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LETTERSTOTHEDEV

video artifacts created by something other then video card.

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So! I've stumbled upon something odd and I need a little help, I started getting artifacts usually associated with memory issues, screen corruption usually leads me to believe a bad card or displayport adapter but in this particular case I swapped that card out and its still happening... something motherboard cpu or ram is sending trash data via DMA I suspect but heres the rub. I don't have spare parts to test with and only 3 sticks of ram so is there a way I can get a more definitive answer before I go ahead and do cpu and ram replacement? 

 

motherboard: asrock 970 extreme3

cpu:               phenom x4 975 BE

ram:               G.Skill ripjaws f3-12800cl9s-4gbrl

video:            XFX radeon 7950 BE

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Thanks for the response. I already ruled that out (forgot to mention here). Crazy as this sounds I think ive narrowed it down to a stick of ram. I suspect either the memory controller doesn't like it (not the first issue with this controller) or the stick is blown. I tested each stick individually and one in particular reproduced a random boot issue ive seen a few times in the past few months. I'm attempting to get the machine to reproduce the issue now that ive found a faulty one. 

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Some BIOS have memory test options in them. Other than that, I would suggest a bootable memory testor on a USB drive, there were a few out there when I used to repair computers regularly. You can run that a few times to verify it's that stick, memory slot, or a particular memory slot and stick combination.

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I would run memtest86 and see what stick is failing. maybe all the controller needs is a boost in voltage or it's a bad stick .

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Great suggestions guys, I already did these and came back to report, basically its had a flaky memory controller from day one, I have had it clocked for quite some time and it's no longer happy about holding those clocks so I re-arranged all my settings to let up on the memory controller without loosing too much in the way of speed and its much happier now and passing memtest. 

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UPDATE: It's been 3 days since reducing my memory clocks and its perfectly fine and passing memtest reliably. I can only think that the voltage and clock has been degrading my memory controller or my PSU is getting lazy allowing the underlying instability to show thru, either way i'm going with an 8 core near the end of February so I can pass this chip off on my girlfriend and reduce its clocks a little more so I don't have to worry. I love these unusual issues, really lights my fire :P

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yep overclocks will do that at some point and than you'll have to set it to stock for it to even run .

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yep overclocks will do that at some point and than you'll have to set it to stock for it to even run .

Yup I did until I said screw it and abused one stick at a time until I found the one that couldn't clock :D

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