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$50 for whoever fixes my problem

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June 6, 2008 9:44:01 PM

Let me start by saying i think i've exhausted all possible solutions besides buying a whole new mobo, cpu, and ram. I play three games WoW, and more recently Call of Duty 4, and TF2. I'm pretty sure the problem I am currently having has been happening for a while, but its not as noticeable in WoW. When I hop on any FPS its very difficult to play with. My computer will run fine for 10-20 mins after start up, around 70 FPS in TF2 and COD4 at max setting. Then all of the sudden I can watch the graphics get super choppy. It becomes unplayable and I just get frustrated. My computer specs are currently...

AMD Dual Core 1.8Ghz
2 GB Kingston Ram DDR2 (i believe its DDR2)
GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB (BRAND NEW, literally 3 days old)
Abit KN8 SLI motherboard
80gb western digital 7200rpm SATA HD
ULTRA 750W X2-Connect Power Supply ( http://www.xoxide.com/ultra-750w-x2-ps.html ) (something similar to this but its a 550W, the fan is making a weird clanking noise)
28" Viewsonic LCD Monitor

I have made several attempts to fix this problem. Three days ago I had a GeForce 7600GT 256MB PCI-E graphics card in my computer and was experiencing the same problem. The logical solution to me is that I had a bad graphics card. Many friends told me that Geforce x600 series is a below par card. Some of the steps that I've tried to take to fix my problem after putting the new one in and experiencing the same problems were.....
- Installing different versions of graphics drivers
- Making sure that my computer wasn't overheating (which it is not, i've been monitoring the temps)
- Running tests on the ram to see if it was faulty
- Installing all possible Windos XP updates
- Making sure the power supply is giving all the parts adequate power
- Trying diffrerent resolutions and graphics setting in game
- Ran spyware and virus scans

I'm really not sure what else there is I can do at this point. Im beginning to think that it could possibly be the motherboard. That is pretty much the only thing that I could see it being at this point

Your help is greatly appreciated, I am willing to Paypal or Moneyorder the cash to you. You can contact me at berger104@gmail.com. Thanks!

More about : fixes problem

June 6, 2008 9:50:22 PM

Just curious, when your game get's choppy do you hear the fan's spool up higher? BTW, you're running DDR not DDR2, KN8 runs the older 939 chips which use DDR. My older system was a AMD 3800+ X2 (939) w/ 2 gig ram on a MSI board with an x850xt ati card. I doubt this is your problem but I came across some issues with "virtual memory" errors. Eventhough you are running a dual core chip, your 1.8 gig cpu may not cut it for the games in the long haul.

Another thing I did to avoid the lag and choppiness was to set the game to run off of 1 core by setting it's affinity through task manager. (Found this tip on some gaming forum)

My two free cents
June 6, 2008 9:53:21 PM

No, CPU fan, graphics fan, case fans, and power supply fan all stay the same speed
Related resources
June 6, 2008 9:59:53 PM

Are these games you are playing only online? Will it run a single player COD4 OK with the graphics cranked? Maybe your ISP is crapping out and you're getting terrible lag.

How old are the motherboard's chipset drivers?
June 6, 2008 10:03:39 PM

Did you update the NForce4 motherboard drivers too? Check the monitor on another system or tried another monitor on this system? Tried a different known good video cable? Have the SLI off (if it's not currently SLI)? Windows up to date? Games patched? If it's not any of those then it's likely the video controller on the motherboard itself and the mobo needs replace.
June 6, 2008 10:04:36 PM

Try this...boost your cpu, memory and pCi-express voltage..
Set in Bios 2volts for ram(if it's ddr2)
One step higher for your cpu(the bios should display the current voltage, then you raise that voltage to the next value your bios permits you too)
The same for PCI-express(try with one and two steps)

Hope this works
June 6, 2008 10:06:37 PM

Same problem in single play as multi player. I've tried smaller monitors on the computer and still the same problem. And the SLI is currently off
June 6, 2008 10:06:40 PM

1) Reformat and reinstall XP clean and try again.
2) Try your ram chips separately 1 at a time.
3) Open your case and run a fan in front of it.
4) Unseat, reapply thermal compound, and reseat your CPU.

Don't know that you will find your problem, intermittent ones are always hard to pin down, and it sucks not having spare parts to swap out to isolate the problem.

Good luck.
June 6, 2008 10:17:54 PM

I think your board is nForce4 so DDR1. Your CPU is X2 3600+ ?
Can you provide CPU-Z/cpuid HWMonitor /GPU-Z screenshots after a gaming session?

The most likely reason you are having hickups is that your CPU is bottlenecking the GPU. Run a 3D Mark 06 benchmark and let us know what results you are getting.

Your harddisk is also ancient and likely slow to match it's age(design). If you have any background processes running that access the harddrive(antivirus software, downloaders, ...) that could be a likely cause.
Keep your money and put it towards a new harddrive (WD3200AAKS or the like).
June 6, 2008 10:23:05 PM

Since it runs fine for 10-20min and then acts up, it sounds like either your cpu or gpu are overheating. And since you replaced the gpu and it still happens, it's likely the CPU. (It could also be the northbridge)

Try using Speedfan to monitor your temperatures and fan speed under load. Go into the bios and turn off "Cool and Quiet" and fan control so that it always runs at 100%. Try reseating the heatsink.

A quick an simple test to see if overheating is the problem is to run your computer with the side panel off and a floor fan blowing into the case. If this fixes the problem, or it takes longer before it occurs, then overheating is likely the problem.
June 6, 2008 10:24:11 PM

I tend to agree with others that your system can't keep up with the video card. The video card starts taxing the system until the systam is overloaded swapping data from memory to HDD like crazy. Overload...haven't heard that word in a while.
June 6, 2008 10:35:41 PM

ScottUT said:
I tend to agree with others that your system can't keep up with the video card. The video card starts taxing the system until the systam is overloaded swapping data from memory to HDD like crazy. Overload...haven't heard that word in a while.


But he said he was having this problem with his 7600GT first. An AMD X2 1.8Ghz, 2gb ram, and sata hdd would not be a bottleneck for that card.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 6, 2008 10:38:10 PM

@OP: Looks like your CPU is being a bottle neck. Also what resolution are you playing at?

To eliminate CPU/GPU as problems:

1. Download Prime95 and ATITool.

2. Run Prime95 ~10hrs at stock to see if CPU is the problem.

3. Run ATITool's "Scan for Artifacts", if this starts to lagg or crash it could indicate a possible GPU issue or may be even a software issue.
June 6, 2008 10:46:28 PM

If WOW runs better than CofD4 then for sure bottlenecking between 1.8 mhz cpu (weak), memory (DDR...weak), MB, HDD (sata is fine but it's still a bottleneck) and vid card (7600GT, a PCI express card and any PCI express card will run much better on a DDR2 system with a fast FSB). Anyway, just my thoughts. I still hold out that the mobo is the prob, video controller and chipsets malfunctioning.
June 6, 2008 10:49:05 PM

If the CPU being a bottleneck (which it is) was the problem then he'd be having problems from the start not after 20 minutes.
June 6, 2008 11:01:58 PM

i love all the people that dont think the problem through and just throw out their advice on what to do.

Modtech is correct, the CPU is a bottleneck, but just because its a bottleneck does not mean its causing the issues he is describing which pop up 20 minutes into the gaming.

Could be an overheating issue. Run a temp monitoring program while you are playing and see how hot you are running when you are having the issues.
June 6, 2008 11:04:47 PM

Me personally, I would look at heat as being the primary cause, but the poster said heat was not the issue.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 6, 2008 11:09:51 PM

Agreed, its not the CPU.

Sure seems like something is overheating somewhere however. Things don't just run fine for 20min then start acting up on their own. Assuming the CPU is not caked in dust, I'd look to the PSU and memory. Without opening the PSU, try to remove/blow out as much dust as you can. Perhaps the x2 PSU is overheating and becoming unstable. (is that PSU a modular one?)

The other thing I'd do is an overnight run of memtest. Its possible you have some faulty ram sticks.
June 6, 2008 11:22:12 PM

I have read the poster's comments completely. He says heat is not the problem. Heat from the CPU will cause a computer to shut down and games to crash, not just slow down. The more advanced games he has barely meets the minimum specs. I don't believe that it's a video problem at all. Two video cards in a row with bad heat dispersion, with graphics on low settings, and no overclocking? Not buying it. It's either bottlenecking or its a mobo prob. That's my $50 bet.
June 7, 2008 12:23:38 AM

For all you who think the CPU is not the bottleneck:
The longer the game lasts the more "stuff" has to be processed. When CPU is the bottleneck a FPS game usually works fine until you reach a high activity area. I haven't played WOW yet but I would think it's the same.

My old single core system stalls for several seconds every 30-50 seconds in Supreme Commander but only when rendering battle. During building and exploring the game runs without hickups.

The 10-20 minute statement is to "trivial". It might as well be 5-30minutes.

Depending on load the CPU can overheat within a minute. Without accurate temperature logs from RivaTuner or "max" values from HW Monitor or SpeedFan it's hard to say it's not an overheating problem.
Running Prime95 would expose an overheating problem like Shadow703793 said.

A program accessing the harddrive for whatever reason would also stall the system. The old harddrive might make the problem even worse.
June 7, 2008 12:29:48 AM

It is not a heat problem like ive said before. I've been monitoring that because that was my initial thought
June 7, 2008 12:46:29 AM

Ive reformatted my system numerous times
a b B Homebuilt system
June 7, 2008 1:10:09 AM

ScottUT said:
I have read the poster's comments completely. He says heat is not the problem. Heat from the CPU will cause a computer to shut down and games to crash, not just slow down. The more advanced games he has barely meets the minimum specs. I don't believe that it's a video problem at all. Two video cards in a row with bad heat dispersion, with graphics on low settings, and no overclocking? Not buying it. It's either bottlenecking or its a mobo prob. That's my $50 bet.

Not true. Most of the new CPUs (ie C2Ds) will throttle down when reaching a critical temp before shutting down. Same with the GPUs.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 7, 2008 1:11:02 AM

If you are talking about multi player, then internet lagg could be a reason also.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 7, 2008 1:11:43 AM

@OP: What temps are you getting?
June 7, 2008 2:02:49 AM

Like ive said ive been monitoring my temps every time it happens, and nothing is anywhere close to overheating. it occurs in single player as well as multiplayer
a c 83 B Homebuilt system
a b Ý World of Warcraft
June 7, 2008 2:40:21 AM

Can you try a different PSU? Yours is a not recommended tier 5 unit on this list: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10...
The unit is not very efficient to begin with, and over time a lower quality unit will deteriorate sooner and behave strangely. As the psu gets heated up, it loses it's efficiency, which was not great to begin with. I also note that your unit is making wierd noises.
June 7, 2008 3:16:41 AM

geofelt said:
Can you try a different PSU? Yours is a not recommended tier 5 unit on this list: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10...
The unit is not very efficient to begin with, and over time a lower quality unit will deteriorate sooner and behave strangely. As the psu gets heated up, it loses it's efficiency, which was not great to begin with. I also note that your unit is making wierd noises.


I agree with Geofelt that the PSU is the possible culprit. Ultra's are lower quality, and even decent brands will deteriorate with age and cause strange problems, as stated.

I had an Antec SmartPower 500W for several months running my rig fine, but one day, games would run horribly slow, with average FPS below the 20 mark where 50+ was normal. Full shut down reboots would temporarily fix the issue, but only until it was restarted. Replaced it with a new Antec 650W Trio I got on sale and it's been fine ever since.
June 7, 2008 3:23:36 AM

The very fist thing I thought of, which no one else has mentioned, is the amount of memory. 2 Gigs is not that much, it sounds to me like some processes, possibly malware, are eating up memory. I had the same, EXACTLY the same, issue with Oblivion and 2 gigs, it turned out to be a single naughty program, not the game. What does Task Manager say in terms of free memory at the start of the game and when it becomes choppy?
June 7, 2008 3:31:47 AM

Im starting to think that it may be the PSU. The fan is obviously doing the clanking, but from past experiences when something starts to hit up against something else its bad.
June 7, 2008 3:38:11 AM

berger103 said:
Im starting to think that it may be the PSU. The fan is obviously doing the clanking, but from past experiences when something starts to hit up against something else its bad.


A bad or inadequate power supply does not cause a slow down "after a while." The system will crash or develop errors randomly.
June 7, 2008 3:59:56 AM

I had a client that had the same problem as you. What I did to narrow down what the problem was is slowly change each part of the system. E.g. first I swapped the Psu out then tried running his games. And so forth what turned out to be the problem was his Abit KN8 SLI motherboard. For whatever reason I could find absolutely nothing wrong with any other components. So I pulled his mobo and put in one of my older systems parts in there and it caused the same problems. So my recommendation is your mobo is dying slowly almost like it has a capacitor problem they might be dry inside. Abit had a problem with dry caps a while back.
June 7, 2008 5:00:49 AM

Agreed with the poster above me, I always try to swap parts out when I'm stumped, either my spare parts or from a friends' computer or I can even go to a local computer shop and they will usually test it with their parts for a small fee. If it takes a while for your problem to happen however I don't know if they will want to bother with it, or they might charge a bit more.

In any case, your parts are about 2x as good as the parts in my ancient computer and my computer runs both CoD4 and WoW fine, never tried TF2 though. Your hard drive while old, is fine, I ran these on a even older hard drive perfectly fine.

Most people here seem to think it's CPU/GPU/overheating. Personally to me it sounds very similar to memory leak issues I've experienced in the past. I'd look into issues with the memory first if it were me - I know a LOT of people put a ton of stock into memtest and whatnot, but it could be anything from the memory not being seated well or maybe it just doesn't like your motherboard. All kinds of wierd things can happen when building a system.

However this is a very vague problem and could very well be anything, hopefully someone here can help!
June 7, 2008 5:18:17 AM

HI
Well if the problem not hardware related here some problems i had in past
Any program running on computer that uses Hot key, (like fraps, video recorders, hot keyed to start recording after button press) in this case after pressing you might activate something on background killing your pc performance.
Anti virus, and all kinda progs that scan HD, and various defrag progs
Many games don't like Alt+tab and will become less and less playable

also i had some hardware related problems that caused similar effect,
faulty Sata cable, loose power plug into HD,
Faulty Chipset on motherboard (fixed that by plug PCI to sata card and disable onboard )
HD getting ready to die but can't make up mind?
have u ever seen this message "Delayed Write Failure"
June 7, 2008 5:53:10 AM

My motherboard began making games almost unplayable from the start after a couple of months. Then it didn't POST any more, so I upgraded. As mentioned earlier, your mobo could be having a fit.

What are your temps? Yes you said you aren't overheating, but what are your temps, and what are you measuring them with?

Although higly unlikely due to the nature of the problem, make sure your video card power cable is plugged in, if it comes loose you will get around 1-2FPS :lol: 
a b B Homebuilt system
June 7, 2008 6:18:03 PM

@OP: What software (AV,IM,etc). are you running? Also some games do seems to not like RivaTuner and such programs (they consider those systems Cheat Systems ie. aimbot).
June 7, 2008 6:45:05 PM

1.8ghz on a duel core will still be bad for a video game.
June 7, 2008 8:20:48 PM

wow so much talk about poor CPU, but the truth is that even old or cheap(old like in AMD x2 ~4000 +-) CPU can play games very well, it might limit FPS a little but not be that bad bottleneck

please read this article it explains a lot about CPU and gaming (resolution, game settings, game itself, will have more impact on FPS)

http://www.guru3d.com/article/cpu-scaling-in-games-with-quad-core-processors/
June 7, 2008 9:02:51 PM

guys come on I already posted that his computer is a LOT better than mine and I have no issues in these same games...granted I have to turn the graphics down a bit on CoD4 to get good fps, but WoW runs perfectly fine at max graphics settings. Both are at 1680x1050 res.

Single core AMD Athlon 64 3000+ 1.8ghz
1g DDR 400
Asus A8S-X mobo
Radeon x850 xt
running windows off a WD raptor

I think its pretty obvious that it isn't the original speed of his hardware that was the issue...
June 7, 2008 11:01:20 PM

@scylas
Well at 1920x1200(28" native) CPU is usually less of a bottleneck anyway.
Still a socket 939 X2 is quite a low performer by today's standards (~1250 in 3D Mark 06).

The main difference is you have a Raptor, he has an old slow performing 80GB drive. Perform a HDTach test and post performance numbers for both drives. I bet his' will be way lower than yours. Or you could both run 3D Mark 06 and post those numbers.

A slow drive to start with and now we add an AV program to the equation checking the files the game accesses and you are probably looking at the main problem.

So from what I see the 80GB drive is the weakest component in that system. I would start by upgrading it.
June 8, 2008 12:40:28 AM

I also have an old 60gig 7200(with IDE) I've run these games on, I barely see a difference between the two HD's, they only really affect the games loading, not actual FPS. This HD is even worse than his. In fact if I could go back to when I bought the raptor I'd have bought a larger 7200 instead and saved some of the leftover money for something else.

I'm telling you this problem has nothing to do with the original speed of his hardware.
June 8, 2008 3:09:51 AM

@scylas
I bought 2 Raptors 1.5 years ago. A8N-SLI Deluxe, 3200+, 2GB RAM, 2x200GB SATA WD upgraded to 2x150GB Raptor. For me Raptors reduced boot time by 15 seconds. VS doesn't stall all the time, compiling is instantaneous, the system is more responsive, I multitask heavily so pagefile usage is high. So when you say you don't notice a difference between a 60GB IDE fossil and a Raptor I can't help but laugh at you.

From a pure FPS standpoint I agree with you, the Raptor is irrelevant. Since I don't game much I can't say I noticed any improvement. I would think "swaping" and loading extra content like new environments in WOW happens during game play. A stalled hard drive causes hickups.

I guess we will never know as the OP doesn't provide any additional info, he just tells everybody the temperatures are fine but doesn't say what they are. He doesn't provide screenshots of system health, he evades questions about monitoring software. For all we know it's a virtual problem made up by some geek who thinks it's funny wasting other people's time.
June 8, 2008 3:28:29 AM

at 1650?that is some serious graphics horsepower.im surprise it doesnt even lag(at first).but i had a thought it could be the AMD's CoolnQuiet technology cutting in.because the miscommunication betwen windows and BIOS could let the mobo think the computer is on idle so i run in low power mode.

OR

but i do think that his whole system is not upto the job itself.i know the problem could also be the memory is running short on the system.i recently build a PC with 2GB ram and i accidently turned off the virtual memory and everytime he play COD4 or and RTS game after a while when the whole map filled up with bots and buildings the game crash straight away and says running out of memory.in his case he had virtual memory turn on,so it could only be his HDD slow speed causing the lag.try to get another Gige of ram to test it out.
June 8, 2008 3:58:38 AM

He has plenty of RAM, but as you mentioned, if virtual memory is disabled he won't get far.
June 8, 2008 6:00:50 AM

It seems pretty clear it is either a mobo issue or a PSU issue. Since you have reformatted that rules out a software hitch and you are convinced temps are fine, so start out switching the PSU since it is a lesser pain in the ass than mobo (albeit still the second biggest) and then try a new mobo if at all possible.

It may be the most financially reasonable to save your 50 bucks and do a full mobo and CPU upgrade.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 8, 2008 9:46:43 AM

I don't have a lot to add to what has already been said, accept for this one thing:

Heat issues come at all temps. Your cooling can be fine, all your temps can be in a normal range, yet as some particular part warms up it can start to slow or generate other problems.

I have seen more than one video card or MB operate flawlessly until it reached what would be considered a standard operating temp, at which point it would have problems.

Also, I hate terms like "choppy graphics" because it's very subjective and can mean a number of things.
!