driver problems or hardware?

  soupdragon1973 19:01 21 Jan 10
Locked

I bought a Nvidia Geforce 8400 GS which I understand is a low-end video card.The pc did have a Geforce 7300 le before but when I tried games such as Sims 2 or Orange Box the graphics were all jumbled or bits were missing and then the system would lock up completely. I only got a cheap graphics card to play Orange Box and from what I have checked already I do have the required specs to run the game quite easily so I wont bore you with all the pc's specs as I know they are up to scratch.

After inserting the new graphics card and installing the new drivers from the cd I have still had problems with both Orange Box and Sims 2 such as freezing,garbled display and even blue screen of death.I have turned down the resolution on the games and graphics detail also.I have reinstalled,updated drivers,downloaded the latest ones and then installed etc etc.The last thing I did was uninstall the drivers,re-boot into safe mode then use a program called Driver Sweeper then re-boot and re-install the latest drivers I had downloaded from the Nvidia website.Still I am having the same problems and even the screen saver was on earlier and the computer froze up and then rebooted after a blue screen of death.

I can only think that it is the hardware that is at fault.I have a program called SpeedFan that showed the GPU temp and it seemed to go to about 49.C when the Orange Box was running.Any ideas?

  GaT7 19:52 21 Jan 10

Where did you get the 8400GS from?

If you mean 'Half Life 2 - Orange Box' (HL2OB), then a 8400GS is probably the lowest card that supports it. It should be fine for Sims 2 though.

49° C for that card under stress is about right I think, so no problems there.

Try to get a minimum of a HD4670 for HL2OB. G

  JohnWilliams 20:25 21 Jan 10

That's a pretty bad card if you intend to play games.
You need at least an 8800gt or 9600gt for satisfactory results.

  GaT7 20:47 21 Jan 10

JohnWilliams, those might need a PSU upgrade, hence my suggestion.

Looks like soupdragon1973 wants to spend as little as possible. G

  Rahere 23:17 21 Jan 10

Did you fit this recently? I have had this problem since last week with the same card. I have reinstalled XP Pro several times but I get memory errors 0xc000012d and blue screens, but deduction has led me to narrow this to recent driver or MS updates.

Initially I thought it was hardware but stress testing and memory tests have more or less disproved this I haven't narrowed it down to a specific update yet but I suggest you remove most recent software updates or use system restore and apply these one by one. Don't ignore option hardware,.NET or driver updates either.

It will take time but since I did a system restore to remove the updates from the last month or more my system has been stable.

  soupdragon1973 08:20 22 Jan 10

it wasnt a case of spending as little as possible,it was case of not knowing anything about graphics cards. I have in fact learnt a fair bit since purchashing the 8400 gs which I now realise wasnt worth the effort.

I got the card from Novatech.I fitted it about a week ago and actually my friend installed Windows XP on the system as it had Vista basic before and I know Vista is very system resource hungry.

  soupdragon1973 08:35 22 Jan 10

ok,I see what you mean,the HD4670 doesnt require me to upgrade my power supply(which is 300w by the way)

  Technotiger 08:49 22 Jan 10

Only 300w, I think that is where your problems started! Get at least a 500w of the best Quality you can afford - Quality is as important as Wattage!

  JohnWilliams 16:31 22 Jan 10

You will definitely need a better power supply. If you go down that route I advise you to steer clear of Novatech's own branded cheap ones. I've had 2 in the past and both died on me within weeks. Go for a branded one like Corsair or OCZ.

  GaT7 16:59 22 Jan 10

What system do you have? I.e. what's its brand & model number? If it's a self-build, what's the brand & model of the PSU?

A HD4670 runs on very little power & your PSU may be sufficient - depending on your answers to the above (see this related post click here).

My apologies for thinking you were looking for the cheapest possible solution. G

  soupdragon1973 18:40 22 Jan 10

It isnt actually my pc,its my girlfriends but I was hoping I could at leats run HL2OB on it with a new graphics card.

The system is a Compaq Presario SR5019UK
It has an AMD Athlon 64 3800+ running at 2.4Ghz
I have 2 sticks of 512Mb memory, DDR2
The power supply is 300w
my motherboard is an Asus Narra with an Nvidia MCP61 chipset
I have Windows XP Home Edition Service pack 2
The rather rubbish video card is a geforce 8400 GS which claims to have 512Mb of memory
The hard drive is an Hitatchi HDT725025 Sata drive with 232 GB of space.

Hope that helps.

What is so frustrating is not just that HL2OB wont work but also The Sims 2 which is an old game!

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