Graphics borked, but only on some games?

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by HighFrictionZone, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. HighFrictionZone

    HighFrictionZone

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    Right so. Recently, I noticed that while playing some games that the graphics are kind of a mess.
    Edgeless Safety Cube should not look like this.
    This actually makes skyrim unplayable.

    HOWEVER some games/programs seem unaffected by this:
    For example, while all the Source Engine games (Portal, Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2) suffer greatly, Sonic Generations does not.
    Skyrim suffers, but Oblivion does not.

    Initial testing using a graphics benchmarking application led me to believe that DirectX 9 was the culprit: I could run the benchmark in DirectX 10, DirectX 11, or OpenGL modes with no errors, but running it in DirectX 9 mode caused the polygon malformation I was suffering.
    But this couldn't possibly be the cause: I can run Red Faction: Guerrilla with the "-nod3d10" option and it runs just fine in what I must assume is DirectX 9 mode. Additionally, the graphics plugins of my N64 and PS1 emulators both use Direct X 9 and the polygons of those games do not suffer for it.

    I suppose my question then would be: why do I encounter graphical errors only in some games, but not others? I would imagine that a hardware error would be somewhat more evenly applied (IE: affects everything), or to only affect games which are graphics-intense. And if it was a problem with DirectX 9, then why would it only affect some games and not others?

    Any ideas / troubleshooting options?

    For the record: I have made sure I had the latest Direct X, I have made sure I have the most up-to-date graphics card drivers. Understandably, I am using integrated graphics - specifically device manager lists it as an "ATI Radeon 3100" graphics device.
     
  2. Crasher

    Crasher

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    Somebody on another forum I go to had the exact same problem. Have you cleaned your graphics card/checked if it's not dusty?

    Pretty much what the guy did is clear out all the dust from the inside and graphics card, then uninstalled it. He then re installed it and it worked. Though, you may have to redo your graphical settings as it apparently made it go to max on everything.

    There's probably a quicker way, but that's how he did it.
     
  3. HighFrictionZone

    HighFrictionZone

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    Erm. It's integrated motherboard graphics. There really isn't a way to "check for dust" on it. That said, I did give the computer a once-over with a can of compressed air to help bust dust. No improvement.
     
  4. SteelBrush

    SteelBrush

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    the home of spotted dick, Devon
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    Could your chipset be overheating? It could be worth installing a program like open hardware monitor (I would post a link but I'm on my phone) to check the temperature.
     
  5. HighFrictionZone

    HighFrictionZone

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    The graphics chipset does not have a temperature monitor.
    My Motherboard's temperature sensors (there are two), currently read 49 C and 44 C, but the second one never changes. The first one does go up when I'm playing a game and down when I am not.

    Edit: In game, the first temperature sensor doesn't seem to go over 55 C
     
  6. Conan Kudo

    Conan Kudo

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    Your IGP may have partially started failing, which is why certain modes are producing malformed output. Can you get a new motherboard for it, or buy a PCI-Express AMD Radeon HD graphics card to fix it?
     
  7. HighFrictionZone

    HighFrictionZone

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    Oh great. I was afraid that might have been happening. I was hoping that it was a software problem, but I guess I can't be so lucky.
    Okay, so. Since it seems that my exact motherboard isn't being made, or at least isn't on Amazon and is deactivated/out of stock on newegg, and the next closest model number is like $89 used, I'm probably going to have to go the graphics card route.

    ALRIGHT THEN: Does anybody have any suggestions for a good budget card? Say about in the $100-$150 price range (USD). That's about the limit of my discretionary budget at the moment. I've never purchased a graphics card before, so this is all a learning experience to me.
     
  8. Sik

    Sik

    Sik is pronounced as "seek", not as "sick". Tech Member
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    Honestly, if your hardware is new enough to support Direct3D 11 but is already failing on its own, it's a complete piece of shit and don't expect it to last much longer (and this goes for the entire motherboard, if they cheaped out with the video hardware that badly then they probably did the same with the rest)... That's just too short of a lifetime.

    Before ditching the video hardware I'd suggest to double check the drivers, especially if the issues are only with Direct3D 9 and nothing else (hardware failure should cause issues with everything, as you said in the first post) - it's possible something could have been corrupted. I'd uninstall the driver, reboot in safe mode, run some program to clean any leftovers from the driver, then reinstall the driver. Yes, you'll lose all your settings, but it's the only way to ensure the driver isn't making use of corrupted data.

    And yes, the part in italics is important. Reinstalling the drivers as-is may not be a good idea because it may end up using stuff from the previous install, which can cause issues if it turns out that was damaged.

    PS: and yes, I know you said not all D3D9 games are affected. Not all D3D9 games use the same features either, so of course it's perfectly possible the issue is exclusively with one specific feature in D3D9 and nothing else.
     
  9. erbuka

    erbuka

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    To me, this seems a geometry shader failure. Like said, you can try to get the latest drivers for your graphics card, and be sure to clear the old drivers with Driver Sweeper
     
  10. Sik

    Sik

    Sik is pronounced as "seek", not as "sick". Tech Member
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    being an asshole =P
    Geometry shaders on Direct3D 9? Unless you mean they used a filler to make up for the non-support of them in D3D9 and that filler is broken (in which case yeah, there is no way it could be a hardware issue if the other APIs work just fine).
     
  11. HighFrictionZone

    HighFrictionZone

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    Surprisingly enough, clearing the old drivers with Driver Sweeper, then reinstalling the graphics driver did the trick. At least, that's what I've gathered so far: Portal 2 and Skryim both render as they ought to.

    Interesting though: that the provided uninstaller doesn't actually uninstall everything correctly seems just plain wrong. But whatever. It works now, you all rock!
     
  12. Sik

    Sik

    Sik is pronounced as "seek", not as "sick". Tech Member
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    Good to know.

    Uninstallers generally keep the settings around so you don't lose them (as a lot of people are uninstalling the drivers to install newer ones, which are supposedly compatible). But this can also happen if something is broken, because then the uninstaller is unable to tell what is OK to remove and thereby will leave stuff behind.

    What Driver Sweeper does is pretty look for anything that may be a driver leftover and then remove it.