Computer Stuttering

I hope this is the proper forum. If it is not I apologize.

I built a new computer a little ways back and I have run into some problems with the computer stuttering every few seconds (little pauses or freezes on both the audio and video, then it resumes running normally). It seems to happen when watching videos, listening to music, or playing games. It is very frustrating as I am not computer illiterate (though I am far from advanced), but I just cannot figure out what the problem is. Another odd thing is that the stuttering will usually subside after playing certain games for a while, but I have noticed it seems to come back after I use my CD drive. I'll list the specs below, please let me know if you need any additional information. I would appreciate any help y'all could offer.


* WD Caviar Hard Drive - 1TB
* WD Caviar Hard Drive - 500GB
* HT Omega Striker 7.1 Sound Card
* XFX GX285NZDFF GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 Video Card
* Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
* 2 x G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (I have heard having all the slots occupied can result in problems. Thoughts?)
* PC Power & Cooling 750W Power Supply
* Vista 64-bit SP2, XP 32-bit SP2, Ubuntu Operating Systems (stuttering occurs in all of them)
* Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
* SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223F
* GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard (has onboard sound, could there be a conflict between it and my third party sound card?)

To provide some additional information, a user on a different message board suggested that my chipset drivers may not be installed correctly. So, on a whim I decided to check out DriverAgent (not sure if it's well regarded) and it's telling me that I have a few outdated drivers. Among them are the Intel ICH10 PCI Express Root Ports, which is what my sound card is installed in (unless I'm mistaken). From my (admittedly less than knowledgeable) perspective, that would imply that what the gentleman on the other board is saying is correct - my chipset drivers are not installed correctly.

Does anyone feel that this could be the problem, and if so, how do I install the correct drivers? When I try to install what I believe are the right drivers off Intel's site I can't figure out the correct ones for sure or how to install them (I think they are in INF format). Obviously this would imply that I'm a fool and I installed them incorrectly to begin with.

Any thoughts? Thank you.
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More about computer stuttering
  1. You can also to Gigabyte's website and download the drivers there for your specific montherboard (probably easier than going to Intel's website and figuring out which chipset drivers to dowbload).
  2. Or simply use the disk that came with the will have an install program to install all the drivers. But, you should still check the website to see if there are any updated drivers available.
  3. Try without the sound card and enable the onboard sound...
  4. since this spans multiple operating systems, it is most likely a configuration issue and not OS specific.
    nevertheless, on Vista 64bit, you can go get the Windows Performance Toolkit from

    with it, you can run from an elevated command window some tools to see if interrupts from devices are causing the glitches. sometimes hw config issues are seen through this lens pretty clearly. the output will name the device driver too, which typically points clearly to the HW beneath it.

    from "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Performance Toolkit" and an elevated cmd prompt

    start the trace by running
    .\xperf -on base+latency

    play your audio until you hear the glitch

    stop the trace via
    .\xperf -d c:\bin.etl

    view the trace summary via
    .\xperf -i c:\bin.etl -a dpcisr

    there is documentation that comes w/ the toolkit, it will explain the dpcisr switch. DPCs and ISRs run at higher than thread priority and can cause glitching, storms of these are sometimes driven by bad hardware. Long DPCs and ISRS are also often driven by bad HW.
  5. Strange, I posted a response but I don't see it appearing. Apologies if this is a double post. I appreciate your help, everyone.

    HundredIslandsBoy and jitpublisher - I figured out how to install the drivers, but the stuttering has persisted so unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the problem.

    r-sky - I was wondering if that was a possible solution, so it's good to see someone else has a similar idea.

    MikeWindowsPerf - Quite a knowledgeable post. I tried to follow along with my less than stellar skills. I got to the step where I traced it, and I believe I was viewing the summary; but assuming I did everything correctly, I could not for the life of me figure out what the summary was trying to tell me. There seemed to be a lot of lines spiking though, so I will try again after rereading the documentation. Hopefully I will gain some more information after doing so.

    Again, I thank you all for your help.
  6. Hey Nardnob,

    We both got very similar rigs. Same power supply, motherboard, and CPU. I searched Google as I was having the same problem with the stuttering. I noticed that this would happen very randomly while playing a game or watching a movie. I researched a bit and noticed it might have something to do with the JMICRON Sata ports (the sata ports that are grouped as a pair) rather than the Intel Sata ports (the other 6).

    At first, I thought it had something to do with my hard drives being in Raid0. I had 3 Samsung 280gb hard drives (a couple years old...Ok, really old, Sata1 hd's I believe) in raid0 and one hard drive failed (click of death). Before losing all my data, I had stuttering problems and just automatically assumed that my hard drive was to blame for the stuttering, which causes audio to stutter for about 3-5 seconds then my computer resumes. My computer completely freezes and the audio stutter is not pretty at all with the speakers blasted up.

    So I tried reformatting once again with 2 Samsung 500gb sataII hard drives I had left over in Raid0 and noticed I still stutter in video playback and games such as Crysis. Then I remembered, I still have an external hard drive plugged into the front ESATA port of my case, which is plugged into the JMICRON sata port. I just recently unplugged it and plugged it into the Intel Sata port.

    In your case, if you got any hard drives plugged into the JMICRON ports, unplug them and disable it in bios (which is listed as "Onboard Sata Port"). Also, make sure your Intel Sata port is labeled as IDE not ACHI in your bios. It might help.

    So in summary:
    1) It might have something to do with the JMICRON ports, they seem flaky as hell and other people report stuttering issues.
    2) Make sure ACHI is not selected, but IDE mode instead in bios options under the Intel Sata Port.

    Be sure to set your PCI-E speeds to 100mhz under bios to see if that helps.

    Good luck and post back your results. I'm suprised I'm not the only one with the same problem, considering we got the same motherboard and all.

    BTW, this is on Windows 7. Other specs: Patriot DDR3 1333mhz ram @ 1200. i7 920 2.66@4.0ghz. Prime95 stable. Hell, it was even stable at 4.3ghz. I'll keep you updated if the JMICRON ports were to blame.
  7. Hey, amdj. Thank you very much for putting that much thought and effort into your response. I followed your advice and made sure my hard drives were not plugged into the JMICRON ports and I also checked the BIOS options that you detailed. After I did that I yanked my soundcard and the problem has disappeared. Though your post is much appreciated I believe the culprit was my soundcard for whatever reason.

    I also want to thank the rest of you that posted responses to me and helped me solve my problem. Very helpful and knowledgeable people on this board. Thank you.
  8. No problem. I don't post here often, but it's good to know that someone got the help they needed with an annoying problem.

    An update on the JMICRON ports:

    I found this:

    Ever since not using the JMICRON ports, I have had no stuttering problems at all. It is still enabled since one of my DVD burners is hooked on by IDE and the J-ports need to be turned on for me to to access me IDE DVD burner.

    If you check out the release here:

    you'll see that the stuttering problem is indeed linked to the J-ports and that you may need to update them. I'm not exactly 100% sure if these were meant for our motherboard, but if you've got nothing connected to the J-ports and your problem is solved, then I wouldn't sweat it.

    Were your hard drives already plugged in the J-ports while you had the problem? What sound card you do have?

    Good to know that the problem is gone.
  9. No, they weren't plugged into those ports (assuming I have the correct ones identified). I had an HT-Omega Striker 7.1, which I believe is a very good card but didn't work in this build for whatever reason. The problem could have very well been user error.

    Regardless, once I went with the onboard audio (Realtek HD Audio, which seems to be quite a bit better than I thought it would be) the stuttering has not returned.

    Are you still dealing with your own stuttering?
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