TechSpot

3D Visual Problems

By greatman05
Dec 28, 2006
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  1. hey guys. It's day two of insalling this card. I am noticing that in a lot of my games, particularly The Sims 2 and C&C: Generals ZH, I et strange graphical errors. In the Sims 2, the characters show as the person with a block around it, shadows around certain objects turn black, etc. In ZH, one half of the map works fine, but the other half has multicolor lines running through it. DOes this have somthing to do with eh card being underpowered? The specs are in System #1 of my profile.
  2. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    You already know the answer, it's your psu almost without a doubt.
  3. greatman05

    greatman05 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 536

    OK. But, when I went to the Extreme Calculator, It shows as needing only 183W at maximum usage.....which vid card should I select? I put in all of the stuff I had, but the vid card line doesn't have the FX5500...since I have an NVIDIA PCI shouldn't I select NVIDIA <=32MB AGP/PCI?
  4. N3051M

    N3051M TS Rookie Posts: 2,800

    extreme calculator is only for a guide.. you have to add about 50w or 20% more (whichever is greater) to the total you get for your bare minimum Watts.

    But thats not all... check the Amps, because thats what gives the PSU the grunt.. for a dedicated graphics card it should be about 18Amps or greater on the +12V rail. I'm pretty sure you know this rule by now - beware of cheap imitations :)

    Look on the sticker on your PSU to get the info you need.

    yes you should select the dedicated card in BIOS as the primary graphics adapter.

    other things to check:
    -drivers and directX updated?
    -visual game settings correct?
    -temps ok?
  5. greatman05

    greatman05 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 536

    But does a PCI GeForceFX 5500 need 18A? My PSU has 14A on the +12V rail. I can't clean the dust under the mobo (which is why it stays at 60C+, which were the original temps when my grandma first bought it), but other than that my CPU temps are fine (30-35C at no load, 50-60C at max load). I KNOW A FX5200 CAN RUN THE GAMES I PLAY (Generals, Sims2, etc.) FINE AT MED. SETTINGS, AND THE PCI FX5500 IS ONLY SLIGHTLY WORSE WITH THESE SETTINGS. As for the drivers, I use 81.95, which I found to be the most stable version I had (and are also the same drivers used by Comp #2 in my profile), and DX is at the current version. In the Sims 2, when I turn the shapren edges setting to max, the artifacts disappear.....
  6. N3051M

    N3051M TS Rookie Posts: 2,800

    i don't know if the geforce 5500 needs the 18 amps specifically, but i know as a general rule for dedicated graphic cards that you need that extra bit of power so when it kicks in high gear you've got plenty of it to run the chip at its designed performance.

    graphical errors are usually (commonly) caused by 5 things:
    - not enough power from the PSU
    - drivers not correct
    - the GPU on the card is overheating
    - wrong/insufficient in-game or visual settings
    - card not inserted correctly.

    Drivers i believe you're ok with, temps you can check with the nvidia tool or some hardware reader if you can, and the rest you could check yourself twice just for the heck of it, although as you said, you can play other games normaly..

    you never know untill you try, so go borrow a PSU from a friend that has the 18amps+ and see if it makes any difference. If it doesn't then you know that you've crossed one off the list, and nothing is lost since you simply borrowed rather than bought a psu (although the latter is better off if you got a generic PSU to start with)
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