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Micro stuttering

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April 10, 2010 2:19:47 PM

So, I have been having this issue where micro stuttering plagues my games. I was wondering if anyone out there reading has experienced this in games like Assassin's Creed 1, Borderlands, Crysis, Farcry 2, Dead Space, Mass effect, Red Faction Guerrilla, Resident Evil 5, or any other game you have experienced an issue that is described by this quote from Wikipedia.

"Micro stuttering is a term used in computing to describe a quality defect inherent to multi-GPU configurations, such as nVidia SLi and ATI Crossfire, using AFR. It manifests as irregular delays between frames rendered by the multiple GPUs, causing the instantaneous frame rate of the longest gap to be significantly lower than the frame rate reported by benchmarking applications, such as 3DMark, as they usually calculate the average frame rate over a second. In lower frame rates when this effect may be apparent the moving video appear to stutter, resulting in a degraded gameplay experience in the case of a video game. Single-GPU configurations does not suffer from this defect and can in some cases output a subjectively smoother video compared to a multi-GPU setup using the same video card model."

I have been told that this is remedied by turning off Catalyst AI in the CCC. This never worked for me. Has anyone come up with a solution? The problem I have is so unusual that it makes me wonder whether or not there is something actually wrong with my card.

More about : micro stuttering

a b U Graphics card
April 10, 2010 2:32:50 PM

It's hard to say unless you list your computer specs. You may not have enough power. Also if you have more than 3GB of Memory, you may want to get a 64 Bit operating system to utilize or add more ram. Have you updated your graphics drivers recently?
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April 11, 2010 1:33:41 AM

Im on Windows 7 x64.


Radeon 4870 x2
AMD 955BE
790FX-GD70
Corsair 4G of ram 8-8-8-24@1600mhz
Corsair HX1000w psu
Western Digital Black Caviar 640gb


I would hope I have enough power. I doubt ram has anything to do with the problem I pretty much eliminated that with new corsair ram. Windows x64 didnt make much difference to the issue. I've gone through several Catalyst updates with zero change to this issue for myself.
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a b U Graphics card
April 11, 2010 1:38:12 AM

Never really saw micro-stutter with 5970 except if you watch min fps with fraps. Prolly because fps never drop under 30. All your games get freezing for some seconds?

Change the card to a single GPU and see what happens?

Seems like a hard drive issue...

Some tearing can be seen with both multi and single GPUs that makes game look choppy for some m.s and it is more apparent when AF is applied. This is present with all hardware.
All of my video cards showed some tearing and my friends 9800gt with Mass Effect 1, it is just the way how it works. Its not software related.

Edit: How about a video upload?
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a c 130 U Graphics card
April 11, 2010 1:42:14 AM

Disable one of the GPUs to see if that fixes it.
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a b U Graphics card
April 11, 2010 2:45:39 AM

Track your FPS with fraps or something to make sure what you are seeing is simplay bad frame rates.

Turn V-sync off if you have to on.
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a b U Graphics card
April 11, 2010 9:25:53 AM

I've heard about this problem, but didn't realise it was exclusive to AFR... are you able to switch to split frame rendering in the control panel and see if that helps? You might experience tearing issues then, but get VSync on and see how you go with it.
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April 11, 2010 11:25:49 AM

All the suggestions are things I have done. I don't even know how you would go about disabling one of the GPUs. VSync is always off i hate tearing but, I hate mouse lag more. Btw, what the *** is AF? anisotropic filtering? Dont use acronyms they will confuse anyone else trying to read who hasn't got a clue what you are talking about.

Rofl_My_Waffle: I don't think I'm that retarded to not know the difference between bad framerates and whatnot. The Framerate reports are 50+ in say assassin's creed.

But, Skipping is really bad.

I can't say that it is my hard drive, this is a brand new hard drive, zero fragmentation, other games work fine. There's just one or two that come along that skip like madness. Even the tearing ya know isn't so bad but, when it starts skipping like madness like Assassin's creed it ruins the gameplay totally. VSync is never on. I can't change a thing with the 4870 x2. I can't choose what mode of rendering I want. It's completely retarded. Unless you have to turn the second gpu off in the bios I have no idea how to turn it off.

I May possibly post a video of it if necessary.
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April 11, 2010 11:28:49 AM

As a note, I do not have a second video card that has a single gpu that also has Smart shader 3.0
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a b U Graphics card
April 11, 2010 12:17:51 PM

Disable Catalyst AI and the card would only use one core.
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 11, 2010 1:50:54 PM

Crysis can run without Smart Shader 3. Used to run it on a X800XL-- AF is anisotropic filtering, yes. Try what waffle said. I have Assassins Creed 2 and it is the game that has the moost tearing and I have a Single Gpu. Yes, a video will be helpful.
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April 11, 2010 4:23:25 PM

I have tried to disable catalyst AI and do it but it never seems to do much. I will install assassin's creed. And make a video.
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April 13, 2010 1:02:25 PM

So as a small note i use a horrible dell monitor to play games. it's like 17inches. I can't make any decision as to what monitor I want. It's been said that this monitor is very horrible. A Dell E173FP. So, Any suggestions as to what to get for a monitor?
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a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2010 4:26:21 PM

I'm about to buy a new display, so I've actually done quite a bit of research on the same thing. Check out http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/56961-29-recommenda... at the bottom for my findings. This will actually be my first TFT... well the first one I've kept, I've purchased several but sent them back.

I'm a perfectionist when it comes to image quality, still using my old CTX EX710F CRT (professional grade) monitor, most TFTs can't even come close to matching the colour accuracy, consistency and black levels of a CRT... but I think the ones I've mentioned in the above post come the closest, until OLED or SED move into widescale production and become affordable (several years away yet).

Depends how much you want to spend though, unless you're willing to put £200/$300 on it, you can pick up a 24" 1920x1080 of a decent make for not much money (£140, maybe $200?). Since I posed the above, I've also found the NEC Multisync EA231WMi has received very positive reviews... http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=produ...
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a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2010 4:44:25 PM

Just to add to my previous post, I've looked through the buyer reviews on the NEC, and about half of these seem to be affected by a panel flaw where colours on the right side of the screen are slightly warmer than on the left (a slightly more red white balance, bluer on the left). After looking this up, it seems that it's a known problem with some (not all) of LG's IPS panels...

Since most monitor manufacturers will use LG panels for their IPS monitors (the only other IPS panel manufactuer being Hannstar), displays using PVA panels (the Samsung/Sony joint venture S-LCD produces these for monitor manufactuers) are probably a better bet.

Manufacturers of professional grade crazy-expensive displays for graphics professionals (such as Lacie and Eizo) are using RGBLED-backlit S-PVA panels in their top models, but you can get a CCFL-backlit PVA panel 23" Samsung F2380 for £200 (probably below $300 US)... that's your best bet if you're willing to pay for quality.
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April 13, 2010 5:47:10 PM

You know, I feel like a huge retard. When you're talking about all of these things to do with monitors its like It completely goes over my head. It's hilarious because, I do know a fair bit when it comes to constructing a rig, how to overclock and so on. But, When you start talking about monitors I am retarded. I have no idea what brands are good. I disregarded the last monitor I had because I did not see a decrease in tearing. Maybe this card has issues.

And on top of that, I have been checking out assassin's creed again. To be honest with you I feel like an even bigger retard now. The issues of which I previously mentioned are pretty much gone minus the tearing. Tearing is still a huge thing for me. I can stand a little but, I would prefer none or close to it. So what can I buy. Money is not really overly concerning to me.

I am willing to put up to $1000 on a monitor for this pc as long as it:

1) Does not shake and wobble when desk moves like 1mm
2) Will reduce my tearing little to nothing.
3) Has decent color and none of that dead pixel crap

I honestly think it is retarded for manufacturers to have a tolerance for dead pixels. That is insanity. Someone pays $1000 for a display and they expect it to have 100% functional pixels. This isn't even acceptable in my opinion. Its awesome that there are so many defects in everything ever. But, Monitors? Come on. You're looking at those dead pixels all day. What makes anyone think oh yea they won't even notice! Absolutely insane.

I miss my 21" CRT.
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April 13, 2010 5:50:48 PM

My cousin has had nightmares over samsung. They have the absolute worst customer support ever apparently. And I trust my cousin because he deals with this kind of stuff a lot. On top of that, he bought something very expensive with them and pretty much screwed him over. So when I hear buy a Samsung product, I can't really ignore the fact they apparently suck.
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a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2010 8:19:03 PM

Couldn't agree more about the dead pixels, it's one reason (of several) that I've held out this long with my CRT... others being the crappy colour shift as you change position in your chair (which I now know is exclusive to TN panels), the pathetic attempts at black (more backlight-dependent), the lack of colour quality (backlighting and colour depth dependent) and only one distortion-free resolution (i.e. max/native res). With my CRT, if I had a game that couldn't handle 1600x1200, I'd just drop it down to 1280x1024 and it would still look great but I've had good framerates again! Anyway, that's my anti-TFT rant, they are a hell of a lot more portable, modern and at least for definition/clarity, they beat the hell out of CRTs (mixed blessing though, DVDs look much worse for it, specially combined with colour shift and greys where black should be).

Agree about Samsungs too, I'd prefer to avoid them, but they have the only 1920x1080 23"+ PVA display I can afford (that I'm aware of). That's awesome you're willing to put good money on it, would strongly recommend checking out Anandtech. If you're not familiar with it, it's another THG-type site (my second hardware resource after THG) that are really into high quality (non-TN) displays... they have a few reviews of some really high end (but well within your price range) stuff, so worth taking a look. Also CNET (navigate to their reviews section first to expand the review categories on the left menu). Just keep an eye on the review dates there, they go back years to some really old stuff.

You can get incredibly detailed assessments of every aspect of image quality, and benchmark charts to compare delta-E (the average difference between the true colour and what's outputted on screen), % colour gamut etc... hope you're not sour on Dell after your current model, cuz they're responsible for some of the absolute best high end TFTs. The Anandtech all-time favourite TFT is the Dell 2408WFP... and if money was no object, I would own one. You're looking at £450+ (I think $600-700) so it's not cheap, but it's at the top of pretty much every image quality benchmark you can throw at it.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
April 13, 2010 8:22:50 PM

ACER makes good monitors, as does ASUS and Hanns-G.
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a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2010 8:35:35 PM

Forgot to mention, I don't think a new monitor will fix your tearing issues... almost all TFTs will run at 60Hz. With VSync, you can limit your framerates to 60fps to prevent framerate exceeding refresh rate and causing tearing. 60fps is as fast as anyone's brain can really process, so your enjoyment of the game shouldn't really suffer. Monitors are being produced now with 120Hz refresh rates (for the sake of 3D, since you're outputting twice as many frames to produce the two focal levels). If you enabled VSync on one of those, you could enjoy upto 120fps before either VSync or tearing kicks in (depending on whether you enable it).

Not sure if there are any 120Hz IPS/PVA displays out though... for some reason, the market is split into gaming monitors (crappy TN panels but good response times cuz less colour data is being processed by the crystal matrix) or graphics professional displays (IPS or PVA with slightly worse response times but far superior image). Personally I don't think it's too much to ask (and I'm sure I'm not alone in this) in wanting a display that's flawless for games, DVDs and Windows.

Opinions seem to be 50/50 on whether you can actually perceive reduced responsiveness on PVA/IPS panels (it's certainly nowhere close the trails you used to get on flatscreens) so I'd recommend finding a local store with a PVA/IPS display model connected to a computer with a first person shooter or racing game installed, then decide for yourself. 6ms grey-to-grey is the best I've seen, so not far behind TN, or 14ms TrTf (fully white to total black time).
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April 14, 2010 3:31:42 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Couldn't agree more about the dead pixels, it's one reason (of several) that I've held out this long with my CRT... others being the crappy colour shift as you change position in your chair (which I now know is exclusive to TN panels), the pathetic attempts at black (more backlight-dependent), the lack of colour quality (backlighting and colour depth dependent) and only one distortion-free resolution (i.e. max/native res). With my CRT, if I had a game that couldn't handle 1600x1200, I'd just drop it down to 1280x1024 and it would still look great but I've had good framerates again! Anyway, that's my anti-TFT rant, they are a hell of a lot more portable, modern and at least for definition/clarity, they beat the hell out of CRTs (mixed blessing though, DVDs look much worse for it, specially combined with colour shift and greys where black should be).

Agree about Samsungs too, I'd prefer to avoid them, but they have the only 1920x1080 23"+ PVA display I can afford (that I'm aware of). That's awesome you're willing to put good money on it, would strongly recommend checking out Anandtech. If you're not familiar with it, it's another THG-type site (my second hardware resource after THG) that are really into high quality (non-TN) displays... they have a few reviews of some really high end (but well within your price range) stuff, so worth taking a look. Also CNET (navigate to their reviews section first to expand the review categories on the left menu). Just keep an eye on the review dates there, they go back years to some really old stuff.

You can get incredibly detailed assessments of every aspect of image quality, and benchmark charts to compare delta-E (the average difference between the true colour and what's outputted on screen), % colour gamut etc... hope you're not sour on Dell after your current model, cuz they're responsible for some of the absolute best high end TFTs. The Anandtech all-time favourite TFT is the Dell 2408WFP... and if money was no object, I would own one. You're looking at £450+ (I think $600-700) so it's not cheap, but it's at the top of pretty much every image quality benchmark you can throw at it.


Absolutely not, I'm not sour with dell with a 17" 16ms response time monitor. This thing has been the only thing i've used for years and years. By no means do I think its a bad monitor, I enjoyed it more than an LG 24" monitor. The whole shakey table thing turned me off a lot too. I got it returned though and my money back. And i was pretty happy with that.

But, I'm more concerned about having something that provides a decent stable image. Anything is better than this monitor at color. So I am a lot more concerned over image stability in games and movies, and whatever else.

I also agree that a new monitor will most likely not fix my tearing issues, but, I would expect it to not be as bad. Vsync is simply not something I like doing due to mouse lag and whatnot. 60 Frames per second being the highest someone can perceive isnt quite true. I seen somewhere that 72fps is pretty good though. But, It's known that people can see up to 200 frames per second and even higher. So when you say we can only see and process 60fps, you're pretty much 100% wrong.

Anyway, I would like something with a high operating frequency. Money is not an absolute object.
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a b U Graphics card
April 14, 2010 4:35:26 PM

By stability, are you talking about the monitor wobbling you mentioned before, or the picture shimmering? You shouldn't really get that on any quality display. CNet's video reviews are pretty good for the wobbling thing though, they give every monitor they review a shove and see what happens.

With regards to framerates, 30-40fps is generally considered to be what you should aim for. I'd be amazed if in a scientific test, people could actually tell which monitor was displaying 100fps and which was displaying 200fps... or 60fps for that matter. But regardless, even if your graphics card is outputting 500fps, your monitor will only be capable of refreshing the picture 60 times a second anyway, so you won't be seeing 500fps. And lack of synchronisation between the two will just result tearing, and the picture is still being refreshed 60 times a second.

Mouse lag shouldn't be related to this either, that's more down to the USB input polling rate, and on any modern wireless mouse this shouldn't be a concern. Obviously for wired mouse, lag simply won't be an issue anyway, with 1000Hz polling as standard now in gaming mice. To be honest, even half that won't affect your gaming... people place way too much emphasis on milliseconds of lag when what it really comes down to is the player's skill.

As I say, if refresh rate is really that important, take a look at 3D-compatible monitors (there's probably a list on nVidia's site). If you're not actually using a 3D headset with it, I think you'll be able to enjoy 120Hz by default.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
April 14, 2010 4:41:13 PM

The problem, Mr. Hollow, is that for monitors one of the highest frequencies is 120hz, which is used for 3D. 60hz is the standard for LCDs, and as such, any frames above that are wasted.
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April 15, 2010 1:28:32 AM

sam_p_lay said:
By stability, are you talking about the monitor wobbling you mentioned before, or the picture shimmering? You shouldn't really get that on any quality display. CNet's video reviews are pretty good for the wobbling thing though, they give every monitor they review a shove and see what happens.

With regards to framerates, 30-40fps is generally considered to be what you should aim for. I'd be amazed if in a scientific test, people could actually tell which monitor was displaying 100fps and which was displaying 200fps... or 60fps for that matter. But regardless, even if your graphics card is outputting 500fps, your monitor will only be capable of refreshing the picture 60 times a second anyway, so you won't be seeing 500fps. And lack of synchronisation between the two will just result tearing, and the picture is still being refreshed 60 times a second.

Mouse lag shouldn't be related to this either, that's more down to the USB input polling rate, and on any modern wireless mouse this shouldn't be a concern. Obviously for wired mouse, lag simply won't be an issue anyway, with 1000Hz polling as standard now in gaming mice. To be honest, even half that won't affect your gaming... people place way too much emphasis on milliseconds of lag when what it really comes down to is the player's skill.

As I say, if refresh rate is really that important, take a look at 3D-compatible monitors (there's probably a list on nVidia's site). If you're not actually using a 3D headset with it, I think you'll be able to enjoy 120Hz by default.


Mouse lag caused by VSync. Anyway, Acer had this one monitor I had interest in. Though its non-existant pretty much.
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April 15, 2010 2:10:42 PM

Yea no when I said stability I meant horizontal tearing. The less of that I get the better. So if anyone knows an alright solution to little to no tearing I would recommend giving me a post to see if I can't figure anything else out about this issue I am having.
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May 24, 2010 8:39:27 PM

shadow187 said:
ACER makes good monitors, as does ASUS and Hanns-G.



Funny you mention, I'm running dual displayd 24in asus and a 21.5in acer. Couldn't be more pleased with them. I also had a micro stuttering issue which is now resolved. In my case I went into the nvidia control panel and changed the pre-rendered frames from 3 to 5 and it really has smoothed everything out. Pretty sure CCC has this option as well. I like to run windowed maximized on my main screen and that really produced some crazy MS. Happy to say for me it's a thing of the past. I hope this helps!
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