Dashed lines and other display artifacts

Vynd

Prince
Joined
Dec 30, 2001
Messages
388
Location
Detroit
I have an intermittent problem with Civ IV and its expansions. Sometimes, usually after I've been playing for at least 15-20 minutes, the display goes all weird. It's hard to describe, but it's kind of like there are little dashes flickering or running all over the screen. They're not bad enough to totally obscure the game but they're definitely annoying and not supposed to be there. Once this starts there will occasionally be split second "flashes" where all of the color is shifted, as if say the blue is gone, or maybe offset from where it should be in the image.

These problems persist if I exit Civ IV. I have to reboot my machine to get it to stop. Civ IV is the only game that causes this to happen, but once it starts the problem does not stop unless I reboot my machine. If I exit Civ IV the problem continues on my desktop, or if I run other programs.

I've tried taking screenshots of the problem but the screenshots always look normal.

This problem has been with me on and off for years, although lately it seems a bit more common. I've posted about it before and searched as well but never found anyone who described something similar. Figured I'd give it another go.

I've updated my graphics drivers several times during this timeframe. That never made a difference. I've also tried different monitors without seeing any improvements.

I'm running an AMD 3500+ 2.2 Gig PC with an NVidia GeForce 8600 GTS. Video drivers are non-standard: Omega 2.169.21, but the latest Nvidia drivers don't work any better. Direct X 9.0c
 

thskyt

Chieftain
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Messages
1
Hi!

I've got the same issue ever since I added the latest update when I installed Civ4 on a fresh Vista installation.

Without the update there's no problems and in Civ IV:Colonization there aren't any either.
 

Vynd

Prince
Joined
Dec 30, 2001
Messages
388
Location
Detroit
I have taken screenshots while the problem is occurring. But they look normal, even though what I am actually seeing is anything but. It's pretty frustrating that way.

With the dashes, its kind of like little bits of the picture are being displaced to either side. For instance if most of the screen is black but there is a white box in the middle of the screen, there will be black dashes flickering around inside the white box, and white dashes flickering to the left and right of the box.
 

Vynd

Prince
Joined
Dec 30, 2001
Messages
388
Location
Detroit
It's a PC. It occurred to me that it could be overheating. I tried cracking the case open and blowing a box fan into it, that doesn't seem to make a difference. Which I suppose may just mean that when it overheats it overheats by a lot. Strange that Civ IV does this to me when seemingly more graphics intensive games like BioShock or Mass Effect cause no problems.
 

Carwyn

Prince
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Messages
462
I wanted to ask here too - I just put together a new computer for my husband and it has a similar problem, only the game boots up with it. I have flashing V shapes that move around and bits of graphics are are dislocated and shimmer and move. I had a very similar problem a long time ago solved with a new video card, as my old one was old and underpowered. However, this is a brand new video card ATI X1600 and exactly like the one on my machine that runs the game just great. Also the new computer has the same Gigabyte mobo and P4 chip in it. It doesn't have 2 GB's of RAM yet, waiting for the chips to arrive, but it's running the same chips I was using a week a go with no problem.

Could there be a setting issue with the game or the card? What would I look for?

Thanks!
 

Carwyn

Prince
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Messages
462
Ok, I'll go run that. The new computer may not have as current a DirectX as this one for one. It does have a new 450W power supply, should be ok. I really don't think the card is overheating, the case is still open, it hasn't been on long and the fans don't speed up (no extra noise going on).

I'll let you know what I find out, I'd love to have his game running by the time he gets home from a trip tomorrow. :) Spent the whole week building him a computer just to play CIV IV! lol
 

Carwyn

Prince
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Messages
462
The dxdiag came back ok, but I was suspicious of overheating (in spite of it being a brand new card) and ran temp monitor - sure enough, as soon as I load Civ IV, the temp spikes up. I ran a test program that put it under load and the temp spiked up a bit higher and froze the computer. I guess it's time to talk to the warranty people! (The case is still open, has fanage, the fan on the card seems to be working fine.) I have the exact same Mobo/video card combination in my computer and it runs Civ IV at 55C, the faulty one spikes up to 66C and froze up at 67C. I guess that answers my question. I don't think its a dirty fan on a brand new card!
 

Carwyn

Prince
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Messages
462
Yeah, I've emailed the guy I bought it from, waiting to hear from him and going to put an alternate in for the time being. At least I know what went wrong and perhaps my experience will help someone else if they get the graphics glitches.
 
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