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Holywarrior
05-30-2010, 10:13 AM
Today, I started having a very unusual graphics/lag problem on games from the HL1 engine. I get huge lag spikes (And I mean my game is moving at less than 1 FPS). I haven't been able to get past the Anomalous Materials entrance because as soon as the level starts I get a huge lag spike and I can't do anything else. It's so pathetic that I have to ctrl-alt-delete and force close the game.

So I moved on to play some Opposing Force. There are some problems here too. On several of the scientist models (all except the one that looks like Kleiner). The models are fully functional and there aren't any problems with walking, but their heads are tilted back as if they are looking at the ceiling. It wasn't anything major and did not interfere with game-play, so I just continued on. Later, when I got to the tram-station, I started to experience some really weird graphics issues that, in addition to looking like Shepard's on LSD, also cause those massive lag spikes I was telling you about. The lag spikes do not crash the game, but they render it unplayable for several minutes while I wait for the spike to end. Other than these spikes, and the weird graphics, the game-play is unhindered. Both OP and HL worked just fine yesterday, with no issues whatsoever. Attached are some screenshots of the Opposing Force graphical issues.

http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii252/Holywarrior_2008/Weird.jpg

This particular one happened when I shattered a window. The lag spike was horrible, and it led to the image in the next picture (It was supposed to be a scientist).

http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii252/Holywarrior_2008/Weird2.jpg


http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii252/Holywarrior_2008/Weird3.jpg

This is what it looks like outside the room where the scientist is. It looked like that already when I entered the area, and was also accompanied by a temporary lag spike (not as bad as the one when I broke the window)

This is really weird and I've never experienced anything like it before.

Before you start, I've already checked my drivers (all fine) and I have never had any other problems before now.

My specs:

Dell Inspiron 1520 laptop (Vista 32-bit)

1024MB of RAM

Mobile Intel 965 Express Chipset (251 MB video memory)

1.50 Ghz processor (Dual Core)

Not the most awesome specs I know, but I've found them to generally be sufficient to run games that run off the HL engine (CS works too). I'd rather not re-install HL if I can avoid it, since I have skins and mods installed.

Regarding my skins and mods, I've already tried uninstalling them, but it didn't help, so I went ahead and reinstalled them. So the mods aren't the issue.

Any help is appreciated.

Stixsworld
05-30-2010, 11:06 AM
looks like a graphix card issue to me...but that is all I can say...I mean make sure you have latest drives for it...

---Stixsmaster

green_meklar
05-30-2010, 11:39 AM
Unless your hardware is actually broken/overheating/etc (in which case you would likely notice problems with other games and software as well), I can assure you it's not at fault, because I run the Steam version of Half-Life on the same OS and the same integrated graphics device and I've never seen anything like this.

Things I would suggest (in this order, at least at first):
- Try all the different render modes.
- Verify your game cache in Steam.
- Make sure your graphics device is working and download the latest drivers for it.
- Reinstall one or both games.

Holywarrior
05-30-2010, 01:04 PM
Well it seems that the worst has happened. According to this (http://www.playtool.com/pages/artifacts/artifacts.html), my graphics processor shows symptoms of video RAM damage (if you scroll down, there is a screenshot of a problem similar to what I have).

Since I'm on a laptop, am I correct in assuming that there is no way to replace or repair the graphics processor?

And if I'm stuck with what I have, then is there anything I can do to prevent further damage, or is the problem just going to get progressively worse until I can't even have normal graphics outside of games?

I usually take steps to prevent overheating, and I don't overclock. I'm pretty sure that this graphics processor wasn't really designed with gaming in mind, so is it possible that playing games on this card was 'pushing' it too much, causing damage?

And, of course, is there anything that I could do that would be able to fix the problem?

green_meklar
05-31-2010, 09:20 AM
Well it seems that the worst has happened. According to this (http://www.playtool.com/pages/artifacts/artifacts.html), my graphics processor shows symptoms of video RAM damage (if you scroll down, there is a screenshot of a problem similar to what I have).
That's entirely possible. However I would reserve judgement until you actually see bad stuff happening under more than one game or engine. You really don't want to start messing with your graphics device if it's actually okay and the problem lies elsewhere.

Furthermore, since it is an integrated graphics device, most if not all of the RAM it is using is borrowed from your main system RAM, which I suppose means the problem could lie with either the graphics device itself or the RAM hardware. That doesn't make life any easier. :\
Since I'm on a laptop, am I correct in assuming that there is no way to replace or repair the graphics processor?
I wouldn't say 'no way'. Replacing devices on a laptop is apparently quite hard because you need something compatible with the laptop's configuration both physically (in terms of space and cooling) and on the software/BIOS/firmware side, and laptops aren't designed with replacing things in mind. If your laptop is still on a warranty, opening it up and trying to replace things will almost certainly void that warranty.
And if I'm stuck with what I have, then is there anything I can do to prevent further damage, or is the problem just going to get progressively worse until I can't even have normal graphics outside of games?
As far as I know, computer hardware typically fails in stages. In other words, it's likely to get no worse for a while (maybe hours, maybe months or years), then suddenly become a lot worse all at once (especially on startup).
I'm pretty sure that this graphics processor wasn't really designed with gaming in mind, so is it possible that playing games on this card was 'pushing' it too much, causing damage?
If it's properly cooled and it hasn't been overclocked, I don't think that's possible. I don't think the device is designed to be able to damage itself from the software side alone, although if you are using it in a very hot environment I suppose it's possible that stressing it more could cause more harm. Anyway Half-Life is an old game and your graphics device is perfectly adequate for it.

stesmi
05-31-2010, 09:25 AM
Generally there isn't. There are some rare models that can but rare does mean rare in this context. What is the brand and model of hte laptop?

Prevent further damage : Two things. 1) Don't use it 2) don't play on it.

So yeah, make sure it's properly cooled and don't play on it. Eventually it will stop working regardless though.

EDIT due to green_meklar's post: Hardware does fail in stages but memory is notorious of spreading especially when heated.

I would perhaps think of reinstalling the whole thing from scratch in case it is an issue with something else.

Also got me thinking:

If your laptop is maybe using normal ram for graphics ram then it's not impossible that it's your RAM in the machine that's going bust and replacing that (most models can) will help. Big if.

Holywarrior
05-31-2010, 12:35 PM
No way to tell tbh. Firstly I'm going to find out if I still have a warranty on the laptop. If I do, then that's most likely going to fix the problem right there.

I'm about to start up 'they hunger' to see if the mod works without any apparent graphics issues. If not, then it may be something else. I haven't tried reinstalling yet. I just installed OP a couple of days ago, so I doubt that's the issue, but I'll try it if the problem persists.