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Old 21st Aug 2015, 00:00   #1
Birdy
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MSI R7 360

Hi,

In short:
I'm having issues with my new MSI R7 360 graphics card.

Question:
Is there anything I should be doing, or should I return my graphics card, and if so, to whom (MSI or Scan?).

In a tad more detail:
Windows 7 BSODs whilst booting due to the graphics card drivers. Windows can run whilst on generic VGA drivers.

In even more glorious detail:
I've just built my first new computer, and have had a few problems. I've intermittently (perhaps 2/3 of the time) had the problem that system will not complete POST, with the motherboard (see spec's below) blaming the graphics card. However, barring BSOD due to drivers, the graphics card has been fine post POST.
I initially installed Linux (although no AMD drivers). All was fine. I then installed Windows 7 (deleting Ubuntu). I installed drivers from MSI supplied disk and all was well (when the system successfully POSTed), and the card seemed fine when I stress tested it for 15 minutes with Furmark. This was Tuesday evening (48 hrs ago). Fast forward a little. This evening I start playing with the idea of overclocking (although not overvolting or any such excitement). After a failure to boot, I set things back to default and boot into Windows again to discover that windows no longer thinks any AMD display drivers are installed, so I go to the AMD website and download the latest catalyst drivers, install them and reboot the the BSOD. The drivers appear to be causing the BSOD since windows blames atikmdag.sys, and restoring to pre-driver reinstall fixes the problem, and reinstalling the drivers once again brings the problem back.

And the background:
I've just build a pc with the following components:
- Asus M5A97 Evo R2.0 motherboard (BIOS 2501)
- AMD fx8320e
- MSI R7 360 graphics card
- 16GB Corsair 2133Mhz RAM
- XFX 550W CPU (P1-550S-GREN)
- Windows 7 Professional

Both CPU and RAM appear to be fine, having not resulted in any faults over ~9 hrs testing with Prime95. I've never seen any artifacts whilst using my new PC.
Whilst a newer BIOS is available, the ASUS website claims this is to provide better USB device support, so I've not tried it.
I've tried reseating the graphics card and it's PCIe power connector.
The recommended PSU for the R7 360 is 500W or more, so I wouldn't expect my PSU to be the problem (especially since Furmark was fine).
I'd expect the POSTing problems to be the most interesting thing.
And no, I do not have an alternative graphics card I can try.

And finally about myself:
I thought I'd introduce myself since clearly you've taken the time to read this far into the post. I've been a member of the Bit-tech forum for a few years now, but rarely post since, having not owned more than a laptop, have had little of value to add to the posts. I'm an engineering student in the UK, and my new massively oversize paperweight is really so I don't spend late evening in the engineering department as I have had to in the past. Since many of the programs I'll be running are heavily multi threaded or dependent upon memory bandwidth, I've bought AMD. I'm not so much into gaming, hence the entry level card.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and if you have any thoughts on any of the above, even if they aren't so much related to my question, go for it.

Birdy
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Old 21st Aug 2015, 00:27   #2
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I'd say the GPU is faulty. Return it to where you purchased it from and then they will probably confirm that too.

Have you tried older drivers to ensure that the newest drivers aren't the issue?
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Old 22nd Aug 2015, 12:20   #3
Birdy
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I haven't retried the old drivers. I may also try seeing what happens if I put the card in the x4 PCIe slot (lest the motherboard be the issue).

All that'll have to happen on Monday / Tuesday.

Once this is all sorted out, I'll do a little benchmarking seeing as there doesn't seem to be many R7 360 reviews around.

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Old 29th Aug 2015, 15:56   #4
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I've reinstalled the older drivers and the card works again.

I'd be interested if the fine people of MSI UK had come across similar problems before?

Seeing as Bit-tech hasn't done a review I thought I'd do a few benchmarks.
So, with 14.502 drivers (NOT the latest available).

Furmark (after heating the card up with a few runs), at 1080p, AA:0: SCORE:1298 points (21 FPS, 60000 ms). This puts it roughly in line with a GTX750 (approx same price, lower power consumption, older).

Unigine DX11 at 1080p, ultra quality scored 707, fps 28.1 ave, 7.1 min, 56.2 max. For comparison, the recent review of the gtx 950, a card that costs 1.5 times the price of the 360 got a score of 1437 in an identical setup.

If anyone has any further suggestions for benchmarks suggest awaym

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Old 29th Aug 2015, 16:29   #5
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I had a feeling the drivers were at fault. I'm glad it's sorted.
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Old 30th Aug 2015, 23:05   #6
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Eventually windows gets upset and says that the graphics card has sent an error code 43. As a result I decided to update the drives and predictably got a BSOD.

This prompted me to try the card in the second PCIe slot (which is only x4). The graphics card is now happy to use the newer drivers and has yet to fail POST. So it points towards a hardware issues, presumably to do with the PCIe bus.
I'm assuming there is no free software available to somehow test PCIe busses? (I tried google). Being able to selectively disable the buses going to the card would be interesting, but I'm assuming that it isn't something I can do, and even if I could I doubt the card would work on fewer a weird number of lanes, or with missing lanes.

All the best,

Birdy

(Also, incidentally the Furmark score improved, possibly due to me having some success overclocking. But it suggests that Furmark doesn't care about PCIe bandwidth, which is a pitty).
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