throw ideas at me before I resign to saving and replacing hardware :D

#1
Okay I have this tiny little problem.

Half of my DX9 games crash within 15-20 minutes of being loaded up and half dont.

I first noticed this with Lineage 2, but I noticed it with EVE Online yesterday and frankly its annoying.

I spent a week with NCSOFT support trying to figure this out to no avail.

This is what we did:

Prime95 test (8 hours),
memtest86 (18 hours),
various driver versions for motherboard (nforce 3) and vga card (radeon 9800pro 128meg)
reinstalling windows,
defragmenting hdd,
Various settings for swap file,
varying levels of harware acceleration settings in display properties and dxdiag,
various bios versions,
disableing and enabling fast writes,
2 different verisons of windows (server 2003 and x64),

Just recently I discoverd a hidden setting in the bios that overclocked the vga card and have since disabled it as I'm not a fan of overclocking.

Hardware is as follows:

AMD Athlon64 3500+ Winchester + Freezer 64 heatsink,
2x Crucial 512mb pc3200 RAM
2x Crucial 256mb pc3200 ram
Radeon 9800 pro 128mb + vga silencer heatsink,
Seagate 200GB SATA HDD,
Maxtor 80GB ATA133 HDD,
Pioneer 16X DVD-ROM (flashed region free)
LG 4160RBB (flashed region free)
MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum-54G (wireless lan card installed)
SB Audigy 2 ZS OEM
Coolermaster Cavalier case,
Tagan 480W PSU (first revision not pci-e compatible revision)

The only thing I havent tried is removing the 2x256 memory modules. I should perhaps try this as I have a feeling that ram slots 3&4 are picky at the best of times.

So besides that last option can anyone think of anything else to try before I start saving up for a new PSU, Motherboard, RAM and VGA card? I'm out of ideas.
 

dreamliner77

The Analog Kid
#3
I'd also think about pulling out the 256 sticks and see what happens. Also in the BIOS make sure the ram timing are correct. I remember on my last MSI board, the default timings were awfully aggressive.
 

Hipster Doofus

Good grief Charlie Brown
#4
Did you run all the three benchmarks in prime95. Mine had a fit on only one of the three. Turned out to be the board.

Have you tried flashing the board to the latest release?
 
#5
It was 8 hours of the torture test.

I shall be flashing the board to the latest bios just as soon as MSI Live update gets its ass in gear :D

Edit: just looked around at my preffered suppliers and I've got a choice of Nforce 4, VIA K8T890 and K8T800...

If I go NF4 it means new psu, ram, vga, board in one go. I don't know if I want to trust VIA just yet so that means I either have to try my luck with a via board or chance it with another K8N Neo2 and hope its ram slots are better behaved if indeed it is 3&4 being the issue.

Or just go all out and get an nf4, 6800GT, 2x1Gb ram modules and a nice tagaon 580W pci-express compatible psu.... not cheap by any stretchof the imagination. Though I could get individual parts one at a time to reduce the perceived agony of delay :p
 
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napalmnthemorning

OSNN Senior Addict
#6
I ran a search and came up with this at Tom's Hardware LordOfLA. ?
Nvidia: nForce-3 Bug
"The extremely low AGP performance of the NForce3 can be clearly attributed to problems with the HyperTransport channel interface to the Northbridge. That is proven by the benchmark results and the performance differences of up to 33.2 percent. Details about this can be found in the benchmark section of this article."

Also ran into this one http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=21780

" We are told that AMD changed its thermal regulation protection and that's what makes it incompatible with at least some of the Nforce 3 and Nforce 4 boards out there. "
 
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#7
Hmmm interesting reading napalm...

I shall have to do some reading on the pro's/con's of nforce 3 over k8t800 and vice versa - though if this nforce 3 board tunrs out to be fine with 2 less ram sticks I may be inclined to switch to a k8t800 solution.
 
#8
Okay I took the 2x256 out of dimm slots 3&4 and all seems hunky dory!

So it seems I'm saving up for a K8T890 based system from either abit or asus and shoving 2 or 3gb of RAM at it.
 
#9
seems I spoke too soon, this things just died twice loading up ms money and trillian.... ah well 3-4 months and I'll be able to replace everything but the cpu...
 
#10
Though not very helpful if you send me the parts I'd be willing to "test" them for you. :) Only thing left I can see is maybe try only 1 stick of RAM @ a time (I know will suck on performance) and see if your rig still balks.
 

mlakrid

OSNN BASSMASTER
Political User
#11
I dont have your mobo, but I had a very similar problem
I have an ASUS P4C 800-E

and 2 Gigs of memory... my point... I had the same type of problem, and in my case I needed to have the pairs of memory even though same timings.. one from corsair the other from OCZ in 1&3 and 2&4 respectively.. that fixed it for me...

check it out... never hurts

GOOD LUCK!

:D
 
#12
Heh I have my ram in 1&2 at the moment. MSI did a weird one and had 1&2 be the firsy pair for dual channel and 3&4 be the next. I could try single channel, but that would still mean I need to my a new motherboard.

THe only nforce 3 board I can see for sale now at my prefered retailers is the k8n neo2. I'f I'm gojng to spend money and replace hardwre, I'll go PCI-Express so i've aimed my wallet squarely at an Asus A8N-E, BFG 6800GT OC (gotta love that warranty), Tagan TG530-U22 and possibly another 2 crucial 512meg sticks. Comes to £440.46 without the ram and £510.90 with the ram (both prices exclude shipping).

Shall get the board and psu next month and the video card the month after. if all goes well.
 

mlakrid

OSNN BASSMASTER
Political User
#13
I wanted to make 1 comment...

I LOVE ASUS... that is the only mobo I have used in my last 4 CPU builds... but you might consider the MSI equivalent...

just a thought..
 
#16
no because I know its not the VGA already :)

It has been stable since I took out the 2x256 ram modules and disabled MSI's VGA overclocking which leaves me breathing room to replace hardware in 2 of my 3 servers.
 

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