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Old 08-13-2006, 11:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Short lockups during gaming, please help

Hi guys-

I built my own computer recently (mainly because my old one couldn't play Oblivion very well). I bought all the parts online, and assembled it myself. It booted up the first time (woohoo!), I installed Windows and all my games/etc, and played Oblivion. Oblivion played wonderfully with the settings maxed out, so I was happy. Well, then I tried to play an older game (Spellforce), and about every two minutes or so, it would lock up for about 20-25 seconds. While it was locked, the music would keep playing for a few seconds, then the music would start looping over and over. Then the sound would quit...when the game unlocked, everything would be sped up for a second or so, then normal until it locked up again a few minutes later. I read a bunch of information online, and thought it was due to my dual core processor. I had the same problem with WarCraft III, and even with all the dual-core fixes I tried (I tried them ALL, trust me), or when trying to run the games with affinity set to only one CPU, I still had the same issues. Diablo II runs fine if I set it to run it in DirectDraw (2D) video mode, but if I use Direct3D, it locks up completely and won't run.

I still blamed it on the older games, but now I just bought 2 newer ones (Dungeon Siege II: Broken World, and Titan Quest), and both of them are locking up in the same way. ARGH!!

I've tried a couple of other things I thought it might be (temperature monitoring never went above 60 C, and the monitor says high temp threshhold is 112 C) - I tried running with the case open and a fan blowing right on my video card, no help. I ran a power monitor and the most juice I was using was 412 W (I have a 550 W power supply). I tried new drivers, old drivers, flashing BIOS with newest, etc. I have NO IDEA where to go next. Do you think it is possibly a bad video card? Maybe a problem with the processor?

What gets me is that Oblivion plays fine with no lockups. Any ideas you can give me would be appreciated.

Here's my computer info: This was newly built on a formatted hard drive with a fresh full install of Windows XP. All drivers are the most current you can get, I have run complete virus and spyware checks and my computer is clean:

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4400+
Motherboard: Asus A8N-SLI Premium
Chipset: nVidia nForce4 rev. A3
RAM: 2 sticks of Corsair 1024 MBytes PC3200 (200 MHz)
Soundcard: Creative SoundBlaster X-FI XtremeMusic
Video Card: XFX NVidia Geforce 7600 GT PCI Xpress x16
OS: Windows XP Pro SP2
Hard Drives: 2 IDE 120 GB Western Digital

Please try to help if you can...if you need ANY more info just ask and I'll provide it! Thanks so much for reading and attempting to help!
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Old 08-13-2006, 02:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You've got a nice setup my man. Sounds like you've tried a lot of stuff, but one thing I think you haven't tried yet is testing the RAM. Believe it or not man, RAM is commonly the culprit in wierd problems like this. Try taking out one stick of RAM and seeing if the problem persists. If it does, try putting in maybe another stick you got laying around the house, ****, even try a MEMtest on it.
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the help!

I downloaded a memtest program and let it run all night, and ended up with 0 errors, so apparently my memory is okay. I also downloaded a video card diagnostic/benchmarking program, and it didn't show any errors either.

So what would be the difference between some games running perfectly, and others having short freeze/lockups every minute or two?

Games that run perfectly: Oblivion, SpellForce II

Games that don't run at all: Diablo II (in Direct3D mode, runs fine in DirectDraw 2D)

Games that have short lock ups every few minutes: Titan Quest, Dungeon Siege II, WarCraft III, SpellForce I.

I'm guessing it has something to do with my video card...maybe some feature that some games use and others don't that might cause the problem??? Please keep suggesting ideas if you have any. Thanks!
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Old 08-14-2006, 08:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm guessing Drivers, either video or sound, in my experiance perviously this was caused by corrupt sound drivers.

Remove your drivers (both sound and video) and replace with different drivers, WHQL known good ones (not saying your current ones aren't).

Tip: run 3Dmark03, if the first parts of the benchmarking runs smooth but the last part doesn't then its your sound drivers.
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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u hav a nice board that u just bought probably good money put into it
anyway, probably ur memory doesnt support ECC (error correction) try to disabling the ECC in the Bios and see if it comes more stable. You can always access BIOS in case you want to change it back to initial setting.

heres some proof:

http://www.viperlair.com/reviews/cpu...pr/index.shtml

http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/Revi...rticleId=14620
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Old 08-14-2006, 03:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'll download and run 3dmark03 and let you know the results.

I booted into my BIOS and checked the DRAM settings, and mine doesn't have an option for disabling ECC. It has manual/auto, but neither one shows anything about ECC, just timings/etc. So I don't think my BIOS allows disabling of this option (or at least I couldn't find it anywhere). I left my setting at Auto for now.

I'm also going to borrow another card from someone I work with and see if I have problems with a different card. I'm hoping I don't, so I can narrow down the problem.
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Okay, ran 3dmark03, and it wasn't pretty. The first demo (with the airplanes) locked up for a short time twice, then sped WAAYYYY up to about 500 FPS, then levelled out. All the other demos went fine, until the sound ones. The sound ones locked up on me as well in short bursts. The end results of the 3dmark weren't too bad...it's like it didn't see the freezes when computing the fps.

I uninstalled my sound card completely, and ran Titan Quest again, but it did the short lock ups again. So I know it isn't due to my sound card. Someone at work suggested I uninstall and reinstall DirectX, but I don't see that it's possible to uninstall it. I went to microsoft.com/directx and downloaded, but it only installed a small component. So tomorrow I'm going to borrow a video card from a friend and see if that works. If I lock up with that card as well, I don't know what to do, other than format and reinstall everything and see if that helps.

If it's not the videocard, soundcard, CPU, or RAM, could it be something on the motherboard? Can I run some kind of utility to check for conflicts or problems on the motherboard?
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Old 08-15-2006, 01:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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try a utility called (2006 tune-up utility ) dont buy or anything because its pretty expensive just get of a torrent and download it. It had multiple tools to improve ur computers performance.

this should help
http://www.torrentspy.com/torrent/79...Utilities_2006

get a torrent client to download this. I recommend to use
BitComet
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