I have a Dell Dimension PC. It has twin NVidia GeForce 7950 GX2 graphics cards and an AGEIA PhysX 100 series PCI Card. Dell reckoned that would be a good set up for gaming - about 4 years ago now.
Have had usual problems - including a complete reload of all software after a total failure about 2 years ago - which, I think, happened after loading some graphics drivers, but not sure.
Forgive the tedious background, but I thought it might help you out there ...
The problem: PC ran fine with most games until end 2010, including pretty good with MoH limited edition (Nov last). However, it had real problems coping with CoD Black Ops - out just after Christmas.
I downloaded updated NVIDIA drivers - 18.104.22.16858 dated 07 01 2011 - but they have not improved things. AND - I now can't even play CRYSIS Warhead without the PC 'blue-screening' and crashing. (It used to be absolutely fine). Also, i seem to remember an NVIDIA note saying that the AGEIA card was no longer necessary because of the new drivers for the 7950 ...?
I'd really appreciate some thoughts on this if anybody has time to think it all through?
what is the rest of your spec? it is easier to help if we know that . when you mention 'twin' do you have 2 or 1 7950 GX2 in your rig? COD black OPS are quite demanding on the CPU side. quad core cpu should have less problem but for dual core even the fast one will have trouble to run the game without lag but there was patch to address the problem. regarding AGEIA, nvidia no longer provide support or driver update for the PPU. they said it is no longer necessary to use PPU since the PPU function has been integrated into GPU. BUT you need at least 8k series of nvidia gpu to run physx on GPU. your 7950 GX2 does not have the capability to do so which means you still need PPU to run physx.
other than that check cpu and gpu temperature as well. run the memtest86 program to check your RAM. faulty RAM can lead to BSOD
Nvidia dropped support for Ageia back in the 192 days, the 7950gx2 is still supported and will for some time perhaps a year or two more. Be sure that the card is clean because they do not last very long when overheated. I think that it may be time to upgrade and put your 7950gx2 in a safe place because it is already a very rare card not to rare yet but it will be in a few years.
Thank you both for this. Really appreciate the help. As a 61 year old avid gamer (and 3 sons the same) I know what's wrong but not why it's wrong!! Give me an hour or two to work out which way 'up' is! - and I'll get back to you. However ...
... in the interim though, the Dimension is the XPS 710. It has two NviDia cards in it as well as the Physx card. It has an Intel Core 2 processor 6700 @ 2.66GHz with 2.5 GB RAM (the max I can put in).
Renz 496 - you mention the lack of support in the Nvidia drivers for Physx - but that the Physx still needs to function as the latest NVidia drivers don't support it. maybe (1) that's what's wrong with my older games now, suddenly and (2) my rig just isn't man enough for the latest games ....
In which case, how would you suggest I go back to older Nvidia drivers - and how can I make sure that my Physx card isn't being bypassed so to speak? This would at least give me good performance on all the games less the 2 most recent ones?
OK - I followed all the instructions. Definitely an improvement, but still not back to original quality: I'm wondering whether I should install slightly earlier NVidia drivers for the 7950 GX2 cards ...