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Old 01-15-2006, 09:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Default Graphics issue - hard resets

I was dissapointed with the performance of my old ATI Radeon 7000 on even games that're 3 years old (Morrowind), so I ordered a new 128-bit Sapphire Radeon 9250 with 256MB DDR RAM, AGP 4x/8x.

Performance was/is great. Whereas before I was running Morrowind at either 640x480 (during ash storms, in towns, or anywhere else where particle effects overwhelmed my little 64MB card) or 800x600, now I have pixel shading (angle-sensitive reflections on water!) and never run less than 1024x768. Unfortunately, Wierd Things have started happening.

1. CTDs (Crash To Desktop), something you learn to live with when you play Morrowind, have become MUCH more frequent. Before, I'd have maybe one every hour. Now, I sometimes have more than one within fifteen minutes - sometimes, before the main menu has loaded. Since nothing besides my video card has changed, I have to think it's got something to do with it.

2. The screen now goes blank sometimes, the monitor switches to standby, and (even though I can still hear the game music playing) I have to press the hard reset button on the front of my computer. So, what sort of graphically demanding in-game action am I performing just before pretty much EVERY screen blank? Reading an in-game book that increases your character's skill. Not demanding at all, yet after a few seconds of having such a book open, it blanks. It also blanks at other times for no apparent reason. Odd, considering it handles multiple fireballs, sparkballs, poisonballs, arrows, etc, +splashing pixel-shaded water all at the same time without trouble.

3. Search the internet for "Battleship Chess". A simple game that even a five-year old computer should be able to handle with ease. Yet my computer invariably freezes up after a few minutes of play, whereas with my old card it would work perfectly fine.

4. Yet, in spite of the above problems, I do some graphics editing with the GIMP and have no problems.

I've downloaded the latest Catalyst driver suite and control panel from the Sapphire website, am using DirectX 9.0, and have the following system specs:

1.6GHz AMD Sempron
512MB DDR400 RAM
256MB Sapphire Radeon 9250
16X/64X DVD/CD reader
1 Freakin' Huge 120mm Case Fan
Motherboard-integrated sound
350 watt Antec TruPower PSU
And the obligatory 3.5" floppy drive.

Does anyone know what might be causing things to act the way they are? I got this card because of the 36 (all but one were positive) reviews on, and none of the reviewers there have experienced anything similar to my problems. I miss playing without fear of having to hard-reset at least once every hour or so! And I can't play the simple - yet fun - BC2.1 at all!

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!
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