Volkswagen Mark IV Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently got The Sims 2 for PC, and it runs and does work, but its painfully slow to play, and constantly hangs and locks up and does nothing for minutes at a time when something happens. It really is unplayable!

Box and manual say game specs are (for a non-T&L video card):-

2.0Ghz processor

384 MB RAM

My PC is a Pentium 4 2.66Ghz (though it is non-T&L)

512MB RAM

Running windows XP if that matters

Graphics is just Intel extreme integrated 82845 (no idea how much memeory it uses)

I am assuming it is the graphics card that's the problem? (I know the intel integrated are not the greatest [:$] ) - as the game specs (above) say "for a non-T&L card with at least 32MB video RAM (ATI Radeon 7000 (VE series) or Intel Extreme Graphics 82845, 82865, 82915)"

Now I have the 82845, over 2Ghz processor, and enough RAM - is it just that the intel integrated doesnt use enough RAM?

I was wondering if an upgraded graphics card would solve the problem, but I believe you cant add graphics cards to motherboards with intel integrated - so is a new motherboard job? Thing is, I know nothing about changing hardware inside a PC, and would have to get someone else to do it for me (like a shop maybe) but I dont know what I would need either: like motherboard and graphics cards? AGP and PCI? whats compatible with what? - just couldnt even get the parts myself cos I dont know what to look for [:S][:S]

Heeeeelllllllllppppppp!!!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,932 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Never heard of PCI Express [:$]

Could it be that the intel integrated is just not using enough of the RAM i've got then, and altering that might cure it? - would the game still run ok?

How do I know if I can stick a PCI card in? - what would I look for?

How would that work, alongside the integrated bit, and easy to install and set up, or lots of messing?

(sorry for lots of questions, but I'm a bit clueless in this area!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
875 Posts
IF you have got the interl 845 chipset then it wont be pci express. If
you have a look at the motherboard have you got a rectagular socket
that is about 3 or 4 inches ling and about half an inch
wide that is et in from the back of the case about 2 inches. If so this
is an agp card. I f you can let me know if you have this socket and
also what the wattage of you power supply is and possible budget for a
graphics card is then I should be able to help further.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK, adding some pics.....

Posted Image


Posted Image


Posted Image


Slots - Labels are what is printed on the motherboard by each slot, PCI 1,2 and 3. Middle one has the standard dial-up modem plugged in.

Posted Image


Close up!

Posted Image


Tried to give an idea of size crime-scene-photo style [:$]

Posted Image


Does that make it any clearer?

I assume they are not AGP slots, cos it says PCI 1, 2, 3 next to them, or is that what all motherboards say?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,881 Posts
You've got 3 PCI slots there, no AGP.

Quick tip!!

Go to Start > Control Panel > System and check to see how much RAM windows says you have. Deduct that from the total ram you have (512 I think you said) and you will see exactly how much memory your onboard graphics card is using.

To change this, you will need to go into your BIOS and have a play and up the amount of memory your graphics card is using.

After that, if you have maxed out the memory, it's time to buy a new PCI graphics card, however, it really depends on how much your graphics card is using now and what the box/manual says the game needs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cheers EJO, do you mean this.....

Posted Image


'Cos that says 512MB, if I take that away from 512, that means its using none [:|] - is that right!

Would changing this mess anything up though, and cause any problems with windows having less RAM available to it when using the PC but NOT playing the game?

Other than that, can I just plug a PCI card in like these http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?action=c2hvd3N1YmNhdGVnb3J5X3BhZ2VfZGlzcGxheQ%3D%3D&order_col=&order=&subcat_uid=707

or these http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?action=c2hvd3N1YmNhdGVnb3J5X3BhZ2VfZGlzcGxheQ%3D%3D&order_col=&order=&subcat_uid=672 ?????

I dont mind paying ?30 or 40 for a 64MB (the game says it wants 32MB of video card RAM) card if that will make it work properly.

Also, are these graphics cards just "plug in and go" or do I have to disable the integrated bit, or will the PC use both?

Edit - Just looked on the "dxdiag" thing for directX, and under the display tap, it says the graphics card has 64MB assigned:-

Posted Image
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,932 Posts
lol, your on a mission here arent you! [H]

You can just plug in a PCI card and it will disable your onboard graphics! Does seem odd that your system memory still says 512MB though!

see if it will let you change your amount of video memory in BIOS first! upon booting up, hit DELETE or F2, depends on your computer then have a play in there!

thing with graphics cards its not just down to the memory it uses, there are things like the speed on the processor for the card and also the speed the memory runs at! Your always gonna be better of with a dedicated card! I wont get onto dual SLI cards, unless u wanna spend ?500+ [6]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,881 Posts
I'm doubting as to whether its your video card now thats the problem. The reason that it won't have taken any of the memory away is that you might actually have 584mb Ram or the card itself has 64mb onboard.

Also, having looked up your card, there are no known issues with the card and the game:
http://support.intel.com/support/graphics/sb/cs-010470.htm?iid=graphics+845main

Other steps to eliminate:

- Are you on the internet when you try and play? If so, disconnect from the internet and remove the network cable from the router/modem. This will eliminate any spyware issues/viruses that you have on your system. You will know if you have a problem because it will either give you loads of error messages of 'so and so is trying to connect to the internet' when you have loaded and are playing the game, or the game will run smoothly as any applications running behind, won't have access to the net.

- Is the sound in the game ok, as in, is it crackly? Does the game 'hang' when sound happens, background music for instance.

- Download and re-install DirectX9

- Remove and re-install the game

- Have you noticed any 'slowness' issues before when trying to load certain files or programs, that doesnt happen on others? Just thinking that you could have a bad cluster on the HDD which is causing the game to hang.

- Clean the CD, it's amazing how much cleaning a CD can do!

- Is the CD spinning in the tray when the game hangs? I.e. do you hear a whooshing noise when it's hanging there or has gone slow?

- If all this fails, chuck the game away, it's crap anyway!

Let me know if any of that helps anyway, as it doesnt look to be your graphics card to be honest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
689 Posts
For the money, i would go for a new graphics card.

I got a ATI Radeon, 256mb card from micro direct for about ?42 and its excellent. (AGP not sure if the price differs much)

Perhaps also consider spending ?30 on another 512mb of RAM, more and more programs will need more RAM and its more often than not the weak link slowing PCs down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Right.....

Not on 'net when playing, and norton (virus and firewall) is all turned off.

Sound is perfectly fine, even when it does hang, the sounds and game music are still playing fine while I'm waiting for it to come back to life - its just the graphics/display that slows down and sticks.

Re-installed DX9 and game already - still the same

Slowness not a problem on other things.

CD is not spinning when it hangs, its just when something changes "graphically" (if thats a real word!)

So whats the general consensus? - try the BIOS thing first, and give the graphics loads of memory? how much of the 512 is it safe to give it without causing any issues with the windows OS? - and how do you alter it too [:$]

Failing that, I might try sticking a PCI graphics card in then. Can anyone recommend one for me to get.....with all this about what processor and RAM speed of the card (getting "befuddled" now [:S])

BTW, thanks for all the help so far too guys [Y], just a bit more and I might be able to get this thing sorted [<:eek:)]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,626 Posts
Your motherboard has a space for an AGP slot, but one was not soldered on, this is typical for high-volume series produced machines where cost is critical, they'll leave out everything they can.

You could plug in a PCI graphics card, but that may not be a worthwhile long term investment, as integrated graphics these days is actually on the AGP interface, which has dedicated high speed connections just for graphics. Playing intense 3D games with a PCI card will slow down the rest of the system as PCI is shared with more or less everything else.

Modern integrated graphics can be quite good, on my laptop (Sony Vaio FS115B) it beats the Asus AGP-V6800 on my desktop (absolute king of GeForce 256 DDR cards when it came out, cost three times as much as the motherboard) fair and square. That put my initial reservations aside. Intel Extreme is a bit dated though and not a patch on the latest integrated graphics. The problem is, as mentioned, using PCI hogs system bandwidth (congests the roads for other users of the system).

The others have given loads of advice on possible software conflicts, you've also got to consider whether you'll be playing a lot of PC games. If so it's worth upgrading. I no longer play games on my PC, I have to trouble-shoot the blasted things all day and last thing I want is to play games on them and mess about with settings. Bought a PS2 instead [:D]

If you are careful in your choice, you can build a much faster PC than you have at the moment, using top quality parts, for under ?400. I've done plenty for friends and family. Have a quick look at http://www.overclockers.co.uk to get an idea of the sort of things you can buy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,626 Posts
Also, are these graphics cards just "plug in and go" or do I have to disable the integrated bit, or will the PC use both?
If the seller has included all the CDs, you might have to run the installation program, if the card is particularly old, Windows XP may well detect and automatically install it from its current internal database of drivers.

The integrated bit will be AGP. You can run this alongside PCI for dual monitor desktop (just like financial traders in the city), but few games will support multiple screens. Indeed you can stuff in as many PCI graphics cards as you have free PCI slots and have that many monitors. One screen for your e-mail, one for internet, one for Word, one for Excel... [:)]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,932 Posts
u can probably upgrade the onboard graphics to a max of 128MB! try checking the manual for this, or going to http://support.euro.dell.com/uk/en/home.asp and entering your system tag and viewing the manual online if u dont have one/lost it!

also, make sure your hardware acceleration is on full!

Desktop>Right Click>Properties>Settings>Advanced>Troubleshoot! Thats where it is on mine, maybe in a similar place

cannot think of anything else to suggest except try scanning for spyware buy using adaware or spybot!

HTH
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Playing intense 3D games with a PCI card will slow down the rest of the system as PCI is shared with more or less everything else.

The problem is, as mentioned, using PCI hogs system bandwidth (congests the roads for other users of the system).
What do you mean by slow down the rest of the system as its shared? - while playing the game, thats ALL i will be doing at the time, not having anything else running at same time anyway. Do you mean for if I have internet or something running in background at same time?

And there will also be no other users, as its not on a network.

Is this what you were meaning?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,213 Posts
Hi fella,

From looking at the pics and the spec of your PC, I would suggest the following, get you self another motherboard, and seperate AGP graphics, or buy one of the newer motherboards out and a PCI-e graphics card. Provided you match the m/b to the Processor/RAM you already have it will be a simple swap (if you're up to this)

Components shouldnt cost you much more than a ?100.00 really, as soon as you do this you will be able to play games alot better..

The problems you are experiencing are the reason you shouldnt buy onboard graphics motherboards with no AGP slot... unless the onbaord graphics card is very good!

I have some old m/bs and graphics cards that will do the job if you want a bargain?? PM me m8
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top