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Strange flickering with 280X

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Jul 10, 2016
Hi people :)

Have a problem... for some reason I get random screen flashes with my 280X. I haven't used this GPU (or any AMD GPU come to think of it) for almost a year (never used to be any problems) and have recently stuck it in a mITX rig.

The flashing only occurs when drivers are installed, it's very random and I can't really reproduce it. I've tried going back as far as 14.4, and it seems to happen on all versions of Catalyst/Crimson.

Is this a known AMD driver bug? Another big thing to note is that it does not occur when playing games. Only when idling on the desktop/browsing the web, the screen will occasionally flash. Sometimes the mouse cursor gets corrupted too, and the only way to get it to return to normal is to restart the PC.

Currently running it on Windows 8.1 Pro (64 bit) and I have the latest Crimson drivers installed (16.7.2). It's been doing this from a fresh install of windows, but each time I've changed the driver I have done a complete wipe & restart with DDU (obviously in safe mode).

I don't know a huge amount of stuff about the details of power supplies, but in case it does actually make a difference, I have two separate PCI-E cables powering the GPU. Reason for this is that the mITX case that I have installed it in has a bar that makes it impossible to put a single 6+8 pin PCI-E cable into it.

Temps are perfect, browsing the web here on the forum the GPU is sitting at 32c, and when under heavy load (playing the very unoptimized game, ARK survival), it topped at 65c. Other games like in World of Tanks, it doesn't break 60c. Like I said before, there is no artifacting or any weird behaviour when playing games.

For what it's worth, here's the system specs:

CPU: i5 6500
GPU: XFX R9 280X
RAM: 8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX (DDR4, 2400MHz)
MOBO: MSI Z170I Gaming Pro AC
PSU: XFX XTR 650W (full modular), 80+ Gold
Monitor: Asus 23.6" 1920x1080, connected via DVI

I'm stumped on it, tbh. I'm open to any ideas or suggestions!

TIA! :)
I don't have VGA output on the back of the card, and this is a cheap Asus monitor so there's no HDMI port.

I have tried putting the DVI cable in both the DVI outputs on the card, but it still behaves the same.

One thing - excuse my ignorance but for future self-testing, how would the cable affect this? I mean if it's performing fine in games, how would the cable have a different affect on it than when it's sitting on the desktop/browsing online?


Also forgot to mention, the mouse cursor gets corrupted sometimes, too.
I'm thinking it might be the DVI port(s) on the GPU going out.
Do you have an HDMI output on the card? You can get an HDMI to DVI cable.
Ouch, really? I have a 2nd screen with HDMI that my main rig is plugged into, I'll swap it over and get back to you!


Same problem on HDMI... so it's not related to DVI, maybe my card is just finally kicked the bucket. That doesn't make sense though, as if it was about to die, why would it perform without a problem in games (and without drivers)?

Edit 2:

I can confirm that there is no flashing when I have no drivers. I found some reallly old 13.x drivers that I'm going to try (last time I used the card 13.x were the latest). Will let you know what happens with those.

Edit 3:

Hmmm, so far so good. Haven't noticed any flashes or mouse cursor corruption with 13.x drivers! I will continue using it to make sure that I'm not just being really lucky, and letcha know.

Edit 4:

Well, it's been going for about 2 hours with no flashing or issues. I think the older drivers solved the problem! Sucks though because there'll be less support for new games... but hey its better than getting a stupid flash at random times.

Can you think of anything that could be possibly conflicting with the 16.x drivers? I don't wan't to be stuck on 13.x :(
Last edited:
Have you completely removed the old drivers using DDU and installed newer ones from scratch?
Yup each time. I never uninstall drivers without DDU, it's an awesome program and has never let me down :D

A quick update - had the PC running all day, not a single flash or graphical error. So it's a great relief to know that my 280X isn't dead yet (considering how little use it's had and how well it's been looked after I was surprised it would be going already).

Should I contact AMD and notify them of the problem? I haven't seen anyone else with this issue before...
Well I just sent a form to their customer support and also filed a bug report for it. I will PM you to let you know if they say anything interesting back :)
I had similar issue once with my HD4870. For some reason when I left my system alone on the desktop for ten minutes or so my screen had random corrupt icons and mouse cursor turned into purple artifact. I have no idea how this problem started but it resolved after I updated GPU bios.