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Old 10-03-2005, 05:47 PM   #1
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Default Can't run ANY 3D Games

Please someone tell me there is a way I can fix this. I'm using a 6-month-old laptop with a ATi Mobility Radeon 9000 64MB video card - I know, not much, but it should still be enough to play older 3D games. It can't even run Black & White for crying out loud, and that game only requires an 8MB video card.
Here's what happens in every single 3D game I play:
I start the game, everything runs fine for about 10 minutes. Framerate is high, it appears to run perfectly smoothly, with no graphics lag whatsoever. Then BAM! The framerate drops to about 1-5 fps, depending on the game. In Shadowbane (which requires a 32MB TNT2 or better card) it's about 1 fps, L2(requires Geforce 2 or better) about 2 fps, AO about 2-3 fps(requires a "3D card with 32MB or better) and B&W about 5fps(requires a 3D 8MB card.)
After about 2 or 3 minutes of this crappy framerate, it returns to normal, all nice and happy, running perfectly smoothly for about 5 minutes when it hits again. About 1/3 of the time in any of these games, the framerate is like this. It's annoying as hell, and makes the games very difficult or impossible to play.
Every one of these games is old. Every one of these games has requirements well below what my card has. I have the latest driver, I've tried using both the older and the newer versions of it and neither seems to work. What is the problem here?
Thanks for your help
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Old 10-03-2005, 07:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Can't run ANY 3D Games

Try to stop using anything in the back ground. And especially file sharing like Imesh. Try updating drivers. or maby even tho its 6 months old ur processer just cant handle it. it may be a centreno or something to that effect
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Old 10-03-2005, 09:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Can't run ANY 3D Games

if it was staying low i would say it's over heating but since it's going back to normal I don't know. As arrizx said make sure you don't have any other programs running in the background.
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Old 10-03-2005, 10:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Can't run ANY 3D Games

Quote:
Originally Posted by arrizx
Try to stop using anything in the back ground. And especially file sharing like Imesh.
I've tried this already, it changes nothing.
Quote:
Try updating drivers.
As I've already said in my original post, I tried this and no luck
Quote:
or maby even tho its 6 months old ur processer just cant handle it. it may be a centreno or something to that effect
It is a Centrino 1.6GHz processor, and believe me, it can handle these games - Hell, my four year old computer with an AMD Duron 701MHz processor and TNT2 M64 (32MB) video card can run B&W perfectly smoothly, and can run the other games on lowered settings without too many problems.
I should also mention that in these games it does not matter what I set the display settings to, the exact same thing happens - they could all be at their minimum, and I still get these low-framerate phases, and they could be at their maximum, and it has the low-framerate phases yet still works perfectly in between them.
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Old 10-04-2005, 09:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: Can't run ANY 3D Games

By the way, don't confuse Centrino with Celeron. It is still a pentium chip, just "Pentium M" which is designed to use less power and generate less heat than Pentium IV chips. Regardless, it is easily leaps and bounds ahead of the Duron 701MHz processor in my desktop which has no problems running any of these games (except for L2, which is the newest of them.)
Everything I have tried so far has had no effect whatsoever on what happens in the game: The settings can all at their maximum or all at their absolute minimum, the driver could be an older version or the newest one offered on ATi's website, I could have absolutely no non-essential programs running in the background or a whole slew of them, and it will still run perfectly smoothly for about 10 minutes, then the framerate will drop to that 1-5 per second for about 2 minutes and it will continue to cycle between 5 or so minutes of running perfectly smoothly and 2-3 of crappy framerate.

Other things I should mention:
I have 1.25GB of RAM, so that cannot be the problem (some of these games require as little as 64MB.) Originally, I only had 256MB and the only games I had tried with the computer were AO and L2, so I spent an insane amount of money on a 1GB stick to put in(directly from dell.) I put the 1GB stick in where the 256MB one was, and put the 256MB one in the other slot. I've tried these games with both sticks in, as well as with just the 1GB one and just the 256MB one.
I have also tinkered with the virtual memory available, and that changes nothing - I usually have it set around 2GB.
I have tons of free space - about 50GB on an 80GB harddrive.
I don't think it is a problem with overheating. The computer does sometimes get a little warm, but I always make sure the fan has plenty of access to air, and it never feels too hot. Although I'm not 100% sure on this one - what's the maximum temperature it should be on the outside before it will start having trouble - and how hot would that feel, exactly?

So, so far there's nothing I can think of that it could be. If any of you have any other suggestions, please help out.
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Old 10-05-2005, 04:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Can't run ANY 3D Games

So, nobody knows anything about this at all?
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Old 10-05-2005, 05:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Can't run ANY 3D Games

I would try a reformat, though backup before hand. You may find theres some kind of conflict, though I wouldn't be able to find out what unless i was there at the PC.

A reformat seems like a good idea though. You get a faster system, and if the games work faster, which they very may well do, then you've cracked it.

SYSTEM RESTORE:

I'd then ask you to regularily save settings in System Restore, so if anything goes wrong, you can just restore back the settings to an earlier point in time when the problems didn't occur.

If it happened recently, you may still be able to do that, as Windows XP is set to make auto save points every few weeks or so i think:

Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore.

You then have a choice to save a setting, or try to go back.
Try to go back, and if theres a setting where you think its before when it started happening, double click it, and windows will restart. When it comes back, you never know. It might have cracked it.

i Hope this helps.
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Old 10-05-2005, 05:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Can't run ANY 3D Games

Your computer is due for a reformat
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Old 10-05-2005, 06:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: Can't run ANY 3D Games

Quote:
Originally Posted by lhuser
Your computer is due for a reformat
No, it is not. I've had this problem since the day I got the computer six months ago, and it was formatted less than a month ago. It neither worked properly before nor after I formatted it.
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Old 10-05-2005, 06:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Can't run ANY 3D Games

I have a feeling then that its not your systems fault. Its most likely the video card playing up. In which case, it should be replaced.

Is the fan working on it?

Something seems wrong with it though, and maybe the CPU is forced to take alot of it causing the FPS to just drop dramatically.
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