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Sound Stuttering while Gaming

Last response: in Systems
March 23, 2012 9:40:07 PM

Hello, I have a Sony Vaio F series laptop and when playing games like Starcraft II, World of Warcraft, League of Legends the sound will stutter and framerate will drop. Please help, this is very annoying to deal with
a b 4 Gaming
March 25, 2012 11:55:31 PM

Hi, this may be your laptop running out of CPU power. OR it might be a software bug. Or it might be the disk drive trying to do too many things at the same time.

When the system stutters is the disk drive light on/flashing on? If so, how much memory do you have? Assume you are running win7 -- You can use 'Resource Monitor' to see if this is a paging/'lack of memory' problem. Goto start box. type resource monitor, don't hit enter. Let the laptop search. When resource monitor appears in the top click it to launch. click the memory tab. See the hard faults graph? Now leave resource monitor running. Start your game. Wait till it does the sound stutter. Then use the windows key to get quickly to resource monitor and see if the hard faults line graph spiked up at the same time the stuttering started. If so, how much memory do you have -- if you have 4GB or more then you are ok, if less then buy memory and install.

Repeat the same process with the DISK tab once you have the memory configuration right. (no point looking at disk until memory is right). If the stutter coincides with a high queue depth on your disk then you need a faster disk. An SSD is fun, I use on in laptop, however they have small capacity and are expensive. I don't sue SSD in my gaming system. A fast laptop spinning hard drive is not that expensive and can make a difference. e.g. a western digital black 2.5" laptop drive like this one:

Unfortunately, you can't really use a CPU measurement tool in most games because they typically spin at least one CPU at 100% waiting for things to happen, so it pollutes the cpu measurement. And there is not much you can do about CPU except (1) max sure your power policy is at MAX Performance and (2) make sure you are plugged into wall, not on battery (many laptops cap the performance even on max when on battery).

power policy is probably controlled by a Sony aplet, read your manual. If not windows power management is done from control panel --> power options.

One way to test if the CPU is out of gas is to reduce game settings and see if the game stops stuttering. Try to change setting that will reduce CPU not just video (reducing anti-alias for example will not help).

Finally, this stuttering could just be a software bug. Goto Sony's site. Download their latest service for your laptop. You are looking for any kind of driver (sound, chipset, video, etc). You can double check this buy borrowing a USB (much be USB) headset and playing sound through the headset. A USB headset uses a sound card in the headset, not the sound card in the laptop. If the stuttering stops when using a USB headset then something is wrong with the software installed for your laptop sound card.

good luck. please post model # of laptop, and cut/paste some specs. It helps people. The one "Sony Vaio F series laptop" I saw was a monster -- should not have any stuttering problems on sound ever. not sure if there are other models.
April 7, 2012 12:27:34 AM

I made sure of all these things. And I play on disc drive. There all downloaded in.

OS Name Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Version 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601
Other OS Description Not Available
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name JASON-VAIO
System Manufacturer Sony Corporation
System Model VPCF23JFX
System Type x64-based PC
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2670QM CPU @ 2.20GHz, 2201 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date American Megatrends Inc. R2150V3, 7/22/2011
SMBIOS Version 2.7
Windows Directory C:\Windows
System Directory C:\Windows\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume2
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.1.7601.17514"
User Name jason-VAIO\jason
Time Zone Eastern Standard Time
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 6.00 GB
Total Physical Memory 5.98 GB
Available Physical Memory 2.47 GB
Total Virtual Memory 12.0 GB
Available Virtual Memory 7.71 GB
Page File Space 5.98 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
April 7, 2012 11:01:05 PM

OK, you've got plenty of processing power. Assume a driver issue. Goto SONY web site, support, drivers and download the sound driver for your laptop. See if that helps.
April 8, 2012 1:06:19 AM

After the driver update the audio definitely improved. Yet, on WoW, SCII, Minecraft, RIFT, and every other game is still having audio issues and framerate drops.
a b 4 Gaming
April 9, 2012 12:28:45 AM

try basic SW maint. Download and apply all latest drivers from SONY. Then run windows update apply anything except a hardware driver (for laptop get those from manufacturer rather than generic). IF fixed, wonderful.

If not then START type 'resource monitor' in the search box. Launch resource monitor. Start a game with resource monitor running. Wait until stutter. Windows key out fo the game. Open the CPU tab in Resource monitor. You are looking for a 100% CPU spike in the graph. If you see one then you are looking at the processes that are running. Some will be the game, it's ok for them to be 100%. There may be another service or process running that uses 100%. IF you see one google it, find out what it does then either re-install that software or kill it or decide it's not the problem.