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Old 01-02-2005, 17:43   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Washington
Posts: 3,431

What next???

I'm trying to patch my son's computer up so it runs World of Warcraft better. My son plays this game online quite a bit. We have dsl, and he is running win98se. I realize this old machine is under powered for these types of games but I'm trying to limp it along for awhile longer.

Here are the listed minimum requirements for the game:
Win 98/2000/xp
Pentium III 800mhz
256mb ram
32mb 3d graphics card w/ hardware transform and lighting, such as an nvidia Geforce 2 class card or above.

Here is what his machine has:
Pentium III 733mhz
512mb ram (recently upgraded from 256)
Radeon 9000 pro video card
Audio adapter creative SB live sound card
Plenty of hd space and fast enough cd drive

The problem is frame rate with sound on. The frame rate is pretty good with all the sound turned off. In fact it is playable with the sound off. I upped the ram from 256 to 512 and this smoothed the frame rate out with the sound off, but did little to improve the frame rate with the sound on. The game is unplayable with the sound on, frame rate plummets to 5-7 fps with sound on.

What next? Do you think the 2001 creative SB sound card could be causing this???

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Old 01-02-2005, 18:06   #2
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Location: South of Houston
Posts: 2,401
Have you patched World of Warcraft to the latest release?

Have you updated your Soundblaster drivers?

A quick Google shows this to be a pretty common type of problem, among other sound related problems, mostly blaming Creatives drivers and their cards.

One solution is....

A few months ago when this issue came up on the Tech Support forum for the first time, a kind Blizzard rep (forgot his name) was collecting data on the issue and suggested that users with this crashing problem add the following two lines to their "Config.WTF" file in the "World of Warcraft\WTF" folder:

SET SoundMinHardwareChannels "0"
SET SoundMaxHardwareChannels "0"

If you already see these lines in the Config.WTF file, leave them and make sure the numbers in both lines say "0" (zero).

What this does exactly, as the Blizzard rep explained, was force WoW to process and output the sound using software mode only - that is, no hardware specific sound features of your sound card would be used. Specifically, for the Soundblaster Live! and Audigy series of sound cards, software sound mode meant that Creative's "EAX" and other 3-D audio features were disabled.
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Old 01-02-2005, 22:14   #3
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Last edited by Washington,D.C.; 01-03-2005 at 04:52..
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Old 01-03-2005, 03:25   #4
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Location: SW Oregon
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Geez, I'm surprised someone else didn't post this already:

Upgrade to a minimum 9800Pro vid card. 9800XT is even better, though it costs more, too.

Your MOBO is probably maxed out for RAM, and that means there is only one more weak link besides the slow system bus and CPU--the 3D card itself.

If you plan on building the next PC you own (and you really should, you know--better support, higher quality and a FAR better set of warranties), consider this the first component.

Next, get a good case. Then a few months after that, get a new processor. Soon all the other parts will be in hand and you can assemble your new rig.
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