View Full Version : BFG 6800GT - odd graphical glitches (help please)

09-06-05, 03:18 PM
Hi - I am new to these forums, but not new to gaming and working with video cards. However I recently purchased a BFG Tech 6800GT OC 256MB AGP graphics card back in July to coincide with the release of BattleField2 (upgraded from an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro). I did a complete clean install of WinXP when I installed the card, and I have been using the ForceWare drivers that were the most current up-to-date at that time (think it was 76. something).

Anyway - card runs BF2 like a champ at sweet settings, but the oddest thing happens in the menu screen(s) : a bunch of different colored triangular rays would kind of shoot out in different directions from the center of the pointer...they also seemed to shoot towards the different menu buttons on the top of the screen, kind of connecting the menu buttons with the mouse pointer with a solid colored triangle. I could still somewhat make out the different menu buttons, and it would let me navigate them, but it was hard to see because these "rays" distorted everything quite a bit (kind of acid-trip like). This happens in the menus eventually as well as in the map loading screens - but as soon as I join a game the issue disappears and the game runs great with no problems (and then shows up again at the next map change / loading screen).

Well I probably would just keep on playing it that way as it does not really interfere too much with my love of the game (besides making it challenging sometimes to connect in the server browser screen when it's hard to read), but this past weekend I picked up FarCry because CircuitCity had it for $15. I installed FarCry, and lou and behold the graphical oddities appear in the very same fashion in that game's menu as well (ie, lines stretching out from menu options, distorting the screen, flashing, etc). It was so bad that it took me 4-5 game restarts to bind my control keys (the glitches do not appear until about 30-60 seconds or so into the menu)!! :)

So here I am thinking that I should be able to live with this menu graphic weirdness as long as the game plays well (like BF2 does), but as soon as I get into the outdoor level in FarCry the plant and tree textures become all blue and flashing and messed up (blinking on & off). I have restarted a few times and tried some quick tricks found on that game's forums (turned off AA, AF set to 1X, turned on VSync, etc), but to no avail.

I was thinking this was possibly heat-related (the BFG card is overclocked by default), but the games themselves run great and do not lock up or anything along those lines (likewise my temp settings for the card show in the high 60's). I have also played the recent FEAR demo with no problems (no graphical issues). I am going to d/l coolbits 2 tonight and try to clock the card back "down" to stock levels to see if that makes the weirdness go away.

Any other thoughts (thanks for reading BTW)??!!

My system specs :

AMD Athlon64 3400+
BFG 6800GT OC 256MB AGP (July driver release)
SoundBlaster Audigy
Win XP Home SP2
Antec 430W True Power Supply (3 case fans - one blows right on the AGP card from the side)

09-06-05, 03:27 PM
Use fraps to take a screencap of the problem or just use the PrtScn button on the keyboard and then paste the image into whatever editor. It'll help people see what you're talking about and it definitely sounds like a strange one. Something simple is to just try the later drivers (77.77, 78.01 or 78.03b) just to see if that helps. If it was a heat issue, I'd think FEAR would cause it as well. Have you tried running rthdrbl for a while to see how the card reacts?

Edit: Also, try setting the profiles to app controlled for AA and AF in the global and game specific profile (not that it should matter but just to be sure nothing weird is going on by trying to force settings. I say global as well since some of the drivers have issues with the global settings overriding the game specific profiles).

09-07-05, 08:06 PM
Got the same thing with the two BFG 6800 GT's I owned. Let me guess - you got one of the infamous dual LED coolers? Mine sat around mid to high 70's at idle, and hit well over 110 under load. I had the same probs, with artifacting and general system instability with the first BFG card I purcahsed, as well as the second one that I exchanged it for at the shop. In the end I ended up having to spend a further $40 to buy a Zalman cooler to get temperatures to where they should be and this finally fixed the problems.

If you have thge patience of a saint, you can try calling BFG. I am willing to bet good money though that all they will tell you is to muck around with a bunch of IRQ settings and deny that anything is wrong with your card though.


09-08-05, 09:32 AM
MMMmmm - interesting. So if these weird graphic glitches are heat-related, if I d/l something like PowerStrip or CoolBits2 and clock the card down to "normal" stock levels for a 6800GT then it show help right???

09-08-05, 09:49 AM
MMMmmm - interesting. So if these weird graphic glitches are heat-related, if I d/l something like PowerStrip or CoolBits2 and clock the card down to "normal" stock levels for a 6800GT then it show help right???

I would imagine so, seems that BFG may be pushing the card at greater speeds than the memory/core can handle. From what I remember, too much on the core will cause a lockup or sparkles, too much on the memory will result in the crazy rendering issues you're seeing.

09-08-05, 10:36 AM
Hey, I know exactly what you are talking about. I used to have the same thing going on. I have the bfg 6800gt oc running at ultra speeds (self overclock). I'm not quite sure what I did to fix it, but it does not occur any more. I've done multiple driver updates, defrags, re installs of the game and a complete refresh of windows xp since then, not sure wich one fixed it. So I really don't think it is your card. My system is water cooled, the card never gets hotter than 55c during high loads, so if I had the same problem it's probably not heat related.
I havn't played farcry in a while, so dunno if it would happen there too.
I play BF2 maybe. . . 8 hours a week and I have not noticed this problem for a good 2 or 3 weeks.

I would really try the new drivers (new as in whatever is the newest), if you were using the 76 series, those I think were the ones released for BF2, there have been several fixes since then. If I got the dates right, I had these problems with drivers in a similar range as what you're using.

09-08-05, 03:01 PM
Great - thanks for the replies / feedback. I believe I will try the very latest Forceware driver revision first, and then if that does not clear up the oddness then I will try to underclock the card with something like coolbits2 to see if it is heat-related...

09-08-05, 11:42 PM
Let us know the results. My current 6800gt is the 2nd one I've owned. The first one had artifacts (the ones you get from overclocking) on the desktop. After spending about 2 hours on the phone with one of thier tech people, who had me change a bunch of settings and such, they just sent me a replacement.

I would go so far as to recomend that after a new set of drivers, the problem is not fixed, rather than trying to underclock the card, give them a call. Even if it is just going through the motions, it is what the unlimited warinty is for, I mean, who buys a BFG OC card to underclock it right?

09-12-05, 06:33 AM
Well, because when it comes to my gaming rig I value stability over anything else (including perhaps the extra 5-8 fps I might get from an OC card), I d/l coolbits and underclocked my BFG 6800GT OC back down to a "normal" stock core level of 350Mhz (versus the 370Mhz). I left the memory at 1.00Ghz. I launched the game Dawn of War and about 15 seconds into the game the same weird lines start stretching out from the text and soon almost the entire screen is unreadable. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.... When I get home from work tonight I am gonna try the latest ForceWare drivers and see if that does the trick instead.

09-13-05, 12:27 PM
Well the saga (sadly) continues ... I removed the 76.xx Forceware drivers I had installed back in July, ran driver cleaner, and then installed the latest Forceware drivers as of this writing (version 78.01). I played BF2 and Dawn of War for awhile, but unfortunately the dreaded graphic problems (see the start of this thread for details) continue after awhile (lines stretching out from the text and distorting the screen image eventually). :thumbdwn:

Since installing the new drivers negated my "underclocking" the BFG core back down to 350Mhz I gonna try that again (ala coolbits) and see if that in conjunction with the 78.01 Forcewares helps matters any.

My only two thoughts at this point - Either I have a FUBAR BFG 6800GT card (which would suck), or perhaps the card is not getting sufficent power (which would be odd since I believe my Antec TruePower 430Watt should be up to snuff).

09-13-05, 01:16 PM
Thanks for the update. I strongly believe it's a thermal issue, either a result of too high core/memory clock speeds on that BFG card, or insufficient cooling in your system. If it was a power issue it wouldn't be time-delayed like it is. Have you verified you have adequate case cooling and the ambient case temperature isn't high? I really think you're looking at a thermal issue or a thermal issue in conjunction with a defunct card.

09-14-05, 11:09 AM
Yes, I can see where this problem might also arise as a result of heat and thermal-related issues. I have three case fans - 1 intake in the front, 1 outtake in the back, and a side intake fan that blows directly onto the AGP slot. I will rerun coolbits tonight and underclock the core of the card back down to "normal" 6800GT levels (ie, 350Mhz versus the 370Mhz it comes at from BFG). When I did this before I did not touch the Memory speed setting (set at 1.00 Ghz), only the core value. Should I also downgrade that as well (perhaps something like 900-950Mhz)?

I will run some "tests" after doing this and see if heat could be the problem causing these graphic anomalies in my games. Certainly it could be thermal issues because they tend not to show up until gameplay has started (ie, 30 or more seconds into a game session). Also of note is that my BFG 6800GT OC comes with a dual LED fan on it (lights up yellow or green I think), which looks neat but I have read on other forums that BFG also ships the same card with the stock cooler that Nvidia was using for their 6800 Ultras (which evidently does a better job at cooling the card, just doesn't look as sharp).

09-14-05, 05:39 PM
Have you taken a look at the temps? Either in the nvidia control panel or you can use riva tuner to get a graph of temp for the core. I beleive it should be in the 70 range, at least that's what my ultra in the lap top gets to.

Oh, and you contact bfg yet?

09-15-05, 04:00 AM
With the new version of Riva Tuner you can show the current temp on screen while playing a game.

09-18-05, 09:42 AM

This problem sounds similar to yours.

09-23-05, 07:24 AM
First of all - just wanted to say "Thanks" for the feedback and ideas, especially from madbomber83 and other users. I am pretty busy with work and raising two kids so my attempts at "fixing" or troubleshooting this problem have been delayed and postponed for the past week or so.

I finally got a chance over the past 2 days to check the fans and run some temp tests and the card seems to be getting adequate cooling -- highest temps are in the 70's when gaming, not bad at all. I also ran some underclocking tests - took it down as low as 800mhz memory and 300mhz core and the graphic glitches and weirdness still happened while playing.

I also got to try out the card on some other games like HL2 and the recent SeriousSam2 demo and both games exihibit the same texture flashing and stretching lines after awhile. Sometimes it is only after a couple minutes of playing, sometimes I can go 20 or 30 minutes before it starts. Oddly enough if I go to the desktop and back into the game like HL2, the lines go away but then come back again over time.

Anyway, I think I can safely rule out heating issues, and I am finally gonna wave the white flag and call BFG regarding this and see if I can RMA the card... I have an ATI Radeon Pro kicking around that I can use while I wait for a "new" card. It will be intresting to see how "painful" their RMA process is, or isn't...

I might also try a couple different things seen on this thread and elsewhere on this forum before sending back the card - AGP bus, voltage, check bios setting, etc. I also might try using a different power connector.

Anway - thanks again guys for the thoughts/feedback.

10-02-05, 07:46 AM
Reading the driver release notes from the latest Beta 78.05 drivers -page 13 :

"VIA and ATI AGP 3.0 Chipsets
The use of AGP-protocol cycles for coherent access to regular system
memory results in data corruption on systems based on VIA and ATI AGP
3.0-compatible chipsets.
AGP-protocol cycles to the AGP aperture are not affected.
To correct the data corruption problem, the Release 75 driver exclusively
uses PCI-protocol cycles to access regular system memory when it detects a
VIA or ATI AGP 3.0-compatible chipset."

Nvidia drivers version 78.05 or BIOS may convert the AGP signal to a PCI protocol for the unit to work on VIA."

I have an ABIT KV8 Pro mobo based upon the VIA KT880 chipset. Some of the VIA forums speak to this issue with 6XXXX-series video cards and the KT880 mobo's. I am downloading the BETA drivers as we speak - let you know how I make out with them later. I hope this works - fingers crossed...

10-02-05, 12:14 PM
Nice find.

10-03-05, 01:45 PM
Well - I got my hopes up too soon... Turns out that those driver release notes have been around for awhile now - 7xxx series.

I have been reading alot about this problem though - looks to be centered around conflicts with VIA mobos and 6XXXX series Nvidia videocards and memory addressing. Here are some screenshots on the problem from other sites/forums I have read (exactly what I am experiencing) :

Anyway - looks like I am either looking at buying a new motherboard (non-VIA), or getting an ATI card to resolve this issue...

10-03-05, 01:52 PM
Did you ever try RMA'ing the card? You've got nothing to lose if your gonna get an ATI anyway. That to me looks like a bad card.

10-03-05, 06:51 PM
Hmm, so odd. I had this problem too but again, it went away with driver updates over time, not sure exactly how or when, but it did. My motherboard is an asus based off the 790? The last intel chipset for AGP.

10-03-05, 10:42 PM
I get the exact same artifacts unless I underclock my GPU core to 330-335. According to BFG, this is not a problem with the card but, rather because of my system cooling. Even through the same friggin POS card has the same problem in the two other systems I have had the displeasure of putting it in. :eyeroll: Let us know how BFG handles the situation. If is anything like our past experiences, dealing with them will be about as enjoyable as having your teeth pulled. :(

I am willing to bet that they will tell you to buy a new case, power supply, cables, etc. all the while denying that the problem exists with their card.

A lifetime guarantee of ****ty service. Been there, done that - never again.

10-03-05, 10:46 PM
I get the exact same artifacts unless I underclock my GPU core. Apparently this is normal according to BFG and it is because of my system cooling. :eyeroll: Let us know how BFG handles the situation. If is anything like our past experiences, the experience of dealing with them will be about as pleasureable as having your teeth pulled. :(

I am willing to bet that they will tell you to buy a new case, power supply, cables, etc. all the while denying that the problem exists with their card.

A lifetime guarantee of ****ty service. Been there, done that - never again.

41 posts, more than half of them complaining about BFG. Give it a rest.