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HD6870 stuttering issues

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 4, 2012 9:46:12 AM

Hey all,

I've got this card almost a year now, but everytime i play BF3 i get this major stuttering effect. I've also noticed that Tribes:ascend has this problem, only less noticeable.
When Joining a server in BF3 or when playing Guildwars my drivers will just randomly crash. Does anyone have any idea why i have these weird issues?

Specs:
AMD Phenom II X4 955 black edition (3.2Ghz)
GA-MA785GMT-UD2H
8GB Kingston hyper-x DDR3 1600Mhz
MSI Twin Frozr HD6870
Samsung Spinpoint 1TB

Thanks,

p.s.
i can upload screen shots from the perfoverlay if needed
April 4, 2012 11:34:14 AM

Whats your PSU and GPU temps idle/load?
April 4, 2012 11:45:27 AM

A be quiet 530W PSU
Idle 40 Degrees and 9% activity
Related resources
April 4, 2012 11:53:53 AM

What are your GPU temps @ load? Also make sure you're running the latest drivers, should be 12.3 right now
April 4, 2012 11:59:28 AM

BF3 on ultra gave me 30 fps (spiking from 10 to 40) at 53 degrees.

I normally play at Low settings, and only reach about 50 fps, with my perf overlay spiking all over the place.
Also i am running uncertified 8.96 because they we're said to be better, but didn't change anything
April 4, 2012 4:58:48 PM

I just ran a benchmark (Unigine Heaven DX11 benchmark, everything on full, v-sync on etc) I scored a 1215 and my gpu got about 48 degrees.
I will try to make some good Screenshots from the perf overlay to post later.
a b U Graphics card
April 4, 2012 5:11:08 PM

although the 6870 is not a power hungry card, if the psu is dying or faulty and not supplying enough juice to your system it could cause everything to under-perform.

"BF3 on ultra gave me 30 fps (spiking from 10 to 40) at 53 degrees".

- that sounds normal, when you mention the driver you are running, it sound extrmemly outdated, do a clean driver uninstall, driver sweep, and new driver re installation from AMDs website..

do that and see if the problem persists, if it does, its probably your psu...

also to get better performance in BF3 id overclock your 955 to high hell, I have one running in a backup rig at 4.0ghz no problem with a coolermaster hyper 212+ (a 30 dollar cooler) if you own a 955 you must overclock it, at least a bit. Most of them can easily reach 3.8 on stock voltage.

Although BF3 is not incredibly taxing on a cpu...

those are my thoughts
April 4, 2012 5:51:47 PM

The driver's i am running now are from 17 march 2012, and i use those because 12.3 didnt help either and they fixed the problem for someone else with the stuttering issue.
Sadly they didn't fix it for me.

I will try the tip on the CPU, thanks.
a b U Graphics card
April 4, 2012 5:57:19 PM

yeah, personally Id get a new, although I can't find a definitive review that indicates if your unit is reliable or not, I did find several forums reporting dying bequiet psus, just saying...

did you do a clean driver install including a driver sweep in safe mode?

does the problem persist in other games....

I had a similar setup to what you have and I had lots of problems with stuttering when it came to running 6870 crossfire but never with a single card other then cases where the game I was playing was a bit too much to run smoothly on high @ 1080p

let me know If I can help you any further
April 4, 2012 6:03:59 PM

I recently completly reinstalled my whole computer, with fresh 12.3 drivers. The stuttering still persisted after that :( 
a c 125 U Graphics card
April 4, 2012 6:12:56 PM

Are you talking BF3 single player or multiplayer?

If multiplayer I'd guess your CPU is a hindrance. Try SP at Medium/High settings and see how it plays, then try it in MP. If MP is stuttering then you've probably got a CPU bottleneck. My i5 750 at 4ghz runs at very high load in MP.
April 4, 2012 6:21:47 PM

sp get's some higher Fps on low but also stutters just like the MP (i play everything completly on low)
a b U Graphics card
April 4, 2012 6:28:48 PM

what resolution are you playing at? The cpu takes on a larger load at low res so...
a c 125 U Graphics card
April 4, 2012 6:37:33 PM

It can also be system RAM or even HDD related. There was a thread a couple weeks ago where the guy swapped out his RAM and suddenly BF3 played nice. I'd suggest running some tests like maybe run Memtest86+ overnight.

As for the HDD, if the game has to pull info from the HDD and the game files are installed past the half-full mark then it will be quite a bit slower. Fragmentation also doesn't help. This is unlikely to be an issue with 8gb of RAM but you never know.
April 4, 2012 6:40:12 PM

A 6870 is not going to produce fluid gameplay on Ultra BF3. You need a much better card for that. What kind of stuttering are we talking about? Can you find an example on Youtube that looks similar?
April 4, 2012 6:42:37 PM

I normally play on completly low settings, everything turned off.
Then i will get around 50 fps and stuttering like crazy, i shall make some screen shots.
a b U Graphics card
April 4, 2012 7:30:22 PM

Do you normally run windowed mode? Try running in full screen at low settings and see where you're at. Then slowly raise your settings. Does your performance go down or stay the same? If it stays the same, you have some sort of bottleneck or hardware/software issue.

It wouldn't hurt to run some monitoring software while you're gaming either. I use MSI for my GPUs and Coretemp (with the gadget) for my CPU to monitor and graph my performance. This way you can see your usage% and temps and do tests with settings to see what's holding you back.

I do know BF3 is VERY demanding. I have a little better rig than you do, and I run at high textures, medium shadows, 2x msaa, hbao at 1920x1200 and still drop below a smooth 60fps on occasion.
April 4, 2012 7:40:07 PM

I also have same problem as you do but mine happens most of time when I play PES 2012. When I play BF3, sometimes it plays flawless, sometimes it stutters but isn't as bad as when I play PES 2012. I have Phenom II x4 @ 3.8ghz, 8 gb DDR3 1600, corsair 850tx v2. I tested with another vga card (gtx 260) and it went flawless. Thus the problem is the HD 6870. Mine HD 6870 is from XFX the balck edition btw.
April 4, 2012 7:48:40 PM

hapkido said:
Do you normally run windowed mode? Try running in full screen at low settings and see where you're at. Then slowly raise your settings. Does your performance go down or stay the same? If it stays the same, you have some sort of bottleneck or hardware/software issue.

It wouldn't hurt to run some monitoring software while you're gaming either. I use MSI for my GPUs and Coretemp (with the gadget) for my CPU to monitor and graph my performance. This way you can see your usage% and temps and do tests with settings to see what's holding you back.

I do know BF3 is VERY demanding. I have a little better rig than you do, and I run at high textures, medium shadows, 2x msaa, hbao at 1920x1200 and still drop below a smooth 60fps on occasion.


I always play full screen, but those screenshots are a little weird i know.
If i tug up my settings my stuttering will become worse, the spikes will become close togheter and even bigger :( 
April 4, 2012 9:17:54 PM

have you taken the card out and cleaned it inside
a c 125 U Graphics card
April 4, 2012 10:02:58 PM

The yellow is CPU right? Might need an OC. Or else it's just covering up the green. Might also want to try turning off Vsync if it is on.

You might want to check out http://www.geforce.com/Optimize/Guides/battlefield-3-tw...

Specifically, I think you should try "RenderDevice.ForceRenderAheadLimit 0 - This setting controls the number of frames prepared by the CPU before being processed by the GPU. You can try values of 0, 1, 2 or 3 - higher values may improve FPS but can decrease responsiveness, while lower values do the reverse. In experimenting with this on my system using the performance overlay (see above), I found that as the value increased to 3, CPU spikes became more frequent. Smoothest performance was at 0 or 1, but this can vary from system to system."
April 5, 2012 11:14:07 AM

@wolfram, yellow is cpu yes. Also i tried al the fixes around on the internet, they do not change a thing at all.

Also it turned out that the first 2-3 minutes i play are perfect and after that it instantly starts the massive stuttering :( 

a b U Graphics card
April 5, 2012 1:26:42 PM

KitKatChunky said:
Also it turned out that the first 2-3 minutes i play are perfect and after that it instantly starts the massive stuttering :( 


It could be a heat problem. Have you checked your temps?

If they're not in a safe zone, you'll want to clean all your fans (case, psu, cpu heatsink, and gpu heatsink), clean your case of dust, and make sure your wires are out of the way as much as possible for better airflow. I vacuum my fan intakes and exhausts about once a week and I still have to do this every 2-3 months on my gaming PC to keep my temps in check.
April 5, 2012 2:07:53 PM

I clean my computer regulary, and the temprature of the GPU doesn't go above 50 degrees neither does my cpu, so they should be fine really?
April 5, 2012 6:14:43 PM

I've tried OC'ing to 3.6Ghz but now the stutters just increased in duration per stutter :( 
The frequency didn't really change :S
a b U Graphics card
April 5, 2012 6:41:46 PM

KitKatChunky said:
I've tried OC'ing to 3.6Ghz but now the stutters just increased in duration per stutter :( 
The frequency didn't really change :S


What do your usage percentages look like? Is your GPU staying at 100% usage or dropping during the stutters. Is the CPU spiking to 100% usage during stutters?
a b U Graphics card
April 5, 2012 6:53:45 PM

Honestly it sounds like a dying PSU, how old is it?

Do you or a friend have another unit you can swap in to try?
April 5, 2012 7:58:54 PM

jjb8675309 said:
Honestly it sounds like a dying PSU, how old is it?

Do you or a friend have another unit you can swap in to try?


Hmm, almost 2 years old? and i do have some others but those are like 450W and stuff :( . I'll see if i can get one somewhere to swap it
!