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View Full Version : Persistent Tearing (need knowledgable help tracking cause)



Dragoncub
28-03-2013, 11:25 AM
An ongoing issue I have had for a looooong time (half a year now), and am having EXTREME difficulty in tracking down. The previous thread ended up getting really cluttered and people asked questions I'd already answered or suggested things I'd already tried. Tried all the basic stuff. Tried a bunch of advanced stuff. Even purchased parts to swap out, so merely figuring out the cause is costing me pocket.
Computer is six months old.
Problem is six months old.
Yep, that's damn right, this is a problem from NEW.

HERE IS MY PROBLEM:
Screen tearing, including at desktop and in any browsers

YES it tears in safe mode
I CANNOT TELL AT BIOS, it is impossible for me to be sure since the most clear tests (moving a black box on a white background, moving around windows, watching video, etc) aren't available there.
AT ALL TIMES, desktop, browsers, Photoshop, Sai, MS PAINT, you name it, it tears it. Only exceptions:
...in SOME GAMES (like... four or five of them) in-game vsync DOES fix it, but it is atrocious without it, and some require very specific settings (Far Cry 3 requires fullscreen, anything else tears).



HERE ARE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN TRIED AND RULED OUT:

It is not heat related. No seriously. Multiple heat checks with a couple different programmes, and anyway the problem is always there, even from cold boot in Safe Mode, it is ever-present.
..no seriously. Even after playing intensive games with their settings up to 'ultra', the PC sits at a cool ~35*C for the motherboard and ~50*C for the CPU.
Nothing to do with clock speeds. Is still, as it has always been, running at stock speeds, because NEW. (Maybe not anymore, since all the time trying to FIX IT.)
Drivers have been reinstalled many times, both beta, and old versions YES the majority of these were COMPLETELY CLEAN, including using third-party programmes to remove components using safe mode Monitor refresh rates were at 60Hz, as they should be, as they already were
Catalyst Control Centre reinstalled at least twice
Computer clean of any sticky dust or residue, not the cause
Graphics card was (and is) firmly seated, with no faults in the cooling system
Temporary different graphics card was tested (still tearing), while waiting for
...replacement graphics card, still tearing
Monitor drivers up to date, using DVI-DVI cabling (monitor supports DVI/AVG and card supports DVI/HDMI so this is my only adapter-free option)
Complete reformat of entire system done, fixed NOTHING
Catalyst Control Centre, syncing always ON - didn't work
Catalyst Control Centre, syncing always OFF (just in case - didn't work obviously)
OpenGL triple buffer tried both on and off - NO CHANGE
I am NOT using crossfireX.
Running mode changed from High Performance to Balanced at BIOS just in case, STILL GODDAMN TEARS
Memory test done - all cards, all slots, STILL TEARS LIKE A MOFO

...bunch of others things I forget and will update here when I remember because seriously, so many things guys, so many


STRESS TEST PROGRAMMES HAVE NOT BEEN RUN:
The links the other users sent me are broken, and the HDD I was backing up with is no longer available. (I cannot afford my own currently, so I must wait to borrow it again.)
Feel free to recommend some stress tests you trust, however, for when I am able to backup.


RELIABILITY MONITOR & STABILITY HISTORY

CRITICAL: Lots of hardware failures months ago, from back when Borderlands 2 would cause my graphics drivers to crash and 'recover'
CRITICAL: Lots of "[application] stopped working" from predictably buggy games like ME3 & FONV (I don't think they're related, the games are rather unstable)
WARNING: A large number of 'unsuccessful driver installations', many for graphics (though not all). Since graphics drivers were what I was almost exclusively installing for the past five-to-six months, hardly surprising that they are mostly graphics.


GRAPHICS CARD, SYSTEM AND DISPLAY

Windows 7 64-bit
AMD Radeon HD 7800 series (exact unspecified in dxdiag)
4x 4GB RAM (16GB total)
Monitor 1920x1080 Philips 236VL
Process is Intel i7-3770, 3.40GHz
BIOS Asus



REGARDING WARRANTY (BECAUSE PEOPLE KEPT ASKING) AND TESTING OPTIONS
Technically yes under warranty. This was a contracted custom build, so yes, all of its parts ARE under warranty if they need replacing, but they are NOT designed to play nice exclusively for each other as a pre-built would.
HOWEVER: The freight for the tower would be over sixty dollars (and probably more trying to find a suitable box to protect it). The delay would be at least a week. I have ALREADY sent off the graphics card to be replaced to no avail, so sending off the entire tower is a LAST RESORT.

Also, people suggesting swapping parts for parts - not really possible. I already bought a card to test with while my first was being replaced (which fixed nothing) but if you want me to try parts in someone else's computer, the majority of the people I know with computers that may be willing to let me poke actually have Macs (barring one who has a tiny little laptop instead). Yeah, Macs use the same hardware as PCs and are ultimately window-dressing, whatever their users may what to think, but actually getting INTO a Mac is both impossible and... considering Apple's lawyers? Probably illegal.

Alex B
28-03-2013, 11:50 AM
Well you have pretty much ruled out software as a fault. I'd bite the bullet and get it sent away for repair. Unless you value your time at zero $60 is cheap to get it sent away so it's someone elses problem.

SolMiester
28-03-2013, 12:34 PM
I stopped reading at CCC....sorry mate, but I just stay away from AMD. The 7xxx series has been full of bug since day 1, and while most of the issues are around CF, the combination of some hardware can cause issues with sGPU combos....
You seem to be knowledgeable regarding the use of v-sync and as that hasnt resolved the issue, i would RMA the card (have you tested in another PC?)....

Chilling_Silence
28-03-2013, 01:12 PM
Take a photo of this tearing?

wainuitech
28-03-2013, 02:25 PM
•Temporary different graphics card was tested (still tearing), while waiting for
•...replacement graphics card, still tearing

•WARNING: A large number of 'unsuccessful driver installations', many for graphics (though not all). Could also be a motherboard Problem. In simple terms, if the board has a fault it can impact on all / Any other components including the operations of the Graphic Card in any mode (safe or Normal).

pablo d
28-03-2013, 02:46 PM
A few questions if I may:

1. What motherboard?
2. Have you tried the onboard graphics?
3. What was the "different temporary card"?
4. Whereabouts are you? (in case there is someone nearby willing to help troubleshoot - I'm in Albany and would be happy to help)


FWIW I don't think the generalisations about AMD are helpful. I've personally used 9800 Pro, HD2900, HD3850 (single and crossfire), HD4850 (single and crossfire), HD5850 (single and crossfire), HD6850 (single and crossfire), and HD7850 (single and crossfire), all with only *minor* issues in *some* games.

dugimodo
28-03-2013, 03:26 PM
Maybe an obvious question but have you tried a different monitor ?

pablo d
28-03-2013, 03:30 PM
Maybe an obvious question but have you tried a different monitor ? That's a good question too :D

The Error Guy
28-03-2013, 04:56 PM
I'm in agreement with the rest of the people here, If several cards present the same problem and nothing changes then there's * probably* something amiss with the mobo. Ship it back for $60, your post seems like you have exhausted all reasonable options. $60 to RMA the whole thing and get the people who built it to fix it (as they should have in the first place)

Dragoncub
28-03-2013, 05:46 PM
I stopped reading at CCC....sorry mate, but I just stay away from AMD. The 7xxx series has been full of bug since day 1, and while most of the issues are around CF, the combination of some hardware can cause issues with sGPU combos....
You seem to be knowledgeable regarding the use of v-sync and as that hasnt resolved the issue, i would RMA the card (have you tested in another PC?)....

I did consider that. The fact that GAME vsync works but CCC vsync does NOT made me wonder if it were a software fault. However, searching for related problems others users may have yielded nothing, and the temporary card was an Nvidia GeForce with the same problem.




A few questions if I may:

1. What motherboard?
2. Have you tried the onboard graphics?
3. What was the "different temporary card"?
4. Whereabouts are you? (in case there is someone nearby willing to help troubleshoot - I'm in Albany and would be happy to help)


FWIW I don't think the generalisations about AMD are helpful. I've personally used 9800 Pro, HD2900, HD3850 (single and crossfire), HD4850 (single and crossfire), HD5850 (single and crossfire), HD6850 (single and

crossfire), and HD7850 (single and crossfire), all with only *minor* issues in *some* games.

1: Motherboard is an Asus. Looking at the info the builder had for me: "Asus/ Gigabyte New B75 Chipset, LGA1155, ~USB 3.0 & SATA3 6Gb/s Support". Make of that, what you will.
2: No onboard graphics. If there is no card, there are no graphics.
3: Nvidia 8600 GT. Wanted something at least capable of some output since I was testing with games, and wanted to be able to run them.
4: Based in Hastings, Hawke's Bay. If I DID live near Albany, I would have gotten this fixed a damn-sight faster, since the seller is in Mt Eden and I wouldn't have to wait so long or pay so much. :c

As for AMD being the problem, I can't say for sure either way. I considered it, since GAME sync worked but COMPUTER sync didn't, but I couldn't find any online support for it, and I had tearing even when using an Nvidia card temporarily.
I've noticed a strange 'shimmer' effect when panning while playing Far Cry 3, where the images flicker back and forth, as well as flashing artifacts (a problem I had with the previous iteration of this card model, that seems to be fixed now... mostly?) It COULD be CCC/card fault - the Nvidia wasn't tested with FC3 but it didn't have artifacts like my first Radeon did.




Maybe an obvious question but have you tried a different monitor ?
Yep. I bought the peripherals over time (the tower was its own purchase), so I had two monitors. I only ended up using one, but it meant I had a second to test with. Nothin' doin'. They WERE bought at the same time, so if there was a problem with the line it could be common to both, but I HIGHLY doubt it. A fault like this would warrant a recall and it would be noticed in a batch test anyway if it hit the whole group.

pablo d
28-03-2013, 05:55 PM
2: No onboard graphics. If there is no card, there are no graphics.



Bugger, not sure about Asus, but six out of Gigabyte's eight B75 motherboards support the 3770's integrated GPU. I guess you got one of the few without it. You've checked for a VGA/HDMI output I presume...

Dragoncub
28-03-2013, 06:28 PM
Bugger, not sure about Asus, but six out of Gigabyte's eight B75 motherboards support the 3770's integrated GPU. I guess you got one of the few without it. You've checked for a VGA/HDMI output I presume...

As mentioned, yes. The card has one DVI and two HDMI, and the monitor is VGA/DVI. The monitor used to be using a VGA cable with a DVI adapter, but it caused striping. The DVI-DVI cable fixed that. Considering the striping, I'm not keen with the idea of using any adapters.


Take a photo of this tearing?

Hmm. Got some interesting results here, having the advantage of a snapshot (though the camera is low-tier, so, the info may not be too helpful).

See, what I pictured was, well, what vsync should be fixing - monitor refresh rates out of sync with card rendering, result in 'hlf-frames'.

To make it obvious, I used Photoshop, had a black canvas, put a white box on its own layer, and jiggled it horizontally rapidly.

This is the resulting triptych:

http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/3084/34007156.gif

First two are tearing results. Curious that there seems to be multiple tearing...

The third is an example of the 'shimmer' I have noticed when panning, where the image appears to duplicate and layer on itself (but only while being moved), even in the few games without tearing. However, the tearing as made me paranoid about graphics so maybe that's common for monitors? I could be an illusion of the human eye! (Though considering how blatant it is on Far Cry 3's map, I rather doubt it).

From my view though, it looks like tearing - one FINE line where the space below updates SLIGHTLY slower. This line is (usually) not static on the screen, but appears to 'scan down' while moving the box. For some reason in windowed skyrim, it lurks exclusively in a line near the very bottom, but it seems like an odd version of vsync is in play there.

The Error Guy
28-03-2013, 06:36 PM
Bugger, not sure about Asus, but six out of Gigabyte's eight B75 motherboards support the 3770's integrated GPU. I guess you got one of the few without it. You've checked for a VGA/HDMI output I presume...

On that note, I had a HTPC that we took the graphics card out of to replace it. In the mean time we were using the on die GPU (i7 2600 I think) anyway, no video. Had to reset the BIOS since it wouldn't use the on die CPU because we had previously set it up to use PCI. Could try that if you don't have a massively customised BIOS that would be a pain to re configure if it didn't work.

wainuitech
28-03-2013, 08:10 PM
Just a thought, whats the refresh rate of the screen set to ? incorrect Refresh rates can cause all sorts of weird problems :2cents:

Dragoncub
28-03-2013, 08:17 PM
Just a thought, whats the refresh rate of the screen set to ? incorrect Refresh rates can cause all sorts of weird problems :2cents:

60 Hz. It does support 59Hz, which I tried, just in case. Didn't fix anything (obviously, or I'd not be here).

Dragoncub
28-03-2013, 09:16 PM
Whelp, this brings up a new question. I don't know where the styrafoam packing for my tower is. I mean, I know I KEPT it, but I for the life of me do not know WHERE.
So uhh... how to I go about getting this thing all packed up..?!

wainuitech
28-03-2013, 09:35 PM
Worth a crack :) Sorry didn't see it was listed at the start, bit of information overflow.

Anyway - been reading the original post that was made regarding the problem, putting together with this one, everything is pointing towards hardware, and not the actual Graphic Card.

One thing that is good is the fact it can be reproduced.

Just a suggestion, send it back under warranty, anyone who knows what they are doing, esp if they are actually any sort of legit system builders or repairers should me able to find the problem components reasonably quick, (If it took more than an hour I'd be surprised). They should have components that are used for testing purposes.

Example: If its tearing all the time, simply change the parts one at a time, as soon as the faulty part is replaced the tearing should stop.

Then further testing of the suspect part could be carried out when the builder does a RMA - In cases like yours I would simply locate the part, call the supplier ( wholesaler) get a forward replacement for the part, then put it back together and return it after doing a test to make sure its fixed. Buying Electronics from Trademe is often dangerous / Troublesome at the best of times, Esp when warranties are required.

As it was mentioned in the first thread, both ASUS and Gigabyte have 3 year manufactures warranties on Motherboards and Graphic Cards, NOT 18 Months.