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Brand New Gaming Rig, Experiencing Stuttering

Last response: in Video Games
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August 9, 2012 4:18:13 PM

I got a new gaming PC about a month ago. I didn't build it myself since doing so would have made it extremely difficult to RMA anything in case of faulty hardware, but I did put together the build itself with the help of Tom's Hardware forums.

For the first couple of weeks everything was running smoothly and perfectly, I wasn't experiencing any issues. At some point I started noticing occasional stuttering in Skyrim, which started as a rare occurrence and gradually became more of a common annoyance. Same thing with Diablo 3.

Specs:

Intel Core i5-3570K
Noctua NH-D14
ASUS P8Z77-V PRO
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 670 WindForce OC
Crucial M4 SATA3 128GB
WD Caviar Blue 1TB
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 Low Profile
SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W
Fractal Design Define R3
Windows 7 64-bit

I checked if my drivers are up-to-date, and they are. Looked at my system temperatures, and noticed something weird - CPUID Hardware Monitor indicates that the maximum temperature my CPUTIN gets to is 70~76 (C°), while value/minimum readings are much lower, ranging from 35 to 41. Nothing in my entire system aside from that ever goes beyond 53C°, even under load. It's worth noting that SpeedFan and AI Suite II showed much lower motherboard temperatures overall - never near 70C°.

I tried messing with V-Sync, tested every option in the drop-down menu, none improved the stuttering.

I would GREATLY appreciate any suggestions. I'd like to try everything I can, as I'd really rather not have to send the PC to the lab for inspection.
August 9, 2012 5:08:07 PM

most likely bottlenecking , this happens when the CPU is too slow for the GPU.
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August 9, 2012 6:13:20 PM

stephen-mc said:
most likely bottlenecking , this happens when the CPU is too slow for the GPU.


Would that really be happening with an i5-3570K and a GTX 670?
Is there a way to know for sure if that's it?

Also, how would I go about fixing this in case that's really the problem? I don't want to ~have~ to overclock my CPU or downclock my GPU just so I can play games properly.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 9, 2012 7:04:59 PM

If things did work fine but now don't its not a bottleneck and since you have the best CPU for gaming there is its unlikely the problem. Especially since diablo 3 is not that taxing on either the CPU or GPU. What max temps does the GPU get to? Does the game stutter or lag? Are there other games that run with no problems?
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a b 4 Gaming
August 9, 2012 7:43:28 PM

not bottlenecking, i've heard of similar issues, mostly put down to the pci-e lanes / version not being detected correctly. z77 v pro has an issue with 600 series at earlier bioses.
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August 9, 2012 8:22:58 PM

Skyrim is notorious for micro-stuttering - so not big major stutters, but an irritating jittery expierence (mostly indoors).

Playing in windowed mode with a Full screen mod can fix this.

As for D3, Ive never played it so Im not sure.


Like others above me have stated, a bottleneck does not seem likely.
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August 9, 2012 8:55:58 PM

Thank you all for your feedback. I appreciate it.

The max temperature I've seen my GPU get to, under load, is 54C.
It really doesn't feel like lag, since there's no actual delay in the game. It's more like Gallarian described it, an "irritating jittery experience".

My FPS in Skyrim when Vertical V-sync is enabled is almost constantly 60, occasionally dropping down to 59~58. I tried checking if occasional FPS drops are causing the stuttering, but I didn't notice any correlation between the two.

I haven't tried playing other games - these are the only ones I've played on this computer.

Could it be faulty hardware?
In both D3 and Skyrim, I noticed that the stuttering seems to happen (and is worst) during the more demanding moments in the game. An example for one in Skyrim is when there are more than 4 enemies close and attacking. In D3 it's when there are more than 7 or 8 enemies close and attacking. It's possible that the stuttering isn't actually worse at these times but that I notice more, but perhaps it's a symptom of a hardware problem I don't recognize.

What else should I test/try/check?
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August 9, 2012 9:06:26 PM

You could try the new(ish) beta drivers from Nvidia:

http://www.geforce.com/drivers/results/46341


Heres a line from the list of fixes:

'Fixes an intermittent vsync stuttering issue with GeForce GTX 600-series GPUs.'


Worth a try I suppose
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a b 4 Gaming
August 9, 2012 9:23:59 PM

I'd try forcing adaptive vsync for all 3D applications in Nvidia control panel.
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August 9, 2012 9:51:08 PM

stephen-mc said:
most likely bottlenecking , this happens when the CPU is too slow for the GPU.


No chance of bottleneck. The 3570K is an amazing CPU for gaming. Maybe if you had 4 way SLI GTX 680's or something, lol.
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August 9, 2012 11:48:13 PM

Thanks for all of your feedback!

I'll give these beta drivers a try, and also test forcing Adaptive Vsync even though I've done that before. Worth another shot. I'll post my results.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 10, 2012 6:25:48 AM

check for mobo bios upate there is/was a known issue.
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August 10, 2012 3:17:29 PM

I tried forcing Adaptive Vsync again, didn't make any difference. Downloaded and installed the new beta drivers (304.79), didn't make any difference that I could see either.

13thmonkey said:
check for mobo bios upate there is/was a known issue.


Do you happen to know what bios version offers a fix for this issue? I can't find one that has this listed in its release notes.

The most useful information on the subject seems to be on the NVIDIA forums, but they're currently unavailable. Frustrating...
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a b 4 Gaming
August 10, 2012 3:36:42 PM

Doesn't matter what you do, Skyrim is a stuttery game. As an experiment, try playing in 3rd person mode for a while. Usually there's only stutter in first person for whatever reason. As mentioned above, playing in window mode with a full screen mod should also fix it.

Alternatively, make a custom config file that makes it much more demanding. I've had some success with that although small indoor areas still got stutter if I looked at the floor.
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August 10, 2012 4:20:25 PM

wolfram23 said:
Doesn't matter what you do, Skyrim is a stuttery game. As an experiment, try playing in 3rd person mode for a while. Usually there's only stutter in first person for whatever reason. As mentioned above, playing in window mode with a full screen mod should also fix it.

Alternatively, make a custom config file that makes it much more demanding. I've had some success with that although small indoor areas still got stutter if I looked at the floor.


When I first noticed the stuttering in Skyrim I looked it up and found out that, as you say, the game is simply stuttery. But as I said, this happens in Diablo 3 as well, which isn't notoriously known for that problem (as far as I can tell). I still experience some slight stuttering in Skyrim even in 3rd person mode, by the way.

I'll try your suggestion of playing in window mode with a full screen mod.
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