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Common Polygon Problem in Dragon Age with NVIDIA cards - Why?


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#1 LinniVisay

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 04:53 AM

There is a pretty common problem for Dragon Age players that I experience also, and like everyone affected, I seem to have resigned myself to the fact there is no solution with my current system.
After a time of play, the graphics freak out and shoot insane polygons everywhere, or the menus become corrupted, or both. It's been determined in the community that this is probably a NVIDIA card issue, as everyone affected has one.

The current thread: http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/58/index/5562579

The thread from 8 months ago (recently updated): http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/58/index/88751/5

An old thread adressing this issue over at nvidia: http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=150079

Does anyone have an idea of why this is happening? It doesn't seem to be a heat problem or a driver corruption. If anyone knows how to fix it that would be amazing, but at this point it would just be nice to have some closure. :/
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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 06:17 AM

That Polygon issue that you are seeing is caused by artifacting usually a sign of bad RAM on the video card or the system RAM.

Please perform the following, so that we can get the exact specs of your computer. This will better assist us in helping you more.

Publish a Snapshot using Speccy

The below is for those who cannot get online

Please take caution when attaching a text file to your post if you cannot copy/paste the link to your post, you will need to edit it to make sure that your Windows Key is not present.

I have seen that error in games based on the Orange Box Engine developed by VALVe such as TF2. The most common culprit is an outdated version of the DirectX Run Time Libraries.

#3 dpunisher

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:56 AM

From what I read it is a combination of NVidia drivers, game engine updates, and shader 3.0 incompatabilities.

Any way to force shader 2.0 and see if that alleviates the problem? I think it is an Unreal 3 engine based game so most Unreal 3 line/console commands should work.

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#4 LinniVisay

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 04:53 PM

Here's my speccy: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/EGyHCw3wrGHd9S05XcwEkco


I gathered from the nvidia thread that there is a way to force shader 2.0, but I don't know what it is, I've been trying to google it, but I'm not even sure what I should be looking for.

As far as I know, the following relates to my system specifically, and not the majority, but since you mention directX, I'll mention this:

Regarding DirectX, a few days after the problem began I had the idea that might be the culprit and ran dxdiag. When it got to the fullscreen DirectDraw tests it BSOD'd me with a stop error relating to the nvidia driver, and I thought I'd found the problem. First I reinstalled the latest nvidia driver (260.99) using the "clean install" option in the install wizard, and during the uninstall process I got an error stating "The system cannot find the file specified: nvdisp.nvu". Now I *really* thought I'd found the problem, so I continued the install, everything went smoothly, then I ran dxdiag again, this time with no errors. For good measure I reinstalled the newest version of DirectX 9.0 that I could find from Microsoft's website, ran dxdiag, not a problem.

The game ran fine for a few hours then erupted into polygons again >< but it *didn't* expereince a stop error at a place where it had done so twice before.

I recently recovered my system from malware infections with the help of the Malware Removal forum here, and figured maybe my graphics driver was damaged in that process somehow, so at least that's fixed, but it doesn't seem to be related to the root problem, which definitely seems to be an incompatibily issue somewhere.
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#5 cryptodan

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 06:17 AM

According to the specs here: http://www.yougamers.com/reviews/26576_dragon_age_origins-page5/ Shader Model 3 is supported, and your card supports that. Am I looking at the right game?

#6 RaenImrahl

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 12:29 PM

Greetings!

I was the one who recently posted the problem again on the Bioware boards. Since then I've been able to get the game to work flawlessly... I've played it for about 4 hours now, including some pretty graphics-intensive portions with no problem.

It appears Dragon Age does not like overclocked Nvidia GPUs. No idea why this... I am a rank amateur. If pressed I'd speculate that it has something to do with the fact that the game is coded to do a lot of graphics processing through the motherboard CPU. I opted to buy a new graphics card and keep my old ASUS M3A78 and Athlon 6000+.

Anyway, the solution... I am using a new GT450. Like LinniVisay's GT8600, it came "factory overclocked". I installed Nvidia System Tools (ver. 6.06) and *reduced* the Memory Clock speed by about 20%. For whatever reason, it seems to have fixed the problem. (An attempted at reducing the Core Clock speed did not yield any results).

I know it seems counter-intuitive, and a bit frustrating, since I just bought this shiny new mid-range GPU. But the performance is better than ever... with all the game-settings maxed, a few Nvidia-controlled improvements, and a frame rate averaging about 35 fps.

Hope this helps... and that someone can duplicate these results on a 8600GT or 8800.

-- RI




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