TechSpot

Gainward GTS 250 'oh so great'? Not really. BSOD, crashes, freezes... you name it

By Kreinzer
Jul 15, 2010
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  1. On one rig I got GTS 250 512mb and it works flawlesslly. However, on another machine I got GTS 250 1gb which earned the "Piece of sh*t" sticker :D.

    The issues are usual for the 1gb model, blue screen, restart, games freeze/crash, audio loops inifinitely, strange psychodelic colorful lines swarm the monitor, cubes of various colors do the same... And yes, it happens in many games, and to many people, at least according to what I've found browsing forums. As with other people, in my case too the issues happen with Bad Company 2, Assassin's creed, GTA4 etc.

    It appears that the problem is with the nV drivers. I've found somewhere that installing a much older version of nVidia graphic drivers solves the issue, but I'd rather search for help on what to. I've updated BIOS, Chipset, Audio, Lan, DirectX, nVidia GPU driver is 197.45

    Event
    Source: nv
    Event ID: 108

    Minidump files are bellow. The error in the Event Viewer appeared on July 10th.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention, tha powa is Thermaltek 600w

    Forward thanks,
    Kreinzer
     

    Attached Files:

  2. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,368   +125

    If its the 1gb model, just use a 512, you get like .01% less performance. And you could just update to the latest drivers, maybe Nvidia has since fixed the issues.
     
  3. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    Get rid of both and go with a mainstream brand like EVGA or XFX...
     
  4. Tha General

    Tha General TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,225

    You said that installing older drivers help fix the issue, so whats the problem here?
    Sometimes new drivers does not work good with older cards. I am using a 9800gt for my secondary rig, and even tho the latest nv drivers work with it, using the 175.80 i get a 20% performance boost in games. As for my pny gts 250, i use an older set of drivers as well.

    There is nothing wrong with using older drivers.

    If one of the card is working perfectly, why would he get rid of it?
    You don't get rid of something that works perfectly fine.
     
  5. Kreinzer

    Kreinzer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ofc old drivers are perfectly fine, thing is that none of the "tricks" to fix the GTS 250 1gb crash issue seemed to me like it will surely solve the problem as people had quite mixed results. So I updated my mobo and didn't want to wander around before asking for advice here.

    I absolutely agree about not switching the 512mb card since it's doing great, but dropping the 1gb model for a 512 one or something else will surely emerge as a solution should the problem persist with this sorry *** piece of plastic.

    EDIT: For now I'll sift through possible solutions that worked for some. I hope it's possible to single out a definitive solution for my problem by going through the dump files, would appreciate if anyone can pull it off.
     
  6. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    Depends on what resolution you are running games at. 1GB is good for larger resolutions while 512MB may struggle with some titles. From a technical standpoint, the GTS 250 isn't really that powerful of a graphics card anyways, and it's no surprise that you are having problems running some newer games, especially BC2 which doesn't scale too well. GTA4 runs like garbage on any machine so I wouldn't worry about performance there, but the symptoms you listed sound like a combination of buggy drivers, over heating, and possibly faulty video RAM.
     
  7. Kreinzer

    Kreinzer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Oh, it's not the performance in games that is the issue. Games run really smoothly, Bad Company 2 runs truly well but then after anywhere between 5 - 45min it crashes despite the game play being constantly fluid and pleasant. Same thing with other games, even after I try to gauge the quality up they work perfectly and for no reason BOOM, crashed... At the same time games with higher/lower hardware demand work like a breeze, but also on much rarer occasions crash as well with one of the usual sympoms: BSOD, PC/Game freeze/crash, Audio bugging out into a loop, billions of colored lines 'cut' through the monitor from every direction/angle, screen goes black etc. Upon looking into it, I've noticed that these events are symptomatic for everyone who have issues with the 1gb model.

    I'm aware GTS 250 doesn't stand out at anything, not by a long shot, the catch here though is that the rigs in question are public computers, I've added several PCs in my net cafe recently and the GTS 250 investment turned out to be very cost/effective as every single customer so far enjoys toying on these new PCs with apparent satisfaction games look&feel.
     
  8. grvalderrama

    grvalderrama TS Enthusiast Posts: 196

    It might be a hardware problem, maybe a ram it's damaged. I've played a few games, like Resident evil 5 and FEAR 2 with a Zotac GTS250 1GB at extreme quality and res and not a single problem. I can't remember what drivers I was using since it wasn't my computer, but I'm certain that there weren't any issues.
     
  9. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,443   +220

    IMHO, it shouldn't be this hard to get the card to work, especially if you have other rigs to test it in. If the card is still under warranty, consider initiating the RMA (return merchandise authorization) process with the card's manufacturer. If applicable, you might also be eligible to return it to the retailer or etailer instead.
     
  10. Kreinzer

    Kreinzer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    @mailpup
    Hehe, in Serbia the best I can do is get the entire rig to the store where I bought it. They would then run tests, ie. 3dmark "in an effort to wait-for/force the crash to happen so they can determine what the malfunction is". And if it just so happens that the PC doesn't crash while being tested (it has happened in the past believe it or not :)) they will blame my XP installation or w/e.

    @grvalderrama
    I ran the tests for like tens of hours for each and there are no problems with ram, both GPU and Kingston. Furthermore, the Event Viewer shows an "nV" error as the reason for the more serious crashes I experienced (minidump files attached in the 1st post :D). On Microsoft support it's explained "The driver nv4_disp for the display device \Device\Video0 got stuck in an infinite loop. This usually indicates a problem with the device itself or with the device driver programming the hardware incorrectly. Please check with your hardware device vendor for any driver updates". From what I've researched, I understood that the problem here is excessive load XP stacks on memory queuing timer procedure when playing 3D games. Being wrong more often than not, if I'm wrong about this feel free to rescue me from ignorance.

    Relevant to this problem is an app on nVidia forum nv4loopfix which at the time of it's release was a shot from nVidia to tackle the problem. Some used it with precisely GTS 250 to stop the nV crashes while playing STALKER, also I browsed a guy who claims the fix works only for nVidia 8x and 9x cards.
    Official download location seems to be: http://www.synapse.gr/downloads/nv4loopfix.zip

    Info on what it does (also found on nVidia forum): "So what does it do? It closes the RX55 memory register in BIOS. The RX55 register's official name and function is Memory Write Queue (MWQ) timer. The MWQ timer is actually a timing device included in the memory host controller to prevent write data being held in the memory queue too long. After the data has been in the queue too long it times out. This timed out data is then given a higher write request priority. Now that might sound nice a bit of extra performance BUT the procedure fails when overloaded. 3D games and Win XP put too much load on the memory queuing timer procedure. The nVidia new driver exaggerates the problem even more as the driver enables nVidia cards to use even more memory than previous driver versions.
    So in a nutshell it s a memory timing problem that only happens when the RX55 register is opened. Some motherboard manufacturers have already released new BIOS that have the register closed. In other instances, this patch is needed."
     
  11. Tha General

    Tha General TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,225

    You really need to stop down playing the gts 250 lol. I have a 9800gt and a gts and both cards runs games just fine. Hell i am playing Far cry at max settings with aa8 with my 9800gt and i am getting between 40-70fps at times, my gts 250 is about 20% faster.

    Anyways, what you could do is do a fresh install of windows 7 with the gts 250 and install drivers say 175.80.
     
     
  12. Tha General

    Tha General TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,225

    i meant far cry 2 at max with aa8. All you need is a very good cpu and your gts 250 will be good.
     
  13. Kreinzer

    Kreinzer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No card will ever be better than me! Fault must lie in GTS 250! :D
     
  14. Kreinzer

    Kreinzer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    When trying to install 175.80 drivers, it says that there are no devices in the computer that are compatible with the driver :(

    I uninstalled the previous driver, rebooted in Safe Mode, ran Driver Sweeper and cleaned the remaining nVidia Display files, rebooted and tried 175.80 drivers with unsuccessful results as mentioned.
    I then installed 257.21 WHQL from nVidia.com as it was what the search offered when selecting entires: GeForce\200 series\GTS 250\Windows XP. Also tried to automatically search for the drivers, but of course the search said I already have the latest drivers.

    Also installed the nv4loopfix to address the RX55 issue in BIOS but to no avail. The freezing/crashing and the whole shizz still occurs randomly in games, sometimes after 5min of playtime, sometimes after hours of play.

    Anyone got any other ideas?
     
  15. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,443   +220

    Since you asked, I still think the graphic card is defective. What you do with it is up to you.
     
  16. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,368   +125

    Lol, the gts250 didn't exist when those drivers were published silly.
    But since the newest drivers didn't work either, i'd look into a defective card.

    BTW not I, nor anyone else has really glanced at the minidumps.
     
  17. grvalderrama

    grvalderrama TS Enthusiast Posts: 196

    I tried :p couldn't get it opened... I'm running a brand new OS and have no programms installed. It should have been better a txt file...
     
  18. NEWGENSUPPORT

    NEWGENSUPPORT TS Rookie

    Card is not the problem!

    check system games provider eta. GAMES FOR WINDOWS LIVE-reinstall and OK.
     
  19. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,443   +220

    I doubt it is a game issue since the problem occurs with different games with different publishers.
     
  20. NEWGENSUPPORT

    NEWGENSUPPORT TS Rookie

    If the card is CORRECT!?

    I do not think that games are working the problem, but to seek the game to connect to the internet which is available through Games for Windows Live
     


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