Freeze to reboot crashes when playing MMOs

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Hugbees, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. Hugbees macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    #1
    So lately I've been playing some MMOs and been having some very serious issues with them. I will get these crashes at random points of playing that bring my computer to a halt for a few seconds, and then the computer reboots. This occurs pretty much randomly with no reason for it doing so.

    Currently running an iMac with:

    Windows XP Pro

    ATI Radeon X1600 - 256mb graphics card (I think this may be my problem)

    intel p4 dual core 2.5 ghz processor

    2gb ram

    I surpass the recommended for Everquest 2, and meet the recommended for Warhammer Online.

    The problem with my crashes is that they don't come coupled with an error message, the game just freezes, stutters, and I have to reboot my computer. These crashes are also very random. I can play for hours on end before it happens, it could not happen at all, or I could crash within minutes of logging in. Yesterday I only crashed once, and today I didn't crash for several hours, crashed, logged back in and crashed within 5 minutes.

    I could be sitting in town and I crash, or doing intense PvP and I crash. Likewise I could do PvP with many players and spell effects on screen for hours and not crash, go away for a few minutes afterward in town to make a sandwich, come back, and be back in OS:X!

    There's no consistency to these crashes so identifying a cause is pretty much impossible.

    Things I've tried

    -disabling autoreboot on system failure (apparently not a system failure)

    -underclocking my graphics card (using ATItool)

    -increasing fan speeds (it's not overheating)

    -lowering settings in the game (nothing still)

    -updating my drivers (nope)

    The list goes on, but I've tried pretty much everything I can think of, and still get these horrid crashes.

    One thing to note is that I only crash when playing MMOs, specifically Warhammer and Everquest 2. On the same exact computer I've played Oblivion and Spore, non MMOs that have much higher requirements than the WAR and EQ2, but I never encountered any problems.

    I've played:

    Gothic 2
    Black And White 2
    Oblivion
    Team Fortress 2
    Guild Wars
    Spore

    and none of these ever gave me the problem I'm having now.

    A few people I've seen post say they upgraded to Vista from XP and their crashes stopped, but after they posted about it once I didn't hear from them again so I don't have enough evidence to say this is the case for sure. I'd buy Vista to be able to play again but I need to know for sure it's the problem.

    The one problem I pointed out in the beginning was my graphics card. I heard that EQ2 and WAR are optimized for nVidia cards, but I don't think it should really matter as long as it as the proper amount of memory in it. Even so, there is no way to change a graphics card with an iMac is there?
     
  2. Hugbees thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 13, 2007
    #2
    important question:

    I may an iMac5,1 with an ATI x1600 graphics card, is this integrated or not?
     
  3. XianPalin macrumors 6502

    XianPalin

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    #3
    Integrated, no way to change the card. It sounds like some sort of overheating issue, but you say you upped the fan speed and that didn't help, so I'm not sure.

    You might try downloading a memory test program and run one of them, I think you can get ones that you burn to a cd and boot and it runs tests, maybe you have some bad memory? Unfortunately, those tests can take a long time.
     
  4. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #4
    The iMac has a dedicated graphics card, however it is soldered to the board. So you can't replace it. In your case, you must have gotten the upgraded card (256) in the 20" early 2006 model.

    It is not a bad chip, but not the best either. Maybe you have a bad driver or the games are buggy on your system. The computer isn't the newest either.
     
  5. Hugbees thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 13, 2007
    #5
    Well if I do a memory test and it ends up being bad, that can be replaced right?
     
  6. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6
    If you bought Applecare and your graphics card goes bad, they will replace the whole board. If you have no warranty, then you are out of luck.

    Unless you are talking about buying RAM (not graphics) from a third party who gives you RAM that goes bad for some reason, then yes they will replace it for you. Though usually bad RAM is bad RAM from the beginning.

    How do you know the heat isn't causing a problem? Are you tracking it during game use? Are you seeing any graphics artifacts before it restarts on its own?
     
  7. Hugbees thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 13, 2007
    #7
    I monitored the temps and I would crash without breaking 60 celsius.
     
  8. Hugbees thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 13, 2007
    #8
    HOLD IT

    I just had a thought.

    Both EQ2 and WAR require 1gb a ram to play (WAR 1gb minimum, EQ2 1gb recommended)

    Is it possible that macs need to use up more memory to process data, so 2gb may be insufficient to run the game?
     
  9. Hugbees thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 13, 2007
    #9
    I crashed in EQ2 while it was using around 470,000 memory, so I don't think its a memory problem ><
     
  10. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #10
    2GB isn't insufficient to run those games, and anyway unless you had bad RAM I don't think it would cause this kind of crash.

    Have you had any crashes with games in OS X? I know WAR and EQ2 aren't available for Mac but is there anything else you could try like WoW? That would help determine if it were a Windows issue only.
     
  11. Hugbees thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 13, 2007
    #11
    I've played WoW for over a year using a Mac, never once have I crashed in any way playing it. I could multi task too, check email, IM, and everything with no issue.

    WoW isn't resource heavy either.

    I've compared other games I have to EQ2 and WAR, and a lot (except for Team Fortress 2, which is 1g recommended too, but never crashes) require 512mb ram, which is what WoW has too.

    So I assume I just don't have enough RAM to run the games. But is it true macs need to use more memory to run games than a PC? Or should it not matter?
     
  12. Hugbees thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 13, 2007
    #12
    I don't mean to keep double posting but I'm trying to keep this as close to the top as possible because I only have 6 days in my EQ2 trial so if that runs out I won't be able to test possibilities at all so I'm trying to get a cause before then:

    Earlier I was playing EQ2 and no crashing, all was well. I played for about an hour and a half or so. I went afk and left the game on, and was gone for about 2 hours. I return and start moving and 10 seconds after that I crashed out.

    This to me sounds like I was storing up memory, but it wasn't really being utilized. I was in a mostly still area with maybe 1 or 2 things moving on screen. I'd have to assume that moving after storing all that memory made it register a lot more and then caused my crash.

    I doubt it was a coincidence that I'm there that whole time and no problem, and then the moment I return it crashes.

    Another question:

    How many slots for RAM does an iMac have? It's a model iMac5,1. Not sure what else I need to say for anyone to know.
     
  13. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 23, 2007
    #13
    First of all, you have a Core Duo or a Core 2 Duo processor, not a Pentium 4 processor. Core Duo/Core 2 Duo is the actual branding.

    Anyway. You said it's not breaking 60 C. 60 C for what? The case temperature, the CPU, the GPU? What?

    If it's the CPU, how do you know that the GPU isn't overheating. If it's the GPU, how do you know the CPU isn't overheating?

    Do you play those other games hours on end. Generally people play MMOs for longer periods of time than they do those other games, because for many people MMOs, are addicting.

    You probably have a heavy collection of dust in the case of your iMac that resulted over time. If you could get in there, you could try removing the dust and seeing if that helped at all.

    And you brought up memory. That Apple logo doesn't change how the computer functions in Windows. In Windows, it's no different than a PC.

    If you want to see your your CPU temperatures, there's a neat utility called Core Temp. In the options, there should be an option to log your temperatures, so you can play until it crashes and when you restart, you can check the log to see how hot the CPU was when it crashed. I know of nothing similar for the GPU.
     
  14. Hugbees thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 13, 2007
    #14
    Well I've determined it's not overheating, and for playing the games, I don't play them too long, but even if I could I can't play the MMOs for too long else I crash :eek:

    I'm certain it's ram though, unless someone can tell me otherwise. I'm not sure what else it could be.
     
  15. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 23, 2007
    #15
    Wtf have you done to rule out overheating? Everything you describe is a result of overheating!

    The fact that one component may not be overheating, doesn't mean that the others aren't either!

    You still didn't tell me what that temperature is a reading of? The GPU, the CPU, the case temperature? Is this 60 C the temperature before crashing, or just some random reading?

    If you think it's RAM, go run memtest, but RAM problems yields a IRQL Less than or equal error, not just a random freeze and restart with no BSOD. It's possible that it can happen, but generally what you're describing is overheating or a bad Power Supply Unit, which I doubt it's the latter of the two. The overall design of the iMac lends it being very prone to overheating.
     
  16. Hugbees thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 13, 2007
    #16
    I was using PC Wizard and it monitored the temps of the processor cores. That's what was 60c
     
  17. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 23, 2007
    #17
    Which reading are you looking at? There are 2 readings. There's one that says "Processor Temperature" with one reading and then there should be 2 readings under "Processor." Those 2 readings are the readings from your processor's diode, not from a diode placed near the CPU. What's your GPU temperature before crashing.

    Are you actively watching all of your temperatures before the crash?

    I would get the dust out of your iMac. All it costs is the cost of a can of compressed air. It's a lot less hassle free and costs less money than replacing your memory.

    Also, is this 60C when the computer is idle and when you're not playing a game OR, is it right before the crash? You need to be specific with this stuff. I can't read your mind.
     
  18. Hugbees thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 13, 2007
    #18
    I'm sorry, I've just been so flustered by this it's making me crazy.

    When I minimize PC Wizard it pops up another window, and all it says for temps is, for example:

    Core 1: 58c
    Core 2: 60c

    It doesn't say anything other than that, but I'm fairly sure its the processor.

    As for the temps, when my computer is sitting there, with no input or any games running it runs at around 40-45c.

    When playing a game, it jacks up at 55 to 60c normally and tends to stay there.

    The other day I was playing EQ2 and it was staying at 63-65c and no crash for a while, but then later it crashed at 60c and 58c

    Also, if I spray air into my computer, would I just do it in the slot where the ram goes? only opening I see there.

    So if it is overheating, is it fixable?
     
  19. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 23, 2007
    #19
    In PC Wizard 08, in the actual program itself, you should see an icon, under "Hardware" that looks like a meter with a + and - sign. When you hover over it, a pop-up should say that it's the voltage, temperature and fans page. Click it.

    If you click it, you should see a bunch of readings.

    You should see a GPU temperature reading. What is that reading when gaming for a while or before the game crashes?

    If it's not there, then I can't think of any other program that can measure ATi video cards' temperatures.

    What you need to do is get the dust out of the case. That means you need to open up your iMac and blow the dust out. If you have a memory problem, and you need to replace the memory, then you would need to open up the iMac anyway.

    If you don't know how to (I don't, since I don't have one, but I read it's pretty tough), then, you need to find someone who can and will do it for you. I can't help you out there.
     
  20. Hugbees thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 13, 2007
    #20
    The only temps that are showing up when I do this are:

    Core 1
    Core 2
    Hard Disk WDC

    There is no temperature for my graphics card anywhere.
     
  21. Hugbees thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 13, 2007
    #21
    The only temps that are showing up when I do this are:

    Core 1
    Core 2
    Hard Disk WDC

    There is no temperature for my graphics card anywhere.

    I know how to open up the memory case, there's instructions that came with my iMac that tells me how to open it, so I just open that up and spray the air in it?

    Oops, double post. bleh
     
  22. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 23, 2007
    #22
    You need to open up the entire casing. You need to expose the entire insides. If you just blow air into the RAM upgrade panel, you're just going to move the dust inside. The goal is to remove the dust.
     
  23. Hugbees thread starter macrumors regular

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  24. Hugbees thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 13, 2007
  25. Hugbees thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 13, 2007
    #25
    I had a bit of a run in with another MMO, Perfect World International, and had a problem with alt-tabbing out of the game. It wouldn't work well and I posted on the forums for a fix for it.

    Apparently, installing the East Asian Language pack from the Windows XP disc allows me to alt tab out of the game. Now Perfect World is a korean made game, but a simple language pack shouldn't fix a technical problem like that, right? Well it seems to, and I was playing Everquest 2 earlier today for 2 hours and did not have a single crash.

    It's still too soon to say that the pack fixed my problem, or it simply the problem fixed itself, but can someone confirm what exactly the language pack does? It seems to do more than install fonts that make the characters readable if it can fix alttabbing issues
     

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