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Eight Gateway M465 and they play games differently

 
 
BillW50
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      19th Jul 2012
I thought having the same model laptop would make troubleshooting very
easy. Like sometimes, it is hard to know whether a problem is software
or hardware. I my case, it is easy. Just pop the drive out and drop into
another machine and now you know.

Well, well, well… not always. I almost always dock them in one of my
docking stations with an external 1440x900 monitor. The CPUs vary
between the eight machines. Celeron, Core Duo, or Core2 Duo CPUs. Some
have 1GB of RAM and some have 2GB (soon some will have 4GB). And some
run XP SP2/3, Windows 7, or Windows 8.

As far as XP, Windows 7, or Windows 8, everything is fine. And some have
either 15 inch 1024x768 or 15.4 inch 1280x800 internal displays. And the
weird thing I have found is playing games. Some of the eight will play
games fine up to 1280x800 (either windowed or full screen). But some
others, will crash the game unless you pick 800x600 (either windowed or
full screen). They all have Intel 945GM integrated graphics.

And it isn't software. As I can take the hard drive out of one that
works and put it in one that doesn't and it doesn't work there or the
other way around. And switching the RAM doesn't help either. Nor is it
the internal LCD resolution. As some either 1024x768 or 1280x800 work
and some it doesn't.

Now the T2400 (Core Duo) and T7400 (Core2 Duo) machines work with games
(I think the M430 does too). But the T2300 (Core Duo) and T5600 (Core2
Duo) machines don't. I seriously don't think this is a CPU issue, but
who knows? The BIOS versions are all different and this doesn't appear
to be related to at least newer is better anyway. Anybody have any ideas?

M430 machine (does work with games)
1GB of RAM (512MB x2) PC5300 (Hynix)
BIOS 71.10
1024x768
Windows XP SP3

T2300 machines (doesn't work with games)
1GB of RAM (512MB x2) PC4200 (Hynix)
BIOS 71.04
1280x800
Windows XP SP2 and the other Windows 8

T2400 machine (does work with games)
2GB of RAM (1GB x2) PC4200 (Crucial)
BIOS 71.07
1280x800
Windows XP SP3

T5600 machine (doesn't work with games)
2GB of RAM (1GB x2) PC4200 (Adata)
BIOS 71.10
1280x800
Windows XP SP2

T7400 machine (does work with games)
2GB of RAM (1GB x2) PC5300 (Hynix and HYS)
BIOS 71.15
1024x768
Windows 7 SP1

--
Bill
Gateway M465e ('06 era) - Thunderbird v12
Centrino Core Duo T5600 1.83GHz - 2GB - Windows XP SP2
 
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Paul
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      19th Jul 2012
BillW50 wrote:
> I thought having the same model laptop would make troubleshooting very
> easy. Like sometimes, it is hard to know whether a problem is software
> or hardware. I my case, it is easy. Just pop the drive out and drop into
> another machine and now you know.
>
> Well, well, well… not always. I almost always dock them in one of my
> docking stations with an external 1440x900 monitor. The CPUs vary
> between the eight machines. Celeron, Core Duo, or Core2 Duo CPUs. Some
> have 1GB of RAM and some have 2GB (soon some will have 4GB). And some
> run XP SP2/3, Windows 7, or Windows 8.
>
> As far as XP, Windows 7, or Windows 8, everything is fine. And some have
> either 15 inch 1024x768 or 15.4 inch 1280x800 internal displays. And the
> weird thing I have found is playing games. Some of the eight will play
> games fine up to 1280x800 (either windowed or full screen). But some
> others, will crash the game unless you pick 800x600 (either windowed or
> full screen). They all have Intel 945GM integrated graphics.
>
> And it isn't software. As I can take the hard drive out of one that
> works and put it in one that doesn't and it doesn't work there or the
> other way around. And switching the RAM doesn't help either. Nor is it
> the internal LCD resolution. As some either 1024x768 or 1280x800 work
> and some it doesn't.
>
> Now the T2400 (Core Duo) and T7400 (Core2 Duo) machines work with games
> (I think the M430 does too). But the T2300 (Core Duo) and T5600 (Core2
> Duo) machines don't. I seriously don't think this is a CPU issue, but
> who knows? The BIOS versions are all different and this doesn't appear
> to be related to at least newer is better anyway. Anybody have any ideas?
>
> M430 machine (does work with games)
> 1GB of RAM (512MB x2) PC5300 (Hynix)
> BIOS 71.10
> 1024x768
> Windows XP SP3
>
> T2300 machines (doesn't work with games)
> 1GB of RAM (512MB x2) PC4200 (Hynix)
> BIOS 71.04
> 1280x800
> Windows XP SP2 and the other Windows 8
>
> T2400 machine (does work with games)
> 2GB of RAM (1GB x2) PC4200 (Crucial)
> BIOS 71.07
> 1280x800
> Windows XP SP3
>
> T5600 machine (doesn't work with games)
> 2GB of RAM (1GB x2) PC4200 (Adata)
> BIOS 71.10
> 1280x800
> Windows XP SP2
>
> T7400 machine (does work with games)
> 2GB of RAM (1GB x2) PC5300 (Hynix and HYS)
> BIOS 71.15
> 1024x768
> Windows 7 SP1
>


I don't see a strong theme there, but M430 (Single Core)
"does work with games", you can try an Affinity theory.
There are some games, that don't work properly in an SMP
environment. So you need to reduce the game to using
one core. Task Manager Affinity setting can be used to
do that, but if the game crashes instantly, you need a
program launcher such as "RunFirst".

http://www.informit.com/articles/art...65310&seqNum=2

http://www.activeplus.com/us/freeware/runfirst/

*******

Another possibility, is the game has a DirectX dependency
of some sort. Some games come with their own copy of DirectX,
to ensure some kind of baseline collection of software. And then,
who knows what happens on Windows 7 or 8.

You can always give 3DMark a try and see if the computers
can finish a 3DMark benchmark run to the end.

3Dmark 2001 SE (Build 330)
http://majorgeeks.com/3Dmark_d99.html

3DMark03
http://majorgeeks.com/3DMark03_d1712.html

I've used the 2001 version a fair bit, as a debugging tool.
I don't know what build of the 03 one I've got here. It
doesn't see too much usage.

If you go too far up the food chain on those, the 945GM
probably doesn't do all of it in hardware, and then you're
not getting a good test of the GPU. Which is why I'd try the
2001 benchmark first as a test. If you don't see any problems
with 2001, then try the 03 one. I don't think those
benchmarks have an Affinity problem.

Paul
 
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