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Stuttering game play, all new components

Last response: in Systems
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September 13, 2009 12:12:57 AM

Hi all, Hope someone has an answer or two for me, as I have been working on this problem for a while now. A year ago, I upgraded most of my PC:

Asus M2N-VM-DVI MB with AMD2
AMD Athlon x2 6000+ with new cooling (came with)
NVIDIA (BFG) Geforce 9600 GT superclocked 512MB DDR3 video card
Kingston DDR2 2x2 GB 667MHz
Rocketfish 550W power supply

same hard drive (149 GB, 108 GB free)
Windows xp home sp 3 (initially, then switched to sp2 because I lost my disc, long story)

strangely, it shows only 3 GB ram when "system" is displayed.

System runs great, and fast, except when any 3D graphics games are played. Then there is a significant stutter, which seems to be cyclic. 30 seconds normal play (60+ FPS), then 15 to 30 seconds of 2 FPS. You can hear the computer rev up at these times, and viewing the task manager, it is 100% CPU usage spike. Looking at the files, though, System Idle Process shows 50% or greater. This I do not understand.

I have done a bit of research, and these are the things that I have tried.

1. complete windows re-install after disc format (thus replacing sp 3 with sp 2, I know)
2. new video drivers
3. new sound drivers
4. AMD dual core optimizer running
5. Cool and Quiet both on and off
6. flash the bios to update (2 different versions, was 201, then went to 905, then since that was not helping, 701 which was posted on ASUS page as appropriate for x2 6000+ processors...)
7. manually setting the affinity for each program to one core only
8. buying a new video card (more expensive), with no improvement, so I returned it
9. MOVING, since I originally thought it was an internet connection issue (playing WAR). But 1000+ miles did not fix my problem either. It is infuriatingly repeatable.
10. dialing down the video settings to minimums in every game, playing windowed and non, etc.

The CPU runs between 50 and 56 degrees, core voltage seems adequate.

I have called AMD technical support, and they don't seem to have a clue. Does anyone else recognize this problem and have an idea as to why my CPU spikes, when I think it should be able to handle the minor challenges with which I am presenting it?


Thanks a bunch.
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
September 13, 2009 2:30:31 AM

a legit version of windows?
a b B Homebuilt system
September 13, 2009 3:14:01 AM

How many programs are running in the taskbar? Also, your cpu seems way way too hot, especially if it's idling at those temps, as it could be throttling back. May also check that your power supply is up to the task of adequately powering your system, as I've not heard the greatest things about rocketfish.

But you should be getting better fps than that as I'm using an Athlon x2 5200+(the old Windsor core), and 2 gb of ddr2 667, as well as a 9600gt, and I actually get pretty playable settings in most of my games. Even trying the new batman demo it still did ok.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
September 13, 2009 3:44:54 AM

Need to eliminate heat, measured under a standard load.

Run Prime95 on both cores, with "Detect Rounding Errors" checked. Measure temps with CPUID Hardware Monitor. Run for an hour if temps allow. let us know what happened.

If you pass that test, then game while running Hardware Monitor. What happens when stuttering begins?
a b B Homebuilt system
September 13, 2009 4:29:18 AM

My bet is the PSU isn't doing it's job correctly. I know that you have 36A on the combined 12v rails, but I believe the PSU (by your descriptions) is causing you the issues. Is there another PSU that you can use to verify this problem?
a b B Homebuilt system
September 13, 2009 8:03:07 AM

Clearly there seems to be a problem with just the case temps though. What is your fan setup like?

My temperatures with cool n quiet turned off are right now for example 34 degrees celcius on the cpu core, mind you I'm running the stock cooler as well at stock speeds. Also, my 9600gt is idling around 41-42 degrees celcius.

My cooling is as follows. Stock cooler on cpu, large fan mounted in the side of my case blowing onto my motherboard and video card. One hi flow 80 mm fan under my power supply to exhaust hot air out from under it and out the back of my case, a pci slot cooler fan under my 9600gt which pulls hot air out from under that and out the back. You may want to have say one intake fan either on the top, the side, or in the front of your case. Then I would personally have at least one high flow exhaust fan under the power supply, and one maybe under the video card so that any heat it generates will be exhausted from the case. The other thing to do, go to best buy or walmart, radio shack, etc. Grab some canned air, pop open the side of your case, and spray any dust out of all the fans, and out of your cpu's heatsink, etc.

It could be a power supply issue, but 36 amps for that setup should be more than enough to power that rig. Like I said, even though I've not heard the greatest things about rocketfish power supplies, yet with 36 amps, that still should be overkill for what you need, so at least should be enough to get you by until you can get a better one. Cheapest place to start is clean all those things out and see if you can lower the temps, because it also sounds as though your cpu is getting too hot and may be throttling itself to keep from getting damaged.

The other thing to check as well, my board has this option, in your bios, is there an option to have your cpu fan speed be variable depending on the cpu frequency? IE if the chip slows down due to cool n quiet being engaged, the cpu fan runs more slowly. If that option is there, disable it. I did this on my rig and it simply forces the cpu fan to run full speed at all times, which made a difference on my temps as well.


A couple of other notes, running Windows XP you still should be able to redownload SP3 to reinstall, I would just to have the latest updates.

Last thing, your system is probably only seeing 3 gb of memory because you have a 32 bit OS I am guessing. With a 32 bit OS, all it can address is 3.5 gb of memory max, so that's all it knows how to assign and use. You figure 3 gb it sees, plus 512 mb on the video card, there's 3.5.
September 13, 2009 3:26:15 PM

Looks like my video card is frying. I'll address this asap.

Thank you for all of your thoughtful replies. Where is the best place to get fans/cooling?



CPUID Hardware Monitor 1.1.4.0
-----------------------------------------------------

Mainboard Vendor ASUSTeK Computer INC.
Mainboard Model M2N-VM DVI (0x2A0 - 0x15A18E08)

LPCIO
-----------------------------------------------------
Vendor ITE
Model IT8712
Vendor ID 0x90
Chip ID 0x8712
Revision ID 0x8
Config Mode I/O address 0x2E

Dump config mode register space, LDN = 0x4
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 04 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
10 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
20 87 12 08 11 00 41 1C 07 00 00 01 00 06 00 00 00
30 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
40 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
50 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
60 02 90 02 30 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
70 00 02 00 00 04 04 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00


Hardware monitor
-----------------------------------------------------

ITE IT87 hardware monitor

Voltage sensor 0 1.39 Volts [0x57] (CPU VCORE)
Voltage sensor 2 3.31 Volts [0xCF] (+3.3V)
Voltage sensor 4 12.74 Volts [0xC7] (+12V)
Voltage sensor 5 -6.34 Volts [0x63] (-12V)
Voltage sensor 8 3.14 Volts [0xC4] (VBAT)
Temperature sensor 0 48°C (118°F) [0x30] (TMPIN0)
Fan sensor 0 4787 RPM [0x8D] (FANIN0)

Dump hardware monitor
LPC Register space, base address = 0x0290

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
00 11 00 FF 00 37 FF 07 37 FF 07 40 09 03 8D FF FF
10 FF FF FF 7F D0 80 80 80 00 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
20 57 FF CF FF C7 63 FF FF C4 30 80 80 FC FF FF FF
30 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
40 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF 2D FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
50 35 08 7F 7F 7F 00 56 56 90 56 FE 12 E0 00 00 00
60 00 19 46 35 8D E1 FF FF 00 19 46 35 8D E1 FF FF
70 00 19 46 35 8D E1 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
80 00 00 00 00 FF FF FF FF 00 00 FF CA 02 00 99 99
90 7F 7F 7F 00 00 7F FF FF 7F 7F 7F 00 00 7F FF FF
A0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
B0 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
C0 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
D0 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
E0 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
F0 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF



Hardware monitor
-----------------------------------------------------

NVIDIA nVIDIA-nForce3 Pro hardware monitor

Temperature sensor 0 85°C (184°F) [0x55] (CPU)
Temperature sensor 2 33°C (91°F) [0x21] (Mainboard)

Dump hardware monitor

00000000 00000004 00000008 0000000C
00 00000000 00041401 10000000 00000000
10 10400000 00000000 00000000 00000000
20 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
30 00000000 00000000 00000000 00008020
40 00003F3F 00000000 00011000 00000000
50 000000C0 00000000 00000020 02000000
60 00000000 00000000 AABC4400 00000000
70 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
80 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
90 00000000 00000000 000400E7 C8000000
A0 70BFFFF4 FFE7FA1C 00000000 00000000
B0 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
C0 60486060 48484848 48484848 48484848
D0 48484848 48444848 68686868 60484865
E0 48C06060 68686848 48684868 48484848
F0 68484848 48484868 48484848 48484848

02 no output
05 no output
06 no output
0B no output
12 00000000 00005A55 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 000400E7 C8000000
13 00000000 00002B21 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 000400E7 C8000000
14 no output
15 no output
25 00000000 02000001 6E564944 49412D6E 466F7263 65332050 726F2020 C8000000
28 no output


Hardware monitor
-----------------------------------------------------

AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ hardware monitor

Temperature sensor 0 45°C (112°F) [0x5E] (Core #0)
Temperature sensor 1 43°C (109°F) [0x5C] (Core #1)

Dump hardware monitor



Hardware monitor
-----------------------------------------------------

GeForce 9600 GT hardware monitor

Temperature sensor 0 63°C (145°F) [0x3F] (GPU Core)

Dump hardware monitor



Hardware monitor
-----------------------------------------------------

WDC WD1600AAJB-00PVA0 hardware monitor

Temperature sensor 0 40°C (103°F) [0x28] (HDD)

Dump hardware monitor


Processors Map
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Number of processors 1
Number of threads 2

Processor 0
-- Core 0
-- Thread 0
-- Core 1
-- Thread 0


Processors Information
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Processor 1 (ID = 0)
Number of cores 2 (max 2)
Number of threads 2 (max 2)
Name AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
Codename Windsor
Specification AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 6000+
Package Socket AM2 (940)
CPUID F.3.3
Extended CPUID F.43
Brand ID 4
Core Stepping JH-F3
Technology 90 nm
Core Speed 3000.4 MHz (15.0 x 200.0 MHz)
HT Link speed 1000.1 MHz
Stock frequency 3000 MHz
Instructions sets MMX (+), 3DNow! (+), SSE, SSE2, SSE3, x86-64
L1 Data cache 2 x 64 KBytes, 2-way set associative, 64-byte line size
L1 Instruction cache 2 x 64 KBytes, 2-way set associative, 64-byte line size
L2 cache 2 x 1024 KBytes, 16-way set associative, 64-byte line size
FID/VID Control yes
max FID 15.0x
max VID 1.400 V
Features XD, VT
K8 Thermal sensor yes
K8 Revision ID 5.3
Attached device PCI device at bus 0, device 24, function 0
Attached device PCI device at bus 0, device 24, function 1
Attached device PCI device at bus 0, device 24, function 2
Attached device PCI device at bus 0, device 24, function 3


Thread dumps
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CPU Thread 0
APIC ID 0
Topology Processor ID 0, Core ID 0, Thread ID 0
Type 02002008h
Max CPUID level 00000001h
Max CPUID ext. level 80000018h

Function eax ebx ecx edx
0x00000000 0x00000001 0x68747541 0x444D4163 0x69746E65
0x00000001 0x00040F33 0x00020800 0x00002001 0x178BFBFF
0x80000000 0x80000018 0x68747541 0x444D4163 0x69746E65
0x80000001 0x00040F33 0x000009A3 0x0000001F 0xEBD3FBFF
0x80000002 0x20444D41 0x6C687441 0x74286E6F 0x3620296D
0x80000003 0x32582034 0x61754420 0x6F43206C 0x50206572
0x80000004 0x65636F72 0x726F7373 0x30303620 0x00002B30
0x80000005 0xFF08FF08 0xFF20FF20 0x40020140 0x40020140
0x80000006 0x00000000 0x42004200 0x04008140 0x00000000
0x80000007 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x0000003F
0x80000008 0x00003028 0x00000000 0x00000001 0x00000000
0x80000009 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x8000000A 0x00000001 0x00000040 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x8000000B 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x8000000C 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x8000000D 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x8000000E 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x8000000F 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000010 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000011 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000012 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000013 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000014 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000015 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000016 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000017 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000018 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000

Cache descriptor Level 1 I 64 KB 1 thread(s)
Cache descriptor Level 1 D 64 KB 1 thread(s)
Cache descriptor Level 2 U 1 MB 1 thread(s)

MSR 0x0000001B edx = 0x00000000 eax = 0xFEE00900
MSR 0xC001001E edx = 0x00000000 eax = 0x00000053
MSR 0xC0010015 edx = 0x00000000 eax = 0x02000040
MSR 0xC0010042 edx = 0x31061208 eax = 0x06160216
MSR 0xC0010041 edx = 0x00000001 eax = 0x00000816

CPU Thread 1
APIC ID 1
Topology Processor ID 0, Core ID 1, Thread ID 0
Type 02002008h
Max CPUID level 00000001h
Max CPUID ext. level 80000018h

Function eax ebx ecx edx
0x00000000 0x00000001 0x68747541 0x444D4163 0x69746E65
0x00000001 0x00040F33 0x01020800 0x00002001 0x178BFBFF
0x80000000 0x80000018 0x68747541 0x444D4163 0x69746E65
0x80000001 0x00040F33 0x000009A3 0x0000001F 0xEBD3FBFF
0x80000002 0x20444D41 0x6C687441 0x74286E6F 0x3620296D
0x80000003 0x32582034 0x61754420 0x6F43206C 0x50206572
0x80000004 0x65636F72 0x726F7373 0x30303620 0x00002B30
0x80000005 0xFF08FF08 0xFF20FF20 0x40020140 0x40020140
0x80000006 0x00000000 0x42004200 0x04008140 0x00000000
0x80000007 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x0000003F
0x80000008 0x00003028 0x00000000 0x00000001 0x00000000
0x80000009 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x8000000A 0x00000001 0x00000040 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x8000000B 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x8000000C 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x8000000D 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x8000000E 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x8000000F 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000010 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000011 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000012 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000013 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000014 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000015 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000016 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000017 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000
0x80000018 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000 0x00000000

Cache descriptor Level 1 I 64 KB 1 thread(s)
Cache descriptor Level 1 D 64 KB 1 thread(s)
Cache descriptor Level 2 U 1 MB 1 thread(s)

MSR 0x0000001B edx = 0x00000000 eax = 0xFEE00800
MSR 0xC001001E edx = 0x00000000 eax = 0x00000053
MSR 0xC0010015 edx = 0x00000000 eax = 0x02000040
MSR 0xC0010042 edx = 0x31061208 eax = 0x06160216
MSR 0xC0010041 edx = 0x00000001 eax = 0x00000816



Drive
-----------------------------------------------------
Name WDC WD1600AAJB-00PVA0

Drive
-----------------------------------------------------
Name SanDisk U3 Cruzer Micro

Display API(s)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NVIDIA direct I/O API
NVAPI display API


Display Adapter(s)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Device number 0
Name GeForce 9600 GT
Vendor ID 0x10DE (0x3842)
Model ID 0x622 (0xC862)
Revision ID 0xA1

Perf Level 3D Applications
GPU core clock 675.0 MHz
GPU shaders clock 1674.0 MHz
GPU memory clock 900.0 MHz

GPU temperature 63 C


September 13, 2009 4:19:15 PM

I have standard heat sink for cpu.

This is my case fan: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (or something similar).

Would a cross flow fan or another type of case fan in addition to the PCI slot fan under the video card and power supply be needed?

I do have variable fan speed on, but will turn it off.

I am running RivaTuner now. I will blow out all the dust. I am uncertain as to how you'd get a fan in the front/side/top of case. I have an old silver metal case, do I need a new one?

Is Vista worthwhile?


a b B Homebuilt system
September 13, 2009 4:36:54 PM

I'm using Vista now, if you go that way, get the one with the Windows 7 upgrade coupon.

As for fans, try the slot cooler fan first, make sure you have one under PSU. For the other fans, a lot of cases have mounts for fans in those locations. Try the pci fan first, and adjust the fan speed up on your card with rivatuner, disable variable fan speed, and clean things out before getting another case or anything and see if these things give the desired results.
September 14, 2009 12:28:14 AM

So, on a whim, I replaced the heat sink entirely to one of those huge ugly jobbers (black widow). Immediately reduced my core temp to 27 degrees and I just played 2 games for an hour each without a single hitch or hiccup. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!
a b B Homebuilt system
September 14, 2009 12:47:05 AM

No problem man. Glad it works, sounds like it was just throttling as it heated up.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 14, 2009 1:15:37 AM

If instead, on a whim, you had run the tests asked for on 9/12, you would have been certain it was a cpu cooling issue.
September 14, 2009 1:51:47 AM

CPUID Hardware Monitor results above/ Prime 95 is a bit above my head, sorry.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 14, 2009 1:54:36 AM

Then you should have asked, that's what we are here for.
!