Wireless dies when running graphically demanding programs

Whenever I load up a graphically demanding program (a game), I lose the connection to my network. If I minimize the game, the connection will come back, but as soon as I open the game up again, it drops. If I play a game for more than about 20 minutes, my computer fails to detect my wireless adapter at all.

I have a hunch it has to do with power management. Could my graphics card be sucking juice away from my wifi card? I'm quite hardware naive tho!

I updated my wireless drivers earlier today and I still have the exact same problem. I've bounced around forums and found no solution whatsoever, although plenty of people seem to have issues with Atheros cards and Win7.

I have had this problem since I purchased my computer back in January.

Here's my setup:
Windows 7 ultimate
Atheros AR5007G
GeForce 9400 GT
Dual intel 2.93
Not sure of my power supply, but I think it's like... 450ish

Any help would be extremely appreciated, thanks!

Thanks for the suggestion Celestra,

however, the problem occurs with compatibility-run games (tested with Fallout 3) as well as very recent titles (tested with Mass Effect 2). All background downloads freeze while I play these games, because my wireless card stops functioning.

We had an ISP tech at the house just yesterday, and he updated the firmware on our router, but the problem persists.

To emphasize, this is not a router problem to begin with. My computer will fail to recognize that I even have a wireless card installed. When I quit the game, the wireless card is back online within minutes. This occurs 100% of the time.

Thanks for the leads, but no dice so far!


Essential Member
Try moving your computer to your router and running off ethernet.
It's possible your wirless card is on it's last leg, or that your power supply is not powerful enough.
Try making sure that Windows is not set to "Turn off this device to save power" ;)

Back to old good days, there were some motherboards that didn't support too much powered devices. I had exactly similar problems, but that was with a USB broadband modem, and it appeared that it was pulling too much power at some points.

Try using the ethernet (wired) networking; it is probably located on the motherboard itself unlike the wireless one, and consumes less power as well.


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