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Fallout 3 has jerky graphics...any fix?

Last response: in Video Games
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June 20, 2010 5:59:18 AM

Okay, so I'm having a problem with Fallout 3 on my PC with kind of jerky graphics. It's not that it stutters or anything, and the framerate and everything is fine, it just kind of is a jerky movement instead of a smooth fluid movement. Back when I original bought the game and installed it (September 2009) the game played fine, with no problems.

I recently decided to reinstall it however, as I wanted to play it again, and that's when the problem started. I've tried everything...changing graphics settings as low as possible to as high as possible, and everything in between. I've tried all kinds of settings in the NVidia Control Panel, and nothing seems to work.

For example, when you hold the key that zooms out on your character, and then you can move left in right, or zoom in and out, to kind of choose a camera position, if I try to move it in a circle around my character, it is REALLY jerky. Like, it jumps a couple frames or something. Instead of being fluid, like "---------" for instance, it feels like, "-|-|-|-|" if that makes any sense. Like it's basically jumping forward a few frames, instead of fluidly moving across multiple frames.

It also does it when I'm just moving forward. You can see on the sides of the screen it is popping forward, instead of moving seamlessly. Now, I'm not sure what the problem is, but it REALLY annoys me, and even annoys and hurts my eyes to an extent, and it really makes the game unplayable for me.

Anyway, I have done a clean install of my system since the first time I installed it, (September 2009) when it played fine, but I haven't changed too much.

I still had the same GPU (EVGA GTX 275 896MB), and the same processor (AMD Phenom X4 940 3.0GHz), as well as the same RAM, motherboard, case, PSU, etc. The ONLY thing that has really changed is I upgraded from Windows Vista to Windows 7, and I also changed Hard Drives since then I believe as my old one failed on me.

So, anyone know what the problem could be that I'm experiencing, and does anyone know any kind of fix? I've searched all over the internet, and I can't find ANYTHING that really says the same problem as mine, or gives an answer that actually works.

Oh, and all of my other games work absolutely fine, including, but not limited to, Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2, Call of Duty World At War, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, Borderlands, Mirror's Edge, Just Cause 2, Crysis, Mass Effect 2, and Bad Company 2, just to name a few.

I REALLY want to play Fallout 3 again, but more importantly, I want to get this problem fixed before Fallout New Vegas comes out, as I have a worry that it could have the same problem. And I also wanted to get Elder Scrols IV when it was about $8 on STEAM, but with this problem I've been having I really didn't want to waste money on something I wouldn't want to play if it had this problem.

Any help is GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks!
June 20, 2010 6:25:16 AM

In your NVidia control panel, reset the globl settings to default.
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June 20, 2010 6:47:44 AM

hundredislandsboy said:
In your NVidia control panel, reset the globl settings to default.




Tried. No luck with that either...
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June 20, 2010 12:35:33 PM

Video drivers updated?
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June 20, 2010 5:56:18 PM

Since all your other games run fine and it's only Fallout 3 that has issues, I doubt it's a hardware problem. A quick $40 solution is to buy a small hard drive, load it with XP or Vista, XP drivers, games, etc, (since it ran fine on that OS) and use that for Fallout 3.

Then for your other uses, boot off the Win 7.
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June 20, 2010 6:21:08 PM

ksampanna said:
Video drivers updated?



Yeah, I've tried updating them to the latest, and downgrading them to the old drivers I was using back when I first had the game. Neither of those changes worked either.

hundredislandsboy said:
Since all your other games run fine and it's only Fallout 3 that has issues, I doubt it's a hardware problem. A quick $40 solution is to buy a small hard drive, load it with XP or Vista, XP drivers, games, etc, (since it ran fine on that OS) and use that for Fallout 3.

Then for your other uses, boot off the Win 7.



I suppose I could try that. I have like 4-5 hard drives sitting around if I can move some stuff from one of them to another I suppose that could work. I'll have to try and see what happens with that.

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June 20, 2010 9:08:17 PM

Okay, I tried installing Windows XP and testing it out, and I still get the same problem. So, here's another thing I can throw in there. It only really seems to happen when I'm using my wireless Xbox 360 controller connected to my windows wireless receiver. Now, I used this as well back when I installed the first time and everything went okay, but I'm starting to think maybe it's the issue.

If I'm using the mouse when I go into third person and move circularly around my character it doesn't seem to do the jerking thing, however, it still kind of appears that it does it when just walking forward at the sides of the screen, but it's hard to be COMPLETELY sure...I could just be seeing it myself.

Either way, there has to be some kind of fix because I definitely don't remember this before, and this game particularly I enjoy much more with an Xbox controller, and using keyboard/mouse just annoys me. Most games I can play with keyboard/mouse and have no issues but this game just really annoys me without a controller.
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June 20, 2010 11:08:01 PM

I've also thought of another way I could describe it. It's kind of like when you have bad IVTC in a film. And instead of flowing smoothly when doing panoramic shots and stuff it kind of pops along...I took a screen capture of it but it didn't come out as bad in that as it does in the actual game.

Another thing...when I force V-Sync off using the NVidia Control Panel the problem actually goes away, but then the game has REALLY bad screen tearing. But the other problem seems to be entirely gone once I do that...so I'm really not sure what the problem could possibly be at this point.
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June 21, 2010 12:57:39 AM

I would also make sure that your power management settings in nvidia control panel are set to maximum performance, and not power saving.
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June 21, 2010 2:05:37 AM

I actually have been having this problem too, it's pretty frustrating. Even when I got v-sync off I still noticed the jerkiness. :( 
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June 21, 2010 2:28:13 AM

dailybreadman said:
I actually have been having this problem too, it's pretty frustrating. Even when I got v-sync off I still noticed the jerkiness. :( 



It seems to be gone when I turn V-Sync off, but it could still be there and the screen tear could be distracting me...it gets really really bad...
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June 21, 2010 4:07:03 AM

This is really getting annoying. I've tried just about everything I can possibly think of and nothing will work. I just don't understand how it played so well just a few months ago, but now all of a sudden something has changed that basically renders the game useless because I find it way too annoying to live with. Maybe I need to remove all the updates for Fallout?
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June 21, 2010 4:12:19 PM

Have you defragged your hard drive? Also, how full is the drive you installed it on? As you install more and more software on your drive and the free space begins to dwindle, it takes longer for the drive to seek and find the information it needs. The main reason for this is because now it will have to grab data from the inner portions of the platter which means more seek time. Not sure if that is your problem, but I would think you see the problem across multiple applications. However, since it appears to have worked fine before except now you have a different hard drive, how full is the new drive and was it close to capacity when you reinstalled FO3?


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June 21, 2010 4:40:50 PM

isamuelson said:
Have you defragged your hard drive? Also, how full is the drive you installed it on? As you install more and more software on your drive and the free space begins to dwindle, it takes longer for the drive to seek and find the information it needs. The main reason for this is because now it will have to grab data from the inner portions of the platter which means more seek time. Not sure if that is your problem, but I would think you see the problem across multiple applications. However, since it appears to have worked fine before except now you have a different hard drive, how full is the new drive and was it close to capacity when you reinstalled FO3?



Well I do degrag's pretty normally...usually once a week for the most part, and the last time I did one was about four days ago. Hard Drive 530GB's free of 596GB's, so I wouldn't think that's the problem. Plus, when I installed Windows XP and tried playing it on that I had the same exact problem and the Hard Drive was completely empty besides the Operating System and Fallout 3.

If anything my Hard Drive should've increased performance since the last time I played anyway, as I used to have a 500GB 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD as my main, but now I have a 640GB 32MB 7200RPM HDD. Not really sure what the problem could be but I definitely haven't experienced it with any of my other games. They all run smooth as can be with no problem what-so-ever.

It really seems to be a Fallout 3 exclusive issue, and I'm not sure if it's something in the drivers, or something in my hardware. I did hear that Fallout 3 really taxes the HDD so I suppose that could be the problem, but like I said, I've tried on multiple HDD's and even ones that were better than the original one I played it on that worked so well.

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Best solution

June 22, 2010 2:22:41 PM

This is a pretty common problem with fallout 3 called microstuttering. Pretty much even though your fps stays at a constant 60 fps, there is an annoying jerking movement anytime you actually move. I've tried many fixes;unfortunately haven't found a solution for me. To see if this is your problem go into your fallout.ini folder and change ifpsclamp from 0 to 60. This should temporarily fix your problem; but its more of a test to see if that's your issue. this should solve it for you http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/fallout3/show_msgs.php?t...
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June 22, 2010 4:58:50 PM

Best answer selected by ferrari91169.
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June 22, 2010 4:58:55 PM

statikstate said:
This is a pretty common problem with fallout 3 called microstuttering. Pretty much even though your fps stays at a constant 60 fps, there is an annoying jerking movement anytime you actually move. I've tried many fixes;unfortunately haven't found a solution for me. To see if this is your problem go into your fallout.ini folder and change ifpsclamp from 0 to 60. This should temporarily fix your problem; but its more of a test to see if that's your issue. this should solve it for you http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/fallout3/show_msgs.php?t...



THANK YOU SO MUCH! I was just about to give up and then you came along and fixed my problem. Still don't know why I didn't have the problem before, but thanks so much for fixing it!
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