Well I finally completed my goal, a permanent , innate, fix -- not a hack, or memory software change within the OS making things flicker in and out upon Power play changes, and clock speeds.
But ultimately -- My 5850 (and a 5870 for that matter) are bug free as far as I can test them).
It all started when I built a new state of the art system from the ground up about a month ago. After some careful review, I chose the ATi 5850 HD as a balance between not TOO outrageous of a price for performance (at $300).. and well within reach of future compatibility with its clock speeds and "future-proof" specifications (and ability to CF if needed).
Well,.. immediately upon powering on my new build, it showed glitches. My monitor was flickering. I sighed a little.
I have a 120Hz LCD (Only 2 on the market worth buying) .. and I ultimately, at first, had to put it at 110Hz to eliminate the flickering in 2D mode in general windows.
As the day progressed,.. I noticed that with Youtube, as I played a video .. It would stutter, flicker,.. (sometimes the driver would fail and recover).. (sometimes the driver would fail, and give you the verticle line of some color lockup screen). --Not good.
Further,.. At random the cursor would become 10times its normal size, for no apparent reason. Just bam.
In games, there would be lockups, system crashes,.. MORE flickering,.. screen wrap around on itself and artifacts, depending.
The bug list went on and on.
For sake of length, I won't go on much further on the processes I took to reach my conclusion.. but after much troubleshooting, tinkering, using memory addressing hacking, tools, gathering information from within the card. Observation of what the card was doing , and when.. and figuring out 'why'. I came up with a solution.
I ended up changing the BIOS drastically. There are some not so important or conversation worthy changes that were applied that ultimately allowed the following to be applied and the ATi Catalyst drivers to accept the card properly.
The 2D and ACPI clock speeds were adjusted,.. and their voltages slightly increased . We are talking from .95 to 1.0, nothing major. Slight increases in speeds as well.
The problem is ultimately in the 5xxx series cards being underpowered due to Powerplay downclocking and under volting to such a low level (in this case 157/300 @0.95) that errors not only would,.. but DID cause an unreasonable amount of instability issues.
Prime example: The card would be slightly more stable (before my change) when I plugged the DVI cable into the second (bottom) output. Simply due to the voltage being a HAIR higher (measured via DVM).
There are a host of other people in so many forums with cards ranging from 4870's (I think the powerplay issues are intertwined, but I don't think all issues are quite as similar as
The 5770, 5850, 5870, 5970 (Basically all of the 57xx/58xx/59xx) Series, with a strong emphasis on the 58xx and 59xx being very similar.
At any rate, these other people report some or all of these problems (I listed only a few.. there is a list a mile long.) I didn't experience them all, as no one does, of course.
I won't claim this fix is the miracle cure for any and all issues -- but I do think it is a great step , at minimum, a great 'hotfix-temporary fix' until ATi can come up with something to fix all these issues.
The procedure is simple, a Bios Flash. Checksum/CRC/Md5 is adequate for security/validity purposes. Otherwise, people who don't know what to do with this file, or can't figure it out,.. should just wait on ATi.
Posting this as well so that maybe ATi/AMD (Devs) *if they even glance here* might take notice of how easily this was corrected. I'm sure it can be done with more energy savings by the 'pros'.
Hash (CRC-32): 2886A4B6
Hash (MD-5): 15B979351AF9AAE636AF3E7EB445AD92
Use at your own risk. Otherwise, let us enjoy the benefits of DX 11, and improvements of infant Drivers over the months to come.