HD 6970 : Artifacts in 2D apps


Aug 18, 2011
I have owned the below card and equipment for over 4 weeks without any problems. Recently, I have begun to see artifacts appear throughout my desktop and other 2d Applications. Although I began to notice this just 2 days ago, it does appear to be getting worse. It seems as though that this is strictly a 2d problem for I have not encountered any artifacts while in a 3d environment.

I have not made any changes or additions to my installed software recently. I have re-seated the card. I have re-inspected my PSU to ensure proper power support (+12v rail has 50 amps). I have tried multiple monitors and cables yet the artifacts are still showing. This was not the case when I first built this PC for up to 4 weeks. The artifacts are difficult to capture via screenshot although not impossible. The effect is as if there are hundreds of white and blue sparkles dancing around the screen. It is more prevalent when there is motion with the mouse.

Video of said artifacts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wB-lt6-kAs -In game menu shows artifacts. However, once in game, there are none.
Linked image is not one of mine but is a perfect example of the said artifacts. The only difference is I do not encounter these specks in a 3d environment.

There is No Over-Clock on card. Card is running cold- Even at idle temperatures these artifacts appear.

My question is- should I RMA through NewEgg in order to receive a replacement card? Please advise.

Motherboard: MSI P67A-GD65
CPU: i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB)
Video Card: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6970 2GB
PSU: Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630W
rail detail : +3.3V@24A, +5V@24A, +12V@50A, -12V@0.5A, +5Vsb@2.5A
Monitor : 720p TV via HDMI connection
Hard drives: WD Caviar Black 500GB 7200 RPM
Optical Drives: ASUS 24X DVD Burner
Additional PCI cards: Creative X-Fi Titanium
Number of fans present: 4 x 120mm fans ( 2 front, 1 top, 1 rear)

Operating System : Windows 7 64 bit
Video Card Drivers in Use ( and tried ): Catalyst Software Suite 11.7
Motherboard Drivers Used: I promise all are up-to date. This is a new build.
No Viruses
Mem Test = Good


Apr 26, 2011
hi, this is one of two things, one card is faulty. other is when at 2d, the card downclocks and this sometimes causes artifacts. It does this to save power but sometimes the core clock is set to low.

To fix:

Go into amd catalyst control center

Enable overdrive

create a profile in CCC and save it, but do NOT activate

go to c:\users\<user name>\appdata\local\ati\ace\profiles [must have show hidden files on]

open the .xml with the same name as the profile created

make the following changes

Feature name="CoreClockTarget_0"
Property name="Want_0" value="40000" [previous should be "15700"]

Feature name="MemoryClockTarget_0"
Property name="Want_0" value="90000" [previous should be "30000"]

Save and close file

now by going in CCC and activating the profile the idle speeds should be 400 and 900 instead of 157 and 300

check if it still artifacts.



Aug 18, 2011

Wow, OK... So this is working. I hope this is a permanent fix. My values for GPU and Memory were already higher than what you suspected them to be ( 200 and 800 respectively) Now, with your values, I have not been able to reproduce the artifacts.

They show right as my PC is booting into Windows. However, the profile seems to kick in a couple seconds later and they disappear.

Sapphire has provided directions on how to receive RMA- I guess I should wait over the weekend before I make that decision. Hoping this fix sticks... if not I guess it's bad hardware.

Thanks again!