Stuttering below 60 fps

Hi everyone,

Everytime I play any game, when fps frops below value of 60 (by the way,that is my monitor's refresh rate) it starts to stutter. The more fps i lose, the more it stutters. So when its about 55 fps, I can see a minor stutters, but when it goes down to 40, gameplay is much less enjoyable. Imagine what happens with 30 fps and even lower.

Even when it is 30 or 40 fps, the game runs smooth until I start moving coursor and looking around in the game, which is what I am doing all the time playing the game 0.o

I tried running games with vsync and triple buffering, and they don't change the way it stutters. When I cap fps to 30, it still stutters. Then I thought that the issue may be caused by not enough amount of vram, but in TES:Skyrim, after optimizing textures by downsizing them 4 times, the stutter looked the same with similiar fps.

What may cause this problem? Is this common between players and I am just looking for an answer when there is none? My first leads are not enough vram (though I have 896 vram in my card), damaged graphics card or something with the hard drive.

Any suggestions? Please help me :/

My rig:

Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 550

Graphics card: Gigabyte Geforce 275

Hard drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 - 500 GB

Motherboard: Gigabyte MA770-UD3

RAM: Kingston HyperX DDR2 4GB

Monitor: Benq G2220HDA connected to the graphics card using D-sub (or VGA, anyways its analog for sure) cable.
6 answers Last reply
More about stuttering
  1. Hello,
    firstly, v-sync is a solution to cap your fps to your monitor refresh rate in order not to have your GPU run full blast rendering 200 fps when it's completely unnecessary. Once you drop below 30 fps, vsync isn't very helpful.

    In terms of whether you're running out of vram or not, it's possible, but you'll need to actually check your GPU ram utilization to see if that's the case or not.

    Typically though, fps drops are attributed to hardware not being able to render fast enough for the settings that you have selected. Another issue is skyrim being a bad case here because mouse movement is directly tied to refresh rate (fps).

    So, here's what I would recommend to diagnose the problem:

    get a program like hwinfo (run it in sensor mode)

    and look at the following parameters when your fps drops:

    - CPU utilization, in %
    - GPU core utilization, in %
    - GPU ram utilization, in % or total memory used (whichever is listed)

    One of those (or maybe two) will be your bottleneck as you will see it hover at 99-100% utilization, while other components are lower.

    If in your case it's GPU related (vram or actual GPU core not being fast enough), consider a few tweaks to your graphics settings:
    - what resolution are you gaming at? have you tried lowering it? (the higher the resolution you run at the more vram the game shall consume)
    - what anti-aliasing setting are you using? have you tried turning it off completely (both FXAA and the combobox list)? (AA uses a fair bit of memory and also taxes the GPU rather heavily too)
    - what is your Depth of Field (DOF) set to? This is how far the game renders detailed objects on your screen, the longer the DOF the more work your PC has to do.

    Aside from all the above mentioned, you can consider hardware upgrades if you are willing to spend the cash.

    My humble guess is you're more likely to be bottlenecked by your CPU. But do check.
  2. I am playing at 1920x1080 resolution, stuttering appears with and without AA. Problem occures not only in Skyrim.
    DOF in Skyrim is rather low (haven't changed it), because its a port from consoles, where it had to be pretty short because of the limited performance of the machines.

    I too think that CPU is bottleneck of my PC, but I can't complain about lack of fps, because every other gamer while having 40 fps actually plays pretty smooth, while I have stutters. Can those stutters be caused by the bottleneck point of my computer, despite the number of fps that should let me play the game without problems?

    I did defragmentation of hard drive yesterday. It took about 15 hours using a Perfect Disk (it was a fragmentated mess, and I guess that's why it took so long). It did speed up my computer while opening folders etc., but didn't help with stutters. Setting the priority to High did nothing as well.

    PS. I'll check the stats with this program.

    PS2. Is it possible that analog connection with the monitor is the cause? I experience ghosts of letters and other bright 2D elements.
  3. re: ps2 = nothing wrong with VGA, what you describe sounds like an old monitor with large g2g/b2b delay. (you can try lowering the brightness a bit, helps on some models)

    well, if it's vanilla skyrim then DOF is not that big, but the config files do let you set it higher. As far as stutter, the problem comes from mouse being tied to fps, so basically, as long as your mouse doesn't move even if you're at 24 fps you wouldn't notice it much, but as soon as you move the mouse it all goes to hell. Check your shadows setting, some people had problems if it was on high+.

    Oh also, make sure you got the latest drivers.
  4. Shadows are set to normal, drivers are new.

    In conclusion, every gamer experiences stutter while playing the game below 60 fps and using mouse? It happens in every game I play, from World of tanks to Skyrim. If it would be fault of the certain game engine, then I would understand, but this is different.

    I'll try OC the CPU.
  5. macors said:
    Shadows are set to normal, drivers are new.

    In conclusion, every gamer experiences stutter while playing the game below 60 fps and using mouse? It happens in every game I play, from World of tanks to Skyrim. If it would be fault of the certain game engine, then I would understand, but this is different.

    I'll try OC the CPU.

    It is possible you are just more sensitive to fps inconsistent times between frames. Everybody is a little different. I find myself getting motion sickness pretty badly below 50 FPS.

    The reason you may notice stuttering below 60 FPS is that until you reach 30 FPS exactly, there will be either 17ms of time between frames or sometimes 33ms of time between frames. You may just be picking up those differences more than most people.

    A 120hz monitor can help in that regard, as it'll help even out the differences some. Instead of the 17ms vs 33ms frames. You'll see 17ms an 25ms times between frames, when between 30 and 60 FPS. You could also lower settings to make sure you reach 60 fps or better and be sure to use v-sync.
  6. Did we just jump to biology or I didn't catch the metaphor? ;P To make sure - playing on brother's PC below 60 FPS don't cause the game to stutter and we have both the same monitors.

    Will post the results after OC as soon as possible.
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