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Strange game flicker with Nvidia card

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#1 FadedReality


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Posted 14 June 2009 - 09:50 AM

First, my specs:

Motherboard: Asus P5N-E 650i SLI
Memory: Corsair ValueSelect 2x1GB DDR2 SDRAM
Processor: Intel C2D 6750 2.66 GHz
PSU: Rosewill 600W
Graphics Card: MSI GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB OC(factory Overclocked)
Hard Drive: Western Digital 500 GB
OS: Windows XP Pro SP3

I've been having this problem for a long time and have tried everything I can think of. The closest thing to my problem that I've found would be the infamous "nv4_disp.dll infinite loop" bug.

On some games I can play as much as I want and never have an issue. The games where it does happen it does so randomly, anywhere between 5 minutes after I start up the game to not at all in a 3 hour gaming session. It only happens when playing 3D system intensive games. From driver to driver the effect has changed somewhat but rolling back to a two year old driver doesn't seem like a viable option as it's been going on for quite some time.

Here's what happens:
The screen flickers and the game freezes for about a second. When it unfreezes, everything is messed up. Fonts are hacked up and garbled, lines all over the screen, just a general unplayable mess. If I alt+tab out of the game and back in, it runs perfectly fine until the next time it does it (if at all). With various drivers over time I've gotten the game just outright freezing, ending the process throwing an nv4_disp.dll error message and reverting me to 640x480 16 color desktop. One thing that remains the same no matter the driver version is after it happens my system is extremely sluggish when ending the game's process and/or trying to start up a different game. A reboot fixes the sluggishness.

I'd like to stress again that it's only some games that do this and others do not do it no matter how long I play.

Over time (sometimes all in one mentally exhausting day :thumbsup: ) I've done the following:

Memtest86 for 7-20 passes, defrag, chkdsk, monitored heat constantly, cleaned the interior, properly removed and reinstalled/updated drivers, updated my BIOS, kept up with windows update, scanned and if necessary cleaned malware and viruses, checked fan speeds, memory timings, voltage, visually checked for damaged parts and I'm sure a few things I'm forgetting.

I try to take care of my computer as best I can. I was even forced to reformat once and the problem persisted. The problem didn't start until at least 4 months after building the computer so I'm pretty sure that it's not a factory defect in one of the parts.

I'm at the end of my rope and am to the point of looking at ATI cards thinking a purge of all things Nvidia might make it go away. If anyone more well versed in diagnosing a problem and fixing it than myself can help me out I will be eternally grateful. I know I must be missing something!

A couple examples:
Games that never freeze- Prototype, The Witcher, anything on the Source engine (Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, etc.)
Games that have the potential to- WoW, Lord of the Rings Online, Saint's Row 2, Call of Duty 4

Edited by FadedReality, 14 June 2009 - 10:19 AM.

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#2 Sterling14


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Posted 16 June 2009 - 08:47 PM

See if you have any IRQ conflicts: http://www.helpwithpcs.com/upgrading/change-irq-settings.htm . Go through your list, and make sure nothing is on the same IRQ channel.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

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