Artifacting in Battlefield 3

Posted by daRedRabbit
daRedRabbit
I am 23 year old Masters Student at Stellenbosch University focusing on inter-co
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 26 June 2012
in Digital Blogs

A weird thing happened the other day, I got artifacting in Battlefield 3 on a perfectly good card.  Actually, this has been back in January, when temperatures where still soaring…

I tried all benchmarking and diagnostic software I could get my hand on, but nothing showed any sign of a faulty card.  Tried driver updates, and that didn’t help at all.  I even went as far as to change the PCIe slot and the Power Supply, but with no luck.  And no, my graphics card was not overclocked.  Underclocking it helped, but it didn’t help performance.

So I added a gadget to my sidebar (GPUObserver) to monitor my GPU temperature.  It went up to 71 degrees Celsius, which according to the supplier, is still reasonable and that I should start worrying at 80 degrees.  Be that as it my, I did some investigating into the matter.  I opened the chassis, put the 50 cm desk fan on there and blew a storm worse than Cape Town has ever seen through there.  Surprise surprise, it worked.

After being so glad I found a solution, it didn’t take me 3 minutes to get so annoyed with the fan buzzing, I had to find another solution.  I found a very simple method that involves setting up a Fan Profile (speed versus temperature).

So here’s what I did:

  1. Download and install MSI Afterburner
  2. Open MSI afterburner
  3. Go to ‘Settings’ located in the lower right hand bottom corner
  4. Tick both ‘Start with Windows’ and ‘Start minimized’
  5. Click on the ‘FAN’ tab and tick ‘Enable user defined software automatic fan control’
  6. Create your own fan profile.

MSI_afterburner

I created very stiff profile, where the fan is running at minimum below 40 degrees, and maximum above it.  The sound of the graphics card’s fan running at maximum is quickly drowned by the noise of my CPU cooler.

NOTE:  This is not the only solution.  There might be several more out there, but this one worked for me.

NOTE 2:  This might help for artifacting in any game.

Enjoy Battlefield 3!!

daRedRabbit out..

I am 23 year old Masters Student at Stellenbosch University focusing on inter-component communication in satellites . Despite having a BEng degree in Electronic Engineering, I also pride myself in the fact that I actually do have a girlfriend and a rather successful Gaming life. Besides gaming and studying, I also manage to stay on top with some of the latest technology, and also develop some fun/useful electronics on the side.

Comments

Muscadecipio
Muscadecipio
I am a 40-something computer geek who years ago decided that technology would ei
User is currently offline
Muscadecipio Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A "cool" solution (hah)

Hiya daRedRabbit. You found a very old solution for a very old problem. Heat. Back in the says when you were a wee one us old boys carefully positioned desk fans on overclocked 486DX2-66's so we could get better frame rates in Doom.

Good diagnostic skills BTW, but I would have put the desk fan on first and all the software later. Now you know :p

I also assume you took a brush and cleaned
the cooling fan and heatsink on the graphics card. ''

I remember a 1Gb hard drive the size of a 4 slice toaster that stood i the open open on a friends desk in 1993. It used a SCSI interface and sounded like a Vietnam 'copter when it powered up. The desk fan kept it from overheating.

With silicone technologies reaching their limits, overheating is always going to be a problem. 10 years ago everyone thought water cooling was going to be the answer. Hah.

I know the manufacturer said 70 degree is fine but I always start to worry as the melting point of silicon is 90. Even before melting you will get silicon migration as heat is never evenly spread across a core of the heatsing,but tends to spike where there are imperfections in material. Glad you found a solution before you fried your card. I've done that before and it sucks.

daRedRabbit
daRedRabbit
I am 23 year old Masters Student at Stellenbosch University focusing on inter-co
User is currently offline
daRedRabbit Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Re: A "cool" solution (hah)

The problem might be old, but some of the modern youngsters might not know of the solution and spend countless hours trying to explain to some IT firm that their computer is not working.

As for the diagnostic skills, picked that up in my Engineering degree at University of Stellenbosch.

Back to the problem at hand. The card was quite new, and there hasn't been any dust build-up. I think it all comes down toe a poor design of some sort. I have had clients bring back PC's a day after they bought it with the exact problem. Simple tweak and they are good to go.

I've been building PC's since I was 16, so 'n know my way around them. As I said, I'm just trying to help the youngster.

Muscadecipio
Muscadecipio
I am a 40-something computer geek who years ago decided that technology would ei
User is currently offline
Muscadecipio Tuesday, 26 June 2012

No worries Bro

You seen this one daRedRabbit? http://youtu.be/4mSD_EhgGSc

Yah heat will always be a problem. In smartphones as well now that they are getting so powerful.

A bad design for sure,the problem being that these are often cheaply produced cards. Not that this is new either, back in 2004 I bought a MSI card that had a heatsink with no fan. It worked fine, but popping a small fan on it made it jump.

Where I live is very dusty. Once a month I have to clean my fans or risk overheating. On that subject (and for the youngsters) I see a lot of computers about 2 year old with overheating problems for no apparent reason. First stop for a check will be the pad that seals the heatsink to the CPU. It dries out after a while and stops doing it's job which, as you know, is helping the conduction of heat by filling the air gaps caused by imperfections in the contact surfaces. In this case the fan trick won't help. I often see young gamers who make this mistake and fry the chip. Unfortunately the only solutionis is to remove the heatsink, clean the paste without scratching the surfaces or leaving oily fingerprints, and sealing them again with good quality thermal grease (get it at an electonics shop where they often use it for triac heatsinks).

Ek is 'n oud Maties daRedRabbit. Afgeswot in Kliniese Sielkunde in 1994. Simonsberg koshuis vir deel van my tyd in die Eikestad. Verlang nog soms terug so geniet jou tyd daar.

Started fixing computers when I was 15 and a soldering iron was needed for repairs. Tried to fix people for a while with limited luck. Wish I had your job. I try to keep up with whats happening at my alma mater and so I imagine you are one of the guys working on the CubeSat project which, I see, has just been given the go ahead to sell CubeSat components through Netherlands based ISIS.

daRedRabbit
daRedRabbit
I am 23 year old Masters Student at Stellenbosch University focusing on inter-co
User is currently offline
daRedRabbit Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Re: No worries Bro

Wel eks bly ek het nog 'n Matie ontmoet.

Unfortunately, I was not part of the team that worked on any of the Cubesat components. I do, however, help with the production of the Cubetorquer rods. Quite delicate things those.

I do take note of you comment on the cooling and should probably have said that this is for out-of-the-box problem of artifacting, when no fault could be found with the GPU. Most definitely, I try o replace thermal grease at least once a year on high-end components. It is just for some cards where the default balance between GPU load (which causes the rise in temperature) and Fan speed does not compensate for our higher than average temperature.

As for your dusting problem, I read that the new MSI 680 Lighting graphics card has an anti-dust feature. Basically, on boot, the BIOS spins the fans in reverse really hard for about 30 seconds to blow the dust out the head sink (and back into your case, so actually quite stupid) before it returns to its normal function.

Muscadecipio
Muscadecipio
I am a 40-something computer geek who years ago decided that technology would ei
User is currently offline
Muscadecipio Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Blow don't suck

:p That anti-dust feature is one of those sounded-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time things. Working on PC's in a small town I see a lot of older equipment and boy is some of it dusty. I ve always believed that the best way to deal with dust is to try create a slight positive pressure in the box wth some good fans. The idea being that the dust pases straigt through. Configurations like that with big front blowers and back suckers that I have tried seemed to work. At least, the buildup of dust was slower. Problem with that is that your PC sounds like a jet warming up, and heaven forbid the st penetrates the sleeve bearing.

There is a popular though amoung electronics techs that I know, that the thermal mats are less efficient than grease. That would make an argument for taking out-of-box CPU heatsinks and GPU heatsinks and replacing the mats with grease straight off the bat. That will invalidate the warranty for only a few degrees less in temperature. I suppose only serious fiddlers like us would think of that?

daRedRabbit
daRedRabbit
I am 23 year old Masters Student at Stellenbosch University focusing on inter-co
User is currently offline
daRedRabbit Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Re: Blow don't duck

True hey, I can understand attempting to replace the CPU mat, by tinkering in the GPU might be above some people's fireplace.

Speaking of blowing and sucking, I recently configured a Corsair H100 in a Push-Pull configuration. Problem was, the H100 Fan controller is so low budget, it only has High, Medium and Low, no actual management. So you are either at full speed, best cooling and destroying eardrums, or enjoying peace while you play Solitaire.

I solved this by getting a proper SpeedFan setup. All fans are connected to one Fan header (and yes, the added currents are lower than the ratings of the board), and setup a fan speed profile. Not as serious as the one above, but something similar. When the CPU is idle, it is running at roughly 19 degrees with the Fans spinning at around 20% and very quite.

Ryc0v
Ryc0v
New LCD. New Speakers. Repaired PC. Now time to start working for money for Oper
User is currently offline
Ryc0v Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Overheating fun

Something I'm familiar with as well. My current solution is actually to remove the side panel and churn up the fan. I thought the loss of the case 'funnel' to the fan might mean it was less effective, but I managed to lose 10 degrees off my gcard (getting old now, 9800GT, but I don't like it running above 70).

Luckily in Grahamstown, this time of year, the weather is on my side :P CPU and HD's run at 30-50.

I currently have 2 Pci slots free, thinking of getting a cooling system, might give it a go, daRedrabbit (now that I know they make a difference), when I next upgrade.

Please login first in order for you to submit comments