swaaye Posted February 22, 2005 Share Posted February 22, 2005 Hey guys, I have some ideas for you. I realize that this game is quite buggy, but a lot of you seem to get far more crashes than I. In fact, the game only crashed for me in the beginning area. It has not crashed at all for at least 4 hours gameplay now. So, I would like you people with crash issues to run some programs on your computers for me, to test stability of your system. First of all, you need to try Memtest86+. Go download the precompiled, bootable ISO and burn it on a CD using Nero (or whatever). Boot your computer with this CD (you may need to go into your BIOS setup and set CDROM to boot before HDD) and let it run at least 1 pass (a pass is around 9 separate tests I believe). It will likely take at least 30mins, depending on how much RAM you have. This program is extremely capable at finding RAM errors. If you get ANY red errors listed, you have a RAM issue and that is a huge stability problem. RAM instability can cause blue screens, but more often will cause programs to crash randomly. Perhaps you or your BIOS set your RAM timings too aggressively (happens a lot). If you are running CAS 2.5, RAS to CAS 3, RAS Precharge 3, RAS Active 7, (for example), try 3-4-4-9 instead and move each setting up until you get errors again. Or try a fail-safe memory option if your BIOS has things like that. Also you could try upping RAM voltage to around 2.6-2.7v (default is 2.55v usually). If you get errors no matter what you change, one of your DIMMs is probably defective. Secondly, let's test your CPU stability. For this you want Prime95. Download the program from that link and load it up. You want to stress test. First go to the Options menu and to CPU. Note your L2 cache size. Now, go to the Options menu again and hit Torture Test. In there, first select Small FFTs, then switch to Custom. This will put the settings for the Small FFTs CPU test in the Custom boxes. Here you need to set the Max FFT size to the size of your CPU's L2 cache. Next you should shut down as many background programs in your taskbar as possible, and close all applications you are running except Prime95. You want Prime to get as much CPU time as possible. Now hit ok and let it run for at least 30 mins, or even overnight. Prime95 will run indefinitely provided it doesn't ever see a math error. If it gives a math error at any point your CPU is not stable. It may be overheating (Prime95 will get your CPU hotter than any regular program so it really tests cooling). Or you may have the wrong voltage set. Or you overclocked too much and need more CPU voltage/cooling at that speed. Prime95 can also be used to test overall system stability using the Blend torture test. But, I find Memtest86+ to be better at Prime for RAM testing and separating CPU testing from RAM testing is better anyway. If you want to try Blend you need to hit blend, then go to custom and turn down the "memory to use". It will default too high and will end up swapping too much which will result in inadequate testing CPU usage and not give you any useful testing other than grinding your hard drive. You can monitor whether your CPU is at 100% by bringing up Task Manager (in XP/2000, Ctrl-Alt-Delete) or System Monitor in Windows 98/ME (Accessories). Ok, those are two really good ways to figure out if your computer is stable. Prime is a program I've used for years, but Memtest86+ is fairly new and for the 6-months I've been using it it has proven to be excellent at diagnosing RAM issues. Give them a go! Addendum: Another worthy concern regarding random reboots and crashes is the potential that you have an inadequate power supply. AthlonXPs should have at least 300W, and 350W+ is ideal. You need a quality power supply too. A P4's needs vary but 300W is absolute minimum. Athlon64s and P4 3Ghz+ should have 400W+, IMO. These top end CPUs emit around 150W of heat when they are working, that heat is from the electricity they are using. Throw in a high end video card and you are soon well over 200W continuous power, and then you have to add drives and PCI cards! Power supplies are rated for their peak power rating usually, not continuous power (which is often little more than half their peak rating). Also, the power supplies that come with DIY cases are generally VERY cheap, even though they may have a great "rating". One way to identify cheapness is by its weight. If it is very light, it's almost certainly junk. Good power supply brands are: Antec, Enermax, PC Power & Cooling, and some Thermaltake supplies (420W Purepower is good). If you own a OEM PC such as a Dell, HP, Compaq, etc, you may have a very low wattage power supply. My brother's Dell P4 has a mere 250W supply which would likely become inadequate if he upgrade his graphics card. This is something you need to watch. If you upgraded your OEM PC to one of the modern graphics cards, you probably went above what your power supply can handle. A friend of mine upgraded his Gateway P4 from a GF4MX to a Radeon 9700 and started to get lockups and reboots. We looked at his power supply, and it was a 145W (!!!!). Needless to say, that was not enough power for a Radeon 9700 + P4 system. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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