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Out of the Blue

Here's a question for those of you more technically apt than myself, which includes my grandma, but I forgot to bring this up at brunch yesterday.

I've been trying to run Battlefield 2 in piggish 1600x1200 on my bust-out retail super-duper 6800 Ultra-OC video card. The card itself seems perfectly capable of running at such high resolution, but I have been getting unexplainable Blue Screen of Death errors in Windows XP with an infinite loop in the NV_DISP driver. The problem does not seem to occur at lower resolutions, but at 16X12 it is intermittent, but inevitable, often preceded by flashes of texture corruption. After a go-through with tech support I cleaned out the old drivers with driver cleaner, reinstalled the latest 77.72 FORCEWARE drivers, and confirmed that if the card's absurdly high 120 degree centigrade heat alarm was not being set off, the problem was probably not thermal.

I then tried again, with the same result.

The BSoD included a message to the effect that the problem was likely with either the driver or the card, so I called back tech support, and was told that it was possible that this was a problem with the application itself. I was then told that in order to demonstrate that the card itself was defective, I was in for the nightmarish prospect of repeatedly reproducing the problem after, a) reinstalling the game, b) using a different 3D app, and c) repeating (a) and (b) on a second machine altogether. Now if that's the process I really must go through to determine the problem, then fair enough, but a Google search on NV_DISP infinite loop errors seems to indicate that this is a problem that's been mysteriously plaguing NVIDIA users for literally years now, and troubleshooting tips range from the useful, like testing your RAM (seven passes by memtest 86 says this wasn't the problem), to the worthless (almost every time someone asks this on a forum he is inundated with driver rollback suggestions, but this has happened with three different driver revisions now), to the spooky (I don't think the most desperate or reckless of users would implement all the different registry hacks I've seen suggested to address this). The one bit of video card related voodoo I still plan I trying here is backing off the AGP speed from 8X to 4X, which worked for me on a different problem once before.

So anyway, my question is simply this (I bet you had almost forgotten by now that I started off promising a question here). Before I embark on the lengthy path set out for me by Mr. Tech Support: is his assertion that the BSoD could be cause by the game code itself is accurate? I know that misbehaving apps are not supposed to be able to crash the system (which to my recollection was genuinely true for my in several years of running Win2K Professional), but I also know that just because something is not supposed to happen, doesn't mean it is impossible (I remember seeing proof-of-concept BSoD code for WinNT that was all of three lines).

So... no application-triggered BSoDs in WinXP... fact, or fiction?

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82 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 1.
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82. Re: No subject Jul 18, 2005, 21:28 Prez
 
This is ONLY an issue if you have insufficient airflow / cooling for your case. A good case will have airflow running over your memory sticks, and they'll be fine even without spreaders.
In fact, memory spreaders piss me off, as the Corsair memory that I got has such wide ones that I CANNOT fit memory in adjacent ports.


Now, I didn't say there WASN'T a downside did I?
But my case has pretty good airflow either way. I was never really sure if this was exactly the issue, but, like I said, I did notice a difference afterwards.

Anyway, I love threads like these because I always end up learning some things from the different hardware suggestions...

 
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81. Re: Same Issue Jul 18, 2005, 19:31 WaltC
 
Actually, the clock speed a 3rd-party OEM sets for the gpu *does not* mean it isn't overclocked. Bin splits are only *assumed* by the buyer in these cases, and the proof is that although the board OEM guarantees your card at the MHz it is clocked to when you buy it, nVidia does *not* guarantee the gpu to your board OEM if clocked beyond its reference boards for the same card design/gpu. IE, a chip dies/malfunctions shipped at a higher clock than nVidia guarantees--the OEM eats it, not nVidia.

My point was to look at the non-OC version of your product as it ships and compare the shipping clock speed of your product with that. *IF* you see that your OC product is clocked higher than the non-OC version (as in nVidia reference version) then when having difficulty the *first thing* to do is to clock the gpu down to the actual speed nVidia guarantees. If your problem remains then you know it's not the clock speed--if your problem disappears then you have found the culprit.

The thing about overclocking gpus is this: some 3d games work fine at clock speeds which cause other 3d-games to fail, and the reason is that every 3d-game stresses the gpu differently. So, some games will fail at higher resolutions
and gpu clocks whereas other games will run fine at those resolutions and clocks.

 
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It is well known that I do not make mistakes--so if you should happen across a mistake in anything I have written, be assured that I did not write it!
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80. Game itself Jul 18, 2005, 13:38 Corn Wizard
 
Try other games- I didn't see that mentioned in here (unless I missed it). I can play 1600x1200 high everything in all games except BF2- it will work but lag and lock at times. My solution was to just set everything to medium and then running @ 1600x1200 in BF2 was not a problem. You really don't lose much by setting everything to medium- just a little pride in knowing you have a sweet card that won't run at fullest settings in BF2 (later patches and drivers will prob fix it).

 
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79. Re: Same Issue Jul 18, 2005, 12:02 Creston
 
19 Amps...

I said Antec and you still worried? That PSU cost me more than most people spend on their case, PSU, and motherboard combined.


To be honest, I didn't read your OOTB blog, as it was too large with too few paragraphs. I get annoyed trying to struggle through large chunks of text, so I just threw out some general PC wisdom.

Creston


 
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78. Re: Same Issue Jul 18, 2005, 12:00 tron
 
What I was saying is that since the BFG card is sold with this clock speed, it's not really overclocked, per se, they are just calling it that.

i agree with you here. blue... my statement was meant to kill of the line of thought that the carmack quote might apply to your situation. it doesn't. i wasn't saying anything about whether your card is technically overclocked or not. it isn't. overclocking is a user-end function. if you buy something that was knowingly overclocked by the manufacturer, then yeah, they have to back up that overclock 100%. your GT vs. Ultra comparison is dead-on.
 
- tron -
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"tron is big and tron is full of action... it's a hell of a ride!"
-from the Tron 2.0 box
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77. Re: Same Issue Jul 18, 2005, 11:43  Blue 
 
if they were overclocked

What I was saying is that since the BFG card is sold with this clock speed, it's not really overclocked, per se, they are just calling it that.

I consider the difference between this card and a 6800 Ultra to be the same as the difference between a 6800 Ultra and a 6800 GT. Same hardware, different clockspeeds, but it's not really o/c'ed if it's bin-sorted and sold as such.


This comment was edited on Jul 18, 11:44.
 
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Stephen "Blue" Heaslip
Blue's News Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, El Presidente for Life
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76. Re: Same Issue Jul 18, 2005, 11:38 tron
 
I do, but that makes its clock speed its default speed... seems if being o/c'ed is the problem, BFG should RMA it under their lifetime warranty

if i remember correctly, what carmack said was that DOOM3 was going to use parts of the video card (in order to render the lighting/shadows) that no other game uses (or used, at that time) and that because of all the extra work D3 was going to make the cards do, they would be more prone to overheating or instability if they were overclocked - even if they worked perfectly with other games.

so this statement:

BTW, as for the o/c'ed card, it ran DOOM 3 fine

should derail that train of thought.
 
- tron -
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"tron is big and tron is full of action... it's a hell of a ride!"
-from the Tron 2.0 box
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75. Re: Same Issue Jul 18, 2005, 11:27  Blue 
 
from your OotB tales of A/C woes in the past it is safe to say you don't have central air... so how hot is it in your gaming room?

Cool -- got the AC running fine these days.

do you have nice air flow going through the PC? have you got it all dust-free inside?

Check, check.

Blue, wattage on your PSU doesn't mean all that much. How much Amps does it have on the +12V line? This will need to be at least 15, and preferably more.
The sticker on your PSU should be able to tell you this.

19 Amps...

I said Antec and you still worried? That PSU cost me more than most people spend on their case, PSU, and motherboard combined.

Also I remember John Carmack saying somewhere that the gf6 series were going to be very unstable if o/c at all. Do you happen to have a bfg o/c by chance?

I do, but that makes its clock speed its default speed... seems if being o/c'ed is the problem, BFG should RMA it under their lifetime warranty. But as I updated today, I don't think that's the case.

BTW, as for the o/c'ed card, it ran DOOM 3 fine.
 
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Stephen "Blue" Heaslip
Blue's News Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, El Presidente for Life
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74. Same Issue Jul 18, 2005, 10:46 nonstop
 
Hey Blue,

same issue here for months though with Unreal Tournament 2004. BSoD with the nv4_dsp.dll showing up. Sometimes just complete reboots. I have a bfg 6800gt o/c.

I have looked at voltages/PSU/heat/memory tests and everything else I could think of. No results. Everything gets worse or better based on the drivers I use from nvidia's website in their archived drivers link so I have to think it's hardware/driver related.

The posts here that had to do with memory voltages and the infinant loop one guy was getting with his soundblaster I think were the best so far.

Also I remember John Carmack saying somewhere that the gf6 series were going to be very unstable if o/c at all. Do you happen to have a bfg o/c by chance?

I'll keep you posted and hope that we can figure this out. Let us know if you do to ok?

Thanks.


 
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73. Re: No subject Jul 18, 2005, 10:32 Creston
 
have 550W PSU -- A good deal over their suggestion for the card.

Blue, wattage on your PSU doesn't mean all that much. How much Amps does it have on the +12V line? This will need to be at least 15, and preferably more.
The sticker on your PSU should be able to tell you this.
If you have an ATX2.0 PSU, you probably have one with dual 12V lines, in which case you don't have to worry about that.

Edit : Just a thought - even though the videocard is not overheating, nothing says its not the memory overheating. As you know, videocards today have huge cooling solutions, but memory cooling isn't so common. Anything that makes your videocard overheat generally raises the overall internal temperature of the computer case. Once I bought some Kingston memory with heat spreaders, I find I get fewer crashes during graphic-intensive games.

This is ONLY an issue if you have insufficient airflow / cooling for your case. A good case will have airflow running over your memory sticks, and they'll be fine even without spreaders.
In fact, memory spreaders piss me off, as the Corsair memory that I got has such wide ones that I CANNOT fit memory in adjacent ports.

Creston

This comment was edited on Jul 18, 10:37.
 
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72. Re: Infinite Loop errors Jul 18, 2005, 10:22 Creston
 
Okay if I have learned anything from Hollywood movies, it's that Aliens always fuck up their Alien Invasion. Examples as follows:


Aliens can build spaceships but forget to pack their environment suits and are taken down by bacteria. War of the Worlds.


Aliens build space ships with force fields, which can be taken down with a computer virus!. Never heard of a firewall, asshats? Independence day


Aliens dissolve in salty water, so they decide to invade a planet that is 2/3 covered in the stuff. Day of the Triffids


Aliens invent spaceships, but cannot open doors. Signs (They seemingly didn't learn anything from The Triffids either as they also die on contact with water).

I mean do we live in the stupid end of the universe or something, with retarded aliens as neighbours? Or is it just when you set a film up where omnipotent enemies arrive to sow untold destruction on a world you send yourself into a dead end story line where a ridiculous achillies heel is the only way to resolve everything so the home team wins?


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA.

Quality

Creston

 
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71. Re: No subject Jul 18, 2005, 10:21 gravity
 
I'm telling ya.. this BSoD bs is the very reason I switched from nVidia to ATi about a year ago..

I was a die-hard nVidia supporter for.. gosh.. probably 6-7 years if I'm thinking correctly. Yeah, back in '98 it seems was when the TNT/Riva series was 'en vogue,' yes?

Anyway, after experiencing all sorts of BSoD problems, starting with Win 98 (*note: all ME users should know their OS was the true 'fault').. but then remaining even into latter NT-based OS platforms. Didn't make any sense.

Blue - try getting your system down to a minimum load.. ie: no more than 12-15 processes running. Disable all that nVidia driver crapola and I'm almost 100% certain that you'll discover its a driver issue.

While I totally agree with everyone else's troubleshooting - memory load, heat, etc. I can't emphasize enough that nVidia has stopped putting out both quality hardware AND software in recent years. I stopped buying.. you should too. :,,(

- gravity

 
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70. Re: BSoD Jul 18, 2005, 10:21 Creston
 
1) download memtest+ from www.memtest.org, let it run for a night. If it doesn't have any errors the next day, there is no issue with your memory. I see someone mentioned memtest86, but be warned that that's the old version and it won't run properly on Athlon64 processors. You need the memtest+ version.

2) Download prime95, and run the torture test (I would run the "a bit of everything" one, since you've already tested your memory). You need to let this run for awhile, preferably at least 12 hours or so.

If either of these tests have even a single issue, there is a problem with your system. If neither of these tests return with an error, your system is most likely fine, and the problem is in that piece of shitty code EA dares call a game.

Although, if the issue is with the graphics card driver (and it can easily be, my new system had a ton of issues with every single game I ran, and it turned out it was either my card itself -- I did swap it -- or the Catalyst version I was using. After replacing the card, I had one more weird crash -- total graphical corruption --, but then upgraded to Catalyst 5.4 and system has been rock stable with not a single crash since.)
you will want to downgrade to a driver generally known for being good / stable (ie, the 5.4 Catalyst, I have no idea about Nvidia drivers).

But any other issue, power supply, memory, processor, cache memory, hairline fracture in your mobo, they will all show up in prime95.

Graphics card is easily tested too, btw, just run 3dmark for a night or so. If it crashes too, it's a video issue.

Creston

This comment was edited on Jul 18, 10:30.
 
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69. No subject Jul 18, 2005, 10:11 Malakai
 
Tehol:

That LotR-Deus Ex analogy was to show how that with Deus Ex there was variation. LotR followed a nice mix of characters and the story jumped every so often to fill the reader in what's going on. In this Potter book it's all about potter (apart from the first 2 or 3 chapters of the books) and it never jumps to another main character to further the story line.

All in all though i'm about half way through and i dont think it's as good as number 4. It seems like Prince of Persia Warrior Within. It's all harry being an angry teenager etc etc. Rowling's trying to make harry into a dark character but it just doesnt seem to be working right (at least for me).

 
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68. Bf2 BSoDs Jul 18, 2005, 10:10 MashHawkeye
 
Hey Blue, first time comment although I have been reading for years now...

I also have had BSoDs like yours which I assume are from the game software. My rig is slightly different though, its an Alienware laptop 3.0G, 1024MB, nvidia 5700 mobile (never had a bsod until BF2). Every game installed has been played like a dream (UT2k4, Hl2, Doom3, Bf42, BFv), BSOD and crash free, with the exception of BF2. NV_DISP is also the same thing that appears in my wonderful screen of death. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for these as most of the time BF2 plays fine (although I have to run at 1024x768, not native 1650x1250.) It does appear to be fairly random because it has happened on both single and multiplayer, while starting the game up, and sometimes 2-3 hours into the game. The BSoDs so far have both completely frozen the system and forced reboots. I have not had one so far on the 1.02 patch, but I am bracing myself for it soon.

I can not say that in my years of techsupport and trouble shooting that I have ever seen an application cause a bsod. To the best of my knowledge they have always been related to hardware, but now I am also doubting that.

Your site to me is like smack to an addict.

-Hawkeye

 
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67. Re: BSoD Jul 18, 2005, 09:31 Capella
 
Blue did....in his post about his problem...

Damn, that will teach me to try and help on a Sunday at 9:30 at night. Sorry.


 
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"Yeah everyone's gotta have the sickness
Cause everyone seems to need the cure"
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66. Re: No subject Jul 18, 2005, 09:19 tron
 
Not performance RAM, and not cranked up... it did run memtest 86 cleanly a load of times, though

you're making this difficult!

from your OotB tales of A/C woes in the past it is safe to say you don't have central air... so how hot is it in your gaming room? do you have nice air flow going through the PC? have you got it all dust-free inside? i used to have an abrupt reboot problem right in the middle of playing Doom3 until i went inside the case with a vaccum and some canned air, and then i installed a couple of extra fans - one of them blowing right across the top of my 6800GT and the other placed right above the card blowing out the back of the case. i thought that would help keep the heat from the card rising up to where my CPU is. and it worked.

This comment was edited on Jul 18, 10:47.
 
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65. Re: No subject Jul 18, 2005, 09:14  Blue 
 
how about your RAM? do you have performance RAM where you went in and lowered your latency settings or maybe enabled a "turbo mode"? if so, you might try disabling the turbo mode, or slightly modifying the latency settings. also, if you are using performance RAM, do you have the voltage for it cranked up to whatever the manufacturer recommends? i had a problem with my Corsair RAM before i turned my voltage up...

Not performance RAM, and not cranked up... it did run memtest 86 cleanly a load of times, though.
 
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64. Re: No subject Jul 18, 2005, 08:53 tron
 
an Antec unit with a front panel to tweak the voltages and so mine are fairly spot-on and quite stable

well, that ain't it then!

how about your RAM? do you have performance RAM where you went in and lowered your latency settings or maybe enabled a "turbo mode"? if so, you might try disabling the turbo mode, or slightly modifying the latency settings. also, if you are using performance RAM, do you have the voltage for it cranked up to whatever the manufacturer recommends? i had a problem with my Corsair RAM before i turned my voltage up...
 
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63. Re: No subject Jul 18, 2005, 08:36  Blue 
 
is it a quality PSU? have you gone into BIOS to check what your 12V lead is running at, and just as importantly, how stable it is? i've been doing a lot of PSU research lately and have found that wattage isn't always a very good indication of the quality of the PSU. if your +12V lead is running low (EVGA recommends getting at least 11.75 on that line for 6800 cards) or fluctuating a lot, it could cause problems.

Yes it is... it is an Antec unit with a front panel to tweak the voltages and so mine are fairly spot-on and quite stable.
 
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Stephen "Blue" Heaslip
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