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Friday 27 June 2003

New graphics card fuxored! [lurks]

It was time for a graphics card upgraded. My Geforce 3 TI500 is still reasonable but given the demanding games I tend to run, it's chugging a bit more than I'd like. So I looked around for the best bang for buck and settled on the fairly new ATI Radeon 9600 Pro. I put in an order to Dabs for their 'value' model which will end up being some branded cheaper type card anyway.
Sure enough, a Powercolor card. Uninstalled Nvidia drivers, powered down machine, swapped the cards, powered up, installed the drivers. Whammo, desktop corruption. Odd, so I do lots of monkeying about. Software such as DX9, reinstalling the drivers, trying older Catalysts (I grabbed the latest of ATI's site), mucking about with AGP settings and so on. No avail, desktop appears corrupt in 16-bit mode but is fine in 32-bit mode. Games are shagged in 16 or 32-bit.
Here's some screenies: desktop and Planetside.
Looks like the card is fucked to me but I thought I'd post something in case anyone has seen anything like this before. Dreading going through Dab's RMA procedure...


  1. I had another bash at the card. Installed drivers, switched cards and noticed no graphics corruption. Ran a little 3D demo (the 64K one!) and it ran fine rather than being hideously b0rked that it was before. I only changed minor things, AGP apature size and a slightly newer set of VIA 4in1 drivers.
    Proceeded as if I'd fixed it. Loaded on the ATI control panel so I could get the thing out of 60Hz mode (my God, why doesn't MS get together with card vendors and fix that issue once and for all?!), set it up for 100Hz. Loaded up Planetside and was looking good! Made some config changes to graphics in pside, reran and... corruption. Borked graphics. Ran the 64K demo, it's fucked too. So I started to go backwards, unset 100Hz. Still fucked. Uninstall control panel. Reboot. Then I noticed that the Windows boot screen has corruption on it.
    Ahh! That's nailed it. If that's corrupt, then you know it's not a software or AGP problem. It's a hardware problem. It's happened a little while after turn-on, basically the card is warming up. It's likely the memory on the card, which has no heatsink and takes a little while to warm up as the card warms up. You'd expect it to be barely adequate on some el-cheapo brand and in this case it's not making the grade at all.
    Ahh well, back she goes then. Of course Dabs don't have any other Radeon 9600 Pros in stock other than those el-cheapos. Probably should have bought a Saphire from Overclockers for a tenner extra...

  2. I fear you may be right about dabs RMA procedure. A friend of mine took a month to get a dented IBM drive replaced. When my 8500 started displayed vertical blue lines on the windows boot screen oc replaced it within 4 days. I always buy from oc now.Oh yeah - you'll want to grab rage3dtweak from Has a refresh rate fixer, overclocker and exposes all driver settings on a per-app basis, so you can run AA/AF in one game but not another for example. It has a horrible UI but good functionality if you persevere.
    Also theres a 'feature' of windows file protection that will replace certain driver files when upgrading drivers. Shout if you want me to blog the details of the workaround.