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Stuttering at high fps! ($10 paypal if you can solve)

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June 28, 2007 10:38:00 PM

So I'm playing a OpenGL game(Q4) which can either be played at 60 or 90 fps. 60 is fine, but 90 even though the framerate is solid, it gives stutters, like its 30fps. The stuttering is slight, but its enough to notice and after awhile it will give me a headache.

I have a completly different second system which behaves the same way.

Viewsonic vx922
8800GTX
e6600
Raptor RAID 0
2 gig
Vista / XP
X-fi

Samsung 930BF
6800GT
3.4ht p4
Samsung HD
1gig
XP
Sound Audigy 2zs

Now I don't get puzzled easily, but I just can't work this one out.
My refresh rate in windows is 75hz and in game 75hz, using monitor controls I can confirm its set at this correctly. This doesn't happen for everyone. Some people with same monitor and graphics card run it fine (drivers included)

Things I've gathered so far:
- Tried various monitor drivers.
- Tried Nvidia drivers, old, current, beta.
- Not connection related. (tested offline)
- Not low performance connected, my fps is always max.
- CPU, RAM is always below 60%.
- Not O/S specific.
- Clean installation doesn't help.
- In-game refresh and vsync commands don't help.
- Different resolutions in game and windows don't help.
- Disabling X-fi sound.
- Latest sound drivers.
- Forcing vsync or disabling it through windows.
- Defrag didn't help.
- Deleting/increasing page file didn't help.
- No game commands helped.
- No windows processes are taking up anything.
- Tried lowest gfx settings, same.

I'm starting to think it could be power supply?
June 28, 2007 10:54:19 PM

Quote:
I'm starting to think it could be power supply?

So, what make/model PSU :?:

Mike.
June 28, 2007 11:00:46 PM

Sounds like you have covered just about every thing.

It could be your psu.
Related resources
June 28, 2007 11:12:26 PM

Hmm the corsair should be able to handle the gtx just fine.
But ya never know :wink:
June 28, 2007 11:36:51 PM

I normally get a small sttutering in BF2 when a new round starts with a new map.

The sttutering was said to be caused by the loading of the map or something like that. It was also said that by the 2nd round with same map it will not happen.

Can't remmeber where I read it nor can say about 2nd round with same map.

Next time I play will try to check on that.

What game are you playing?

Maybe someone has figured it out for that game.

What's the memory on your GPUs. 128? 256? 320? etc.
June 28, 2007 11:39:43 PM

Try changing the refresh rate on your monitor, and do you experience this problem in any other games?
June 29, 2007 12:10:31 AM

What cpu you have. I have noticed that if you have slow cpu sometimes you get shuter or lag although the fps is big. I played UT2004 on max settings with GF6600 GT and old proc and I got terrible lag but over 100 fps all the time.

At what resolution you are playing? Try lowering resolution or turning off foliage (grass etc) if game have lot of it. I am almost sure its something like that (foliage).
June 29, 2007 12:38:33 AM

not to be a smartass but have you heard of vsync? over 60+ frames you can get tearing from TOO MANY frames. Vsyc will limit the FPS to the refresh rate of your monitor. hope that helps.
June 29, 2007 12:42:02 AM

maybe try taking out the xi-fi and see if that does anything. also do you have a virus scanner installed at all? maybe try running adaware and spybot to see if anything is screwy too sometimes a windows install can have some spyware or a virus. Try running an online virus scanner too. hope you figure out whats wrong it really sucks when you go though something like that.
June 29, 2007 1:10:46 AM

I would agree with the above, enable vsync and see if that sorts it, theres no chance theres something running in the background gobbling CPU cycles preventing the CPU from giving new in game location info? im only speculating as there cant be much more to cover
June 29, 2007 1:10:58 AM

Are you kidding me. Do you believe the guy/girl with the problem is so lame to not figure out that it is virus or spyware. He/She listed a LONG list of things he/she tried. if you have virus taking CPU then you will not get lot of fps and also you can see that on Task Manager. Dont be lame, if you have no idea what could cause it dont post at all. He/She doesnt need 23234234 lame ideas which he/she already tried
June 29, 2007 6:14:54 AM

what is the temps of the gpu, when this happens.
June 29, 2007 7:49:12 AM

Both systems behave the same way 8O
Are you using the same PSU and/or monitor with both systems?
I have the Corsair HX620W and have had no problems with my 8800GTX. Might be your monitor...what resolution are you using? It really sounds like a vSync problem to me, vSync enabled should reduce image tearing but you will loose some FPS.
Changing your refresh rate in windows shouldn't have any effect on your LCD monitor, LCDs do not refresh. But try 60mhz anyway with triple buffering set on your videocard.
June 29, 2007 8:51:51 AM

A week ago I downloaded Doom3 benchmark demo from a website (don't remember) so that I could loop it for stability testing. Thats when all hell came loose, It started shuttering very bad right away so I uninstalled it and started play other games and next thing I see is all my fken games started to shutter BAD!. So next I did "System Restore" after that it was all gone, no more shuttering. I think that it screwd up Dx9 or something. Hope this helps!
June 29, 2007 10:24:47 AM

There is a graphics option (do not know which exactly as I'm at work and cannot check) that you should only set to the highest setting if you have 512Mb or more on you GPU card as it means it uses the largest textures or something like that for better detail/quality. Basically large amounts of data being shifted/used by your GPU.

With the 6800GT , which only has 256Mb, you may get away with it on low resolutions but once you crank it up you will get problems.

However the 8800GTX has 640Mb (if I remember correctly) so this should not be a problem.

If this does turn out to be the cause then it is interesting that the 8800GTX cannot cope either.
June 29, 2007 12:04:19 PM

@ Justjack, I tested on lowest settings too.

@ systemlord, Sounds intresting, however timedemos will run like that since they're intensive, thats why u need to run timedemos twice (first time they cache), the test probably hogged alot of your system resources, so it continued to other game. The difference with my problem is fps is at a solid 90 and stuttering, where as I'm guessing your fps was dropping regular.

@ ghostdragon, I use different monitor / psu's.

@ gomerpile, low.

@ Rawsteel, ;) 

@ lmimmfn, tried

@ Niglex, no x-fi on pc 2, no spyware / virus

@ eagles, yes, tearing isn't an issue for me.

@ Rawsteel, e6600 @ 2.4 (tried using 2 cores in game, no diff)

@ Just2good, I'm currently testing other games, my current games aren't fast/demading enough to test.

@ betunn, ye BF2 is prone to lag anyway, 768.

Thanks everyone for your feedback, though my quest continues :( 
June 29, 2007 12:17:03 PM

Thats how it seemed to me, almost like it never stopped running even though it was uninstalled it graphics settings were running together with other games. None the less it scared the crap out of me as I just finish a fresh install of XP Home on my new build. Thats not a good way to start out. I'm a lot more picky on what I download now. I'd still like to help trouble shoot whats going on with everyone else. :D 
June 29, 2007 12:29:26 PM

Have you checked your AC outlets for voltage spikes? Mine last summer the power went on off on off many time and screwd up all my third party drivers. After that my PC was running two NVidia drivers, two mouse drivers in a loop and now I have my PC set to stay at power off if AC is lost. I can't believe that you have tried everything and have had no luck.
June 29, 2007 12:39:18 PM

Quote:
Have you checked your AC outlets for voltage spikes? Mine last summer the power went on off on off many time and screwd up all my third party drivers. After that my PC was running two NVidia drivers, two mouse drivers in a loop and now I have my PC set to stay at power off if AC is lost. I can't believe that you have tried everything and have had no luck.


You mean, check the actual plug sockets? not yet.

Would a windows reinstall fix it anyway?
June 29, 2007 12:44:33 PM

Quote:
Have you checked your AC outlets for voltage spikes? Mine last summer the power went on off on off many time and screwd up all my third party drivers. After that my PC was running two NVidia drivers, two mouse drivers in a loop and now I have my PC set to stay at power off if AC is lost. I can't believe that you have tried everything and have had no luck.


You mean, check the actual plug sockets? not yet.

Would a windows reinstall fix it anyway?

Has you power/ lights been acting funny, thing turning off by themselfs?
It really does sound more like a software problem as you have tried many different hardware changes. If you do reinstall it at least you will have eliminated that as the cause and knowing is better than not knowing. I know its a pain to start over but at least you'll know for sure.
June 29, 2007 1:08:01 PM

Hello Jenny69,
You didn't list your motherboard manufacture and model/BIOS Revision unless I missed it. As far as your other specs you are have everything top notch, however, you are still encountering a issue. I would say it is due to one of two things. Poor programming in Quake 4, or you motherboard is bottlenecking, either voltage or bandwidth on the controller chip. Your shuttering is likey due to delays in disk drive reads but with RAID 0 Stripped drives this isn't even a possibility, so it has to the motherboard controller. Can you try another top of the line Motherboard with a different chip set from a different Manufacture?

Do you have any other friends who do not have this issue? If so, compare your specs, but focus on the motherboard.
June 29, 2007 1:43:40 PM

Quote:
Hello Jenny69,
You didn't list your motherboard manufacture and model/BIOS Revision unless I missed it. As far as your other specs you are have everything top notch, however, you are still encountering a issue. I would say it is due to one of two things. Poor programming in Quake 4, or you motherboard is bottlenecking, either voltage or bandwidth on the controller chip. Your shuttering is likey due to delays in disk drive reads but with RAID 0 Stripped drives this isn't even a possibility, so it has to the motherboard controller. Can you try another top of the line Motherboard with a different chip set from a different Manufacture?

Do you have any other friends who do not have this issue? If so, compare your specs, but focus on the motherboard.


EVGA 680i, i flash updated a few times months, i'm a few revisions behind now. Raid 0 is at 32k stripe.

Yes I think its time to start swapping out hardware and reinstalling.
June 29, 2007 1:50:01 PM

Jenny why do you have your refresh rate at 75 Hz? Page 7 in the User's Manual of your VX922 monitor says to use 60 Hz which I think is the norm for LCD's.

Might have nothing to do with your problem but I would change it to the manufacter's recommended settings.

Good Luck.
June 29, 2007 1:59:56 PM

Are you playing online when the stuttering happens? Coz a high ping causes stuttering when playing online...
June 29, 2007 2:52:47 PM

Resolution Recommended
and supported
1280 x 1024 @ 60, 75 Hz
1024 x 768 @ 60, 70, 75, 85 Hz
800 x 600 @ 56, 60, 72, 75, 85 Hz
640 x 480 @ 60, 67, 72, 75, 85 Hz
720 x 400 @ 70 Hz
1280 x 720 @ 60 Hz (720p)

Tried 60hz, its the same.
June 29, 2007 2:58:20 PM

Hello All,
Refresh rates are great and all, but it is very unlikly they will cause shuttering. She has already reported this happens on two systems with two different monitors.

With Refresh rates, it either works or it doesn't.
June 29, 2007 3:29:53 PM

dude, you need to go to a doctor.
it seems that the problem is not the computer, its you :) 
June 29, 2007 3:43:53 PM

So I understand this stuttering is on 2 different machines with 2 different monitors.


THIS IS OFF LINE TEST.


The only connection between the two is the CD's themselves. Maybe the game is stuttering trying to read data off the disks?

IF you can play other newish games fine, then the disks are at fault.
June 29, 2007 4:04:44 PM

One other thing I dont think anyone else mentioned. Do you have all the Patches for Quake 4 installed?
June 29, 2007 4:12:20 PM

If Quake 4 1.42 patch is applied there is no need for the CD, besides it only used it for verification that you owned the software anyways.
June 29, 2007 4:19:13 PM

I would assume so. Most modern games copy everything to the HDD.


However, what is the same between both computers having the same unknown shuttering issue?
June 29, 2007 5:13:47 PM

Quote:
I would assume so. Most modern games copy everything to the HDD.


However, what is the same between both computers having the same unknown shuttering issue?


Quake 4 :) 
June 29, 2007 6:04:38 PM

there is this thing that i have noticed that when we run a game, the cpu goes to 100% usage. now i dont know about this game that it uses both the cores or just one core. if it uses 1 core then that core must be 100% used while running the game, same if 2 cores are used then both the core must be used 100% or more than 80%. if this is not the case then there is a problem. try to reinstall windows, that cure many problems. if u decide to reinstall the windows then i would say to first install the vga card drivers and some other essential drivers, then run the game, dont run the game after everything is installed. Hope i helped.
June 29, 2007 7:07:29 PM

I get this as well on Oblivion outdoors with Corsair HX620W and EVGA 640MB 8800GTS.... don't think it's just low FPS because it's the same with all settings on low :( 
June 29, 2007 7:38:54 PM

Network hub/switch flaking out?

Maybe the game (even offline) is polling your connection speed constantly, like if it was polling for a new server... and it causes flaky-ness?

I guess thats easy enough to test out - fire up the game and yank the power on your hub/switch and see if its wackin' out on you. I'd test it here, but I'm at work. :) 

Has to be something silly like this though if both computers are doing it.

Are both computers in the same room? maybe you are having mini brown-outs or something. :)  Or florescent lights are flaking out... who knows. Turn off all your lights and retest...

I know... a stretch. But if it were something obvious, seems like you'd have caught it.
a c 127 K Overclocking
June 29, 2007 8:09:51 PM

Can you describe this "stuttering" better?
If the game and the vga card can deliver frames to the monitor at 90fps, but the monitor has the capability to only handle a maximum refresh rate of 75hz, then Which frames get displayed, and when? Which ones are fully or partially eliminated? If you can set the game to a max of 75fps, then try that. Alternatively, test it out on a good crt monitor that can deliver 90hz at your resolution. Lcd monitors seem to have variable times to refresh , depending on who knows what. It stands to reason that at the maximum resolution(which I assume you are using) the monitor is more pushed to deliver the maximum refresh rates. CRT displays are refreshed every cycle. At 60hz, you can detect shimmering, at 75hz it looks very good, and at 85hz, you can't tell. The lcd monitor does not need refreshing to keep the image on the display. It does need to refresh it when the data changes.
June 29, 2007 9:05:04 PM

On quake 4 I have had the problem with it stuttering in the beginning and occasionally when someone will spawn next to me or something. It only happens at first and a few times mid game, but it i have found no way to stop it. It is due to the map being loaded for the first time for whatever reason. Or at least that is what I tell everyone. Hope im not spreading false info to my friends. But if yours is constantly doing it, then I just dont know what it is.

Best,

3Ball
June 29, 2007 9:08:03 PM

Quote:
Jenny why do you have your refresh rate at 75 Hz? Page 7 in the User's Manual of your VX922 monitor says to use 60 Hz which I think is the norm for LCD's.

Might have nothing to do with your problem but I would change it to the manufacter's recommended settings.

Good Luck.


If theres an option to set it to 75Hz then the LCD supports it. Most games run smoother at 75hz then 60hz. I looking to get an LCD that has 85hz but there pricey.
June 29, 2007 9:10:47 PM

This is a symantics issue. There is a difference between FPS and Hz, and you're confusing the two. Your monitor refresh rate is generally referred to in HZ, your video card's rendering speed is generally referred to in FPS. More than likely, by forcing your card to output 90Hz, you are essentially creating a mismatch somewhere that's causing the visual quality you're seeing on your monitor to suffer. Also, generally, you can't set a game to output X FPS. Even with VSync, you're not limiting the number of FPS your video card is producing. You're just forcing the buffer in your video card to flush to the screen at the same time that your monitor refreshes. It doesn't limit how fast the video card runs. It doesn't change the number of frames the card renders per second. It's a simple buffer flush timing issue.
a b K Overclocking
June 29, 2007 9:30:15 PM

Its all there.....everyone beat me to it

Try v-sync(60 and 75 work well) with triple buffer enabled in your drivers.

LCD's do not seem to handle page tearing as well as CRT did and will give a massive stuttering feel when looking from side to side.

Also....if u have a tv(crt) near the computer try it(on its own not in clone) and see if its any better.

@ CompTIA_Rep - Grats on moderator :) 
June 30, 2007 5:15:21 PM

my 2 cents-
Since you have been meesing with a lot of stuff and it has not been mentioned----look at the video setting in your bios and see if one of your installs set a bit wong in there.......
make sure sound is set to snd card and not on board that could dork it up.
good luck
June 30, 2007 6:43:07 PM

So today I tried a CRT.

r_swapinterval "0" as always and vid_restart after entering r_displayrefresh.

r_displayrefresh "75" > problem still there.
r_displayrefresh "85" > problem solved.
r_displayrefresh "100" > even smoother. (though not perfect, the difference between 75 and 100 was like night and day)


What about all those people claiming to be playing 90fps smoothly with a TFT, few possible options...

A) You just don't play enough to notice.
B) You need your eyes tested.
C) Your gfx are too dark or picmiped to notice. (warsow is quite textureless and plays at 90fps fine)
D) Your using a program (only available in XP atm I think) to force your monitor to play 85hz at lower resolutions (ie. 800x600)
E) There could be an undlying problem that is covered up by higher refresh rates. (I find this hard to believe considering the various amount of hardware / software its been tested on)

So verdict is still out whether this caused by engine smoothness etc, or just a natural hardware limitation, either way 90fps @ 85hz plays fine and can be done on TFT.
June 30, 2007 7:45:25 PM

Try using a different CD of Quake 4, torrent it if you can't borrow one. Thats the only thing that connects both machine. Bar your dodgy eyes, but we'll try CD first seeing as its harder to swap out eyes :) 
June 30, 2007 7:47:40 PM

Quote:
Try using a different CD of Quake 4, torrent it if you can't borrow one. Thats the only thing that connects both machine. Bar your dodgy eyes, but we'll try CD first seeing as its harder to swap out eyes :) 


problem solved, see my previous post
June 30, 2007 7:48:04 PM

Quote:


@ betunn, ye BF2 is prone to lag anyway, 768.

Sorry but its not on any decent system( and i mean decent over a year ago, i.e. 2gig, x850 or better and a 3Ghz P4 or better ), betunn doesnt have enough memory and its paging, thats why his is stuttering. I get 0 stuttering and 100FPS with everything on high, 4xAA, i wouldnt play BF2 if it stuttered with my current setup and i had no stuttering on my old rig either 1.6Gig, 4200+, x850pro

Post the process list from task manager
June 30, 2007 8:31:20 PM

if a higher refresh is needed because of your high fps: try lowering your fps by forcing 16x AA in the driver. that way you will get lower frames and your tft should handle them fine.
July 3, 2007 7:25:08 PM

Quote:


@ betunn, ye BF2 is prone to lag anyway, 768.

Sorry but its not on any decent system( and i mean decent over a year ago, i.e. 2gig, x850 or better and a 3Ghz P4 or better ), betunn doesnt have enough memory and its paging, thats why his is stuttering. I get 0 stuttering and 100FPS with everything on high, 4xAA, i wouldnt play BF2 if it stuttered with my current setup and i had no stuttering on my old rig either 1.6Gig, 4200+, x850pro

Post the process list from task manager

I have a P4 3ghz. 2 gb ram and 6600gtoc 128mb.

What do you think could be causing the lag on my sys???

The GPU???? I know one with 256mb is better but I can't upgrade now.
!