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Stuttering in games with brand new PC

Last response: in Video Games
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April 7, 2011 7:13:09 PM

I recently purchased a new desktop PC with the following "important" specs:

CPU: Intel(R) Core™ i7-950 3.06 GHz 8M Intel Smart Cache LGA1366
HDD: 1TB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (Single Hard Drive)
MEMORY: 6GB (2GBx3) DDR3/1600MHz Triple Channel Memory Module (Corsair or Major Brand)
MOTHERBOARD: * (3-Way SLI Support) GigaByte GA-X58A-UD3R Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Ultra Durable™3 Triple-Channel DDR3/1600 ATX Mainboard w/ 7.1 Dolby Audio, eSATA, GbLAN, USB3.0, 2 x SATA-III RAID, IEEE1394a, 4 Gen2 PCIe, 2 PCIe X1 & 1 PCI
POWERSUPPLY: 800 Watts - XtremeGear Gaming Power Supply - Quad SLI Ready
SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 1.5GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)

I also have a laptop from Alienware (M11XR2 - which I absolutely love) for mostly work but also gaming on the go.

These days I'm playing Dragon Age: Origins via Steam. I noticed a striking difference between the two systems and I'd like to ask for forum's help to identify if there are any issues with my desktop setup.

With all graphics settings on max, the desktop, of course, offers a much smoother gameplay in terms of FPS. I don't have any problems running any of the latest games at HD resolution with all max settings, so not many complaints there, but with Dragon Age I have a stuttering problem that's impossible to ignore. It's not a drop in FPS, since FRAPS shows the same FPS value at all times (60 with Vsync) it's something you can visibly notice as you turn your character in wide open areas like big cities.

Now, with the Alienware, the FPS with max settings is much lower (as expected) but I don't have any stuttering. I know it's not a RAM issues since I have less RAM on Alienware and it's slower than 1600MHZ. It's certainly not a CPU problem since desktop CPU is more powerful and again not a GPU problem since well, same thing.

The only piece of hardware that's better in Alienware is the SSD hard drive. Can that really be the cause of this problem? I also know that my PSU is kind'a crap, can it be signs of a failing PSU (note I don't have any BSODs, or problems with any of the other games I play) ?

I'm puzzled and kind'a discouraged because of this stuttering problem I enjoy playing the game more on a small 11'' screen with much worse hardware than playing it on a 24'' screen with high def and great hardware.

Basically, I need help from hardware gurus like you :)  Tell me, what seems to be the problem here? (PSU, SSD, something else?)

PS: I'm slightly overclocked (3.68GHz on CPU and 800/2000 on GPU) but I passed overnight Prime95s and Kombustors with no errors on multiple occasions)

More about : stuttering games brand

April 7, 2011 8:52:36 PM

Use the monitor as an external for the laptop, use the same cables if you can as on the PC, how does it look then?
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April 7, 2011 9:34:08 PM

Does this happen in every game, if not check if it stutters in most other games? As for the SSD I can say in my experience before I got an SSD I had stuttering in Crysis 1 and it practically went away after getting one. Did you check if Dragon Age is using your hard drive a lot while playing? Technically your hardware should easily run pretty much any game.
I'm sure you already did this but make sure your drivers are up to date also.

I'm also having stuttering problems mainly with Crysis 2 and I have a GTX 470...
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April 8, 2011 10:13:51 PM

cor33 said:
Does this happen in every game, if not check if it stutters in most other games? As for the SSD I can say in my experience before I got an SSD I had stuttering in Crysis 1 and it practically went away after getting one. Did you check if Dragon Age is using your hard drive a lot while playing? Technically your hardware should easily run pretty much any game.
I'm sure you already did this but make sure your drivers are up to date also.

I'm also having stuttering problems mainly with Crysis 2 and I have a GTX 470...


Thanks for the advice guys. I don't have any of the latest-latest games but I have Crysis 1, and in 1920x1080 with all settings on Ultra and 4xAA I have no stuttering what-so-ever. And even though Crysis 1 is old news, I'm sure it still has a much more demanding graphics engine than Dragon Age.

I'm beginning to lean more on crappy hard drive. I mean, not that hard drive is crappy but basically is the bottle neck at least for DA: Origins. I checked, and yes, I can hear hard drive giggles whenever stuttering begins.

Pretty frustrating still to have a powerful PC and have stutters on a 2-year old game.
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April 9, 2011 12:04:15 AM

Ya it sure is frustrating that's the only downside with PC gaming sometimes. It could just be Dragon Age because I would think you'd have some stuttering with Crysis 1 if your hard drive was really that much of a bottleneck. Either way if you have the money you will definitely see a huge overall improvement in your PC with a nice SSD.
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April 9, 2011 12:33:10 AM

have you installed the latest motherboard cpu nfo from gigabyte.
not having it installed or if its badly installed can cause issues. you may have to run it in vista compatibility mode to get it to install properly.
also have you updated your gpu drivers. above the 1s that came with the gpu.
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April 10, 2011 9:23:03 PM

Make sure you have the newest drivers. I had the same problem until I updated to Nvidia's newest beta drivers. To download them, go to Nvidia.com/drivers and look at beta and then download the newest drivers. That *might* fix your problem.
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