Single Status Update
Right then... about time I write what should now be the final update on this little project of mine that I have been working on since late last year: https://forum.truckersmp.com/index.php?/profile/666-mike-dragon/&status=120306&type=status I meant to post about it weeks ago, around early February, actually, but I kept on postponing it for various reasons (mostly laziness).
So then, as I have mentioned previously, I've been having issues with that PC where it would completely lock up at seemingly random moments and for no apparent reason. After many tests I came to the conclusion that the problem was, most likely, being caused by the processor cooler. So I ordered a new one eventually and once it arrived, I got it installed.
Perfect installation, brand new thermal compound and much lower temperatures with the new cooler and no problems to read the RPM like the old cooler!
Everything seemed to be going well and the computer worked for quite some time without showing any signs of the problems it was having before the cooler was replaced. Until it did, that is. So I was like, "WTF?!". While playing Need for Speed Most Wanted as a test, it eventually locked up again. I was a bit bamboozled but also quite frustrated. If replacing the cooler didn't fix the problem, then there should be only one last thing left to replace: The motherboard. Which I really did NOT want to do. Besides, despite the circumstances pointing at the motherboard being the guilty one for the problem, I highly doubted that it is defective. Then I remembered that AIDA64, which I have installed on Windows XP on this PC, has a system stress battery of tests. I needed a detailed diagnostic so I ran it a few times (should have done it from the beginning, to be honest). Sometimes the test would fail to run and when it would run, the system would lock up again. But to my surprise, it only happened when I had the RAM selected to be subjected to the stress test.
I was surprised by this result because I had tested the RAM with Memtest on this motherboard as well as another one and in neither tests any problems were found. So I went into full "Screw it!" mode and replaced the two 512MB DDR2 RAM modules for a single 1 GB DDR400 module (this motherboard supports both generations. Just not both at the same time) and ran ALL the tests all over again with the older memory and SON OF A GUN!!! After two days of heavy testing, not a single problem! The computer, for the first time since I started to actually use it, ran smoothly as if it was brand new. Not a single Windows crash, not a single lock up as it was happening before, not a single failure on AIDA64's stress tests, nothing. I suppose the DDR2 RAM slots on the motherboard might not be as good as I believed they were, after all. Well, that sucks!
Fun fact, Internet Explorer 5 on Windows 2000 is still able to browse Google. I wasn't expecting that.
Anyway... It's been weeks now since I have finished all the tests on this PC and put it back together, for good, this time. I still need to get it some support so it won't sit on the floor as it currently is (which is bad for it), but other than that it is working perfectly fine!
Between the time I brought it back to my bedroom for actual usage and now, I have installed some games on it and even experimented with recording a game from the PC itself.
I tested it under Windows XP and used Bandicam. King of the Road is very playable while recording, despite the lower framerate and compared to capturing with my old TV capture card, it's definitely a far better choice, image-wise. Though the framerate, although playable, did bug me quite a lot. For comparison, here's some actual playthrough of the same game that I recorded on Sunday, just a few hours after Real Operations 6 ended (I was very tired when I recorded this video). This was, however, recorded using my TV capture card. You should notice the smooth framerate, but lower image quality. I actually address these points I just mentioned in the video itself:
So all in all, I suppose I can say I am happy with this little project I have been working on for so many months, now, and I suppose I can say that it is finally finished. Should I have to work on it again, hopefully it should be to simply upgrade something. I certainly would like to have a higher-end AGP graphics card for this system. But for now, this is all.