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Micro stuttering?

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January 1, 2012 10:31:48 AM

Hello. I have been a console gamer all my life but this generation i am getting pretty sick of the poor performance. Sluggish 360 games that stutter are becoming the norm it seems. Fallout 3 GOTY must have paused for a micro second about 5/600 times in the 100 hours i put into it. So, after putting hundreds of hours into fallout 3, New Vegas, Oblivion, and the like, I am thinking about playing Skyrim on my PC instead.

Anyways, to do this I would need to upgrade. I decided to try some games before spending the money on a new card. I have tried Skyrim, New Vegas, and Mass Effect so far. All on the absolute lowest settings. According to Fraps Skyrim gets 35-50 FPS and Vegas gets 57-60. I forget what Mass Effect got. Everything seemed fine until i noticed the all seemed to be slightly stuttering even though they are running at "playable" FPS. In Skyrim you can barely notice it if your looking forward at where your going. However if you look at the side of the screen while moving you can see it jerking (same for Vegas but much worse and horible in buildings). Once i see it its hard to forget about it lol. Its making me want to not bother spending the money on a new card and just buy Skyrim for 360 (which is much cheaper lol). I have started to google around about it and i notice it comes up a lot. I'm trying to get away from this issue by switching to PC hehe :pt1cable:  :pt1cable: 

I guess what i really want to know is jumping from a HD 4550 to say a 6850 going to solve this? Seems like no since i am getting enough FPS that it should be smooth.

E8400 @ 4.0
4 GB RAM
4550 newest drivers

I know my CPU is old. I also know Skyrim is pretty CPU dependent but its only showing %70 most of the time i play (even on medium).

More about : micro stuttering

January 1, 2012 3:10:24 PM

Tried Crysis 1 at 800x600 on low with vsync... 45-60FPS and was pretty smooth. *shrugs*
January 1, 2012 3:37:31 PM

Hi OllieDixon,

Going from a 4550 to a 6850 will be a MASSIVE jump, and will most likely solve your stuttering.Linky look how for your card is to the new one!
Don't worry too much about your CPU, it may be old but it can still take care of itself.

But, you need a good (corsair, Seasonic, PC P&C, XFX, bla bla bla) 500 or higher PSU to run it. And what resolution do you normally game on btw?
Related resources
a c 251 U Graphics card
January 1, 2012 3:43:10 PM

What power supply do you have.
a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2012 3:55:11 PM

6850 would be able to play that game with some of the more intensive settings added as well its only one 4 pin connector... so its not to hard on a power supply but i would look into getting at least a 400 to 500 watt.. there also really good on power requirements and over clock fairly well.. personally i have 2 6870's but had a 6850 before upgrading to 2 of these.. when i had it it could play most games on either highest settings or or bare minumum medium ..
January 1, 2012 4:16:54 PM

mojito_619 said:
Hi OllieDixon,

Going from a 4550 to a 6850 will be a MASSIVE jump, and will most likely solve your stuttering.Linky look how for your card is to the new one!
Don't worry too much about your CPU, it may be old but it can still take care of itself.

But, you need a good (corsair, Seasonic, PC P&C, XFX, bla bla bla) 500 or higher PSU to run it. And what resolution do you normally game on btw?


Yea i have been using that chart while deciding on a card. But now that i have tested im worried lol. I can get 60 FPS on low but its still stuttering. How would getting 60 FPS on high solve this?

My PSU is an Antec NeoPower 550 and i don't normally game at any resolution hehe. But my monitors are 1280x1024 and 1680x1050. I have been using the 1280 for the above tests.

inzone said:
What power supply do you have.


Antec NeoPower 550

EDIT: Oh and Crysis actually does it to .. it was just a little harder to notice. :\
a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2012 4:23:34 PM

You are really asking a lot out of that lowly 4550, it's definitely the weak link in your system. A 6850 will be a literal night and day difference, huge jump in performance.
January 1, 2012 4:28:56 PM

jitpublisher said:
You are really asking a lot out of that lowly 4550, it's definitely the weak link in your system. A 6850 will be a literal night and day difference, huge jump in performance.

Yea but .. with low settings i can go over 60 FPS in new Vegas (And well above 40 in others) and its not smooth. If it can go over 60 FPS i don't feel like im asking a lot of the card. It just looks like ass hehe. I'm just using it to see if i even like gaming on a pc (which i do other then the lil stutters) before i spend money on a 6850.

It basically looks like a 60 frames a second image that stops on every second frame. Now mind you you have to look for it to see it.

I can get 60 FPS on low but its stuttering. How would a new card getting 60 FPS on high solve this? :pt1cable: 
a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2012 4:32:31 PM

4550->6850 is going from 80 simd cores to 960.
January 1, 2012 4:37:41 PM

I agree. Which is why i chose it. Fast enough and cheap. But i doubt ill buy it if i can't figure out this problem :( 
a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2012 4:41:51 PM

Maybe your Hd is so slow that it makes the games stutter before it can write new data to RAM?
a c 251 U Graphics card
January 1, 2012 4:42:08 PM

If you have a high quality card and play at med to high settings you might be able to get rid of the stuttering , I would play around with the settings to see if the display can be smoother.
a c 103 U Graphics card
January 1, 2012 4:43:22 PM

Microstuttering is actually a phenomenon caused by rendering of alternate frames in a dual GPU system.

What you're describing is a well known problem in the engine that Fallout 3 uses. Even the best gaming computers will still have that stuttering on Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas. You can alleviate some of the problems by using the tweak guide at http://www.tweakguides.com/Fallout3_1.html
January 1, 2012 4:43:50 PM

vitornob said:
Maybe your Hd is so slow that it makes the games stutter before it can write new data to RAM?


Boot drive is a fairly new WD black and the game is installed on another WD black. If i need an SSD to play games i give up hehe

Pinhedd said:
Microstuttering is actually a phenomenon caused by rendering of alternate frames in a dual GPU system.

What you're describing is a well known problem in the engine that Fallout 3 uses. Even the best gaming computers will still have that stuttering on Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas. You can alleviate some of the problems by using the tweak guide at http://www.tweakguides.com/Fallout3_1.html


Yea i read about micro stuering in crossfire after posting this. I didnt know it was a term already used lol. I am heading to bed but i will read that guide when i wake up. Thanks
a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2012 4:44:18 PM

OllieDixon said:
Yea but .. with low settings i can go over 60 FPS in new Vegas (And well above 40 in others) and its not smooth. If it can go over 60 FPS i don't feel like im asking a lot of the card. It just looks like ass hehe. I'm just using it to see if i even like gaming on a pc (which i do other then the lil stutters) before i spend money on a 6850.

It basically looks like a 60 frames a second image that stops on every second frame. Now mind you you have to look for it to see it.

I can get 60 FPS on low but its stuttering. How would a new card getting 60 FPS on high solve this? :pt1cable: 


It may be hitting 60fps, but I am telling you that 4550 is not even considered a bottom of the barrel gaming card. A 4650 is what I would call a bottom of the barrel card for gaming, and it is twice as fast as your 4550, literally. I am just saying fix the obvious first.
a c 251 U Graphics card
January 1, 2012 4:46:45 PM

What is the monitor that you are using , maybe the monitor is causing the stuttering.
January 1, 2012 4:47:03 PM

jitpublisher said:
It may be hitting 60fps, but I am telling you that 4550 is not even considered a bottom of the barrel gaming card. A 4650 is what I would call a bottom of the barrel card for gaming, and it is twice as fast as your 4550, literally. I am just saying fix the obvious first.


I get your point but i don't have the money to burn just to see if it fixes the problem :( 
a c 164 U Graphics card
January 1, 2012 4:48:07 PM

First, micro stuttering is a different beast. That comes into play when dealing with multi GPU setups. If you just have a single GPU, you don't have micro stutter.

That doesn't mean you don't have a loading/stutter issue. (its just called stuttering, not micro stutter.) Could be a old/slow hdds that takes to long to load new data. Could be a heat issue that's causing your CPU to slow down. Could be your slow GPU trying to keep up with your CPU. Could be Vsync not working properly on X title. Make sure your computer is free of dust, make sure Vsync is on, and you'll need a new GPU if you want to play games "maxed out".
a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2012 4:51:33 PM

OllieDixon said:
I get your point but i don't have the money to burn just to see if it fixes the problem :( 


I understand, but if you want to play games on a PC, you are going to have to get something better than what you have, that is a fact. Now, past that, it is a really just a matter of making sure you have minimal programs running in the background, your antivirus in gaming mode (to keep it from scanning or checking every call the game makes to the harddrive for information) Your drives are defragmented, you have at least 25-30% of the drive free, these types of things. All can have a negative impact on gaming performance.
January 1, 2012 5:25:40 PM

4745454b said:
First, micro stuttering is a different beast. That comes into play when dealing with multi GPU setups. If you just have a single GPU, you don't have micro stutter.

That doesn't mean you don't have a loading/stutter issue. (its just called stuttering, not micro stutter.) Could be a old/slow hdds that takes to long to load new data. Could be a heat issue that's causing your CPU to slow down. Could be your slow GPU trying to keep up with your CPU. Could be Vsync not working properly on X title. Make sure your computer is free of dust, make sure Vsync is on, and you'll need a new GPU if you want to play games "maxed out".


Hdds are pretty new but i just ran this ..

Transfer Rate Minimum : 45.0 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 114.4 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 87.6 MB/sec
Access Time : 12.6 ms
Burst Rate : 138.6 MB/sec
CPU Usage : -1.0%

CPU is at definitely not over heating or clocking down. It has a 120mm tower cooler on it and it rarely breaks 45C at full load.

GPU is passive but idle 50C. Load i have never seen over 71C

I dust my computer every month. My case is an Antec SOLO with 2 92mm Antec TriCools running at medium as intake and 1 120mm Antec TriCool exhaust running at low. I try to have more air coming in so no dust can settle. Something to do with the pressure... i forget. I also tape all the tiny holes that dust can get into. (no, not the case intake vents lol)

That leaves Vsync .. Maybe that guide will help when i have time to read it

jitpublisher said:
I understand, but if you want to play games on a PC, you are going to have to get something better than what you have, that is a fact. Now, past that, it is a really just a matter of making sure you have minimal programs running in the background, your antivirus in gaming mode (to keep it from scanning or checking every call the game makes to the harddrive for information) Your drives are defragmented, you have at least 25-30% of the drive free, these types of things. All can have a negative impact on gaming performance.


Yes it is a fact .. that is why i spent the last 3 days reading about all kinds of cards, finally settling on the 6850 due to my budget.

I am a minimalist when it comes to software. I always know what programs are starting with windows and i run as little as possible on my comp. At the time of testing there was hardly anything running. Anyway the kind of stuttering i am seeing isn't like bigish lags every once and a while. Like the kind a program doing some thing in the back ground would cause. Its like one tiny frame of lag every 2 or 3 frames whenever i am moving forward. Mostly noticeable if you walk next to a wall and watch the wall.

Drives are usually around %1 fragmented at any given time.

I will try turning off anti virus tomorrow.

:bounce: 
a c 290 U Graphics card
January 2, 2012 11:04:33 AM

Seems like it's an FPS issue. Mind running fraps and see what fps you are getting at the exact time of 'stuttering'?
a b U Graphics card
January 2, 2012 11:20:31 AM

Well, I still say I don't know what more you could expect. Your 4550 is on par with a x700 performance wise, it is placed side by side with it on the graphic card hierarchy charts.

Just to put things into perspective, here are some comments from a review done 2004, yes, that is nearly 8 years ago, about the x700.

The good: Plays older 3D games at respectable frame rates; affordable 3D graphics card; customizable new driver software.

The bad: Doesn't play newer games fast enough with even moderate image quality settings.

The bottom line: ATI's new midrange Radeon X700 XT delivers fair performance, but neither it nor its Nvidia-based competition satisfies in newer games.
January 2, 2012 12:35:15 PM

jitpublisher said:
Well, I still say I don't know what more you could expect. Your 4550 is on par with a x700 performance wise, it is placed side by side with it on the graphic card hierarchy charts.

Just to put things into perspective, here are some comments from a review done 2004, yes, that is nearly 8 years ago, about the x700.

The good: Plays older 3D games at respectable frame rates; affordable 3D graphics card; customizable new driver software.

The bad: Doesn't play newer games fast enough with even moderate image quality settings.

The bottom line: ATI's new midrange Radeon X700 XT delivers fair performance, but neither it nor its Nvidia-based competition satisfies in newer games.


I get it man, its an slow card. It seems like you think i want to game on it. When i bought it all i cared about was price, hardware decoding x264, and passive cooling.

I don't have the money to just spend 150 on a new card if i'm not going to use it. And i wont use it if i cant get smooth game play.

If this POS card can get >60< fps in a game and not be smooth i just don't get how getting a newer card and turning up the visuals while getting the >same frame rate< is going to change anything. If the only advice is "get a faster card", maybe someone can say what about this new card will change whats happening. Could 512MB VRAM be causing it? I duno.. that's why im here hehe

There has to be something else going on.. Or maybe i'm just hyper sensitive to it since that's all i'm looking for....


January 29, 2012 2:39:32 PM

a 560 or 560 ti are both cards that dont have any micro stuttering issues. the 460 is also i good card for the money. but any of these cards will play games from med-high settings without micro stuttering as long as you have a good CPU (AMD quad core 3.5ghz+ or any new intel CPU quad core.) i understand that you are worried that your computer will micro stutter even if you get a nicer card but the thing is... nicer cards dont micro stutter. your card is not meant for gaming so even when you are running 60+ frames they arent running in sink. i have a 6850. its a great card but it micro stutters too if your fps are below 60fps. luckily if i lower most games to high or medium i can get playable non microstutter gaming. the 560 560 ti and 460 dont suffer from this and would allow you to play new games without microstuttering. hope this helped!
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