card's or game's fault?

By elindholm
Jul 29, 2006
  1. I'm trying to run Sid Meier's Pirates! Just got a 6200 GeForce OC 256 MB PCI for my Dimension 3000 desktop, 2.8 GHz Pentium, 512 MB RAM. Card seems to have installed fine, but the game freezes within the first minute of being opened. Usually, Windows then reports that v4_disp.dll got trapped in an infinite loop, although sometimes the game crashes even earlier than that.

    Un- and reinstalled game. Un- and reinstalled card drivers. Got updated drivers from nvidia -- I looked for 84.21, which I saw recommended in another thread here, but I couldn't find it, so I just took the newest stuff.

    How can I start trying to track down what the problem is? Are there other graphics-intensive things (other than games) that would provide an adequate challenge? Pirates ran better on the old card, an Intel integrated thing that came with the computer, but by "better" all I mean is that it tended to last longer before crashing.
  2. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    It could be related to a number of things, such as heat, power loss, too many system resources being used, other system parts bottlenecking or the game being too high a setting or a combination of them.

    To check if its PSU/Temp problem:
    Since you got a new vid card, generaly, thats going to eat much more power out of the PSU than the integrated. And seeing as you got a prebuilt machine, guesses are you got a cheap PSU with it, or one that no longer meets your requirements. We'll deal with the Heat issue first:
    -does your pc feel hot?
    -does your fans sound like they're spinning faster than they should?
    -have you cleaned out the dust in it with a can/source of compressed air recently?
    If you haven't cleaned it out, then do so, but anyways, download Everest Home or Speedfan, and post the temps here. All of them. Be sure to include a reading of when the pc is idle and when you play say, 5 minutes into the game.

    3 things you need to check, and post here: the PSU (open the pc case up, and there should be an info sticker on the side, post everything - rails, amps, watts, model, brand)
    -then check using a calculator such as this and input your system specs into it, to determine your minimum power needs, then add 30-50watts ontop of that for headroom.
    -If you have trouble completeing that last step, or you dont have a clue whats there to fill in blanks, then you can use Everest Home to help you.
    -In everest or speedfan, post us the voltages as well, and likewise post results while idle and while runing something intensive for a few minutes.

    The ram is advisable to be increased (to 1GB if possible) but from what you said these two (psu and/or heat) are probably the most likely things, so we'll start from there, and work our way down the list. Oh yeh, some indication on what your pc is like would be nice, such as system specs. :)
  3. elindholm

    elindholm TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks very much for the response.

    I'll look for Everest and see what it says, but I really don't think it's the temperature. Since my original post I've done a bunch more tests, and here's the deal.

    With some driver versions for the card, the game doesn't run -- it opens, but it's "jammed," with the music stuttering and each screen taking a minute to draw.

    With the other driver versions, the game always freezes once it starts looking for input from the numeric keypad. I think there must be a conflict with it, or something like that. If I had Num Lock on when I started the game, it takes it off, and then the key won't respond. Then Windows returns the error message about the infinite loop. So the point is, I can't report what the temperature is after five minutes, because it never gets that far.

    In the old days, I would interpret this as an IRQ conflict between the video card and the keyboard. But those issues are a thing of the past now, right?

    The computer does not get hot. I opened it up -- saw lots of stickers, but nothing with the information you asked for. There is very little dust (oddly enough). GeForce has a Windows utility that shows the temperature of the card, but it never gets out of the low 40s Celsius. (Of course, I'm not really trying to do anything, and as soon as I do, I get the software crash.)

    Sorry to be dense, but what system specs do you want? The basic stuff is as above, Pentium 2.8 GHz 512 MB RAM, I forgot to say WinXP SP2.
  4. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    oooo.... i forgot to ask you, have you recently updated your motherboard drivers too? if not, try updating those..

    But yeh, whats the results on everest may i ask you got on idle? temps, voltages etc?

    The PSU is a grey/black box that you plug the other end of your power cable from the wall outlet, and on the other side of that PSU has a spagetti of colourfull cables going to every other components of the pc, which if your vid card needed power, it would've been connected to one of its power connectors. The sticker should be on the side of the thing, or on the bottom. Example like this old one i had. Picture attatched.

    System specs i mean the rest of it, motherboard model/make, the requested PSU specs.. those two i was hanging out for especialy..

    it could be a possibility, i'm not sure, since there's so much i know. Maybe one of the other guys can answer this, for the benifit of some :D. But since i believe IRQ is related to the motherboard, once motherboard drivers are updated then its possible it could eliminate that problem (if it was the cause). Is the keyboard USB by any chance? maybe move it around to another port.. or check BIOS/Device manager for conflicts etc..
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