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Gaming Hardware problems

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
After formatting my hard drives and re-installing Windows XP, restoring my BIOS factory defaults, and re-installing all my drivers including the new direct X 9b, I am still unable to play games.  The computer is running fast, looking great, the games load up to the menus, but when the games load, they are unplayable by freezing.  Is it possible my NVIDIA GeForce 4 is shot?  If it were, wouldn't my normal computer usage show effects? Could it be a processor issue?  If it were, wouldn't that effect my normal computing as well?  What could have happened from flawless gaming to this?  Any help is appreciated!
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i would suggest that you check your RAM and that your RAM timings are not too fast.  I think that you need to swap out you RAM with some known good RAM.  You could also run memtest, but I don't think that it will bring out any errors, so you need to change out the RAM with a friends first and see if that works.

Can you list your componets?
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Have you installed the newest drivers from the nVidia site?
Install reboot and post again.  You can do some simple checks with your card just by upping the settings for color depth and resolution in the settings option.  Generally if the card is shot it will fall over if you ask it to do true color hi-res.
The nVidia drivers that come with XP just don't do it!


My Components:
M/B Soyo KT400 Dragon Ultra
Processor: AMD Athlon XP2600+ Barton Core 333 FSB
Memory: 512 MB PC 3200 DDR 400Mhz
Hard Drives:  80 GB Maxor, 40 GB Maxor
CD-ROMS:  Dell DVD-ROM 16X, Memorex CD Burner 52X32X52
Video Card: NVDIA GeForce 4 (PNY Verto) 128 MB

The gaming was working great. It stopped even before I upgraded to XP.  The graphics card allows 32 bit color and doesn't crash.
have you tried changing out the memory yet?


The only thing I did was thake the memory out of its slot and put it in another slot.  I kncoked the dust out of the fan on the video card and still it isn't working.  The game loads to the menu, sound is fine, then it load up the game and as the game loads, the first screenshot appears, then the audio skips and then it freezes as if it is fighting against another program or something, but it isn't. What else could it be? The memory is less than 6 months old.  
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WakeupSpecialist 1

What games have you tried?

It could be a bad processor, power supply or maybe even the motherboard as well.  
And to answer a few of your questions, if you had a faulty video card, ram, or even a faulty CPU, shouldn't it affect the rest of the system?  Yes it can.  but not always.  There are times when your vidcard, memory, and cpu will run hotter when doing more intense things (like gaming).  So the problems may not show up untill you do things that are more intense.  As suggested, you should probably try replacing some of these items to see if it is one of those problems.


The games I play are Medal of Honor, Jedi Acadamy, Nascar Racing, etc.  

At this point, if I had to guess, I think my graphics card (only 18 moths old) is the culprit.  Motherboard seems fine. It came with a utility and it shows the performance is ok. It must have beena coincedence that the video card plunked out the day I was updating drivers from microsoft.  I  should have dowloaded them from the manufacturer.  It is a shame it was working so well and now so poorly.  Thanks for all the info.  I am going to try and find someone to lend me a video card to see if that is it.  

maybee your trying to play those game with settings too hight for your v-card.

1- use 800x600 resolution
2- disable hight quality effects.

try to play in low resolution...


already tried it.  I even played in safe mode and it still would freeze/skip.  My problems only occur on 3D rendering.  That is why at first I thought it was a driver or a Direct X problem.  That didn't solve it.  

If the game allows, try playing using OpenGL.  
Whether or not the game uses OpenGL depends on the game.  There is no game that you can use either OpenGL or DirectX, they use one or the other.  This problem had nothing to do with software as he as done all he can with the software side of it.
WakeupSpecialist 1

only 18 months old? hehe..  Anyway in my opinion, one year for a computer equals 20-30 years.  Just like a year for a dog, is like 7 years. But yes faulty equipment can happen all the time and any time.  I've sold new retail boxed equipment that were bad from the getgo.  Like Retail still sealed Processors, Ram, Video cards, motherboards, and sound cards.  I've seen it all.  I've even bought a bad P4 Processor 2.6ghz 800 FSB processor right out of the box.  Was bad.  Every time I posted it, it would run (almost immediately start out at 55C.  And after about 1 minute it would be up to 65-75 C.  after another minute or so it would be over 80C.  Put on an aftermarket fan, and still it would get that hot.  Changed out the processor and everything was good.  Fan stayed the same....Was weird.  


unfortunate for the money paid.  This being said.  Now that I am in the marked for a new video card.  Should I go the ATI route or stick with NVIDIA? Pros - Cons? I am looking to spend between $100-$150 for a 128 MB.  MY m/B does allow for 8X Pro though, so I guess i could splurge a little, but I don't need the all in wonder for $400.
The card that would fit your boat is a Sapphire Radeon 9600XT.  It will work very good for your price range.


A little more then $150 but not much.   You can also take a look at this from Tomshardware.com


that is the most comprihensive video card testing I have ever seen.

I don't have really any preference between NVidia and Radeon.  I just choose the card that is my price range.   I actually just purchased a FX 5900XT which is very nice.  However, it only worked for a day :( and then it was back for RMA request.  So computer parts do fail, usually they fail very soon after they are installed.
also note that preformance wise the FX 5700 Ultra is equivalant to the Radeon 9600XT and the Radeon is cheaper.
I am really having a hard time trying to help and enemy though.  ;)  That is if your name means what I think it does.


you are providing the enemy with help very similar to how secretly Woody Hayes rented an apartment across the street from the practice field to spy on the Wolverines.   I am a proud alum '99

I appreciate it though.



I wound up with the ATI Radeon 9600 Pro
Not bad.  $149 on Tiger Direct.
The frame rates per sec are in the high 80's low 90's which is pretty good in that price range.
Now, hopefully that is the problem and I am not going to install this thing and it still won't work.  Wouldn't that suck?

>  Is it possible my NVIDIA GeForce 4 is shot?

Of course. Or, get it upgraded or ...

I loaded a game (on 2 CDs) last night on similar rebuild. Every time I inserted CD to install the dang thing kept calling up more things, a new install (again) process, an MS Media player wanting me to play CD music, a media player wanting it cataloged...

I first hid, then closed the extra screens. Started to game, a few different ways, each one ended with a prompt return to the main XP screen, as if no code. I thought I might have closed one 'I agree to install (EULA)' too many without agreeing. Ended up uninstalling the 2 CDs of > 1 GB, tried running off CD, only thing is that, it had a configuration setup to ignore graphic hardware and to do it all in software. It now works.

I recommend first upgrading system, OS, video bios, cpu bios, from anywhere you can, and as workaround, look at the video selections you've configured. Try hardware first, such as acceleration, rendering, but when that fails go back to trying SW option in config.
GoBlue            (arggggggggg  I can't say that)

how is it comming?


Tuesday I bought a new Radeon 9800 Pro  8X AGP 128 MB S-Video.

Works incredibly.  I was able to crank everything to the max and I even overclocked my processor.  The graphics are awesome. I get about 92 frames per second on most games.  It was 159.00 at tiger direct and via ups ground, I got it in one day.  It solved everything.  I think I will stay away from the PNY cards in the future.  Thanks for asking.  Go Blue!  I want to start the I hate Maurice Clarett fan club.
sounds good. :)

>>I want to start the I hate Maurice Clarett fan club
when and where and I will join?

>> think I will stay away from the PNY cards in the future.
add their RAM to that list.

You are new to this site.  Do you know how to close questions and give out the points.   If not here is some help.  

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