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Wow / EVGA GTS 450 texture map confusion

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 28, 2011 11:07:12 PM

I'm here because I don't know who to go to; I imagine Blizzard and Nvidia/EVGA will blame each other and I don't even know what key words to search for.

First of all, my computer is older and custom built, but it's worked well all this time.

Windows XP SP3
Pentium D 3.20GHz
2 GB RAM
Gigabyte GA-8I945P-G

Recently I bought EVGA GTS 450 to replace XFX Geforce 7600GT. I'm happy enough with it, I can turn up the settings in WoW but I've been having occasional video issues.

Sometimes the video will freeze for a few seconds, after which the textures are all screwed up, blocky. Text and other images don't display correctly and it's difficult to tell what's going on. Next time it happens I'll try to remember to take a screen shot.

And sometimes there are weird issues with texture maps... I play windowed and switch between WoW and Firefox often. Sometimes when I try to use a drop down menu in Firefox (the search box or address box) instead of text, I find some sort of graphical texture map. This last time it seemed to sort itself out after a couple seconds and I saw text. Then back in WoW, while flying around Storm Peaks, I find this...

Several of the trees are textured in what belongs in the address box drop down list; that's right, that tree is made of my browsing preferences. It was perfectly readable but I blurred it some for privacy.

My limited knowledge of hardward suggests to me that this is some sort of memory issue; both WoW and Firefox are trying to use the same memory addresses. But since this has only happened since the addition of my new card, I have to wonder if either are to blame.

Any suggestions on how to fix this? I'm willing to put up with it if the only solutions are to put in the old card or to not play windowed and switch programs. A WoW restart fixes it.

I just updated the video card drivers (this problem has occurred with both versions).

Best solution

a b Î Nvidia
a b Ý World of Warcraft
November 1, 2011 12:55:40 AM

I'm thinking your system is overstressed for what you are trying to do. Especially with ALT-TABing between applications with XP. You may want to uninstall the graphics driver and reboot in safe mode. Then run Driversweeper to clean any remnants of the driver left in the Registry. Reboot. It may help to clean your system with CCleaner afterwards. Do the Clean and Registry both. Then defrag and reboot. Finally, Install the latest Nvidia driver. See if that helps.
Driversweeper: http://phyxion.net/item/driver-sweeper.html
CCleaner: http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner
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November 1, 2011 3:43:20 PM

Quote:
Time to get rid of the Pentium D and Windows XP, IMO

insufficient RAM could also be an issue

Yeah, that's what I'd like to do next. The video card was just a stopgap.
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November 1, 2011 3:44:56 PM

clutchc said:
I'm thinking your system is overstressed for what you are trying to do. Especially with ALT-TABing between applications with XP. You may want to uninstall the graphics driver and reboot in safe mode. Then run Driversweeper to clean any remnants of the driver left in the Registry. Reboot. It may help to clean your system with CCleaner afterwards. Do the Clean and Registry both. Then defrag and reboot. Finally, Install the latest Nvidia driver. See if that helps.
Driversweeper: http://phyxion.net/item/driver-sweeper.html
CCleaner: http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

I'll give that a try next chance I get, thanks.

My computer didn't seem to have any trouble doing these things before the new card and I would have hoped (I did hope actually) that the new card would have made it even easier.
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November 1, 2011 8:58:15 PM

clutchc said:
I'm thinking your system is overstressed for what you are trying to do. Especially with ALT-TABing between applications with XP. You may want to uninstall the graphics driver and reboot in safe mode. Then run Driversweeper to clean any remnants of the driver left in the Registry. Reboot. It may help to clean your system with CCleaner afterwards. Do the Clean and Registry both. Then defrag and reboot. Finally, Install the latest Nvidia driver. See if that helps.
Driversweeper: http://phyxion.net/item/driver-sweeper.html
CCleaner: http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

Okay, I did that the best I could. After the defrag and reboot, XP kept automatically installing a video driver. I tried turning off Plug and Play but then the newest driver install program wouldn't run. So I let it install automatically, restarted, and had the new driver program do a clean install.

Luckily the problem wasn't a frequent one, but it means that I won't know right away if it helped. Wednesday's our Fireland's raid night and that's where it tends to happen.

Thanks for the help. I'll give an update in a couple days, if it hasn't happened by then I think it would have worked.
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a b Î Nvidia
a b Ý World of Warcraft
November 1, 2011 11:01:10 PM

Usually the generic driver that XP installs won't interfere with a 'clean' install of the latest Nvidia driver.
As greghome suggested, 2GB of memory is also a limiting factor with today's games. If you can, invest in a couple more GBs of RAM. But try to have all sticks the same. That makes for far less trouble caused by timing issues.
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November 2, 2011 4:05:19 PM

clutchc said:
Usually the generic driver that XP installs won't interfere with a 'clean' install of the latest Nvidia driver.
As greghome suggested, 2GB of memory is also a limiting factor with today's games. If you can, invest in a couple more GBs of RAM. But try to have all sticks the same. That makes for far less trouble caused by timing issues.

I'd rather just build a whole new machine, but money doesn't currently allow this. I'll look into the ram.

So far so good, btw.
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November 2, 2011 4:43:33 PM

This never occurred to me, I just always tried to match it... Is it okay if the memory claims a higher clock speed than the motherboard? I read in a post here on these forums that the bios adjusts the ram speed... So then the clock speed on the memory is only the maximum it's meant to run at?

I ask because apparently I can only use 667mhz (although my current ram says 675) but I can't find matching memory.

I have Corsair CM2X1024 5400 675mhz
and can get Corsair 6400 800mhz ... although looking at the prices now, it'd make more sense to get a 4gb kit for $10 more and not worry about conflicts.

Still would like confirmation on 800mhz ram working on a 667mhz mb though...
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November 2, 2011 4:57:17 PM

Looking at Corsair TWIN2X4096-6400C5C 4GB XMS2 PC2-6400 800Mhz right now.
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November 3, 2011 4:15:45 AM

So far so good. To be fair I did turn down the video settings while in Firelands, but I haven't noticed any of the little freezes and such, so the cleaning may have done it. I'll still consider the ram though.

But with 32bit XP I won't see the full 4gb right? 3gb+ Worth the $50?
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a b Î Nvidia
a b Ý World of Warcraft
November 3, 2011 2:09:41 PM

depauwler said:
So far so good. To be fair I did turn down the video settings while in Firelands, but I haven't noticed any of the little freezes and such, so the cleaning may have done it. I'll still consider the ram though.

But with 32bit XP I won't see the full 4gb right? 3gb+ Worth the $50?

As an increase from 2GB, yes. You will see a $50 improvement, especially in gaming. And you may then be able keep the settings turned up (depending on the resolution you game at).
Faster RAM should be OK as long as it isn't running any faster that the chipset's rated capability, 667HMZ in your case. But I've noticed some older boards have timing issues with populating all 4 slots (if you have 4) with the fastest RAM if that RAM isn't on their QVL. I had an Asus P5NE SLI that was that way.
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November 4, 2011 1:07:15 AM

clutchc said:
As an increase from 2GB, yes. You will see a $50 improvement, especially in gaming. And you may then be able keep the settings turned up (depending on the resolution you game at).
Faster RAM should be OK as long as it isn't running any faster that the chipset's rated capability, 667HMZ in your case. But I've noticed some older boards have timing issues with populating all 4 slots (if you have 4) with the fastest RAM if that RAM isn't on their QVL. I had an Asus P5NE SLI that was that way.

Wait... So I can't use 800 mhz? Or I just can't try to force it to run at 800 mhz when the board wants to run it at 667?

The board has four slots, but the ram I'm looking at is 2x2mb. Both board and ram are dual channel.

And you're talking over my head with QVL. How can I check to see if the memory works? Just make sure there's a good return policy and try it?
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a b Î Nvidia
a b Ý World of Warcraft
November 4, 2011 1:20:06 AM

QVL = Qualified Vendors List. But after perusing the Gigabyte website for that board http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=... , I didn't see one. So that's a moot point.
Your BIOS has the capabilitiy to adjust the 800MHZ memory to run at 667MHZ along with the necessary timing modifications. But if you don't feel up to that kind of tinkering, you may be better off trying to search eBay or someplace for 667MHZ memory.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=667MHZ&_sacat=11142...
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November 4, 2011 4:43:26 PM

Well shoot, I spoke too soon. It happened again last night, but long after the Firelands raid. I'll get the ram next week.

I not big on the terminology, but I'm no stranger to BIOS. ;)  The problem is I'm mostly self-taught so I only know the things I've already had to deal with.

So, looking at the manual on page 44/45, it looks to me as if by default the System Memory Multiplier is automatic. The definition says Auto sets the frequency according to the DRAM SPD data, so as long as those chips have the data for 667 I should be fine, right? Tempted to restart now and see what it says.
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November 4, 2011 4:59:11 PM

Thanks for all the help. I'm going to try the RAM I was looking at, I think it'll work.

But if for some reason the SPD data on the new sticks doesn't allow for 667, will manually setting the speed to x3.33 in the BIOS work, or does it still need the SPD on the chips?

Do the manufacturers not state the SPDs? Looking at Corsair's website they only stay the tested speeds, which are 800, 55518 and such.

Oh... Well a review of the memory on Amazon a guy mentions that his system is running it at 667. Since according to the manual (and the fact that the current sticks are 675 but run at 667) the board should be able to automatically handle the speed according to the SPD, I'm forced to assume the memory will work. Just in case I'll check on the return policy. ;) 

Thanks for all the help and information. I'll post when I get the memory installed, or if I get any other cool looking errors.
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November 7, 2011 8:02:09 PM

Okay, ordered memory... I had dragged my feet though, and apparently it was a good thing I did. The memory I had mentioned above is apparently under review by Amazon right now, seems people were complaining or returning them or something.

So I ordered Corsair Memory VS4GBKIT800D2 4 GB PC2-6400 800Mhz 240-pin DDR2 Dual Channel Desktop Memory which looks similar and was about the same price. Only four reviews, but all were glowing.

I'm cheap though, so it shouldn't get here until the 15-18, but I saved $5. ;P

No troubles of late; I've been more cautious, turning down the video settings and restarting the program every now and then.
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November 14, 2011 5:43:20 PM

Well, good news/bad news. The memory arrived early (Saturday when it was expected on Wednesday) which is why I don't bother with the quicker shipping methods. Bad news is that even though my computer started up and seemed fine, the short video-freezes and screw ups became more frequent. Only in WoW still; basically the game would go to 0fps but the computer wouldn't be frozen itself, I could still do things in other windows. So I shipped the memory back for a refund. I think I'm going to leave it as is now. As long as I mind usage I can avoid the freezes and mix-ups. It'll have to do until I can build a new computer.

Thanks for all the help.
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November 18, 2011 5:02:14 PM

Best answer selected by depauwler.
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a b Î Nvidia
a b Ý World of Warcraft
November 18, 2011 6:53:45 PM

That's probably for the best. Time to upgrade at least the O.S. to Win 7 x64. You should have kept the RAM, though. Win7 needs more than 2GB.
In the meantime, Maybe try a fresh install of XP followed by the game and necessary programs.
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