[Question]Wondering about stuttering in Games

Hi there.

I recently upgraded an old HP Pavillion that came with a 540GB hard drive (replaced), Q6600 Core 2 Quad 2.4GHz, and some Nvidia card I got rid of ages ago. 4GB of DDR2 ram as well.

Anyway, I've upgraded this 5 year old PC with a Corsair CX600 v2 PSU and a EVGA 550Ti, and I seem to still have stuttering in my games despite being able to play many games on maximum or near maximum. This stuttering issue happened before I upgraded my computer, and ended in my hard drive failing on me. That was a 3.5" drive. Now, I'm forced to use a 2.5" laptop hard drive that spins at 5500 RPMs I believe. It's a Toshiba.

Anyway, this computer is pretty bad, except the new parts. I hate the processor; I think it's a bottleneck at this point, but I can't buy a better 775 slot; that'd be a waste. I'm planning on upgrading the MoBo and Processor at some point in the future, but I'm unsure of if the stuttering is coming from another now-dying hard drive, or if it's caused by the gap in the level of performance from the components.

It feels like running a Ferrari engine in a Honda Civic frame.

Anyway, I'm terrible at understanding DiskCheckup, but here's the results of the SMART scan. It doesn't seem to be causing any errors. At least, I think it's not.

Anyway, my main question is: What's causing these stutters in my games, and if it's the hard disk, what can I do about it? Should I upgrade my MoBo and CPU before worrying about an HDD?

Do I have a faulting drive?
[cpp]

*** DiskCheckup V3.1 Build: 1002 Report ***

SysInfo DLL Version: SysInfo v1.0 Build: 1025
Time of export: 21:50:01 11-May-2012

Device information:
Device ID: 0
Interface: RAID
Device Capacity: 305242 MB
Serial Number: 50D3C6U4T
Model Number: TOSHIBA MK3265GSX
Firmware Revision: GJ003M
Partitions:
C: 221754 MB

ATA information:

Disk geometry:
Cylinders: 38913
Tracks/Cylinder: 255
Sectors/Track: 63
Bytes/Sector: 512
Total disk sectors: 625142448
Logical sector size: 512
Physical sector size: 512
Media rotation rate: 5400 RPM
Buffer size: 8192 KB
ECC size: 0 Bytes

Standards compliance:
ATA8-ACS Supported: Yes
ATA/ATAPI-7 Supported: Yes
ATA/ATAPI-6 Supported: Yes
ATA/ATAPI-5 Supported: Yes
ATA/ATAPI-4 Supported: Yes
Serial/Parallel: Serial
SATA 3.0 Compilance: No
SATA 2.6 Compilance: Yes
SATA 2.5 Compilance: Yes
SATA II: Ext Compilance: Yes
SATA 1.0a Compilance: Yes
ATA8-AST Compilance: Yes
World Wide ID: 5000039283403C26

Feature support:
SMART supported: Yes
SMART enabled: Yes
SMART self-test supported: Yes
SMART error log supported: Yes
LBA supported: Yes
IORDY supported: Yes
CFast supported: No
DMA supported: Yes
Maximum Multiword DMA mode supported: 2
Multiword DMA selected: None
Maximum UltraDMA mode supported: 5
UltraDMA selected: 5
Maximum PIO mode supported: 4
SATA Compliance: Yes
NCQ priority information supported: No
Unload while NCQ commands are outstanding supported: Yes
Phy Event Counters supported: Yes
Receipt of power management requests supported: Yes
NCQ feature set supported: Yes
SATA Gen2 Signaling Speed (3.0Gb/s) supported: Yes
SATA Gen1 Signaling Speed (1.5Gb/s) supported: Yes
Software Settings Preservation: Supported, Enabled
In-order data delivery: Not supported
Initiating power management: Supported, Disabled
DMA Setup auto-activation: Supported, Enabled
Non-zero buffer offsets: Not supported
Trusted Computing supported: No
Host Protected Area (HPA) supported: Yes
Read look-ahead supported: Yes
Read look-ahead enabled: Yes
Write cache supported: Yes
Write cache enabled: Yes
Power management supported: Yes
Security mode supported: Yes
Security mode enabled: No
Device Configuration Overlay (DCO) supported: Yes
48bit Addressing supported: Yes
Auto Acoustic Managment (AAM) supported: No
Power-up in Standby (PUIS) supported: No
Advanced Power Management (APM) supported: Yes
Advanced Power Management (APM) enabled: Yes
Current APM level: Minimum power consumption without Standby
CompactFlash Association (CFA) supported: No
General Purpose Logging (GPL) supported: Yes
Streaming supported: No
Media card pass through supported: No
Extended power conditions supported: No
Extended status reporting supported: No
Write-read-verify supported: No
Free-fall control supported: No
TRIM command supported: No
SCT command transport supported: Yes
NV Cache enabled: No
NV Cache Power Management supported: No

SMART ATTRIBUTES:
ID Description Status Value Worst Threshold Raw Value TEC
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 Raw Read Error Rate OK 100 100 50 0 N.A.
2 Throughput Performance OK 100 100 50 0 N.A.
3 Spin Up Time OK 100 100 1 1160 N.A.
4 Start/Stop Count OK 100 100 0 2042 N.A.
5 Reallocated Sector Count OK 100 100 50 0 N.A.
7 Seek Error Rate OK 100 100 50 0 N.A.
8 Seek Time Performance OK 100 100 50 0 N.A.
9 Power On Time OK 83 83 0 6920 N.A.
10 Spin Retry Count OK 140 100 30 0 N.A.
12 Power Cycle Count OK 100 100 0 2026 N.A.
191 G-sense Error Rate OK 100 100 0 161 N.A.
192 Power off Retract Count OK 100 100 0 45 N.A.
193 Load Cycle Count OK 93 93 0 79278 N.A.
194 Temperature OK 100 100 0 34 C N.A.
196 Reallocation Event Count OK 100 100 0 0 N.A.
197 Current Pending Sector Count OK 100 100 0 0 N.A.
198 Uncorrectable Sector Count OK 100 100 0 0 N.A.
199 UltraDMA CRC Error Count OK 200 200 0 0 N.A.
220 Disk shift OK 100 100 0 68 N.A.
222 Loaded hours OK 88 88 0 5180 N.A.
223 Load/Unload retry count OK 100 100 0 0 N.A.
224 Load friction OK 100 100 0 0 N.A.
226 Load-in Time OK 100 100 0 342 N.A.
240 Head flying hours OK 100 100 1 0 N.A. [/cpp]
3 answers Last reply
More about question wondering stuttering games
  1. Your CPU keeps up with the GTX550ti no problem and your ram is enough for most games. Does it happen in all games? If only in some then the ram might be the issue if the game has to reach into the page file on the HDD because it ran out of memory. The HDD would only affect load times another possibility is that you are running the games at to high a setting for the GTX550.
  2. It's happening in all games, even games that aren't even relevant in graphical complexity. League of Legends stutters, although it runs so fast in LOL that it's harder to notice.

    You can definitely tell that something is wrong, though.
  3. Thats an interesting problem. Have you monitored your hardware usage during gameplay? Check your RAM and CPU usage to see if they are maxing out. Also, you can monitor the paging to see if it corresponds to a studder. Its tough to monitor these things with one monitor. I usually do this with two monitors. The game will take over one, and your desktop will be visible on the other.

    I had a similar problem with a game on steam. It was only this one game that was affected. The solution was to defrag. Now I really don't know what that means because I have a SSD and I did not think that could be a problem, but it worked. This was using the steam defrag options, which I think is different than the normal defrag.
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