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I7 2600k w/ radeon 7950 game stutter

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April 20, 2012 5:02:57 AM

Ok.. I built this computer a few months ago. It's an i7 2600k overclocked to 4.5 ghz, 8gigs of ddr3, and i Just added a Radeon 7950 to the mix. I had a GTX 550ti before. My PSU is ONLY 500 watts. I noticed when i put the 7950 into the system that when i try to start turn the pc on it will turn on run for maybe 10 seconds, turn off and then turn on again and boot into windows. Obviously an issue there. Some games seem to run fine.. Need for speed Shift, Batman Arkham city to name a couple. Games like Skyrim and even Fallout 3 have a lot of stutter. I run them at 1920x1080 with all settings maxed. I feel this card should easily handle it at that resolution. Using fraps my framerate is fine. Skyrim never goes below 60fps at those settings but still stutters. ovbiously with the two issues I'm assuming the PSU is too small? I set my clock speeds on the cpu back to normal and it had no effect on the stutter. Cpu stays plenty cool.. Idles anywhere from 26 degrees celsius to 32. Never really see it go above 50 so i know it's not an issue with the cpu overheating. AMD recommends ATLEAST a 500w psu for the 7950 so i kinda figure i was already pushing it. I was thinking maybe a 750w psu to be safe?
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 5:57:43 AM

Have you run Prime 95 for 10~ hoursish on blend to test your CPUs stablility?

500 watts is the bare minimum for that GPU, is your 7950 OCd, are you having issues even when it's not OCd?

IMO an i7 + a highend card needs a 750-850 watt minimum if you plan to OC.
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 6:29:47 AM

Your system might be under powered.
Which 500W PSU are you currently using?
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a c 88 U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 6:40:00 AM

Definately sounds like a power issue, would be best to grab a better and more powerful psu for your set up.
April 20, 2012 11:58:40 AM

Its a lepa psu. Gpu is not overclocked. I haven't run a prime 95 since 7950 was added. Didnt want to stress it with the possible low power issue. I'm gunna go pick up a bigger more quality psu after work.
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 1:13:59 PM

You should do that?
Want any good suggestions?
April 20, 2012 1:22:36 PM

You may be underpowered. Another option to explore is to uninstall amd driver and reinstall them. If you have an old driver from before your 7950, I suggest running a program called driver sweeper (google it) in windows safe mode then installed AMD drivers. I had a similar problem with my 6870 before I did this.

I would agree it is most likely the power supply being weak, but try the driver thing first because it is free.

Addition: only remove display drivers with driver sweeper.
April 20, 2012 2:18:40 PM

I don't use an optical drive so the drivers were installed directly from amd's website and are the current drivers. I thought about trying some beta drivers but the fact that my PC does the weird thing at startup after installing the card I tend to believe its a power issue. Just looking for some other opinions. Appreciate all the feedback.
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 2:51:12 PM

Did you try using the 11.xx driver from AMD?
But mainly, I still believe it's an under power issue.
April 20, 2012 2:58:01 PM

I agree with gman about the power issue most likely. I wasn't referring as much to the version but when amd drivers get updated (at least for me") it sometimes leaves parts of the old driver there. So, if you are doing a new card (new drivers) remove all amd display drivers using driver sweeper then restart (let the crap windows display driver install) then install the amd ones again. I have had this issue with a couple of people. Amd driver installer is just terrible.
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 3:03:09 PM

I'e never had a AMD radeon card, but I've heard of it's driver issues. Is it really that bad?
April 20, 2012 3:05:44 PM

Well I had an nvidia card prior to this. Could that still cause an issue with the drivers?
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 3:11:39 PM

Well ,if you had done a clean un-install of the NVIDIA drivers using Drive sweeper, then I don't see any reason it should have.
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 3:16:45 PM

have you tried disabling hyperthreading?
April 20, 2012 3:24:20 PM

Less likely, I'd still reinstall drivers just because I like to explore the cheapest fix first.

If you are hesitant on dropping cash on a psu and you have more than 1 ram stick, check the ram (remove 1 stick and repeat) or run a memory checking program.

I really am leaning towards the psu thing but I want you to cover your bases instead of dropping 100 bucks on a decent psu

Also I'm not familiar with your psu. How many amps are on the 12volt rail?

Often times that is the number you want to look at more than the peak wattage.

I had a 730 watt power supply that was pretty cheap and the amperage on the 12 volt rail was too low for my 1090t.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Im a big fan of corsair psu's. If you can get this or the gs700(which my local best buy has) that would be great. Corsair has fantastic customer service if something were to happen.

The main thing I would look for is at least 600 watts and 40amps on 12v rail.
April 20, 2012 3:25:11 PM

Gman450 said:
Well ,if you had done a clean un-install of the NVIDIA drivers using Drive sweeper, then I don't see any reason it should have.


Agreed.
April 20, 2012 3:27:51 PM

neon neophyte said:
have you tried disabling hyperthreading?


Thats a good idea, but I don't know that it would explain the power failure on start up. I can see the micro stutter thing though.
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 3:32:05 PM

salamakajakawaka said:
Im a big fan of corsair psu's. If you can get this or the gs700(which my local best buy has) that would be great. Corsair has fantastic customer service if something were to happen.

The main thing I would look for is at least 600 watts and 40amps on 12v rail.

+1
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 3:32:38 PM

just throwing out alternate ideas. it is a known cause of microstutter
a c 216 U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 6:49:07 PM

neon neophyte said:
just throwing out alternate ideas. it is a known cause of microstutter


I have never experience microstuttering due to hyperthreading, however, I have heard of this issue from BF3 users. If he's having issues in Skyrim and others, I doubt it's hyperthreading.
April 20, 2012 9:18:04 PM

bought an antec 650w psu.. fixing to install. I wanted to go a bit bigger on the psu but I think this will be adequate. Will update when im done installing.
April 20, 2012 9:53:13 PM

Well the computer no longer shuts down on boot up and then turns back on but i still notice some stutter in these two games.. Maybe it's drivers? grr...
April 20, 2012 10:10:38 PM

Also ran drive sweeper and was able to remove a bunch of Nvidia stuff from the system registry. Drive sweeper did seem to help. Thanks! PSU was definately too small but i think the old Nvidia drivers were causing issues as well. Seems to be doing much better.
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2012 3:51:40 AM

Nice to see your problem's fixed. :) 
April 21, 2012 3:59:02 AM

Well after further time with the offending games the stutter is still there. I'm gunna chalk it up to shitty drivers from amd. The card is still pretty new, hopefully the drivers will get better. I've only noticed the issue in skyrim and fallout 3. Need for speed shift runs awesome maxed out as well as Batman arkham city and call of duty 4.
a c 88 U Graphics card
April 21, 2012 4:02:21 AM

I still believe it may be a power issue, your psu may not be strong enough for your card, Either replace your psu with a better quality and bigger wattage one. Can you trying using the 7950 in a friends pc to see how it performs?
April 21, 2012 4:04:15 AM

I bought a bigger psu. Solved my failing on boot. Didn't fix the stutter
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2012 4:07:58 AM

That Antec earthwatts 650W should be enough to power that system. I no longer think this is a power issue.
Could be drivers, cause the OP's only seeing the issue of micro-stutter with Skyrim and Fallout 3.
a c 88 U Graphics card
April 21, 2012 5:15:18 AM

Opps I didnt see that he got a new one my bad....
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2012 12:31:06 PM

monsta said:
Opps I didnt see that he got a new one my bad....

That's okay, monsta. :) 
We all misread sometimes.
April 22, 2012 1:47:19 AM

Ok, here is my final advice. This advice is more specific because I have seen this issue before. The two solutions that have fixed it for me and other people are one of two things:

1. Turn down AF to x8 and turn AA off. Turn on fxaa.

Or what helped me with my crossfire 6870 setup,

2. Set a fps limit by downloading a fps limiter. Crazy things happen in Bethesda games at greater than 60 fps. I found the best was to limit to 50fps so that dips into the 40s weren't noticeable. My microstutter happened a lot in the woods and indoors in skyrim. This helped a lot.
April 22, 2012 2:01:34 AM

Will try. Its been a long time since I've had a gaming rig. Was playing on consoles. This is my first build in probably 10 years so I'm way out of the loop on tweaking these cards. I think my last real gaming system was in college around 99 and had a gforce 2 or something like that with 4 or 8 megs ofvideo memory and that was considered "the ***" for playing quake 2. Lol

Best solution

April 22, 2012 2:29:04 AM
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I'm sorry buddy. AF or anteriscopic,filtering I'd like vertical anti aliasing. Anti aliasing makes jagged edges less jagged. But turning these down in skyrim settings you may be able to avoid the issue. (it helped my friend). You can also use a frames per second limiter to limit the max frames. It is similar to what v sync is, but skyrim has a weird vsync (vsync will sync the frames per second to your monitor refresh rate)

Micro stuttering is caused by dips in frames per second so by limiting the high end of frames you get a more consistent frame rate. Also Bethesda games don't work over 60 frames per second and sometime with amd cards vsync doesn't force right on skyrim. So the fps limiter would help there. Just google skyrim fps limiter.
April 22, 2012 2:34:38 AM

Yea, I noticed frame rates were capped at 60 as I've been using fraps. I never see much change in the framerate. It does this stutter in call of duty 4 also even though fraps says I'm getting well over 200 frames per second.
April 22, 2012 2:38:36 AM

I guess I was wrong in assuming that the 7950 would allow me to play the current games at Max settings at 1900x1080? This is the main reason I ditched the 550ti
a c 216 U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 2:41:53 AM

boredmug said:
I guess I was wrong in assuming that the 7950 would allow me to play the current games at Max settings at 1900x1080? This is the main reason I ditched the 550ti


You have capped FPS in skyrim, and 300 FPS in call of duty, how on earth did you come to that conclusion?

There reason it's capped at 60 in Skyrim is because you have v-sync on, which puts you at the max FPS your monitor can display.
April 22, 2012 2:46:49 AM

Skyrim caps the fps. I don't have vsync on but I have tried it both ways. Without vsync fraps says I'm over 200 fps in cod4 but I still get the weird stutter when strafing and looking slowly.
April 22, 2012 3:16:19 AM

Yes skyrim does but what I'm saying is if you cap it at say 45, the frames will not drop as much (less stutter). Also, what are you using to monitor frame rate?
April 22, 2012 3:24:16 AM

I'd the fps is capped on skyrim with vsync off then it is most likely capped in catalyst control center
April 22, 2012 3:55:51 AM

I use fraps to monitor framerate
April 22, 2012 4:09:06 AM

The only thing that helps me is the fps limiter under 60fps
a b U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 5:33:13 AM

Skyrim does that, don't worry. As for COD 4, not sure what may be causing that...
Do you have Vsync enabled in CCC?
April 22, 2012 5:38:36 AM

At first I had it disabled and then I enabled it. I'm at my gf's now so I can't play with it. She hates my computer enough already. Lol
April 22, 2012 9:58:43 PM

Best answer selected by boredmug.
April 22, 2012 9:58:47 PM

OK... FINALLY FIXED THE ISSUE! Went through all the stuff yall gave me and finally what it came down to was simply limiting the framerate to 50fps. Now everything is buttery smooth. I'm using a trial software called dxtory to do it. Anyone know of some good freeware that will get this job done? SOOO happy to know the cause of the issue and how to fix it. THANK YOU EVERYONE!
April 22, 2012 10:54:59 PM

boredmug said:
OK... FINALLY FIXED THE ISSUE! Went through all the stuff yall gave me and finally what it came down to was simply limiting the framerate to 50fps. Now everything is buttery smooth. I'm using a trial software called dxtory to do it. Anyone know of some good freeware that will get this job done? SOOO happy to know the cause of the issue and how to fix it. THANK YOU EVERYONE!


http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=34

Skyrim nexus has one.
April 22, 2012 11:07:45 PM

Yea, I saw that but I pretty much need it for every game.. well not every, but a lot of the games I play.
April 22, 2012 11:18:30 PM

I believe it is a stand alone program that can be used for anything
April 22, 2012 11:37:30 PM

disable hyperthreading to try it, have you done that yet?

also, uninstall all your ati drivers, reboot into safe mode, run driver sweeper IN SAFE MODE for all nvidia drivers/physx and all ati drivers. Reboot, reinstall your ati drivers, reboot.

try those 2 things...

Also, I know that in bf3 for me AA and AF created a bit of noticeable input lag. The 7950 is a very capable card though.
April 23, 2012 10:13:04 PM

lmulder said:
disable hyperthreading to try it, have you done that yet?

also, uninstall all your ati drivers, reboot into safe mode, run driver sweeper IN SAFE MODE for all nvidia drivers/physx and all ati drivers. Reboot, reinstall your ati drivers, reboot.

try those 2 things...

Also, I know that in bf3 for me AA and AF created a bit of noticeable input lag. The 7950 is a very capable card though.



Tried it.. didn't change anything.. Sometimes when i uninstall the drivers and reinstall i get a warning message in the catalyst installer at the end saying there were warning and look at detail report to see more details.. Doesn't give me any details about the warnings. But CCC will not load and i have to reinstall the drivers again and then it says installation succesful without the warning message.. I find that weird. I'm almost to the point now of Formatting my little Solid state drive and starting over with a clean copy of windows.
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