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Ati radeon hd 4200 displays hirez for 30 secons then reverts to low

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 7, 2012 2:38:29 AM

I have an Ati radeon hd 4200. When I'm playing one of my older games (railroad tycoon 3) It starts out displaying high resolution graphics, and looks really good (or as good as it gets for an older game) But after a minute or so it goes to very low details and pixelated. I also run windows 7 home edition.

Here is an example. It starts out like this


Then 30 seconds to a minute later....


Do you think this is a card problem or a old game/compatibility issue, or both? Other games work fine. Is there a way I can fix it.
I tried updating the driver and changing the ingame graphics settings, and also fiddled with the "AMD VISION Engine contol Center" but I don't really know what I'm doing.

I know jack squat about graphics cards, and not very much about computers. So explain things in detail please.
April 7, 2012 5:03:24 AM

Mrflibblez said:
I have an Ati radeon hd 4200. When I'm playing one of my older games (railroad tycoon 3) It starts out displaying high resolution graphics, and looks really good (or as good as it gets for an older game) But after a minute or so it goes to very low details and pixelated. I also run windows 7 home edition.

Here is an example. It starts out like this
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v637/tbone903/highresgame.jpg

Then 30 seconds to a minute later....
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v637/tbone903/lowrezgame.jpg

Do you think this is a card problem or a old game/compatibility issue, or both? Other games work fine. Is there a way I can fix it.
I tried updating the driver and changing the ingame graphics settings, and also fiddled with the "AMD VISION Engine contol Center" but I don't really know what I'm doing.

I know jack squat about graphics cards, and not very much about computers. So explain things in detail please.


You can try shutting down CCC.exe in Task Manager then running the game and if that doesn't work then it's just the game, this doesn't seem like a hardware issue.
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April 19, 2012 6:23:50 AM

Sorry for the late response, my email put the reply in my spam folder.

Yeah I don't think it is a hardware issue either anymore. I haven't gotten a fix that will work, yet. The good news is that the graphics thing isn't a huge issue, I mean it is still playable, as it is a game of strategy not graphics.... But it sure would be nice if my Choo-choo's looked good too ;) 

From a little more research, the game developer says the game isn't compatible with windows 7. I tried running it on every compatibility mode there was right down to windows 95 lol. Does compatibility mode actually do anything?

The software developer is never going to patch a 10 year old game.

I know that there is a fix for a similar game which coincidentally is called " Sid Meier's Railroads!" there is a bug that windows 7 doesn't use enough RAM to run the game properly, despite having a surplus of RAM. But there is a fix called the "3G enabler" that forces windows to allocate the needed RAM. This is a hack that a civilian made, I'm sure this person knew what they were doing, but I'm just saying it wasn't a game developer. SO a fix may be possible?

Can I somehow force this game to use the appropriate amount of RAM too? Or Windows to let the game use enough RAM?
Or is it even a RAM issue?


It's a bit of a Murphy's law joke.... I finally get a computer that isn't a POS but it still doesn't run the games I want to play. I figured hell it's a 10 year old game it has to be no match for widows 7, and my new system :pfff:  :sarcastic: 
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April 19, 2012 9:55:34 PM

Mrflibblez said:
Sorry for the late response, my email put the reply in my spam folder.

Yeah I don't think it is a hardware issue either anymore. I haven't gotten a fix that will work, yet. The good news is that the graphics thing isn't a huge issue, I mean it is still playable, as it is a game of strategy not graphics.... But it sure would be nice if my Choo-choo's looked good too ;) 

From a little more research, the game developer says the game isn't compatible with windows 7. I tried running it on every compatibility mode there was right down to windows 95 lol. Does compatibility mode actually do anything?

The software developer is never going to patch a 10 year old game.

I know that there is a fix for a similar game which coincidentally is called " Sid Meier's Railroads!" there is a bug that windows 7 doesn't use enough RAM to run the game properly, despite having a surplus of RAM. But there is a fix called the "3G enabler" that forces windows to allocate the needed RAM. This is a hack that a civilian made, I'm sure this person knew what they were doing, but I'm just saying it wasn't a game developer. SO a fix may be possible?

Can I somehow force this game to use the appropriate amount of RAM too? Or Windows to let the game use enough RAM?
Or is it even a RAM issue?


It's a bit of a Murphy's law joke.... I finally get a computer that isn't a POS but it still doesn't run the games I want to play. I figured hell it's a 10 year old game it has to be no match for widows 7, and my new system :pfff:  :sarcastic: 


It's possible it COULD be a RAM issue with Windows 7, if the game requires more than Windows 7 is giving it it may tone down the settings automatically. Also, I have to agree I just bought and put together my new PC back in January and it plays everything beautifully but most older games don't work and games like the original Half-Life actually don't run that well, it runs at 60FPS but sometimes there's huge drops in framerate randomly. There is another thing you can try, if you have Windows 7 Pro or higher you can run a virtual machine running Win XP and the game should run perfectly in the virtual machine, from what I've heard it's just the game not being very compatible with Windows 7.
Another thing you can try is shutting off all 3D options in AMD Catalyst Control Center and set them all to Application settings or off. Compatibility mode is a great feature and does work, but not for everything. You might also want to try turning off Windows Aero Themes and run the game, it could even be that causing problems.
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April 19, 2012 11:30:57 PM

Thanks for all the tips.

Too bad I'm running "home premium" No virtual machine for me. Another load of horse **** Instead of buying our overpriced OS you need to buy our extremely overpriced OS if you actually want stuff to work properly. :sarcastic: 

:finger: windows :finger:

It just seems counter intuitive that older software doesn't run properly on a better system... I have a couple other games that won't run right either, sigh.

I guess I just have to live with choppy graphics.
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April 20, 2012 12:27:47 AM

Mrflibblez said:
Thanks for all the tips.

Too bad I'm running "home premium" No virtual machine for me. Another load of horse **** Instead of buying our overpriced OS you need to buy our extremely overpriced OS if you actually want stuff to work properly. :sarcastic: 

:finger: windows :finger:

It just seems counter intuitive that older software doesn't run properly on a better system... I have a couple other games that won't run right either, sigh.

I guess I just have to live with choppy graphics.


That's a shame, though I do agree, I mean I have a lot of old games that won't even install from their discs, such as Starsiege Tribes and Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, they install but will not run and the fixes for Soul Reaver don't even work.

Though did you try shutting off Windows Aero? It might help, most games just have problems with Aero.

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/disable-aero-on-windows-vista/
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April 22, 2012 5:03:05 AM

Thanks, yeah, tried that too; nada.

I just don't get why it starts off good and then goes to crap. I mean if it was crap to begin with, I would probably just say **** it, but it starting out fine gives me hope that there must be a solution. Maybe it is just false hope.
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April 22, 2012 5:07:07 AM

It would be nice to know how the 3 GB enabler works. I really think that is has merit and may be hope for those older games. Once I installed it it was night and day. It was totally unplayable, before the hack.
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April 22, 2012 10:01:43 PM

Mrflibblez said:
It would be nice to know how the 3 GB enabler works. I really think that is has merit and may be hope for those older games. Once I installed it it was night and day. It was totally unplayable, before the hack.


The 3GB Enabler allows the program to use up to 3GB's of RAM. Could you give me a spec list of your PC? I had another thought but I'll know if it will work for certain once you tell me the specs. The only other thing I can think of is that Windows is not allowing the program to make full use of the hardware or the game is having a compatibility problem and switches everything to the lowest settings possible, is there an option in the game to switch between OpenGL and Direct3D? I had this problem with the original Half Life before the Steam version was released and it was because I had it set to OpenGL and my old video card didn't support it very well, but once I switched to Direct3D, no more problems.
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April 23, 2012 5:42:52 PM

Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2 GHz
Installed memory: 8.00 GB (7.75) useable
System type: 64-bit operating system
Windows 7 Home Premium - Service pack 1
Virtual memory: 7935 MB

Anything else?

My system isn't exactly mind blowing. But better then my old computer, that I needed to hand crank :lol: 

PS: I don't see an option to run in openGL, or direct3d.
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April 26, 2012 2:00:17 AM

Mrflibblez said:
Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2 GHz
Installed memory: 8.00 GB (7.75) useable
System type: 64-bit operating system
Windows 7 Home Premium - Service pack 1
Virtual memory: 7935 MB

Anything else?

My system isn't exactly mind blowing. But better then my old computer, that I needed to hand crank :lol: 

PS: I don't see an option to run in openGL, or direct3d.

Not a bad setup at all though, if you got a better GPU and buy a copy of Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate you'd have one sick rig, though my thoughts were confirmed and sadly that's not the problem either, I wanted to check how much RAM you had and if you had 4GB or lower the system could have been running out of RAM but 8GB is WAY more than enough, does this game have a developer console at all? If it does, it could inform you as to what happens before it switches everything back to lowest and the OpenGL thing was a long shot, not many games have that feature.
Now here's an idea, if you have a Windows XP disc, you can use https://www.virtualbox.org and make a Virtual installation of Windows XP and run it through Windows 7, if you install the game inside of the Windows XP Virtual space and install it, you can also play it and should not have any problems and setup only takes a few minutes.
This method can be used for ALL of your older games.
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April 26, 2012 2:34:48 AM

:o  That sounds like a good idea. I'll have to search for my XP disc, and blow the mountain of dust off of it.
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May 3, 2012 6:25:17 AM

Best answer selected by Mrflibblez.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
May 3, 2012 12:21:37 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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