Hi there. This might be long winded, but I'd really appreciate some help. I'm really frustrated with this computer, and I've been researching for hours and hours and tried everything I can fathom with 0 results.
Anyway, before I start, this is my system:
HP Pavillion a 6552f upgraded to:
CX600 Corsair PSU
250GB Toshiba hard drive, 2.5", 5400RPM
Core 2 Quad q6600 OEM 2.4ghz
Anyway, this is an ageing computer, but I can't really afford to buy a new one in one sitting. I could save for one, but chances are my computer would become unusable way before I could afford a new one.
I just replaced the old PSU from the HP with the Corsair, and replaced an old upgrade from a 430GT to the 550ti. At first, I didn't notice anything, but when I downloaded and played Path of Exile, the game stutters severely, even on low or very high settings. The video card can easily handle it on max, because it runs at 60FPS normally, but it will stutter every second or so.
When I watch Youtube videos or anything for that matter, the playback is never perfectly smooth. It can stutter (although it's less severe and watchable) quite often and is irritating because I know it's there.
Anyway, I've done some testing, and I don't think it's the hard drive. I'll link the SMART test at the bottom of this page. I've also run World of Warcraft on Ultra, and I get 60 FPS, but the game will stutter slightly (not massively, but it's noticeable).
My CPU is OEM, so I have almost no control over it. I hate it so much, but it's either new MoBo and CPU and I can't play Diablo 3, or I play Diablo 3 and upgrade later.
I've noticed some kinds of stuttering without the new PSU and GPU, so I'm confident it's neither. I honestly think it's one of the ageing parts on this computer which would be:
I've upgraded my video driver, my Realtek sound driver, and I've just run out of options.
I'm almost certain it's either a setting, or it's a hardware malfunction.
SMART testing information:
*** DiskCheckup V3.1 Build: 1002 Report ***
SysInfo DLL Version: SysInfo v1.0 Build: 1025
Time of export: 21:50:01 11-May-2012
Total disk sectors: 625142448
Logical sector size: 512
Physical sector size: 512
Media rotation rate: 5400 RPM
Buffer size: 8192 KB
ECC size: 0 Bytes
ATA8-ACS Supported: Yes
ATA/ATAPI-7 Supported: Yes
ATA/ATAPI-6 Supported: Yes
ATA/ATAPI-5 Supported: Yes
ATA/ATAPI-4 Supported: Yes
SATA 3.0 Compilance: No
SATA 2.6 Compilance: Yes
SATA 2.5 Compilance: Yes
SATA II: Ext Compilance: Yes
SATA 1.0a Compilance: Yes
ATA8-AST Compilance: Yes
World Wide ID: 5000039283403C26
SMART supported: Yes
SMART enabled: Yes
SMART self-test supported: Yes
SMART error log supported: Yes
LBA supported: Yes
IORDY supported: Yes
CFast supported: No
DMA supported: Yes
Maximum Multiword DMA mode supported: 2
Multiword DMA selected: None
Maximum UltraDMA mode supported: 5
UltraDMA selected: 5
Maximum PIO mode supported: 4
SATA Compliance: Yes
NCQ priority information supported: No
Unload while NCQ commands are outstanding supported: Yes
Phy Event Counters supported: Yes
Receipt of power management requests supported: Yes
NCQ feature set supported: Yes
SATA Gen2 Signaling Speed (3.0Gb/s) supported: Yes
SATA Gen1 Signaling Speed (1.5Gb/s) supported: Yes
Software Settings Preservation: Supported, Enabled
In-order data delivery: Not supported
Initiating power management: Supported, Disabled
DMA Setup auto-activation: Supported, Enabled
Non-zero buffer offsets: Not supported
Trusted Computing supported: No
Host Protected Area (HPA) supported: Yes
Read look-ahead supported: Yes
Read look-ahead enabled: Yes
Write cache supported: Yes
Write cache enabled: Yes
Power management supported: Yes
Security mode supported: Yes
Security mode enabled: No
Device Configuration Overlay (DCO) supported: Yes
48bit Addressing supported: Yes
Auto Acoustic Managment (AAM) supported: No
Power-up in Standby (PUIS) supported: No
Advanced Power Management (APM) supported: Yes
Advanced Power Management (APM) enabled: Yes
Current APM level: Minimum power consumption without Standby
CompactFlash Association (CFA) supported: No
General Purpose Logging (GPL) supported: Yes
Streaming supported: No
Media card pass through supported: No
Extended power conditions supported: No
Extended status reporting supported: No
Write-read-verify supported: No
Free-fall control supported: No
TRIM command supported: No
SCT command transport supported: Yes
NV Cache enabled: No
NV Cache Power Management supported: No
ID Description Status Value Worst Threshold Raw Value TEC
1 Raw Read Error Rate OK 100 100 50 0 N.A.
2 Throughput Performance OK 100 100 50 0 N.A.
3 Spin Up Time OK 100 100 1 1160 N.A.
4 Start/Stop Count OK 100 100 0 2042 N.A.
5 Reallocated Sector Count OK 100 100 50 0 N.A.
7 Seek Error Rate OK 100 100 50 0 N.A.
8 Seek Time Performance OK 100 100 50 0 N.A.
9 Power On Time OK 83 83 0 6920 N.A.
10 Spin Retry Count OK 140 100 30 0 N.A.
12 Power Cycle Count OK 100 100 0 2026 N.A.
191 G-sense Error Rate OK 100 100 0 161 N.A.
192 Power off Retract Count OK 100 100 0 45 N.A.
193 Load Cycle Count OK 93 93 0 79278 N.A.
194 Temperature OK 100 100 0 34 C N.A.
196 Reallocation Event Count OK 100 100 0 0 N.A.
197 Current Pending Sector Count OK 100 100 0 0 N.A.
198 Uncorrectable Sector Count OK 100 100 0 0 N.A.
199 UltraDMA CRC Error Count OK 200 200 0 0 N.A.
220 Disk shift OK 100 100 0 68 N.A.
222 Loaded hours OK 88 88 0 5180 N.A.
223 Load/Unload retry count OK 100 100 0 0 N.A.
224 Load friction OK 100 100 0 0 N.A.
226 Load-in Time OK 100 100 0 342 N.A.
240 Head flying hours OK 100 100 1 0 N.A.
Error retrieving history
If you have any idea about what this could be, and what I can do to fix this, please let me know.
If you have any way of diagnosing that it's a hardware issue, I'd also like to rule that out as well.
All the things you described stuttering with have an Internet connection involved in some way - so that's where I would start looking. Quite possible that your connection is irfed up courtesy of your LAN adapter, router or just trouble in the line itself.