Extremely Strange Problem...

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Graham

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First of all, here are my PC specs:

Athlon 64 3200+ @ 2.2GHz Socket 754
Asus K8V Deluxe First Edition
Onboard Sound (by Soundmax)
ATI X850 XT PE AGP
1024 MB DDR Corsair XMS serries PC 3200

All hardware and software are running the latest drivers. All spyware and virus scans show a clean system.

Second, here are the actions I have taken to try and solve the problem:

1) Upgraded to a gig of ram. I did this regardless of worrying about money because I wanted to have a gig anyways.

2) I tried my friend's 7800 GS AGP card.

3) Toyed around with the PCI latency tool to try and fix timing issues. This had no effect on performance in a bad or good way.

4) Closed any and all programs to see if the background operations were hurting performance.

5) Fresh format with only the game and drivers installed.

Third, here is the problem:

I am experiencing a phenomenon which I am dubbing a flash freeze audio studder. What happens is that a game will be playing fine and, usually within the first half hour of play, the game will randomly lock up for just a couple seconds (enough for me to get fragged), the current audio will loop, and then the game resumes. No game has ever crashed during this flash freeze. It completely stabilizes until it happens again.

The interesting thing is that it will happen more frequently in the beginning and then sort of happen only once every hour afterwards. Not sure why this happens but I have been lead to believe it is the lack of sound hardware. It always seems to happen when a new sound is played such as a different weapon firing, explosions, footstep on a new terrain, etc.

I have most of the graphical options on max, AA at 2x, AF at 4X, 1280x1024 res, and sound quality is on high.

Thinking of more ideas on how to fix this problem has pretty much led to me spending money on sound hardware or just plain getting a better computer. I hope if it comes down to needing new hardware the lack of a sound card is the issue. I really don't want to buy a system right now. I'm waiting to see new tech coming out at the end of the year such as conroe and 65nm AM2 with higher DDR2 memory speeds.

I wish I had some way of making a video of what happens in the game because that would be the best way to do it. I mostly play Counter-Strike Source and the demo recording feature doesn't catch it. It just shows me stopped for a second or two and then I start moving again. It is really weird...

Any and all help is appreciated...
 

jono199

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Have you tried turning off all audio hardware acceleration and running purely using software processing?
 

Graham

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nope. how would i go about doing that? i know how to turn off video hardware but don't really know where the sound one is.
 

brinks

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Go into the directx software and under the sound tab, you will see
Hardware sound acceleration level. Try lowering that.

Start>Run>type: dxdiag

That should get you into directx.
 

FlashDude

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To do an easy test on this, go into the bios and disable the onboard sound, then play the game if it does the same thing it isn't your sound.

Buy yourself a good soundcard anyway, you will not be disapointed, The sound quality is a far amount better than onboard. You can always keep it and put it in your next system as well, because once you have a good sound card you will never go back to onboard again.

update to the latest bios for your board, and download and install all the newest chipset drivers.

What are the system temps?

This is a really good card

This is better but more money
 

Graham

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Yeah, I'm going to buy a sound card eventually anyways. I just want to know if it will solve the problem.

Anyways, here are the system temps:

Load:

Cpu @ low 50s
Gpu @ 80-90

No Load:

Cpu @ 42
Gpu @ 47

With all the sound hardware disabled the game still sees flash freezes, but there is no sound blips involved.
 

Graham

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No more spaces for fans. I turned down the resolution and it appears to be better....

It shouldn't make that big of a difference (1024x800 vs 1280x1024)..... or should it?
 

FlashDude

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It should never even get warm if you are just in your desktop environment, It would only be loaded when you are running 3d app's. Have you cleaned the gpu hs/fan ?? It will not last long at those temps.
 

DarkMortar

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If you are getting a freeze like that where it locks up for a few seconds or whatever AND the sound loops, then this might work:

Lower AGP speed level from 8x to 4x.

I dunno if you tryed that before, but I used to have a problem that sounds just like your, when I did this, it never freezes like that again. And the performance is not different at all. Yet I personailly get an ati error report after it would freeze, I dunno why I had to lower my AGP level, since it was fine at 8x for 3 years.

Good luck.

But I have a strong feeling this will work. In addition, my card gets hot also.

PS: Get an X-fi sound card for specs like that, and a nice 5.1 system.. if you dont have good speakers already.
 
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