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I'm starting to see a similar pattern of crashes with the first person shooter games Nexuiz and Unreal Tournament 2004 demo - much more so with UT. The graphics freeze, ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Newbie
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    Crashes: Is it just a memory issue?


    I'm starting to see a similar pattern of crashes with the first person shooter games Nexuiz and Unreal Tournament 2004 demo - much more so with UT. The graphics freeze, the audio may loop a little, and at first the system seems to have come to a screeching halt. I cannot immediately switch to a console via Ctrl+Alt+F# or kill the X-server, and there seems to be no harddrive activity. However if I give it a minute or two, I see various graphics corruptions and am finally able to get a console. I immediately run top and kill UT and X, but a short time afterwards my system crashes again, and requires a reset. I can't seem to ssh in from outside at any time after it becomes unstable.

    Does it sound like this is a memory issue? I only have a quarter of a gig of RAM, and my friends say a game like UT would do much better with a full gig. Yet it's not as if my swap drive is even filled to half capacity, so I don't understand why a shortage of physical memory would lead to anything besides a slowdown. I've tried killing my normal KDE session and running it on its own uncluttered X server.

    If you don't think this is the problem, then am I looking at bugs with the kernel/nVidia, or UT (and to a lesser extend, Nexuiz) itself?

    Specs:
    AMD Sempron 2800
    256 MB RAM
    nVidia 6200 / 256MB
    nVidia 7667 driver ( - actually I just upgraded to 7676 but have yet to test it)

    I've seen a number of threads with UT related problems here, but none of them mention a random crash with no error message or log entry.
    \"Nifty News Fifty: When news breaks, we give you the pieces.\" - Sluggy Freelance

  2. #2
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    There is a whole field of science devoted to figuring out the causes of crashes. Yes, it is more than likely that this was a memory failure, but it is anyones guess as to why the swap drive did not kick in and do its job. It could also be the game itself. Maybe there is a bug that makes it impossible to access the swap space. Or it might be there is one too many solutions for the oucome of a function. Does it always happen in the same place, or after a certain ammount of time?

  3. #3
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    As far as I can tell, it does not happen at any particular point in the game; not even when loading a level or doing something else particularly intensive. It seemed slightly more stable after the driver upgrade, and the entire time I even had another X server running KDE so I could check the GPU temperature and memory usage.

    I found that the GPU temp never exceeded 40 C, and that over time the percentage of used physical memory increased from 87ish to 91ish - not a huge change. Also, swap space increased from 5% to 15% (on a 2 gig partition) - I'm guessing that's just harmless memory leakage.


    No matter what happens, I'm eventually going to upgrade to a full gig sometime within the next few months. It'd put my mind at ease if I knew that this would solve the crashing problem as well, but I understand that that's not really a reassurance you guys can give me.
    \"Nifty News Fifty: When news breaks, we give you the pieces.\" - Sluggy Freelance

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