Why does graphics distortion happen in games occasionally?

Osama Javaid April 18, 2013
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Since few days, after every 2nd or 3rd day I experience strange graphics distortion during my online gameplay. Here are the screenshots :

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At first it is limited to some area of the screen but in few seconds it spreads to the whole screen and then I have to shut down the game, usually on next start, everything is back to normal. It happens after every 2nd or 3rd day. When I asked about it on forums etc, some asked me to update my directx or graphics card drivers which are already updated. Some are saying that my graphics card is overheating but when I ran CPUID HWMonitor before starting my game and played the game for much time and then checked my graphics card temperature, it was around 35-55C and it is not overheated. Some are saying that it is the end of my graphics card. Does anyone exactly know the problem and tell me the exact solution ?

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  1. Xenios Kofteros
    April 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I had similar problems with my old 4870X2 monster. Started with graphics corruption and went on to random driver crashes (basically a feauture of modern Windows versions that halt just the graphics driver and restart it, but you get booted from the game and go back to the desktop). I also thought it was the temperatures, so I removed the heatsink, washed it and cleaned it thoroughly, put on some fresh thermal paste (just enough, I know what I am doing) and the problem still persisted. I tried having the fans on at a lower threshold with a custom profile, but still no go. I checked the temperatures and they were OK.
    In the end, I found out that my graphics RAM was fried, so the graphics were corrupted in there, not on the GPU. I think i used a program to test that, but since it's been almost 2 years since then, I can't remember which. Google is your friend.

    End result, I got myself 2 HD6950's and crossfired them. All is well in gameland again (although they don't really cut it with more modern games at 2560x1600, but I think I'll hold till the 8 series AMD cards show up).

  2. Bogdan Gabriel Radulescu
    April 19, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I alweird graphic problems in bf3...i have a gtx460... Mi computer is clean, recently reinstalled windows, all drivers up to date. I start to play. Nothing special.. Get killed serval hundred times, as usual, still nothing special. About 2 hours from the game has started, it glitches out... But not physics glitches or that... Colors start changing places, everitig starts look like shadows the sky is copping the ground.... I had a little talk with the bf3 developers and... The I told me that, on some special cases, the data is not interpreted correctly by the video card... There is în the core of the game a little option that is automatically, usually used by the quadro series... The quadro does not think with triangles, but with already made vectors.... Really weird.... I don't know what is going on...

  3. Chris Marcoe
    April 19, 2013 at 5:29 am

    Anytime I have had that happen to me while gaming, it has been the inability of my card to keep up, or the driver has went wacko.

  4. Jim Chambers
    April 19, 2013 at 3:39 am

    Check your PSU and clean if necessary. Reseat graphics card and auxiliary power connector.

    • Osama Javaid
      April 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      how to check my PSU? it is running fine and clean

  5. Bruce Epper
    April 18, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Is your system left on at all times or is it shut down every night or when not in use? In my experience, the more demands that are put on a Windows machine, the more frequently it needs to be restarted to prevent abnormal behavior. For example, my Win7 machine that is now only used for lightweight purposes - Office document editing, light web surfing, some Freecell or Minesweeper to kill a bit of time, TeamViewer to fix issues on relatives computers - needs to be rebooted every 5 days max. Trying to go longer than that without a restart results in programs freezing or crashing, various video issues, lagging with local file operations, etc. A restart fixes the issues.

    Check the forums for your video card to see if there are any known quirks with the latest drivers with any of your affected games. You may need to roll back to a previous version. When it comes to drivers, the latest is not necessarily the greatest for your intended purposes.

    If there seems to be any kind of slowdown when this occurs, check to see if you have scheduled processes that are starting up and interfering with the entire system. These most commonly will be noticed by slowing of video rendering or drive accesses. If you system is normally paging during gameplay due to its menory requirements, you are most likely to see graphics distortion as well as some jerkiness in motion when another process is initiated, such as a scheduled scan by antivirus/antimalware software, software inventory tools, etc. although when they have finished their task, things should return to normal.

    • Osama Javaid
      April 19, 2013 at 2:35 am

      my system rarely run even beyond 5 hours.

  6. ha14
    April 18, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    can be driver problem, latency problem (if internet connection required), graphic card problem (do nor support high resolution for that game), corrupted game (reinstall needed)..

    • Osama Javaid
      April 19, 2013 at 2:35 am

      I have been playing at this resolution since many months, game is not corrupted, i checked it thru the installation checker thru origin and it does not happen in every match, it happens after 2-3 days. latency never cause such colors

    • ha14
      April 19, 2013 at 8:45 am

      remove your graphic card, boot on the onboard graphic card, shut down pc replug your graphic card and boot on it, also check BIOS to see if the onboard graphic card is disabled. Check your game to see if the problem is fixed.

      run this GPU analyzer
      Is Your PC Ready for Battlefield 3?
      http://www.nvidia.com/html/gpuanalyzer/index.php?game=battlefield-3

    • Osama Javaid
      April 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      I have been playing BF3 since 7 months and this problem just started. and it only occurs after 2-3 days.

    • ha14
      April 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      was it BF3 updated recently, perhaps new updates caused this problem?

  7. Jan Fritsch
    April 18, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    I know that the latest NVIDIA Forceware driver is causing (or used to cause) some graphical glitches within Battlefield 3.

    Are you playing on a mobile device or on a desktop system?
    For the latter your graphics card reading of 35-55°C while playing the game is indeed suspicious unless you have a watercooled GPU or are using some GPU tool that changes the FAN setting.
    With the default firmware side control of the fan your card should more likely be around 70-80°C while playing BF3.

    • Osama Javaid
      April 19, 2013 at 2:36 am

      My card is GT430 and latest nvidia driver is 314.22 , i am playing on desktop and no it is not watercooled

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