Serious problem with PC games

By Jamestopheles
Mar 21, 2006
  1. Hello everyone. I have a pretty major problem with my computer, and I'm running out of ideas on how to fix it.
    Here's what I know about my computer:
    Dell computer running Windows XP
    Processor- Pentium 4 3.00 GHz
    Memory- 512 MB
    Videocard- NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200
    Soundcard/Speakers- Soundblaster Live
    Anyway, right around the Christmas haul and installing four new games (Civilization IV, Fable, Jedi Knight 2, and Halo), various things occurred. Fable would lock up completely and only play jerking sound until I unplugged the computer (Control-Alt-Delete did nothing, even after I went off to read for half an hour). The same thing happened with Jedi Knight. Halo and Civilization IV slowed to such a crawl as to be unplayable. When I tried to play old games (meaning ones I got before Christmas, ranging from sleek memory hogs to giant fossils), the same sort of things happened. The games froze, or were extremely slow, or both. The only thing my computer can now do is serf the internet, run emulators (which strangely enough run perfectly and quickly), and play music. Considering what a huge gaming nerd I am, this is a tragedy.
    I realize my system is out of date at this point, but it's not so old that it should have problems running Halo.
    Things I have tried:
    -Calling a professional computer guy to fix things up. It solved a lot of problems, but not this one.
    -More spyware and virus searches than I care to count. All of them turned up virtually nothing.
    -System scanning and disk defragmenting.
    -Uninstalling the games, reinstalling, uninstalling again, and so on.
    -Adjusting graphics settings in the games, resetting the paging file, upgrading the paging file, tweaking video card performance stuff.
    -Updating everything- drivers, Windows, etc.
    -Opening up the case and blowing out all the dust with compressed air.
    -Turning two fans onto it.
    After trying all of the above in different combinations, the problems still persist. I'm really at a loss here. I don't want to spend more money on someone who may or may not fix the problem, so if anyone out there has any ideas, please share. Thanks in advance.

  2. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 854

    Have you tried starting with a fresh OS install? Have you tried any older games that may run better on your hardware? Although the CPU is fast, the video card is pretty bad. On the games that are slow, try lowering all the settings to the bare minimum. Make sure you have the latest drivers and DirectX.
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