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Okay, got the new Video card and worse problems


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#1
Writin_Reg

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Hi, back in November I sought help for Blue Screen of Death and it was more or less decided I probably needed a new video card because I play the Sims 2 and all it's EP's. (Just about the most memory and graphic hog of a game out there).

As a reminder I have an AMD Athlon™XP 2500+
1.82ghz with 2 matching 512 sticks of ram (1 gb)

My OS is XP Prof. Vers.2002 with service pk 2 and all updates to date
(also just updated to the new browser (7) )

My hdware - Sony CD_RW; Sony DVD-ROM; 80gig harddrive with 29 gig free
Floppy. Wireless Logitech matched Mouse and Keyboard
Vinyl AC' 97 Codec Combo sound (updated)
Avitron Av-&TF Monitor
DSL Broadband (Verizon)
OKay I was running Nvidia Geforce 4 ti 4600 with 125 ram - (a 1x,2x, 4x card)

Got new card Christmas - Nvidia Geforce 7300 GT with 256 ram(a 4x and 8x card)

Now here's what's been happening: if I play the Sims longer than 2 hours, all of a sudden the game will freeze and the harddrive starts working like crazy - sometimes while it's doing this I lose the picture and it goes to a totally blue screen, other times it just stays frozen and nothing works. I have learned to just wait until the harddrive stops, which it does eventually, and then I can save the game and quit normally. At that point, if I just reboot my machine, shut down all my background tasks and antivirus I can go right back into the game and play another hour or two - but what's so annoying is with my old card I got the blue screen of death, but it took several hour for that to happen (usually 4 or more) unless I was using really big properties which required extensive memory and graphics. I assumed by what every one told me, the new card wouldn't have this problem because it is more powerful, but the problem is worse. Oh and if I continue to play after I save my game I might squeeze another hour out of it, but when it goes down a second time it will start blinking between a black screen and a blue screen and won't come out of this. Then I have to shutting it down improperly.

So far I have gotten the Registry scrubber and cleaned the Registry. I checked with Nvidia and have the latest driver. I also ran this program that gets fragmented drivers out of your computer. I did memtest86 and it never shut down. I ran Everest and my husband said my power supply readings are right where they are supposed to be. I have a 400 watt power supply. I updated my on board sound.

I only can think of one more thing, is it possible that I'm taking a performance hit on the new card as I just discovered my motherboard was a match with the old card (1x,2x & 4x) and this new card does just 4x and 8x. I saw that on the Everest test - by the way. And before you ask I have the card temp monitors on and I have it set so I can check it's read out over an hour and it never rises above 52 degrees and the slowdown protection point says it has to get to 125 (which sounds high to me, but that's what it says.), and what is even odder I was monitoring it trying a different game and the temp actually dropped to 50 degrees. It's 52 degrees when I first turn my computer on.

I'm at my wits in and I have very little money left to invest here - any ideas? And if it is the MOBO what is affordable without a credit card? That's also maxed out at the moment on Christmas and meds.

Edited by Writin_Reg, 14 January 2007 - 06:43 AM.

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#2
Jazza

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Hey,

I think this is move of a hardware problem and you may be better off posting this in Handware.

J4ZZ4!
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#3
Writin_Reg

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Jazza - I started this issue in hardware back in Nov. but they determined over there my best bet was here in gaming because the situation only happens to me in the Sims 2. In line stuff is no problem, and no problem in Sacred, Heroes of Might and Magic, Not even the Elder Scrolls either, but it seems it's only in the Sims 2 and the Sims2 is extremely memory and graphic intensive. I know in 2 hours in the Sims (I build a lot of neighborhoods) after doing some building, the minute I decide to actually play the game a little bit, this happens. I was advised on here to go with a new graphics card and I even got a better one than I was told - I was told a 6600 or a 6800 with 256.

But now I need to know why it didn't get better, but worse instead. And do I have to get another mobo and more memory, or is there a way to rectify this?
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#4
starjax

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I would have advised a 7600 or a 6800 instead of the 7300. The 7300 is just an entry level card. However that said it is supported by sims2.

Download Speedfan (The download link is in the first line of the second paragraph), and install it. Once it's installed, run the program and post here the information it shows. The information I want you to post is the stuff that is circled in the example picture I have attached.

Posted Image
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#5
Writin_Reg

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Here's the temperatures, but keep in mind that temp1 keeps changing, the rest are pretty much steady:

Temp 1 (35)
Temp 2 (45) steady
Temp 3 (33) mostly steady
HDO (31) steady
Temp 1 (24) steady


Voltage:

Vcore 1 (1.63) steady
Vcore 2 (2.53) steady
3.3v (3.09) steady
+5v (3.28)
+12v (8.96)
-12v (-6.86)
- 5v (-2.44)
+5v (3.66)
Vbat (2.03) steady

Also the Hdo 80gb - fitness bar filled but last space and performance bar is filled.

Here's the speedfan stuff you wanted - should I leave speedfan in or should I uninstall it now?
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#6
stettybet0

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this is probably not a problem with your hardware. Sims 2 is not graphics or memory intensive at all (despite what you believe... for example google "crysis" to see a game which demands system resources)

System Requirements for Sims 2:

800 MHz processor
256 MB RAM
At least 3.5 gigs of free hard drive space
a T&L capable video card with at least 32 MB of video RAM (such as nvidia GeForce 2 or better or ATI Radeon 7000 or better)

try reinstalling Sims 2.

if that doesn't work, the only things I can think of are:

viruses
corrupted Windows files

Edited by stettybet0, 19 January 2007 - 05:28 PM.

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#7
HPDV8315LOVER

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Make sure you have updated your video card.
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#8
starjax

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well thie may not be related to your sims2 issue, but your 12v rail is underpowered by a few volts. This "could" cause some interesting issues.

So basically what happens is that the game freezes or lags out and you hear hard drive activity. That is the system doing a large file swap from memory to system cache(hard drive).

Other than sims2 do you play anything else?
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#9
Writin_Reg

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Stettbet - those requirements are for the Sims 2 base game alone. If you have the base game and all stuff packs and all expansions the minimum requirements are signifigantly higher. Apparently Maxis incorporated a new engine and since the Glamor Life stuff pack and the Pets expansion pack just about everyone was screaming because the basegame approved video card were no longer adequate to run the game. People started experiencing missing Sims, neighborhoods, red water, and flashing red walls and new drivers didn't help. Also basic memory requirements increased to 758, but if you had any custom stuff in your game you need between 1 gig to 2 gig. I have the newer required card and 1 gig of memory and still get lag after an hour or so game play. I have no problem building or creating stuff, but the minute you actually play the game (usually to check out the playability of the new stuff, you see the strain. Other players, even those with the top video cards said the only way to avoid this is to feed the Sims 2 at least 2 gigs of ram.

HpDV8315Lover - I updated to the newest driver - 93.71 and all [bleep] broke out on here. So thinking it was the new card I went to XFXforce.com who made my card and the techs there told me to get that "piece of junk driver" out of my system. That it was unstable and runs the cards hot and Nvidia isn't doing anything about as of yet anyway. They gave me driver 91.47. We uninstaller the othert driver and used the driver cleaner before installing this one. Plus XFXforce gave my husband a list of settings for my bios especially for this card that we have since installed. It's much better now, at least playable anyway - it's just not like it was before I installed the Pets ep. Unfortunately in order to make items for Pets for other simmers I have to have Pets in my game.


Starjax - Yes, I do play other games and I also use my computer for writing ( I write childrens stories). The only time I notice problems so far is with the Sims games, although I only got this card Christmas and haven't had too much time lately to play for very long - any game.


And for who ever asked - I have already uninstalled all my Sims 2 games, cleaned the registry, then reinstalled. Spent an entire day just taking it down and getting everything back in and running. I applied all the appropiate patches, and everything. After I uninstalled, I also ran clean disk, did scan disk - and fixed errors, and defragged the harddrive. And then like I said I cleaned the registry. I also checked everything for updates. Then I reinstalled, the hard way by loading up the game in between each ep and stuff pack and then applying each of their patches.


To all of you, thank you all for your help. I'm seeing the possibility that perhaps I not only need to upgrade mobo, memory (another gig), my year old powersupply may need upgrading too. My husband will not want to hear this - I'm sure. He just got the New WOW, so perhaps I'll tell him tomorrow. He's been waiting for his game to come out for some time now. He has 2 or 3 60 level characters he wants to get to 70.

Anyway, thanks all everyone. I much appreciate all your wisdom. I still need Computer for dummies. So any and all thought and ideas are welcome.
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#10
stettybet0

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Other players, even those with the top video cards said the only way to avoid this is to feed the Sims 2 at least 2 gigs of ram.


well, this is evidence that system RAM is more important to this game than graphics RAM. So, my recommendation is to get another gig of RAM.
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#11
Writin_Reg

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Yeah, I guess so. Which mean one of 2 things - I either get another mobo or I buy 2 matched 1 gig sticks because I only have 2 mem slots and I'm presently using 2 match 512 sticks. So to get 2 gig, I simply toss out a gig of year old ram and buy 2 gigs more. Oh THAT will REALLY set pretty with hubby. I can see it now..... Grrrrrr!

Honestly though I am planning on trying to scrap up the money for an 8x board, anyway, but knowing my luck the mem I have won't work on that board. I once had a nice asus board (way better than the board I have now) with 2 gig on it and 10 months later lightening got it and I had it protected even. This is what I ended up with, and nothing from my old set up was saveable. Now it looks like I start over AGAIN.

Like that is going to happen anytime soon. Anyway, thanks guys.
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#12
stettybet0

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by 8x, I'm assuming you mean a mobo with an AGP 8x slot.

it would be extremely pointless to buy one. AGP is obsolete technology, the new technology is PCI-Express x16. I suggest trying to buy a mobo with one (or more) of these slots.

and im not seeing the logic in buying a new mobo. your suggesting that your husband would be madder if you threw out 1gig and bought another 2gigs than if you threw out 1gig and bought a whole new computer.

Edited by stettybet0, 21 January 2007 - 03:29 PM.

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#13
Writin_Reg

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To you it is obsolete, but to me it's the board I need to go with the brand new video card I just got Christmas.

My point about buying 2 - 1 gig sticks of ram is that would cost me at least a hundred and a half, but most probably nearer 2 hundred as I do not have any more space to just add ram to my present board. It only has 2 ram slots. Nor does it make sense to just add ram to this board as according to the stats for my video card I am taking a constant performance hit as my present AGP board only is capable up to 4times and my video card wants 8 times. Do you understand now. No matter what is or is not popular I am stuck with this video card, and the only direction I have to go is find a board that will accomendate this video card and hopefully accept the kind of ram I have. If I'm lucky the board will have more than 2 ram slots, but in life I have learned I am just not that lucky.

Some of us, unfortunately can only dream of what we wished our computer systems were and in real life settle for what we get and try to make the most of what we got. I don't need anyone telling me how bad my system is or how obsolete, I really have no choice in the matter but try and spend as little as possible to at least make this system work. I would love to chuck the whole works for a state of the art system - but it just ain't gonna happen. And when I came here I was just hoping someone could help me make it work right - that's all. Thank you anyway.
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#14
stettybet0

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Well, you said before that you have an agp 1x/2x/4x mobo. That will work with an agp 4x/8x card, though you will get better performance with an agp 4x/8x mobo. (not much though)

now, the only option I see to get your game to work like you want it to is to get 2gigs of memory. there are no boards that will accommodate your processor which have more than 2 RAM slots. so, the only thing to do is ditch your current RAM and get 2 1gig sticks. (if your mobo even supports 2gigs... u never said what mobo u have). you're going to want to get DDR 333 RAM most likely. (this is what most socket A mobos like yours use. again, I can't be sure without knowing your mobo) you can always sell your current memory, or use it in another PC, and not feel as guilty as you would just throwing it away.

you also could get a board that supports agp 4x/8x, though like I said before there will be little performance increase, and i'm not sure if its worth it. also, being that agp is obsolete technology (sorry if this offends you, but the mobo companies believe this too, not just me), it will be hard to find a good board. searching on newegg, I found only one board, made by PC Chips, a company known to make very cheap mobos.

and i suggested pci-express x16 when buying a new mobo because pci-e x16 cards are not only much better than AGP cards, but they are much cheaper too. but, your cpu also won't be compatible with a pci-e x16 board either, so it doesn't matter. i'm assuming that a new system is not a viable option.

Edited by stettybet0, 26 January 2007 - 12:01 AM.

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#15
Writin_Reg

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My mobo is a Via Technologies Ecs K7TA3 v8.
As for a new system, totally out of the question, as we just bought a new house and every dollar is just about stretched to capacity - at least until we get through Winter here in New Hampshire. Let's put it this way, when we got up this morning the thermometer outside says minus 22. Makes even a new furnace run almost constantly.
I wish I could get a new system though, but wishes don't pay the bills. I've finally consigned myself to not playing the newest Sims expansion, as come to find out just about everyone with Nvidia Geforce cards from the 6200 and up (with the exception of the 7800) are going through what I've been going through and it doesn't seem to matter who manufactures your NG card either. The only ones not having a problem are people with ATI cards. It also doesn't matter whether we have an agp, pci express, or what. From what we've been told the folks at Maxis are investigating the problem and trying to see if they can't come up with a game fix. So in the meantime I took everything out, cleaned my system registry of Sims, defragged, then reinstalled everything but the Pets EP. Now my game seems to be running fine.

As I had also gotten a hold of xfxforce the techs over there tell me there are plenty of boards I could pick up with a better cpu for under 130 dollars that will use my ram. They are supposed to get back to me with a list today sometime. So for now I guess I am all set and I do thank you for all your help though. And at least I have a usable machine again.
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