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E8400 Stutter/lag

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September 25, 2010 12:02:21 PM

In some games (notably, NFS Prostreet and GTA IV) I get very good FPS but the game would freeze for a split second every few seconds which completely messes up the gameplay.

Someone else had the same issue with the game and described like this:

"The behavior is like data is cached not quickly enough, when objects pop up in the distance. Accordingly frames are going up and down all the time, leaving sometimes only 17frames at a speed of 150MpH."

I used to have an 8800GTS G92 and it worked fine. The problem began when I switched to an ATI 4870x2. That may suggest that it's the graphics but even after exchanging that with a 5870 1GB, I still the same issue.

Someone suggested that this is caused by the CPU not extracting the textures fast enough. What can I do to fix this?

Specs:
Intel C2D E8400 @ 3.00GHz (36 - 54 degrees temp)
2 GB DDR2 800 Corsair RAM - 2x1024 - 4-4-4-12 timing
Gigabyte GA-EP35C-DS3R mobo
870 GB Hard drive total (320 Sata +300 WD3000 Corviar IDE)
1200W Topower Tiger series PSU.

More about : e8400 stutter lag

a b à CPUs
September 25, 2010 1:59:50 PM

Did you up the graphical quality when you got the better GPUs?

Regardless, you only have 2 GB of RAM and these newer cards have larger frame buffer. They could be paging more space in your RAM, which when it fills up it'll have to write some stuff off to the hard drive. That could cause the game to stutter as you have to wait for space to be emptied in RAM and then new stuff loaded from the HD.

Watch memory usage when you play the game, if you RAM is full you need more.
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a c 900 à CPUs
September 25, 2010 2:11:23 PM

Second the ram being the culprit especially if you are running 64bit OS.
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September 25, 2010 3:17:22 PM

calinkula said:
Did you up the graphical quality when you got the better GPUs?

Regardless, you only have 2 GB of RAM and these newer cards have larger frame buffer. They could be paging more space in your RAM, which when it fills up it'll have to write some stuff off to the hard drive. That could cause the game to stutter as you have to wait for space to be emptied in RAM and then new stuff loaded from the HD.

Watch memory usage when you play the game, if you RAM is full you need more.


The game was maxed out on my 8800GTS so it's not the graphics settings. I tried with low and high and while the stutter is less at low settings, it's still present. Besides...come on man, I got a 5870, why the hell would I wanna play on low settings? lol.

What you're saying about the RAM sounds pretty plausible; do you think it's the case if my page file is 1.45GB (600mb RAM left)? That's how much it is when running the game.

@Rolli59: Also I'm running Windows XP 32-bit.
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a c 900 à CPUs
September 25, 2010 3:28:45 PM

Anytime that a game will have to use the page file instead of ram there will be a lag because of much slower latency. With 2 GB of ram you have less available for the game since the OS is already using a good chunk of that. The HD5870 is much faster than your old card and processes things a lot faster. Your CPU at 3.0GHz should not be a large bottleneck but if you can overclock it a little bit further you should see some improvement.
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September 26, 2010 6:23:59 AM

Yeah it says PF usage 1.45GB and in the physical memory section it says Available: 600000. More or less. Does this mean it's using the page file on the hard drive?

I'll get a few more gigs of RAM, let's hope it'll fix it.
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a b à CPUs
September 26, 2010 9:02:47 PM

A PF of 1.45 GB means the PC has loaded that much memory from RAM to the HD to make space in RAM. If a program needs something from the PF it has to access the HD for it which makes a PC lag.

600000 available in the physical section means the PC has 600 MB of RAM being un-used. So it's using about 1.4 GB used during the time you looked.

So your PC has assigned about 3GB of stuff to RAM (PF + physical used) and you only have 2GB.



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September 27, 2010 8:45:08 AM

Thanks for the input man. I gotta disagree though. :) 

See, this same amount of RAM served me just right when I had my 8800GTS 512MB G92. Ok, let's say the buffer size on a 1GB card means I need more RAM. But if I can't run the damn thing with NO APPS OPEN and NO PAGE FILE at all, there's something else wrong.

Take a look:

This is when running NFS Prostreet only. The game is 3 years old but it's not like my hardware is that new either. It's a DirectX9/DirectX10 game FFS...

But notice how the CPU is maxed out. I just remembered that when this game came out it was known to be CPU intensive. I had tried to run it on my AMD 3200+ back in 2007 and it stuttered so badly it was giving me one frame a second on an ATI X850 (well capable on running the game smoothly) because of the CPU bottleneck.

And I doubt it's the ATI drivers' fault. A few months ago I tried this game on the very same system, with a 3870x2 1GB, and it ran flawlessly.

So I'm thinking it's my CPU. Something's gotta be wrong with it, I dunno. It's either that, or my grahpics card. I did everything I could for the graphics...now I gotta try doing something with the CPU.
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September 27, 2010 9:57:56 AM

A few things I tried so far:

Re-flashed back to my old BIOS version, F1.

Found the driver for my SM Bus Controller and installed it. Now I have no unknown hardware.

Disabled ATI Overdrive.

Checked CPU temperature. It idles at 36 and under load it goes up to 45-55.

Disabled every service I didn't need. Even some of the Microsoft services. Sped up the computer quite a lot but didn't make the least bit of difference in the games.

Ran the Intel Processor Diagnostic Tool. Results:


--- IPDT - rev 1.20.0.1 ---
--- Start Time: 09/27/2010 02:52:13---
--- Skipping Config ---
--- Reading CPU Manufacturer ---

Expected --> GenuineIntel
Detected --> GenuineIntel
Found --- Genuine Intel Processor ---

--- Temperature Test ---
Temperature Test Passed!!!
Temperature = 61 degrees C below maximum.

--- Reading Brand String ---

Detected Brand String:
Intel Core2 Duo E8400 3.00GHz

Brand String Test Passed!!!


--- Reading CPU Frequency ---

Expected CPU Frequency is --> 3.00
Detected CPU Frequency is --> 2.99809
CPU Frequency Test Passed!!!


--- Reading FSB ---

Expected FSB : --> 1333
Detected) FSB : --> 1333
CPU FSB Test Passed!!!

--- Running Base Clock test ---

--- This CPU does not support base clock test ---

--- Running Floating Point test ---

Million Floating Points per Second, MFLOPS --> 331.2
Floating Point Test Pass ---

--- Running Prime Number Generation Test ---

Operation Per Second--> 1.99374e+006
Prime Number Generation Test Pass ---

--- Reading Cache Size ---

- Detected L1 Data Cache Size --> 2 x 32
- Detected L1 Inst Cache Size --> 2 x 32
- Detected L2 Cache Size --> 6144
- Detected L3 Cache Size --> Not Detected.
Cache Size Test Passed!!!

--- Determining MMX - SSE capabilities ---

--- CPU FEATURES DETECTION FOR ---
--- MMX/SSE/SSE2/SSE3/SSSE3/SSE4.1/SSE4.2 ---
MMX - Intel MMX Technology Feature Supported --> Yes---> PASS
SSE - Streaming SIMD Extensions Feature Supported --> Yes---> PASS
SSE2 - Streaming SIMD Extensions 2 Feature Supported --> Yes---> PASS
SSE3 - Streaming SIMD Extensions 3 Feature Supported --> Yes---> PASS
SSSE3 - Supplemented SSE 3 Feature Supported --> Yes---> PASS
SSE4.1 - Streaming SIMD Extensions 4.1 Feature Supported --> Yes---> PASS
SSE4.2 - Streaming SIMD Extensions 4.2 Feature Supported --> No ---> No Test Required

Test Cycle Count = 100

--- MMX_SSE - capabilities check complete ---
MMX - SSE Testing Passed !!
--- IMC NOT Supported on this Processor ---

--- CPU Load ---
--- Load Level = 8

CPU Load Passed!!!

--- Temperature Test ---
Temperature Test Passed!!!
Temperature = 55 degrees C below maximum.
--- Test End Time: 09/27/2010 02:54:13---


In short it said "PASS".

None of the above made any difference.

Right now I'm looking to buy a set of RAM and then switching to Window 7 Pro or Ultimate. Or am I better off with XP SP3 with my hardware?
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October 7, 2010 12:13:08 AM

I reinstalled my operating system. I switched to Windows7 Ultimate X64 and it solved the issue.

Problem solved.
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a b à CPUs
October 7, 2010 4:56:53 AM

I'd like to say wow...you have a 1200watt PSU?

A good 500watt PSU can run your current system quite well, so that's total overkill. :D 

Whoops, meant 500watt*
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October 7, 2010 5:06:32 AM

Bluescreendeath said:
I'd like to say wow...you have a 1200watt PSU?

A good 400watt PSU can run your current system quite well, so that's total overkill. :D 


I like overkill. :D 

I had a 4870x2 which burnt my 500W Coolermaster. So I got this thing. Then I exchanged my 4870x2 for a 5870 (for free), so now it seems like an overkill. I still have 3 hard drives to power though. :p 
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