in different slots;
    - Installing all hotfixes;
    - Disabling UAC;
    - Updating chipset drivers;
    - Disabling settings in BIOS (the ones that are usually disabled during overclocking), modifying memory timings (last try: 5-5-5-18, ACT to ACT Delay 5, Rank Write to READ Delay 12, Write to Precharge Delay 10, Refresh to ACT Delay 68, Read to Precharge Delay 6, Static tRead Value 10) and upping voltages (highest settings: MCH +0.1, RAM +0.3, PCIE +0.1, FSB +0.1);
    - Using msconfig to force "number of processors" and "maximum memory" (worked for some people);
    - Tried all ATi drivers 8.6-8.9, including DNA drivers (with a sweep before every reinstall);
    - Updating video BIOS (had a separate issue that was fixed with the new BIOS, but the TDR problem persisted);
    - Upping video fan speed and adding a side case fan to help remove excess heat if present;
    - Testing the same applications with my old card, no problems;
    - Disabling TDR through registry, no luck, the screen froze, but I tried to shut the system down with the power button and I noticed that my cursor appeared on the screen and I could move it around, the system didn't respond though and I had to reboot manually;
    - Bought a new PSU (jump from 520W - 700W), no changes.
    - As I mentioned, memtest/Orthos show no errors, left memtest overnight yesterday for 10 hours, 0 errors;

    One last note: I've noticed that my SB heatsink gets rather hot on touch, I guess it's because the card being dual-slot and blocking air circulation, but I wonder if that could be the culprit?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Possible EP35-DS3R/HD 4870 compatibility issues

    I have one HD3870 DDR3 512MB, made by Powercolor and got exactly the same warnings IF I am pushing too far the video clocks (ATI Overdrive) found on ATI Catalyst control panel.
    So, the issue IS related to video memory and/or GPU clock and nothing to do with mobo and/or OS. Maybe a defective video board or PSU 12v rail must be taken in consideration.
    GA-Z97-D3H Windows Pro 8.1
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Possible EP35-DS3R/HD 4870 compatibility issues

    Thank you for your reply svcglobal.

    Unfortunately, as I mentioned, everything is at stock and I still get the recovery message. I've even got a replacement card and a new PSU, still same issues. Also forgot to mention that I've run the "GPU memory test" program, can't remember exact name, that I found on the MajorGeeks and it didn't find any problems. So after all this I want to try some BIOS tweaks that would result in, perhaps, improved GPU stability, and if that doesn't work, I guess I'll just get a refund and try nVidia or something.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Possible EP35-DS3R/HD 4870 compatibility issues

    Yes, you are pointing to the right direction. 99% sure that the GPU is not working as should. Did you enabled the ATI Overdrive? Is that 4870 factory overclocked? Check here if there is a upgrade for your board.
    Check also in the mobo MIT screen if the item "Robust Graphics Booster" is in AUTO mode.
    GA-Z97-D3H Windows Pro 8.1
    i5-4690K + Corsair H90
    Sapphire Radeon R7 240
    16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 Corsair Vengeance Pro 2400MHz PC3 19200
    Corsair CX750M
    Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500 GB

    Sharkoon VS-3V tower

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Possible EP35-DS3R/HD 4870 compatibility issues

    Quote Originally Posted by svcglobal View Post
    Yes, you are pointing to the right direction. 99% sure that the GPU is not working as should. Did you enabled the ATI Overdrive? Is that 4870 factory overclocked? Check here if there is a upgrade for your board.
    Check also in the mobo MIT screen if the item "Robust Graphics Booster" is in AUTO mode.
    Overdrive not enabled, the card isn't factory overclocked either. I'm using a newer BIOS than the ones uploaded on techPowerUP (had to update because I had hard lockups with older games). MIT is set to AUTO. Anything else I could check?

  6. #6
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
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    Default Re: Possible EP35-DS3R/HD 4870 compatibility issues

    Quote Originally Posted by goaty View Post
    (also, the card isn't defective because the one I'm using right now is a replaced one, returned the first)

    The problem: randomly getting TDR messages when running intensive 3D applications (mainly games and 3dMark) - a baloon message in the taskbar saying: "Display driver atikmdag stopped responding and has successfully recovered." It always recovers by the way, never got a BSOD or anything, the screen goes blank for a few seconds and then I regain control, everything working normally.

    One last note: I've noticed that my SB heatsink gets rather hot on touch, I guess it's because the card being dual-slot and blocking air circulation, but I wonder if that could be the culprit?
    How can you say the above first comment? Just because they sent you a new card does not automatically mean it is fine. Just the fact that you had to RMA one would worry me. I'd get a Sapphire if it was me, isnt powercolor on the budget side of things? Could be part of the major reason.

    As said above, this is FOR SURE a graphics card ONLY issue. I can be caused by cards overclocked too far, Vram Overeating, or GPU overheating.

    And yes, SB being hot could cause more issues with your GFX card, can you fit a 40mmx10mm fan between the card and heatsink? If not, can you point a fan from below or in the drive bay area towards it. This may help.

    Have you tried without PCIE +.1? Doubt it will help, but may help a little since it would lower SB heat. But like I said, and BongWizard said this is a GFX card itself issue caused by heat and or clocks (Or poor manufacturing)

    You may want to look at a different model/brand of card or get a aftermarket cooler for the Vram and GPU.

    Just for reference of your temps, do you already have Everest Ultimate? If not, can you get it? If not here is the trial. I am not sure how much you can see with the trial or what Sensors your card even has, but you should be able to see Temps for Vram, GPU, and possibly other Graphical sensor values (In computer, then sensors). But like I said the trial may be limited so you may not be able to view them >>>
    Lavalys - Comprehensive IT Security and Management

    If you see them, but the trial does not let you see the Values, try this >>>
    CPUID - PC Wizard

  7. #7

    Default Re: Possible EP35-DS3R/HD 4870 compatibility issues

    Well, I can't remember anything else for now but you see that the video BIOS are in same way the main culprit.

    BTW, if you have a voltmeter (could you borrow one?) could be also great to monitor in real-time the 12v (and also the other voltages too) PSU rail under game.
    Your card is very hungry for amperes in that mode and, maybe the PSU is starting to limit its output in order to protect himself.
    Those cheap meters coming from China cost $25 maximum and do great job to discover such strange issues.
    GA-Z97-D3H Windows Pro 8.1
    i5-4690K + Corsair H90
    Sapphire Radeon R7 240
    16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 Corsair Vengeance Pro 2400MHz PC3 19200
    Corsair CX750M
    Samsung SSD 840 EVO 500 GB

    Sharkoon VS-3V tower

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Possible EP35-DS3R/HD 4870 compatibility issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Lsdmeasap View Post
    And yes, SB being hot could cause more issues with your GFX card, can you fit a 40mmx10mm fan between the card and heatsink? If not, can you point a fan from below or in the drive bay area towards it. This may help.

    Have you tried without PCIE +.1? Doubt it will help, but may help a little since it would lower SB heat. But like I said, and BongWizard said this is a GFX card itself issue caused by heat and or clocks (Or poor manufacturing)

    You may want to look at a different model/brand of card or get a aftermarket cooler for the Vram and GPU.

    Just for reference of your temps, do you already have Everest Ultimate? If not, can you get it? If not here is the trial. I am not sure how much you can see with the trial or what Sensors your card even has, but you should be able to see Temps for Vram, GPU, and possibly other Graphical sensor values (In computer, then sensors). But like I said the trial may be limited so you may not be able to view them >>>
    Lavalys - Comprehensive IT Security and Management

    If you see them, but the trial does not let you see the Values, try this >>>
    CPUID - PC Wizard
    There's no room for an additional fan on the SB, I've got a 12mm fan blowing from the front of the case and also tried attaching a fan to the side panel of the case so it blows directly above the video card/SB, it didn't help.
    Concerning Everest Ultimate, I've got it, but I've monitored my temps before (with RivaTuner) and I've never noticed anything above 80 Celsius (with fans on AUTO, when I force fan speed at 40-50% it won't go much above 60 Celsius), so I doubt that temps are the issue.

    I guess only thing that's left for me to try is getting my money back and trying some other card.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Possible EP35-DS3R/HD 4870 compatibility issues

    How can you say the above first comment? Just because they sent you a new card does not automatically mean it is fine. Just the fact that you had to RMA one would worry me. I'd get a Sapphire if it was me, isnt powercolor on the budget side of things? Could be part of the major reason.
    Ati partners have nearly always stuck to the reference design, so the only thing "budget" about some makes is the warranty.

    Even Nvidia partners mainly stick to the reference design these days. there are exceptions with Gainward and Gigabyte etc in the areas of cooling, but everything else generally remains the same.

    Even the bios versions are shared amongst manufacturers too..

    I find the only main thing that tells them apart, is the price, box they come in and sometimes the cooling solution they use.

    Edit:-

    Goaty, have you contacted PowerColour and or Gigabyte to find if there is a compatability issue and if there is a fix?

    The problem: randomly getting TDR messages when running intensive 3D applications (mainly games and 3dMark) - a baloon message in the taskbar saying: "Display driver atikmdag stopped responding and has successfully recovered." It always recovers by the way, never got a BSOD or anything, the screen goes blank for a few seconds and then I regain control, everything working normally.
    This could be a driver problem that does get miraculously fixed in a later release. This wouldn't be the first time an ATI driver caused a weird problem.
    Last edited by VorLonUK; 09-30-2008 at 11:22 PM.
    GA-P35C-DS3R Rev2.0 F11 bios, E8200 (@3.0Ghz), OCZ DDR3 PC3-10666 Reaper 4GB (@1200Mhz), Xonar D1, 8800GTS 512, Corsair HX520 (Single 12volt line, Max 40A), WDC 3200aaks/5000aaks in AHCI mode, Vista 64 Premium.

  10. #10
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
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    Default Re: Possible EP35-DS3R/HD 4870 compatibility issues

    Quote Originally Posted by goaty View Post
    There's no room for an additional fan on the SB, I've got a 12mm fan blowing from the front of the case and also tried attaching a fan to the side panel of the case so it blows directly above the video card/SB, it didn't help.
    Concerning Everest Ultimate, I've got it, but I've monitored my temps before (with RivaTuner) and I've never noticed anything above 80 Celsius (with fans on AUTO, when I force fan speed at 40-50% it won't go much above 60 Celsius), so I doubt that temps are the issue.

    I guess only thing that's left for me to try is getting my money back and trying some other card.
    Do you get a Vram temp output? Video ram often causes the issues you are describing when it overheats. Which can often be FAR hotter then the actual GPU

    Do you have Init First Display set to PEG (Not a big deal, just wondered)

    Ya, you may have to pick a different card out, or get a aftermarket cooler

    Quote Originally Posted by VorLonUK View Post
    Ati partners have nearly always stuck to the reference design, so the only thing "budget" about some makes is the warranty.

    Even Nvidia partners mainly stick to the reference design these days. there are exceptions with Gainward and Gigabyte etc in the areas of cooling, but everything else generally remains the same.

    Even the bios versions are shared amongst manufacturers too..

    I find the only main thing that tells them apart, is the price, box they come in and sometimes the cooling solution they use.

    Edit:-

    Goaty, have you contacted PowerColour and or Gigabyte to find if there is a compatability issue and if there is a fix?
    Ya, BUT... A shiny box and nice looking card always seems to function better J/K

    I just hate Normal ATI cards I think, and have always loved Sapphire's quality. And yes I know many think they are junk!

    Everyone has a opinion, I Guess I just voice mine more often then need be

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