picture and sound stutters or freezes in games

  Liam101 08:31 21 Sep 03

HELP - when playing games the picture is jerky and the sound stutters when the action bcomes intensive like an explosion or lots of simultaneous events. Sometimes the game will freeze,or reboots the computer, or quits to desktop or I get a blue screen of death. When using the computer for other things such as internet, music, video, publishing, etc - no problem it works for hours - only running games do I get the problems. It doesn't matter which game, Battlefield, Unreal 2, Medal of Honour, Starfleet Command, etc. they are all the same.
I have carried out the following:-
1. checked and changed IRQ's so that the graphics card and sound card are on differant IRQ's;
2. upgraded the memory;
3. upgraded the motherboard;
4. changed the graphics card from a Radeon 9700 Pro to Gainward FX5900 Ultra;
5. stuck in another 5.1 surround card, then put original back in when it made no differance;
6. changed the speakers from 2.1 to 5.1;
7. written to 2 games manufacturers who were next to useless, but said it wasn't their games;
8. changed the operating system from XP home back to ME;
9. formatted the hard disk and reloaded all new.

My present system is as follows:-

a) Windows ME;
b) Gigabyte K7 Triton GA-7N400-L1 motherboard;
c) Athlon XP2400 CPU;
d) 512DDR memory PC3200;
e) Samsung 171P TFT monitor;
f) Gainward FX5900 Ultra AGP card;
g) Creative Sound Blaster Audigy Live 5.1 card;
f) Maxtor 80Gb HDD @ 133;
g) Liteonite CD/DVD rom drive + a CD rewriter.

Heat isn't a problem as I have additional fans and the temperature never gets above 48C even when playing intense games. Anybody got any ideas as I have run out. Thanks.


  MAJ 09:05 21 Sep 03

One thing I noticed, you haven't mentioned the PSU, could it be that it's not suppling enough power for all that kit at full load?

  MAJ 09:06 21 Sep 03

"suppling"..... should read...... supplying

  Liam101 09:13 21 Sep 03

Thanks MAJ. PSU is Q-Tec 550w Dual Fan Gold.

  MAJ 09:36 21 Sep 03

Yeah, Liam101, I should've guessed you weren't using a 235w PSU with that spec.

  Liam101 10:28 21 Sep 03

MAJ - Do you think that it could be the bios setting in the motherboard? The reason I ask is that as the FSB is cabable of running at 400mhz on the motherboard( memory can support up to 400, AGP card running at 400mhz core clock speed), but the CPU is at 266Mhz (XP2400). In the bios when I put the memory frequency on auto - it reads at 266 - but when I put it on SPD it gives a reading of 400. The FSB frequency choices are 100, 133, 166, and 200. At present it is set at 133 as the CPU is 266. Should I change it to 200 to give the SPD of 400?

  MAJ 10:37 21 Sep 03

I wouldn't, Liam101, you'd be overclocking the CPU. With the CPU's fsb at 266, it should be set at 133 as it is now.

  Liam101 12:33 21 Sep 03

Thanks MAJ - tried it in the meantime and it wouldn't reboot. Sorted now back to 133 with SPD setting (400mhz). Have also in the meantime swopped monitors thinking it may be the Digital TFT, but no change. With this happening in both XP and ME do you think that it may be the motherboard and it's drivers as it has to have all the components working together?

  daxian 12:59 21 Sep 03

i think your problem is not hardware ...
the problem will be other programs running in the background or the other common fault directx.
try shutting down all other programs i.e.antivirus,firewall ...anything that is running will be taking up processor time and causing jerkiness.
also most of the games you mention require direct x 9 ..and the hardware you are running would require the same, but you make no mention of it in your specs .hope this helps ....

  Liam101 13:45 21 Sep 03

Thanks daxian. Present system updated to Direct X 9.0b and no problems reported when carrying out direct X tests. Also have reviewed and shut down all unnecessary programmes running in the background, including shutting down Norton and also replacing it with AVG for a spell - still no change.

  Liam101 19:34 22 Aug 04

Thanks all. Problem resolved. It was the sound card. Since problem first posted last year I now have a fourth make of sound card in the PC and all games works.
First sound card was a creative live 5.1 which was soon identified as the culprit and removed. Next was a Gainward 5.1 sound card which worked for a few weeks then blew up. Third card was a Philips 605 which I have just managed to identify as causing conflict between the headset microphone and a USB Logitech webcam microphone, so I have removed it for that reason.
I have now inserted a Videologic Sonicfury card (not made anymore) and immediately the conflicts between microphones was resolved and surprise serprise, all games now play without freezing, crashing or stuttering in game.
4 different types of sound card to eventually resolve the problems - who would believe it?
Thanks to Maj and Daxian who gave advice above.


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