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Massive slow-down after 30 mins on Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro

Discussion in 'ATI' started by Adam Dawes, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. Adam Dawes

    Adam Dawes Guest

    I recently purchased a new Sapphire Atlantis Radeon 9800 Pro graphics card
    for my PC.

    Initially after installing it I was extremely impressed with it. UT2004 ran
    at 1280x1024 with all the details up with a very smooth frame rate. However
    after I'd been playing for about half an hour the frame rate suddenly
    plummeted to just 12 FPS, making the game unplayable. Restarting the game or
    the PC didn't make any difference and other software was affected too.

    I tried again this morning, leaving the game to play itself. Again after
    about 30 minutes of smooth play the slow down happened again.

    Can anyone suggest what might be causing this? I wonder if it's a heat issue
    (the air coming from the back of my PC is fairly warm) but would hope that a
    new card would have sufficient cooling for this not to be a problem? It's
    very frustrating anyway so I'd really appreciate any suggestions that anyone
    can offer.

    My PC is running an AMD 2400XP CPU on an Epox 8RDA+ motherboard, and I have
    DX9 and the latest Catalyst drivers installed.

    Many thanks,
     
    Adam Dawes, Jun 7, 2004
    #1
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  2. Adam Dawes

    George Skuse Guest

    It does indeed sound like a heat issue. IMHO, the cooling that comes stock
    on the 9800 is no more than the minimum the factory could get away with. If
    possile, try to set up a fan to blow directly on the card, or change the
    cooling system to a better after market cooling solution.

    You may also want to make sure that you are not suffering from a memory leak
    due to anapplication that is hogging system resources.
     
    George Skuse, Jun 7, 2004
    #2
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  3. Adam Dawes

    Adam Dawes Guest

    Thanks for your suggestions George. Can you (or anyone) recommend an after
    market cooling solution that I could investigate?

    Are other models of the 9800 Pro likely to be more stable that the Sapphire
    Atlantis?

    And finally, are there are utilities available that would let me check the
    temperature of the graphics card? I don't know whether the hardware supports
    this, but if it does it would help me to determine that the problem really
    is with overheating.

    Many thanks,
     
    Adam Dawes, Jun 7, 2004
    #3
  4. Low tech, but I personally would open up the case and direct a desk fan at
    the graphics card while repeating the game test.
    If that improved the situation then pop in one these
    http://www.sochilled.co.uk/product.asp?item=515
    or similar.
    HTH,
    Laurence
     
    Laurence Wilmer, Jun 7, 2004
    #4
  5. Adam Dawes

    Navid Guest

    This is a good VGA cooler.
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=35-186-110&depa=0
    What are your CPU and case temperatures? Do you have MBM5 installed?
    http://mbm.livewiredev.com/
    What is your operating system? How much RAM have you got?
    I am not very experienced. I have heard VGA heat resulting in artifacts
    and/or freezes and crashes. But, not decreased fps!
    I believe only 9800XT and 9600XT have the hardware capability of monitoring
    the GPU temperature, not 9800 pro.
    You can check your GPU core and DDR clock rates with this free utility.
    http://www.lavalys.com/index.php?page=product&view=1&subpage=5
    You can over/under-clock your GPU core and DDR with this free utility.
    http://atitool.ocfaq.com/
    I don't know anything about AMDs. Does your cpu provide throttling when too
    hot, like Pentium 4s?
     
    Navid, Jun 7, 2004
    #5
  6. Adam Dawes

    Adam Dawes Guest

    Low tech, but I personally would open up the case and direct a desk
    I'll have to try it this evening and see it it makes a difference.

    And thanks for pointing out that fan (and indeed that whole web site),
    that's MUCH better than the approach I was considering if it does turn out
    to be a heat problem. ;-)
     
    Adam Dawes, Jun 7, 2004
    #6
  7. Adam Dawes

    Adam Dawes Guest

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=35-186-110&depa=0

    Thanks for that -- I'm in the UK but the site that Laurence Wilmer mentioned
    has this product too so I'll have a look on there.
    I can't tell you offhand but I'll check tonight.
    Win XP Pro with 512MB DDR400 RAM.
    I know, I was thinking along these lines too but don't know what else it
    could be. If everything went back to normal after a reboot I'd assume it to
    be a software problem (not that it ever slowed down on my previous card, an
    nVidia GeForce4 Ti4200) but the continued slow performance has made me think
    that heat is the likely cause.

    I wondered if the heat was causing the card to throttle its performance or
    to simply stop working properly. If it's not the heat than I can only
    imagine it's a faulty card. I'll experiment with the case open tonight,
    anyway.
    I believe all the motherboard does it sound an alarm if it gets too hot, not
    aware of anything else. I've left the alarm temperature threshhold settings
    at their default values and it's never made a sound so far.

    Thanks once again for all the helpful links. :)
     
    Adam Dawes, Jun 7, 2004
    #7
  8. Adam Dawes

    John Guest

    I'm suffering simmilar probs with te hotter weather arriving and have just
    ordered vga silencer.It replaces your existing gfx card fan (which lets face
    it they aren't much cop and aren't even fitted very well) and it exhausts
    the hot air out of the back of your pc like the blower from sochilled,anyway
    see for your self and check out some reviews they seem to be highly
    recommended

    Try http://www.cpucitystore.co.uk/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=411
    and theres a version 3 as well so check manufacturers website to see if v1
    will fit your card,i think it should but check anyway.
     
    John, Jun 7, 2004
    #8
  9. Adam Dawes

    Adam Dawes Guest

    This product does look interesting, and for UKP7 it's not going to be a
    fortune wasted even it it doesn't fit...

    I'm curious to know, are you having the same problems as me (large drops in
    frame rate) as opposed to complete crashes, and have these problems only
    started in the last week or two now that the UK finally has sight of the sun
    for a bit?
     
    Adam Dawes, Jun 7, 2004
    #9
  10. Adam Dawes

    John Guest

    My case and cpu temps rose abit after changing from a gf4 to a saphire
    9800 pro but the room in which comps are in has really got warm these last
    few weeks and i've been getting crashs/lockups and slow/stuttering
    performance.
    After examing the gfx card it wasn't to hard to spot the cooler isn't
    much good so i decided to order the vga cooler,hopefully here tommorrow so
    i'll see if its much better,it can't be any worse.
    I really want to avoid adding loads of case fans and if the cooler is as
    descent as they say it is then getting some heat out from the gfx card can
    only be a good thing and like you say for £7 it won't be the most money ever
    wasted trying to achieve this.
     
    John, Jun 7, 2004
    #10
  11. Adam Dawes

    Adam Dawes Guest

    Please let me know how you get on with this, it looks like a good solution
    it it works and is easy to fit.
     
    Adam Dawes, Jun 7, 2004
    #11
  12. Adam Dawes

    Adam Dawes Guest

    Just been trying this and I managed to play for an hour with no slow-down at
    all. Without the case open/desk fan it was dropping down to 30fps after
    about 10 minutes and 12fps by 30 mins, so it does look like it's a heat
    problem.

    At initial power on, my system was registering a CPU temp of 33C and system
    temp of 31C (it's too hot here today!). After using the system just in
    Windows (no accelerated graphics) for 45 minutes this had risen to CPU @ 56C
    and system temp @ 47C (with the case still on). Is this excessively hot?

    I then played UT2004 for 30 minutes until the frame rate dropped back to
    12fps and checked the temp again. It had only barely risen from before, to
    CPU @ 58C and system at 48C.

    With the case open and desk fan active, the temps are CPU @ 39C, system @
    35C, this after an hour of UT2004.

    Gotta get me one of those heat extractors I think.
     
    Adam Dawes, Jun 7, 2004
    #12
  13. Interesting - we live and learn!
    I would have expected the darn thing to either work, or crash completely,
    not just slow down - almost human!
    Still, we haven't confirmed that it is the graphics card rather than the cpu
    overheating yet, which is why I was not suggesting specifically a VGA cooler
    to begin with.

    Yes, I think 56 is too hot for the cpu, given that there will be momentary
    rises much higher than that not caught by the monitor, and it will go much
    higher under heavy load!
    Right now my temps are 36/49, the cpu was hitting 54 under heavy load this
    afternoon and I regard that as borderline - like it to stay under 50.

    Quite honestly, rather than mess with overpriced bits of plastic, I just
    have a desk fan oscillating to cool me and the computer case, but that
    little slot exhaust fan is so easy to fit it is worth doing.

    I have a powerful exhaust fan, an Enermax psu with regulated fans, the slot
    exhaust fan, and an inlet fan at the front. Experimenting with
    potentiometers on all of them has shown me that only the exhaust fans are
    effective - moral, suck hot air out of the case and provide an environment
    where it can dissipate quickly.

    Good luck,
    Laurence
     
    Laurence Wilmer, Jun 7, 2004
    #13
  14. Adam Dawes

    Navid Guest

    It may be the CPU throttling. Since you did not have this problem with your
    older graphics card, it suggests that your new card generates more heat than
    the older one. But, it is the CPU that heats up (because of the high case
    temperature) and slows down its clock to avoid overheating. I still am not
    sure that the AMD CPUs have throttling or not. If they do, this may be what
    is happening. If they don't, I don't see how a 9800 pro would detect heat
    and automatically reduce the clock rate. I have never heard that before.

    What kind of CPU heat sink do you have? Can you increase the RPM of the
    fan? Do you have an exhaust fan in your case other than the power supply
    fan?
     
    Navid, Jun 8, 2004
    #14
  15. Adam Dawes

    Bill Guest

    <snip>

    The motherboard may be capable of throttling down the CPU if the
    temps get high, I know mine can, Abit NF7-S.

    Bill
     
    Bill, Jun 8, 2004
    #15
  16. Adam Dawes

    Jim Davis Guest

    Overheating will cause graphics glitches at first, later comes crashes
    needing the reset button.

    I think you need more ram if you don't have 1 gig, get it.

    But cooling is a good thing. Make sure you have a case fan installed
    and your PS fan blows outward. You want to bring in air at the front
    and blow it out the rear.

    I also have a small PCI slot fan beside my 9800 Pro that helps.
     
    Jim Davis, Jun 9, 2004
    #16
  17. Adam Dawes

    Jim Davis Guest

    CPU overheat causes the FPS stuttering, not video card. You will see
    weird graphics glitches when it overheats.
    But the default for most of the alarms is likely 70 degrees C.

    55 C. should be a high limit for a P4 cpu.

    Go to 1 gig memory immediately. That may cure your problem, but you
    must put some fans in your case. One intake at lower front and one
    beside the 9800 card.
     
    Jim Davis, Jun 9, 2004
    #17
  18. Adam Dawes

    John Guest

    Seems to work much better than the standard one,my stuttering seems to be
    fixed*touch wood*,case temps are down and cpu temp has dropped slightly as a
    result also.It's also very quiet.It looks good

    Fitting was a doodle.Full easy to follow instructions were included and
    every thing u need.

    The standard hs/fan litterally dropped off so there was no wonder it was
    getting warm coupled with the onset of warmer weather it was just getting to
    hot.

    Well worth the price tbh.

    Conns are it takes up the pci slot below agp slot
     
    John, Jun 10, 2004
    #18
  19. Adam Dawes

    dotnetman Guest

    I wonder at what point the PC/gaming industry will be forced to water cooled
    solutions to solve these heat problems with ever increasing speed/heat devices?
     
    dotnetman, Jun 13, 2004
    #19
  20. Adam Dawes

    JAD Guest

    what case are you using?

    I scanned through your post and didn't see it. you would figure that a
    company would use a few different cases to check the QC on cooling
    solutions, but alas they couldn't possibly cover all possibilities.
     
    JAD, Jun 13, 2004
    #20
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