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Something Is Wrong, But I Can't Pinpoint The Cause


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#1 megalo

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 09:30 PM

I'll try to simplify and explain this issue the best that I can.

First, my pc specs

AMD X2 3800+ processor
Asus 8AN SLI Premium (fanless design)
2gb Corsair XMS RAM
250 gb seagate HDD
Hyper 580 Modular PS
Cooler Master centurion mid tower case w/2 fans
Lite On DVD optical drive
Creative X-FI Platinum sound card
(2)Evga 8800 gts/ (1)Saffire x800 pro

The issue

When playing World of Warcraft, the far right pixel collumns would become discollored after a half hour of gameplay. They would alternate colors and could be red, blue, green, white, orange and more. At first I didn't think too much of the issue and still don't but its something to point out.

NOTE: I know for a fact this issue is present with my x800 pro, but I can't remember if this is also true with my 8800 gts.

When playing Counter Strike: Source, there was a bigger issue. About 20-30 minutes into the game, the game would appear to be having a much lower frame rate. Yet when I check the frame rate using the console this dip in framerate would not be present.

NOTE: This issue is present with both video cards, the 8800 gts and the x800 pro.

Troubleshooting

The first step I took was adding a fan to the side of the case over the motherboard. This did not alleviate either of the issues.

I then tried different video games. The first was F.E.A.R. This game did not have the first issue and did not appear to have the second issue, but then again I was already getting a low frame. The second was Half Life: Episode 1. This game did appear to have the second issue, but this game was also getting a much lower frame rate to begin with.

My third step was to try a different video card, the 8800 gts. The second issue became even more unbearable with this video card because this one gets much better frame rates than the x800 pro. As I said before, I can't recall if the first issue was present with the 8800 gts.

I then decided to try a different motherboard, processor, RAM, case, hard drive, and Power Supply. essentially a different computer

Biostar T-force 6100-939
Western digital 250 gb
AMD Athlon 64 3700+
Apex micro atx case
1gb corsair value select RAM
A generic 300 watt that came with the case

With the x800 pro, the second issue was no longer present, but I believe the first issue still was. I was even using a 300 watt even though the card recommends a 350 watt. Even more I've used this PSU with a 7900 gt that recommended a 450 watt psu. =)

I was so excited with the results that I switched the PSU and the video card with my HYPER 580 watt and my 8800 gts. Guess what? Both issues were no longer present and I could finally use my 8800 gts to good use.

Since then I've added the 2gb corsair XMS ram to give the pc a total of 3 gb of ram and I am still using it today.

This leaves my Asus motherboard, the processor, the sound card, as the cause of the issue, if this is indeed a hardware issue. And I find it hard to believe that the processor or sound card could be the cause, so that leaves the motherboard.

I'm open to any suggestions, questions or insights into the situation that you "experts" would like to add. :thumbsup:

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#2 Andrew

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 09:09 AM

I had a similar problem (though not exactly the same) with Unreal Tournament and some other games. It turned out that my firewall (Zonealarm Pro) was updating itself and doing a spyware scan during what it perceived as long periods of the computer not being used.

Perhaps there's a program you're running in the background that's hogging resources?

#3 megalo

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 10:29 AM

Thank you Amazing Andrew though after my research, i couldn't find anything that was using up system resources. What i did instead was reinstall windows to see if the problem still persists on a new OS install.

Unfortunately the problem didn't go away.

At the end of it all, I believe the problem could be with the motherboard.

Any insite from anybody would be very appreciated.

#4 Mr Alpha

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 02:47 PM

You've tried with a different monitor?
"Anyone who cannot form a community with others, or who does not need to because he is self-sufficient [...] is either a beast or a god." Aristotle
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#5 JohnWho

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 04:20 PM

And,

is the BIOS on the systemboard up to date?


I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!


#6 megalo

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 08:17 PM

You've tried with a different monitor?


Yes I have, and the very odd thing about it is that I get a HUGE boost in frame rate.

My original monitor is an Acer 19 inch, 4:3 monitor with a resolution of 1280x1024 and it uses the DVI cable.

The second monitor is just an Emachine 15 inch, 4:3 monitor with a resolution of 1024x768 and it uses the VGA cable.

NOTE: both monitors are LCD

Heres where it gets interesting.

When I play CS:S on the Acer monitor and I lower the resolution to 1024x768 it has barely any effect on frame rate whatsoever and the issue still persists.

Now when I play on the Emachine monitor with the resolution at 1024x768 my frame rate just about Triples from being in the 50's to 150's. Now, isn't that nice? Also, I believe that the use of a smaller monitor and the drastic change in frame rate causes the issue to vanish.

So could part of the problem stem from the DVI cable I am using, the DVI ports on both the monitor and video card? But than why wouldn't this problem be present when I use the NON-ASUS computer?

Moving on...

And,

is the BIOS on the systemboard up to date?


This is interesting.
Though I believe I have updated the BIOS, I certainly have not done so recently. So, there may be an update that addresses this issue. I'm not sure, I'll have to look into that.

Edited by megalo, 24 April 2007 - 08:23 PM.


#7 megalo

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 06:54 PM

I think I may have found the issue here and it doesn't have anything to do with the motherboard or any hardware for that matter.

I use a Flat Panel moniter, but something that I was unaware of is that there is something called Flat Panel Scaling.

This feature, I believe, is built into my flat panel monitor and what it does is that it up-scales lower resolution video to fit the whole screen.

Well, I found different settings in the Nvidia control panel that will change this feature.

The settings are:
use nvidia scaling
use nvidia scaling with fixed aspect ratio
use my display's built in scaling------(this was checked option)
do not scale

Once I changed it to any of the other modes, the framerate in my games have increased dramatically and I am very pleased.




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