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Problems with games using 3D or/and OpenGL - Display

Posted on 2004-04-02
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
Hello everybody,
Here are
Specs of my comp:
Athlon 1600+
GeForce2 MMX 64MB
CMI8738 Sound card
HDD 40GB
WinXP Pro OS

Problem: Few months ago I had Win98 OS and i played games such as Morrowind and Quake III
without any problem. I didnt play for some time and when few days ago I tried to play Morrowind introduction went well but when real play started, game freezes or goes very slowly-frame by frame in few min.
I decided to change OS and install new drivers and directx for my VGA card, so i formated my system partition and loaded WinXP pro.  But problem remains.
I checked and there is'nt any heat problems.
Games as Diablo LOD, Heroes of Might and Magic III and Civilization III work fine, but Quake III and Morrowind (which use OpenGL) do not.
In dxdiag there are no conflicts but my graphic and sound card are sharing same IRQ .
My graphic card does 3D tests for directx7 and directx8 withouth problem.
Formated again and
I didnt instal directx9 couse Morrowind requires only directx8.1 (which i had installed with WinXP)
and im not sure is my card directx9 compatibile. Problem, ofcourse is still there.
In Morrowind I have to exit by task manager and in Quake in often happens that i got message of device failure.
If there's any other info you need yust ask.
Thanx,
Dren.
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Question by:Dren1977
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Assisted Solution

by:Wojciech Duda
Wojciech Duda earned 40 total points
ID: 10740457
Things you should try:

Update all your drivers: video card, sound card, mainboard. (BTW, what is your mainboard type?)
Update DirectX to the newest 9.0b version - older games should work flawlessly even if they don't need it)

Your card is DirectX 9 compatible but does not support Hardware T&L - but this is not needed by Morrowind & Quake III.

Is your Soundcard on-board? If not, try to move it to another PCI slot - make sure to uninstall its drivers first - this should give it another IRQ.

Also, have you installed any hardware shortly before the problem occured?
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Author Comment

by:Dren1977
ID: 10740556
Oh, forgot about mainboard.
Its ECS K7S5A SiS 735 with SDRAM/DDR
Ram is 256 DDR
I tried to run Quake few min ago and i got this interesting message when it freezed and restarted:

Computer restarted after an unexpected shutdown.
Mocrosoft Windows detected a possibile device failure.

The driver for the display device was unable to complete a drawing operation.
Please check with device manufactureer for a driver update.

Please tell Microsoft about this problem.
The displa driver for NVIDIA GeForce" MX/MX 400
seems to be responsibile for the system instability.

Well i use generic NVidia drivers, newest version (downoladed it yesterday)
Thanx for info, I'll try what you said.
About hardware i put new printer and Sound card you asked is it onboard( replaced onboard card)
But I had a problem with this before i bought new sound card, and about printer im not sure did it happen before or after putting it in.
Dren.
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Expert Comment

by:Reapz
ID: 10754178
Had the same thing with a GF2 I had in a spare PC a while back and with Quake among other things. In my case it was because the GF2 was getting to hot because the fan had broken and my place is a real heat trap so open up the case and make sure the fan is still spinning properly. That is of course if you've got a GF2 with a fan on. I know a lot of them didn't.

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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:asmodeusnz
ID: 10754741
Delete XP Pro and Re-install Win98SE.

Your system is too slow for XP-Pro (Especially for games)
My (Athlon XP 2400+, 512MB RAM, Geforce 4 - 64MB) won't even run Dungeon Siege on XP-Pro let alone Quake III or Morrowind.
As soon as I re-installed Win98SE all was fine again.
The games ran smoothly, didn't freeze or skip.

>Problem: Few months ago I had Win98 OS and i played games such as Morrowind and Quake III
>without any problem. I didnt play for some time and when few days ago I tried to play Morrowind introduction went well
>but when real play started, game freezes or goes very slowly-frame by frame in few min.

Xp is a VERY resource hungry operating system, and if your PC was running Morrowind slowly under Win98 then there is No way it will run under XP. Win98 does get slower and slower as you use it, so while Morrowind may have run fine under Win98 to start with, 2 months later it may not and get jittery and even freeze.

A fresh re-install of Win98se will solve your problems.
Make sure you have the latest video card drivers as well.

Cheers
Rodger

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Author Comment

by:Dren1977
ID: 10758651
Reapz: My card unfortunatelly doesnt have fan. It could be that it overheates, but this whole winter I had problems, and last summer when was 36C out there it run OK.
But if youre right, then my card is broken, so i have to buy new one. I'll have to borrow one from my friend to check it out, it seems.
Rodger: Quake III arena is game made more than few years ago and here are minimum requirements:
3-D Hardware Accelerator with full OpenGL® support*
Pentium® 233Mhz MMX® processor with 8 MB Video Card
or
Pentium II 266Mhz processor with 4 MB Video Card
or
AMD® 350Mhz K6®-2 processor with 4 MB Video Card (!!!!)
64 MB RAM
I have 4X faster processor, video card that has 16X more memory and 4x more RAM memory, which uses double speed.
Although i know that XP is memory hungry (I estimated that it needs around 100MB of RAM) theres plenty of memory that should be enough to start Quake III. And my screen goes dead when i come to options menu at the begining of the game.
And, again, it worked fine for some time at WIN98 but I got this problem when I still had WIN98.
Sorry, but I really doubt that my comp cannot play this game becouse of requirements.
But, I'm desperate and I'll try your solution, just i have to find my Win98 CD.I hope youre not angry with me couse I doubt your solution:) (i'm not eager to format my comp to install win98 and then reformat to install winXP again, you see:))
TO ALL:
I also downloaded old nvidia drivers couse i found on the net that new generic drivers that i use now can make problems with older graphic cards. No changes- still problems.
Thanx for all the comments.
Dren
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Expert Comment

by:Reapz
ID: 10759140
Lo m8,

You PC is more than enough to run XP. I have seen it running on computers half as powerful as yours with no problems even during gaming.

As for installing the older GFX drivers, the only way to do that is to totally remove the newer ones first and the best way to do that is to use this program...

http://www.driverheaven.net/cleaner/

Can't guarantee that this will solve the problem but it's the only way you can test properly with the older drivers.
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Assisted Solution

by:asmodeusnz
asmodeusnz earned 20 total points
ID: 10761733
Dren,

Firstly, Sorry I didn't realise Quake III was that old, (I don't actually have it) but I do have Morrowind which was released last year, and I assumed that Quake III was also a new game, but I do now remember when Quake II was released approx 7-8 years ago, and Quake III must have been released a while after that....

Since Quake III is old XP won't like it because its DOS based isn't it?
I know that other old games of that genre were DOS based like QUAKE II and DOOM II etc.
XP doesn't handle DOS emulation, although you can run these older programs in compatibility mode, but I don't believe its very effective.

Secondly, I'm certainly not angry you doubt my solution, but from previous experience and going down Exactly the same track you are going down now, I know that Win98 will solve your problems.
Remember that your Athlon XP 1600 doesn't run at 1600mhz it runs at approx 1200mhz.
Just like my Athlon XP 2400 only runs at approx 2000mhz.

You are obviously a gamer, and so am I.
In my opinion your PC isn't powerful enough to play games like Dungeon Seige, Morrowind, Need for Speed Underground,
X-Factor etc.
Since you already know how resource hungry XP is you'll also know that Win98 will turn your unplayable XP machine into a playable win98 machine. The game examples I've listed above won't run under XP on my machine, which is nearly twice as fast as your PC. However, under Win98se they run wonderfully.

While your system may meet "Microsoft's minimum XP requirements" minimum is NOT desirable in gaming standards.

If you want to surf the internet and do some Word processing or budgets etc then XP is a stable operating system that will give you very little trouble on anything greater than a PIII-500. (Although it may be a bit slow).
But if your a gamer then you should have a minimum spec of P4-2.0, 512MB RAM, 64/128MB Video Card, to play the newer games under WinXP. Any CPU slower than that just doesn't "Cut the mustard" under XP, but becomes a great gaming machine under Win98Se.

I'll be getting an Athlon XP 2800 soon, and only then will I consider "upgrading" to WinXP, otherwise the slowdown in game performance is just not worth it.

Also, after a fresh install of Win98se and after you've added all the latest drivers etc, if you still have the problem then you can eliminate the operating system as a cause, then you can troubleshoot your video card, RAM or CPU.

Cheers
Rodger
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Accepted Solution

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Reapz earned 80 total points
ID: 10762190
I read through this thread in a bit more detail and asmo is right when he said your PC isn't powerful enough. However it's not because of XP or your processor. It's because of your GFX card.

I didn't notice before that it was Quake '3' you were trying to play (which incidentally runs fine on XP) and I completely missed Morrowind. These games are both extremely GFX intensive (Quake 3 used to cook my card) and your card isn't up to it. I know because I had one as I said earlier and until I upgraded her machine it was in my Girlfriends computer and the only difference between her machine at the time and yours is that she had a 1800+ processor. The difference in performance is negligible.

I own both Quake 3 and Morrowind and these games performed as poorly on her machine as they do on yours. That is until I upgraded the GFX card to a ATI Radeon 9000 Pro 128MB. Still not a fantastic card but it's cheap and both games were more than playable afterwards.

But Quake is quite a few years old and Morrowind's been about for a couple of years now as well and when you start thinking about newer games like FarCry and Half Life 2 (if it ever gets here) etc then what asmo said gets nearer to the mark. Sticking a Radeon 9800 XT in your current machine with XP and thinking it will play games like these new ones is wishful thinking. You will need more power to back up GFX card although.

FYI asmo... Save your money. If your 2400+ is the Barton then it will overclock nicely to a 3200+ and is perfectly stable.
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Author Comment

by:Dren1977
ID: 10764845
Well, asmo, I'm not really a gamer, but i do like to play games.:) Thats the reason why i didnt try to fix this problem first time I encountered it. Just i didnt feel like gaming. Now as i finished my study and i need to learn some programming for new job I spend much more time before screen and its borring to study all the time. So I wanted to solve it, but as you see I have problems with solving:))

Reapz, I know that my card is crappy for new games, but as i said to asmo i'm not a gamer (In fact i play RPGs only, and Quake isnt mine at all, my friend forgot it so i tried it just to check is it to my Morrowind cd or other 3d games are also affected.) To get back on track, Im still content with less hungry games :)) but as I already played Morrowind (with no problems) it strikes me as odd that it doesnt run now at all (it's not only unplayable but it doesnt start at all - I just see introduction movie and then black screen and music playing. Then after 20seconds first scene of game, which drawing isnt good at all. Then usualy all freezes.
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Expert Comment

by:Wojciech Duda
ID: 10764882
Are you sure Morrowind is actually set to using OpenGL instead of software mode (if there is any)?
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Author Comment

by:Dren1977
ID: 10866604
Ok, I am sorry that i didnt post earlier, I've got a solution - my graphic card was broken. I borrowed the same card from my fried and everything was just fine. Thanks for all the answers.
Dren.
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