Can't Play Video Games, For Advanced Techs

By reflect · 29 replies
Mar 28, 2006
  1. All right. Let’s make this as easy as possible. My computer won’t play most 3D games. The only game that works so far is Land of the Dead; Road to Fiddler’s Green, however, sometimes it lags for a few moments. I have also experienced some skipping music in winamp whenever I’m typing, so at first I thought that it was a sound issue, but now I’m beginning to think otherwise. All other programs adobe premier, 3D studio max, windows, everything else functions normally, except games.

    Here’s my specs;

    --Asus Nvidia n-force A7N8X-X motherboard
    --AMD XP Athlon 3200 (thunderbird) 400MHz FSB @ 1.1 ghz
    --GeForce FX 5200 Graphics card @ 256 MB
    --2 Gigs of ram 1000mb of Kingston (DDR 3200 400Mhz FSB) and 1000mb of Corsair Value Select (DDR 3200 400Mhz FSB)- tried running the programs with each set @ 1gb of ram, did not fix the problem.
    --500 Gig Maxtor DiamondMax Hard-Drive

    Here is a list of the games I’ve tried to play and the problems that I’ve encountered;

    I have all of the settings on the lowest performance level, even though my system should be able to handle it.

    FEAR- Incredibly lagged. I can’t function or move in the game. Sometimes it only shows up as a messed up screen, the walls being invisible and all I can really see are a few lines and the gun.

    DOOM III- It’s slow and incredibly hard to function in the game, but I can play it with few problems other than it canceling out every once in a while.

    Half-Life 2- I can play fine for about 5 minutes (it seems to vary), and then I get a blue-screen of death allotting to something like; “STOP: 0X00000008E(0XC0000090, 0X004B4BD8, 0XEE25885C, 0X00000000)
    Beginning dump of physical memory.
    Physical memory dump system administrator, etc.,”
    Then I have to restart my system.

    So I thought maybe the games were too advanced for my system, even thought I should’ve been able to play. Then I installed 2 old games;

    Unreal- Lags, and closes after a General Protection Fault Error – With “History: bla bla bla……:: Tick<-MainLoop.” Looks like something in the engine.

    Blood 2: The chosen- Gives me a black screen and no visual. I cannot see the intro movies or anything. I can click on the game, but as soon as it starts I get a “Client MFC application” error.

    The problem could also be in BIOS, so here’s my BIOS settings…I’ve tried so many possible solutions I have no idea what’s right anymore.

    --Advanced settings;
    CPU level 1 cache = Enabled
    CPU level 2 cache = Enabled
    Gate 20 A option = fast
    Typematic Rate Setting = Disabled
    APIC Mode = Enabled
    OS/2 Onboard Memory >64MB Disabled

    --Chipset Settings;
    CPU Extreme Frequency MHz = 100 Mhz
    CPU Frequency Multiple Setting = Auto
    System Performance = Optimal
    CPU Interface = Optimal
    Memory Frequency = Auto
    Memory Timings = Optimal
    FSB Spread Spectrum = Disabled
    AGP Spread Spectrum = Disabled
    CPU V Core Setting = Disabled
    Graphics Aperture Size = 256 MB
    AGP Frequency = Auto
    System BIOS Cacheable = Disabled
    Video Ram Cacheable = Disabled
    DDR Reference Voltage = 2.6 volts
    AGP VDDQ Voltage = 1.5 volts
    AGP 8x Support = Enabled
    AGP Fast Write Capability = Enabled

    Any ideas at all?
  2. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

    Fear, Doom3, Halflife 2, Unreal t,etc

    They all require alot faster cpu.

    I would recommened a 3000 140-180$$$$

    and a socket 939 motherboard 40-100$$$

    You will definally need a better cpu to run those games, even if they work you will get a insanlly amount of lag.

    Best of luck...
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    well for one, (And I almost have the same setup), your graphics card is old and it's AGP. I have a 5500 card and Doom3 works fine on medium to medium high settings. Most games today are designed to take adavntage of PCI-E which your motherboard does not have.
  4. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

  5. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    I had the same CPU and ram as you in my system last year, and the fx 5200 was complete trash. I upgraded to a 9800 pro and was able to play the games you are talking about (doom3, far cry etc.)

    That video card is the lowest of the low. It is not even good enough to call a piece of trash. It is the anti-card. ;)

    If you are on a budget and can't upgrade your mobo/cpu, then you can get yourself a better graphics card and still be able to play games at MUCH better frame rates than the fx5200 is giving you.
  6. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

    The x800 agp is not to much any more hint hint.
  7. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

    but really people 1.1ghz?? Gamming, even internet browsing???
  8. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    I just assumed it was a type error. The XP 3200 is a 2.2Ghz CPU. But you raise a good point. If it is NOT a type-o, then that's a whole other conversation that needs to be had...
  9. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

    That's why I instantly thought of the cpu upgrade.
  10. reflect

    reflect TS Rookie Topic Starter

    nah folks, we're forgetting the most important thing here. It lags out while playing unreal, not the new one, the origional, and blood 2 the chosen. That was back in the day of windows 98. When I messed around with BIOS I got half-life 2 to play on low settings, as well as Quake 4 for a while. It was slow when there were a lot of polygons, but that's my CPU for sure. That still doesn't explain why these old games are lagging out? I agree, the fx 5200 is junk, but shouldn't 256 DDR still take care of those games?
  11. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    Is your CPU running at 1.1Ghz or is that a type-O?
  12. reflect

    reflect TS Rookie Topic Starter

    According to my computer it is running at 1.1 ghz, but I orded an athlon 3200 xp, which should be at 2.2 ghz. Am I underclocking it? I don't know exactly what to look for in BIOS. Still, 1.1 ghz should even do unreal and blood 2. thos games require a pentium II 333mhz or better
  13. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

  14. reflect

    reflect TS Rookie Topic Starter

    same as what bios states. Did they ever make an AMD XP with less than 2.0 ghz?

    Attached Files:

  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I have a 1Ghz Thunderbird with 512 megs of ram and a GF2mx and it will play unreal just fine. And its also perfectly fine for internet, I think all you dudes are caught up with the latest and greatest and forget that older hardware is still more than sufficient for many tasks.

    reflect - What have you tried to do to fix the problem? Did you try a few different video card drivers? Consistently crashing in games points to video card drivers or heat issues a lot of the time. If your processor is really running at half speed, heat shouldn't be an issue. I recommend taking a look at your motherboard manual, and figure out exactly how to set it for your processor. But try a couple different video drivers too, check out they have a lot of nVidia drivers.
  16. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    Well, according to the information here:

    No. They never made an XP cpu with 1.1Ghz. Only (as mentioned above) the Athlon "B" thunderbird CPUs.

    But this one has me stumped, as CPU-z is showing your cpu as an XP cpu...

    Let's see what some others say on this. It seems to me that the XP cpus all start at 133mhz, yet your current CPU is running at 100mhz.

    My guess is that the Athlon "B" cpus are also classified as XP cpus in the CPU-z database, and in fact you have an Athlon "B" 1.1Ghz cpu and not an AthlonXP 3200 (as you originally stated).

    By the way, why did/do you think you have an Athlon XP 3200+?
  17. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Here's my take:

    CPU: I run a 3200+ Athlon 400fsb in my main gaming machine, it takes everything. HL2 I can play on FULL settings. BUT, if it's underclocked, big issue. Let's work that out shall we? Otherwise the CPU is great and should not have any issues with those games whatsoever. I ran Doom3 just fine on a 2800+. Video and RAM matter more for games these days then raw CPU.

    Video: Certainly need something better for the new games. Make sure the drivers are up to date etc... After playing (or trying to play), feel the heatsink on the card that it isn't to hot. And quickly think about upgrading it, it's the first thing to do in this case. Get at least a Nvideo 6600 GT or Radeon 9800 Pro or higher for either manufacturer.

    RAM: You have a mismatched PC here, there is NO good whatsover to cram 2gb in that box to play games on an FX5200. That may be to much RAM, and causes issue with the older games which were played on systems with 256 and 512 of RAM.

    Mobo: One way to possibly clear out some issues is to reset the BIOS, and then set to "high performace". This aught to get the BIOS reading your CPU properly. Since your CPU and RAM are both 400mhz, they aught to play nicely.

    And lastly, I suppose it is worth mentioning, have you scanned for viruses and spyware and all that jazz? Background programs working the CPU would effect an intense game more then just a desktop app which is already loaded into memory.

    And lastly lastly. Since a couple games have given you BSODs, it would be rather decent of you if you ZIPed up your minidump files and attached them here for us to take a peak at. They can be found in %systemroot%\minidump. Usually windows\minidump or winnt\minidump.

    Good luck.
  18. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    I just looked into things a bit deeper, and I am pretty much convinced you have an AthlonXP 3200+ cpu that is underclocked to 1.1Ghz (instead of the 2.2Ghz that it SHOULD be).

    *CPU-z is reporting it as an XP processor
    *it is also reporting the voltage as 1.68v (xp)
    *it supports SSE instructions (XP)
    *the L2 cache is 512mb

    ...... you have an athlonXP processor, no doubt about it.

    Follow vigilante's advice above and reset your CMOS (this will reset your BIOS to its default settings. Good luck!
  19. reflect

    reflect TS Rookie Topic Starter

    here's some of the mini-dump files. The reason I believe that I have an XP 3200 is becuase that's what I ordered and installed. Unless they gave me abotched chipset, which could happen, but I really think it was an XP. I'll try resetting bios now. I might remove some ram chips and try playing those other games with 512 megs. I also will get an upgraded graphics card. What's a really nice one from nvidia? I have a few suggestions, anything under or around $300? I want to get a good one this time...
  20. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    The minidumps you have attached are from the middle of last year and so are fairly useless.

    We need 5 or 6 of your latest minidumps. However, before attaching anymore minidumps, go HERE and follow the instructions.

    Regards Howard :wave: :wave:
  21. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

    I would recomened, if resting bios doesn't work...

    -Flashing bios

    -Overclocking to stock speeds.
  22. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Sorry for the long quote, but I totally second SNGX1275's statement.
    My previous PC , which the kids have now is an Athlon B 1.4GHz, 512Mb RAM, FX5200. My 8 yr old son (or I have in the past) is currently playing Doom3 ( a little low on FPS, but playable for sure), Wolfenstein & ET, Halo , Star Wars Battlefront, Unreal, Quake1,2,3 with very good results no complaints.

    what started me here as a techspot member was the need for help installing the FX5200 because the drivers didn't seem to work. Spike or Panix or someone ask if I updated my Chipset drivers too!! WOW what a difference, suddenly the video card took off and everything was just fine.

    So I'm recommending getting an 8 yr old son, no.. updating your chipset drivers and fixing that funny underclocked CPU.

    Good luck, oh the 6600GT AGP would be an excellent choice and under $300.

    Cheers all.
  23. reflect

    reflect TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Here’s what I did. I went to Nvidia’s website and got the new drivers; probably about 4 or 5 months ago. I did the same with my motherboard. I used nvidia’s website to get the latest drivers for both my motherboard and graphics card, as far as I could tell. I got the 81.95 forcewear package and drivers for the fx5200. My amd athlon driver is 5.1.2600.0. I couldn’t really find anything else to update. I reset my bios to factory defaults, but nothing happened. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling games. I can try to reset my bios to aggressive, right now it’s on optimal. I have actually flashed bios already with the CMOS jumper. I’m not sure how to overclock the processor in this version of bios, I probably need a program? I used to have problems with over-heating, so I wonder if that maybe the problem? My computer’s heat sink is at 111 fahrenheit, 43 celsius, I don’t have a temp probe directly on the processor. But still, if it was damaged, wouldn’t I have problems with my general programs, like movie editing with premier or rendering in 3D studio I’m sure. It’s strange that this is purely game related. Is it really possible that I have too much ram to run those older games? I only recently upgraded to 2gbs, but have had these same problems before the upgrade with 1gb. That’s why I got ram in the first place. It didn’t solve the problem. I could try installing other games to see if the same problem happens with those? Something’s not working right, but if you look back, I’m having different problems with each game. I wasn’t sure if it was a number of problems. Any diagnostic tools to see if your video card is up to par? Thanks for all the help so far!

    P.S. sorry for the old mini-dump files. I had HL2 on the computer, but uninstalled it when it wouldn’t work. Those files are from that period. I haven’t had any more blue-screen errors since. Just ones that terminate the program. I adjusted bios and didn’t have that same problem with HL2, and it would play well on low settings, but would sometimes cancel out and return me to the desktop.
  24. reflect

    reflect TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I installed Call of Duty, which actually played fairly well. As I mentioned at the beginning of this, I have some problems with win-amp skipping music when I'm typing. Well, that seemed to be my only problem in the game. The sound was skipping while I was shooting and running around. Do you think that this could possibly be a sound-card related issue as well? I have a really old sound-card, but I didn't think that it could be responsible for video problems like I'm having.

    I have disabled the sound in the games and tried that as well, but it hasn't worked, so I figured that it couldn't be the problem. I read somewhere that a couple of other people were having problems with the ASUS motherboard and sound, which could at least explain the skipping, but the frame-rate also seems to be effected when the skipping starts. Not sure, just thought I'd throw it out there as a possibility...
  25. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Need to clarify this. Normally resetting the BIOS requires moving a jumper. Flashing it requires a boot disk (usually floppy), and another disk, or same, which has the updated BIOS. And then you type a few commands to flash the new BIOS. Is this what you're talking about? If you only moved a jumper back and forth, that's resetting. If you used a boot disk and typed commands, that's flashing. And daresay, you should probably try both. See if you have the latest BIOS installed, see what ASUS has in the way of BIOS upgrades.

    As for the video card upgrade. I say, if you're bugdet is ~$300, forget the 6600. You can get into a 7000 series for that. Try an eVGA Geforce 7800GS 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 AGP 4X/8X for $284.

    As for your sound, possibility. Is it a sepparate sound card? Or onboard ASUS sound? If you have a sound card, try removing it and using the ASUS sound (with latest driver). If you have to use a sound card, try moving it AWAY from the video card, in a lower slot.

    Another question for ya. When playing, does the "lag" part happen at regular intervals? I would check your Scheduled tasks and see that there isn't some stupid thing running like every 10 seconds or something. McAfee update check is known to do things like this. And try shutting down and closing every possible background task you can before playing.

    Also, despite your game's quality settings, check through the nvidia settings and make sure something is not set to high. Turn AA off and so forth. Poke around, if something can be turned down, try it. This is done in Windows, not in the game, of course.

    As for a non-game test, see if you can get a trial of 3DMark 03. I would use 03, based on your vid card. Cause you wouldn't be able to support the tests in the newer versions. Run that benchmark or whatever the trial is. Or any other video card benchmark tool you can download. See what happens. Post the results.
    I assume you also have the latest DirectX installed?

    That's all for now I guess.
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