Severe intermittent stutering 37 replies

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roostermeat

Chicken Meat Sandwich

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14th June 2009

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#1 9 years ago

Hi guys, I have been a member at filefront for years but I've never posted in the forums since I normally just view the Battlefield/ ArmA section. Recently I've noticed a trend in a lot of my games.

I would be playing something like far cry 2/ gta4/ burnout paradise, which while I have toned down the settings quite a bit, especially for the first two, and it would be smooth enough for me to enjoy playing them.

But in all 3 games I suffer random spikes of stuttering, which last about 30 seconds, and then it's smooth again. Sometimes I can play for 40mins without any stuttering, and then it will come in increasing frequency until it becomes unplayable and I decide to quit the game entirely and watch tv, because tv doesn't lag.

I've noticed that the stutters only come in newer games, and it's a horrible trend that I'm seeing. I don't want to buy a new rig because I can run them smoothly enough, it's just that these waves of stuttering really pissing me off.

Does anyone know what's going on?

My rig:

Intel Pentium 2 dual core 3.4ghz ATI 3850 512mb (AGP) 2GB DDR-400 PC-3200

It was a rig I originally bought in late 2004, and several parts broke down. I got it just before AGP died and I bought a AGP version of the 3850 to enable me to play pixel shader 3 games. My cpu was changed from a single core because I fried my motherboard and had to replace it with a new one that didn't support my old cpu. It's a goddammned zombie computer. I'm getting really irritated at its poor performance and sometimes I just play nothing but bf2 because it doesn't give me any stuttering.




Mastershroom VIP Member

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18th November 2004

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#2 9 years ago

I think your 2GB of RAM could probably use a boost to 4GB, which you can easily find for $40. Your AGP graphics are quite a bottleneck as well, but unfortunately there's not much to be done; the 3850 is about as good as it gets for AGP. If you want any better than that you'll have to get a PCIe motherboard.




>Omen<

Modern Warfare

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1st January 2005

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#3 9 years ago

I call something fishy on this one Zam. He has a faster CPU than mine that's dual vs single core, same amount and speed of RAM, and his GPU is on average about 33% faster than mine, and I have no such problems with the 3 games mentioned, except of course for slow downs in GTA IV when in cop pursuits and such.

He's describing something that sounds like a prog or malware cutting in robbing CPU cycles. In some games such symptoms are speculated to be caused by a memory leak in the game, like Just Cause. In those cases exiting to desktop, then relaunching the game usually fixes it, until the lag/stuttering build up again, then repeat. None of those 3 games have such a problem though.

I would suggest a thorough check for the usual (driver updates, defragging, malware check, shutting down background progs, etc). Part of doing that involves checking with Task Manager to see how much of your CPU and RAM are being used, and what processes are using them. If it's a process hogging a lot of resources and you don't know what it is, Google it's file name to check.

Note that you must update GPU, Audio, MB chipset AND DirectX drivers to really do it right. It's also especially important with ATI drivers to thoroughly uninstall the old drivers first before installing the new ones. All the better if you do so with a tool made for doing so like Driver Sweeper or Driver Cleaner. I prefer Driver Cleaner as it has a Cab Cleaner feature that cleans your entire driver cache.

Aside from that, if this is happening while playing online, you may need to udpate your NIC driver and/or firmware flash your modem, which also get updates from time to time. You can also use sites like Speakeasy to test your ISP speed to see if it's up to spec. Online play can involve lag from other sources though, like servers getting overloaded, esp if those joining in have slow connections.

Lastly, ALWAYS check for game patches that may address the problems you're having. Some apply any available patches before even playing a game. I like to play it a bit and see if I have any problems, as sometimes patches slow the performance. If you decide to install a patch, always read the patch release notes, though often not all fixes/changes are listed. It never hurts to try a patch if you are having problems and nothing else works to fix it. Some can be a pain to remove if they make things worse though. It's common to have to uninstall the game, then reinstall it.




*The.Doctor

Trust me, I'm a Doctor

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25th November 2003

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#4 9 years ago

You can try:

1. Updating your video card drivers (Catalyst 9.5 is currently the newest) 2. Running virus scans (i recommend Avast!, Spybot Search & Destroy, and Ad-Aware Anniversery) 3. Doing a disk defrag (Try Auslogics Disk Defrag) 4. Download and run "CCleaner" to clean up your registry 5. Apply any patches for those games 6. In FarCry 2, ATI cards will stutter even if the framerate is perfectly fine. To fix this, open the console (~ key) and type: "gfx_maxfps 35". (try 30 if you still have problems) That completely solved the stuttering with my 4870. The game also plays exactly the same at 50-60fps as it does at a constant 30-35, so its not going to affect performance.

Also, give this program a try: AlacrityPC

^ That program automatically shuts down all the extra unneeded background processes and services when you launch the game (after you configure a profile for it) and will automatically restart them when you exit the game.

Note that you must update GPU, Audio, MB chipset AND DirectX drivers to really do it right. It's also especially important with ATI drivers to thoroughly uninstall the old drivers first before installing the new ones. All the better if you do so with a tool made for doing so like Driver Sweeper or Driver Cleaner. I prefer Driver Cleaner as it has a Cab Cleaner feature that cleans your entire driver cache.

If he is using XP then sure. But if he has Vista, Driver Sweeper is much better. Vista doesn't have the driver cab cache the same way XP does. Driver Sweeper has much better detection and cleaning for new driver versions than the old free version of Driver Cleaner that's still floating around.




roostermeat

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14th June 2009

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#5 9 years ago

Thanks for the advice guys, will test it out when I'm free and will post the results.




roostermeat

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#6 9 years ago

I read up online that some people were having similar issues as me, and one of the main roots of the problem was an overheating cpu. Some suggested that dusty heatsinks/ fans were the culprits. So I cleaned up my fans and heatsinks and ran gta4 for about an hour. I didn't encounter any issues for that hour, but a temp monitor I left running gave me some interesting results.

On load, my cpu was running at about 60-65 degrees, and it peaked at 68 degrees. On idle, it ran at about 45. My gpu stayed in the 50s and peaked at 61.

Possibly my cpu was running at a higher temperature before I cleaned it and could have led to issues when the temperature peaked.

Are these current numbers good enough for me to safely run my games? How can I lower the temperatures further and will it give a positive impact on performance?




Mastershroom VIP Member

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18th November 2004

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#7 9 years ago

Those temperatures are just fine. My Pentium Dual-Core hits 80 during games, and my 8800GT graphics can hit above 100C. As long as your temps stay below the mid 80s, you'll be fine.




Mr. Pedantic

I would die without GF

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8th October 2006

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#8 9 years ago
On load, my cpu was running at about 60-65 degrees, and it peaked at 68 degrees. On idle, it ran at about 45. My gpu stayed in the 50s and peaked at 61.

It seems slightly strange to me that your idle is so high, yet your load temps are so low. But nevertheless, those temperatures are actually quite good. My CPU is about 28 idle, but goes to about 70 using CoreDamage (awesome tool).




roostermeat

Chicken Meat Sandwich

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#9 9 years ago

I was removing dust by the clumps. I suppose my cpu overheated before I cleaned it out and kept reducing performance to cool down. Thanks for the useful advice.




Mastershroom VIP Member

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#10 9 years ago

Clumps of dust? Yikes, no wonder you had issues. How's everything working now that it's all cleaned out?