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No smoothness, fps drops, occasional stuttering

Last response: in Video Games
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March 25, 2014 4:34:46 PM

I've read almost every post about fps drops, stutter etc and followed every instruction for those probs and nothing helped. The thing is, every piece of my hardware is fine, up and running. Those are the specs:

i5 3470
MSI B75A G43
Kingston HyperX 2x4GB
Gigabyte HD7970 3GB Windforce
BeQuiet L7 630W
SanDisk SSD 64GB
Asus Xonar DX/XD
HDD Samsung F3 Spinpoint
LG flatron w2261vp-pf

And now:
There is no malware, no viruses etc
No registry, disk, ram probs
Cleaned with ccleaner
All drivers and firmware (including windows) up to date
Temperatures are good, no overheati g during stress
Disk was defragmented recently (no effect)

The fps drops are almost on every game i play.

Diablo3 the fps drop on random locations with no reason, tried disabling shadows and there was no effect. Sometimes sound lagging

League of Legends, even on 60fps the game is kind of laggy.

These are just examples. Even when the frame rate is stable at 60 or above i've got this feeling of 'smoothlessness'.

I just can't find the source of this issue. IMHO my PC specs are rather decent. I played on my friends pc with also good specs like 2500k and gtx 560ti but he had a newer monitor and the effect of smoothness was like it should be. I thought it could be my HDD which is rather old and might be slow or my Monitor which also has it years but still running.

I could change those 2 old parts into newer ones buy i have to be 100% sure it is the issue.

Pls help :( 
March 25, 2014 4:38:12 PM

Do you have an anti virus installed?
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March 25, 2014 4:38:50 PM

Is your HDD nearly full?

Is this only on LoL and Diablo or what games have you tested?
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March 25, 2014 4:39:27 PM

Just COMODO
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March 25, 2014 4:42:15 PM

How much do you use your computer, sometimes heavy and constant load can damage your components, even if they are kept at a low temperature as you are still putting pressure on your hardware.
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March 25, 2014 4:44:00 PM

@Junit151
No my HDD is at ~60% full. I've tested lots of games i gave d3 and lol as an example. For instance while playing Titanfall @1080p i have random stuttering and slight fps drops. When the game is @60 fps or above the game isnt smooth enough (not only in Titanfall)
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March 25, 2014 4:49:06 PM

Re-run the windows experience index and see if the results drop. Start > Right click computer > Proporties > Windows experience index > re-run the assessment. If the results drop then it might be a good idea to return it to the manufacturer and see what the problem is, maybe they will swap it.
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March 25, 2014 4:53:18 PM

Okay well I'd suggest trying another card if you have one. Also, update to the newest beta GPU driver, it might do something.
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March 25, 2014 4:53:29 PM

@AleksH
Well, it depends. The PC isnt running 24/7 - it has 4-6 hours of daily uptime and maybe under half of thus time is spent on gaming.

Aditional info - i bought the majority of parts 5 moths ago (excluding abovementioned HDD and montior)

I'll test the index when i get home but i don't think this might have something to do with the issue.
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March 25, 2014 5:09:06 PM

Choli; do you have any antivirus installed, including Windows Defender?
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March 25, 2014 5:10:59 PM

@Alec Mowat
I have COMODO
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March 25, 2014 5:11:19 PM

Alec Mowat said:
Choli; do you have any antivirus installed, including Windows Defender?


The OP says he has no viruses or malware.
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March 25, 2014 5:22:52 PM

Choli said:
@Alec Mowat
I have COMODO


Did you disable live scanning while you play? Did you add exclusions for your game directories?
It's probably running a scan while you play and using the system resources.
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March 25, 2014 5:34:18 PM

@Alec Mowat
But it's just a firewall, I'm not sure if it has a live scan option. I'm at work now so I'll check this as soon as i get back home. Thx for the tip, it may actually fix the random fpa drop issue. What about this not-smooth-@60fps problem?
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March 25, 2014 5:48:36 PM

Choli said:
@Alec Mowat
But it's just a firewall, I'm not sure if it has a live scan option. I'm at work now so I'll check this as soon as i get back home. Thx for the tip, it may actually fix the random fpa drop issue. What about this not-smooth-@60fps problem?


Unless you are directly connected to the internet without a Router/Switch/Firewall (Belkin, DLink), there's no point in a Software firewall.

You should be able to control port forwarding via the switch. That's more or less the purpose of the Firewall.

I recommend disabling/Uninstalling COMODO and troubleshoot from there. Antivirus programs and gaming do not coexist well.

I'm not sure what you mean by "Smoothness".
Does he have his graphics settings the exact same as yours? It's hard to compare until you set your graphics to the same as his.
Keep in mind, his processor is ever so slightly better: http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i5-3470-vs-Intel-Cor...
Although you do support better RAM.

I'd do a real test; use a Benchmark program like Furmark or 3DMark and test the actual performance. You should notice a slow down, and it will be recorded in the application logs.
If you really want to find the details, open the Windows Resource Monitor. That will track exactly what resources are being used and by what programs.
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March 25, 2014 6:13:22 PM

@Alec Mowat
I don't know how to exactly explain this "smoothness". While i was using his pc i've changed the game settings to be exact same as mine. The experience was different, animations were smoother, felt kind of lighter than on my pc. My gaming experiance is the exact opposite, i feel that some animations lack some frames.
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March 25, 2014 6:35:51 PM

Can you borrow another GPU to stuff in your rig to troubleshoot? It is possible yours is kitting out for some reason.
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March 25, 2014 6:51:18 PM

Choli said:
@Alec Mowat
I don't know how to exactly explain this "smoothness". While i was using his pc i've changed the game settings to be exact same as mine. The experience was different, animations were smoother, felt kind of lighter than on my pc. My gaming experiance is the exact opposite, i feel that some animations lack some frames.


You might just be looking at the difference of AMD vs. Nvidia, as far as graphics go. Your card is more powerful, but I've always found the Nvidia cards generally look better.
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March 25, 2014 6:54:04 PM

Alec Mowat said:

You might just be looking at the difference of AMD vs. Nvidia, as far as graphics go. Your card is more powerful, but I've always found the Nvidia cards generally look better.


Different cards do better in different games because of optimization. I will hear no talk of one COMPANY being better than another. Personal preference is personal preference, but it is not a means for recommendation.

(Not to sound harsh but earlier today some guy was militant about how "Nvidia is just better!" and he got so off topic that the topic was deleted...)
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March 25, 2014 7:47:48 PM

@Alec Molwat
I think we're missing the point here. It's not about the company but somewhere else. If the card can generate 60fps no matter if its nvidia or amd it should be smooth. I even experimented with vsync options (in-game or through drivers) and the effect is still the same

@Junit151
I have a gpu card from my previous setup but its a hd4890 so i don't think it'll help me troubleshooting.
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March 25, 2014 8:09:25 PM

We should collect data and rule out all possibilities.

What version of Windows are you using?

Try running FRAPs in the background, or MSI Afterburner and collect some FPS data.

That will give you an idea of when the frames are dropping, IF they are dropping. If there is no drop in FPS, you could try his videocard and see if it runs better. You could easily combine this with Performance Monitor in Windows to see which resources are being taken away from performance when the game is running.

Make sure all background applications are closed
Run MSCONFIG; go to startup and disable anything you absolutely do not need. Or disable everything simply for troubleshooting.
Boot into Safe Mode and confirm there is no second videocard driver hidden from your user account.

Try running a benchmark program and compare results. You should see stutter in a benchmark.

It might not be videocard related, you could be looking at delays loading off the disk, bad RAM, poor network or saturated network connections, or a CPU intensive application taking away from the game.

On most modern systems, you shouldn't really need to mess with the driver settings. Way back in the day, those were worthwhile to configure to improve performance or appearance on games that didn't support some features natively, but most games these days have access to all of the features.

Even try moving one of the games from the HD to the SSD if possible.

If you are overclocking anything, undo the changes and uninstall the applications. Go into your BIOS and set the settings back to default.
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March 26, 2014 7:38:08 AM

Alright done some testing:

Turned COMODO into 'game mode' - no effect
Uninstalled it - no effect

There are no serious FPS drops, checked it with FRAPS. The frame rate stays at 55-60fps and the games are choppy especially Diablo 3 (randomly).
CPU and GPU are loaded 40-70% while gaming, there's no overheating.
The Performance Monitor showed no real 'threats' to the stability of the frame rate.

Used 3DMark, Heaven Benchmark, STALKER Benchmark and it was smooth, no stutter except for some real stress test.

Have used my old GPU with some old games and they're not smooth as well. (ie cssource, half-life2)

I've brought my GPU, and installed it in my friends pc and it ran smooth, even smoother than on his PC so my GPU is working like it should be.

I haven't moved any game to my SSD cause i would go above the 20% border of free space.

The whole situation is just frustrating. IMHO it's sth about my HDD but maybe i'll test it later; RAM will be tested as well.

[EDIT]
Keep in my that those games are not choppy all the time just randomly for about 2-5 seconds but they lack of smoothness apart of it
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March 26, 2014 8:30:56 AM

You'll be fine moving one game to the SSD for testing purposes.
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March 26, 2014 9:35:05 AM

I moved Diablo3 to my SSD and the choppiness and stuttering were gone but the effect was not perfect as seen on my friends pc.

I checked my HDD again looking for errors and bad sectors - none. I used HDTune Pro for this. Main thing that concered me was the average speed - 101MB/s, i bought it couple years ago so is it possible that it could 'lose' some speed over time?

So main problems are almost solved but is there a hdd faster than mine in a decent price?

The other thing is the game was not so smooth, something must be missing here.

[EDIT]
My HDD is HD502HJ
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March 26, 2014 2:50:04 PM

Choli said:
I moved Diablo3 to my SSD and the choppiness and stuttering were gone but the effect was not perfect as seen on my friends pc.

I checked my HDD again looking for errors and bad sectors - none. I used HDTune Pro for this. Main thing that concered me was the average speed - 101MB/s, i bought it couple years ago so is it possible that it could 'lose' some speed over time?

So main problems are almost solved but is there a hdd faster than mine in a decent price?

The other thing is the game was not so smooth, something must be missing here.

[EDIT]
My HDD is HD502HJ


Move the drive to a different SATA port and try using a different SATA cable. Make sure it's a SATA3 6.0 Gbps cable.

Is the resource monitor showing any heavy disk usage while your are idle?
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March 27, 2014 8:51:01 AM

Bought new cable, changed to sata 3, tried all ports - same effect.

Almost no usage on idle.
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March 27, 2014 10:18:05 AM

What brand of HD?
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March 27, 2014 10:24:31 AM

Samsung F3 Spinpoint HD502HJ, thats the full name
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March 27, 2014 5:41:44 PM

Is it compatible with samsung?
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March 27, 2014 6:12:58 PM

Choli said:
Is it compatible with samsung?


Yes, Samsung drives are rebadged Seagates. It's from the official support.
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March 27, 2014 7:03:48 PM

All tests passed...
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March 27, 2014 7:44:15 PM

In Windows

Right click on "My Computer" (or the name of the computer, usually on the desktop, or if you open any folder, should be on the left tabs)

Go to "Manage", expand "Storage"

In Win 8.1 you can right click on the Start Button and Disk Management should be an option. In 7, you should be able to type Computer Manager in the search and it will appear


Under Storage, Disk Manager - Right click on the harddrive on the left (Not the partition) and go to properties.

Under policies, confirm "Enable Write Caching... " is checked

I feel like there's an error with that disk. It seems to be one of those high performance disks that were designed for server speeds.


Also; very important
Go to
http://www.msi.com/product/mb/B75AG43.html#/?div=Driver...

Make sure your BIOS, and all of the Firmware drivers are up to date.
Specifically: Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver
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March 28, 2014 2:22:02 AM

BIOS an all drivers are up to date write caching checked as well
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March 28, 2014 4:51:41 AM



Look at this chart. I'm really concerned about those drops, dunno if it helps in some way.
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March 28, 2014 6:13:26 AM

Potentially. It might just be the delay while it loads the next file for benchmarking

At this point
run chkdsk /R /F on the disk in question from an elevated command prompt
Than try defragging the disk
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March 28, 2014 7:22:42 AM

I've done these 2 days ago and went fine, no errors nor bad sectors or anything. Everything is working fine IMO. I still have no idea where's the problem I'm just helpless.
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March 28, 2014 2:48:22 PM

The page file is located on C: drive and i see no page faults in the manager
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March 28, 2014 10:18:24 PM

Not much else left to do but try a different hard drive. It could be the SATA controller on the motherboard.

Did you verify the drives are using ACPI and not IDE mode?
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March 29, 2014 1:54:44 AM

i had a similar issue before when i had a samsung 500gb hdd and games were slow on good specs but when i changed the hdd to western digital 1tb
the games returned to normal so why don't you try another hdd :) 
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March 31, 2014 3:24:06 AM

Both Drives are in AHCI Mode.

@Chucky8010
This is the last resort for me, I want to check all the possibilities before buying a new HDD. I was thinking about WD Blue WD10EZEX or a Seagate.

I've also tried forcing constant voltage in MSI Afterburner 3 beta 19, but there was no effect.
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March 31, 2014 7:15:38 AM

Choli said:
Both Drives are in AHCI Mode.

@Chucky8010
This is the last resort for me, I want to check all the possibilities before buying a new HDD. I was thinking about WD Blue WD10EZEX or a Seagate.

I've also tried forcing constant voltage in MSI Afterburner 3 beta 19, but there was no effect.


Try IDE for kicks if you haven't yet.

Nothing to do with the videocard, we already determined it was the HDD when we moved the game to the other drive.
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April 1, 2014 10:39:22 AM

Tried with IDE and guess what... no effect. Well i have to buy a neww HDD afterall, i will need some extra storage in the near future.
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April 1, 2014 5:14:08 PM

Choli said:
Tried with IDE and guess what... no effect. Well i have to buy a neww HDD afterall, i will need some extra storage in the near future.


I would avoid those high performance HDD's, just pick up a 7,200 Sata 6Gbps drive and it will perform well enough. Anything but a green drive...
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April 1, 2014 7:55:11 PM

Same thing used to happen to me on my current rig.

UPDATING WINDOWS did the trick.

I saw a Significant performance increase of about 70 %
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April 2, 2014 3:17:34 AM

I wrote that in the first post, my windows is up to date...
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April 2, 2014 10:09:06 PM

Is WD Blue WD10EZEX good enough for gaming + storage?
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April 3, 2014 7:21:22 AM

Yup, should be perfectly fine
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!