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#675551 - 11/30/10 03:19 AM Games and widescreen monitors question?
Upsydaisy Offline
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Registered: 07/23/05
Posts: 982
Loc: Sunny Devon, United Kingdom
Hallo Techs - I have a question about playing games especially from Big Fish and playing in widescreen.
I have a 22" with resolution of 1680 x 1050 (recommended, Nvidia 8600GT, 512 RAM, with Windows 7 - and find that games will play OK for about 20 mins then the screen freezes and more often then not the save game file is corrupt so I have to start all over again.
I have discovered that playing Big Fish games in windowed mode solves the problem and also in the latest CSI game.
The same sometimes happens on web pages, but if I leave it frozen and wait, after about 30-40 secs the screen is OK. Is this a problem with all widescreens or is there another setting I can try? Thanks in advance... wave


Edited by Upsydaisy (11/30/10 03:21 AM)

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#675640 - 11/30/10 09:30 AM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Upsydaisy]
Draclvr Online   content
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Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 13386
Loc: In Missouri near St. Louis
I have a 22" widescreen with the same resolution and I've never had this problem in Big Fish games, the web or anywhere else. You've got a nice video card, but if all the RAM you have is 512 MB, you are running about 2.5 GB too short. Windows 7 does not run well with less than 2 or 3 GB of RAM. I wouldn't even try to run it without at least 2 GB of RAM.

Something tells me you don't have enough system resources and your computer is having a hard time keeping up - thus the freezes.
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#675664 - 11/30/10 10:56 AM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Upsydaisy]
Jenny100 Online   content
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Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 39037
Loc: southeast USA
Originally Posted By: Upsydaisy
I have a 22" with resolution of 1680 x 1050 (recommended, Nvidia 8600GT, 512 RAM, with Windows 7

Is that 512 MB of video RAM or 512 MB of system RAM? I'm guessing it's video RAM (Windows 7 would be incredibly sluggish with only 512 MB system RAM). You need to find out how much system RAM you have. Check ***here*** if you need instructions.

I'm guessing you have enough system RAM, but you're either having problems with your hard drive or with heat. Playing in windowed mode is easier on the video card, so it doesn't produce as much heat.

If the web pages you're referring to use Flash, that can also cause the video card to heat up.

Make sure your computer doesn't have dust clogging the vents and that the fans are working properly.

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#675693 - 11/30/10 11:41 AM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Jenny100]
Upsydaisy Offline
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Registered: 07/23/05
Posts: 982
Loc: Sunny Devon, United Kingdom
Do have 512 video RAM-I have updated my Flash and Shockwave. My computer has 5 fans,it is in a cool conservatory (-4 outside at the moment). It IS on the floor so dust could be a problem. The fans are whizzing round and do create a draught!!
The problem doesn't occur when other games are played, or I'm doing some work. The computer may be on for 3-4 hrs sometimes with no problems, I somehow doubt if heat is the problem. However will do some gentle hoovering and see what happens.

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#675726 - 11/30/10 12:30 PM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Upsydaisy]
Jenny100 Online   content
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Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 39037
Loc: southeast USA
Updating Flash won't keep it from making your video card run hotter. But it will help close security holes, so it's worth doing.

It might help if you'd say which Big Fish games are causing the problem -- and which websites.

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#675782 - 11/30/10 02:57 PM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Jenny100]
Draclvr Online   content
Hints & Glitches forum Moderator
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Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 13386
Loc: In Missouri near St. Louis
So, how much system RAM do you have if the 512 is video RAM?
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#675789 - 11/30/10 03:21 PM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Draclvr]
Upsydaisy Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 07/23/05
Posts: 982
Loc: Sunny Devon, United Kingdom
I have Intel Core Quad processor and 2.00 GB of system RAM.
Jenny-It's quite a recent thing. Have problems with 'The Void' and '13th Skull' both downloaded from Big Fish.

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#675798 - 11/30/10 04:12 PM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Upsydaisy]
InlandAZ Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 08/14/02
Posts: 7092
Loc: Arizona
What is the make of your video processor (ATI, nVidia, Intel etc...) and do you know the model number?

Maybe your drivers are out of date?

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#675799 - 11/30/10 04:16 PM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Upsydaisy]
Starcom Offline
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Registered: 03/17/04
Posts: 900
Loc: Ottawa
Just a few more technical questions if you don't mind:
Which Win7 are you running?
Win7 Home Premium? or Professional? or Ultimate?
Are you running under 32 bit? or 64 bit?
What type of Anti Virus or Security software do you have?

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#675890 - 11/30/10 09:50 PM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: InlandAZ]
InlandAZ Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 08/14/02
Posts: 7092
Loc: Arizona
Originally Posted By: InlandAZ
What is the make of your video processor (ATI, nVidia, Intel etc...) and do you know the model number?

Maybe your drivers are out of date?


I have a 22" with resolution of 1680 x 1050 (recommended, Nvidia 8600GT

Sorry, I missed this in your earlier thread - The most current drivers are 260.99. Are these the drivers you're running?

If yours are older, try updating them from the site below.

nVidia Drivers Download

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#675967 - 12/01/10 06:52 AM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: InlandAZ]
Upsydaisy Offline
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Registered: 07/23/05
Posts: 982
Loc: Sunny Devon, United Kingdom
I have got Win 7 Home Premium, I upgraded from Vista (had the odd freezing screen with that too)have also got the lastest driver for my video card(s) I have got two - both Nvidia 8600GT so really have 1024 RAM, they supposed to work in SLI mode but I disabled one because for some reason this slows my computer down and causes more freezes!! It's 32 bit and have got Microsoft Essentials as anti-virus and also have Spy-Ware Blaster
Currently I have uninstalled all my Big Fish games(52!!)except the one I am playing. Restored to a restore point before the latest Windows updates (these always cause problems until they settle down). At the moment all is well....shhhhh

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#676118 - 12/01/10 04:36 PM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Upsydaisy]
Jenny100 Online   content
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
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Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 39037
Loc: southeast USA
Originally Posted By: Upsydaisy
I have got Win 7 Home Premium, I upgraded from Vista (had the odd freezing screen with that too)

You didn't say whether you did a clean install when you upgraded to Windows 7. If you did the type of upgrade that saves all your settings, you may have transferred whatever ailment Vista was having to Windows 7.

You should be able to install Windows updates without causing problems.

You might check to see if there's a BIOS update for your motherboard. If the computer is a brand name, check the website of the brand (i.e. - Dell, HP, Gateway, etc.). If the computer is a custom build, check the website of the motherboard manufacturer.

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#676246 - 12/02/10 01:54 AM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Jenny100]
Demosthenes Offline
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Registered: 04/14/01
Posts: 2627
Loc: Indiana
I think Jenny's suggestions are good ones. This is really starting to sound like a software issue more than hardware--probably having something to do with whatever was causing problems under Vista.

All the same, I think we should try to rule out some of the most likely hardware problems as well. The most common hardware-based cause of these sorts of issues is probably overheating. The easiest way I know of to check for overheating is to download a copy of the free version of CPUID HWMonitor. Just click the "1.17 setup" link under "Download latest release", then download, install, and run the program. Note that Windows may ask for permission to run the software: make sure you give it permission so it can find what it needs. Also, it's possible the software will ask if you want to also install bundled software like Google toolbar. Make sure you DON'T install whatever it bundles (well, unless you really want to). Otherwise you'll just have to uninstall it to get rid of it.

Once HWMonitor starts up, you should get a list of temperature readouts for a bunch of hardware on your computer. You'll want to pay attention to a few rows in particular: the rows corresponding to your CPU (probably listed as an Intel Core 2 Quad, or similar) and your video card (probably listed as GeForce 8600GT) are good to start with. They'll both list 3 temperatures: Value (which is the current reported temperature), Min and Max. You may need to click the plus sign to the left of both rows to see the listed temperatures.

In a healthy computer at idle, the CPU should be between 25 and 50 degrees or so, and the video card should be hovering somewhere between about 35 and 60 degrees Celsius, depending on the card and the case it's sitting in. If the temperature of the video card is already north of 75 degrees (Celsius), you may have an overheating problem.

Also take a look at the other temperatures reported and make sure nothing else looks out of line. You may see a couple of erroneous temperatures reported, (my motherboard reports an AUXTIN temperature of 9 degrees Celsius,) but mostly keep an eye out for anything exceeding 70 degrees Celsius (or 75-80 degrees for a video card.

Once you've taken a look at your idle temperatures (and written down some of the important ones), leave HWMonitor running in the background, and start up one of the games that gives you trouble and play it for a few minutes. Then alt-tab back to HWMonitor and check your temperatures again.

Games stress components, so you should expect to see some temperature increases. However, you should be keeping an eye out for any dramatic temperature spikes. Video cards shouldn't get any hotter than about 80-85 degrees under load, and ideally they should be closer to 60-70 degrees. CPUs shouldn't go above about 65 or 70.

Note that it's handy to keep track of the "Max" column, since that will tell you the maximum temperature reported so far, even if you don't happen to be observing the computer when it happens.

If you're seeing alarmingly high temperatures anywhere, quit the game for 5 or 10 minutes and watch to see if the temperature drops, and how long it takes to regularize. Otherwise, keep playing and checking your temperatures from time to time. Either way, if you report your observations here, we can tell you whether the temperatures you see are anything to worry about.

If you don't want to write too much stuff down and you're feeling particularly adventurous, then for each step where you check HWMonitor, you can put HWMonitor in fullscreen (so you can see everything,) printscreen the results, paste them into your favorite image editing software, and save the file somewhere so you have a reference. If you save a printscreen from the computer at idle, and one after you've been playing for 5-10 minutes, that should give most of the data you'll need.

I'd also suggest running a chkdsk /r on your OS drive. If you need instructions for how to do so, ask. Note you'll have to leave the computer running on its own for quite a few hours for it to complete a chkdsk, so I suggest you let it chug overnight while you sleep.

It also wouldn't hurt to chkdsk any other hard drives in your system.

While it's not likely this is a hardware problem, I do suggest you try both diagnostic procedures above to rule out a) temperature issues and b) impending hard drive failure. If this IS a hardware issue, you should know about it now rather than later.

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#676258 - 12/02/10 03:54 AM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Demosthenes]
Upsydaisy Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 07/23/05
Posts: 982
Loc: Sunny Devon, United Kingdom
Jenny-it was a clean install, but had to get my man at the local computer shop to complete it,because I could only get to a certain point before it froze.

Demosthenes - Downloaded your suggestion and the CPU is running between 43 and 51 degrees, one of the cores has the maximum at 51 the other 3,47 degrees. The video card is at 43. I will play a game and see if these change

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#676424 - 12/02/10 03:18 PM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Upsydaisy]
Demosthenes Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/14/01
Posts: 2627
Loc: Indiana
Those idle temperatures look fine--the CPU is running a little on the warm side, but not dangerously so. I suspect the CPU's fan speed is just being throttled by the motherboard to reduce noise. Unless those temperatures climb significantly under load, you're probably not having overheating problems.

However, if the Windows install froze the first time you did it, then a hard drive problem is definitely a possibility. So make sure to do a chkdsk /r as soon as you have the time for it. When it's complete, we'll also need to check your system logs so we know what the results were.

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#676467 - 12/02/10 04:56 PM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Demosthenes]
Upsydaisy Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 07/23/05
Posts: 982
Loc: Sunny Devon, United Kingdom
Ran a chkdsk and checked the system logs-this reported back that there were no problems.
While I was looking at the logs I checked back on past events and it looks that the '13th Skulls' were causing some problems.
I have played a couple of other Big Fish games today and these have not resulted in freeze-ups, I can only assume that some software is always going to have problems running.
Thanks to all for all the help I will get back to you if these problems re-occur. wave

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#676473 - 12/02/10 05:36 PM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Upsydaisy]
Jenny100 Online   content
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 39037
Loc: southeast USA
If you have further problems, let us know which games are having problems and which are not. There may be certain games that are buggy and don't work well on all computer configurations.

Also if you have problems with certain webpages, let us know which webpages are causing the problem. It may be the problem is not on your end.

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#1142375 - 02/20/18 03:28 PM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Upsydaisy]
RichAlexis Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 216
Loc: The Netherlands
I felt like tagging on to this old thread, because it's about precisely this issue, though not in the sense of the initial poster.

As my old 17-inch 4:3-size LCD monitor is literally on the blink now after 13 years (flashing screen), I have to get a new one, and it's very likely that the only ones (readily) available are widescreen monitors. That is 16:9-format screens of 21.5", perhaps 24".

Now, I was wondering about playing older games designed for 4:3 (i.e. full-screen) on widescreen monitors, an issue which may extend to 4:3-based applications like multimedia CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs.

What will happen if I try to play these games in full-screen mode? Will they get stretched horizontally? What if no windowed mode is available? And do widescreen monitors have a way to not only adjust the resolution, but also the screen size to 4:3 to overcome potential mismatches?

Which also makes me wonder about current screen resolutions. If they are at least 1920 x 1080 pixels, while my current 4:3 one has 1280 x 1024 at most, will I be saddled with an ultra-tiny screen if the game was designed for let's say 800 x 600 pixels?

I have an Intel HD 4600 graphics card by the way.

I do have a 12Noon Display Changer application which I use quite often, but I don't know how it will deal with widescreen displays.

Any ideas or experiences?

Best,

Rich


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#1142392 - 02/20/18 07:32 PM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: RichAlexis]
Jenny100 Online   content
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 39037
Loc: southeast USA
Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
As my old 17-inch 4:3-size LCD monitor is literally on the blink now after 13 years (flashing screen), I have to get a new one, and it's very likely that the only ones (readily) available are widescreen monitors. That is 16:9-format screens of 21.5", perhaps 24".

A 21.5" 16:9 monitor is actually about half an inch shorter in height than a 17" 1280x1024 monitor.
So you may want to go with a 24" monitor if you're stuck with 16:9. You might not think half an inch is much, but it always makes me feel claustrophobic to have monitors so much shorter than they are wide. "Short screen" monitors bother me more than I would have thought.

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
What will happen if I try to play these games in full-screen mode? Will they get stretched horizontally? What if no windowed mode is available? And do widescreen monitors have a way to not only adjust the resolution, but also the screen size to 4:3 to overcome potential mismatches?

You should be able to find a monitor that has controls for "aspect" or "scaling" which will scale the image to fit on the screen. If you have to, download pdf manuals for different monitors and do a search for the words "aspect" or "scaling" (with an English pdf) to see if the monitors have scaling controls. There's always the option to stretch the image to fill the screen, but there should also be the option to scale the image on most monitors. Just make sure you get a monitor with the scaling option or you'll be stuck with a stretched screen or a postage stamp.

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
Which also makes me wonder about current screen resolutions. If they are at least 1920 x 1080 pixels, while my current 4:3 one has 1280 x 1024 at most

1280 x 1024 is 5:4, not 4:3.
Divide pixel width by height to get the ratio.
1280/1024 = 1.25 (or 5/4 or 5:4)
1600 x 1200 is 4:3 (1600/1200 = 4/3)
The difference between 5:4 and 4:3 is not as obvious as between 4:3 and widescreen so a lot of people don't notice the difference.

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
will I be saddled with an ultra-tiny screen if the game was designed for let's say 800 x 600 pixels?

It should be possible to get a monitor that will do scaling properly and maintain aspect ratio while increasing the size of the image from 800 by 600 pixels on a 1920 by 1080 screen (postage stamp) to 1440 by 1080 (full height with black bars on the sides).

Is it not possible to find another 1280x1024 monitor?
If you enjoy older "full screen" games, a full screen monitor is better.

If that's not possible, see if you can find 1920x1200 (16:10).
It's less "squinty" than 1920x1080 and less wasted screen space with older "full screen" games.

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#1142495 - 02/21/18 01:04 PM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Jenny100]
RichAlexis Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 216
Loc: The Netherlands
Bravo, Jenny! praise What excellent and detailed suggestions!

I can again report immediate success here!

Today, I bought a 24" BenQ GW2470H widescreen monitor at a local store, from an owner who thankfully knows what he's talking about. The screen height is indeed 1 inch taller than the one I had (I never realized it was 5:4, thanks for pointing it out!), to avoid the ill-proportioned 'letterbox' effect you described. The store owner went through the PDF manual with me and the monitor menu, to ensure the screen size could indeed be adjusted.

Though its native, maximum screen resolution is indeed 1920 x 1080, by bringing it down once, just temporarily, to my old 1280 x 1024, by right-clicking my mouse on my desktop for screen resolution, I was able to get the old 5:4 screen display back again, with black bars at the left and right.

This enabled me to press the physical button at the bottom of my monitor to access the on-screen menu and choose Picture Advanced -> Display Mode, and change it from 'Full' (which in this case is native 16:9) to 'Aspect'. I could then change my screen resolution back to 1920 x 1080 on my desktop.

This 'Aspect' setting made the screen sensitive to the original aspect ratios of old games, in such a way that I could start games like Cryo's Jerusalem, Rome - Caesar's Will (from disks), and Kheops' Cleopatra and ECHO: Secrets of the Lost Cavern (both downloads), and each of them would automatically start in their appropriate 4:3 formats. After I had closed the games, the screen would automatically return to wide 1920 x 1080 again.

I really hadn't expected such plain sailing! Actually, I was quite apprehensive at first.

Again thanks a lot, and I hope other gamers will benefit from the description as well.

Best,

Rich

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#1142506 - 02/21/18 04:34 PM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Upsydaisy]
Jenny100 Online   content
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 39037
Loc: southeast USA
I'm glad you were able to find a monitor you're happy with.

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#1142548 - 02/22/18 05:54 AM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Upsydaisy]
RichAlexis Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 216
Loc: The Netherlands
I can add that the shop owner advised me to keep using my D-Sub (VGA) cable to hook my monitor to the PC, because an analog cable like this would handle these scaling operations better than the digital alternatives HDMI and DVI.

Which is what I did!

Best,

Rich

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#1142579 - 02/22/18 11:40 AM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Upsydaisy]
Draclvr Online   content
Hints & Glitches forum Moderator
Adept Boomer

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 13386
Loc: In Missouri near St. Louis
Interesting about the VGA... this shop owner sounds like a really great person to know!
_________________________
Heading out to the gardens...

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#1142595 - 02/22/18 02:37 PM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Draclvr]
RichAlexis Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 216
Loc: The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Draclvr
Interesting about the VGA... this shop owner sounds like a really great person to know!
I think so too, he's a very nice and helpful man ... if he is indeed right about the cables! I don't know why this would be, but so far my set-up has proved him right, and I haven't bothered to switch the cables.

Preserve the Mom and Pop Store! (intentional Seinfeld reference wink )

Rich

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#1142613 - 02/22/18 04:40 PM Re: Games and widescreen monitors question? [Re: Upsydaisy]
Jenny100 Online   content
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 39037
Loc: southeast USA
Neither of my two widescreen monitors is attached by VGA, but both are able to do scaling when using DVI or HDMI cables.

Maybe some model monitors don't scale (or don't scale well) unless you use VGA cables, but that's not true for all of them.

Many current generation video cards don't even have a VGA connection.

I think how well a monitor scales will depend on the model of the individual monitor. So even if your video card doesn't have a VGA connection, you can still find a monitor that will give good scaling options.

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