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HELP! Is this what overheating looks like?? Only happens with ARMA2

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  • HELP! Is this what overheating looks like?? Only happens with ARMA2

    Hey everyone! I've got a quick question... Whenever I play ARMA2, I seem to run into a recurring issue (I've never had it happen in other games, granted ARMA2 can be quite demanding). I think it may be related to my video card. But the funny thing is that it's largely hit or miss. Some nights I can go for hours on end without this glitch occuring, other times (like tonight) I've had it rear it's ugly head three times in a row, forcing me to do a cold reboot. I've tried everything I know, including underclocking my video card...

    But I've taken some pictures, if there's anyone that could maybe give some insight as to what may be causing this to happen, I'd VERY MUCH appreciate it!

    Win XP
    Intel Q9400 quad core @ stock 2.66 ghz
    Nvidia 8800 GTOC (stock overclock)
    4 gigs of RAM
    Creative Audigy sound card (the original, vers 1)

    And here's the ingame pic.
    http://img710.imageshack.us/i/ingamess.jpg/
    Most of the time it more or less resembles this type of distortion, lots of small blue wavy lines, etc. Sometimes I can hit the "m" key to bring up the ingame map, which reduces the on-screen rendering load. Either that or I can alt-tab to another open application (either steam or TS3) and that will pull it out of its lock-up stage. While this image is more or less stuck on the screen, the audio cuts in and out, sometimes caught in a repeating loop. Any keystrokes I attempt can take some time to register (ie, I hit m to pull up the map, and after waiting probably 15 or 20 seconds, it will finally respond.) Often times, if I can bring the system out of this state, I can re-enter the game by alt-tabbing and continue on like nothing happened. Gameplay is definitely playable, it's not like my system slows to a crawl before it does this.

    And here's my setup. It's all in a Lian Li case, two small fans up front, a blow hole out of the top, and two fans out of the rear (one case and one powersupply)
    http://img10.imageshack.us/i/outsidecase.jpg/

    And here's kind of what the inside looks like.
    http://img31.imageshack.us/i/insidecase.jpg/

    And lastly, this is what I've set my vid card clocks to. The sliders show default stock settings, and toward the bottom you'll see that I have it set to startup with lowered values
    http://img694.imageshack.us/i/rivatuner.jpg/

    Thanks again for your help guys! Suggestions/comments/advise? I'm pretty much at my wits end here! And in case it's of any importance, I've never overclocked anything, so it's not like I've been straining the card or my components beyond the factory specs, etc.

  • #2
    Re: HELP! Is this what overheating looks like?? Only happens with ARMA2

    From the looks of it, I would say no. You have a aftermarket cooler on your video card (looks like a Zalman VFC series copper/aluminum). Your CPU's cooled by a Arctic Freezer Pro (probably the same one I have), so that shouldn't be overheating either.

    Have you tried updating graphics drivers? If so, try rolling back to the previous version.

    The graphics distortion and tearing in the photo could be caused by a few things:
    1. overheating parts
    2. poor drivers
    3. inadequate power
    4. damaged GPU from extended and excessive overheating
    5. monitor going bad
    6. loose monitor connection
    7. EM interference
    etc

    I'm ruling out overheating because of the coolers, so that scratches out #1 and #4.
    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
    Former 9th & 13th

    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

    TG Primer and Rules

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    • #3
      Re: HELP! Is this what overheating looks like?? Only happens with ARMA2

      Grab a software utility to measure temps and compare them against the max temps for your card.
      |TG-12th| Namebot

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      • #4
        Re: HELP! Is this what overheating looks like?? Only happens with ARMA2

        tidy those cables too.

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        • #5
          Re: HELP! Is this what overheating looks like?? Only happens with ARMA2

          If there is an aftermarket cooler on it, I'm going to say the videocard is messed up because something with the cooler install failed or was misaligned. Check temps to confirm. they should be out of wack, unless a VRM or RAM chip is toasted, which you dont get sensors for. Use an IR heat gun to check temps around the board, anything over the 80's should be suspect.

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          • #6
            Re: HELP! Is this what overheating looks like?? Only happens with ARMA2

            I would tidy up those cables as well. This looks like what I used to get when my graphics card overheated. Do you keep your case open when you are using your computer? If not, you should make sure you do as this will throw off the airflow in the case as it was designed to be sealed. Also, make sure you are using quality thermal paste. I use techpowerup's gpuz to monitor my card temps.

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            • #7
              Re: HELP! Is this what overheating looks like?? Only happens with ARMA2

              Just as a side note -

              I had the EXACT same graphical glitches on my old alienware laptop..m9700, running a nvidia 8800 (coincidence?). It turned out to just be a dead video card. apparently some of the 8800's had a manufacturing fault, where over prolonged heated periods it would just melt a few pins on the connectors and cause that issue.

              |TG-TFP|Jaynus
              Task Force Proteus


              The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but Im just not close enough to get the job done."

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              • #8
                Re: HELP! Is this what overheating looks like?? Only happens with ARMA2

                I would not entirely write off an overheating card yet. Cards with fansinks generally do not remove the heat from the case, and having your sound card right under it can cause heat to build up around the GPU.

                Since you use rivatuner you can set it up to display temperatures of your GPU and CPU in game. Follow this tutorial on OCN: RivaTuner OSD Tutorial

                Alternatively you can run GPU-Z while you game and enable "Log to File" in the Sensors tab. Then when you come to the issue again you can look back in the logs at the time it happened and see what the temperatures were. If yo do not have it already go to techpowerup at: GPU-Z Download

                I had issues with heat before by having air just sitting in the area around my GPU's I had to put an extra fan beside them to keep the air moving out of my case. Hot Cards

                Even if that is not the issue it is better that you actually have the evidence that it is not the failing piece of the puzzle when you go down the checklist others have provided.

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                • #9
                  Re: HELP! Is this what overheating looks like?? Only happens with ARMA2

                  Thanks for the responses everyone, looks like I've got a little testing to do with the temp programs. They should help me pinpoint the issue a bit more.

                  I'm going to have to show off some of my "idiot" side here in asking this question, but I noticed Jackspyder, that you and gator skywalker mentioned tidying up my cables... Do you mean just bundling them up differently? Cramming them into a different portion of my case somewhere? Or are you saying something different, like somehow removing those cables that I'm not using? I'm just surprised, Trigger, at how few cables you have snaking around in your pic. What'd you do with all of the left over cables you're not using?

                  Acreo, FG&P: The Zalman cooler you're referring to is what shipped with the card, it was a certain model that Gigabyte put out back in the day (http://www.ixbt.com/video3/images/g9...scan-front.jpg). Thanks for the list acreo. I can rule out the interference and monitor suggestions since the problem is not present in other games. The AGI psu I have is like 650 or 700+ watts, so I should be well clear of my single-gpu needs.

                  And gator, I'll try moving my soundcard down to the lowest slot to see if that helps. I'm alittle skittish about removing my side casing every time I play 1) for the added noise 2) for the inconvenience and 3) the "Seriously?" factor. haha Maybe I could have somewhere cut in a space for a 120 mm fan or something out the side. I'm just surprised that I'd have to do that, given other friends I have that spend 1/100 of the time and effort toward their computers that don't seem to have similar problems. And here, I try to baby my computer, and I get the hassles ;)

                  Jaynus: Do you remember if the hiccup was consistent? Because other games like BFBC2, ME2, GTA4, HOI3 (bit of a tongue and cheek joke on the last one there ;) run just fine at maxed-out or near maxed-out settings. Similarly, I run ARMA2 at around 20-25 fps with viewdistance at 7500. I've always been surprised at how far I can push out the viewdistance after reading what others commonly are able to use. Could it be that I'm unknowingly straining my card to the max even though it's able to maintain a fairly playable fps?

                  Trigger: Thanks for hunting down those links, man! I'll give'em a go and read what I can.

                  I'll find some time tonight to run through some temp tests and I'll let you all know what shows up! Thanks again!

                  Oh- and if it makes a difference, whenever the glitch happens, I see a single image frozen on-screen. It's not like I'm interacting or moving around in that screenshot I included.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: HELP! Is this what overheating looks like?? Only happens with ARMA2

                    Seeing how he seems to have airfow in from the front and exhaust out the I/O backside and top, I would think that build up of heat by his GPU would be cycled out. Most of those GPU coolers, push air down through/around the fins onto the board itself. Thus the hot air flow out around the sides of the card and then travel upwards (seeing how he has exhaust up there). It's practically the same airflow more or less that I have in my case now, except I have much better cabling.

                    Blake, as far as cabling goes:

                    Yes, reorganize them so it's not blocking the air flow into the case from the front. Usually, if you can route the cables around the edge of the mounting bays or under the motherboard, you should be able to clear a good sized hole so air can flow freely inward.

                    I do know the Gigabyte cards used to use Zalman VFC coolers, but it'll always be a Zalman aftermarket cooler to me since I put one on my old Radeon 9600XT back in the day. Of course, my kit also came with enough memory sinks to cover both sides of 4 VRAM chips. Some years later, several companies (ASUS even had a few cards with their coolers) opted for their refined coolers instead of commissioning their own coolers in an effort to save money and offer some pizzazz and bragging rights.
                    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                    Former 9th & 13th

                    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                    TG Primer and Rules

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: HELP! Is this what overheating looks like?? Only happens with ARMA2

                      After reading my post it looks like I said the opposite of what I meant. You should in fact keep your case closed while playing. Sorry about that previous post. You might also look for a program that test the graphics memory. I think the one I have used is called vmt.

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                      • #12
                        Re: HELP! Is this what overheating looks like?? Only happens with ARMA2

                        That looks like bad memory to me. Typically when you have a bad or overheating processing unit, be it gpu or cpu, you'll see significant slowdown. When you starting getting artifacts look to the memory. The best way to do this is start with system ram. run a memtest check on that and if it passes an extended test then look at the video card ram. I doubt it's power since in most cases of power you start to lose the picture entirely or suffer slowdown as well. Typically the first onset of a power issue is a complete loss of picture or crashing and other things plus you'd notice this across the board.

                        I don't know if you can test the GPU memory but if your system memory passes try a different vid card if you have one to test out. If not contact the manufacturer.


                        - -

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                        • #13
                          Re: HELP! Is this what overheating looks like?? Only happens with ARMA2

                          Looks like possible overheating of the vid card to me. Make sure you get some accurate temp readings on the vid card and mobo.

                          That rat's nest of cables would make it hard for the RAM to dissipate heat, so clearing those up might solve the issue for an overheating video card, cpu or memory. That should be cleaned up per the directions given above.
                          |TG-6th|Snooggums

                          Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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                          • #14
                            Re: HELP! Is this what overheating looks like?? Only happens with ARMA2

                            Well I rearranged many of the psu cables to sit behind my mobo tray and moved my sound card to the lowest slot. These past few days, GPU-Z has not recorded a vid card temp above 59*. I haven't had any hiccups with ARMA2 since your recommendations but I'll feel a lot better once I cross the 30-day mark.

                            If the problems do crop up again, at least I have a better feel for what it is and what it isn't =)

                            Thanks again for your help, everyone's detailed responses solidifies that, yes, this is in-fact a very supportive and mature community! Glad I stumbled across your servers

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