MSI k7t, Radeon 8500 Retail and WC3 woes...

Discussion in 'PC Hardware, Software and Displays' started by Saem, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. Saem

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    I tried searching here and elsewhere, but I haven't gotten a definitive answer.

    I've got an MSI k7t limited edition version 3, based on a VIA kt133a chipset -- latest bios. No, I don't have an SB Live! in there. In anycase, I've got an ati radeon 8500 64MB retail in there. I haven't overclocked. I've got 1GB of PC133 RAM across two dimms.

    I installed a windows xp sp2 system, then installed the via drivers from msi and then updated to the latest radeon 8500 drivers from ati. The machine is fine in the desktop, no problems whatsoever infact, but as soon as I run WC3, it'll crash with an error complaining about an access violation and not being able to write to a a memory location (never the same one). I've got the latest WC3 patch, 1.18. I've tried running it in opengl mode, by passing wc3 the -opengl switch, but that wasn't met with much success either. I've already run the ragetweaker and the smartgart utility, retested the system, applied the settings and then rebooted. After that the system seemed more stable, but not much more so. I've tried upping the AGP driving from DA to DB, but that was met with even faster crashes.

    I'm not sure what to do, any recommendation would be welcome. Yes, I know I could buy another board, but I'd like to get this machine up and running. AFAIK, there is nothing wrong with any of the hardware. I should add that there is an intel ethernet express pro 100 in the 3rd pci slot. I'm using onboard sound, again with the latest driver, this time from windows update.
     
  2. ZoinKs!

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    Does it work correctly with other apps or is the problem limited to WC3?
     
  3. karlotta

    karlotta pifft
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    any other 3d apps hanging? SP2 and via had a issue for the kt800 chips i belieive... but the old kt7a ? Also make sure you have NOTHING writing to memory in the Bios. And in the desktop display propertys under trouble shoot, make sure "enable write combining" is unchked.
     
  4. Saem

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    Honestly, I haven't installed any other games. I don't use it for anything but.

    And I've been playing WC3 with the same hardware -- save mobo and CPU. and it's been fine, I finished 5 passes of memtest no errors.

    Okay, I'm not sure what you mean by having nothing writing to memory in the bios.

    The only two settings that come close are AGP Master Waitstate for reading and writing, but that's just a timing bit, they're enabled.

    I do believe video ram is set to cacheable, it's hinted that if a program tries to write to that memory area things could crash, so I'll turn that off.

    SMARTGART is telling me that fast writes are off and AGP write and read are on.

    So, I've disabled write combining, retested with smartgart. I'm going to reboot and test that out. If that doesn't work, I'll go into the bios and turn off video ram cacheable.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  5. Saem

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    After turning off the write combining things seems to be working great.

    Thanks everyone
     
  6. Saem

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    Okay, it's not quite stable. After almost exactly an hour the system hangs with the harddrive light on in WC3.

    Checking the SMARTGART utility, it's automatically enabling fastwrites, which is frustrating because there is no option in the bios it seems to be able to turn it off and it won't let me disable it within the bios.

    Any suggestions?
     
  7. karlotta

    karlotta pifft
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    well to rule out the smartgart, you can install the drivers manualy through the Devicemanager. To do this you will need to unpackage the driver, then locate the INF throught the DeviceManager .Of course uninstall first though the add remove programs.
    There is the issue of your AGP aperture, you can select differntsizes in the bios. There is a posiblity you have a heat issue, or even a program that came on , like a Antivirus Or a new lease for your IP address that gave you a hang during the game.
     
  8. Guden Oden

    Guden Oden Senior Member
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    First off, cacheable videoram doesn't apply to VGA at all, only some ancient textmode standard.

    Second, I really doubt agp aperture would cause these kinds of issues, that doesn't seem probable, since the aperture only decides how much main ram the vidcard can access through DMA for textures.

    Third, I really-REALLY doubt dynamic IP renewal would cause games to hang. That sounds so far-fetched as to be bordering on silly, sorry. If the IP is in use, the loan should simply be extended, and it would of course be completely transparent to any applications also.
     
  9. Saem

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    Yeah, it's definitely the fast writes, but I can't for the life of me figure out why I can't for them off via the driver. GRRRRRR!

    Stupid MSI and the lack of the option.

    I have a static IP.

    From everyone I've talked to having 1/4 or your RAM for AGP aperture is standard practice.

    In anycase if I uninstall the drivers and then reinstall them via the device manager how will that allow me to turn off fast writes via the driver? I simply wish to have control over the settings.
     
  10. karlotta

    karlotta pifft
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    it will stop Smartgart from turning them on, if SG is.
     
  11. Saem

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    Well I've put my machine through the paces and I think I got it all stabilized.

    First thing, do NOT install via mobo drivers from any other place than windows update. It seems, that they have a bug in the agp bridge drivers and that's what's causing the crash. Then install the latest catalysts and finally, run smartgart and retest all, don't worry if fastwrites are turned on, reboot, without interrupting the reboot process -- not sure it makes a difference if you do a warm vs a cold boot it seems, then you should be set.
     
  12. karlotta

    karlotta pifft
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    "SP2 and via had a issue for the kt800 chips i belieive... but the old kt7a ?"
    well i guess it was all Via chipsets. most forums with the via chipsets had this issue for a topic.
     
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