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Weed Killer
08-01-03, 01:08 PM
I am posting this as I want to document a problem that I had and that I solved after reviewing many, many posts from people who have experience flickering with their video card, specially Nvidia Geforce 4 TI cards. If this can help some, then I will have done my job!

The problem was “flickering” in 3D games (BF1942, MOH:AA, Raven Shield, etc…). This distortion was not tearing nor was it due to refresh rate issue.

It looked like if the "light intensity" was changing a little on the monitor: Very little lines going up or down in the game. Annoying and distracting.

At first, I thought it was a driver issue so I changed the drivers and tried all certified and beta drivers above 40.xx. I reformatted the drive. I also updated all other drivers. I even tried it with another monitor and the distortion where present. I thought it could be memory issue, so I change my ram. Heat, maybe? I open the case and put more fans. Power Supply perhaps? I changed that too. AGP Aperture and other BIOS changes did nothing. I also made sure that my TI4800SE had its own IRQ. I also changed the AGP voltage from 1.5 to 1.7. All of this to no avail. As you can see, I slaved on this for more than 3 weeks.

The symptom did not occur with my other Geforce 2 or Geforce 3 cards. Only with my Chaintech TI4800SE. So I concluded that the card was defective. I returned the card and got another one. The problem persisted.

After one week of searching the net, I found posts by people having the same symptoms as I, but with 3D glasses. I also found a lot of complaints about “Nvidia Image quality” being sub-par because of image distortions – some posters refering to them as flickering or little flashes. People were frustrated.

Most posters had a SoundBlaster Live or Audigy cards. One poster suggested of taking the card out. And that was it. My solution was to disconnect my SoundBlaster Card. As soon as I did so, the picture cleared up. Apparently Creative knows about this and Beta drivers are soon to be released. However, only for Audigy cards, not the SBLive or X-Gamer cards.

It seems that there the SB PCI card can interfere with the AGP slot. Something about "hoarding cycle resources”(?). This is the same with 3D glasses. You either need to move the card to another slot or use on-board sound.

I did so (moved the card to another PCI card) and not only did it solve the problem, the image quality is stunning. MOH:AA and BF and all my other games are spectacular. I never seen colours this vivid in these games – even with my older cards. Hence, it seemed that the problem also existed when I had the older card, but never to the expent of the TI4800SE. So I am happy now.

I hope this helps someone.

My Rig:
AMD Athlon 1.7XP
724 MB PC2100 Ram with latest BIOS (F10)
Gygabyte 7drx mobo (max AGP is 4x)
Fireball SuperATA 30gig (7200RPM)
SoundBlaster X-Gamer (in slot 3)
Windows XP Pro (latest patch)
NEC XV17+ monitor
Chaintech TI4800SE (AGP 8x card)
2 Generic NIC cards (in slot 1 and 3)

SH64
08-01-03, 06:28 PM
Interesting info .. thanks for posting them.
i was just consdring an Audigy 2 to purchase this month ... i think i'm gonna wait a lil longer now!

Maverickman
08-01-03, 08:17 PM
Well I moved my Audigy 2 card one more slot away from my AGP slot, and it had no effect. The flickering is still there in some, not all, of my games. I see it in Quake III, RTCW, and Elite Force II. Notice how these are all OpenGL games. I don;t notice the problem in other games. Also, I only notice the problem in 1600X1200 and 2048X1538 and when my refresh is 100Hz or 85Hz. It doesn't seem to affect other resolutions. Hmmm.