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Old 03-25-12, 04:17 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 6
Default P9X79 + i7 3820 + GTX 580 + Linux(Gentoo, Ubuntu) = square multicolor artifacts

Hi NV community, this is my first post here and I ask for help.

There is some complex problem with graphics, I think it is video driver or hardware.

This is new computer.
I constructed it 3 weeks ago and still can not locate what's wrong.
All components are new.
The only solution for this combination or hardware I found is to switch to nouveau driver - in Ubuntu, but unfortunately nouveau does not work in my Gentoo.

To make long story a little shorter, here are screenshots:
Periodically, the desktop gets random set of square blocks 16x16 with random colors.
They appear even when GPU and CPU are idle and cold.

Replacement of Nvidia card with another (9800 GT)
completely eliminates the problem
so a hardware cause is not excluded completely.

The content of video memory is actually corrupted so I can take screenshots.
Redrawing or moving windows restores good image.

It happens only in Linux (Gentoo and Ubuntu).
Windows 7 is running flawless, so the warranty service men could not find anything with 3dMark and Furmark

I hope it is caused by driver or their specific combination (nvidia-drivers, chipset, ide, compositing etc.?)

No more problems or malfunctions, but this one is weird enough to prevent normal use of computer,
so I ask for qualified help.

1. Motherboard: Asus P9X79 WS
2. CPU: Intel i7 3820
3. CPU Cooler : CoolerMaster Hyper 412S, works good and is almost cold.
4. RAM: several sets. OCZ DDR3 3x2GB 1800MHz (from previous computer, no problems earlier), Corsair DDR3 XMS3 4x8GB 1600MHz.
5. PSU: 1000W Seasonic Platinum.
6. Video card: Nvidia GTX 580 Gainward Phantom 3072 MB, not overclocked.
7. HDD - WD Velociraptor 600GB, dual boot Win7 x64 and Linux x86_64, both with all updates.
8. Case - Full Tower Antec P280, good air flow.

Regarding system health,
* CPU is 41-43 'C,
* chipset maybe 50-60 'C
* GPU is 42-47 'C
* DDR modules have heatsinks and are not very hot at all when touched, may be 40-45'C just like CPU.

Checked OS:

(1) Linux amd64: several installaions.
1A: Gentoo Linux (amd64), kernel 3.2.1-r2 - fresh install
nvidia-drivers versions 295.20-r1, 290.10, 275.09.07 all give such squares

1B: Kubuntu 11.10, kernel, nvidia-drivers 280.13, freshly installed 3 days ago for test.
squares do appear.
switch to nouveau driver solved the problem.

(2) Windows 7 x64 drivers v295.10: everything all right, no squares.
Serious Sam BFE, 3dMark 2006 - running without any problem
Furmark: no problem
3DMark 2011: 1st and 2nd tests OK, 3rd test - driver stops on card overheating (86'C), but after 3DMark exit - everything is all right again.
ATITool: hard freeze (only reset button helps) after 2-3 minutes with GPU temperature not more than 73 'C.
I think it is just not the best cooling system of this Phantom and not connected to my main concern, but who knows... local overheating, maybe.

(3) Gentoo Linux, kernel 3.0.6, nvidia-drivers 290.10 ;
- if I may, one more problem, in addition to the one already discussed.
Each 49-50 seconds, exactly, like a soldier,
the screen gets filled with one color (black, white, light blue etc.) for 1..3 seconds,
after that the desktop is back again and everything still works. Then again and again forever each 50 seconds.
I don't know if it can be caused by bad contact of DVI connector,
but this blinking happened only with 3.0.6 kernel
(UPDATE: several times happened yesterday on current 3.2.1-r2 when the system was not completely... tuned? sorry for my English)


What I did with no effect:
* DDR replacement and shuffle (tried 40GB, 2x8 GB, 1x2 GB)
* memcheck86+ - no issues found
* PCI-E slot change for GTX: first blue (16x), second blue (16x), first black
* SATA slot change, SATA cable change (3GB/s and 6GB/s), and extermal SATA controller
* BIOS option for PCI-E: Gen 2/Gen 3
* OS reinstall - fresh kubuntu shows the same squares.
* earlier nvidia drivers: 275.xx
* NVidia X Server Settings: changed preferred mode Adaptive to Maximum Performance, with no impact
* Compositing in KDE-Plasma on / off, OpenGL / Xrender - all choices.
* BIOS - number of CPU cores 1-4, HyperThreading on/off, power states on/off, VT-d on/off,
* update to newest BIOS version (0701 -> 0802)
* Gainward video BIOS update said it is already the newest version
* another CPU and mobo - not available now (waiting for these from repair and then will check)

System logs are mostly clear.
tail -f /var/log/everything/current , dmesg - do not grow after screen corruption.


What I seen several times but not sure...
* Squares appeared when I startied moving mouse (broken mouse memory buffer? )
* Screen corruption is accompanied with short burst of HDD activity (IRQ conflict with SATA controller? but I tried external controller)


I switched Kubuntu to nouveau driver and the squares do not appear.
Would like to see the same coolness from commercial driver....
Google show few pages about multicolor square artifacts, most linked to damaged GPU and RMA.
But only for Linux???

What should I do to eliminate the problem or clearly demonstrate to warranty men for replacement?
Thanks beforehand!
and for reading such a long post

PS. attached
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