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FEAR/XP Stuttering/freezing with ATI 2900pro

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  • Graphics Cards
  • ATI
  • Windows XP
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 22, 2007 4:42:47 PM

I have both F.E.A.R and Extraction point installed, but they both suffer from the same problems. When I am playing the game it will every now and again freeze/lock up for a few seconds then resume playing normally again. I don't have my 2900pro overclocked, so this can be ruled out. When I first got my ATI 2900pro I thought the card may be faulty, but I have managed to play Bioshock, Stalker and World in conflict with little problems. I believe F.E.A.R might have issues with the 2900pro card, but I can't be sure. Does anyone here have this card and F.E.A.R? what's your performance like. I feel disappointed because my previous Nvidia card had no issues with this game :(  Are there any known fixes?

My specs
Windows Vista 32Bit
AMD 4400+X2
2GB Ram
Sound Blaster Audigy SE (Latest drivers installed)
ATI 2900Pro 512MB (7.10 drivers)

More about : fear stuttering freezing ati 2900pro

a b U Graphics card
October 23, 2007 1:54:33 AM

Fear has been know to stutter on both ATI and NV hardware. Not sure if issue is solved. Could be sound drivers, video drivers, or could be Secure Rom. You should try to do a disk defrag for starters.
October 23, 2007 2:42:52 AM

i have not experienced any stuttering with fear or extraction point with my 8800gts 320MB, nor did i experience stuttering when i had my 7900 gt.

is you fear patched to the latest version? 1.08 i believe.
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October 23, 2007 3:09:26 AM

Is fear optimized for windows vista?
a b U Graphics card
October 23, 2007 3:30:13 AM

There is always a possiblility that the PSU is being stressed with the new GPU and creating alot of heat. What was your last GPU? And what is your current PSU (make/model)?
October 23, 2007 5:06:31 AM

Thank you for your responses

Fear is ok with Vista because I have played both the original and expansion on my last Nvidia card with little difficulty. My PSU should be OK because I have upgraded especially for this GFX it's a OCZ 600W StealthXStream.According to a PSU calculator I shouldn't be consuming anywhere near 600W anyway and the 12V rails on the PSU should be up to the Job. I have played my other intensive games just fine.
What seems to have stopped the stuttering was disabling Hardware sound in the configuration utility before I start the game , which was strange to me because if this was a sound issue it should have been the same with my previous GFX Card. Although the stuttering poor performance has disappeared I still do get Pauses, which seem to occur when entering a new section of the current level like approaching a new gun fight for example if you see what I mean. It's not to do with the saving of the game because I'm well aware that the game pauses to save, but this is a different issue. The only thing I could logically put it down to is that the GFX card maybe loading new textures into the memory? Maybe there's an ATI issue Issue with this game? Fear is my favourite shooter :( 
October 23, 2007 2:15:56 PM

I just started playing F.E.A.R yesterday. Man that game can get freaky, especially in my dark house. :x You may already know this, but I didn't see anything about Amperage on the +12v Rail. Make sure when you get the PSU that you don't just go for high wattage, but also make sure the Amps on the 12v rail meet the requirements of your card.

I know that ATI cards have been experiencing some difficulty with newer games. I remember the Bioshock review from Tom's that said the ATI cards would hang and crash repeatedly at certain points, so it could just be a driver issue.

*As a side note - You may want to up your RAM in the future since the magic number for Vista seems to be around 4GB, but I doubt its what is giving you the pauses etc.
a b U Graphics card
October 23, 2007 2:36:09 PM

Digit-life doesn't mention any ATI related bug for Fear:
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/0907/itogi...

I'm sure you have googled it, have you found any talks of it being an ATI issue? Only fear stuttering I have seen talked about was not dependant on which video brand was used.

Some suggestions.
Have you defragged your hard drive?
What steps did you take to remove the old NV drivers before removing the card and installing the new card?
Have you tried Cat 7.9's?
Is anything overclocked? CPU?
Have you tried to go back to the GF7 to see if the issue remains? If may have come with the new card but not be directly related to the new card.
Did you install any new (fear) patches? Win updates? I remember a BF2 patch that gave me sound pausing issues with my Plantronics headset. NOTHING had changed but that patch installed, yet I now got a brief video freeze in BF2 that only happened when using that USB DSP headset for sound. I never solved it, but bought an analog headset instead.
October 23, 2007 2:56:56 PM

Pauldh - I had the same problem with sound crackling and just sounding very poor overall. I was using a headset also, but the sound would fix it self as soon as I plugged in my speakers. Turns out that my onboard sound was automatically changing from "2 speaker" mode to "headset" mode, and the "headset" mode was very poor quality. I ended up forcing it to play in speaker mode while the headsets were in and the problem fixed it self.
a b U Graphics card
October 23, 2007 2:59:56 PM

rgeist554 said:
Pauldh - I had the same problem with sound crackling and just sounding very poor overall. I was using a headset also, but the sound would fix it self as soon as I plugged in my speakers. Turns out that my onboard sound was automatically changing from "2 speaker" mode to "headset" mode, and the "headset" mode was very poor quality. I ended up forcing it to play in speaker mode while the headsets were in and the problem fixed it self.

Nice to know, I might have a similar issue, so I'm going to try it later. :) 
October 23, 2007 3:00:02 PM

Also have you run Driver Cleaner Pro yet? If not theres your most likely problem.
October 23, 2007 3:25:42 PM

speedbird said:
Although the stuttering poor performance has disappeared I still do get Pauses, which seem to occur when entering a new section of the current level like approaching a new gun fight for example if you see what I mean. It's not to do with the saving of the game because I'm well aware that the game pauses to save, but this is a different issue. The only thing I could logically put it down to is that the GFX card maybe loading new textures into the memory? Maybe there's an ATI issue Issue with this game? Fear is my favourite shooter :( 



Well it looks like you have gotten the game down to the best I was able to run. I have had a 7800GT, X1800XL, and this current X1900XTX and my friend who's system is similar to mine in all specs except gfx has an 8800GTS 640mb (to run this game on). Also, I have changed memory amounts and complete platforms with these vid cards from single and dual core AMD64's to my current C2D rig. I have always experienced this stuttering when entering new areas as it needs to load the new textures. Quake 4 has always done this to me as well. Many games that I play I have to actually move the mouse around in full circle several times when starting a map in order for the game to smoothen out. It has been this way for years for me for many many games, so I just always assume it to be a natural occurrence since all of my friends including the one with the 8800GTS640mb run into these "problems". Only when my computer gets overwhelmingly powerful for a game do I notice no studdering at all during gameplay unless the game is extremely well programmed (which is rare outside the realm of valve and epic games imo). I have read online of many more people experiencing this problem with FEAR as well. I keep my OS very clean. I run spyware/anti virus programs daily as well as I restart/defrag/restart after every install or uninstall and update drivers frequently as well as watch my temps very closely and yet these problems still emerge on my systems...from my standpoint it would appear there isn't much that can be done outside of the game developers studio. Im not sure if this helps, but just know that you are not alone!

Best,

3Ball
October 23, 2007 3:30:07 PM

There's no trace of my old Nvidia display Drivers on my system BTW. Fear is also patched with the latest, but Fear Extraction point does not seem to have any patches avaliable. As for my PSU I'm aware that high wattage does not mean a good PSU, but from the reviews my PSU can handle SLI 8800GTS apparently,so a 2900pro should not bother it :)  I have tried Defraging the harddrive, but no luck :( 
Like I mentioned earlier it was stuttering badly until I disabled the hardware Sound. I now have smooth gameplay on max settings, but the few second freezing remains when I enter a new part. BTW this has nothing to do with the game saving progress because freezing is normal when the game does that. There's either something in my hardware causing this or it's a bug related to ATI.I know there was ATI problems when the game first appeared, but those should have been sorted by now with newer driver releases. The card has been a solid performer in other intensive games. I'm out of ideas :( 
October 23, 2007 3:32:16 PM

Thankyou 3ball

at least it's not just me
October 23, 2007 5:02:34 PM

ATI has got a lot of work to do on those drivers! They still have lots of bugs.
a b U Graphics card
October 23, 2007 7:31:44 PM

rgeist554 said:
Pauldh - I had the same problem with sound crackling and just sounding very poor overall. I was using a headset also, but the sound would fix it self as soon as I plugged in my speakers. Turns out that my onboard sound was automatically changing from "2 speaker" mode to "headset" mode, and the "headset" mode was very poor quality. I ended up forcing it to play in speaker mode while the headsets were in and the problem fixed it self.

Weird how those things happen. My sound was great, I would just get a 1-2 second video freeze that often resulted in a death. My plantronics DSP contained it's own sound processing built in. Plugging in the plantronics would make it the default sound device (card). I also had a Audigy 2 ZS gamer. All worked fine throught the Audigy, but after over 100+ hours of playing BF2 with that plantronics, a patch brought up the bug.

Anyway, my point to him was a game patch caused a brief video stutter/freeze related to my usb headset, and had I updated video cards or drivers I too would have suspected the new card/drivers. There's just so much that can cause such a stutter. Video card/driver is a real possibility, but surely not the only one.
October 23, 2007 7:55:19 PM

You know what i would do is go into "Device Manager" and disable one thing at a time and see if disabling any components (sound card etc..) helps matters. I have an online friend that every 5 minutes his game (graw 2) will freeze up for 5 seconds right on que.

My friend finely gave up on trying to figure it out, he asumes its Vista. Does this happen durring online play? If so then your connection is timing out do to sync issues that sometimes puts you out of sync with all your other players causing you to freeze up.
October 23, 2007 7:59:06 PM

I don't play fear online single player only :) 
October 23, 2007 8:20:14 PM

Did you try lowering your settings? Maybe turn down the AA if it is enabled. Personally, the only time I get any stuttering in FEAR is when it saves, and that is even slight, using an 8800gts 320.
October 24, 2007 9:45:34 AM

San Pedro said:
Did you try lowering your settings? Maybe turn down the AA if it is enabled. Personally, the only time I get any stuttering in FEAR is when it saves, and that is even slight, using an 8800gts 320.


Yeah tried doing that, but it made no difference

I don't think these pauses are FPS related :) 
October 25, 2008 9:37:48 PM

I also get stuttering as well when either I'm firing at enemies or the others are, but not in slow-mo.

Specs: NVIDIA 8600 GT
3 GB of RAM
2.66GHz rated at 4.79 GHz

And the stuttering STILL happens. Any advice?
!