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Help with 6800 Go Powered Inspiron 9300


Paul Moloney

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(Just a bit of background on my level of PC knowledge; I'm a technical writer who's been a Windows user now since version 3.0 and have been putting PCs together now for 5 years.)

I have an Inspiron 9300 with the following specifications:

* 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 6800 video card

* 1GB memory

* 1.86Mhz Pentium M CPU

Since I got my Inspiron 9300, I've had an ongoing issue with it: it has not been able to play 3D games properly.

All manifest the exact same behaviour: the graphics pause or stutter every few seconds. I emphasise that the _average_ frames-per-second is fine and the laptop can easily handle these games, some of which are up to 4 years old. I'm not trying to play any cutting-edge games on it.

However, every few seconds, the screen appears to lock for around a half-second. It doesn't matter what type of game; this happens in everything from Half-Life 2 (recent) to Neverwinter Nights (4 years old).

At first I thought it was due to online lag (since I was only playing World of Warcraft), but realised it shows up in any game, no matter how old or whether or not it uses networking/internet. I've noticed that on most occasions, the disk access light lights up.

I've done the following troubleshooting (in roughly this order):

Attempted to play the games - even the 4 year old ones - at their very lowest visual settings; didn't make any difference to amount of stuttering

Defragged the machine

Run chkdisk

Run Western Digital's Data Lifeguard Diagnostic tool (passed).

Used msconfig to stop all non-Microsoft background processes while trying to run games.

Installed the latest version of all drivers from the Dell support site.

Used compressed air to clean the heatsink and fan vents.

Toggled wireless access off

Checked the BIOS setting and Used SpeedswitchXP (http://www.diefer.de/speedswitchxp/index.html SpeedswitchXP) to ensure the machine was running at full speed.

Ensured that laptop was running at full CPU speed in BIOS (that is, Speed Step is enabled).

Ensured I had the latest BIOS version installed (A05)

Run the DirectX tests (passed).

Rebooted and ran the Dell diagnostic program as advised by support (passed).

After all the above, I performed a complete reinstallation of the machine; that is, wiped the C partition, reformated it to NTSC and installed XP SP2 again, using the back-up CD that can be burnt from the Dell laptop.

I didn't install any further software other than 3 games to test. Again, same stuttering.

I've had no luck with support.

If anyone thinks one of the drivers here might help, please advise on which I should use.

Regards,

P.

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We have the same laptop... I'm using the official Dell driver 84.30 and I'm really happy with it. Install it and do a new test.

If the stuttering is still there download I8kFanGUI to monitor your laptop temperatures. My IDLE temps are 45°C for the CPU and 45°C for the GPU. When I launch 3D games both temps rise but as soon as the GPU fan goes to full speed the GPU temp stay in the low 60's.

All the links and information around my computer can be harvested from the Overclock on demand thread.

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