Sapphire Radeon 5970 Crashing / Temperature / Catalyst AI / BSOD


Mar 23, 2010
Hi Everyone,

This a long post, but I wanted to hear from other 5970 owners. My original thread is here:

I just received my Sapphire Radeon 5970 about a couple days ago and have been having a quite a few problems with constant crashes during gameplay. I've submitted a support ticket to Sapphire just now but would like to know if anyone out there has experienced the same problems and/or knows of any solutions that may help.

I am experiencing computer crashes with many of the games that I have. Crysis, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Metro 2033, Call of Duty: MW2, Dragon Age, Bioshock 2. The games load up fine, but during gameplay it randomly crashes at anytime. The longest I have went without a crash is about 1 hour. I have tried using various CCC drivers (9.12, 10.1, and 10.2). All produce the same result.

Other things I have noticed are the temperatures are quite high. Idle temp is about 63 degrees C and on load is about 82 degrees C. The card is in an Antec 1200 case and has very good airflow so I'm not sure why the temperatures seem high. I'm comparing my temperatures with various reviews found on the net on the Sapphire 5970. Most of them are roughly 50 idle and 70 load depending on their setup.

Lastly I have noticed that if I disable Catalyst AI that the games run more stable and I can play for a longer period of time. However, this is essentially turning off CrossFire mode and making use of only 1 GPU, which in turn decreases the performance of the games dramatically. Basically turning the 5970 into a 5870.

To sum it up:

1. Constant random crashes with various games.
2. Temperatures (Are my temperatures normal? What is the norm and ideal temperatures?)
3. Catalyst AI

I am hoping that this is all related to drivers and that there is nothing wrong with the card itself.

Note: The gfx card I was using before this was a 8800 GTX which worked great with no issues.



I believe after many days of feeling sick to my stomach purchasing this card I have finally got it to work. I will have to do further testing tonight, but it is looking very promising.

Ok so the previous reply where I mentionned the 8.663 drivers, do not bother. Crashed my machine on another game. But this particular driver somehow handled a particular part of the gfx card well, allowing me to play Crysis for longer than 30 minutes.

After testing all possbile drivers, reinstalling Windows, testing memory, etc, etc, etc. Btw, ATI support wasn't much help, just told me it could possibly be incompatible hardware and to test on different hardware. So I am to buy a new motherboard and ram to do this??? A new card will not work on my fairly new motherboard and ram? No way. That is a very poor way to get rid of the customer asking for technical support.

I found that multiple monitors poses a HUGE problem right now for the 5970. This is especially true for Battlefield Bad Company 2, where some users are experiencing the dreaded ATIPMDAG.SYS BSOD error. The possible reason for this as noted on another forum (can't remember which one) is EyeInfinity. In that maybe when there is a dual monitor setup, CCC thinks it may have 3? I'm not sure. All I do know is that once you go to a single monitor setup... Bye bye BSOD.

Also another note is if you plan on doing any sort of overclocking on the 5970, dual monitors again poses a problem. When you overclock there is a ton of flickering going on and this is due to the GPU clock speed going down to 157 MHz. If you plan on overclock, do not use multiple monitors. I believe the workaround for this though is just to go to the profiles and bump up the clock.

The most important finding I found is that the automatic fan control is completely and utterly useless (for me that is). It is not programmed properly to dynamically keep down the temps. Every 3D game brought the temps to 80-85C. I found that whenever the 5970 reached about 80 degrees C (80-85), the games will most certainly crash very soon. I decided to give one last shot at this problem and downloaded the MSI Afterburner program in order to manually control the fan speed. I set this to about 40%. And again, Voila! IT'S ALIVE! No crashing on Crysis for 2 hours of playing! I was going to test/play longer but couldn't because I only had 3 hours left till work and needed to sleep. :S But this is extremely promising as I never even got close to that amount of time!

This leads me to believe that all the crashing was due to the GPU overheating. Any temp over 80C is not good. Also the multiple monitor is key as well as Crysis did not crash once when I went back to dual monitors. It is a combination of both of these issues.

I'd like to know if any of you have similiar problems with the Sapphire 5970 or any 5970?

I do not want to RMA the card if I do not have too. This is my last resort.

Forgot to add, this was done on 10.2 drivers. I then upgraded to 10.3 preview drivers and still OK. My goal next couple days will be to further play Crysis and test some other 3D games such as BCBF2, Metro 2033, Dragon Age, Bioshock 2, etc. I use Crysis as the primary test due to it always crashing the fastest.

Let me know guys!

Btw, do any of you have a green LED that is lit up near the 2nd GPU (closest to the power connectors)?



Asus P7P55D-E Pro, Intel i5 750, Kingston Hyper-X 8 GB RAM, Sapphire Radeon 5970, Corsair HX1000W, Dell U2711 Monitor (primary), Dell 2007WFP (secondary), Antec 1200 Case, Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit


Mar 22, 2010
Another thing to check is voltage regulator temps, their limit is 120c and if they reach that the card down clocks to like 500MHz i believe to protect it.

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