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The Witcher 3 graphical glitches

I recently upgraded my gpu to a GTX 1070. Since then I'm running the game on ultra settings (Hairworks off), and since then I get this weird flickering glitch. It only happens in dark surroundings like the cavern shown in the video, never observed it in the outside areas. The graphics card is not overclocked beyond the factory oc settings. I suspect that it might be some video card memory defect, but then again Witcher 3 is the only game that shows artifacts.

Other games (Battlefield 1, Far Cry 5, Dishonored 2, Doom, Dark Souls 3) all run without issues. This also didn't occur on my previous graphics card, but then again I didn't run the game on ultra settings with that.

The graphics card is not overclocked beyond factory oc and the temps are well under control. Althouh I noticed the pcb to become extremely hot to the touch, nearly so that I would burn myself upon touching. Drivers are all up to date.

 

System

  • CPU
    Intel Core i7 4770k @ 4.2 GHZ
  • Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-Z97N-Gaming 5
  • RAM
    Crucial Ballistix 16GB DDR3 1600 MHZ
  • GPU
    Zotac GTX 1070 Mini
  • Case
    Silverstone SG05 Lite (modded for AIO and ATX power supply)
  • Storage
    Segate FireCuda 2TB
  • PSU
    Silverstone SX650-G
  • Display(s)
    Philips 243V5LHSB
  • Cooling
    Silverstone TD03-Lite 120mm AIO, 2x120mm PWM fans
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro

Is the gpu dying? Are the memory modules running hot? Is it caused by the game engine?

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Could be slightly artifacting, but if it isn't showing up in any other games ever, or in any benchmarking software like 3D Mark or Unigen benchmarks, I would say its probably a driver/game specific issue. You could downgrade to the previous released display drivers and see if it still happens.

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Drag the memory frequency all the way to the left, see if that helps. Will hit the frame rates though

CPU: i7-2600K 4751MHz 1.44V (software) --> 1.47V at the back of the socket Motherboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme4 (BCLK: 103.3MHz) CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 RAM: Adata XPG 2x8GB DDR3 (XMP: 2133MHz 10-11-11-30 CR2, custom: 2203MHz 10-11-10-26 CR1 tRFC:230 tREFI:14000) GPU: Asus GTX 1070 Dual (Super Jetstream vbios, +70(2025-2088MHz)/+400(8.8Gbps)) SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB (main boot drive), Transcend SSD370 128GB PSU: Seasonic X-660 80+ Gold Case: Antec P110 Silent, 5 intakes 1 exhaust Monitor: AOC G2460PF 1080p 144Hz (150Hz max w/ DP, 121Hz max w/ HDMI) TN panel Keyboard: Logitech G610 Orion (Cherry MX Blue) with SteelSeries Apex M260 keycaps Mouse: BenQ Zowie FK1

 

Model: HP Omen 17 17-an110ca CPU: i7-8750H (0.125V core & cache, 50mV SA undervolt) GPU: GTX 1060 6GB Mobile (+80/+450, 1650MHz~1750MHz 0.78V~0.85V) RAM: 8+8GB DDR4-2400 18-17-17-39 2T Storage: 1TB HP EX920 PCIe x4 M.2 SSD + 1TB Seagate 7200RPM 2.5" HDD (ST1000LM049-2GH172), 128GB Toshiba PCIe x2 M.2 SSD (KBG30ZMV128G) gone cooking externally Monitor: 1080p 126Hz IPS G-sync

 

Desktop benching:

Cinebench R15 Single thread:168 Multi-thread: 833 

SuperPi (v1.5 from Techpowerup, PI value output) 16K: 0.100s 1M: 8.255s 32M: 7m 45.93s

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It's normal for a GPU's PCB to become very hot to the touch. The VRMs create large amounts of heat as they work to supply power to the GPU die and memory. That and the obvious heat from the GPU and memory itself.

 

Clean reinstall your display driver via DDU and see if the artifacting persists. Test it in Unigine Valley and let it run for a few loops. Do not use Furmark.

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1 hour ago, black0utm1rage said:

Is the gpu dying? Are the memory modules running hot? Is it caused by the game engine?

Go to this area where the issues persist, save the game. Then just verify your game files and it should fix it right up. Load up your saved game and voila.

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9 hours ago, suchamoneypit said:

Could be slightly artifacting, but if it isn't showing up in any other games ever, or in any benchmarking software like 3D Mark or Unigen benchmarks, I would say its probably a driver/game specific issue. You could downgrade to the previous released display drivers and see if it still happens.

Have tested Valley now, run for over ~70 minutes without any issues, didn't observe any flickering or artifacting. But what I did realize is that the card constantly runs into its power target limit, even when I raise it to 110%. Thermal target was never hit though. Could that maybe have anything to do with the artifacting? 

After playing some more Witcher 3 I observed, that the artifacts always appear roughly in the same spot on the screen, on the left side of the screen in the upper third. So I suspect a memory issue after all :( Did some research on the subject and found articles about GTX 1070 cards with Micron memory having these kinda instability issues.

Lo and behold, my card is equipped with Micron memory modules... Apparently they don't get enough voltage or something.

Zotac didn't release a BIOS update for that specific model though :(

 

My card was purchased used from a friend and Zotac's warranty policy sucks, so I don't think I've got a chance of rma-ing this card. Seriously, they don't accept warranty claims by anyone but the original owner. This was definitley the last Zotac product I bought.

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7 hours ago, A Random Dude said:

Go to this area where the issues persist, save the game. Then just verify your game files and it should fix it right up. Load up your saved game and voila.

Tried that, but it didn't work... Game files were fine apparently.

Did some research on the subject and found articles about GTX 1070 cards with Micron memory having these kinda instability issues.

Lo and behold, my card is equipped with Micron memory modules... Apparently they don't get enough voltage or something, Zotac didn't release a BIOS update for that specific model though.

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9 hours ago, Jurrunio said:

Drag the memory frequency all the way to the left, see if that helps. Will hit the frame rates though

Unfortunately that did nothing but lower the framerate, artifacts still present.

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9 hours ago, Phentos said:

Clean reinstall your display driver via DDU and see if the artifacting persists. Test it in Unigine Valley and let it run for a few loops. Do not use Furmark.

Have tested Valley now, run for over ~70 minutes without any issues, didn't observe any flickering or artifacting. But what I did realize is that the card constantly runs into its power target limit, even when I raise it to 110%. Thermal target was never hit though. After playing some more Witcher 3 I observed, that the artifacts always appear roughly in the same spot on the screen, on the left side of the screen in the upper third.

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6 hours ago, black0utm1rage said:

After playing some more Witcher 3 I observed, that the artifacts always appear roughly in the same spot on the screen, on the left side of the screen in the upper third.

This sounds like a bug in the game itself. Not sure where you are in the world but try watching a YouTube video of someone else playing in the exact same spot. See if they encounter the same thing. I did find a video of someone encountering artifacting in caves. Maybe it's a common issue with the game.

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6 hours ago, black0utm1rage said:

But what I did realize is that the card constantly runs into its power target limit, even when I raise it to 110%. Thermal target was never hit though. Could that maybe have anything to do with the artifacting?

Possibly. Lower settings, lower power target limit to 100, lower an overclock if possible. If the artifacting goes away, then that would be your issue. If it is still present, change everything back and you at least rule these things out.

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6 hours ago, black0utm1rage said:

Have tested Valley now, run for over ~70 minutes without any issues, didn't observe any flickering or artifacting. But what I did realize is that the card constantly runs into its power target limit, even when I raise it to 110%. Thermal target was never hit though. After playing some more Witcher 3 I observed, that the artifacts always appear roughly in the same spot on the screen, on the left side of the screen in the upper third.

Ah. 

 

That could just be a glitch in the game. The card running into its power target is normal when it's being fully utilized especially if it's overclocked.

New Build (The Compromise): CPU - i7 9700K @ 5.1Ghz Mobo - ASRock Z390 Taichi | RAM - 16GB G.SKILL TridentZ RGB 3200CL14 @ 3466 14-14-14-30 1T | GPU - ASUS Strix GTX 1080 TI | Cooler - Corsair h100i Pro | SSDs - 500 GB 960 EVO + 500 GB 850 EVO + 1TB MX300 | Case - Coolermaster H500 | PSUEVGA 850 P2 | Monitor - LG 32GK850G-B 144hz 1440p | OSWindows 10 Pro. 

Peripherals - Corsair K70 Lux RGB | Corsair Scimitar RGB | Audio-technica ATH M50X + Antlion Modmic 5 |

CPU/GPU history: Athlon 6000+/HD4850 > i7 2600k/GTX 580, R9 390, R9 Fury > i7 7700K/R9 Fury, 1080TI > Ryzen 1700/1080TI > i7 9700K/1080TI.

Other tech: Surface Pro 4 (i5/128GB), Lenovo Ideapad Y510P w/ Kali, OnePlus 6T (8G/128G), PS4 Slim.

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1 hour ago, A Random Dude said:

This sounds like a bug in the game itself. Not sure where you are in the world but try watching a YouTube video of someone else playing in the exact same spot. See if they encounter the same thing. I did find a video of someone encountering artifacting in caves. Maybe it's a common issue with the game.

Maybe I phrased this a bit madly. What I meant was that the artifacts are always on the upper left side of the screen, no matter of where I go or where I look. So I suspect that the portion of memory that is supposed to handle what is to be drawn on this area of the screen might be faulty.

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33 minutes ago, black0utm1rage said:

What I meant was that the artifacts are always on the upper left side of the screen, no matter of where I go or where I look.

In just the Witcher 3 though. If the GPU were faulty, it would do that in all games wouldn't it? Try another graphic demanding game and crank up the settings. If you notice no artifacts at all, it would have the be The Witcher 3 causing the artifacts right?

 

Do you have any of the DLC? Try seeing if the artifacts are present in Blood and Wine. If they are, try another AAA title.

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