Planetside Freezes/Crashes

Lately, I haven’t been able to play 5 minutes straight in Planetside without a hard freeze or a crash-to-desktop. I’ve browsed the official game site and tech support forums, but can’t figure out what the hell is causing it. Right now, my comp specs are:

Athlon XP1800+
512MB PC2100 DDR
GeForce4 Ti4200 64MB
1 Western Digital 80GB 7200RPM 8MB-buffer drive
2 Maxtor 20GB 7200RPM 2MB buffer drives

I know this started when they released that patch last week with a crash bug, but my game is up-to-date with the follow-up patches that fixed that. And yet, my game still hard-locks my system on a regular basis now.

Goddamn do I hate PC games at times like this.

First guess is the SB Live. Turn off sound acceleration and see what happens.

Actually I think I semi-fixed it tonight. Every time my machine hard-froze while playing Planetside, I’d have to reboot the comp. And I noticed every time it did this, the boot diagnostic would report a system temp of 185-190 degrees Fahrenheit. Honestly, my comp runs hot as hell (“regular” temperature hovers around 160-170 Fahrenheit), but I guess the CPU and Graphics intensity of Planetside pushes the system over its limit.

So I took the side panels off my computer, moved it from under the desk to on top of the desk, and turned an electric fan on, full-blast, aimed at the inside of the comp. I then started up Planetside, and proceeded to play, crash-free, for an hour. When I rebooted my system, the temperature reported was 170.

And yes, I know my computer runs insanely hot. I’m not sure why, though - I have 2 rear 80mm fans, a Thermaltake Volcano 6cu on my cpu, and the stock fan on my GeForce4 Ti4200. Could it be a power issue? I’m using a 300W power supply to run my cpu/mobo, vidcard, 3 hard drives, 2 optical drives, and 4 fans.

I used to have a slotfan positioned below my video card, but it, uh, melted awhile back. Basically, it stopped working, and when I pulled it out and took a look at it, the actual fan motor and plastic housing around it were warped/melted.

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Are you sure the fans are all actually working? Like is the GPU fan spinning? If stuff is melting, that’s a huge problem. Also, when your system was under the desk was there adequate ventelation room? Do the intake and exhaust fans have access to open air, it’s not tucked against a wall or under a pile of laundry or anything?

Well shit, the goddamned GeForce4 fan stopped working. That would probably explain the meltdown of the slot fan positioned below it. Might also explain the shutdowns during Planetside. :cry:

Hmm, maybe this’ll give me a good excuse to upgrade my case, as well as get a whole new set of cooling fans.

Yeah, melting would be a concern :)

You can pick up replacement GF4 heatsink+fans pretty easily. CompUSA (believe it or not) has been focusing more and more on having all sorts of bits that you might normally find only at Frys or online, so if one is convenient to you, they should have several to choose from in the <$20 range.

2 rear exhaust fans and no intake fan creates a vacuum, which leads to heat. You have to introduce cool air as well as remove heat. I would suggest moving one of the rear exhaust fans to the front and making it an intake fan. You also might have dust clogging your CPU fan, video card fan and system fans. If you use a can of compressed air, keep the can upright at all times, or else it will spray frozen gas. Use short bursts. Hold the fan down with a finger so it doesn’t spin while you’re trying to clean. You shouldn’t have to remove the fan and clean the heatsink underneath unless the whole thing looks badly clogged.

You may also want to consider re-applying the CPU thermal grease, or check to make sure the CPU and heatsink are making 100% contact. No scratches and definitely no gaps. Gaps are bad. Dab some grease (preferably silver polysynthetic like Artic Silver 3) about the size of half a grain of rice and spread it around with your finger. You can stick your finger in a plastic bag and use that as a glove. Don’t forget to clean the old gunk off the CPU and heatsink first with some rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab. Toilet paper is an acceptable second choice.

Oh, and I’d recommend a 400W power supply for that particular setup. Antec and Enermax are good choices. Some folks also vouch for PC Power and Cooling.

All what he said, but also:

It’s not a bad idea to have a little more air blowing into your case than blowing out. This creates an outward airflow on all the little cracks and crevices and prevents them from getting clogged up with dust.