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Counter Strike Source Stutters

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Last response: in PC Gaming
June 21, 2011 10:49:55 PM

I just recently started having these issues where my game will stutter and loop the last sound played and then resume and it will happen quiet frequently. I tried all the fixes the one with regedit, the adding -thread and nosound (which worked actually) I reinstalled my drivers and restarted. The game is essentially unplayable at this point. Ever couple of seconds I get the hiccup lag and a sound loop. When I have net graph on after the lag ends I notice my ping shoot up to 100-150 range and then slowly works it way down till it happens again. Someone please for the love of god help me fix this. Turning off sound I though worked, but recently just found out it does not.

More about : counter strike source stutters

June 23, 2011 3:02:02 AM

System specs?
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June 23, 2011 4:27:19 PM

bump, really need help with this.

CPU: Core 2 Duo 2.53 GHz
GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 260m 1gb Dedicated
RAM: 6 GB
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June 25, 2011 8:32:57 PM

A new development on the issue. I noticed that my CPU was spiking when I get the stutters so I brought up the task manager and switch to it right after the stutter and sure enough the HL2.exe cpu rating was around 11 and slowly went back to 1-2 range. I dunno what is causing this I have scanned countless times for viruses and disable all extra services and background applications.
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June 25, 2011 10:27:37 PM

Bakuryu42 said:
A new development on the issue. I noticed that my CPU was spiking when I get the stutters so I brought up the task manager and switch to it right after the stutter and sure enough the HL2.exe cpu rating was around 11 and slowly went back to 1-2 range. I dunno what is causing this I have scanned countless times for viruses and disable all extra services and background applications.


Are you using either superantispyware or malwarebytes they are the best. Also make sure you use 1 active anti virus as more than 1 will conflict(Microsoft essentials, avast,nod32, etc.
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June 26, 2011 12:50:47 AM

I have malware bytes, I also have anti viri, but found nothing.
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June 27, 2011 2:37:36 AM

There has to be an explanation for this.
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June 28, 2011 1:25:52 AM

I have the same problem. It went away for a while, but then I just got an update, and it started happening again. I don't know what the issue is.

I run a I7-2600k with 8gb ram, and 6850s in crossfire. It's weird, it was running fine, then that issue popped up, went away, I just got an update from steam for source games, and it started happening again.

I would also like to know if you've found a fix for this or if anyone out there knows.
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June 28, 2011 3:00:39 AM

Yea i am coming to wonder if it was a steam update, but then why haven't there been more outspoken people about it. Is it that isolated of a situation?
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June 28, 2011 3:38:41 AM

Bakuryu42 said:
Yea i am coming to wonder if it was a steam update, but then why haven't there been more outspoken people about it. Is it that isolated of a situation?



I don't know. I know that after an update, after quitting out of Source games, I would get a Windows error: "HL2.exe has stopped working."

Tonight I got a new update for Counter Strike: Source, and Team Fortress 2. Team Fortress 2 seems to be working fine now. It used to stutter a while back, but that seems to have remedied itself. Counter Strike stopped stuttering for about a month, but after tonight, it came back even worse than before.

It's really annoying because I love playing those two games, but with that issue, I'm inclined to not play at all. Luckily TF2 seems to be stable. No error after quit, and no stuttering. But CS:S, now that's all kinds of messed up for me.

I've disabled multicore rendering, and I've tried a multitude of things over the past few months, but nothing seems to work, although like I said, it was stuttering for about a month or so before this update tonight.
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June 28, 2011 5:03:58 PM

YEA! I get that same error after I stop playing CS:S I search all over, but the only cases of it are people getting it trying to start the game not quiting out of it! Whats your specs man I wonder if its something we have:
It's ASUS G72 laptop.
CPU: Core 2 Duo 2.53 GHz
GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 260m 1gb Dedicated
RAM: 6 GB
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June 28, 2011 5:28:44 PM

his specs are in the post above, they are quite a lot better than yours.

what are your rates set to? what is the server expecting? this could be a network issue, since I don't see any problems with hardware that could cause a bottleneck for such an old engine.
the spike in cpu usage is most likely from network lag when cpu tries to work out all the network data that gets dropped on it (I didn't watch the vid, but you probably see some extra fast animations right after the lag)

any chance you got something running in background that could cause network hickups? what is your typical average ping before the lag happens?

I can't recall for sure (been a while since I've fiddled with css) but can you run it under compatibility mode?
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June 28, 2011 6:01:20 PM

I set my rates lower, but ive set thhem to a ton of different ones

rate has been set to 18000,20000,and 25000

cl_updaterate has been set to 60,40, and 30

cl_cmdrate also set to 60,40, and 30

Nothing is running in the background I assure you.
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June 28, 2011 6:43:46 PM

I may have figured out my particular issue, however I haven't had much time to test it out.

One specific thing I didn't post above was that I also have a Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100 card for networking. A bit extraneous, I admit, but I wanted to try it out. In any case, it comes with a QoS software that monitors PC CPU usage, as well as network traffic. I didn't think about it before considering that I've had the card for quite some time, and I recycled it from an older machine which ran a E8400 Core 2 Duo, on which CS:S was running absolutely fine.

Now, last night, I had an epiphany, and I disabled the software in my task tray, and I ran the game for a bit. Now, I also run Tomato Firmware on a WRT54GL that has it's own QoS that's presumably much better since it will control all the computers on the network, rather than just what's coming into my gaming machine. After disabling the Bigfoot software, I played about 20 minutes last night, and there was no noticeable stutter whatsoever. Now, I'm not sure that it's completely gone, since I'll have to test a little more, but that may be what was afflicting my machine. But, again, I had this software on two machines now, and the issue has only manifested itself rather recently.

So I'm going to try testing in a little bit for a bit longer and see if the problem's gone and I'll post back.

But see if you have any resource monitoring software running in the background. That may be the culprit.
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June 28, 2011 7:24:03 PM

ah well, that just goes to reassure that as I said it's likely a network issue.
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June 28, 2011 7:46:31 PM

I can't thing of any resource monitor software, I disabled all programs in msconfig and all non microsoft services.
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June 28, 2011 7:55:55 PM

Yeah for me, it was the CPU usage monitoring program that the Bigfoot Networks software has. I disabled it, and it runs without any stuttering it seems. However, I still get the "HL2.exe has stopped working" error after quitting out of game. (If anyone knows about this, please let me know).

I remember that I used to have CPU monitoring software on my old machine from gigabyte that came with the motherboard. I couldn't figure out for the life of me what was causing Left 4 Dead to skip. Turns out that was it. I don't think source games plays well with those types of softwares.

If you don't have anything that's like that running in the background, you can try renaming your steamapps folder to "old.steamapps" then restart steam and just redownload CS:S. Try running it, and see if it still happens. If it does, you can rename old.steamapps back so you don't have to redownload the other games.

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June 28, 2011 8:03:32 PM

I already did a complete reinstall of CS:S it didnt fix the HL2.exe problem or the stuttering I have nothing running that I know what gives? My CPU spikes when the stuttering has I know that much and its happens frequently sometimes and not so much the others.
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June 29, 2011 1:58:16 AM

Steam support is completely usless, also there forums are down.
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June 29, 2011 12:08:05 PM

you've only answered 2 out of the 5 questions I asked...
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June 29, 2011 2:14:42 PM

AntiZig said:
his specs are in the post above, they are quite a lot better than yours.

what are your rates set to? what is the server expecting? this could be a network issue, since I don't see any problems with hardware that could cause a bottleneck for such an old engine.
the spike in cpu usage is most likely from network lag when cpu tries to work out all the network data that gets dropped on it (I didn't watch the vid, but you probably see some extra fast animations right after the lag)

any chance you got something running in background that could cause network hickups? what is your typical average ping before the lag happens?

I can't recall for sure (been a while since I've fiddled with css) but can you run it under compatibility mode?


Not sure what the server is expecting rates, they typically limit it to 60 for updaterate and cmdrate. Watch the video I don't get any fast animations it just goes back to normal (well normal as in what happened while I was in my lag coma). I can't think of anything running in the background that would cause this, is there a way to show what I am running on here? My average ping is around 60ish. You can run hl2.exe thats in the counter strike source folder in compatibility mode im going to try win xp sp3 right now. Edit: Didn't work.
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June 29, 2011 2:42:23 PM

when you're on the server, typically if you type in rates in all chat the server will pm you the rates it expects.

why is your ping so high? does this lag happen if you connect to a 5ms server?

what ISP do you have and where do you live (state)?

do you have anyone else sitting on your connection? is there a router in your network? is the QoS set for gaming/hl2.exe?

background, you can take a screenshot of the task manager processes tab and upload it to imageshack.us then post the forum links to here.

I'll try to remember to check out the video when I get home (i can't access it at work), although I'm pretty sure I know what I will be seeing.
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June 29, 2011 3:27:34 PM

yea the rate the restrict to is 60 for both updaterate and cmdrate. I tried this one a 30ms server same thing the spike isnt as high, but the stutter still happens.

That ping isnt that high I consider 80+ high.

I have Service Electirc/Pen Tele Data in PA

I have alot of connections (4-5), but the stutter still happened when I have only mine running. I have a router, im not sure how to configure QoS, so no.

heres an image of the task manager one shows while or a bit after I get a spike the other just shows all of what I am running.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/194/taskmanagerq.j...
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/402/taskmanager2.j...
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June 29, 2011 3:58:14 PM

well lol, that "nothing is running in background" seems like actually a lot. Right after the spike you got explorer + rss reader taking up cpu (possibly network too) I'm not sure what the reason is. Try disabling the RSS reader and turning off firefox while playing.

I also don't know what ALU.exe is.

try to minimize your network footprint and see if that helps any.
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June 29, 2011 5:19:59 PM

Trust me if it were as simple as not running those programs I wouldn't be here I have run it without any of those things running and it still lagged.
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June 29, 2011 11:42:56 PM

watched the video, looks like a typical lag. This can be caused by your ISP, this can be caused by server, this can be caused by other players on the server. From what you're telling me, there's nothing wrong with your machine.
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June 30, 2011 2:57:25 AM

So should I call my ISP or what? is there a way to measure my internet and see if its being wacky? It can't be the server or the player because it happens on other servers as well. Could it also be a bad CS:S update?
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June 30, 2011 12:27:15 PM

it certainly could be CSS update, they have been known to screw things up on occasioin, but without knowing what they had been adjusting it's hard to say.

if you know where majority of your CSS servers are or the one you play on most, go to pingtest.net and run a test a few times to the location closest to that server.

If you see too much jitter or packet loss then it's likely your ISP or the server's ISP.

you could also try to flush your dns: run > type in cmd > type in ipconfig /flushdns > enter

then when you try to connect to the web/server the first time it will take longer than usual because it will be remapping the route for itself again, but it might pick a route that's faster.
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July 5, 2011 7:20:31 PM

This is really annoying I cannot play this game does anyone have any ideas? is it really my internet connect? I tried the ping test and it seemed fine, maybe its my router?
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/829/lagu.jpg/ heres a picture of my ms after/in the middle of my spike it actually went higher after the picture was taken around 180ish then dropped again.
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July 6, 2011 12:32:41 PM

I did not see the ping jump you describe in the video you posted...
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July 6, 2011 4:56:47 PM

In the video watch the ending where the potted plant gets broken there is a noticeable ping jump after the lag. I'll take stills of it if you want.
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July 6, 2011 7:36:43 PM

no, it fine, if it's spiking then it's spiking, having stills of it doesn't help fix the issue. It's still a network problem, I'm not sure whether it's caused by your network card/router/modem or a server on the ISP end or even the CSS server itself.

but going by your description, your CSS settings are correct and it seems that it's running fine except for the occasional spike issue. Unfortunately I'm not all that well versed in Network IT to help troubleshoot further.

Try talking to your ISP, give them the IP of the server you are having issues with have them do some tests.
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July 27, 2011 11:06:21 PM

Still having this issue and I found out its not just CSS I also tried A.V.A and had this problem I'm thinking of installing COD4 and seeing if it happens on that I want to rule out steam as a problem. If so I might need to call my ISP I don't get it though that ping checker says its fine why would it spike like that.
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July 28, 2011 2:03:19 AM

which ping checker says it's fine?
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July 28, 2011 3:33:21 AM

pingtest.net had it ping a server near where I was playing and it say it was good.
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July 28, 2011 7:24:25 PM

you mean in this case for AVA as well? yeah a good measure would be to try something that can help you rule out steam problems and leave it to network only.

I know I've had problem with comcast, where a server was in new york, i was in boston and ping test would tell you that all is wonderful and jiffy. But the game would spike every 40 secs. The funniest thing was that before new years it was working fine, then I went home for vacation, came back, nothing has changed at my place, load the game up, it's spiking. Call up comcast, tell them, hey guys, I didn't change anything, so you must have done something. They checked, said they did upgrades/something but that couldn't possibly be the cause because their network diagnostics didn't show any problems. So, I tried to cope with it for about 4 months, after which I said, if they don't want to work with me why the hell am I paying them money. Switched to another ISP, haven't had problems since then.

Do note, most ISPs when you sign a contract actually state in very small letters that for small period of time right after you sign up for their service you get increased bandwidth, better server response, etc, but after a while they drop you down to standard rates. So basically, they let you sit on their premium (probably business) servers for a month, so you really like their service and how good it is. Once your "satisfaction guarateed" windows is over, they drop you down to standard service but you keep paying them the same money.
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September 18, 2011 8:59:40 PM

Still having an issue with this. I found out that -nosound in the launch properties seems to fix this issue the problem is their is then no sound... I tried the fixes mentioned on the steam forums to no avail =\
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September 23, 2011 3:01:29 AM

Ok wow apparently enabling V-Sync when everything else is at the appropriate (I constantly just lowered all settings and apparently that wasn't the right combination -_-) setting worked, kinda. Its not perfect but omg is it much more playable. Id like to find out what is causing the occasionally skip now does anyone know a way to read the net_graph 3? I notice mostly the entity value going up when it does freeze what does that mean? If I can tweak my settings to get this to play right I'll be one happy camper.

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September 28, 2011 4:56:27 PM

Eh V-Sync didn't fix it as nicely as I had liked it to, I did a direct connection to my modem and it didn't help. http://imageshack.us/g/813/2011092700001c.jpg/ Here's some pictures I noticed my in out not being even every once in a while the ping will jump a bit as well.
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September 30, 2011 12:03:03 AM

I went and tried a ton of different rates and stuff, it seemed like rate didn't matter at all I set it to 0 and 10000, I set the updaterate and cmdrate to 66 like the server had and set my interp to 0.1 which I think is default and the ratio to 1 it seems, and I've said this before it seems to have fix 90% of the stutters I need to test it but here's my settings right now in a nice form.

rate 100000
cl_updaterate 66
cl_cmdrate 66
cl_interp 0.1
cl_interp_ratio 1
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November 18, 2011 2:15:23 AM

And I'm back. So I have narrowed it down to the harddrive. Steam support suggested it may be a issue with my harddrive APM, but when I figured out to disable this it did not fix the problem. However using one of the tools I found while figuring out how to turn off APM I discovered that when I used HDTune to run a benchmark my game became lag free.... strange right? My theory is the drive is not spinning fast enough to give data fast enough for the game to read it and thus the lag. When I run the bench mark it pushes the HD to spin fast and thus increase the data rate so that I don't lag. The question is how do I fix this problem?
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November 28, 2011 1:27:27 AM

Anyone wanna take a stab at this? My harddrive is a Momentim XT harddrive its a hybrid solid state and normal and apparently the solid state is somehow cause the computer to lag
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November 28, 2011 9:45:32 AM

Open up the console next time it lags/jumps.

tbh that video doesn't help much. You have a low fps, your playing on a server running mods and the resolution isn't the best of its hard to see the graphics.
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November 30, 2011 1:52:19 AM

How can I make a better video, my FPS is far from low it typically runs from 60-80 or higher unless your talking about the video itself. Mods should not be a problem this game has been running mods for years I'm sure if it had problems with people playing mods it would be fixed. As for resolution the game itself is played in 1600x900 as for the video I can't remember I used xfire to record it, not my first choice trust me, If you have a better suggestion besides fraps which I don't want to pay for then please let me know. All that aside it matters little when I have already isolated the problem to the hard drive unless your suggesting that its a single or set of files that are being requested from the server/mod that's causing it in which case I would say unfortunately its not the case because the lag happens outside of game play as well.
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December 6, 2011 5:50:18 PM

A lot of people have been having these stuttering issues since recent updates to Steam and Valve games. I play TF2 a LOT and never had these stutter problems or network issues and I'm playing on the same servers that I've been playing on for the past 2 years. There are many topics started on the Steam Forums that are related to stutter issues, unfortunately, no one has really pinned down the cause or solution, just a whole lot of speculations and witch hunt type banter.

http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=...

I posted a youtube video of my TF2 game... in only 30 seconds on got two major stutters. I've watched my net_graph while playing and it would look a LOT like yours that you recorded in CS:S. The last Steam update included a "fix" for the stutter issue, but, it didn't really fix anything for anyone. I really don't think it's a network issue, considering I haven't changed any hardware/network settings and I've just started getting stuttering after the passed couple updates after owning/playing the game for about 3 years.

http://www.youtube.com/user/deejaybos?feature=mhee#p/a/...
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December 7, 2011 4:45:52 PM

I'm curious to see what kind of harddrive these people have min is a SSD/Regular hybrid that suppose to speed stuff up, but I think its causing more problems then helping. I dont think my first harddrive was like that, but it borked so I had it replaced and they replaced it with this one. Gonna see if they can replace it again with one not SSD Hybrid.
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December 9, 2011 2:04:38 AM

This is pissing me off I'm so frustrated I have no idea what to do, my next idea is formatting, which I really don't want to do, but I have no other option after that its replacing the harddrive which unless Geek Squad finds something wrong with the current one Ill have to pay for.
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July 29, 2012 7:41:39 PM

For anybody who is having this problem I found the fix (at least for me): The problem was the Realtek Sound Mixer or Manager.
I disabled it in the msconfig startup and up until now CSS is running without any laggs or freezes.
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