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View Full Version : Doom 3 artifacting in a specific place only


Acid Rain
04-16-05, 11:11 PM
O.K. guys, I have a dilemma, I believe. I'll try to keep this short.

I am running the machine in the sig, and I also have a nearly duplicate machine besides the graphics card and the power supply. Other machine runs a 5900Ultra and a 460 watt Enermax. Both cards are fed with their own power line. No problems whatsoever besides the one I'll outline below. However, BOTH machines display the same thing and nothing in either pc is overclocked, except for the factory overclock on the GT.

Here goes....

I am replaying Doom 3, and it is fun all over again. However, in on particular area http://img183.echo.cx/img183/3369/doom320050416203433356xe.jpg I see randomly placed artifacts (white dots, I've edited the pic to point out their favorite locations as they pop in and out too fast for capture). They pretty much only appear at fairly regular intervals, right after some sparks fly.

Friggen weird. These are the types of artifacts normally related to overly hot video ram, so you can imagine my dire concern. However, nothing is OCed and both cards are running quite below the heat threshhold, especially the 5900 which idles at 42c and loads at 59c.

To get to the area in question (beginning of game) you "Grab your gear" then head out and down to the bottom of the stairs. Then, head through the door at the bottom, wind your way around that little bend with the machine that illuminates the chamber from below as it wisks around the corner. Head through the door and down the next corridor, just passing the hose on the floor with the steam and heat blur. Then, turn around, get the sparks that are cast and the heat blur hose in your view and wait a little. *edit* The door behind you MUST be open. *end edit* Just keep staring at the screen and you will probably see little flashing white dots here and there, especially after the sparks are cast.

Man I hope someone is willing to do this. I really want confirmation that my systems are fine, and I'd really like to know what causes this. Currently, keeping my eyes peeled for artifacts is driving me insane. 71.89 currently, by the way, though it does this with the 67.66 as well, whether the game is patched or not.

I hope someone confirms that this is a global "bug".

Thank you!

GamerGuyX
04-16-05, 11:46 PM
Just give me a few minutes and I'll see if I can re-create this bug. :|

Acid Rain
04-16-05, 11:49 PM
Just give me a few minutes and I'll see if I can re-create this bug. :|That would be awesome. It's really easy to get to. Then, when you're there, you just keep that keat blur on screen like in my shot, and basically look for artifacts. It's not always immediate, but it's pretty darn quick.

GamerGuyX
04-16-05, 11:57 PM
That would be awesome. It's really easy to get to. Then, when you're there, you just keep that keat blur on screen like in my shot, and basically look for artifacts. It's not always immediate, but it's pretty darn quick.

I've got some bad news.. I didn't see the artifacts. Just to make sure I'll post a screenshot of where I looked (I edited and increased the images contrast so you could actually see):

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v699/GamingLordX/Bug_Check.png

I stood there for a couple minutes and didn't see anything like what your screenshot shows. I tried to reproduce your results with and without the flashlight and nothing. The only thing I saw in the way of light was in fact just the sparks. Sorry. :(

OWA
04-17-05, 12:03 AM
I didn't see any white dots either. I'm using the 71.89s and I believe the version of Doom 3 that I'm running is 1.2 (since it was patched by the RoE addon.

http://img14.echo.cx/img14/9607/doom320050416235648656mg.th.jpg (http://img14.echo.cx/my.php?image=doom320050416235648656mg.jpg) http://img14.echo.cx/img14/1328/doom320050416235729643qg.th.jpg (http://img14.echo.cx/my.php?image=doom320050416235729643qg.jpg)

Acid Rain
04-17-05, 12:03 AM
I stood there for a couple minutes and didn't see anything like what your screenshot shows. I tried to reproduce your results with and without the flashlight and nothing. The only thing I saw in the way of light was in fact just the sparks. Sorry. :(Crap. That's the right place. By the way, the dots in my shot are big ones I placed there because I couldn't capture the little bastards. I placed the dots in the locations that they like to appear the most.

They are very small usually and you have to look for them. They aren't everywhere and they seem to happen on a cycle, usually right after the sparks fly, but they definitely look like video ram artifacts.

Damn. This is weird. Maybe it's an AthlonXP/nForce 2 only type of deal. I've never had any problems before in other games, and that I get these with both the 5900 and 6800. Never OCed, nothing, and great cooling, for air.

Damnit, I will get to the bottom of this. Thank you very much, Gaming Lord.

Acid Rain
04-17-05, 03:37 AM
Freaky stuff to report here.

In order to eliminate hardware problems like overheating/defects/not enough power/etc. I down-clocked my FSB to 100 :eek: and took the Vcore down to a gastly 1.55v, to make the cpu draw as little power as possible.

Then I downclocked the 5900 (already the cooler running of the two) to 100mz. core and 350 memory. Holy bottom dollar clock frequency, Batman!!!

Anyway, this ice cool, slow as hell system (fast writes off) with the latest official drivers all the way around STILL displayed artifacts!!! It gets funkier...

I disabled ALL graphical goodies in Doom 3 and ran it at 640x480 on LOW quality, with the aforementioned downclocks, and wahlah, no artifacts.

Turning on graphical goodies one by one revealed shadows to be the culprit. Everything else can be maxxed with no issues, but no shadows (on either card).

However, when I stepped further into the corridor, the door behind me closed, cutting off the light emitting machine behind me. Once that happened, the artifacts dissappeared, even with shadows (and everything else) enabled. That explained the "schedule" the artifacts seemed to be on, as that machine only casts light when it's swinging by.

Friggen weird, because these "artifacts" I keep mentioning are without a doubt the exact same as OCed memory artifacts. I've seen them many times in the past, and they are unmistakable. Randomly placed white dots flickering in and out. Anyway, I am no longer concerned about my hardware, thankfully, but what the heck is going on in the engine to cause this?????

Now the only thing that would rule out the last thing I can think of (AthlonXP/nForce 2 driver issue) is if somebody tried this, making sure the door behind them was OPEN. Once it closes, there problem dissappears.

Nutty
04-17-05, 07:10 AM
Sounds like could be artifacts in the stencil only buffer ? Sounds odd, but thats what it sounds like. Not sure how thats even possible.. but..

OWA
04-17-05, 04:19 PM
Now the only thing that would rule out the last thing I can think of (AthlonXP/nForce 2 driver issue) is if somebody tried this, making sure the door behind them was OPEN. Once it closes, there problem dissappears.
I had some other screenshots that I didn't post where the door was open behind me. I posted the ones with it closed b/c it was easier to see the sparks since it was darker.

http://img42.echo.cx/img42/880/doom320050416235521141qs.th.jpg (http://img42.echo.cx/my.php?image=doom320050416235521141qs.jpg)

Acid Rain
04-17-05, 07:44 PM
Sounds like could be artifacts in the stencil only buffer ? Sounds odd, but thats what it sounds like. Not sure how thats even possible.. but..I know. And on two seperate machines in only this one area. (By the way, it's become obvious that the light that comes and goes here, attached to that machine, is indeed the culprit, as no other areas, or effects/lights cause this. Just that particular light source and it's interaction with the map. Turn off shadows and the light spills all the way into the next room, unrealistically, like, through the wall. It's almost like turning on shadows forces the light to be cast only where it would be, realistically, yet, in my case, there are little holes in the system and the light isn't completely quarrantined to the right areas.)

Never seen it elsewhere, ever. Or in any other games, for that matter. Not to mention my ultimate test of downclocking the coolest runner of the two machines to Celeron/Voodoo 3 performance levels :D and running the game at the lowest possible settings, minus shadows.

Thanks again OWA for your continued input here!!! If anyone else plays and sees these "rare artifacts" :p , please post. As it is, I'm not too worried anymore after my "Ultimate Test". It has to be software related somehow. At least now I don't feel like my hardware is just about toast. That would suck, right now. It does still bug me to see scary-ass/"your system is frying" little dots, so I will turn a blind eye and avoid returning to that spot again;)

*additional info* I discovered that the artifacts are much easier to spot if you go into the chamber with the machine that swings the light source around, get in the middle or so, and look to the leftmost door. Just about everytime the light goes by, artifacts riddle the bottom of the door.)http://img183.echo.cx/img183/7196/doom320050417172105467aa.jpg Just add little white specks to the door, and you've got the idea. I can't seem to capture the little bastards :rolleyes:

Vagrant Zero
04-17-05, 08:56 PM
Wasn't there a driver bug that caused crawling white dots in Half Life 2? Maybe this is the same thing?

Acid Rain
04-17-05, 09:41 PM
Wasn't there a driver bug that caused crawling white dots in Half Life 2? Maybe this is the same thing?I'd go with that, but I've tried drivers all the way back to 61.77. Same deal, same place, both cards. I bet they were there from day one, and I just ran through fast enough to miss them. I sure do wish there was confirmation that I am not the only one in the world who sees this. I wonder what's different with OWA's setup. Is it just an nForce2/AthlonXP deal??? :confused:

OWA
04-17-05, 11:00 PM
Doesn't the free version of fraps let you make short videos? Maybe you could use that to capture the white dots although I think it's pretty clear from your description.

Also, I don't think it is a nforce2 thing. My current nforce3 board is a fairly recent addition for me. I originally played Doom 3 with a ASUS A7N8X nforce2 board (with a XP 3200+) and I might have been using a 6800 GT at the time as well. D3 is one of my favorite games and I've played it a lot just to look at the graphics. I'm pretty sure I never saw any white dots when playing even when I had the nforce2 board.

It does sound like a "hot memory" problem but since your systems aren't running hot and since you have the same issue with two systems, that doesn't seem likely. I do remember JC saying that D3 would stress the cards more than most games (i.e. use paths that hadn't previously been stressed much) so you might not be able to overclock when running D3 but it's still strange you're getting the same issue with two different cards. Have you tried underclocking them just for the heck of it to see how that goes?

Acid Rain
04-17-05, 11:19 PM
Have you tried underclocking them just for the heck of it to see how that goes?Absolutely. I underclocked my FSB to 100 (from the default 166) and underclocked the already very cool running 5900 to 100 CORE (from the default 450 :eek: ) and 350 on the ram. Seriously low clocks, here. I then ran the game at "low quality/640x480" and still had the dots. Turned off all effects...no dots. Turned on shadows=DOTS. And only when the door is open, or I when am in the room with the swinging light. When in the room with the moving light, dots appear on the doors as it moves by.

OWA
04-17-05, 11:39 PM
Sorry for asking something you already answered. I was just re-reading your posts and see you already answered the underclocking question.

Are you using any Doom 3 tweaks? When I initially played D3, I didn't use many (if any) tweaks to the config files or whatever. I am currently using tertsi's D3 mod though. I guess that one's difference unless you're using that now also.

Acid Rain
04-18-05, 01:13 AM
Sorry for asking something you already answered. I was just re-reading your posts and see you already answered the underclocking question.

Are you using any Doom 3 tweaks? When I initially played D3, I didn't use many (if any) tweaks to the config files or whatever. I am currently using tertsi's D3 mod though. I guess that one's difference unless you're using that now also.No tweaks whatsoever. I made a movie, but even shorties are way to big for free hosting. Working on downsizing...

Kickus_assius
04-18-05, 02:24 AM
I get this from time to time in Doom3 as well and I have watercooling. I get the same thing in CSS and farcry occasionally, but it only seems to be with AA enabled in the 3 games. The artifacts always dissapear if you look anywhere else, there just seems to be a few problem areas. I think it's a driver issue. Since switching to the 71.89's I have noticed none of the white spots I was getting with the 66.93's.

Acid Rain
04-18-05, 05:32 AM
Thanks for the reply, Kickus. I was going to post a movie, but the free bandwidth will dissappear after 6 people view it, so, no go there. If I could get the size down to like, 500k or so, sure, but I can't seem to. But, I geuss there's really no need. I ran Doom 3 in a 1024x768 window while running my motherboard monitor and keeping the temperature monitor going for the graphics card. Artifacts were there, as always, but the system was remarkably stable and the voltage very consistent across all rails. The GT ran well under spec at 66c. Additionally, the cpu usage in this scene is only 56 to 70 percent. Hardly a heavy load.

Now to answer the display drivers question. In my case it is not the drivers at all, as I've installed the 61.77/66.93/67.03/67.66/and the 71.89s. All behaved the same, besides the markedly lower image quality of anything before the 67.66, and the crap performance/IQ combo of the 61.77. Interesting.

To top it all off, I ran the Prime95 Max heat test for 3 hours, and the Blend (almost all ram loaded) test for 3 hours as well, in addition to an hour of RTHDRIBL. All tests passed with flying colors as I monitored them closely.

Based on my extensive testing today, my systems are appear to be flawlessly stable. They never, ever crash outside of HL2, and even that's extremely rare.

Well, at the very least, I've ascertained that the top line in my sig is no joke.