GPU issue


Extraordinary Member
I'm not sure where the fault lies with this, for it could be either a driver or heat issue, or maybe something else. My video card is over a year old now, a Radeon HD4870, and has never given me trouble before. What's happening is that I'll come out of a YouTube video - say, exit full screen and press the back key in order to get another list of performances from some band at a concert, then I'll get grey-black screens on both of my monitors (Samsung P2450H 24", HP W19B 19") with vertical lines running down both. The system locks up entirely and all I can do is hold down the power button to shut it down altogether.

It seems like a video card issue to me, but I know it's not overheating. I typically keep the fan speed at around 39%, which has the card running at around 50c when idle and up to about 66c when under load. The first time the bars appeared and the system locked up the GPU Observer I have running on the second monitor said the card was running at about 72c when it restarted, which is odd seeing as it wasn't doing much before the cold restart, but I wasn't worried because it is well within the card's operating temperature (I'm sure I read plenty of times before that the 4870's run very hot, with temperatures of 100c and above seen as normal). I increased the fan speed to 55% which lowered the idle temperature to about 40-45c and full load temperatures to about 57-60c. Last night I played Dragon Age Origins for about four hours, even let the fan speed go back to 39%, and no crash. Reverted fan speed to 55%, loaded up a YouTube video, and it crashed again as soon as I came out of one.

Just now I turned the system on again, noticed the low temperature of 42c, and loaded a YouTube video, just to be sure. And yes, when I came out of the video it did the same thing. I've no idea what is causing this lock-up, but it's not heat, and I'm worried because this isn't doing any wonders for the card or the rest of my system. I've taken a few photographs of the bars so you can see for yourselves what it looks like -


It's mere minutes after the crash and both screens show the same thing.


I had to zoom in for the camera to see the bars on the Samsung, presumably because it is displaying in a high resolution (1920*1080).


But you can see them clearly on the smaller monitor without having to zoom in (displaying at 1440*900).

I'm running Catalyst 10.1 (I was running the latest version but went back to this one after the new drivers refused to run Jedi Academy), and my system is comprised of -

Core 2 Duo E8400 3GHz
Asus P5Q Pro
8GB PC6400 DDR2
Club 3D Radeon HD4870 1GB
Windows 7 Ultimate x64

My only conclusion so far is that it is a driver issue, so I am going to completely uninstall Catalyst, then reinstall with the latest driver. I'll let you know if this resolves the issue, but until then if you know anything about this, please tell me.


Honorable Member
First, I gotta say, I LOVE the pictures!! The first one with the magazine, screwdriver and soda can... Lovely! the second picture.... what's on the bottom right side...? It looks like your roasting a squirrel on a stick :)

Catalyst 10.1 is a beta version so you should check out known issues as always with beat versions. Try to install a more stable driver and like you said, tell us how it goes.

I know overclocking is common for gamers but it can cause major problems if you get it wrong. Even harm your system. Be sure you know exactly what your doing when fiddling with fan speeds.


Good post as usual Zvit.

I could also suggest to install the latest 10.1 Adobe Flash version for your specific browser that you're using, if not already.

This official Adobe Flash settings page could be used for a good Flash cleaning every now and then too. I personally have used it to fix some games my brother was having issues with on Facebook:


Other than our two posts here, I honestly don't like those screens you show. It could actually be failed or failing capacitors. If this is the case, you usually (but not always) can see the leaking electrolyte coming out of the round cylinders on the video card. Get a nice flashlight and have a look at the card for anything unusual, like a brown substance near the tops or at the base of the cylinders.

Here's the latest official Catalyst installer:

Drivers & Support | GAME.AMD.COM


Extraordinary Member
Well, since you were so enthusiastic about the photographs, here's another!


It's actually a figure of Jareth, the Goblin King from Henson's film, Labyrinth. Standing next to him is Ocarina Link, though sadly without his shield, and on the first picture in my original post you can see Hoggle from the same film standing next to Qui-Gon Jinn. There's also a SATA cable, a further two screwdrivers, a piece of paper with TCP and UDP ports to be forwarded on the desk, and the little yellow card sitting on the black piece of plastic is a SATA/USB card from an external hard drive. How much more geek cred does that get me? ;)

Seriously though, I'm updating to Catalyst 10.6 right now, and I never overclock anything in my system. The Core 2 Duo goes up to 3.8GHz without any interfering with voltages, but I have it on stock speeds because I am concerned with the lifetime of these components - they'll be passed onto friends after I upgrade. So, there's no concern with too much overclocking and stressing the components, here.

I'll get back to you after I've installed 10.6. Thanks for your quick reply :)

Edit - Cheers TorrentG, I will be taking the card out to inspect for dust and the like. And yeah, I'm running the latest version of Flash, but I'll give that utility a try.


Extraordinary Member
Hehe, nice pictures. Reminds me of when I was up in a lan gaming convention and the only place we had to sleep was under our computers, in the relative safety of underneath the desks.

Well, after uninstalling all ATi drivers and programs, downloading and installing 10.6 and reinstalling Flash 10.1, the problem seems to be sorted. Instead of locking up the system and the display, coming out of a flash video now has both monitors giving a little "jump", and then all's well. It turns out that 10.6 added GPU acceleration for flash video, so installing that and then reverting to the 10.1 driver (but with the Catalyst 10.6 program still installed) screwed something up.

I did take the card out and there were no discolourations, nothing leaking. I cleared out a little dust (very little as it turned out, props go to ATi's reference fan design I guess) and it's running exactly one degree cooler, heh.

Cheers guys, thanks for the help :)