Why Can't My Acer 3830TG Play any games?

I just got an Acer 3830TG, clean installed it and installed all the drivers from here(including graphics drivers), and installed DirectX, set the GPU to the 540M in the Nvidia control panel, but for some reason, whenever I try to start any game, it starts, then minimizes, then simply tells me that the program has ended. It does this regardless of whether I'm using the 540M/Intel HD3000 graphics.

Any reason why it's doing this?
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  1. Hello ajnauron;

    Did you do any testing before you did a clean install? What results did you get?
    Why did you install DirectX when it was already installed?

    What games have you tried? Have you built any custom game profiles yet?
  2. Acer Aspire 3830TG Subnotebook review
    Note the results of it's gaming testing.
  3. WR2 said:
    Hello ajnauron;

    Did you do any testing before you did a clean install? What results did you get?
    Why did you install DirectX when it was already installed?

    What games have you tried? Have you built any custom game profiles yet?

    I didn't test before clean installing, normally I never have these problems after clean installs. I installed DirectX after trying the games Halo and Halo 2 and encountering the problem, in order to try to fix it.

    Game profiles don't seem to affect the problem.
  4. I wish you had done some testing before doing the clean install. Who knows what Acer optimizations you might have missed on the clean re-installed?

    Any other games you can try?

    I know Optimus sometimes can't figure out which GPU to use for certain games on it's own. But game profiles are supposed to fix that problem.
  5. I am an Acer hater. Why? Because I have owned 2 and no more. Acer are the lowball, low end, crappy sound, crappy build system that we all have bought, or at least those of us who thought an equal hardware build machine would perform equal to the higher end laptops available out there.
    I have switched to Lenovo. The build quality is excellent and the hardware rocks.
    Also the warranty I got was 3 years not one that Acer gives.
    Opps, forgot to mention. The Acer 5740 we bought a year ago, the motherboard went out in it 2 days after the warranty was up.
    That is why I hate Acer.
    Selling the crappy Acer 5740 with broken motherboard if anyone is interested. But, I wouldn't reccomend anyone buying it.
  6. This comes right from the review WR2 posted: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Acer-Aspire-3830TG-Subnotebook.54641.0.html

    ...Due to the CPU clock rate dropping, the in-game frame rate drops right along with it, making the 3830TG's performance seem rather poor when compared with similar configurations without throttling...
    ...We can nevertheless exclude the possibility of the throttling stemming from overly high temperatures of 100ºC (max GPU temp) or 105ºC (max CPU temp). The problem here stems from Acer's BIOS settings...
    ...World of Warcraft runs smoothly for the first minute or two at an excellent 113.2 fps with the "fair" graphics preset—which is pretty normal for this GPU. Then the frame rate suddenly drops to 66.1 fps. This adds up to a 41.6% reduction in performance and—except for some deviations of several percent—this is true for all the other games we ran on the 3830TG...
    ...We're looking forward to a full-fledged solution from the Taiwanese manufacturer, Acer...

    Also they did proove it with two screenshots:

    Stress Test: Throttling @ 1.2 GHz

    World of Warcraft: Trottling @ 1.2 GHz

    Wow never saw anything stupid like that before. The cpu is working a lot still it throttles itself, like the pentium 4 3.8ghz did in the past. But the pentium was overheating and it's protection did throttle it to prevent permanent damages.

    The review for your laptops reveals that it is not overheating at all. Could you go into the BIOS and desactivate any power saving options? This could be the solution. Also in Windows, put the power saving options to "Performance" instead. Then use cpu-Z and see if it is throttleing itself when you play a game.

  7. Not sure the answer to the OP's problem, all I can think of is to try different drivers, and make sure you're not in power saving mode (press the 'P' button and watch the screen ... you want it in the 'non-green' mode).

    The CPU throttling issue is real, for sure ... it's a very small casing to have so much power inside, and the heatsink design is apparently a bit subpar. The CPU will throttle back to 12x when the cpu hits about 75C, which will easily happen when gaming on the 540m, which causes a big perf hit in a lot of games. However, it is easily solved thusly: Download Throttlestop, and set the multiplier to a max of around 20x (this can be higher if your ambients are low or you have a nice laptop cooler), and activate the app. On my machine, this keeps the multi at 20 (no throttling) while gaming, which has proven to be plenty of power for every game I've tried. Temps on GPU/CPU won't exceed around 85C, which is perfectly safe with these parts.

    This is the price you pay for a 13.6" notebook with so much power crammed into it. It's a bummer in a way, but like I say, there's a solution that works perfectly (even if it's a bit of a hassle to manage), and if you get a good cooler, you may be able to run w/o throttling even w/o using throttlestop. I've also seen some simple heatsink mods that reduce temps by 6C without voiding warranty.
  8. I'll also add ... make sure power-saving mode is 'off' (the little P button isn't lit) and use the drivers from laptopvideo2go rather than getting them from nV. I just switched from the latest (280.26 I think) Forceware that I got from nV directly to the 275.50 from lv2g and I'm having considerably less issues with them so far in my testing.

    These machines game like little beasts (for their weight and size), so hopefully you got this issue solved.
  9. IBM and ACER revealed the Sandy Bridge processors throttling problem

    "brettjv" Tue 06 Sep 2011 22:28:16 GMT, the Sandy Bridge processors throttling problem, coming from the CPU, sure is also concerned by the BIOS, yet much less. Such problem already happened on earlier CPU models, were said to receive fixes, that nevertheless never came. Being a big problem for companies, the biggest among them do what it takes to have it little apparent on the web, if apparent at all. Some exceptions are IBM (by whom the problem got known first) and, despite and contrarily to its conveniently and fashionably bashed build quality and customer service, ACER.

    An example is 3830TG, that Notebookcheck (Ctrl+F "3820"), due notably to its Sandy Bridge i5-2410M (Intel i5-2410M), recommends to drop in favor of its predecessor 3820TG which, with its Arrandale i5-540M (Intel i5-540M), is NOT affected.

    Versailles, Thu 05 Jul 2012 14:43:00 +0200
  10. ACER 3820TG, an example of PERFECT gaming 13.3in laptop, while 11.6in ones are coming

    "brettjv" Tue 06 Sep 2011 22:28:16 GMT, I disagree with your "it's a very small casing to have so much power inside". The ACER Aspire TimelineX 3830TG here at stake, and my own 3820TG, are good examples.

    Oppositely to its successor 3830TG (Ctrl+F "3820"), that with its Sandy Bridge i5-2410M (Intel i5-2410M) is affected by the Sandy Bridge processors throttling problem, the 3820TG with its i5-480M (Intel i5-480M) is NOT affected. In addition the 3820TG, with its unusually good design from aesthetics, convenience, cooling, silence, power, sturdiness, lightness, reliability POVs, captured the praises and dollars from the gaming community, see for instance NBR Acer TimelineX 3820TG Owners Lounge Parts One (1000 pages) and Two. Knowing this, when I saw in May 2011 that the 3830TG was spreading in shops, I quickly bought one of the last 3820TG before they disappeared, and I am quite glad I did.

    The 3820TG uses the absence of an optical drive to integrate a vast and widely spread cooling system, with 2 large fans, large events, which lets ACER integrate a powerful GPU and keep exceptionally cool and silent. It just happened sometimes that my pen or paper, together with my smartphone at 5cm left of the laptop, got a bit warm, so due to 3820TG's silence I wondered what was heating: my hand? my phone? no, it was the 3820TG totally silent and undetectable exhaust flow. That design lets ACER to build it a bit smaller than competitors, which makes it pretty and pleasant, and very light (1800g including 300g battery) and sturdy. The keyboard, despite the fashionable yet stupid chiclet keys, is very pleasant to the eyes and fingers, and very efficient. And the battery is exceptionally small, yet provides an exceptional autonomy, and is removable (while AFAIK fixed on the 3830TG). The 3820TG has a few small drawbacks though: no USB3, speakers are under expectations (the poor ones on my good old smaller 2006 Uniwill 223ei0 are better!), audio OUT jack is in the way of the mouse, Resolution is too low (1366×768/13.3in = 216µ = 118dpi). However these "flaws" are little compared to this globally excellent Personal Computer.

    Before the 3820TG, its predecessor 3810TG, the 11.6in Alienware gaming laptops, and some, were examples of makers finally overcoming the forever mantras from forum gurus professionally against any change or progress, thus finally coming with real computing power (for gaming or anything else) in 13.3in or 11.6in really portable cases.

    And now the 3820TG is vastly overdone by a more recent, even smaller, even much more powerful gaming laptop, from a reputable maker (my main PC was a 13.3in CLEVO 980 in 1999-2006, excellent), the 11.6in CLEVO W110ER (AVA, SAGER NP6110, XMG-A102), that itself will surely get followed by a round of other ones from competitors.

    Versailles, Thu 05 Jul 2012 16:27:20 +0200
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