My computer has a stuttering problem...Help?

First off, the comp specs:

AMD 3700+
EPoX 9NPA+ Ultra MoBo
2 Gig Ram
EVGA 7900GT KO (91.33 Beta Driver)
Onboard sound (works well enough for now)
24" GDM-FW900 Sony Widescreen: 72Hz refresh rate and usually 1600 x 1200 while gaming

Now here is the problem...When streaming video, gaming, and video playback, every so often, the video and audio "stutters" for just a split second and then continues on. What causes this and what fixes it?

Also, this is the second driver that it has done this with, so I don't 'think' that is the problem (previously used the 91.31 driver).

It is enough of a problem to be quite annoying...this is not of the "nit'picky" variety.

On a different note, I have noticed, while playing games such as COD2, FEAR, and HL2: Lost Coast, that many of the edges of buildings, plants etc. seems to "shimmer" and "wave". This is of an extent to really kill the visuals of any given I off my rocker here or are there fixes to these things?
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  1. First off I'd roll back from the beta driver. I never trust them myself. After that, you might try increasing the voltage to the video card and/or the cpu slightly. Because you mention that the stutter occrs on both the video and audio at the same time, the possibility of under voltage likely.

    Last, if the above doesn't help, your video card may be having a problem and need to be replaced. EVGA has had some problem cards, but has been good on exchanging cards.
  2. Disable anything with vga bios cache, disable shared vga memory, disable all system monitoring.
    In device manager, under IDE make sure DMA is active only if using IDE HD, I've seen with some of my setups pio was active by windows default.
    Disable system bios cache.
    IF using xp pro gpedit.msc disable cdrom autoplay. Check IRQ sharing and see if any IRQs are sharing the HD CDROM VCARD try to assgin the sound card and IRQ if the sound card is sharing an IRQ with one of them, only enable as many usb ports that you really need.
  3. might be worth telling us what else you have running in the background. I know you probably dont have that much stuff running, but still it could be something like a crappy virus protection program or something...

    also let us know if you have overclocked anything. and check your sound drivers.

    finally, alot of people install new drivers over older drivers thinking its ok. ITS NOT. you must compleatly remove old drivers then install new ones, otherwise bits of codec from the old ones are still about causing all sorts of problems.
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