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Old 04-12-2009, 08:02 AM   #1
AfroSamurai
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Question [SOLVED] PC crash

Hi everyone,

I tried the Marine Aquarium 3 Beta (incredibly awesome by the way) and I would really like to buy it when the completed stable version comes out but for now, I have a major bug issue.

Don't know if its my PC or something I forgot to do but after 3-4 minutes or so, it crashes then my PC starts to reboot and freezes in the middle of the process. And my PC fan goes wild. Every time, I have to press my PCs reset button. I tried the 2.6 trial version and this one works great.

Any ideas how to fix this?

My PC specs are:
  • Windows Vista Home Edition Premium 32 bits Service Pack 1
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 6000+ 3.01 GHz
  • 4,00 GiG of RAM
  • Graphic card : NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT
**And running on a clean install of Vista.

Please help and tell me I will be able to use this wonderful screensaver.

Big thanks in advance!

Last edited by AfroSamurai; 04-12-2009 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:18 AM   #2
feldon34
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First, welcome to the forums!

Second, thanks for trying out Marine Aquarium 3 and giving us your feedback.

Your graphics card is overheating. Press the UP arrow several times to increase the "Sleep" setting. This will reduce the Aquarium's usage of your graphics card. Marine Aquarium 3 will eventually include a slider in the control panel to adjust the framerate.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:59 AM   #3
AfroSamurai
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Thank you for your welcome and quick answer.

Now, I've done what you said and it seems to work but, it doesn't look fluid as before. The fish movement is all jerked. I don't understand, the version 2.6 works flawlessly with all the settings at max... even did a graphic card driver update.

And now, if I put the default settings on MA3, it takes about 30 sec for my PC to crash. Note that the fan does not run fast when MA3 is running but when the PC is frozen in the reboot process.

Is MA3 so demanding? I mean, my graphic card isn't the top but it's pretty dam good to play PC games with settings at max. So how come a simple screen saver makes my PC crash like this?
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:25 AM   #4
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I'll let others comment about the "load" of MA3 - which is substantially more than MA2.6.

Suggestion:

If your PC is not really new, I would suggest checking whether the fans are working OK, dust bunnies removed, inlets/outlets not blocked, etc.

In particular, check to see that the CPU fan is actually running. And graphics card fan, if applicable. It's quite possible for the CPU fan to quit running and everything seem OK - until some other application comes along.
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:30 AM   #5
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Although the whole reason for MA3's existance is to take advantage of the advances in graphics cards in the last 10 years, your nVidia 9600 should be more than enough card to handle it without overheating. What frame rate are you getting? The Sleep setting should be used to adjust the frame rate to about 60 frames-per-second, which gives smooth animation without wasting energy painting frames which will never be shown.

I'm not completely convinced that overheating is causing your problem, since the fan doesn't come on until after the lockup. My wife's computer often does this when using MSN, and we've never figured out why.
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:55 PM   #6
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Originally posted by AfroSamurai:
Thank you for your welcome and quick answer.

Now, I've done what you said and it seems to work but, it doesn't look fluid as before. The fish movement is all jerked. I don't understand, the version 2.6 works flawlessly with all the settings at max... even did a graphic card driver update.  
I was just about to suggest upgrading your drivers. As Jim said, the 9600 should be able to run the Aquarium very smoothly.

With a sleep setting of 0, the Aquarium is generating hundreds of frames per second of animation, of which only 60 per second are actually seen. It
"races" the video card and processor to 100% of their ability.

When you run the Aquarium 3, can you press the S key so that the yellow text is at the top and tell us what it says?

Mine says:
81.00 fps (1280x1024x32) #0 Beta9
HAL (pure hw vp): NVIDIA GeForce 7050 / NVIDIA nForce 610i
Timing Clamp 0.10 Sleep(10)


Originally posted by AfroSamurai:
Is MA3 so demanding? I mean, my graphic card isn't the top but it's pretty dam good to play PC games with settings at max. So how come a simple screen saver makes my PC crash like this?  
Again, it is surprising that the Aquarium is not running smoothly on your PC. One setting you can try is press SPACE bar and go to Display Settings and toggle the [X] Wait for vertical sync setting so it is ON. See if that smooths out the animation.

If you press the "W" key, you'll see that the Aquarium is not a "simple screen saver". It is a fully 3D DirectX 8 aquarium simulation which can also be run as a screen saver. But it works on on-board video so there is no reason why we cannot figure out how to get it working smoothly on your 9600.

Look forward to hearing your reply.
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:16 PM   #7
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Do you have your graphics card overclocked? I had my 9600gt card oc'd at 800\2000\2100 (gpu,shaders,memory). I had all kinds of problems with the aquarium with these settings. Everything thing else ran fine though. Dropped settings to 780\1920\2000 and no more problems. My other programs also run fine with no noticable performance impact. Plus my card is still oc'd well above factory settings. I also had stuttering if the aquarium was set to 1024x768 which is my native resolution. I set it to 1600x1200, in the aquarium settings only, and it is smooth as butter. Sleep is set at 13 and my card stays at 42C, which is excellant. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:03 PM   #8
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Does your GPU have a fan or just a heat sync?
Bat rays? We don't need no stinking bat rays!
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Old 04-12-2009, 04:36 PM   #9
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I have a Zalman vf1000 fan and heatsink for the card. I think it is the best graphics card cooler out there. But again, even with the great low temps I still had to find a sweet spot for the overclocking when running the aquarium. I don't play games online so low frame rates aren't that important. I just like to experiment with the overclocking. Besides, I have the xfx alpha dog edition of the 9600gt and it comes with a lifetime warranty no matter how much you push it. Also using OCZ thermal paste. It is a little more explensive than arctic silver but my cpu and graphics card came down 2 to 3 degrees celcius with the OCZ stuff.
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:27 PM   #10
AfroSamurai
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Hi people,

Thanks for your help! I think I found the problem! Although I can't explain the why and the what!

So, it still crashed even with this setting :


So then, I tried to change the display settings of MA3 to this (1680x1050)


and even with sleep at 10 and 111.12 fps, it now runs flawlessly!

So it seems that MA3 doesn't like my native resolution of 1440x900. Thanks to Overlord for the tip!

Now it looks great! So... can anyone give an approximate time window on when the MA3 final version will come out? Weeks? Months? Can't wait to buy it!!!
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:41 PM   #11
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I'll be adding and improving things for the rest of my life, so the "final" version will be the day I die. I don't have a firm schedule for that yet.
Jim Sachs
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:53 PM   #12
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Originally posted by AfroSamurai:
Now it looks great! So... can anyone give an approximate time window on when the MA3 final version will come out? Weeks? Months? Can't wait to buy it!!!  
Glad to hear it's working well. You can buy it right now and you'll be good to go for many versions of 3.x to come. Clams came out today!!
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:15 AM   #13
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Hi guys,

Just a little question here since you seem to know a lot about Graphic cards settings (which I do not! ) and I'd like your opinion before I risk blowing my card up! I really don't want that to happen! ...

I've downloaded and installed RivaTuner to play with the settings of my GeForce 9600 GT and here are my present default settings:



So can you help me in having the optimum settings here?

Like at the line " Enable driver-level hardware overclocking ", it is set to "standard 2D" but there are also "low power 3D" and "performance 3D". Which one should I pick?

Also, what values should I set for Core clock, Shader clock and Memory clock?

And finally, I imagine that I should tic the "Apply overclocking at Windows startup" box, right?

Sorry for being so lame on this but I really don't know that much about graphic cards.

Thanks a lot for your help!

P.S. Here's a look at the other tabs in RivaTuner, I maybe need help there to?





Thanks again!
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:25 AM   #14
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Before Anyone answers those questions for you, I guess my first question is why?

Are you playing games that are giving you problems and don't run well, and you are trying to eek a few extra fps out of your card?

If not and everything is going/playing/working well already I would advise you to leave the settings alone and run it at stock speeds.

Anytime you overclock your hardware you are creating much more heat than the heatsinks were designed for, and you are shortening the life of your card, period. You can change it to the point that your card will die on the spot, I know, I've done it and fried a card in the past.

That being said, just knowing what level your card is ( 9600 GT ) doesn't help us, what brand is it so we can research and see what speeds its supposed to run at, and how well it overclocks to start with. Some cards you might not get more than a percent or two out of before frying them, others might go higher...................

Also realize that there is no SAFE overclocking speed. No matter if you could fry it from playing a game for a few hours with a low OC, or fry it almost immediately from a high OC. You are still taking a chance of it happening by changing the speeds.
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:50 AM   #15
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I agree. You have a GeForce 9600 GT - (mine is only a GeForce 7900 GS) - Why do you feel you need to over-clock? - The 'Optimum' settings are likely to be the default settings. - If it ain't broke, why fix it?
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:44 AM   #16
AfroSamurai
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OK! OK!

Like I said before, I don't know that much about graphic cards and when I red Overlord post in which he said he had change his gpu, shaders and memory, I though this was a thing to do.

But now that you have cleared that out, I won't touch a thing and also uninstall RivaTuner on the spot!

Thanks again!

AfroSamurai out_______________________.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:04 AM   #17
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You can do it, you just need to realize that it is a "crap shoot" to a certain extent. Different card manufacturers build their cards in different manners, some are better equipped to handle overclocking than others.

Different gpu's are the same as well. Some have more headroom for that kind of thing, and others are pushed to almost the limit already just to get where they are.

If you are willing to take the chance, then we are willing to help you with it. I just need for you to realize that you are taking a chance and that you can easily kill the card in a number of ways by doing this. It's your card, so therefore your choice.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:15 AM   #18
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As others have said, the best thing you can do now is change the Sleep() setting until the FPS is around 60ish - any more than that is pointless and will only contribute to over-heating. - I also uninstalled some time ago the version of RivaTuner that I had looked at! - I find that there are adequate adjustments in the nVidia card's settings.
BTW, - On my system I find that Sleep(17) gives around 63fps.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:04 AM   #19
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
I'll be adding and improving things for the rest of my life, so the "final" version will be the day I die. I don't have a firm schedule for that yet.  
Every addition gets better and better! By the way, I forbid you to die.
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:16 AM   #20
AfroSamurai
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Recap!

Well, my initial problem was finally found...

My graphic card was on the verge to burn! lollll I started to have some similar crashes when I was playing games.

Now, I'm back with a bran new GeForce 9800 GT and all is good!

So now I can enjoy all these magnificent graphics pushed to max with no problemo!

Continue your great work Jim!

AfroSamurai.

P.S. Is there a way to set the beta 10b with the yellow stats (in the upper left corner) to not display by default instead of having to press the [S] key every time?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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