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Diagnostics ?
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Captain_Tea
is a Veteran Poster


Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 227
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:28 am GMT    Post subject: Diagnostics ? Reply with quote

I was wondering if you guys could recommend some good free or inexpensive diagnostic programs for me to test my new budget rig. I am getting a little bit of instability (choppyness) on a few maps in UT2K4 while FPS looked great, and have had a couple of system freezes where I had to push the button to reboot (ctrl alt delete didn't work) Confused . I want to rule out whether or not I have a bad component so I can get them exchanged before any warrantee's run out. If all checks out well I can start trying to target driver instabilities.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ 2.0ghz (not overclocked yet)
Biostar Geforce 6100-M9 mainboard
Leadtek PX8500GT 256MB GeForce 8500GT PCI x16
Ultra 350w PSU (a little weak, but meets min requirements of 300w)
WD Caviar 200mb SATA2 hardrive
Samsung DVD-ROM
Samsung 3.5 Floppy
Masscool CPU cooler
120mm bb case fans
40mm bb chipset fan

most of the components came as part of a barebones I bought. I have already tested the RAM and it came out OK. Any suggestions on where to start?
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OLDMAN(Co30)
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Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 573
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:14 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

On your Fps is that on an instant game or on the server? server is capped at 85 fps. Now some maps are buggers on the pc.
Do you know what temps your at when you have issues? I know my older rig would act up when the cpu heatsink was clogging up and looked at the temp and time to clean.
Is it only Ut that you have problems or do you play others and have issues also?
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Captain_Tea
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Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 227
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:58 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

OLDMAN(Co30) wrote:
On your Fps is that on an instant game or on the server? server is capped at 85 fps. Now some maps are buggers on the pc.
Do you know what temps your at when you have issues? I know my older rig would act up when the cpu heatsink was clogging up and looked at the temp and time to clean.
Is it only Ut that you have problems or do you play others and have issues also?


I notice it both on the net and off, and on most every map while online i stay right at 85fps. Instant game it will be 100-200+ on most maps. I notice the problem on DM-1on1 Muddle the worst. Unless I turn my graphics settings all the way down it really hangs in certain areas of the map. I have had similar problems on Unreal 2 while playing the single player game, but the game has a history of having graphics issues with different drivers and cards. My CPU stays between 33-42 degrees. I have never seen it higher than 42. My northbridge has a heatsink and fan on it and I added a heatsink to the southbridge because it didn't come with 1. The Graphics card under full load will get up to 57c. It has the issue right after starting up though when everything is cool.
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OLDMAN(Co30)
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Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 573
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:28 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK the 100-200 frame really depends on the map, does sound a bit low if that 200 is your max, I get frames all over and some a bit higher, as I load the server I have to watch when I test a map, and some maps play well on my pc only to be a frame dog when I load it to the server and we get a gang on there in which case Butt or Zoe will give me a heads up to pull it. I will play Muddle and have a frame check on my pc for the compare. Zoe had issues with DM-Under that sounded about the same as you, we need to ask him what he did I think it was the older pc and since he built the new one I think the issue cleared.
Your temps look good, It could very much be your video card not able to handle the maps and I think from my humble mind I may or may not be right. Let me have a yell at Zoe.

UPDATE
Played it
the old pc
amd 4000
1 gig
evga 6800gt

Tuff map
standing at the different weapons
Avg Frame
Flak 260
mini 251
Rocket 265
Shock 259
Bio 274

Now go online and factor in 10 payers to put drag on the server.

Factor in Your video card vs mine I think your 8500 should beat my 6800gt. You sure you drivers are good?
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Buttfield{Co30}
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Joined: 02 Jun 2003
Posts: 71
Location: Kitchener Ontario Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:12 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also have problems with choppiness and frequent freezes/spontaneous reboots. The only thing our rigs have in common is the Athlon 64 3800 dual core. Try a google search for ORTHOS or Prime95. There are plenty of choices here....
http://www.majorgeeks.com/downloads7.html

Hope you find the cause of your freezes, TB. I haven't, yet.
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Zoe
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Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 363
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:25 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like the problem may be your gfx card. I had problems in areas of dm-Under which I fixed by overclocking. Muddle isn't a very demanding map as near as I can tell, but it sure looks like a gfx problem to me. Here's a few Benchmarks comparing a few cards. I'm running a 7900gs.

http://www.vr-zone.com/?i=4902&s=9

Are you in XP or Vista? If you're in Vista, that could be the straw that broke the camels back. Just a little too much overhead for your system to handle.

Like Oldman said check for updated drivers to see if that helps.

Also, what resolution are you running?

Edit: crap, I totally missed the part about the system freezes. Like Butt said, try Orthos to check for stability. Keep a close eye on your temps, that program really loads your machine.

When you tested memory did you bootup to memtest? If you run it while in Windows a lot of the memory will go untested since Windows is loaded. You need to boot to a cd and test memory from there.
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Zoe
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Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 363
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:39 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buttfield{Co30} wrote:
I also have problems with choppiness and frequent freezes/spontaneous reboots. The only thing our rigs have in common is the Athlon 64 3800 dual core. Try a google search for ORTHOS or Prime95. There are plenty of choices here....
http://www.majorgeeks.com/downloads7.html

Hope you find the cause of your freezes, TB. I haven't, yet.


Both of you guys problems could be psu related. They're a huge cause of mystery problems, and they're hard to check without using a multimeter, and probably an oscilloscope.
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Captain_Tea
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Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 227
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:34 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I benchmarked my graphics card and it scored way lower than a geforce 6600. I tried uninstalling the driver and used driver cleaner pro to make sure it was all gone & then reinstalled the driver and it still does it. I also found a bad stick of ram. It was only benchmarking at about 2/3 what it should in mhz and only registering 980 mhz instead of 1gb. The other stick I got was fine. It is crucial ram too. I am returning it for a new one and I just might be exchanging the video card too after seeing the benchmark results. It didn't do it at first, so I wonder if it is just defective or if maybe it is the PSU. I have read that they can be the cause of a lot of mystery problems like you said Zoe. It came with the barebones so it probably isn't the best Rolling Eyes .
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Zoe
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Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 363
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:50 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ultra doesn't have the best rep for PSUs. I think you could get away with lower end units years ago, but it seems to me that newer pcs are more sensitive to power anomalies, and they require much more power than they used to.

I'm not exactly sure what you're saying about the ram. Running only 1 stick at a time you get different benchmark results between them? Also that 980mb ram count doesn't seem right to me. I think the individual chips on the stick of ram are in multiples of 16 (eg 16, 32, 64...)though I'm not sure exactly what size the chips are. Having 20mb awol sounds weird.

I'll also look for some more 8500 benchs. It looks like your performance is too low. It may not be the best card, but I think you should get better performance than what you're getting.

Edit: What O/S are you running? and double check ram compatibility for your mb with Crucial just to make sure your ram will work with that mb.
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Captain_Tea
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Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 227
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:41 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zoe wrote:
Ultra doesn't have the best rep for PSUs. I think you could get away with lower end units years ago, but it seems to me that newer pcs are more sensitive to power anomalies, and they require much more power than they used to.

I'm not exactly sure what you're saying about the ram. Running only 1 stick at a time you get different benchmark results between them? Also that 980mb ram count doesn't seem right to me. I think the individual chips on the stick of ram are in multiples of 16 (eg 16, 32, 64...)though I'm not sure exactly what size the chips are. Having 20mb awol sounds weird.

I'll also look for some more 8500 benchs. It looks like your performance is too low. It may not be the best card, but I think you should get better performance than what you're getting.

Edit: What O/S are you running? and double check ram compatibility for your mb with Crucial just to make sure your ram will work with that mb.


Your right about the ram being weird, I had never seen a stick of ram behave that way. If i have just the weird stick in there it shows it running 66mhz slower than if I have just the good stick in. It also seems to drag the good sticks speed down when their in together, When paired the ddr is supposed to be faster right, not slower mhz wise?

According to benchmarks from nvidia the 8500 should benchmark over twice what the 7300 does and just over 1/2 what the 8600 does. I know it's not the best card, I just wanted something inexpensive yet having decent performance to tide me over till I can get authorization from the wife to spring for the 8800 Wink Razz .

I am running windows xp pro.

I am returning the Video card and stick of ram in exchange for new one's before the exchange period expires. As far as I can find there are no compatibility issues between my board and the Crucial ram. I am also going to look into getting a better power supply, just in case, before I put the new card in. It meets the boards requirements but barely, and I have been reading plenty of testimony to back up what your are saying about Ultra's power suppies being questionable. It isn't worth taking the chance of cooking my hardware because i'm too cheap to spring for a better psu. I learned my lesson about buying barebones kits on sale Rolling Eyes Live and learn. I am just glad that I found these issues right away so I could get them replaced. No sense fighting with the hardware. I am also glad I've got such good UT buddies to help me figure these things out Thumb .

Overall building this rig has been a good experience, and I have learned a lot. I'm looking forward to putting another one together in a year or two and passing this one down to my kids. Smilie

PS: I pulled the video card out and it is not doing it anymore on the integrated graphics.
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Zoe
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Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 363
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:52 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a nice PSU that won't break the bank. I had the 500W version of this and it's still running flawlessly in my kid's computer.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817104935
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birch
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Joined: 29 Oct 2003
Posts: 311
Location: Canada, Eh !

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:24 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe Buttfield and you should visit this AMD url - http://tinyurl.com/aokka and download and install that first program on the list.
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Captain_Tea
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Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 227
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:33 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

birch wrote:
Maybe Buttfield and you should visit this AMD url - http://tinyurl.com/aokka and download and install that first program on the list.


I already have the dual core optimizer installed, but thanks for the info.
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Captain_Tea
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Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 227
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:53 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zoe wrote:
Here's a nice PSU that won't break the bank. I had the 500W version of this and it's still running flawlessly in my kid's computer.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817104935


Thanks Zoe, I ended going with this one because I like the cable setup, and has more amps, I was reading Leadtek recommends using a 20 amp PSU min for this vid card. It also got good reviews, and was on sale for $15 off. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817128006
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Captain_Tea
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Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 227
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:37 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

The PSU was definitely one of my problems. I was getting an occasional flicker in my graphics even on my old video card. Doesn't do it at all with new PSU. It will be interesting to see how it performs when I get my video card back next week.
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