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XFX Radeon HD 6870 Stuttering

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February 15, 2012 2:12:51 AM

Hello guys,

I wasn't sure where I was suppose to be post this (Games or Graphics & Displays), but I stuck
it in here because I believe the issue is my video card.

I was just wondering if anyone with the XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB (non-Black Edition) experienced any stuttering with Battlefield 3. I am currently using the 12.1 WHQL Drivers from AMD and I have also tried the 12.2 Preview Drivers with no luck.

By stuttering I meant I am experiencing micro stutters (as in screen looks like its glitching, but doesn't happen ALL the time) and FPS drops in certain situations in the game. I thought this was just because 64 player servers have lots of destruction and little things that need to be processed by the GPU.

But, I've seen people with the same card running Ultra Settings @ 1920x1080 (50+ Players) with no issues and never dropping below 45 FPS although it may have been ridiculously overclocked.

Things I've tried so far:
1. Uninstall all drivers (ran driver sweeper as well) and re-install.
2. Limiting my Maximum FPS to 60 @ 1600x900 (My native resolution).
3. Testing all sorts of graphics settings in the game and outside the game (Catalyst Control Center).
4. Underclocking AND Overclocking my video card.

Full Rig:
MOTHERBOARD: MSI 870A-G54 (Recently Updated BIOS)
Hard Drive: Samsung Sata 3.0 7200RPM 1TB.
CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0Ghz (No Overclock)
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB (Single Fan)
RAM: Kingston (2x4GB) 8 GB 1600Mhz
Monitor: I-INC 20" Widescreen (Catalyst Control Center says it has a maxium refresh rate of 75Hz)
- Model: IK201

- Currently running all High Settings with No MSAA, High Post Processing, 16x Tesselation (Anistropic Filtering), and HBAO Anti-Aliasing.

My GPU seems to be dropping FPS in city maps or maps with lots of smoke and fog involved.

Please let me know of any ideas or suggestions you guys might have.

I read on some forums that disabling the HDMI Audio Drivers for the card might help out in boosting FPS. What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks in advance.

More about : xfx radeon 6870 stuttering

February 15, 2012 2:36:09 AM

probably should lower some cpu intensive settings.
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February 15, 2012 2:37:55 AM

They have had the CAP patches out there for a week now, (Catalyst Application Profiles) Try downloading them in order and installing them, that usually solve these minor problems which the new drivers have with certain games and programs....

Here
http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/pages/radeon_win...
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February 15, 2012 4:37:41 AM

alyoshka said:
They have had the CAP patches out there for a week now, (Catalyst Application Profiles) Try downloading them in order and installing them, that usually solve these minor problems which the new drivers have with certain games and programs....

Here
http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/pages/radeon_win...


Thanks for the quick replies,

I installed the 12.1 CAP 2 and unfortunately saw little results...

A question that I thought of was:

- Should my video card (XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB - Single Fan), when under heavy load even show graphics stuttering in a game like Battlefield 3 (64-man Multiplayer Servers)?
- I know that my FPS will drop and show choppy animation, however the stuttering happens when I'm at a stable 60 FPS.

@esrever: Are you talking about underclocking my CPU? Or, turning off for example: Like Intel Processor's Hyper Threading technology.
- I've disabled AMD's Cool n' Quiet Feature....If that did anything...
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February 15, 2012 4:42:45 AM

- Should my video card (XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB - Single Fan), when under heavy load even show graphics stuttering in a game like Battlefield 3 (64-man Multiplayer Servers)?
Really can't say, 'cos they don't mention that 'Quality' anywhere... :)  Basically it should not, but it does seem a few people have had such problems, surprisingly in your case the CAP files haven't solved the issue. But for other using the Older Catalyst Version and the older cap files, it did solve the issue.
If it is not too much of a pain, I'd suggest reverting back to earlier CCC versions and trying it out, after a complete uninstall of the present drivers and softwares from AMD.
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February 15, 2012 4:45:42 AM

no I mean the in game settings that are cpu limited since bf3 in multiplayer really taxes your cpu.

Im not sure what settings are in bf3 as I don't play it. turn down things like physics and shadows and motion blur can really help run games smoother.
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February 15, 2012 4:46:11 AM

OMG.... I just saw the rig's specs.... Athlon II x 640..... :(  not the greatest CPU for gaming.....
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February 15, 2012 4:47:42 AM

alyoshka said:
- Should my video card (XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB - Single Fan), when under heavy load even show graphics stuttering in a game like Battlefield 3 (64-man Multiplayer Servers)?
Really can't say, 'cos they don't mention that 'Quality' anywhere... :)  Basically it should not, but it does seem a few people have had such problems, surprisingly in your case the CAP files haven't solved the issue. But for other using the Older Catalyst Version and the older cap files, it did solve the issue.
If it is not too much of a pain, I'd suggest reverting back to earlier CCC versions and trying it out, after a complete uninstall of the present drivers and softwares from AMD.


I have tried earlier versions of the driver and the FPS is just not enough :cry: 

However, I did not uninstall the previous CAP files that came with the 12.1 CCC Drivers (Was a CAP installation even included in this driver? http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/Pages/radeon_win...).

Should I have uninstalled the previous CAP files?

Thanks again! :wahoo: 

@esrever: Ahh I see. Unfortunately I've tried both things through a third party software called BF3 Settings Editor from Realmware with no results :sweat: 
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February 15, 2012 4:49:20 AM

Actually the CAPs are additive.... so it's ok, whatever you uninstalled was reinstalled in the 12.1 CAP 2
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February 15, 2012 4:50:44 AM

alyoshka said:
Actually the CAPs are additive.... so it's ok, whatever you uninstalled was reinstalled in the 12.1 CAP 2


I actually did not uninstall the Previous CAPs (if there was any that came with the 12.1 WHQL Drivers) :na: 

EDIT: Forgot to ask... If I overclocked my CPU instead of GPU, is there a chance of getting rid of stutters, micro-stutters, and etc...?
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February 15, 2012 4:54:16 AM

No, the CAP file was a separate download for the driver package you linked us to.
So unless you independently installed it, it wasn't present.
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February 15, 2012 5:00:14 AM

alyoshka said:
No, the CAP file was a separate download for the driver package you linked us to.
So unless you independently installed it, it wasn't present.


Ahh ok, thank you alyoshka! ;) 
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February 15, 2012 5:01:57 AM

Your cpu is a pile. That gpu even paired with a 2500k is limited to mid to low settings in bf3. Dispite what alot of people tell you at 1080 bf3 is super high hardware requirements.
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February 15, 2012 5:10:09 AM

Try this
what you should do if you want to find out open the console with the ~ key in game and type
Render.PerfOverlayVisible 1

this will display a performance graph in the bottom left of your screen with numbers below it

looks like this


Get screen shots when the stuttering takes place and during normal play. Try and post them here....

Here's a good read too... I quoted Frito here...
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1655502
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February 15, 2012 6:26:04 AM

alyoshka said:
Try this
what you should do if you want to find out open the console with the ~ key in game and type
Render.PerfOverlayVisible 1

this will display a performance graph in the bottom left of your screen with numbers below it

looks like this
http://i395.photobucket.com/albums/pp33/Frito_023/bf32011-11-2408-53-17-47.jpg

Get screen shots when the stuttering takes place and during normal play. Try and post them here....

Here's a good read too... I quoted Frito here...
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1655502


I've actually been using the render.perfoverlayvisible 1 command for a little while. I've noticed than when I do get the stutter, both my CPU and GPU spike. The sudden spike is shown as 2 massive vertical lines for both CPU and GPU (GPU = Green Line and CPU = Yellow Line?) and neither spikes by itself... The only times I see huge spikes are when they are both "spiking" together.

Do you think the fact that both CPU and GPU spike together show a problem in the motherboard? How about a problem in general?

- Usually the spike lines that are shown are not that very big. It exceeds just above the performance overlay monitor outlines but, when I'm getting these "micro-stutters" every 5 - 10 seconds, it turns the game into a frustration simulator :fou: 

P.S.: I just had a pretty good run with my video card overclocked for about an hour or so... Not sure if the fix is in overclocking or underclocking. I've tested underclocking my video card and in some situations I see a vast improvement, but in other situations, same stuttering followed by sudden FPS drops...
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February 15, 2012 6:34:51 AM

When I'm experiencing sudden drops in FPS it does definitely look like this most of the time.


But, my yellow line (CPU) seems to be higher than the green (GPU), so I would guess that my CPU is "sorta" bottlenecking my GPU?

EDIT: Do you think I should try an overclock my CPU? I've read on some forums this Processor is awesome when it comes to overclocking and also saw someone reach 3.45ghz @ 1.376v. He stated that he was using a stock cooler and that load temperatures were around 55C.
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February 15, 2012 6:50:24 AM

Im still thinking its your cpu.
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February 15, 2012 6:58:57 AM

Could you check please which slots on the mobo have been populated with the RAMs?
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February 15, 2012 6:59:33 AM

And what speed are they running at...
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February 15, 2012 7:32:30 AM

First off, thanks alyoshka and the rest of you for your suggestions.

I have 5 screen shots which I'll be uploading tomorrow, but I went ahead and overclocked my CPU to 3.3ghz @ a voltage of 1.365 with temps of 60-65C under heavy load.

This overclock made my stutters happen less frequently... However, I am still experiencing sudden drops in FPS...

I didn't mention this beforehand but, I have tried overclocking my CPU a long time ago. I didn't have the knowledge or experience back then to do it but, I still tried out of youth's curiosity (still young ROFL).

Anyway, when I was monitoring the Performance Overlay, I noticed that while my GPU's line looked fairly straight and solid, sometimes my CPU's line would look like an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0+ was being recorded on a Richter scale...

I think I'm coming down to a conclusion that it is my CPU holding me back because of its unstability...

Will post screen shots tomorrow, thanks for everything.
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February 15, 2012 7:35:45 AM

Will be waiting for those screenshots.....
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February 15, 2012 7:37:27 AM

the 64 play multiplayer really hurts your cpu. And since the code is alway different, you won't always have it.
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February 15, 2012 10:09:19 AM

alyoshka said:
Will be waiting for those screenshots.....


When stable:




This one shows the micro stutters:



NOTE: Only 20 players in the server
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February 15, 2012 11:06:23 AM

Check the RAM timings....
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February 15, 2012 12:09:36 PM

alyoshka said:
Check the RAM timings....


Here are my current timings...

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February 15, 2012 2:59:14 PM

OK.... Since they're already on XMP, I'd suggest reverting back to the 685@1.5V
And try it out if the stuttering is frequent or even lesser...
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February 15, 2012 3:40:07 PM

alyoshka said:
OK.... Since they're already on XMP, I'd suggest reverting back to the 685@1.5V
And try it out if the stuttering is frequent or even lesser...


Left the RAM @ AUTO in BIOS (I think the ratio was 1:3.33); also brought my CPU to default clocks and the stuttering was unfortunately......even worse.

When the CPU was overclocked I brought the DRAM to FSB ratio to 1:3.33 and I believe it was working well at 3.3ghz @ 1.35v and RAM @ Approximately 1467mhz or so, however I noticed that the sudden FPS drops are still present and that in the performance overlay my CPU's line was still above my GPU in certain situations.

Maybe I should try a new cooler for the CPU for further overclocking? I read that these are pretty awesome with the Cooler Master 212+ fans and can reach speeds up to 3.8ghz with the right processor.
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February 16, 2012 2:20:12 AM

Shouldn't we first try and handle the stuttering issue alone. Right now your main concern is the stutter, I don't think you're experiencing CPU/GPU overheating problems.

Ok, now get the rig back to it's XMP profile, the bottleneck wasn't 'cos of the RAM.
It's not 'cos of the GPU. Now we have the last 2 things left, the CPU and you network usage during the stuttering problem.
Would you be able to check the network usage at the time of the stutter, a few second before to a few seconds after?
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February 16, 2012 6:28:36 AM

what happens if you lower resolution?
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February 16, 2012 6:46:43 PM

@alyoshka: I believe my network is not the problem, I have 40mbps download and 2.5mbps upload with 2ms jitter and little to no one sharing the bandwidth with me at any given time.

@esrever: Will give this a shot today, but I play in windowed mode and use something called BF3 Borderless by Realmware - http://bf3.realmware.co.uk/borderless/

With all the trials with the overclocking yesterday I've had some luck but, need some advice on stability...

Got up to 240Mhz @ x15.0 CPU Ratio giving me 3.6ghz. No issues with temps as they never went above 45C, but I've noticed the overclock has made Battlefield 3 load even slower (especially high overclocks around 3.75ghz).

the OC to 3.6ghz was able to boot into windows and stay stable while doing regular tasks such as web surfing and etc, but as soon as I ran Prime95 (for stability testing) it didn't even last 2 minutes. The second Prime95 started working I blue screened and computer restarted.

Because anything @ 3.6ghz or above it caused my computer to crash when BF3 was in its final stage of loading multiplayer games I noticed that as soon as BF3 is finished loading and your kit selection menu comes up my FPS takes a *** and drops to 1 for about a second or so and suddenly back to 60.

As soon as I saw it drop to 1, the screen freezes and tears the image and computer reboots. I did not have any POST issues as the computer booted every time with or without the overclock.

If you guys know a way to help my CPU remain stable please let me know. The overclock on the CPU has made the stuttering much less frequent and has been helping alot...

I'm currently going to be running my CPU around 3.3ghz or 3.4ghz and running stability tests with prime95 as well as checking stability in Battlefield 3.

Will post back and thanks for sticking around guys.

EDIT: @alyoshka: Forgot to mention I am also directly connected to my wireless router and don't ever plan on running wireless^^
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February 17, 2012 2:52:45 AM

Ok, Network's also cleared out....
We're left only with the CPU :( 
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February 21, 2012 6:46:25 PM

alyoshka said:
Another CAP has just been released.

And if you feel you can get more head using a aftermarket cooler, go for any one of these 2 since they aren't very expensive and do the job extremely well.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I bought the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ and it's been working like a charm... Sorry I haven't replied for a bit as I just got back from Vegas...

I do need some help with Voltages though, do you think you guys can help my CPU remain stable?
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February 22, 2012 1:50:50 AM

Don't know but we could try.
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February 22, 2012 3:51:48 AM

Hello
I too am experiencing microstutter.
I have tried all drivers ranging from 11.10-12.2 preview
I have a Sapphire 6870 @980mhz core clock and 1130mhz memory clock.
Trust me,your CPU is not the problem.I have an i5 2500k @ 4.5 Ghz.For me,BF3 doesn't even use much of my cpu.Overclocking your GPU fixes some stutter,but not all of it.Sometimes if I set the bf3 process to high priority and set the affinity to use all cores,it helps.
But most of the time it doesn't work.
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February 28, 2012 12:17:30 AM

Sorry for the long delay in replying again, but I seem to have fixed the stuttering which is just awesome.... :sol: 

My current settings have helped in identifying the problems but, it may not be too accurate. If there is anyone out there that thinks your having similar issues as I am, here are some of the things I did:

- Achieved a STABLE overclock at 3.45ghz (with Cooler Master Hyper 212+ and no voltage adjustments) which greatly improved the gap between my CPU line and GPU line in the in-game performance monitor (render.perfoverlayvisible 1).
- This reduced the frequency at which the stuttering/sudden FPS drops happened.

Afterwards, I started messing around with certified (WHQL) and non-certified (preview/RC) AMD drivers for my video card.

- AMD recommends that you use their latest certified WHQL drivers for your video card (currently 12.1 CCC and 12.1 CAP 3). However, I found that the AMD 12.x (8.95 January 17th) drivers to be the best, as they delivered the best performance and stability...
- I found these drivers from the Guru3D forums. Use this at your own risk as I don't believe they are currently certified.
LINK:
- I believe you should be okay as long as you perform a clean install but, please go through the forums and decide on your own if you would like to try them or not. By clean install I mean, uninstalling your CCC through programs and features then using ATIman Uninstaller or Phyxion Driver Sweeper to remove any remaining files/folders of your previous drivers. Reboot. Install new drivers. Reboot.

This is pretty much all I did.

@rivman: Did your sapphire come @ 980mhz core clock? If you did some overclocking I suggest you actually bring those back down to stock reference speeds @ 900mhz core clock and 1050mhz memory. I noticed that overclocking my video card further increased stuttering. However, if you used a program like MSI Afterburner or Sapphire Trixx, please keep them because I've seen on some forums that the GPUs tend to start messing up quite heavily once it goes past 75 degrees Celsius. Both TRIXX and AFTERBURNER have fan speed customizations where you can set the speed of the fan (in percentage) according to the temperature of your GPU. Also, have you tried to disable hyperthreading (I think that's what it's called or somewhere along those lines, I'm not too sure :na:  ) for your CPU in BIOS?

My current custom fan speeds only rise above the temperature of the GPU starting around 55 degrees because I don't want my fan to start screaming when I'm watching a movie...

I have also tried the 12.3 RC 8.95 January 31st (modded by asder00 for most AMD Radeon HD series. Original is only for the HD 7000 series) drivers which are suppose to be best for Battlefield 3 specifically according to these benchmarks from here:
LINK:

Also, here is the link to the Guru3D forums post:

The difference in FPS loss between the 2 drivers were minimal in BF3 specifically.

When I tested the January 31st drivers, it was just too unstable for my rig... So I ended up sticking with Jan 17th drivers which puts out the best performance by far from any other drivers. However, your results may vary depending on your system specifications.

It's ALL trial and error. If your consistently running into issues with Battlefield 3, your not alone...Google what you're experiencing and check what other people have found the actual issue to be. LOTS of people are experiencing issues with this game whether minor or major.

I hope I was able to help some fellow users on here and thanks again for your efforts. :sleep: 

EDIT: Sapphire Trixx may not work with the 12.x 8.95 January 17th drivers. It didn't work for me. I believe if you do some searching online there's a workaround for it but, MSI Afterburner worked fine for me.
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March 1, 2012 9:34:19 PM

In addition to the post above,

I wanted to make sure that people with similar cards as myself such as: Radeon HD 6800 series or Nvidia GeForce GT 560 or 560TI, make sure to keep your texture quality @ at least medium and never above high. I feel like such a noob ;)  but, this setting determines how much of your virtual memory is used on your video card. If you have a GPU with 1024mb GDDR5, texture quality on ultra immediately takes away 500 mb of virtual memory.... Seeing as there is no eye catching difference between high and ultra, you should be just fine on high. Also, I'm not too sure on this one but, I felt that keeping my texture quality on medium was in some way limiting my cards VRAM usage and made the card stutter/micro stutter when the card was trying to use above 4-500 mb of VRAM.

For people who have just decent quad cores/older quad cores, look at the post above and try to overclock your CPU's clock speed. I'm currently using a AMD Athlon II X4 640 @ 3.45 ghz OC'ed (default @ 3.0 ghz) with CPU NB Freq @ 2300 mhz and HT Link @ 2070 mhz. These settings were stable and my CPU's temperature never went above 48 degrees Celsius. However, I will be aiming for higher clocks as I am looking to upgrade my CPU and Motherboard soon and IMO, I thought this was TOO stable hehe :D  .

For those of you wanting to overclock your CPU, a stock CPU cooler will not cut it.... The aftermarket cooler I'm using in the previous post is about $30 and IMO, I don't think you'd need anything better than that for moderate overclocking.
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March 8, 2012 10:21:05 PM

Hey guys, this is another update to solve the issues above posted.

The new 12.2 WHQL AMD Drivers are currently working flawlessly... If you any of you are still using the 8.95 January 17th drivers I suggest you remove and uninstall ALL amd related driver files and make a clean install of the new 12.2 WHQL.

Improvements so far:

- Gained an extra 20-30 FPS in Battlefield 3. :o  ridiculous...
- No (micro)stuttering what so ever (even with long hours of play).
- Downclocked my CPU to 3.2ghz from 3.45ghz.

Just absolute awesomeness. :) 

I feel like I'm finally using a HD 6870 GPU to its promised performance.

Hope this helps. Thanks.
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March 9, 2012 2:32:28 AM

Yeah, driver updates do help with the newer games most of the times. You were just a little early in posting your problem.
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Anonymous
July 22, 2012 3:42:24 PM

I had the same problem .. Problem is now solved !!

you need a good powerful power supply .. 650 watts or more.

Thats ist and the problem vanished !

My Graphic card > Sapphire HD6870
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July 22, 2012 3:58:55 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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