Alienware Laptop/Video Card grief

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Memor, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. Memor

    Memor Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    73,022
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NYC
    Specs:

    Alienware Area-51 m 7700

    Processor: Intel Pentium 4 550J Desktop Processor w/ HT Technology 3.4GHz 800MHz FSB 1MB Cache
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2 LCD Display: 17" WideXGA+ 1440 x 900 LCD Clearview Display
    Motherboard: Intel 915P PCI-Express Chipset
    Memory: 1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM at 533MHz - 2 x 512MB
    Video Card: Area-51m 7700 NVIDIA GeForce Go 6800 with 256MB of DDR3 memory
    Hard Drive: Single Drive Configuration - 80GB 5400 RPM ATA100
    Primary CD ROM/DVD ROM: 8X Dual Layer DVD+/-RW / 24X CD-RW Combo w/Software

    The past few months or so, I've gotten this recurring problem which keeps getting worse. I'm pretty retarded with computers, so bear with me, I'll try to describe it as best I can...

    Basically, it used to be only when running a hi-res game, but now it'll happen even while listening to music. The audio will make a short, 2 second "buzz" - the same buzz it makes if I pull the power cable out and it goes to battery power - and when that happens, my framerate on anything, from a simple flash game, to something hi-res, to a movie, will cut down to almost 1/10th of its normal rate and everything begins to lag. Eventually, sometimes right away, sometimes after 30 minutes, it'll make the buzz again and the framerate/performance will be back to normal. I've found no kind of correlation between it and anything I'll do on the computer, as in there's no action or pattern I can find that sets it off. Recently it's getting worse and worse, like I said, happening even if I'm just listening to iTunes.

    I've tried reinstalling drivers, but for some reason, the Go 6800 isn't very popular, and it never...worked, even my CS whiz friends at school couldn't figure out why any driver refused to reinstall/update on this system. So I'm kind of at my wits end. Does anyone have an idea of what might cause this? I apologize if my description sounds moronic - it's the best way I can describe it, and it's driving me nuts.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sounds like the graphics card is overheating and slowing itself down so it can cool off, and then speeding back up once it's cooled off enough.

    Make sure you always use the computer on a hard surface so the computer can ventilate properly. If you feel adventurous, you can crack the case open, pull off the heatsinks, and reattach them with Arctic Silver epoxy. That should help it stay cooler.

    Failing all that, at least spray the dust out of the fans and heatsinks with a can of compressed air.
     
  3. DaIceMan

    DaIceMan Jack Bauer > *.*

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Messages:
    3,475
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Springfield-ish, Missouri
    if it's under warranty, send it back. My buddy in Iraq has been without his lappy for like 3 months now because it had to go back to Alienware for video problems. While it was there, they found a few more issues that they "fixed". We got it back and reloaded his stuff on it, ready to send it off again and the video card went out again, within a week of getting it back from Alienware. Back it went for another repair. Finally got it back, played it pretty hardcore for 24 hours straight, and some random testing trying to break it for another week and we FINALLY got to send back to him.
     
  4. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tell your buddy thanks for putting up with our halfassed war plan. We can't just leave, we gotta to fix what we broke -- somehow. (Presumably we get their economy strong enough to sustain a low-level civil war, then we let them fight each other til they get tired of fighting. I dunno.)

    Oh yeah, about the computer...just so you know, Alienware is owned by Dell now, so you're really dealing with Dell tech support. Hope it works this time.
     
  5. Memor

    Memor Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    73,022
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks! That definitely makes sense. I had a problem with the inital 6800 it came with and had to send it back the first week, and now this :mad: But it's still under warranty for another year, so if the compressed air doesn't do the trick, i'll send it back (not adventurous enough to crack open the case yet, heh).
     

Share This Page