Need Advice Please: Video Card

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Adam Sanchez, Mar 20, 2004.

  1. Adam Sanchez

    Adam Sanchez Supporting Actor

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    Hey guys,

    Really need some advice/help and hoping you can come through for me.

    The other day I bought a new video card, a Gainward Gefornce Fx 5600 XT 256 Meg Video Card and unfortunately have had alot of problems with it.

    At first I could not get the thing to run any 3D games or Apps, the graphics would become glitched and distorted and I thought I just had a bad card, but after playing around and reinstalling this and that, I ended up checking my BIOS and noticed AGP Fast Write and read were disabled. I turned them on and viola, the card runs great. I played UT2004 last night for hours with everything maxed out and it ran flawlessly...

    Then my computer crashes and from that point on, I've been having problem after problem in Windows XP! I can barely move the mouse for a minute before the system freezes... or the monitor blanks out. I've tried just about everything I can think of and it just wont stop doing it, so unless someone has a suggestion I didn't try, I'm going to have to take it back.

    Anyway getting to my point, The only other card in the price range I have at the store I shop at is a ATI Radeon 9600. I've never had an ATI card and from what I understand, it's kind of a Coke/Pepsi deal. You like one or the other. I know ATI has had driver problems in the past but I believe I heard they had fixed that.

    I basically want to know how the Radeon 9600 and the Geforce FX 5700XT fare against eachother. If they are about the same, I may just try the Radeon. But if the Geforce is distinctly better, I'll have to think of something else. I am not a big gamer, UT2004 is about as complex as I get. I've been getting into 3d graphics and using Maya, but those are about the limit of the powerful apps I run... so which would be good for me? I do want a card that will hold me over awhile, least a year or so. (I have a Geforce 4 Mx420 right now... yes I now know how bad a rep they have.)

    I wish the stupid new card would work. It was running great for awhile. It just froze on my desktop again as I was writing this. (Im on my laptop thank god.)

    Thanks guys
     
  2. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    If enabling "fast writes" works for you great, it usually causes more problems than solves. When you upgraded your card did you completely remove the old drivers before installing the new card? Also, there are many different version drivers out there so I would try three or four different ones before returning it. Use Drive Cleaner to make sure the old drivers are gone before installing new ones. Get that here: http://www.driverheaven.net/cleaner/
     
  3. Adam Sanchez

    Adam Sanchez Supporting Actor

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    Wayne,

    Thanks for replying. I'm going to try that driver cleaner.

    So AGP fast write it not a recommended thing to have ON? To finally get the card to work in 3D, I had enabled AGP Fast Write, AGP Master 1 WS Write and AGP Master 1 WS Read. I honestly have no idea what any of those do, or what the recommended settings are, (enabled/disabled) My old card worked fine with them all off... the new one of course does not, but maybe just turning a few of the 3 on would help?

    The problem seems to be either the card works in 3D mode with one setting and not in 2D mode (aka windows) but with the settings the other way, the 2D portion works, but not 3D.

    What to do?
     
  4. Adam Sanchez

    Adam Sanchez Supporting Actor

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    Oh and when I had enabled the fast write and all that I figured it was something that had to be on since I have a higher quality card now. I did play UT2004 for a few hours before the freezing problems started then after that Windows wouldnt stay running long enough for me to get back into UT.

    I am wondering if I got the ATI card might it work with those extra settings left off like they have beem?
     
  5. Kelvin Tucker

    Kelvin Tucker Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't have a Geforce Fx, but I do have some ideas of what I would do before purchasing another card.

    In order:
    1. Enter BIOS screens
    2. Leave AGP Fast Writes enabled
    3. Set AGP Aperture Size = 128 (or 256 if you have 1Gb ram)
    4. Disable AGP Master 1 WS Write
    5. Disable AGP Master 1 WS Read
    6. Reboot and test
    7. Download latest nVidia drivers
    8. Uninstall current video drivers
    9. Reboot and test
    10. Install latest nVidia drivers
    11. Reboot and test
    12. Install MS DirectX 9.0b (if you don't have it)[/list=1]

      At each Reboot and Test stage you may find that everything is working, and just stop there. At least for awhile to ensure nothing else is broken. [​IMG]

      I have not seen a case where AGP Fast Write was neccessary to get a game to function, but strange things do happen. More likely, as WayneO pointed out, is left over driver crap in your registry. That is why you usually MUST reboot between uninstall and reinstall of video drivers.
     
  6. Adam Sanchez

    Adam Sanchez Supporting Actor

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    Thanks again for the replies. I will give the suggestions a try.

    You say to set the AGP aperature to 128 unless I have 1 Gig of Ram? That surprises me, I thought that number should match the memory of my Video Card, which in this case is 256 so I had the aperature set to the same. I have 896 Megs of Ram, so I'm close to a Gig.
     
  7. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    With cards almost always having 128MB+ of ram 64 or 128 aperture size will be more than sufficient. I couldn't think of one situation where 256 is gonna provide any benefit. And you would get the same answer in most PC forums. And just to address fast writes again, some cards support it but most manufacturers rarely make it clear whether their cards do or not. Leaving it disabled just eliminates another source of problems. I have never heard of a card that needs fastwrites enabled in the BIOS to work properly and half the BIOS' out there don't even have this option. I have a gig of ram with a 9800Pro and I use 128. There aren't too many games that are gonna use over 128MB of video memory at one time and then need to go to system memory(your aperture) to run properly or smoothly. I would only see video editing as the only application that may utilize larger apertures.
     
  8. Adam Sanchez

    Adam Sanchez Supporting Actor

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    I have been teaching myself Maya 5, which is a powerful 3D Graphics program. Would I need to change any settings to help it? It's ran fine so far, but my scenes have not gotten very complex either.
     
  9. Kelvin Tucker

    Kelvin Tucker Stunt Coordinator

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    No, I agree with WayneO on the 64 to 128. You can ignore my comment on using 256, since it was really meant to imply that you had memory to waste, so to speak.

    While I've never used Maya 5, I would expect that it would be very specific in describing the video hardware settings it runs on best. You should look at the readme file, or visit the vendors web site. Either way, I'd be very suprised if it even suggested an Aperture size above 128.


    KT
     
  10. Mike Fassler

    Mike Fassler Supporting Actor

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    sounds alot like a driver issue to me, what was the old card?
    if it was an older Nvidia card id definatly download the newest driver release. BTW for gaming the Radeon will snuff the Nvidia card in every game, and from my understanding from reading reviews etc. the 5600 series isnt really worth the money.
     
  11. DaveB

    DaveB Stunt Coordinator

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    inadvertant post
     

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