I have just received a new PC with the following spec: P4 2.8, 512Mb DDR 333 RAM, Radeon 9700 w/128Mb, Creative SB Audigy w/SB1394, 120Gb HDD, based on an ASUS P4S8X mobo (BIOS 1004). I am using WinXP Pro with SP1.
Everything (business apps, peripherals, etc) seems to work apart from the Direct3D. The PC does seem a bit slower than I would have expected, but I put this down to the fact that the BIOS is on 1004, which is the one issued to fix initial instability with the mobo but has a detrimental effect on performance.
If I do a DXDIAG Direct3D test, the DX7 test always looks good, and about 80% of the time the DX8 test looks fine too, but about 1 in 5 times the DX8 display is patchy around the edges with bits of the desktop popping up randomly.
This has manifested itself in some games: Battlefield 1942 locks the PC after anywhere from 0-600 seconds when inside the game proper; Medieval Total War will display the battle screen but always bombs back to the menu when I try to open a campaign map. Operation Flashpoint seems to lock up periodically too. However, IL2 Sturmovik (which uses OpenGL) seems to play fine.
I downloaded the new 188.8.131.5278 driver from ATi (which mentions D3D probs with the BF42 game) but this did not help. In installing it, I did de-install the existing driver first.
Could this be down to the mobo? Is it safe (and is there any point) to upgrade the BIOS to ASUS' new 1005 beta? (By the way, given ASUS' ZIP file with the BIOS upgrade in it, excuse my ignorance but what does one do with the "1005.002" file??! No rude answers please ;-) )
Has anyone else had similar problems with the P4S8X and/or Radeon 9700? Does anyone have any ideas as to how this might be resolved?
This board is widely known by nearly everyone to have problems with both certain memory types and AGP8x. In fact, the only well made 648 board I can think of is the Gigabyte version. You can try different things to fix it, like setting the AGP mode to 4x, maybe it will help? Isn't there a setting for that in BIOS?
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