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Avarice01
1 Copper

Video Flickering with AMD Radeon HD6870 on Alienware M17XR3

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Hello,

This is my first post on these forums, so I apologize if this is in the wrong location or format and whatnot.  Thanks in advance for any recommendations.

I have an Alienware M17XR3 with switchable graphics; AMD Radeon HD 6870 (9.3.0.0) and Intel IGP HD 3000.

While using the AMD Card, I get horizontal video flickering along the top and bottom half inch (estimated) of the screen.  When I switch to the IGP, the graphics are fine (other than not being able to run any graphics-intensive applications).

There are slightly newer drivers, but as soon as they are installed, Windows Update attempts to "update" to the version mentioned above.  This is a common complaint with the switchable graphics models.

Now here's where it gets weird.  I started running some diagnostics using the "ATI-Tool" -> "Scan For Artifacts", and as soon as I kick that off, the flickering goes away.  Up until this discovery, I assumed the card simply become unseated or something.  And perhaps that is still the case.  But this is definitely odd.

So, if I use the AMD driver, while running the ATI tool, I can run any application, aside from the fact that the GPU usage spikes to just under 100%, which is undesirable for other reasons.

Does anyone have any idea of what these symptoms could point to?

Thanks again.

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Avarice01
1 Copper

RE: Video Flickering with AMD Radeon HD6870 on Alienware M17XR3

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I actually figured this out with much trial and error.

Turns out the issue was the Windows Update driver for the video cards.

If you ignore the Windows Update drivers, and download them directly from the AMD website, things seem to work fine.

I think the issue is that there are newer driver versions available that Windows Update tries to pull, but they don't work because of the switchable graphics, so something gets corrupted.

If you currently have the issue, just reformat and reinstall the OS, then hide all Video-related Windows Updates and handle them manually.

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Crashalot
1 Copper

RE: Video Flickering with AMD Radeon HD6870 on Alienware M17XR3

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I also have this problem, same machine.
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Avarice01
1 Copper

RE: Video Flickering with AMD Radeon HD6870 on Alienware M17XR3

Jump to solution

I actually figured this out with much trial and error.

Turns out the issue was the Windows Update driver for the video cards.

If you ignore the Windows Update drivers, and download them directly from the AMD website, things seem to work fine.

I think the issue is that there are newer driver versions available that Windows Update tries to pull, but they don't work because of the switchable graphics, so something gets corrupted.

If you currently have the issue, just reformat and reinstall the OS, then hide all Video-related Windows Updates and handle them manually.

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