WoW and City of Heroes- Crashes/Hardlocks

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Jickyjak

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Joined
Dec 29, 2005
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4
I purchased a new ‘custom’ computer system acouple months ago and for the most part it runs very well, with the exception of the only 2 games I have tried to install on it specifically World of Warcraft and recetnly I purchased City of Heroes (Both are Online multiplayer type games).

Now before I begin listing the problems and specifications of my new computer I should note here that my previous computer (p4 1.5ghz, 1mb PC133 RAM, 1 80gig HDD IDE, Geforce MX400 64mb (or something like that)) Ran World of Warcraft without any hardlocks or crashes, and with the exception of high population/action areas it ran relatively lag free.

So thinking I needed a new computer for work and play at home I go out and find a nice little outfit locally to put a computer together for me based on my requirements this is what I ended up with:

I hope the following is accurate enough

AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Socket 939
K8N Neo4 Series MS-7125 (G52-M7125X4) Mainboard
2Gb DDR RAM PC3200 (is that correct?)
2x120GB SATA HDD Raid 0
RADEON X700 128mb PCI-E
1x89GB HDD (from previous computer)
D link Air plus Network card (not sure of model)
Wacom 6x8 tablet (USB)
1xDVD ROM/Burner
1x3.5” Floppy
450w power supply (manufacturer unknown)

I run with two CRTs but having both on or one on makes little or no difference with the problems I experience.

I was all excited to play my favorite game on the new beefy computer…but I was in for a huge let down and a few weeks of nightmares…

Now I am not a gamer by nature but a graphic designer and I have to say that for the most part the computer behaves superbly under my regular application environments such as photoshop and the adobe suite…in fact I am very happy with its performance in these apps…however try to play a game such as WoW and you get hardlocks, killer lag (not the network kind but the kind where there is a process trying to hog the cpu for instance). After reading and posting for days and days on the WoW support forums it appears that this problem is not unique to me, but to many folks.

So after a month or two I gave up trying to fix my computer to work with WoW deciding that its a Blizzard issue since their 1.8 patch and I would just have to wait till someday it all gets fixed.

I finally decided that I wasn’t going to be able to play the game, and moved on. Now just recently I decided to get City of Heroes for xmas and treat myself to some R & R. I thought, hey that problem just has to be with WoW, well it was not to be, I install CoH and within minutes I run into the same bloody problems.

Here are the problems that occur:

WoW
-laggy or choppy play (this does not appear to be network related ) when running dual monitors to test and viewing task manager a process called SYSTEM seems to be fighting for CPU time taking up 50-60% during these choppy times
-soft lock - I can Windows out but things are grim and I usually have to reboot anyways.
-hardlock - in wow it will just freeze (sounds may still be playing sometimes or they may skip) and i have to reboot, occassionaly it wil just reboot itself.
-hardlock type2 - screen will go all wonky and pixelated with funny colors this isnt as common but seems to be the most severe

City of Heroes
-laggy or choppy play (this does not appear to be network related ) when running dual monitors to test and viewing task manager a process called SYSTEM seems to be fighting for CPU time taking up 50-60% during these choppy times.
-softlock Screen will go black but i can still play blind, like move my toon with keyboard etc...but effectively teh game is over at this point and I need to reboot.
-hardlock type2 - screen will go all wonky and pixelated with funny colors this isnt as common but seems to be the most severe

In both games these problems manifest themselves very soon withing first 10-20mins, only rarely have i been able to play WoW for 2 hours and it usually ends suddenly with one of the Hardlock type 2s stated above...


So its not just one game but I am guessing pretty much any game I can’t play on my new fangled computer. This doesn’t seem fair or logical to me so I am hoping that perhaps the tremendous knowledge base here can somehow help me out.

I will list below most of the things I have tried to rectify this problem myself and with the help of my computer tech (the guy who sold me the computer)

-Reinstalled mobo drivers, and flashed latest BIOS
-Installed latest Catalyst drivers, and also tried the Omega drivers
-new Nforce drivers
-new network card drivers
-hardware tested all components for defects including extensive ram tests, overheating tests on CPU, etc
-numerous attempts at tweaking video settings in windows and in game (enabling fastwrites, disable vsync, etc)
-ended the Hot Key Poller service (ati2evxxe.exe) as recommended by ATI to get rid of another instability problem that I was having in general (the only one out of game problem I was having)
-Ran through just about every applicable suggestion in the WoW tech forums
-gestured rudely and swore at computer on numerous occassions

So after that extremely long-winded diatribe, and if anyone is still actually reading this - should I look at new more powerful power supply? Video card replacement to Nvidia ( I have a suspicion this may not really work) or replace processor and Mobo? Or is there a more simple solution?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time in reading this post.
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
429
Wow it sounds like a problem to have.... Your old system sounds like my current system... cept a couple differences.

my first suggestion would be to run a single CRT off the card... but it sounds like you have tried that.

What kind of soundcard are you running? Believe it or not this can affect the preformance of a game...

Have you made sure that you are running DirectX 9c?

Are you running your card in OpenGL mode (which can cause issues with game play)?

Do you have Trilinear filtering turned off and at what visual settings are you running these games at? (Did you try to turn back your card to 'default settings')

WoW - In the files clear out the WTF and WDB files as well as the interface folder if you have anything in there. Sometimes custom UI's cause issues (but this would not explain the CoH issue)

Have you tried playing the game with RAID0 turned off? I have no idea why this would cause an issue...but its a thought.

I'm gonna sleep a bit on this and see if I can figure out what else might be a looksee...

What resolution are you playing these games at?
 

Jickyjak

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 29, 2005
Messages
4
Thanks for the reply, hopefully I can answer your questions here, and I have some new information to add as well.

--I have run a single CRT off the card :)
--Its on board sound
--Yes I am running Directx 9C and all tests seem to come out fine when i run them from diagnostic
--I have run WoW with and without mods and have deleted the three key folders as suggested.
--I have the game running at the default settings usually but in WoW i have fiddled with just about every sldier and check box including trilinear filtering
--I have never tried running with Raid 0 off, that kind of scares me...I dont know much about RAID at all....

The resolutuion is usually default as well 1024x768 but I have tried wow as high as 1280x1024

Anyways I just installed a non "network" type game its old but a good test for a video card I think - Unreal Tournament 2003 and within 2 minutes of playing it she froze up did the black screen thing where i could still hear whats going on in the bg, then the monitor just shut down and a reboot was needed...so its definitely a problem here...
 
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
Messages
834
The PSU seems a bit weak for the system (450W) but meh, I doubt that'd cause games to merely lockup... Or would it? :)
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
429
... did I read that you are using a wireless connection (maybe I saw it as a wireless hardware attachment). If you are have you tried a physical connection to your highspeed network and not used the wireless. If indeed you are using wireless this may be your issue...
 

Jickyjak

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 29, 2005
Messages
4
the computer has been connected to a non wireless connection - same results :(

Looks like I might be taking it in to have the vid card replaced on tuesday, I will start there then maybe memory, then power supply, leaving mobo and processor for last....
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2005
Messages
112
Unfortunately, Im not very knowlegeable with ATI products.

Does anyone know of any problems with an ATI card running on an NVidia chipset?

Just a guess..

-Gonz
 
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