Games stalling, intermittently

This is a discussion on Games stalling, intermittently within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; I'm having issues with games on my new computer. They sometimes work, and sometimes stall, and I think either DirectX ...

  1. #1
    mustang benny bennyandthejets's Avatar
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    Games stalling, intermittently

    I'm having issues with games on my new computer. They sometimes work, and sometimes stall, and I think either DirectX or my onboard sound has something to do with it. Here's my specs:

    Asus A8N-E (onboard Realtek AC'97 sound)
    Asus EN7800 GTX
    AMD A64 3200+
    OCZ 2*512mb C2 memory
    2*120gb SATA
    1*200gb SATA

    When I first built the machine, I installed Call Of Duty 2, and it stalled. I set DirectSound acceleration to Standard instead of Full, and then I could play. After a couple days however, it started stalling after loading a level, before rendering anything. I tried updating drivers, using different combinations, reinstalling Windows etc, but the problem remained. At times, the game would suddenly work, then without anything changing would stop working. This has also happened with Farcry, San Andreas, and Act of War. Quake 4 and F.E.A.R seem to run fine.

    How should I go about investigating this problem? Any input is greatly appreciated, I would love to solve this without forking out a wad of cash.
    benforbes@optusnet.com.au
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  2. #2
    Supermassive black hole cboard_member's Avatar
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    What part of that spec list is your GPU?
    Good class architecture is not like a Swiss Army Knife; it should be more like a well balanced throwing knife.

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  3. #3
    mustang benny bennyandthejets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahluka
    What part of that spec list is your GPU?
    Asus EN7800 GTX

    It's very new and is supposed to be excellent.
    benforbes@optusnet.com.au
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  4. #4
    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    So is this a stop/start deal?
    Did you overclock it?
    If you relax the clocking, does it work better?

    Seems to me its going into thermal shutdown because you're stressing the machine too much.

  5. #5
    Supermassive black hole cboard_member's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salem
    So is this a stop/start deal?
    Did you overclock it?
    If you relax the clocking, does it work better?

    Seems to me its going into thermal shutdown because you're stressing the machine too much.
    I swear that's what's happening to mine - I need a better case with a better fan setup. It just chokes up when I've been gaming for about 20 minutes.
    Good class architecture is not like a Swiss Army Knife; it should be more like a well balanced throwing knife.

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    Registered /usr
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    AFAIK if there's a heat problem then modern computers are supposed to turn themselves off and sometimes beep at you. That's what mine did, even though I kept ignoring it and turning it back on, after a little while the PSU exploded after the glue in it melted.

    Although if the graphics card is hot you won't know unless the screen freezes, by which time you run the risk of GPU death.

    It would help if you could define what you mean by "stall".

  7. #7
    chococoder
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    depends. Many will slow down first and see if that helps cool things enough to keep going.
    If that doesn't work, they turn themselves off.

  8. #8
    Supermassive black hole cboard_member's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwenting
    depends. Many will slow down first and see if that helps cool things enough to keep going.
    If that doesn't work, they turn themselves off.
    That seems most likely what mine is doing - if I turn it off for 20 minutes or so it's fine then it happens again.
    Good class architecture is not like a Swiss Army Knife; it should be more like a well balanced throwing knife.

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  9. #9
    Registered User mrafcho001's Avatar
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    Mine use to do the same exact thing. Except if I kept playing for another 30-1 hour it would get weird lines going up and down the screen, and shut down eventualy...

    I got 2x 120mm fans, a new heat sink for CPU (Zalman CNPS7700) and VGA (Zalman VF700). Also a new north bridge heat sink.

    After that, i've never had any problems, my ATI 9800 pro has been running like a dream ever since, no freezing no weird lines, never shutting down. I've had some 20 hour gaming sessions too :-|

    So it might just be heating problems. Of course I also reinstalled Windows.

    The 7800GTX is a very powerfull card, its cooling might just not be sufficient enough to keep it cool.

    Also check if the card comes overclocked, i've seen many cards being shipped overclocked. One of my friends bought a 7800GT, and his was overclocked a bit.

    Can your card measure its temp? Most NVIDIA cards should. Play for a while, and keep alt-tabing every few minutes to check up on the temperature. Im not sure how hot is hot for a VGA but it shouldn't go above 80C?
    Last edited by mrafcho001; 02-13-2006 at 05:14 PM.
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  10. #10
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Also, incase you were avoiding considering it, you could always lower the quality of the games' graphics and that should help with the overheating, me thinks.
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  11. #11
    60% Braindead
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    Open the case to the air, thatll reduce heat a good bit. (For the computer, you'll fry like an egg

    Heat is a big cause. Sence you built your computer, it could be something is incompatable (I had a problem with mine for two years, it would shut off after 3~4 minutes in an intensly graphic game, really sucked :P. Turned out to be my nVidia card's adapter was incapatable with the nVidia card itself! I had to chuck out the whole card though, it had overheated and was starting to melt, damn adapter >.<) Anyways, if somethings incompatable, you should replace it. Games stalling is usualy a RAM issue. Use a ram-checking program (http://www.memtest86.com/) to see if your rams bad. Also, your sound card could be the cuplrit, onboard stuff is always troublesome. If the AC'97 card isint actualy installed on the motherboard, but is a seperate chip, I suggest turning it off in the BIOS.

    Two years of trying to fix a computer, you get to know theyse things .
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  12. #12
    mustang benny bennyandthejets's Avatar
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    The card isn't overclocked, nor is any other part of the computer. The temperatures are fine, CPU never goes above 35, GPU never above 40.

    Specifically, when it stalls, the screen will either go black, or freeze with what was being displayed. Sometimes you can hear game sounds looping. Sometimes it reboots itself, sometimes you have to manually reboot, and sometimes a blue screen comes up which says there are hardware issues. On rebooting there will sometimes be a Windows Error report saying there was an issue with the display driver/device.

    EDIT: The sound is onboard, and I have this hunch that it is a bit crappy. I wouldn't mind buying a PCI soundcard to make this problem go away. Could onboard sound cause a problem like this?
    benforbes@optusnet.com.au
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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Sound like you may be pushing the power supply to its limit. Reboots and random lock ups can be caused by power supply issues. Make sure with that setup you are at least pumping 400 to 500w.

    What chipset does the board have? Most ASUS have the new nForce chipset. Please don't tell me you bought the VIA board.

    Also 512 RAM is not nearly enough. You will want at least 1 gig if not 2.

  14. #14
    Registered User mrafcho001's Avatar
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    Yeah, Bubba has a good point. The new cards such as the 7800GTX do require a lot of power, i believe its 400W, but more is recommended, if you built the PC yourself, i hope you bought a good power supply. Many people have ruined new PCs with bad powersupplies.
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    mustang benny bennyandthejets's Avatar
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    It's a Shaw 450W power supply, and the chipset is nForce 4. It's 1gb of ram, 2*512. I'm thinking of buying another gig, but I'm sure that won't help this particular problem. Anything else it could be? Maybe there are some tests I could do to isolate the problem.
    benforbes@optusnet.com.au
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