Jun 2, 2008

My current System Specifications - OS Platform, Graphics and RAM

Ok, so the last few days have been pretty hectic for me when it comes to watching my TV on the web. My graphics card was acting crazy, the screen was flashing at random times, and even freezing on occasion. I thought my GeForceFX 5200 was overheating or just about to croak or something. After some troubleshooting and ripping my computer apart a dozen times I decided to Google the situation. I had a hunch from the very beginning, turns out I may have been right... drivers.

Here are my current system specs:
  • 3.0Ghz Intel Celeron D Chipset
  • 1.5GB DDR RAM
  • 256MB nVidia GeForceFX 5200 Graphics
  • Realtek 6 channel surround sound
  • Windows XP Home SP3
I know it's not very impressive in todays market, but hey, it works... sometimes.

It all started when I decided to build this blog. I figured I would give my system a full on cleaning, reformat, and reinstall Windows. I aquired a copy of the Windows XP Home SP3 and used the key that is glued to the side of my tower, worked like a charm. Sure beats the "system restore" that comes with premade systems containing all that bloatware. A fresh XP install with nothing else, JUST XP!

It is truly awesome.

The cool thing about me having XP Home, and a mediocre system (if you can call it that) is that I can experience and report on Internet TV sites and software using what my average readers may be watching on. Not some tweaked out techie box that cost upwards of $4k.

So back to the drivers...
I tried several drivers from nVidia to no avail. I tried using Windows XP Repair utilities, nothing. I took the card out, uninstalled all the old drivers and reinstalled everything, nada. So I said screw it, it has only been 2 weeks since I did my format, I haven't got everything reinstalled yet and my C:\ drive is still pretty clean, so I decided to do a whole new format and install Windows XP yet again. Afterwards I searched through some old nVidia drivers and got one that seems to work ok, but not great. I am still having problems watching ABC.com Full Episodes. I had the same problems when I was running Vista last year, in fact that is why I switched back to XP, because of crappy Vista driver support.

I am not sure if this is a driver issue with the new service pack or what, but I am getting frustrated. The flashing of the screen has stopped, so I can still watch and report on most internet TV sites and software, but I will be busy looking for a solution, or maybe it is time to upgrade from the GeForceFX 5200 to something better... but can my mediocre computer handle it?

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