Games stalling, intermittently

This is a discussion on Games stalling, intermittently within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; I dunno. VIA conflicts with GeForce I know but since you have the nForce 4 chipset (good man!!) I'm quite ...

  1. #16
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    I dunno. VIA conflicts with GeForce I know but since you have the nForce 4 chipset (good man!!) I'm quite lost as to what might be causing this.

    There is a possibility however remote that your hardware is just too damn new. Sometimes they release these things w/o having good stable drivers for them which causes all kinds of weird issues. That would be my guess here. Also you may want to call ASUS. Some of their past boards have had issues with certain cards in certain slots. I think they cleared that up some time ago, however, due to bad press, bad ratings, and bad rep from people. Their boards are the fastest, the most stable, and the best around if you ask me though. I won't touch anything else. ASUS slams hard and you can hit them extremely hard in any game and they just keep on cruising.

    Perhaps you have a bad board. I'd contact ASUS for sure on this one and talk to their level 3 support. In other words, get past the minimum wage 'read from the card' morons and try to talk with a technical engineer. They are very helpful.

    EDIT:
    From the first post it seems that this is more related to drivers than anything. I've had San Andreas do some weird things on my rig as well so I'm not surprised at that. Either update the drivers (if there are any updates), wait for a new one, or search various forums for similar issues. Again your hardware is very new and while that means you are the uber cool gamer dude who gets to host everything, it also might mean a host of new problems.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 02-15-2006 at 05:26 AM.

  2. #17
    mustang benny bennyandthejets's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. I'll try calling Asus, but I'm in Australia so it might be difficult to find a local contact.

    I was thinking of writing a program to start a game as a debugged process, and log all its calls to externel DLLs, to try and isolate where the stalls are occurring. Does that sound feasible?
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  3. #18
    PC Fixer-Upper Waldo2k2's Avatar
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    one thing I'll tell you as that nforce chipsets are VERY picky.
    The biggest issue is that a newer platform driver release doesn't neccessarily mean a more stable release. What they don't tell you is that most of their chipsets work best with a certain series driver, could be older or newer, they usually include that driver on the setup cd that came with the board. It took me a long time to figure this out because I'm used to via chipsets myself (running one now actually, couldn't be happier btw) and they don't bug out like that. I've had 3 nforce based pc's do nothing but blue screen when running platform drivers other than those the board were designed for. Something else to keep in mind...
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  4. #19
    mustang benny bennyandthejets's Avatar
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    I agree. With all the different drivers I've been using, I think the ones that came with the hardware are the most stable. It still makes no difference to Call Of Duty 2.

    An update on Farcry: I can put the graphics on full and play it with no problems for maybe a couple days, then it starts stalling again at the loading screen. I've worked out a trick; I put all the graphics and sound settings all the way down, play it, and it works, then put the settings back on full again, and it fixes it. Surely this must be able to tell us where the problem lies. Maybe something to do with resetting DirectX, or resetting things on the video card?
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  5. #20
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Sounds like video issues hands down. I don't see how anyone could like VIA chipsets as they have gotten a lot of bad press and I've had nothing but problems with them. In my opinion VIA sucks the sweat off a dead man's balls and I'll never have another one in my house again.

    nForce works fine with NVidia cards but I'm not sure about ATI. But since I'm an NVidia man I could care less about ATI. I'd say either get a diff card or wait for newer drivers. It certainly seems to be about video drivers. As far as it working for several days it sounds like that might be more related to the SATA than anything. Make sure the SATA is working ok. Try running Word or some other dumb app for several days and see if you notice any stalling (other than the usual Microsoft Word stalls and crashes). I bet you will see some.

  6. #21
    PC Fixer-Upper Waldo2k2's Avatar
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    >>VIA sucks the sweat off a dead man's balls

    lol, not to get off topic, but what chipsets have you had trouble with?
    I personally haven't tried any of their new stuff (which i have seen some bad reviews on) but I have an asus K8v se deluxe and the via chipset on that board is rock solid. I can't recall which chipset or revision, but it's a few years old now.

    In retrospect I'm very dissapointed in all the next gen platforms, via has gone from stable to unusable (from what I hear, and from what you say Bubba). And Nvidia can't write a uniform driver to save their lives (they're still having minor issues with their gfx card drivers and they're into the 77.xx revisions already). And I'm not even going to touch on my hatred for ATI.
    I just built a new pc for my father, 4400+ dual core, 2gb ram, and the latest asus sli board. It runs fast, but it's not as stable as my older asus k8v. I've gotten it to blue screen under stress (ran prime95 for about 18hr.'s). My k8v didn't even hiccup, but giving the nvidia chipset credit it handled "normal" full load conditions just fine.
    I figure we're in a state of flux right now, technology is moving and changing faster than it has for the last couple of years (we seemed to be in a slump there for a while). For crying out loud the ati 9800 was the top card for at least 2 years before anything hotter came out (thank god nvidia got their stuff together on that one).

    So to wrap things up, I recommend a full format. Go back to all the default drivers that came with the chipset (including sata controller drivers). I recommend NOT installing the nvidia ide drivers (as they're nothing but trouble) and don't install the nvidia firewall either. Run the latest vid card drivers, and disable your onboard sound and throw a sound blaster in (ac97 chips are notorious for having bad drivers). Run a memtest scan, and download the seagate hard drive utility (good for finding errors on drives, works with other brands like my samsung drives). After everythings installed try farcry again and make sure it's patched to the latest. Hopefully that should take care of any problems you have.

    Tips for the future:
    new gfx card drivers come out every month or so, I usually do a full format whenever I upgrade drivers (besides nic drivers). I've had too much hassle with drivers not upgrading properly, leaving remnants of the old ones behind. If you really do not want to reformat, then download driver cleaner pro (it's free). Uninstall your current drivers, reboot, run driver cleaner, reboot, install new drivers. I also recommend running at least 2 hard drives, one for data storage, the other for OS and programs (or even dedicating a third for programs). Put your paging file on the data drive, this will improve performance more than you would think, and can prevent some lockups occassionally. Invest in good defragmenting software, I used to recommend perfectdisk, but the latest version of diskeeper (v10) outperforms it by far. A defragmented system is a stable system. Disable antivirus software while playing games, most antivirus software loves to get it's hands into everything your computer is doing. Including files accessed by programs/windows/games/etc. It can slow things down or even cause random lockups (I used to have a problem with symantec corporate and steam).
    After you've done all that and decided you really don't want to use Windows anymore, format, install linux, and run Cedega.

    Hopefully this will help you get everything worked out. Good luck.
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  7. #22
    mustang benny bennyandthejets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waldo2k2
    advice
    I will certainly try all those things, they sound promising. I have 3 SATA hard drives, with several partitions, but:

    a) should the paging file be on a different physical drive to the OS?
    b) should I have a partition just for the paging file?
    c) should I make sure the paging file drive and OS drive are connected to different SATA controllers (there's two controllers, two drives per)?


    I already use Suse linux, the only reason I still run Windows is for games. To tell the truth, spending all this money on expensive video cards and then having it not work properly is pushing me towards swearing off video games. I've already decided that this 7800 GTX is the last video card I buy for games. My next comp is going to be a silent PC, which will cost less than the 7800GTX cost me.
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  8. #23
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    AGVFree, ZoneAlarm and SpyBot S&D resident do not interfere with games.

    1. Zone Alarm will ask permission for the program to run, and once you click yes and check the remember this box, it will not ask again.
    2. Spybot S&D sits in the systray and does nothing outside of IE and/or downloading files through IE or FTPs.
    3. AVGFree does monitoring but can be set for download monitoring only. The probability of getting a virus in the data stream for your game is next to NILL with Zone Alarm running.
    So far I've had these three working together now for at least a year and the most I ever get is perhaps an Alexa-related spyware thingy that can be removed in an instant.

    I'm very happy with the performance of these three while in games as well. No hiccups, no FPS issues, and rarely a connect problem.

    Don't play your games with no virus protection AND no firewall. Def use a firewall and I recommend you use anti-virus, but at least use a firewall.

    Most games use ports that are well known and so attackers often have enough info to attack the port......although usually they are not worried about some game nerd's system. I rarely have any problems.

    The best way to play, not host is to use a router. Open only the ports you need for the game. Multiplayer games are picky and if something should slip into the data stream, you and I both know the game won't still be running. It will probably CTD, kill the process, and kill whatever it was that started the whole mess. Slipping code into the data stream for a game is not a good way to infect a computer because the data and message go to the game message loop which will cause obvious consequences. So as long as you close the other ports you are not using, you should be able to game to your heart's content w/o problems.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 02-18-2006 at 09:03 PM.

  9. #24
    PC Fixer-Upper Waldo2k2's Avatar
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    >>a) should the paging file be on a different physical drive to the OS?
    b) should I have a partition just for the paging file?
    c) should I make sure the paging file drive and OS drive are connected to different SATA controllers (there's two controllers, two drives per)?
    <<

    contrary to popular belief, seperating by partitions only doesn't have any effect, other than the sake of organization. It is possible to increase performance via that method if the master file table becomes fragmented or runs out of room due to an enormous amount of files, in which case having the paging file on a seperate partition would offer the benefit of being on a clean mft. However that is an extreme situation. Because the heads on a hard drive can only be in once place at any time (more or less) you want to have the paging file on a separate physical disk. Meaning the paging file can be accessed simultaneously with other OS or program files. Putting it on a seperate sata controller may offer performance increase, however sata can handle 3gbps data flow, something your processor and ram will have a hard time keeping up with. So putting the paging file on the same controller as the OS will be fine. So following that and Bubba's advice, your next format should have windows running smoother than ever..granted you find the right drivers ;-)
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  10. #25
    mustang benny bennyandthejets's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the help, I'll implement the changes and report back with the results.
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  11. #26
    Supermassive black hole cboard_member's Avatar
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    After my moaning about my poor game performance / overheating etc, I've just bought a gorgeous case, 2x 80mm fans, 2x 120mm fans, all with pretty lights. I can play as long as I want now with no problems.

    Woot.

    I'm thinking of getting another gig of ram though, 1gb still doesn't seem like enough. With 2gb I can knock up the apateur to stop my card moaning when I try to use high detail textures.

    Here's a low res pic with my crappy webcam:
    EDIT: Eww my webcam is worse than I thought. I really need a digital cam
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    Last edited by cboard_member; 02-19-2006 at 05:14 AM.
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