Computer Question Regarding RAM, Video Cards and World of Warcraft

I am living with my sister for the summer. It’s a pretty good arrangement for me. I watch the kids while she’s at work and I get to live free of rent. She has cable and internet access. The only thing she lacks is A/C. :smiley:

But, I have one major problem. I’m going through WoW withdrawl and my computer is 300 miles away. I installed WoW on my sister’s computer. It installed very well - much faster than I expected actually. When I try to play, it actually runs very well (for a bit). I don’t get any lag at all.

The problem:
After I play for about 5 minutes, the icons lose their pictures and turn into blocks of either green or red (kind of grid looking). If I keep playing after that, the icons lose even that color and become just blank spaces - as if I had no powers slotted. The one time I continued to play after that happened, I got the Blue Screen of Death.

The actual graphics of the game (other than the icons) look ok. Not great, but bearable.

Now, I don’t know all the specs of her computer. I tried to find the video card in her tower but I couldn’t find it. Either it’s embedded in the motherboard, or she doesn’t have one at all. I can get that info in about 6 hours when she gets home from work.
She has a Pentium 4 3.00GHz processor. She has 512MB of RAM (this will be going up tomorrow when I buy her another 512MB). Actually, according to the chips on her motherboard, she has 512MB. For some reason which is escaping me at the moment, her system is telling me that she only has 504MB.

I know that the minimum RAM requirement for WoW is 512MB. So, if there’s something wrong with one of the chips, it might explain my problem. I’m pretty sure the game will run better once I upgrade her a bit. I’m hoping I can get away with not upgrading her video card because she’s not a gamer no one but me cares about graphics anyway.

So anyway, I guess what I’m asking is this - Have any of you run into this particular problem before? Do any of you know why she is missing 8MB of RAM? Do you think adding more RAM will help? Can you even begin to guess without knowing what kind of video card she has? :smiley:

My first question is what kind of video card does she have and how much memory is on it. That’s the biggest issue. Click Start, then Run, then type “dxdiag”. One of the tabs is “Display”… that should give you the video card specs.

Oh thank you thank you thank you. I knew there was a way to find that but I have been suffering from a massive brain fart ever since I got home from work. I’m not the most computer literate person in the world but at least I know more than my sister :stuck_out_tongue: .

Anyway, I did that and this is everything it says under Display:

Name: Intel (R) 82945G Express Chipset Family
Manufacturer: Intel Corporation (um, duh)
Chip Type: Intel (R) 82945G Express Chipset Family
DAC Type: Internal
Approx. Total Memory: 224.0 MB
Current Display Mode: 1024 x 768 (32 bit) (60Hz)
Monitor: Plug and Play Monitor

The Driver is current.

(I’m gonna feel like a tool if this isn’t what you were looking for)

One strange thing, when I did what you told me to do, it said she now has 502MB of RAM. What the heck is going on?

Oh, when I checked out the Intel site, it listed this as WoW compatible.

Oh my lord, my brain is not working today. Can someone please report this and get it moved to GQ for me please?


I am not sure what you thought you were going to debate, here (and it seems that you may have already had your question answered), but this is a clear case of a General Question, so I am going to nudge this thread over there.

[ /Moderating ]

Well, that was fast. Thanks!

Check out this page for some troubleshooting tips for that graphics chipset.

She’s got onboard video as opposed to a separate video card. Usually onboard video isn’t known for it’s kickass gaming support.

But, you might luck out and find that the troubleshooting tips on that page do the trick for ya.

Don’t worry about “missing” 8 MB of ram. It’s either being allocated for video memory or it’s just a conversion problem (like how when you buy a 80GB hard drive you actually only have 76.5 GB of space due to what the manufacturer calls a megabyte vs what Windows calls a megabyte). Someone else can come along and explain it better…

Her color bit is probably set to low, throw it up all the way to 24 bit if it will allow it and change the WoW settings to match whatever hers are so it wont resize and recolor when you luanch it

In addition to what the others have said, the ‘on-board’ video is sharing the system RAM, which means you aren’t getting the full 512 mb allocated to the OS (which WoW requires). You probably need at least another 256 mb, if not more to run without problems.

Sounds like a heat-related issue to me. I’d suggest getting some canned air and giving the inside a once over, making sure to check all the the heatsinks for trapped dirt. If the fins are blocked, then the air cannot pass over to dissipate the heat.

In my experience, anything that goes awry graphically (other than an obvious lacking of computing horsepower) is heat or power supply related.

I don’t WoW anymore, but that was a known issue after a patch in… February or March of this year. The fix was detailed on the Warcraft Tech Support boards, and after I applied it the problem went away.

Try post #13 here… I think that was it.

Well, here’s what I’ve done so far:

I found an awesome independent computer repair guy. He found the correct RAM for me and has ordered a 1GB chip. It will arrive tomorrow. He thinks the RAM is the most important thing I need to do (obviously). He said that I can probably play with my sister’s crappy onboard video card but the graphics are gonna suck. He also found a new video card for me, which will work with this computer and with WOW. It’s about $200 less than I was expecting. I will get that next week. I can live with crappy graphics but I’d prefer not to. He also said that the onboard video card is most likely what is stealing the RAM. Oh, and he recommended a free virus software (my sister has no protection). All in all, it was a very informative visit. I can see why he’s the most recommended guy in the area.

I also got myself some canned air and evicted the tribbles from the tower.

I also checked out the thread Grave suggested. I already have the patch but the “if you’re still having problems” suggestion actually seems to be working. I killed 10 troggs and 5 boars and my graphics still look normal (crappy but normal). The game has been running for about 15 minutes now and nothing bad has happened.

So, thank you all for your help and suggestions. I’m glad that my sister’s computer is going to be upgraded and I’m glad I’m going to be the one to do it. She’s done a lot for me in the last month and I want to do something nice for her. They keep talking about getting a new computer. I think having better components in this one will help to keep them from spending over $1000 on a new system.

Excellent news! I wouldn’t try to run WoW with onboard video, so I think you’re making the right choice. I was shocked at how much video cards had come down in price when I had to replace mine a few months ago.

Heh, I was too. When I bought my video card a few years ago, I paid over $200 for it. I think it may have been over $300. The one my sister is getting is only $90 and is just about as good as mine is.

Actually, my sister is very excited about the upgrades to her computer and she wants the new video card sooner than I can afford it. So she’s buying it even though SHE isn’t the one who needs it.

Actually, I had as good performance out of onboard as from quite a few discreet cards. Unless you get a card with dedicated memory for the GPU, the difference isn’t that noticeable if you have a decent amount of system memory.

Except on a few raid bosses - pre-BC the 20 and 40 in Silithus would occasionally give my system fits, but then again the 5 man outside Gadget did as well. (Amazing how quickly I’ve forgotten the names of those places…) I think it had more to do with the way the engine rendered sand than anything.