Heavy Stuttering - Games and Video

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:
550ti EVGA
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:
-Hard Drive

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

Device information:                                                   
   Device ID:                                                         0
   Interface:                                                         RAID
   Device Capacity:                                                   305242 MB
   Serial Number:                                                     50D3C6U4T
   Model Number:                                                      TOSHIBA MK3265GSX
   Firmware Revision:                                                 GJ003M
      C:         221754 MB

ATA information:                                                      

   Disk geometry:                                                     
      Cylinders:                                                      38913
      Tracks/Cylinder:                                                255
      Sectors/Track:                                                  63
      Bytes/Sector:                                                   512
      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

   Standards compliance:                                              
      ATA8-ACS Supported:                                             Yes
      ATA/ATAPI-7 Supported:                                          Yes
      ATA/ATAPI-6 Supported:                                          Yes
      ATA/ATAPI-5 Supported:                                          Yes
      ATA/ATAPI-4 Supported:                                          Yes
      Serial/Parallel:                                                Serial
         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

   Feature support:                                                   
      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.

Thanks so much, I appreciate your help.
1 answer Last reply
More about heavy stuttering games video
  1. 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.
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