NVIDIA driver problem with Mass Effect (PC)
I have been using the 178.13 driver for some time playing many different games on my PC with no problems. I recently purchased Mass Effect and would have crash and lockup problems where I would have to reboot or reset the PC. I would only be able to play around 30 to 60 minutes before one of these lockups would occur. They would be random in nature and occur at any time with any type of action or cut scene. They never occurred at the same point in the games. I would get a black screen, sometimes with sound still playing, but I could not get back to the desktop with any method and would normally have to hit the reset button.

Taking the normal advice to install the latest drivers, I installed 180.84. This driver caused the same problem and even more frequently it seemed.

Reading the Bioware technical forums, it seems many players are having problems with the later NVIDIA drivers for this game. Some were having success with the 175.xx and 177.xx series, but I have not tried any of them.

I reverted back to a version 174.74 and the lockup crash problems no longer occurred and I was able to play the game through twice now without any video problems.

What is going on here, is this a problem in the Mass Effect game or an NVIDIA driver problem. It would seem that something is not right with the later drivers as an older version works fine. I would really like to keep more current drivers on my system rather than having to install older version to play games that are not even a year old yet.

I have also updated Mass Effect with the latest patch which did not help the lockups.

Any help would be appreciated.

My system specs are:

Windows XP Home
Abit IP35 Pro motherboard
Realtek HD sound
9600 GT video card with 512K
Core 2 Duo E6750
2 Gigs Ram
I have been using the 178.13 driver for some time playing many different games on my PC with no problems. I recently purchased Mass Effect and would have crash and lockup problems where I would have to reboot or reset the PC. I would only be able to play around 30 to 60 minutes before one of these lockups would occur. They would be random in nature and occur at any time with any type of action or cut scene. They never occurred at the same point in the games. I would get a black screen, sometimes with sound still playing, but I could not get back to the desktop with any method and would normally have to hit the reset button.



Taking the normal advice to install the latest drivers, I installed 180.84. This driver caused the same problem and even more frequently it seemed.



Reading the Bioware technical forums, it seems many players are having problems with the later NVIDIA drivers for this game. Some were having success with the 175.xx and 177.xx series, but I have not tried any of them.



I reverted back to a version 174.74 and the lockup crash problems no longer occurred and I was able to play the game through twice now without any video problems.



What is going on here, is this a problem in the Mass Effect game or an NVIDIA driver problem. It would seem that something is not right with the later drivers as an older version works fine. I would really like to keep more current drivers on my system rather than having to install older version to play games that are not even a year old yet.



I have also updated Mass Effect with the latest patch which did not help the lockups.



Any help would be appreciated.



My system specs are:



Windows XP Home

Abit IP35 Pro motherboard

Realtek HD sound

9600 GT video card with 512K

Core 2 Duo E6750

2 Gigs Ram

#1
Posted 12/13/2008 08:43 AM   
I was hoping that someone from NVIDIA would have given a reply, but I'm patient, so I did some additional driver testing.

Because some players on the Bioware tech forums were having luck with driver version 175.19, I thought I would give it a try. I have now played Mass Effect for 8 hours without a crash, so I would say this driver is working okay also with my system and GPU combination.

From what I have observed:

Versions 178.13 and 180.48 cause frequent game lockups at random actions or places.

Versions 174.74 and 175.19 work just fine with Mass Effect.

I also checked my 9600 GT temperature after running the game for 1 hour and it was at 58 degrees C, and indicated the fan was running at 35%. At idle the temperature was at 47 degrees C. Based on this observation I would say that heating was not a problem and still makes the drivers indicated suspicious.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

My system specs are:

Windows XP Home
Abit IP35 Pro motherboard
Realtek HD sound
9600 GT video card with 512K
Core 2 Duo E6750
2 Gigs Ram
I was hoping that someone from NVIDIA would have given a reply, but I'm patient, so I did some additional driver testing.



Because some players on the Bioware tech forums were having luck with driver version 175.19, I thought I would give it a try. I have now played Mass Effect for 8 hours without a crash, so I would say this driver is working okay also with my system and GPU combination.



From what I have observed:



Versions 178.13 and 180.48 cause frequent game lockups at random actions or places.



Versions 174.74 and 175.19 work just fine with Mass Effect.



I also checked my 9600 GT temperature after running the game for 1 hour and it was at 58 degrees C, and indicated the fan was running at 35%. At idle the temperature was at 47 degrees C. Based on this observation I would say that heating was not a problem and still makes the drivers indicated suspicious.



Thanks in advance for any feedback.



My system specs are:



Windows XP Home

Abit IP35 Pro motherboard

Realtek HD sound

9600 GT video card with 512K

Core 2 Duo E6750

2 Gigs Ram

#2
Posted 12/14/2008 07:46 PM   
Nvidia probably will not respond - but they should already know that any official Physx-enabled driver does not work correctly. So for now PhysX is a show-off that will hurt compatibility with many old games. Especially 180.48 is the worst release in a long time - as you and many others have witnessed, these drivers are unstable and crashes a lot of games - like World of Warcraft, Sega Rally Revo, Call of Juarez, Mass Effect etc., while 175.19 works perfectly. Dead Space does work with 180.48, but after a few minutes my performance in 2048x1536@85Hz drops from solid 85FPS to 42-43FPS (using vsync) - but with 175.19 the game keeps running at 85FPS in 85Hz, which is so much better. So some sort of memory leak may be present in 180.48...

I use 2 x 8800GT in SLI and a Q6600 quad-core cpu (Vista 32bit, 4GB ram) and of course Physx is interesting - but until Mirror's Edge or Cryostasis are published, for me PhysX is worthless. So unless you really need PhysX right now, I would suggest holding on to 175.19 and wait for Nvidia to fix their faulty drivers...
Nvidia probably will not respond - but they should already know that any official Physx-enabled driver does not work correctly. So for now PhysX is a show-off that will hurt compatibility with many old games. Especially 180.48 is the worst release in a long time - as you and many others have witnessed, these drivers are unstable and crashes a lot of games - like World of Warcraft, Sega Rally Revo, Call of Juarez, Mass Effect etc., while 175.19 works perfectly. Dead Space does work with 180.48, but after a few minutes my performance in 2048x1536@85Hz drops from solid 85FPS to 42-43FPS (using vsync) - but with 175.19 the game keeps running at 85FPS in 85Hz, which is so much better. So some sort of memory leak may be present in 180.48...



I use 2 x 8800GT in SLI and a Q6600 quad-core cpu (Vista 32bit, 4GB ram) and of course Physx is interesting - but until Mirror's Edge or Cryostasis are published, for me PhysX is worthless. So unless you really need PhysX right now, I would suggest holding on to 175.19 and wait for Nvidia to fix their faulty drivers...

#3
Posted 12/19/2008 09:22 AM   
[quote name='BenXertus' post='476228' date='Dec 13 2008, 12:43 AM']I have been using the 178.13 driver for some time playing many different games on my PC with no problems. I recently purchased Mass Effect and would have crash and lockup problems where I would have to reboot or reset the PC. I would only be able to play around 30 to 60 minutes before one of these lockups would occur. They would be random in nature and occur at any time with any type of action or cut scene. They never occurred at the same point in the games. I would get a black screen, sometimes with sound still playing, but I could not get back to the desktop with any method and would normally have to hit the reset button.

Taking the normal advice to install the latest drivers, I installed 180.84. This driver caused the same problem and even more frequently it seemed.

Reading the Bioware technical forums, it seems many players are having problems with the later NVIDIA drivers for this game. Some were having success with the 175.xx and 177.xx series, but I have not tried any of them.

I reverted back to a version 174.74 and the lockup crash problems no longer occurred and I was able to play the game through twice now without any video problems.

What is going on here, is this a problem in the Mass Effect game or an NVIDIA driver problem. It would seem that something is not right with the later drivers as an older version works fine. I would really like to keep more current drivers on my system rather than having to install older version to play games that are not even a year old yet.

I have also updated Mass Effect with the latest patch which did not help the lockups.

Any help would be appreciated.

My system specs are:

Windows XP Home
Abit IP35 Pro motherboard
Realtek HD sound
9600 GT video card with 512K
Core 2 Duo E6750
2 Gigs Ram[/quote]

I too am having problem with my GeForce 9600 GT 512mb. I'm running Vista and having "stuttering" problems in some Firaxis games with very modest system requirements. In Mass Effect I get a lot "choppiness" and have had some crashes as you describe. I am not happy with the 180.84 drivers at all, too many problems. Reverting to older drivers didn't help with the Firaxis games though.
[quote name='BenXertus' post='476228' date='Dec 13 2008, 12:43 AM']I have been using the 178.13 driver for some time playing many different games on my PC with no problems. I recently purchased Mass Effect and would have crash and lockup problems where I would have to reboot or reset the PC. I would only be able to play around 30 to 60 minutes before one of these lockups would occur. They would be random in nature and occur at any time with any type of action or cut scene. They never occurred at the same point in the games. I would get a black screen, sometimes with sound still playing, but I could not get back to the desktop with any method and would normally have to hit the reset button.



Taking the normal advice to install the latest drivers, I installed 180.84. This driver caused the same problem and even more frequently it seemed.



Reading the Bioware technical forums, it seems many players are having problems with the later NVIDIA drivers for this game. Some were having success with the 175.xx and 177.xx series, but I have not tried any of them.



I reverted back to a version 174.74 and the lockup crash problems no longer occurred and I was able to play the game through twice now without any video problems.



What is going on here, is this a problem in the Mass Effect game or an NVIDIA driver problem. It would seem that something is not right with the later drivers as an older version works fine. I would really like to keep more current drivers on my system rather than having to install older version to play games that are not even a year old yet.



I have also updated Mass Effect with the latest patch which did not help the lockups.



Any help would be appreciated.



My system specs are:



Windows XP Home

Abit IP35 Pro motherboard

Realtek HD sound

9600 GT video card with 512K

Core 2 Duo E6750

2 Gigs Ram



I too am having problem with my GeForce 9600 GT 512mb. I'm running Vista and having "stuttering" problems in some Firaxis games with very modest system requirements. In Mass Effect I get a lot "choppiness" and have had some crashes as you describe. I am not happy with the 180.84 drivers at all, too many problems. Reverting to older drivers didn't help with the Firaxis games though.

#4
Posted 12/20/2008 08:23 PM   
[quote name='QuadraQ' post='479733' date='Dec 20 2008, 02:23 PM']I too am having problem with my GeForce 9600 GT 512mb. I'm running Vista and having "stuttering" problems in some Firaxis games with very modest system requirements. In Mass Effect I get a lot "choppiness" and have had some crashes as you describe. I am not happy with the 180.84 drivers at all, too many problems. Reverting to older drivers didn't help with the Firaxis games though.[/quote]


When you revert to the older drivers make sure you also remove the PhysX drivers that were installed with 180.84.

I have now played Mass Effect 3 times through with 175.19 with no video problems. I do have some sound problems at various places in the game, but I think that is a universal problem with everyone.

Good luck.

Hopefully, NVIDIA will fix the problems in these later drivers as we should not be having to revert to older ones.
[quote name='QuadraQ' post='479733' date='Dec 20 2008, 02:23 PM']I too am having problem with my GeForce 9600 GT 512mb. I'm running Vista and having "stuttering" problems in some Firaxis games with very modest system requirements. In Mass Effect I get a lot "choppiness" and have had some crashes as you describe. I am not happy with the 180.84 drivers at all, too many problems. Reverting to older drivers didn't help with the Firaxis games though.





When you revert to the older drivers make sure you also remove the PhysX drivers that were installed with 180.84.



I have now played Mass Effect 3 times through with 175.19 with no video problems. I do have some sound problems at various places in the game, but I think that is a universal problem with everyone.



Good luck.



Hopefully, NVIDIA will fix the problems in these later drivers as we should not be having to revert to older ones.

#5
Posted 12/24/2008 04:22 AM   
I found this topic with a google.
Thanks much!!

Previously, I was only able to play about 30 mins at a time until mass effect crashed (I had 177 driver version with geforce 8800 gts). Most of the time it crashed in such a way as to lock d3d so I had to restart to play again.
I uninstalled the driver using add/remove programs, and then uninstalled the nvidia phys-x too.

Now with your suggested driver 175.19 I've played 3+ hours without any probs!
(I bought the steam version of ME)

Now if nvidia would only fix up the later drivers... 175.19 has some issues with some stuff in Left 4 Dead disappearing until you get very close (as if the level of detail settings are screwed in the driver).

BTW, prior to uninstalling the driver I tried using the nvidia phys-x control panel to disable phys-x and it didn't seem to help much. Admitedly I didn't try it very much though.
I found this topic with a google.

Thanks much!!



Previously, I was only able to play about 30 mins at a time until mass effect crashed (I had 177 driver version with geforce 8800 gts). Most of the time it crashed in such a way as to lock d3d so I had to restart to play again.

I uninstalled the driver using add/remove programs, and then uninstalled the nvidia phys-x too.



Now with your suggested driver 175.19 I've played 3+ hours without any probs!

(I bought the steam version of ME)



Now if nvidia would only fix up the later drivers... 175.19 has some issues with some stuff in Left 4 Dead disappearing until you get very close (as if the level of detail settings are screwed in the driver).



BTW, prior to uninstalling the driver I tried using the nvidia phys-x control panel to disable phys-x and it didn't seem to help much. Admitedly I didn't try it very much though.

#6
Posted 01/06/2009 12:01 PM   
I also just tested the new WHQL driver 181.20, but again Sega Rally Revo froze and gave me a "Blue Screen Of Death" (BSOD) in Vista before my PC auto-rebooted. I have never experienced any BSOD using Forceware 175.19 or below. Also the new Cryostasis tech demo had issues, seemed like some sort of texture curruption - and others have experienced similar using 181.20:

[url="http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/cryostasissleepofreason/download_6202565.html?sid=6202565&part=rss&subj=6202565"]http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/cryostas...mp;subj=6202565[/url]

and here:

[url="http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?p=2978490"]http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?p=2978490[/url]

In my opinion it is a severe problem that Cryostasis Tech Demo does not work perfectly using 181.20 - since this is one of the most promising soon-to-be-released PhysX-supported games (Mirror's Edge is also looking good).

So again I gave up upon 181.20 and went back to the good old 175.19 - but of course, if someone is playing mostly new games like GTA4 and Fallout 3 etc., their experiences with 181.20 may differ, but I have a lot of older games that I like to be able to run. Also I am using 8800GTs, and maybe 181.20 works better with newer cards...
I also just tested the new WHQL driver 181.20, but again Sega Rally Revo froze and gave me a "Blue Screen Of Death" (BSOD) in Vista before my PC auto-rebooted. I have never experienced any BSOD using Forceware 175.19 or below. Also the new Cryostasis tech demo had issues, seemed like some sort of texture curruption - and others have experienced similar using 181.20:



http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/cryostas...mp;subj=6202565



and here:



http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?p=2978490



In my opinion it is a severe problem that Cryostasis Tech Demo does not work perfectly using 181.20 - since this is one of the most promising soon-to-be-released PhysX-supported games (Mirror's Edge is also looking good).



So again I gave up upon 181.20 and went back to the good old 175.19 - but of course, if someone is playing mostly new games like GTA4 and Fallout 3 etc., their experiences with 181.20 may differ, but I have a lot of older games that I like to be able to run. Also I am using 8800GTs, and maybe 181.20 works better with newer cards...

#7
Posted 01/11/2009 11:59 AM   
[quote name='runesr2' post='479034' date='Dec 19 2008, 04:22 AM']Nvidia probably will not respond - but they should already know that any official Physx-enabled driver does not work correctly. So for now PhysX is a show-off that will hurt compatibility with many old games. Especially 180.48 is the worst release in a long time - as you and many others have witnessed, these drivers are unstable and crashes a lot of games - like World of Warcraft, Sega Rally Revo, Call of Juarez, Mass Effect etc., while 175.19 works perfectly. Dead Space does work with 180.48, but after a few minutes my performance in 2048x1536@85Hz drops from solid 85FPS to 42-43FPS (using vsync) - but with 175.19 the game keeps running at 85FPS in 85Hz, which is so much better. So some sort of memory leak may be present in 180.48...

I use 2 x 8800GT in SLI and a Q6600 quad-core cpu (Vista 32bit, 4GB ram) and of course Physx is interesting - but until Mirror's Edge or Cryostasis are published, for me PhysX is worthless. So unless you really need PhysX right now, I would suggest holding on to 175.19 and wait for Nvidia to fix their faulty drivers...[/quote]
Not sure why I didn't see this earlier, but, the reason for the drop in L4D from fps of 85 to 42-43 is because with Vsync, if your fps drop below 85, then you end up with 42-43. Example, when I play POP game, I use vsync and the game is constant at 60fps, because, the fps I am getting are >=60, but, once I got 59, then it drops to 30fps which is very noticeable >.< Give the 185.20 drivers a try. They are said to improve IQ, fps and add ambient occlusion which is better lighting for more realistic gfx :D
[quote name='runesr2' post='479034' date='Dec 19 2008, 04:22 AM']Nvidia probably will not respond - but they should already know that any official Physx-enabled driver does not work correctly. So for now PhysX is a show-off that will hurt compatibility with many old games. Especially 180.48 is the worst release in a long time - as you and many others have witnessed, these drivers are unstable and crashes a lot of games - like World of Warcraft, Sega Rally Revo, Call of Juarez, Mass Effect etc., while 175.19 works perfectly. Dead Space does work with 180.48, but after a few minutes my performance in 2048x1536@85Hz drops from solid 85FPS to 42-43FPS (using vsync) - but with 175.19 the game keeps running at 85FPS in 85Hz, which is so much better. So some sort of memory leak may be present in 180.48...



I use 2 x 8800GT in SLI and a Q6600 quad-core cpu (Vista 32bit, 4GB ram) and of course Physx is interesting - but until Mirror's Edge or Cryostasis are published, for me PhysX is worthless. So unless you really need PhysX right now, I would suggest holding on to 175.19 and wait for Nvidia to fix their faulty drivers...

Not sure why I didn't see this earlier, but, the reason for the drop in L4D from fps of 85 to 42-43 is because with Vsync, if your fps drop below 85, then you end up with 42-43. Example, when I play POP game, I use vsync and the game is constant at 60fps, because, the fps I am getting are >=60, but, once I got 59, then it drops to 30fps which is very noticeable >.< Give the 185.20 drivers a try. They are said to improve IQ, fps and add ambient occlusion which is better lighting for more realistic gfx :D

#8
Posted 01/13/2009 01:20 AM   
[quote name='BigFan' post='490238' date='Jan 13 2009, 02:20 AM']Not sure why I didn't see this earlier, but, the reason for the drop in L4D from fps of 85 to 42-43 is because with Vsync, if your fps drop below 85, then you end up with 42-43. Example, when I play POP game, I use vsync and the game is constant at 60fps, because, the fps I am getting are >=60, but, once I got 59, then it drops to 30fps which is very noticeable >.< Give the 185.20 drivers a try. They are said to improve IQ, fps and add ambient occlusion which is better lighting for more realistic gfx :D[/quote]

Exactly, but activating vsync in Dead Space using 175.19 results in a perfect 85 FPS at 85 Hz in 2048x1536 (my FPS are limited by vsync even though this is a high resolution), but using newer Forceware 178+ PhysX-enabled drivers Dead Space starts at 85FPS at 85Hz (perfect 1:1-ratio), but after a few minutes the performance drops to 42-43 FPS (1:2-ratio). Sometimes when entering a new location using 175.19 in Dead Space a minor stutter can be noticed, probably as the scene is loaded into the ram (I am just guessing), but after this FPS are back at perfect 85 FPS at 85Hz. Using PhysX-drivers I did not notice similar stuttering, but when encountering a new location that normally would result in minor stuttering on 175.19, now FPS went down and remained at 42-43 FPS until the game was completely shut down and restarted. So clearly something is strange...

BTW, actually the drop from 60 FPS to 30 FPS and then 20 FPS is the main reason why I could not use my 22" LCD 60Hz for gaming, but went back to my 21" Sony F520 CRT. At 60 Hz you will often experience (although triple buffering may help) 60 FPS (1:1), 30 FPS (1:2), 20 FPS (1:3), 15 FPS (1:4) and so on, while at 120 Hz on a good CRT you can experience 120 FPS (1:1), 60 FPS (1:2), 40 FPS (1:3), 30 FPS (1:4), 24 FPS (1:5), 20 FPS (1:6) and so on - so the higher the refresh, the better performance you will get.

But maybe Left for Dead also could benefit from 175.19...
[quote name='BigFan' post='490238' date='Jan 13 2009, 02:20 AM']Not sure why I didn't see this earlier, but, the reason for the drop in L4D from fps of 85 to 42-43 is because with Vsync, if your fps drop below 85, then you end up with 42-43. Example, when I play POP game, I use vsync and the game is constant at 60fps, because, the fps I am getting are >=60, but, once I got 59, then it drops to 30fps which is very noticeable >.< Give the 185.20 drivers a try. They are said to improve IQ, fps and add ambient occlusion which is better lighting for more realistic gfx :D



Exactly, but activating vsync in Dead Space using 175.19 results in a perfect 85 FPS at 85 Hz in 2048x1536 (my FPS are limited by vsync even though this is a high resolution), but using newer Forceware 178+ PhysX-enabled drivers Dead Space starts at 85FPS at 85Hz (perfect 1:1-ratio), but after a few minutes the performance drops to 42-43 FPS (1:2-ratio). Sometimes when entering a new location using 175.19 in Dead Space a minor stutter can be noticed, probably as the scene is loaded into the ram (I am just guessing), but after this FPS are back at perfect 85 FPS at 85Hz. Using PhysX-drivers I did not notice similar stuttering, but when encountering a new location that normally would result in minor stuttering on 175.19, now FPS went down and remained at 42-43 FPS until the game was completely shut down and restarted. So clearly something is strange...



BTW, actually the drop from 60 FPS to 30 FPS and then 20 FPS is the main reason why I could not use my 22" LCD 60Hz for gaming, but went back to my 21" Sony F520 CRT. At 60 Hz you will often experience (although triple buffering may help) 60 FPS (1:1), 30 FPS (1:2), 20 FPS (1:3), 15 FPS (1:4) and so on, while at 120 Hz on a good CRT you can experience 120 FPS (1:1), 60 FPS (1:2), 40 FPS (1:3), 30 FPS (1:4), 24 FPS (1:5), 20 FPS (1:6) and so on - so the higher the refresh, the better performance you will get.



But maybe Left for Dead also could benefit from 175.19...

#9
Posted 01/13/2009 12:30 PM   
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