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Gaming - heating problem or memory?

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by mrericb, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. mrericb

    mrericb Member

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    Whenever I'm playing newer games on my system, after a few hours (or less if I switch between games), the graphics will start getting increasingly choppier until I reboot my computer, which seems to fix it, giving me another few hours of smooth graphics.
    Is this something that could be caused by memory or heating? I've got 2 GB of RAM and a Geforce EN 8600GT card. I'm not sure how many fans I've got, whichever amount Acer computers typically ship with, plus one extra recently added.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. Waymon3X6

    Waymon3X6 Regular member

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    It could be an overheating issue, but I doubt it's memory because if it was, you computer would fail to boot. Try downloading a program like rivatuner, and monitor your GPU temps when playing a game, then when things get choppy, quit and tell us what temps your core got to. For standard air cooling, the temps shouldnt get passed 65C.
     
  3. mrericb

    mrericb Member

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    Ok, I downloaded and installed Rivatuner. And my temperature overall seems pretty high. I had a core temp of about 69C after a fresh reboot, and when the game started giving me choppy graphics, it was at 99C degrees according to Rivatuner, then slowly decreasing over time as my computer stood idle.

    However, waiting until the temperature dropped then launching the game again did nothing to increase my framerate to the levels I get for an hour after a fresh reboot...
    The game I refer to being Lord of the Rings Online.

    Do you still think this is the problem?

    As far as memory goes, I've tried increasing and decreasing the game's cache file under the game options, as well as heavily increased the Windows page file, yielding no results either way.
     
  4. Waymon3X6

    Waymon3X6 Regular member

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    Holy crap!!! 99C! Thats way to high! You could damage your card if you keep playing like that. 69C on idle is extremely high as well. Try reapplying thermal paste and reseating the cooler on the graphics card, or purchase a after market cooler and some AS5 if you dont already have it.
     
  5. andmill11

    andmill11 Regular member

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    I know this is slightly off topic but if 99 is high then i guess my computer running at 102-104 idle is pretty dang hot then.. Still no problems out of it though
     
  6. mrericb

    mrericb Member

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    Well, I opened the side of my computer case, and directed a table fan towards the video card. I also turned down my game's (Lord of the Rings Online) texture quality level from very high to high (even though the game settings default it to very high when I choose auto detect settings, and I run the game flawlessly on this setting for an hour until the framerates start to drop).
    This allowed me to play for nearly two hours without incident before I started seeing the same symptoms, although my GPU temperature never exceeded 52C degrees doing this, according to Rivatuner.

    Is there any of my hardware that could cause this framerate drop, or is it memory leaks?
     
  7. Waymon3X6

    Waymon3X6 Regular member

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    I'm pretty sure its just overheating. I guess you could try updating your graphic card's drivers, but I dont think that would do anything to the temps. Either try reseating the cooler and add some more thermal paste, or purchase a aftermarket cooler.

    Btw, when you say 99 degrease, you mean Celsius right?
     
  8. mrericb

    mrericb Member

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    Celsius yes. But the temp was steady at around 50 degrees with the table fan on the card, so why would the problems persist if heat is the problem?

    I already have the latest drivers installed for all my hardware.
     
  9. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    Good grief! With the temps you said that you have, I don't think the drivers are the problem. I am surprised that your computer hasn't turned into a flaming inferno. You have a heat problem. Pretty much a no brainer.
     
  10. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    If those temps are Fahrenheit, then your computer is running cool as a cucumber. If Celsius, then you have a problem.
     
  11. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    Surely he means Fahrenheit, if not, I agree he has a serious problem (like, no cooling system).

    As for @mrericb, 99 C is high, but my 7950 GT can easily get up to 95 when playing some games. I know this isn't good, but I posted a thread (that I'll try to find), about my GPU getting so hot. From what I remember, the responses I got from it suggested that it was normal for my GPU to get that hot.

    Of course this all depends on which GPU you have because all of them run at different temperatures, and some can stand heat better than others.

    @Waymon3X6, I will say that it is probably best if temps stay around 65 C, I'm pretty sure it is common for alot of GPUs to run alot hotter. That temp of 65 C can't be used for every GPU becuase they all vary in operating temp. However, it is the CPU that I would not want to get above 65 C. And although those temps vary too, that is a general temp I try to stay below.

    Here is a quote from when I had my stock GPU cooler, and how hot it was running.

    Here is from another thread I discussed it.

    I hope that helps. Alot of those quotes were by @Sammoris, and he knows what he is talking about.

     
  12. pcrepair

    pcrepair Regular member

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    The default 'turnoff' temp on my graphics card is 165 C so I would think 90 C is ok lol Gpu's are meant to work hard, Cpu's on the other hand don't like getting hot
     
  13. mrericb

    mrericb Member

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    I realize my initial temperatures was at an undesirable level, but seeing as how I encountered the same framerate losses with my side door off and a table fan on the card (and temps of barely 50C degrees), is the heat really the root of the problem? While I admit it's not a practical permanent solution, at least it gets the temperature down.
    Is it possible that my heat levels have damaged any of my hardware so I need to replace it? Or that heat related problems persist even though the GPU temp is brought down to acceptable levels?
    Or is memory leaks in the game a more likely cause? (If it was my own RAM that's faulty, it would impact other processes as well, right? As well as failing to boot my computer altogether?)
     
  14. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    I think Ram problems would cause games to lock up and give a blue screen with a memory error. It could be heat, but I still don't think 90 C for a card is that hot. I have had mine for a year almost and it runs at that temp alot of times and my card still works fine. But then again some cards can run alot hotter than others.

    Could the CPU usage spike up from other programs while playing the game and bottleneck the GPU? What kind of CPU do you have? Also, what temps are the CPU running at?
     
  15. mrericb

    mrericb Member

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    My CPU is

    DualCore AMD Athlon 64 X2, 2000 MHz (10 x 200) 3800+

    processor alias: Toledo-512 S939

    I'm trying to use Everest Home Edition to monitor my CPU heat level but it keeps fluctuating going from 3C to 40-something degrees C with varying numbers in between, then disappears from the temperature list altogether occasionally then reappearing, still fluctuating.
     
  16. mrericb

    mrericb Member

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    Also, my system buffer under the windows task manager (bottom line under physical memory) grows to roughly 5 times it's initial size during my playing, until it's over 1GB in size, over half my total RAM.

    Is this normal?

    And what should I set my windows page file to with 2GB of RAM?
     
  17. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    The memory usage is fine. You've definitely got a heating problem. What is your CPU temperature, and what games are you trying to play?
    Note that for the latest top titles, an 8600GT is a bit slow. If you play modern RTS like Supreme commander, as the game progresses the GPU will have to draw more and therefore performance will decrease. In FPS games though, this effect should not occur.
     
  18. mrericb

    mrericb Member

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    Sammorris, thanks for responding.

    I'm mainly trying to run Lord of the Rings Online, which I suppose is a game that has to draw a lot of elements as I play it, the amount of atmospheric detail and graphic intensity is really rich.

    The choppiness running the game on very high graphics setting (the recommended setting when choosing detect hardware) that appeared after a while was really noticable, bordering to unplayable, but after turning it down to 'high' setting, it helps a bit. Still noticable, but less so.
    I was confused as to why the game initially ran smoothly and perfect on even very high setting, and the problems only arising after a while of playing (an hour or two). But you're saying that's expected behavior for certain games and video cards?

    Running the computer with the side door open and a big table fan directed straight into it, I would think I had the temperature handled, at least temporarily, unless you know something I don't.

    My game installation (and Windows XP installation) is pretty fresh (less than one month) and my hard drive (which is roughly 80% empty) was recently defragmented.

    As for my CPU temperature, I've got problems measuring it with 'Everest Home Edition' for some reason, it keeps fluctuating and disappearing from the sensor menu altogether, but I'd have to say 20-40C degrees on average from what I can tell.

    If anyone has an alternate program I could try to measure it, I'll certainly give it a try. Might these temperature fluctuations be a symptom of a CPU problem? Or more likely an error in the measuring software?

    Thanks in advance for any tips.
     
  19. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    Not really, it can be expected as you go further into the game because of the more complex graphics that often occur, but if you were to save, shut down the PC for a few hours, then start it back und go straight to that point, the performance should be exactly the same as before. If it's better, then you probably have a heat issue.

    Typically odd readings are the fault of the measuring software, but I've never seen that happen before. However, problems with temp recording rarely indicate a faulty CPU, just a faulty thermal sensor, and that often happens.
     
  20. mrericb

    mrericb Member

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    Yeah, rebooting always fixes the choppiness, even if I'm in the busiest part of a major town.

    But from what I can tell, my components are being kept fairly cool using this table fan, unless there are some parts that simply can't be cooled well enough with this method. It's also not needed to wait and let my computer cool down before resuming my game, a simple reboot and going directly into the game ensures another hour of smooth graphics.

    Which hardware parts (if any) is the most likely cause of the problem and how can I find out?
     

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