More video card trouble

By Dariela
Mar 23, 2008
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  1. This graphical problem has been bugging me for nearly half a year now and I'm completely out of ideas as to how to resolve it so I'm hoping maybe
    someone here could assist me.

    While playing online games, my computer experiences graphic image corruption not to mention gaming crashes/freezes. Also from time to time if the crashes happen more than once between restarts, my monitor will shut itself off. I receive an error message from ATI stating that either my display driver has stopped working altogether (and I have to reboot to fix the problem) or I get a VPU Recovery system message telling me that due to an error my hardware accelerator needed to be reset.

    The reason for these I would assume obvious.. it's all display errors so it must be the graphics card, however I've replaced the card twice now and while it will work fine for a short amount of time, the problem somehow finds it's way back and yet another card is screwed up and the problem remains.
    I know it is not caused through an overheating problem because along with the fan on the graphics card itself, there are also two others mounted inside the case. I have no problem with my monitor, it works perfectly aslong as I'm not playing anything. As far as resoultions and refresh rates (in or out of gaming) altering them doesn't change a thing.. except how hard it is to read things because of how small the writing gets with the changes.

    I've contacted a so called "expert" about the problem but he was about as much help as wet paper bag.

    Below are my systems specs (the ones I can remember anyway)
    Below those are the games I've tried to play and what happens after 5/10 minutes of gaming.

    Operating System: Windows XP SP2
    Processor: AMD Sempron 3000+ 1.80 GHz
    Memory: 1536MB RAM
    Video Card: ATI Radeon 9600 Series 256MB 8x AGP
    DirectX 9.0
    ----------------------------------------------
    World of Warcraft: Font flickers, corrupt images and crashes as soon as the login screen appears.
    Warcrafft 3: Same as with WoW, with the exception of allowed gaming time of upto 20 minutes.
    Starwars Galaxies: Corrupt images, screen freezes, game crashes and ocassionally the monitor switches off. (Game time of about 10 minutes)
    Age of Mythology: Corrupt Images, Game crashes
    Eve Online: Corrupt images, font flickers and game freezes. (Vpu Recover with hardware acceleration error)
    The Guild 2: Corrupt images, ocassional freezes and sometimes reboots the computer.

    The thing that bothers me most about the problems I'm having is the fact that while all those games are completely ****e and I'm unable to play them, the one game I can play without any difficult is Everquest 2, which for anyone who knows, is a HIGHLY graphical game and requires fast draw rates on images.

    Given that those problems could differ depending on a persons meaning, I thought I should give a little more detail.. When I say "Corrupt images" I mean that the graphics merge with one another, sometimes they brighten up, sometimes they don't. They also square and flicker (like a guys leg could move to the top of the screen and merge with his head) I don't think it's happened, but considering the limited time between it happening and the game crashing.. who knows. The font flickers are kind of obvious but... when I say.. type my login into the world of warcraft screen, pieces of the lettering will constantly flicker (try to imagine a knife cutting through the letters at light speed or something) they ocassionally merge with each other so an Lmerges with an I and becomes a U... I think you get the idea here.

    Now I'm ready to buy me an entirely new computer but it seems abit extreme for an issue caused by a single piece of hardware, so before leaving myself completely broke, is anyone able to solve my problem?
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,451   +135

    Your system is a little weak, not to mention the video card. I used a 9600 for a long time and I loved it, but I had to upgrade. You don't mention your motherboard... is it time for you to upgrade your system? I think so
  3. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,487   +73


    Which Sempron is that? 64-bit or 32-bit? Anyway you can overclock that CPU with the right MOBO (motherboard) to 2.4GHz some say they got 2.8 to 3.0GHz. I can only get 2.4GHz. The Video Card you have their is that 128-bit? If it's 64-bit for Memory you might want to upgrade it to X1650 Pro with 512MB GDDR2. I am in the same boat as you with the Video Card problem. I trying to either get X1550 or X1650 Pro at a good price. My Nvidia video card what to be tweaked for the game I am using otherwise I see what you see now with your ATI.
  4. Dariela

    Dariela Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Sempron is 32-bit, Video card is 64.
    Motherboard:VIA K8M800-CE + VT8237R Chipset

    Someone suggested I upgrade my card to a Nvidia Geforce 7600 or something. And I know my system is weaker than most, but considering the games ran perfectly when I had alot less than I do now, I'm not sure if upgrading it should be the only thing to consider... as for my motherboard it will need to be upgraded, when I bought it, the guy told me i'd probably need to replace it within 6 months of purchasing it but since my cards had worked with it for a long time, I figured maybe Radeon just isn't good enough.
  5. Helion

    Helion Newcomer, in training

    I know I'm new here but I just wanted to suggest: Are you completely sure your system does not have a virus? I had the same problem, and although I had a crapy vid. card (my old computer was a rather old Dell) the bigest part of the problem was that my computer was so completely infected with Trojans that it was crashing all of my games. I had virus protection up and running, but the one I had was over looking stuff. When I finaly got around to downloading a new virus protection (AVG) it found over 200 Trojans that my other protection had not found.

    Anyway, once I fixed that problem, the games still crashed (like I said I had an old card) but not nearly so much. Just wanted to throw in my two cents.
  6. Helion

    Helion Newcomer, in training

    I know I'm new here but I just wanted to suggest: Are you completely sure your system does not have a virus? I had the same problem, and although I had a crapy vid. card (my old computer was a rather old Dell) the bigest part of the problem was that my computer was so completely infected with Trojans that it was crashing all of my games. I had virus protection up and running, but the one I had was over looking stuff. When I finaly got around to downloading a new virus protection (AVG) it found over 200 Trojans that my other protection had not found.

    Anyway, once I fixed that problem, the games still crashed (like I said I had an old card) but not nearly so much. Just wanted to throw in my two cents.
  7. Helion

    Helion Newcomer, in training

    I know I'm new here but I just wanted to suggest: Are you completely sure your system does not have a virus? I had the same problem, and although I had a crapy vid. card (my old computer was a rather old Dell) the bigest part of the problem was that my computer was so completely infected with Trojans that it was crashing all of my games. I had virus protection up and running, but the one I had was over looking stuff. When I finaly got around to downloading a new virus protection (AVG) it found over 200 Trojans that my other protection had not found.

    Anyway, once I fixed that problem, the games still crashed (like I said I had an old card) but not nearly so much. Just wanted to throw in my two cents.
  8. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,019   +83 Staff Member

    Update your BIOS, chipset drivers and VPU drivers. Reseat all data and power cables within the PC and clean it out with a can of compressed air. Reseat your RAM and test it with Memtest86.

    Perhaps there is a resource conflict of sorts?

    It's generally extreme to consider reinstalling Windows as most issues are easy to work out, however, if all else fails I figure it's worth a shot before buying a new PC.
  9. Dariela

    Dariela Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 23

    It's more than likely that my computer does infact have some viruses.. I'm a little afraid to check considering I haven't had a protection for them running for awhile now. However given the choice between a new computer and running the scans, I think I might have a look first. So thank you, Helion.

    As for Zenosincks suggestion, everything on the computer has been upgraded. I've even uninstalled, reinstalled and reupgraded as much as I can but it hasn't seemed to help before. Reinstalling windows has worked for alot of the problems I've had in the past so maybe if the whole virus thing doesn't work out, I'll try that.
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