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Author Topic: Video or sound card problem. Or maybe something else?  (Read 1333 times)
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Gratch
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« on: December 05, 2004, 06:39:10 PM »

Specs:

Athlon XP 2200+
Asus A7V8X with onboard sound (I only have a 2 speaker system.  Haven't had the need for a better sound card)
512 MB PC2700 RAM
Geforce FX 5900
80 GB HD
120 GB HD

Problem:
It seems that whenever I play any of the newer games (Halflife 2, Doom 3 demo, Farcry demo, etc), after about 20 minutes my system goes into a loop where the image freezes, and whatever 1 second sound happened to be plaing repeats over and over.  After about 30 seconds, it boots me back to the desktop.  If I reboot the system, I can play for another 20-30 minutes before it happens again.  Reboot, 20-30 minutes, lock up, reboot, 20-30 minutes, lockup...you get the idea.

I've tried updating video card drivers and Direct X this morning to the latest versions, but I'm still getting the problem when playing HL2.  Any ideas where else I should start troubleshooting?
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warning
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2004, 07:46:46 PM »

I'd suspect heat.  Do you have adequate cooling?  What are the temps in your case and on your CPU?
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Zekester
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2004, 02:43:30 PM »

Can you disable sound, or at least turn down acceleration?

Also, check your primary IDE properties in device manager to be sure that your hard drive is running in DMA mode.

WinXP changed this on me one time and caused a lot of problems with games.
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DArtagnan
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2004, 02:47:37 PM »

Definately sounds heat-related to me. I had a PC like that some years back, and after months of trying everything between heaven and earth I finally underclocked my CPU (so it was generating less heat) and the problem ceased.
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Gratch
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2004, 04:46:08 AM »

Thanks for the tips.  I've kind of suspected it was a heat-related issue.  I forgot to mention that every once in a while, I will hear a couple beeps from what I assume is the mobo speaker (sound similar to the POST beeps).  This only happens when I'm gaming, and is usually followed by a lock-up within 5-10 minutes.

However, the only temp sensor I can find is the one with Sisoft's Sandra program, and it only measures CPU temp.   I also heard it is wildly innaccurate.  My guess is that since I only get problems when playing a game that taxes my video card, then that is what is overheating.  Is there some sort of utility I can use to measure the temp on my vid card?

Also, if it is a temp problem with the video card, what can I do to cool it down?  I already have 2 side fans blowing directly on it, in addition to the dual fans that came mounted.  I've tried actually removing the side of the case to let more air in, but it doesn't seem to help much.  

Thanks again for the tips!  smile

EDIT:  I reverified some HL2 files after install, and it seemed to fix the lockup problems with that particular game.  I've actually been playing for about 6 hours without any problems.  I tried the Doom 3 demo again, however, and it locked up within 10 minutes every time.
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DArtagnan
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2004, 11:32:51 AM »

It's hard to say.

What you said about having two extra fans blowing cold air onto your video card tells me it might be your CPU. Generally, gaming taxes BOTH your video card and your CPU.

Anyway, I'd suggest trying to get a hold of another video card from a friend or something, to test if the problem persists. If that isn't possible, I'd take a look at a new cooler for your CPU or see if you can underclock it. The same goes for your video card.

Sadly, the problem can be caused by any number of things, and so it's a matter of eliminating one thing at a time. It could also be your RAM or your motherboard.

Try removing every piece of hardware (those that aren't necessary to run a game) and see if that helps, then putting them back in one by one until the problem returns. I know this sucks, but in my experience, it's the best way to determine the source of such problems.

That's about all the advice I can think of, short of replacing your entire PC, but that's hardly what you want to do.

Oh, and look in you motherboard manual, and see if you can't find out what those beeps are trying to tell you. Generally, they are listed in the manual.
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gameoverman
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2004, 09:48:09 AM »

Speedfan is a good temp program.

Have you cleaned all your fans and heatsinks?  I have gained 10C of temp reductions just by taking a qtip and alcohol and cleaning all grime and dust off my fans' blades and from between the fins of the heatsinks of my CPU, Northbridge, and videocard.
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