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need specialised gaming machine support, where in UK?

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  • Gaming
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November 2, 2006 12:34:55 PM

Hi, is there anywhere in the North of England, around Manchester or somwhere in that area, that will diagnose and fix computer problems but specialy to do with games machines? i really need a games guru to help me out, as ive tried taking my machines to places in the past and never got any real help from them. Basicly i seem to be getting low performance with a new machine which should do much better, and need some specialist help. thanks

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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
November 2, 2006 1:03:59 PM

If you post the details of your PC, the games involved, performance you get vs. performance you expect, I am sure that people here can give you some useful ideas.
It might also help to let us know how you feel about working on the innards of a PC in case that's necessary.
November 2, 2006 1:23:52 PM

Where are you in Manchester? I can come and have a look at it for you (I work for the University & live in Rusholme) - PM me.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 2, 2006 1:56:54 PM

I wouldn't trust most shops with Diagnostic work, unless they are small, and have 'time on their hands'. There is at least one good supplier up there though.

Whats the problem, we may be able to help, and as jtt said how happy are you with the case open?
November 2, 2006 5:13:42 PM

Hey thanks for the replys. I don't actually live in Manchester, but my brother does- i live in a village about an hour away. However i could travel to Manchester to get this solved. This is gunna be a long read, so please forgive my crap structure... Ill explain the problem:

Originaly i bought a pc abot 5 or 6 years ago, from Mesh computers, and about 2 years ago, i bought a game called Warhammer Dawn of War. With this computer, i used a radion 9800pro, which did run Dawn of War really well.

about a year ago, i decided to buy a new graphics card. I got an x850xtpe, for my old agp system. It seemed that things wernt running smoothely, so eventualy after much sorrow, i decided it was because the computer had gotten cluttered and sluggish, and so I bought a new motherboard and reinstalled windows.
Then with the new, clean system, i tried to play the game Eve online, and also Battlefield 2, and the game Dawn of War. They all seemed jerkey, even though all should of run really well with that graphics card. So i ended trying to diagnose the problem and bought a new processor, new ram, new hard drive etc. Nothing changed the situation. (processor was a 2.8 p4, and a 3.0 p4.....1024 ddr ram). So i basicly had 2 computers then, with similar components, all showing the exact same problem with Dawn of War.

So, i gave up, after spending hundreds of hours reading forums and trying to fix the problem.

Then, recently, just a month ago, I bought a totaly new pc. I got an Intel mobo, E6000 core 2 duo, 2 gig DDR2 ram, SATA western digital, x-fi soundcard, and nvidia 7600gt. (i bought from overclockers.co.uk and the mobo/ram/processor was a bundle) I built the machine, and to my horror, the same stutter in the game Dawn of War, which was the first game i tried- I was using this game to test because it's what i wanted to play, and there was a very distinctive kind of stutter on it. Of course i tried things like drivers/patches etc for the games/motherboards/cards.
The only things which stayed the same on both computers are: 1 wireless USB linksys network adaptor, 1 19 inch Acer al1912b monitor which uses a dvi to analogue convertor.
But anyway, i have tried formating the pc and not installing the network adaptor, and still the same result. Also tried a couple of other analogue monitors, (1 LCD, 1 old monitor). So i doubt that is the problem.

So after a while of thinking im cursed, i think i decided that maybe it was just that games fault, and not the computer. The other games seem to run much, much better now, which made me think the old processor just wasnt up to the task alongside a good graphics card. Apart from dawn of war which is just the same.
I read loads of benchmark tests and compared with what framerate i got, and saw that it kind of looked ok. But then with the game Battlefield 2142, it's running pretty poorly compared to what others say. It seems to stutter when theres big explosions really close up, say if your right next to lots of things blowing up. Then the framrate will drop down to around 10. Even if i turn the graphics down to medium/low, i still get this. I must add though, that the framrate is pretty good untill closeup explosions happen. The game, Battlefield 2 runs better, but i noticed the same thing with the explosions close up, even if i turn graphics down to minium possible.

I have come to realise that my sound is having crackling issues, and its not just the X-fi. I have tried my old audigy 2, and the onboard sound. All seem to crackle in games (eve online crackles a lot). I think this could be an issue to do with some motherboards and using SATA hard drives, or something else, as i have seen many posts about this crackling issue. As of yet i can't seem to find a solution.

So i dont know if the sound thing is unrelated, or if maybe it's causing the slowdowns on battlefield with explosions, but ive tried turning off hardware sound, and using onboard sound etc. So i dont know. I sill think theres something up though, mainly because of Dawn of war not running on these 3 computers... and the recent discovery of 2142 not running correctly.

Its almost like someone from another dimension is secretly poisoning my computers, tha's how mad this problem is. sorry for my long explanation/bad spelling.

So, that's why i need some computer games expert tech guy. I took the old pc to 3 differnt repair guys, all who just run 3d mark and say its fine.
a b 4 Gaming
November 2, 2006 5:33:33 PM

actually a very good set if descriptions in a way.

only thing that is missing is the driver sets that you are using.

For instance I was playing BF2 on my AGP 6600GT at 1280x1024 medium everything quite happily on the 84.21 (or 82.41) nvidia drivers, upgraded to latest and play got a lot worse.

Essentially the problem is that you have is poor framerates on your current system, these have been a recurring problems across several updates and therefore it is unlikely to be an individiual component, even when the system should be able to cope and has been proven to cope in an earlier incarnation

Can you give me/us all of the details of your current system, including Bios version levels and power supply make, model and wattage. Also Driver versions for Graphics, and whether you have been installing windows updates. What V checker are you using.

You say there is a 'distinctive stutter' can you describe it? Is it on single or multiplayer? can you test with sound quality turned right down.

There is no point trying to solve the past problems, we should concentrate on this one. The fact it is also on your new machine is perplexing, did you transfer files from old to new?

This might take a while, and I'm off to the pub soon, so I may not respond till tomorrow, hopefully someone will make a start whilst I am away.
November 2, 2006 6:13:47 PM

Are you playing Dawn of War on the internet?
November 2, 2006 6:28:27 PM

Your set up sounds more than capable of playing games without any glitches.

Did you install the motherboard drivers?????
November 3, 2006 4:08:57 AM

If you buy me a ticket, I'll fly into Manchester, give you comp support, and even go to Old Trafford watch a couple games.
November 3, 2006 7:31:13 AM

Sounds like a great idea to me :D 
November 3, 2006 10:44:39 AM

So who's gonna pay for the ticket? You gonna sponsor for the ticket?
PM me, I'll give you my details ... :p 
November 3, 2006 12:13:13 PM

Yes, i have installed the motherboard drivers, chipset etc. I would play Dawn of War on the net if it worked, but the stutter happens offline which is how i test it, so it stutters on the internet and off it.

The current drivers im using for my graphics are the latest ones, i think are something like 9.47? when the game did run good on the old 9800 pro, the drivers were much older then, so that could be something to try, getting the old drivers from that time (nvidia though).

But, including more recently on the 9800pro, ive seen it stutter exactly the same way with a 7900gt, x850xtpe, and the 7600gt (i bought a special agp Gainward 7900gt to see if it would fix the problem). the 9800pro worked a couple of years ago without this sutter, though that was with the older graphics drivers (but same game patches i have tried).

I have tried the game with, and without both service packs for windows, with and without all the updates. Have installed dual core MS patch, but didnt help.

I have tried the most recent 2 releases of nvidia drivers, so the current ones and one before that.

The mobo bios, i have updated twice since i got this comp... there has been 2 releases of bios in the month or so, so i currently have the latest for this board....

Virus checker: i have tried with none installed, after a clean format. Currently im using AVG. And zone alarm pro/spy bot search and destroy.
But have tried removing all of these programs, and anything else non-essential.

The stutter: i have tried turning sound down and off, which doesnt change it. It's like it only stutters when you scroll the view around the map, and only really stutters when you scroll over units and buildings. Btw, its not a vsync issue in case that's what it sounds like. There is a little graph you can bring up on Dawn Of war, which shows that the fps goes really low in a complete straight line for some time ever time the stutter happens. Which is a lot if your scrolling back and forth over the units, here ill show u a screenshot on this other forum. Im called Starmonger on it also, so just scroll down and keep clicking the picture untill it loads and zooms in so that it's large. You should see the fps graph in the top right showing the drops in framrate: http://forums.relicnews.com/showthread.php?t=112886&pag...


Not sure about the wattage, but i have gotten you the name of the psu in this list:

£0.00 x 1 - Corsair 2GB DDR2 XMS2-6400C5 TwinX (2x1GB) (MY-092-CS)
£0.00 x 1 - Intel DP965LT 965 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard - Retail
(MB-011-IN)
£0.00 x 1 - Intel Core 2 DUO E6600 "LGA775 Conroe" 2.40GHz (1066FSB) - Retail
(CP-128-IN)
£74.99 x 1 - BFG 3DFuzion GeForce 7600 GT 256MB GDDR3 TV-Out/DVI (PCI-Express) -
Retail (GX-025-BG)
£45.99 x 1 - Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB 2500KS SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM
(HD-046-WD)
£16.49 x 1 - Sony DWG120A 16x16 DVD±RW Dual Layer ReWriter (Black) - OEM
(CD-049-SO)
£49.50 x 1 - Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music - OEM (SC-043-CL)
£89.99 x 1 - OCZ GameXStream 700w Silent SLI Ready ATX2 Power Supply (CA-019-OC)
£34.99 x 1 - Saitek Eclipse 2 Illuminated Keyboard - Blue/Red/Purple (KB-019-SK)


thanks for you help
a b 4 Gaming
November 3, 2006 3:14:33 PM

I'm stuck at the moment. You do appear to have done all of the sensible things.

Can you try it with another keyboard? or is that a recent addition. Are you running the Xi-Fi in game mode?

84.21 were a good set of drivers for me, but latest should work ok anyway.

Can you monitor processor and CPU temps whilst gaming, although I don't hold out much hope of that being an issue.

Are you running indexing in background? can you turn it off?

Is Sp2 installed? reinstall of Direct X?

Running out of ideas, will think for a while.
November 3, 2006 3:59:29 PM

I'm just downloading the demo to see if my system does the same.

I have read several forum threads talking about problems with this game so I thought I'd give it a go myself.
November 3, 2006 7:03:16 PM

Try turning your AV software off - it's vaguely possible that that is hogging your CPU.
November 3, 2006 11:35:10 PM

OK, so I downloaded the demo version of Dawn of War and am currently in single player skirmish training.

The game runs very smoothly withour any glitching at all. In fact, the graphics are pretty basic by todays standards so should not pose any difficulties for your system.

As I said before I run X2 3800+, 2GB, 7600GT.

Please try to download the same version to see how it works on your system.
I downloaded it at gamespot

http://uk.gamespot.com/promos/dawnofwardemo/success.htm...

Let me know if it is the correct game and how you get on.
November 4, 2006 8:45:26 AM

Well,

I went through some of the training and decided I was ready to play for real.

Screen res: 1280 x 1024

Detail settings: max

CPU clocked at 2.0Ghz
7600GT clocked at defaults

No glitches at all. The frame rate was probably around 15-20 fps at this res.

I would guess that the FPS would drop a little further when more soldiers etc are generated and battling, but not enough to cause any kind of jerkiness.

As I said earlier I downloaded the demo version from gamespot so you might want to try installing hte demo to see if that performs equal to mine.
November 4, 2006 10:13:26 AM

dude, it sounds like your pc has cooling problems, i have some cracks in my on-board audigy whenit gets hot. put some extra venting in it, change its position, maybe the airflow in and outside of your case is not so good.... u should try this too....
November 4, 2006 12:01:34 PM

What are all your temperature readings?
November 5, 2006 8:16:52 AM

Hi there,

Have you downloaded the demo version and compared yet?????? 8O
November 5, 2006 10:12:12 PM

I played the demo campaign and noticed that during play when there is a full complement of troops and machines that the scrolling did get a bit juddery but nothing that would put me off.

I then overclocked my CPU to 2.5Ghz and my video card by 15% and played again. There was significantly less judder during play with my system overlcocked. I would therefore have to say that the game is very CPU & video card intensive(which was a surprise) and might just be too much for your set up but that seems unlikely as you have a core 2 CPU and they are suppossed to be pretty quick.

I can't really suggest anything else except maybe overclocking you chip!
!