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Old 04-05-2006, 11:25 AM   #1
i4laine
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Big Grin Screen Saver Questions

My brother-in-law purchased the bundled Aquarium screen saver. He
has a HP 8756c computer which was recently updated to the Nvidia
graphics 6600 card with 3D. The screen saver freezes within 10 minutes
and locks the computer up. He loves this screen saver and has said
if we can't get it to run, he's going to scrap the PC and buy a new one. That's how much he loves it. We have tried changing the frame time,
we have changed to 16 bit..Nothing seems to work. Downloaded the latest drivers from Nvidia. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
(We have completely reinstalled XP Home Edition doing a clean install)

Thanks
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Old 04-05-2006, 11:49 AM   #2
feldon34
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Welcome to the forums and sorry you are having trouble with the Aquarium.

That is indeed an old computer, but I'd like to try some more to get it working.

When you run the Aquarium, can you press the "S" key to bring up a little status display at the upper left corner of the screen?

You should see something like:
62.24 fps (1024x768x16) Direct3D HAL v.2.0.2403

Can you tell me what it says on your screen? The first number will change, I just need an average. Also, confirm that it says "Direct3D HAL" and not "RGB Emulation".
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Old 04-05-2006, 11:55 AM   #3
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Have you tried running any other 3D applications to see if they last. With that old of a system, I would also question heat or maybe the PS giving problems, or not rated high enough for that video card. Also if you can look and let us know exactly which video driver version you are running.
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Old 04-05-2006, 12:57 PM   #4
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Also make sure that "Limit Frame Rate" is ON in the Aquarium settings. It's possible that runaway frame rates are overheating the graphics card.
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Old 04-05-2006, 04:49 PM   #5
Edgar
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Check your power supply rating.
The 6600 requires a good stable 350W or more depending on the other peripherals that you have. I had to change my power supply to a 450W.
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Old 04-06-2006, 05:43 AM   #6
i4laine
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Cool Questions

Thanks so much for the great responses!!!

On the status window this is what he is getting -
The average is 21 -
1024x768 Direct 3D Hal.vsynch..ignored, NA06.1.0.2

We had already replaced the power supply and it is a 400 w.
I had downloaded the latest drivers for the NVidia..But after trying
everything, I did a clean install. So the drivers are the original ones
that came with the CD..I also installed the DirectX 9 that was on the CD.

Thanks again for the help.
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Old 04-06-2006, 06:53 AM   #7
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You are only getting 21 fps on that card? That is pitifully slow performance out of that card and I would be very unhappy with that result.

Press the SPACE bar to bring up Settings and go to the Settings page and set the Limit frame rate to 20fps.
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Old 04-06-2006, 07:26 AM   #8
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You do NOT need a 350 W PSU in order to run a 6600. Looking at this article at XBitsLabs reports that a 6600GT draws less than 48W and a 6600 GDDR2 gets by with ~28W.

Since the 850 MHz Pentium III in the above mentioned HP uses less than 30W I fail to see what would be consuming the other ~275W. The built-in toaster-oven?

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I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.
" /Robert Oppenheimer on witnessing the first thermonuclear detonation in history.
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Old 04-06-2006, 07:46 AM   #9
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I would like to know what exact driver version you are using. If it is really that old it could be the problem. Running new hardware with drivers that old is problematic at best, no matter what nVidia says.
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Old 04-06-2006, 08:13 AM   #10
i4laine
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Questions

This is the driver that I downloaded for the Graphics card...If there is something else I can tell you on this, please let me know.

ForceWare Release 80 graphics driver is the graphics driver for all NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs). ForceWare Release 80 supports 2D graphics, DirectX 9, OpenGL 2.0, nView Desktop Management software version 3.5, NVRotate. NVKeystone, Digital Vibrance Control and includes a new control panel.

Thanks again for all your help on this problem.
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Old 04-06-2006, 08:30 AM   #11
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The latest driver version is 84.21 WHQL. In the 6600 series video cards these are supported:
GeForce 6600*
GeForce 6600 LE*
GeForce 6600 VE*
GeForce 6600 GT*

If driver version 84.21 is what you have, then it should be fine. Some cards are not supported with different versions, which is what I was checking for. I must have originally misread your post as I thought you had said you were using the new card with the old drivers that came with the system. If you have properly installed DirectX and your drivers then that should not be your problem.

Have you tried any other 3D applications to make sure that they will work fine on your system?

Go to your start button, then click "Run" and type DxDiag in the white box. When the window comes up it will tell you exactly which driver version you are using. You can also run some 3D tests there to make sure everything is working properly.
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Old 04-06-2006, 08:44 AM   #12
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If you are using the drivers from the cd that came with the video card, you could be developing some problems from those as well. Those are usualy tweaked by the card manufacturer, and not always for the best. It might be just a matter of having you download different drivers from nvidia and installing them.
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Old 04-06-2006, 09:07 AM   #13
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Tiny,
I had a 350W on my computer with CD, DVD, 2 hard drive, the video card, 1.5GB of memory and the card reported that I did not have enough power.
Of course, in his system he probably has enough power, but probably overheating is the cause.
Try running with the side cover off and a fan pointed to the system to see if it last longer than 10 minutes. If it does, then overheating is the cause.
Also turn off Standby mode if it is enabled to see if that will fix the problem.
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Old 04-06-2006, 09:56 AM   #14
i4laine
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Questions

Again. you all have a great board here for me to receive so many
helpful suggestions.

Did the status line: 1024x768 Direct 3D Hal.vsynch..ignored, NA06.1.0.2
mean anything since it had an "ignored" statement? Just wondering
if something might be wrong here?

Thanks again.
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:08 AM   #15
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The easiest way to check the heat is start the aquarium and hit the space bar, click the settings tab, then check mark the "Limit Frame Rate" box and set the slider to ~20 or 2-3 frames BELOW your average. This will force the frame rate to that level and cut down on your cpu usage and some of your heat levels. See if this makes a difference.
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:25 AM   #16
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Vsync being turned off or ignored is no big deal.

The reason we keep suggesting changing the driver is because 21fps average seems VERY low for that 6600 video card. It should do 60fps very easily which looks a lot smoother and more lifelike than 21fps.

The Limit Frame Rate is to protect your computer from what we are guessing is an overheating problem.


Two separate problems. Your computer locking up. Your computer not running the Aquarium to our expectations.
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Old 04-06-2006, 11:11 AM   #17
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I was going to say the drivers that come with the 6600 are junk. You must up date to the latest driver to get the card to work great. I just got the 6600 AGP w/256mb and with the new drivers it runs great.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
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Old 04-06-2006, 11:16 AM   #18
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Also, did you connect a power cord to the card? I forgot that once and everything ran but it ran bad.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
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Old 04-06-2006, 11:36 AM   #19
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Excellent suggestion Ed, I didn't think of that one.
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Old 04-06-2006, 11:56 AM   #20
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The 6600 is the last gasp of AGP cards. It was designed to give awesome performance to those who have not yet transitioned to PCI Express. The GeForce 6600 GT AGP has an auxiliary power connector. These video card companies dumped AGP so fast it made my head spin. There are millions of people that could still use AGP cards and the cards are basically gone.

Based on some research, the 6600 AGP should be capable of literally HUNDREDS of frames per second of animation when running the Aquarium, although anything above 100 is not discernable unless you have super human vision. I can tell the difference between 60 and 85. If the 6600 AGP can run Doom 3, which has 20x the graphical complexity of the Aquarium, at 85 frames per second, there's really no reason it can't run the Aquarium smoothly.

Even though that Pentium III processor holds you back quite a bit in games, the Aquarium ran acceptably on a Pentium II 450 with a good video card, so again that shouldn't be a factor.
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