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3D apps crash, caused by Diamond Monster MX300!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
March 26, 2001 3:51:46 AM

Hello, all. This is my first post to this forum. I posted this in two other Tom's Hardware boards because it relates to them also; I hope nobody minds. I have been working on this problem for literally weeks (even staying up all night and morning working on it for several hours straight). I've finally got to the point where I will actually admit that I cannot fix it myself and I need some help. ;) 

All of my 3D accelerated games crash! _Every_ time. Within a few seconds of play, it hard crashes, and I have to physically reset the machine. Just FYI, I'm using Unreal as my testing program. The only thing that remedies the problem is removing the sound card. It runs fine after that (er..other than the fact that there's no sound ;)  ).

Here are my detailed current specs:
AMD Athlon CPU, 600MHz (Not overclocked)
ASUS K7M motherboard
256MB PC-133 RAM
Diamond Viper v770 video card, 32MB
Diamond Monster Sound MX300 Sound Card
Windows Millenium (ME)

Here is what I have tried so far (that I could remember; I have been working for weeks on it...):

Swapping video card (no luck, so obviously not hardware failure on the video card's part)

Using 1 of the 128MB DIMMs and then switching it (eliminating memory failure)

Removing the sound card (which, as I mentioned before, stopped the crashes)

Disabling all extra parts of the sound card in the System/Devices tab (such as the Gameport, midi, etc.), with only the "PCI audio driver on, still crashed

Defragging

Reinstalling Windows ME

Formatting the hard drive, installed Win98 this time, no luck, reinstalled ME, no luck)

Removing all extra hardware (modem, NIC)

Tried using DirectX 5, 7, 8

Tried latest video reference drivers (Detonator), latest drivers from Diamond, drivers that the card shipped with

Tried latest sound card drivers from Diamond

Moved sound card into a different slot

Changed sound card's IRQ

Reduced AGP aperature from 64MB to 32MB and then back

Getting latest patch for test subject (Unreal)

Removed both sides of the case and placed a (perfect sized) fan on the left, which served as a very good cooling device that I shall remember if I ever consider overclocking, but still didn't solve the problem

Checked to make sure the video card was using AGP 2x, as 4x is not supported on my board

OpenGL rendering as opposed to Direct3D

I think that about does it. I have tried _EVERYTHING_ that I can think of, and I am so completely stumped. I'm a serious gamer and it is driving me crazy. Oddly enough, Unreal Tournament (which a large part based on Unreal's engine) does not crash, but every other 3D accelerated application does that I've tried so far (Unreal, Quake III, Half Life...) I'm lost! It works in software rendering mode just fine, and works with the sound card disabled or removed just fine. I'm going to try enabling the "memory hole" in the BIOS, and that's the only thing left that I can think of. PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME!!!!!!!!

-InsanePyroTeknix
David Michael
a b U Graphics card
March 26, 2001 5:09:46 AM

Ditch the MX300. All Vortex2 based cards have driver problems on your chipset. The good news is that they only show up on 99% of them (meaning there is 1% of the people who will argue the point).

Suicide is painless...........
March 26, 2001 7:04:19 AM

I agree with Crashman, the sound card in question is the issue, go with a SoundBlster Live Value!. It will only cost you $50.00 USD and that's with shipping included.

My brother's computer, which I built for him about a year ago, has no problems with same exact motherboard and SoundBlaster Live!

That card is the only one I have been using for more than 2 years since it came out.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=3737" target="_new">http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=3737&lt;/A>
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
March 26, 2001 10:44:48 AM

Ack.. but I love my sound card. I'd hate to get rid of it. I haven't had any problems with it until now. Oh, and I guess I should have mentioned that it used to work on this computer. I could play my 3D games and stuff just fine. I don't know why problems would suddenly show up. I'd like to see if I get any more suggestions before I just ditch it; I'm a bit short on cash right now. :) 

Any other suggestions?
March 27, 2001 12:51:58 AM

What OS?

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
March 27, 2001 1:39:42 AM

Nevermind; it's finally fixed!

Aureal's reference drivers fixed the problem!!! Thank you everyone for all of your help.
!