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'Puter Troubles - Video Card Related?

deadlyrhetoricdeadlyrhetoric "We could be two straight linesin a crooked world."__BANNED USERS regular
edited January 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
Hi, Guys.

My Radeon HD 5750 is giving me some troubles while playing games. It randomly dims and I take a big frame-rate hit. I've tried searching the Internet and the forum for any similar issues but I can't find anything related to this...The display itself doesn't dim. Just the image on the screen.

This happens in a few different games of varying age and engine so I'm not sure what it could be. It also does not happen at all when in OS X nor when I'm just on the Windows Desktop doing Windowsy things.

I'm on a Mid-2011 iMac 27", 4GB, Quad-Core i5 @2.8GHz.

Thanks!

deadlyrhetoric on

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    ApogeeApogee Lancks In Every Game Ever Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    The screen itself actually gets darker? Thats something I've never heard of before. Still, slowdowns usually indicate heat issues - the card clocks itself down to reduce heat load when it hits a maximum, usually around 90/100c. Does it come and go? Start after a while and stays until you quit the game? It could also be a power issue, which is more difficult to diagnose. I'm not well versed on Radeon card diagnostics, but there is probably a probably a utility you can run in the background to monitor heat/voltage levels from the card.

    If it's heat, all you likely need to to do is clean out the vent for the card iwth compressed air. If there is a power issue, it's probably gonna need to be RMA'd.

    Apogee on
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    deadlyrhetoricdeadlyrhetoric "We could be two straight lines in a crooked world."__BANNED USERS regular
    Thanks for the reply, Apogee.

    The screen itself doesn't dim - the image on the screen does, though. It's almost like when a Windows dialogue window flashes, except it's the entire picture on the screen that goes from dark to bright and back and the application is full-screen. Performance also slows to a crawl.

    I don't think it's a heat issue because it doesn't happen in any of the same games when I'm in OS X - only in Windows. I'm using the latest drivers for all my software, latest versions of the games, and it continues to happen even when I disable all memory-intensive video processing like HDR, Bloom, Anti-Aliasing, etc. both in the game and in the Catalyst software.

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    EsseeEssee The pinkest of hair. Victoria, BCRegistered User regular
    Is it possible that something really is trying to pop up in the background when this happens? I mean, if it's like when a dialog flashes... maybe something is indeed trying to get your attention. See if you can disable any extraneous programs from starting with your computer and/or quit processes you know you don't need via Task Manager before you start playing so they can't pop up while you're busy. I know several of my programs don't play nice with fullscreen, and while the result is different from yours, it can be really disorienting to have my computer suddenly pop to the desktop for a second every time I get an e-mail. Similarly, maybe try disconnecting any extra USB devices and whatnot in case one of them has a short in the cable causing it to think it's been disconnected from the computer every once in a while. I once had a keyboard that did this, and yeah, your performance will probably drop when it loses connection (though usually only temporarily)... and if it's not something you're actively using at the time, the only clear indication would perhaps be the disconnect and reconnect sounds IF you have those sounds enabled. You would by default, but I tend to turn sounds off entirely, personally, so it's possible you wouldn't.

    The only other thing that came to mind would maybe be something in your Power Options that isn't set to "ALL PERFORMANCE ALL THE TIME" and something is causing it to switch to a state that consumes less power (dropping your performance and perhaps even dimming the screen if it thinks this is appropriate). You're on a desktop so I wouldn't expect this to be a problem (heck, I barely even remember what settings are available in there on a desktop), but basically make sure all the settings in there are set to performance and things aren't set to switch to a low-power state or turn off at any time.

    Without the screen dimming I would indeed expect your machine to be downclocking itself due to heat issues, but with the screen dimming I would think that's not likely the case. Still, if you haven't done it in a long time, you might want to open your machine up, grab a can of compressed air, and spray up into that sucker. Doesn't hurt, as long as you give it a little time to dry off before you turn it back on again. I should note that if there WERE heat issues, they wouldn't necessarily be handled the same way in OSX as they would in Windows. They may use the same components, but these are totally different operating systems, after all.

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    deadlyrhetoricdeadlyrhetoric "We could be two straight lines in a crooked world."__BANNED USERS regular
    Thanks, Essee.

    I keep the vents pretty clean but I'll give them another cleaning - I'm starting to suspect that you may be right with the background pop-up. I generally run everything as lean as I can in either operating system. I do actually have an audio interface and keyboard ('Tickle the ivories' kind) plugged in but powered down so I'll unplug those as well.

    I'm at work right now and generally don't have much time in Windows until the weekends but I'll post my findings. Your response has been helpful.

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    ApogeeApogee Lancks In Every Game Ever Registered User regular
    I think Esee is on to something there - if it's Windows only, it's obviously hardware and not software, and that 'dimming' thing is pretty likely UAC popping up behind your window. Odd that it isn't taking focus, though. Just alt-tab out and see what's what.

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    deadlyrhetoricdeadlyrhetoric "We could be two straight lines in a crooked world."__BANNED USERS regular
    Thanks for following up, Apogee.

    I actually booted into Windows last night AND apparently my copy of Windows 7 isn't legit (despite being issued by my employer??). I suspect that this may be what is causing the issue. I didn't have a chance to test it out with a game but I hope to this weekend. I suspect that you're both right. UAC and/or MSE is probably giving me grief over the purported legitimacy of my copy of Windows but for some reason can't pop back to the desktop.

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    DraygoDraygo Registered User regular
    Raise that issue with your employer (windows not legit). Ive had some installations of windows go all funky and say it wasnt legit dispite having a COA label. But once I reentered the key it was all fine.

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    TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON Registered User regular
    If your employer has a volume license or anything like that sometimes you have to do a bit of stuff to get Windows to realize it's legit, so yeah, contact your employer.

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    deadlyrhetoricdeadlyrhetoric "We could be two straight lines in a crooked world."__BANNED USERS regular
    Thanks - I'll check with my IT group here. Though I'm sure the issue is on Microsoft's end, irony, I work for an anti-counterfeiting company. Har har.

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    deadlyrhetoricdeadlyrhetoric "We could be two straight lines in a crooked world."__BANNED USERS regular
    I managed to get Windows to accept the product key provided by work but MSE still won't validate it. Either way, I'm not getting the pop-ups about Windows validity.

    I am still getting the issue, though. I've downloaded Fraps and I'll try to get some video samples of what happens.

    It almost looks like gamma correction or something.

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    EgoEgo Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Have you tried alt-tabbing when it happens like apogee recommended?

    Ego on
    Erik
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    EffefEffef Who said your opinion mattered, Jones? Registered User regular
    Sounds like something is trying to steal focus from whatever you are doing but not quite getting there.

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    deadlyrhetoricdeadlyrhetoric "We could be two straight lines in a crooked world."__BANNED USERS regular
    Yeah - I've alt+tabbed and it was previously MSE telling me that my copy of Windows wasn't legit. I've resolved that issue. If I alt+tab when it happens now, nothing takes focus.

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