Wii component output color shift due to rising GPU temperature

Discussion in 'Wii - Hacking' started by wildgoose, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. wildgoose
    OP

    wildgoose Newbie

    Newcomer
    1
    Oct 9, 2019
    United States
    Ok, so I’ve been battling this component video output problem for a while now, and I think I finally narrowed it down to the GPU being over heated. This is probably a design flaw in the Wii’s cooling system, or a design flaw in the GPU itself in how it operates in elevated temperature.

    The problem is, after playing the Wii for about 15-20 minutes, especially with a graphic intensive game such as Super Smash Bros, the color on the TV just start to look wrong (sort of like the Pb/Pr part of component video signal is being swapped, but swap those 2 cables don’t fix the issue). The problem is only with the color, no white dot or any other artifacts. This is consistently reproducible on BOTH of my Wii.

    I am surprised this isn’t as widely discussed, since I can’t find much info from googling. This implies that most people are not using component video output on the Wii (as the problem don’t show up with composite video output), which is unfortunate, since Wii’s component output does provide a noticeable improvement in picture quality, making it quite acceptable even in today’s world.

    I had tried many things to troubleshoot the issue. I assure you it’s not the cable (I have 2 sets), the TV (panasonic professional plasma, same issue on HDMI input or component input, but no issue with other HDMI sources such as apple-TV or FireTV, no matter how long I watch), or the receiver (which is bypassed completely in my latest setup). The color always starts out correct, but as the system warms up, eventually it would go bad. The game is still perfectly playable, picture sharpness is still there, only the color looks wrong, as if one color/tone is missing.

    I had a few false positives along the way, where I had thought I had fixed the issue.
    • Swapping the Pb/Pr cable did fix the problem one time (and only one time)
      • but the next day, the color starts out wrong. Disproving my theory of the cable being bad.
    • CPU/GPU thermal pad has shrunk, as some have claimed, making the heatsink useless.
      • I followed the excellent ifixit guide to open up the wii and replace the thermal pads.
      • No such gapping issue. Thermal pad is in solid contact. I did replace both pad with Arctic pads.
      • I thought the issue went away at first, as playing the Wii for a while was all OK.
      • But just as I was getting excited about opening up the 2nd Wii and apply the same fix (it ain’t so bad after doing it once ;), my kid’s Super Smash Bros session disproved my theory again.
    Opening up the Wii also made me realize that laying it down horizontally is much better for heat dissipation than having it standing up. But still the issue comes back even with horizontal placement.

    At this point, I had realized that new thermal pads and the horizontal placement had made the problem slightly more difficult to reproduce. So I feel it must be the GPU being over heated and can’t output a stable component output video signal.

    But I am still a bit puzzled why regular composite video output don’t seem to have this problem. My theory is that since composite signal is basically the 3 component signal combined, the GPU only have problem splitting or producing the 3 component signals. When you add up all the 3 signals for composite video output, any wrong splitting/problems cancels each other out, and signal becomes valid again. (kind of like when you split a pie 3-ways, even if the splits are not perfect/proper, when you put it back together again it’s still a perfect round pie). This does feels like a GPU design flaw to me.

    To combat this issue, I have removed the Wii's outer plastic shell, and placed a 120mm fan on top of the Wii, in an attempt to keep the Wii adequately cooled. With the outer shell gone, the heat from the cpu heatsink will only encounter metals (motherboard shield, dvd drive, dvd-shield). It improved. The metal shelf that the Wii sits on feels cooler (compare to when I use the Wii that have the outer shell), and it takes quite a bit longer for the problem to develop. But the problem still comes back after a 30 minutes Super Smash Bros session (but no longer occurs if I leave the Wii on at the menu for like an hour). So the motherboard-shield and dvd/dvd-shield must still be trapping enough heat to trigger the issue during cpu/gpu intensive tasks, and the fan wasn’t as effective sitting on top of the DVD shield.

    My next and final try would be to remove the dvd drive and have the fan sit directly on top of the motherboard shield (since the heatsink blades protrudes out of the mb-shield). But I don’t know if the Wii would boot up properly if I completely remove the DVD. I hope to have this tested by this weekend.

    Will add some pics.
     
    yuyuyup, Tarmfot and alexander1970 like this.
  2. Dust2dust

    Dust2dust GBAtemp Maniac

    Member
    8
    Jun 17, 2010
    Canada
    Strange that you have this problem with two different Wii consoles. Personally, I've always used component cables on my Wii, which has always been in the upright position, and I've never seen wrong colors, even after long play hours. The fact that this isn't a common problem as you've seen while googling doesn't necessarily means nobody uses component cables. I would rather think it means nobody suffers this problem, me included. If you have access to a third Wii console (borrow one from a friend, maybe), test to see if it also has the same problem. That would prove that the problem doesn't lie with the Wii, but rather the TV, or maybe the component cable. You just need to troubleshoot to see what exactly is the culprit.
     
  3. wildgoose
    OP

    wildgoose Newbie

    Newcomer
    1
    Oct 9, 2019
    United States
    May I ask what component cable you are using? I am using the monoprice Wii component cable.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Hanafuda likes this.
  4. TimPV3

    TimPV3 Member

    Newcomer
    2
    Jul 12, 2019
    United States
    I'd try it on another TV
     
  5. lisreal2401

    lisreal2401 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    7
    Jun 4, 2013
    United States
    Different TV and cable

    As someone who owned a Wii with GPU overheating, it doesn't happen while in use - the moment you notice noise in the image, it will stay that way booted for a minute or a year.

    A good way to test would be load up a GameCube game - the system I owned would never artifact when playing GC games (I can't recall if I was using Nintendon't or DIOS MIOS, but the latter is pure GC mode so I'd use that if possible). This was while using composite, but I never had the issue with component on a known good console.
     
    Last edited by lisreal2401, Oct 15, 2019
  6. Dust2dust

    Dust2dust GBAtemp Maniac

    Member
    8
    Jun 17, 2010
    Canada
    I know my cable is not monoprice, as it doesn't look the same. I know it's not the official Nintendo brand. It's pretty much a generic component cable which was cheaper than Nintendo's official one, and worked as well. I really have no idea what brand it is, though. It's been years since I bought it locally, and there is no marking on the cable itself.
     
  7. Ericsonanzois

    Ericsonanzois Member

    Newcomer
    1
    Mar 5, 2017
    Brazil
    Im using component cable for a long time and no problem here. My component cable is chinese (bad quality) and i dont have noted any color problems with wii, except differents color patterns when i use differents TV´s.
     
  8. wildgoose
    OP

    wildgoose Newbie

    Newcomer
    1
    Oct 9, 2019
    United States
    Thanks everyone for chiming in. It’s good to hear that others are not having this problem!

    If it’s not the Wii then it’s either the cable or the TV. Both of my cables are Monoprice cables. They generally make good quality stuff, and the Wii cable feels well made. I had wondered about whether the cable is at fault, and whether I should get an official Nintendo cable. But seems like others are fine using regular non-Nintendo cable.

    But more importantly, what could go wrong with the cable? The signal is analog, so it either makes the connection or not. Perhaps as the system warms up, something expands and one pin is no longer making contact? (the problem does sort of look like one color is missing).

    If the problem is with the TV, then it’s also a bit hard to reason about, since the symptom is only with the Wii output. I can reproduce this with both the TV’s HDMI input (up-converted from my Denon receiver), and component input (directly from Wii, or through the receiver). Also no issues when I play games on the Switch on the same TV.

    What was puzzling is, one time, while the signal is being routed from receiver, HDMI input on TV showed the problem, but component input on TV looked fine [Wii to receiver via component, receiver outputs both component/upconverted-HDMI to TV], which is why I had thought the receiver was at fault, but unfortunately when I connected component from Wii directly to TV, the problem still occurs)

    I’ll try this on a different TV. Maybe I’ll also keep an eye on craigslist and snap another Wii (they are like $50). Just need to figure out a way to hide the 3rd one from the wife, since having 3 Wiis does feel a bit excessive. ;)

    Another option I've been contemplating is to get a Wii U on craigslist. They are like $100. Does the Wii U provide a good experience playing Wii games? Since the Wii U can output HDMI directly, it would bypass any analog splitting/conversion issues.

    But I've read people saying Wii U when playing Wii games, the graphic isn't as good as regular Wii. is it true?
     
  9. MaeseJesus

    MaeseJesus GBAtemp Fan

    Member
    6
    Apr 3, 2013
    No, the Wii U's virtual Wii mode is not very good, it suffers from a series of issues that make it look zoomed in, blurrier and even washed out, so it's not very recommended if you want to play much through vWii. Wii U aslo doesn't support 240P if you care about VC or emulation.

    The overall best thing to do is use an upscaler, like with the other retro systems or get a great crt which gets harder by the day.

    About the cable, I don't know what can be wrong with it. I use a component one from aliexpress, it's okay but I'd like an official one to compare, sadly when I ordered one they sent me an AV one (goddamit, CEX) and ended refunding.

    I had my system both vertically an horizontally throughout the years and never saw something like this (horizontal sure is better for ventilation, but vertical is helpful if you're short on space). You could try using one of those HDMI adapters, although my most sincere advice would be to look for a Wii of one of the later revisions and avoid more headaches.

    Is your Wii from early production? From the RVL-40 forward the system got some internal changes that made it heat less and also consume less power, I made comparisons and in my anecdotal experience is notable. They seem to endure the passage of time quite better than earlier ones.

    Have you tried to play games through USB/SD? The system runs much more cooler when it's not using the DVD drive. Lastly, I think the Wii won't boot without the DVD drive.
     
  10. Clector

    Clector GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    3
    Mar 15, 2016
    Bangladesh
    Not here
    The Wii U is good in the sense that games will work just as fine...
    But when it comes to image, in a way it is sort of sharper than some Wiis when in 720p and 1080p (because the older Wiis 480p is blurry), but in other is sort of blurrier in 480p. There's overscan since some pixels are cut always in the spaces with a fixed quantity all resolution, this makes 480p have more overscan and 1080p less; although if something is cut varies in how the game or app uses the video, various Wii games on widescreen do so in such a way that they left black space on the screen that the overscan doesn't end up cutting anything on the image actually rendered by the game, but in 4:3 video modes is usually prominent specially in GameCube games.
    There's a slight chroma shft on the image and also since there's no color space convertion; and because of the Wii U color space and range with the digital output, it results in wrong colors with the HDMI output, meaning that one will need to color convert it manually to get the correct colors.
    Of course that may not be problems for some people of course or not that much of a trade off, if you want I can take screenshot of the Wii U vWii over HDMI in examples that you'll like to have if you want.
     
    Last edited by Clector, Oct 15, 2019
  11. lisreal2401

    lisreal2401 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    7
    Jun 4, 2013
    United States
    Doing a direct comparison with a Wii U upscaling 480p and a OSSC running the same title in 240p scaled, the OSSC looks better, but I ended up using the Wii U over it simply due to how much of an edge case it was in terms of quality. You definitely get a bit of a color difference though the resulting image was close enough I couldn't be bothered to have both plugged in for that itself
     
    Last edited by lisreal2401, Oct 15, 2019
  12. wildgoose
    OP

    wildgoose Newbie

    Newcomer
    1
    Oct 9, 2019
    United States
    Thanks everyone for the information on the Wii U. I’ll hold off on that for now.

    My black Wii which I’ve replaced the thermal pad is RVL-CPU-40. Got this new but only played occasionally from DVD until recently. Now I am playing games from USB/External HD.

    The white Wii is from Craigslist. I will check the board revision tonight. It has the outer plastic shell removed currently (but no thermal pad replacement, since the thermal pad replacement didn’t fix the issue).

    Before the outer case removal, I recall the white Wii will show the symptom faster than my black Wii, especially with the thermal pad replacement in the black Wii. But with the outer case removed, the white Wii is at least as good, if not slightly better than the black Wii.

    Googling info on the board revision, RVL-CPU-40 is rated ‘low’, the RVL-CPU-60 is rated ‘very-low’. I’ll see if I can spot a CPU-60 revision or family edition on craigslist, since I only have Wii games and don’t really need to play gamecube games.

    I hope it’s not the TV, since it’s a 50” plasma and color calibrated, and games look quite good on it. :)

    Is anyone using Wii HDMI converter? I am too frugal to spend $20+ on an official Nintendo Wii component cable from ebay. If the problem is with the cable, I wonder if the a Wii HDMI converter would resolve the issue. I don’t know how good the picture quality will be compare to when my TV or receiver does the upscaling. Has anyone used both and care to comment on how well these HDMI converter work compare to component output? I suppose getting a dedicated component to HDMI converter will not help in my case, since if there's any problem, it'll likely be in the connector (to the Wii), not in the cable itself.
     
  13. lisreal2401

    lisreal2401 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    7
    Jun 4, 2013
    United States
    Worse than component but only slightly. It's a component/HDMI converter that produces some slight reduction in image quality that you're likely not able to see.
     
  14. Ryccardo

    Ryccardo and his tropane alkaloids

    Member
    14
    Feb 13, 2015
    Italy
    Imola
    The Wii Menu works but most titles don't, you need the electronics connected (you can leave out the laser/sensors/motors including the soldered ones), same for PS3

    No, first and foremost because I don't want to support (or have something that accepts) a patented-and-drm-friendly proprietary interface, but those things are low quality products aimed at the "I don't have a free connector for a supported video cable" market and some don't even support all the console's native video modes!

    No need for an original cable - if you can't buy a quality one, buy the crappiest one just for the connector and make your own out of shielded mini-coax :D
     
  15. Clector

    Clector GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    3
    Mar 15, 2016
    Bangladesh
    Not here
    I think that the problem in older Wiis is only with 480p, 240p is unaffected.
     
  16. Hanafuda

    Hanafuda GBAtemp Addict

    Member
    11
    Nov 21, 2005
    United States
    Same here, maybe best bang for the buck of any gaming hardware I've ever bought.
     
  17. wildgoose
    OP

    wildgoose Newbie

    Newcomer
    1
    Oct 9, 2019
    United States
    A happy update, it turns out to be the cable! I bite the bullet and ordered an official Nintendo RVL-011 component cable from ebay. It fixed the problem!! I tried it on both of my Wii and no color change after a 40 minutes of Super Smash Bro session.

    Looking at the connector, the Monoprice ones I was using have all 8 pins, while the Nintendo one only have like 5 pins, the other locations was empty.

    My guess is that as the system heats up, thermal expansion causes some of these pings to become perhaps disconnected or something, triggering the issue. This is sad, as the cable itself does seem pretty well made.

    The nintendo RVL-011 does feel pretty heavy duty, more so than I'd expected, so I don't feel too bad about the $20. ;)

    Nintendo RVL-011:
    [​IMG]

    Monoprice component cable:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by wildgoose, Oct 21, 2019
    MaeseJesus and alexander1970 like this.
  18. wildgoose
    OP

    wildgoose Newbie

    Newcomer
    1
    Oct 9, 2019
    United States
    removed duplicated post
     
    Last edited by wildgoose, Oct 21, 2019
  19. wildgoose
    OP

    wildgoose Newbie

    Newcomer
    1
    Oct 9, 2019
    United States
    removed dup post
     
    Last edited by wildgoose, Oct 21, 2019
  20. wildgoose
    OP

    wildgoose Newbie

    Newcomer
    1
    Oct 9, 2019
    United States
    remove dup post
     
    Last edited by wildgoose, Oct 21, 2019
  21. N7Kopper

    N7Kopper Proud lover of a three-inch girlfriend

    Member
    4
    Aug 24, 2014
    United Kingdom
    People do the Wii U comparison all wrong. People who talk about how "bad" the vWii looks are comparing apples to oranges (and injecting a little subjective taste into the subject) because they're trying to compare the analogue output of the Wii's AV jack to the Wii U's fully digital, completely lossless HDMI output, and personally prefer the lossy output for not having as many jaggies or lower colour fidelity. While there are arguments to be made about how things were intended to look on old display hardware, it's unfair to pan vWii for the crime of being lossless.

    The best, fairest comparison is to compare a Gamecube game under Nintendont to a Gamecube running the same game with a native, HDMI (modded or custom cables) output via the digital video port - itself an actual digital port and therefore a direct and lossless connection. (GCN component cables have the DAC built into them rather than the console - this superior DAC is why the GCN has slightly better component out than the Wii - or much better if you're using the original Wii models that don't compensate for a certain notorious SDK error in hardware) In fact, My Life in Gaming already did that comparison, and the Wii U upscales better than even a Framemeister. Or at least equivalently - it is subjective after all; some retro enthusiasts swear by old professional-quality CRTs, but I prefer modern displays for that cleaner look - I'd rather see the old games how they are than trying in vain to recapture how my little kiddy brain imagined them.

    Also, vWii can do 240p, and very well. Try the 240p Suite out on anything you want to run and give it a comparison. There's no option to output it like the Wii can, it will always be upscaled, but it doesn't choke and die when trying to do it like a lot of HDTVs do. And the aforementioned comparison means there's really nothing to gain from outsourcing the upscaling job. (In fact, it's a part of the HDMI standard, IIRC, to always scale any native resolution to the user-defined output resolution in order to ensure smooth performance and iron out any display incompatibilities with resolutions like 240p where compatibility isn't mandated by the same standard)
     
    Last edited by N7Kopper, Oct 21, 2019
  22. MaeseJesus

    MaeseJesus GBAtemp Fan

    Member
    6
    Apr 3, 2013
    This is a capture of Metroid Prime 2 on Wii.
    This is a capture of Metroid Prime 2 on Wii U.

    This is another a capture of Metroid Prime 2 on Wii.
    This is another a capture of Metroid Prime 2 on Wii U.

    Open them and compare.

    You can read more here.
    The framemeister is known of not being great with both component signal and 480P, so I don't think it should be wise to use for comparisons.

    We can spend hours talking about "subjective" things, but at the end of the day we have proof that the vWii is inferior to the real thing. We had knowledgeable people talking about this such as Extrems and others taking captures and trying stuff, and I sincerely can't see why would anyone lie about it. This does not or should not invalidate anyone's enjoyment with vWii, far from it, just like GC hardcore people prefer using that over a Wii because they find it looking better (and that video you mention even says that "there's not much of a difference between GC and Wii component" at 19:30 to make all this funnier), but when someone asks, we should be honest with what we know.

    The Wii U does not show pixels 1:1 in 480P or I, because there's an extra layer of scaling that screws up the image, besides other things that also worsen the situation. I wish it wasn't there.

    Also, the point of being able to output 240P is because it's much better for 8-16 Bit games if playing though CRT. There's a notable difference but that also depends on the display. For example, on a small crt I have for experiments, with these games on 480i, the screen is jumpy, but if I switch the games, let's say in a emulator, things improve considerably. It's just a positive extra, and some hdtvs can show 240p, like a run of the mill Samsung I have.

    Edit: I'm happy for your issue to be fixed, wildgoose, and even better because you got some official ones! Did you find any difference in picture?
     
    Last edited by MaeseJesus, Oct 21, 2019
Quick Reply
Draft saved Draft deleted
Loading...