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Games Randomly Crash Periodically.


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#1 Hooky1742

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 10:30 AM

Hi,

I have recently built a desktop computer for gaming but am having some troubles with the games. The main game i play is age of empires 3 (and its expansion pack "the warchiefs"). About 2 games in 5 it will randomly crash and exit the game, giving me the option to send microsoft an error report (which i generally do). I dont know what causes it, the game doesnt become unstable or anything before crashing, it just exits back to windows and says to send error report. This is particularly annoying when playing online games of AOE3 because they cannot be saved and resumed, so all progress is lost.

My brother also plays oblivion elder scrolls or whatever it is called and has reported the same issue, although less of a problem because he can just resume from where he last saved. It is still irritating though.

I am running windows XP pro x64. Could it be that there is some compaitibility issues with the games and the 64 bit edition of windows that causes the crashes? Surely it wouldnt have even installed the game if it was incompatible? I dont know though.

Could it be something to do with my hardware, or the way i have put it together (it was my first pc build - but it seems to work ok doing everything else). Maybe dodgy RAM or something?

One final issue which may or may not be related is that occasionally the computer spontaneously restarts, you are just in the middle of doing something and it randomly restarts for no reason, no automatic updates or anything running, just shuts down and boots back up again. Really wierd. I think a possible cause of this may be RAM because when i was installing windows it kept giving me blue screens of death during the install until i went into the bios setup and changed the ram frequency to (i quote from the bios page) " (333mhz [667mhzDDRII]) " This change made the system stable and windows installed fine with no BSOD's after that. The RAM chips are 667mhz DDRII so i dont think they are being compromised by this setting at all. Still, maybe this could still be causing some grumbles in the system, i just dont know.

Anyway, sorry for such a long post, hope someone can be bothered to wade through the 3 possible causes (which i can think of) and i would be very greatful if someone could get back to me with some ideas, or better still solutions!

Thanks in advance for your help.
Hooky

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#2 jgweed

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 04:31 PM

Can we assume that you have installed the most current drivers (audio and video) and that you have also checked to determine if these games have patches available?
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#3 Hooky1742

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 01:12 PM

yup, you can assume all of those.

#4 Hooky1742

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 02:32 PM

anyone got any ideas at all? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

#5 dogslikeus

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 12:42 PM

it could be the PSU crapping out on you. i'm not 100% on that though. i know low wattage PSUs (or PSUs with low amperage) can cause system instability.

#6 Hooky1742

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 02:58 PM

i had problems with my psu origincally when i built the pc. However, i now have a 400 watt PSU which should be ample right?

#7 dogslikeus

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 12:31 AM

it depends on what sort of hardware you have. can you make a list of the hardware you have on your computer?

#8 Hooky1742

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 06:51 AM

processor = 2.4ghz core 2 duo
graphics card = ATI Radeon X1800 512mb DDR3
mobo = asrock 775 dual VSTA
RAM = 2gb corsair (667mhz)
HD = 250 gb maxtor something or another (IDE not SATA)
belkin wireless pci card
USB 2 expansion card (PCI)

i think thats about it, if theres anything iv missed please tell me!

#9 dogslikeus

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 09:52 AM

again, i'm not an expert, but it definitely sounds like it could be the PSU. that is some high grade hardware and needs a beefy PSU to run it all. i have a 535W just because i don't want to deal with upgrading for a while.

what brand is the PSU?

#10 stevealmighty

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 10:17 AM

Good point dogslikeus!

Your PSU might have enough wattage to run everything, but it may lack in amperage for your gfx card. If you post your make/model/manufacturer for your psu we can look it up.

I've had similar problems, and the cause was that my psu didn't have enough amps to run my gfx card. I replaced the psu with a nice, name brand, "not cheap" one and it worked like a charm! :thumbsup:
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#11 dogslikeus

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 12:04 PM

indeed. some cards have a high wattage but low amperage. they should list this on the side of the unit. there are several different rails, but as far as i know the main one to worry about is the 12V+ rail. you want a rating of at least 18A on that rail.

#12 Hooky1742

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 12:47 PM

i will have a look at the amperage of the PSU. I dunno waht brand it is, it just came with the case i bought for the new pc. Details of the case are here:

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo...roductID=212404

I will get back to you with the PSU details...

#13 stevealmighty

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 12:54 PM

indeed. some cards have a high wattage but low amperage. they should list this on the side of the unit. there are several different rails, but as far as i know the main one to worry about is the 12V+ rail. you want a rating of at least 18A on that rail.


That's what happened to me....I bought a Nvidia 6800GS that required a minimum of 18 amps (recommend 20 amps) and my cheap PSU that I had wouldn't run it even though it said it had 18 amps on the +12v line. :thumbsup: Something else to keep in mind is that the gfx card should be on it's own ("clean") line from the PSU, meaning that nothing but the gfx card should be plugged into it. I bought a PSU with 20 amps on the +12v line and now my gfx card runs like a champ! :trumpet:

Just some stuff to keep in mind! :flowers:
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#14 stevealmighty

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 12:57 PM

i will have a look at the amperage of the PSU. I dunno waht brand it is, it just came with the case i bought for the new pc. Details of the case are here:

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo...roductID=212404

I will get back to you with the PSU details...


I didn't see the specs of the psu listed with the case....if I had to guess, I'd say that the psu isn't big enough to run everything.

If you do buy a new psu, do not buy a cheap one...you get what you pay for!
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#15 dogslikeus

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 01:04 PM

If you do buy a new psu, do not buy a cheap one...you get what you pay for!


what he said :thumbsup:

the best brands, or at least the ones i see recommended the most, are enermax and thermaltake. antec may also be ok. i have this psu and it works like a champ. with what you have in your setup i'd say you should get at least a 500w, if not 550. just in case. they run a little high, but it's worth it. better to have more than you need than not enough when it comes to power.




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