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crashes when playing a 3d game (but not always)

by charlah / March 11, 2004 1:12 PM PST

I just built my system and everything is new. When I load 3d games, sometimes it plays perfectly. Other times, the monitor will black out and the sound will freeze, and I will have to restart my computer. This has happened in two different games (deus ex and soldier of fortune 2), so I do not think it is the software. I have the newest drivers. Here is what is on my computer:

a-bit nf7-s mb (w/soundstorm onboard audio)w/ athlon xp 2600
gainward ultra/880-tv-dvi geforce fx 5700
seagate 7200 rpm ide drive on a serial ata adapter

Incidently, I ran 3dmark 2003 with no problems at all. I have tried these programs out with different graphics settings, and none seem to affect the crashing one way or another. any help?

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Re:crashes when playing a 3d game (but not always)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 11, 2004 7:57 PM PST

You didn't note:

1. The BIOS is latest.
2. The power supply is a monster (try 450 Watts)
3. Removing the case cover helps.
4. It's new. You have warranty, use them.


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Re:Re:crashes when playing a 3d game (but not always)
by charlah / March 13, 2004 9:33 AM PST

both the video and mb bios are current
power supply is 400 watts...but I am using only the one pci slot..
the case cover is off, and I'm gonna talk to the gainward support people...

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An item to try.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 13, 2004 9:36 AM PST

Drop the FSB speed from 266/133 or such to 200/100 MHz.


Try ONE stick of memory.


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Re:An item to try.
by charlah / March 14, 2004 3:59 AM PST
In reply to: An item to try.

I tried both of those with no change, but I think I have narrowed it down to a power issue....I put in my old gainward geforce3 ti 200 and it runs perfectly. Reading the back of the box for the new card, it looks like the instructions for installing the card were made with an older version of it, because the card actually requires a hard drive power supply connector to be attached. I have a 400 watt power supply which, by all accounts I have read, should be plenty especially considering I have only the one pci device and little else. But..well it is a deer brand supply that came with my case, and I have read that they are not very good. I'm thinking about buying a new power supply...does this seem logical? Thanks for the help

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About power.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 14, 2004 4:31 AM PST
In reply to: Re:An item to try.

A real problem is that the 400W number is suspect. Add any age (even 6 months) and it's unlikely the supply can actually deliver 400W. Light reading about this.

The idea of trying it with a lower FSB MHz and one stick of RAM was to sniff out if there was a borderline power issue. Another trick I use is to drop the AGP rate to 1X and retest.

As always, latest BIOS and drivers are crucial.


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Re:About power.
by charlah / March 14, 2004 12:21 PM PST
In reply to: About power.

I have now tried it with a different power supply and I get the same now I know better what it isn't, but not what it is...

thanks for the help, I'll post if I find anythingh

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Re:crashes when playing a 3d game (but not always)
by Roadie / March 14, 2004 7:54 PM PST

I run an AMD based system with Nvidia card as well, and have had similar problems. I've isolated it down to being a driver issue on my pc in particular.
XP is notorious for installing it's own drivers, and not wanting you to install the card drivers themselves.
For Nvidia cards, however, you can either get drivers from Nvidia's website(generic to cover all cards) or from the actual vendor of your card(mine's an MSI).
With the installation of actual MSI based drivers, other features such as my card's overclocking software now work, where with Nvidia's generic drivers they didn't, and I also had lots of blue screens while playing games.
The blue screens got less with the proper driver install, however it did not end here. AMD cpu's (especially the XP+ series tend to run really hot, requiring either the addition of fans, better heatsink/cpu fan/better quality cpu gel, or a combination of all. If you're only running one PCI device, make sure it's NOT installed in the PCI slot just below your AGP slot as the first PCI slot sometimes shares IRQ's with the AGP(not applicable to all motherboards, but worth a shot). Also, if running two memory sticks, try installing them in the first and third slots, leaving the center one empty,(read this somewhere in regards to the way the CPU accesses the RAM being faster) Stock AMD CPU coolers are ok if running only bare minimums and not pushing your system over the edge with processor intensive games and such.
If running high end games...definitely consider more fans and a better CPU cooler. Hope this helps, good luck!

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Re:crashes when playing a 3d game (but not always)
by jitsukablue / March 14, 2004 8:13 PM PST

I had the same problem with crashes with 3d games or anything else that used the graphics card. There are several things you should try.
Firstly was inadequete case cooling. These cards get overheated if there aren't fans back and front of the case.
Secondly, the motherboard was a bundled one and either they hadn't pasted the CPU heatsink properly or the motherboard was faulty or incompatible with my graphics card. The problems dispeared when I changed the motherboard and added fans.
My CPU runs at 25 C since a zalman cooler. Try a google search for your motherboard and graphics card to see if there are similar problems.
I still occasionly get crashes but it is always when I forget to crank up the case fans (control on font of PC).
How long can you run games before they crash? Try 3d mark looped with the settings cranked up and see if it crashes.
Also see if your graphics card resets itself when it crashes, as mine does. Leave it for a minute or two.

Gigabyte mb GA-7VA, AMD Athlon XP 2400 zalman 'fan' cooler.
5.1 livesound card.
9800 Radeon Pro
Seagate 7200 rpm ide

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Re:crashes when playing a 3d game (but not always)
by charlah / March 18, 2004 3:58 AM PST

Well I replaced/upgraded the card with an ati aiw 9800 pro and all my troubles are gone

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