Whenever I try to play some sort of game that needs 3D graphics [The Sims 3] my computer crashes.
This normally happens:
My screen freezes.
My screen goes black.
My screen comes back and I get the following pop-up:
Sometimes this happens like 5 times in a row, kind of ridiculous.
Also, sometimes it doesn't even recover. It'll just restart itself.
Graphics Card is:Card name: Intel(R) G33/G31 Express Chipset Family
My operating system is Windows Vista™ Home Premium (6.0, Build 6001) Service Pack 1
I'm on an Dellinspirion 530s
This generally happens when your GPU gets too hot, although corrupt/faulty drivers can affect this too. I know this because my laptop does the same thing after playing some games, and the case is quite hot to the touch.
You could try reinstalling your display drivers, and see if that gets rid of the problem, or you could possibly look into some better cooling options for your case.
The Intel GPU's (assuming it's integrated rather than dedicated), aren't generally meant for gaming, and they don't handle the smallest games well, so maybe you could get a new dedicated GPU, as a medium range one is quite cheap these days.
Welcome to the Dell Community Forum.
Check for any updated drivers here:
Install them if you find any that are newer than yours. Re-install if you find the same one.
Are you using the "Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver" ?
I used this on my laptop and if I increased any settings it would crash, So I re-loaded it and left them at default, no more crashes!
This level of graphics card (actually it's on the motherboard) will struggle running any demanding games.
You can upgrade to a low profile graphics card ('Low profile' due to the slim case) and you will see a noticable improvement. PSU requirements will need to be considered if you go to the upper end of Low profile graphics cards. A PSU for a slim case is hard to find. There is one from Seasonic but it's only 300w.
From this forum and a couple of others there is an opinion that graphics card suppliers generally overstate their power requirements to be on the safe side and Dell understates their PSU output for the same reason. Have also read that when a PSU is running at the upper limit they will degrade approx 10% in the first year. The disclaimers need to be mentioned. This will also depend on if you have added any other power consuming devices, additional CD/DVD, hard drive, PCI cards, etc. Check this site for a power consumption review for graphics cards. If you plan on over clocking the graphics card and using it for long periods like playing games for hours then the PSU upgrade would be recommended, if you won't be over clocking then you should be fine with your stock PSU.
Several 530 owners have said they are using the ATI HD 4650 with their original PSU, even 530s owners with a 250w PSU (this is what I have). I have seen in other sites that 220w PSUs are handling the card with no problems. I have a Sapphire HD 4650 LP in my 530s 250w PSU and have had no issues with it.
The drivers for the integrated graphics card might help the crashes but if you start playing games they'll come back!
You should upgrade to a graphics card if you want to enjoy better video/display quality and definately if you want to play todays games.
Inspiron 530s, Intel Core2 E7200, 6 GB DDR2 800MHz, 500GB SATA II 7200RPM, 22" Widescreen LCD w/2 MP Webcam,Radeon HD4650, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, eSATA port