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CPU/RAM Timing Question

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January 14, 2004 5:09:06 AM

I consider myself average on computer knowledge.
I have built both the pcs that I have from the ground up but this recent pc issue has got me more than frustrated.

Background on the issue:
G/f got a pc as a gift, but the thing was a junker.
The guy didn't even put the soundcard fully nor the video card because he didn't use spacers on the motherboard so everything was crookedly inserted. Soundcard wasn't even xp compatible. The HD had bad sectors on it and the heatsink/fan weren't the recommended one for the AMD 2000 chip on the ecs mobo.

Now. I scraped the Soundcard and her upgraded her video card from a geforce 2 to a ATI 9100 128m

Put on a new new heatsink/fan and a new HD. Fresh xp install. All was well.
Then it began to have this skipping issue, it was like a quick pause every two seconds, on the second. It occured in all games but not in video playback that I could tell. I figured it was time for an upgrade so I bought her the following
ANTEC LANBOY case 350W
AMD 2400
Biostar M7NCD PRO NFORCE 2 Mobo
DDR 512 PC2700 HyperX-Kingston
to go with her
ATI 9100 128m agp
now, i put it all together and fresh install, latest drivers and...it still has that skip, occurs every 2 seconds...doesn't matter what the game is, could be the title screen of aquamark or rollercoaster tycoon. Every other second it has this blip. I uninstalled her video card drivers and pulled her card out and put my geforce 3 card in there and the same thing occured...Now. I am ruling out the video card. I am pretty sure i set the cpu correctly cause it is identified as 2400 and running at 2.0ghz.
I am wondering if there is a setting or timing issue with either the memory or cpu that is causing this cause it is the same issue and on a new set of hardware.
I am desparate, I have tried many things, from older driver versions. To disabling onboard audio and even all audio all together. (she has no soundcard).
PLEASE HELP ME GET RID OF THAT SKIP!!!

[EDIT]
To help with troubleshooting, I have the item number so you can look it up on newegg.com (where the parts were ordered from).
19-103-335
13-138-227
20-144-104
-any any any help is greatly appreciated I am so desparate to fix this.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by ReallyConfused on 01/14/04 02:16 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
January 14, 2004 5:32:15 AM

Is the video playback that is ok from a cd. Try loading some video to the harddrive and see if that is the problem. You also might want to reload the agp drivers, followed by the catalysts and then directx. While you are at it, go to driver heaven and get thier driver cleaner. You need to make sure that you've cleared all detonator files, or they may cause future problems.
January 14, 2004 5:38:01 AM

Here is a copy and paste from nforcershq it might help you out.

Q1: I am noticing static, high pitch squealing, cracks and pops, etc. from my speakers or headphones. How do I remedy this?

A: while this may seem like an easy problem to fix, there could be numerous causes of this problem. Some of the more common causes are listed below.

= Internal causes =

- BIOS and drivers
Make sure you have the latest motherboard BIOS, DirectX drivers, sound and video drivers.If you previously used a different soundcard, it's possible that stuff left behind by your previous driver is causing the problems. There is, unfortunately, no guaranteed way to fix this, other than doing a clean install of Windows. If you know how, use regedit and search (files and folders) to track traces of your old soundcard and get rid of them. Mute unnecessary lines - it is common for the Line In and in some cases the AUX line to cause noise in your speakers. If you are not using these lines then mute them. If you want to use them later, then unmute them.

= External causes =

- Cabling and connections
If you have a damaged cable this could be an obvious cause for noise issues. Much more likely than a flawed cable, however, is a flawed connection. If you have any "wiggly" connections, you should fix them. Bend the wire end double before you shove it into a clip, replace loose plugs if you can or use a pair of pliers to make them fit more snugly (careful! - You easily squeeze too hard). Alternatively, you can put a piece of paper in the socket to make for a tighter fit, but be sure you leave enough blank metal for contact.

- Amplifier and speakers
A low-quality or underpowered amplifier can cause cracks and pops in your sound at high output levels. If you get a really thick, distorted sort of booming echo on the sound at high levels, turn down the volume right away - you're hard at work destroying your speakers. The speaker is, electrically, a very simple device - essentially it's nothing more than a piece of wire wound around a magnet. The mechanical and acoustical aspects can be rather more complicated, but generally aren't. Suffice it to say, damaged and/or poorly designed speakers can cause their share of noise issues, but usually the cause will be elsewhere in the chain. Try out your amplifier and speakers using a different source than the PC - a Discman or a TV, anything really. This will immediately tell you whether the problem is (only) in your PC or not.

- Electric Interference
Of all the kinds of electric interference, the ground loop is probably the most common. It occurs when you connect two devices that use different electric ground levels. This happens a lot when you hook up your PC (which grounds on the ground lead in your electric outlet) to a TV, VCR or to a radio tuner (all of which ground on the antenna cable). Because of the different ground levels, electric current runs over your signal cable between the two devices. This manifests itself as a constant humming noise. To solve a ground loop, you have to put the two devices on the same ground level (i.e. in the same electric outlet, but this isn't always possible) or you have to electrically isolate the two devices. If you're using digital out, and you have the proper sockets on your PC and Amplifier, you can use optical digital out. In all other cases you can put a ground loop isolator in your cable. These can be found in any electronics store. The Ground loop is a common problem, and you can find a lot of information about them on Google (at the time of writing a search for "ground loop" yields 877,000 pages).

- Miscellaneous interference
The inside of a computer is, basically, signal hell. So is the giant knot of cables at the back. There's a lot of stuff in there packed close together, and all of it emitting its own electronic and electromagnetic garbage. Problems with this are hard to identify and harder to get rid of. Use good quality cable for better shielding, avoid winding cable into tight coils. If you have the means to receive the signal, it's generally better to use digital out than analog out.


If I glanced at a spilt box of tooth picks on the floor, could I tell you how many are in the pile. Not a chance, But then again I don't have to buy my underware at Kmart.
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January 14, 2004 5:43:13 AM

Video from HD and/or streaming plays fine. It seems to be anytype of game or benchmark software that causes it to occur. The same skipping occured on the original harddrive with bad sectors and with the new one as well. Reinstalled Direct x several times. Det drivers cleaned off before ati catalyst was reinstalled. I have even tried unplugging all usb2.0 devices. Detaching both dvd and cdr drives' ide cable and just running the hd solo even with floppy detached. I am almost convinced it is some timing setting somewhere that I don't know about. Can anyone confirm or call me a lunatic because I am going crazy trying to squash this. Thanks to endyen for being the first to reply to this issue too btw!
I just can't understand why with one cpu/mobo/hd/ram I was getting the skip and then when i put in a completely new cpu/mobo/hd/ram i get the SAME thing...why god why!@
January 14, 2004 5:46:20 AM

It isn't a sound issue, it is a performance issue. Not like I am pushing the system. Example. Startup aquamark and even on the title screen i can see the graphical pause every other second as the lines move around on the screen. If I run the demo , it will run smooth, skip very very breifly every 2 seconds. It is never shorter or longer than 2 seconds. Rollercoaster tycoon example (very old game) launch it and it keeps skipping every 2 seconds , and always on the second like clockwork.
January 14, 2004 6:02:29 AM

Hmmm I'm baffled.

If I glanced at a spilt box of tooth picks on the floor, could I tell you how many are in the pile. Not a chance, But then again I don't have to buy my underware at Kmart.
January 14, 2004 6:10:39 AM

Re: Put on a new new heatsink/fan and a new HD. Fresh xp install. All was well.
Then it began to have this skipping issue.

Did it have this issue with the old vid card?



If I glanced at a spilt box of tooth picks on the floor, could I tell you how many are in the pile. Not a chance, But then again I don't have to buy my underware at Kmart.
January 14, 2004 6:11:40 AM

I even thought it could be the ide ribon cable but the one im using right now with the hd is the one that came with the mobo (retail). so it's brand new and that wouldn't explain the skip because on the old mobo/hd, it was using the original ribon cable.
Could timings in the cmos for my memory or cpu cause such a thing?
January 14, 2004 6:20:32 AM

Did it have this issue with the old vid card?

If I glanced at a spilt box of tooth picks on the floor, could I tell you how many are in the pile. Not a chance, But then again I don't have to buy my underware at Kmart.
January 14, 2004 6:29:09 AM

The video card is the same. (I replaced her old geforce 2 the day after she was given the computer).
However, The video card is not even a year old yet and a retail version so I don't think it is the card. Considering I was able to take out her vid card (the ati 9100) and uninstall the drivers, put in another video card (geforce 3 ) and the issue was the same. Same timing on the stutter too. I think some people might think i am refering to a 'computer can't handle the frame rate skip' but it isn't that, this is a 'skip every other second always at the same time, regardless of what I run 'application or game wise.' In windows itself or explorer it is fine, playing videos of the hd or cd , fine. It is when i launch a game it occurs (any game-believe me i have a lot). just moving the cursor across the screen in a smooth manner will very briefly pause when the skip occurs. I have tried so many different driver versions and done a total of 5 fresh installs. I am just out of answers. And still, would memory timing have anything to do with this? I am not overclocking (mainly cause I don't know how and don't want to mess anything up). But I am wondering if maybe there is something in the cmos that might not be set correctly.
January 14, 2004 6:51:08 AM

I can't see mem timmings having anything to do with it but relax them and see what happens. I know some nforce2 boards have issues with keeping the (clock or time) they can speed up the clocks time so you are gaining a minute or two a month.

sounds like one of those weird issues and it could be anything.

If I had to guess I'd be thinking electrical interfernce but then why only in games. Do you have the ability to check voltages on your rails before and during games?

anyway i'm beat gotta hit the sack.

If I glanced at a spilt box of tooth picks on the floor, could I tell you how many are in the pile. Not a chance, But then again I don't have to buy my underware at Kmart.
January 14, 2004 7:37:27 AM

Try going into the advanced feature in video, and in 3D set it up for performance , and see if that helps
January 14, 2004 7:55:14 AM

Just tried putting both direct 3d and open gl to all performance, still had problem, then both to quality, still had problem. I even tried dropping the acceleration down a bar to the left, and then again. Still nothing has worked. I swear itis cursed. I went into cmos, disabled agp8 support (since the card is only x4) but even that wouldn't effect it to my knowledge. Changed the AGP apeture to 128 to match the card as well. And that too i heard wouldn't have mattered even if it was left at default. AHHHHHHhhh
January 14, 2004 8:06:57 AM

PROGRESS!
Darko21's thought about interference theory proved correct. I yanked all the cables and moved it away from the other 2 pcs that were next to it and it worked!! NO STUTTER. Why this was only occuring in games...who knows!.

OK ...now, knowing this, what parts do you think are being effected by the interference. Maybe move the box's location in the room? Or should i go out and buy shielded ide cables? WE ARE SO CLOSE!!
January 14, 2004 4:35:43 PM

Well congrats, looks like your on your way. I can't see your setup but yeah moving your puter away from the others sounds like the right answer to me. If its important to have it near the other computers your going to have to figure out what to shield.

I'll guess again that the interference is comming from the PSU's in the other pc's. I don't have as good a guess where the interference is being picked up. If you can get away with just moving the pc I'd leave good enough alone.

If I glanced at a spilt box of tooth picks on the floor, could I tell you how many are in the pile. Not a chance, But then again I don't have to buy my underware at Kmart.
!