Micro stuttering and more in D3


in winter of 2009 I bought what I conceived to be a powerhouse desktop. 3.4 ghz quad core AMD Phenom X2, 8gb of 1333 ddr3 ram, and a 1 GB AMD Radeon HD 5850 series card. And it was sweet! It vastly outperformed all of my expectations on games... for a while.

Computers have a way of aging, and I've always tried hard to avoid it but it just happens. The first thing I noticed was a strange 'coil whine'. Usually occurred in 3d gaming apps. Then I started to get a weird sort of chop that I hadn't seen before that I believe is micro-stuttering. Again it occurred in 3d gaming applications (heroes of newerth was the primary game of choice, happened in starcraft2 as well though). It wouldn't severely chop, but it seemed like every second there would be maybe 1/5 of a second of slight chop. Instead of moving fluidly, units would stutter their way across the screen. At first it wasn't that noticeable, but I feel like it got worse as time went on.

Fast forward a little - I dealt with that but then other things started to slow. Load times on games and internet browsers went up, and I started to see more significant frame rate issues and chop in addition to the micro stutter. Eventually, 6 months ago, I decided to replace my video card with another amd card - this time an AMD Radeon HD 6850. This fixed 1 thing - the coil whine. As far as I could tell everything else remained the same.

I recently got into diablo 3 and wooo boy does it evidence the computer issues. It's slow to load areas, I get micro stutter, and generally die a lot due to computer problems.

Here's my question - is there any good way to tell what is bottlenecking me here / causing my issues? I was so sure it was the video card, but it fixed nothing. I've done memory checks (the windows one which is mediocre from what I understand), virus scans, reformatted my computer, all sorts of things all to no avail. Perhaps it is just time to retire my computer... Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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More about micro stuttering
  1. did you do a hdd test for bad sector using the maker tool and use memtest for your memory sticks one at the time
  2. You do not have a bottleneck, but you definitely have an issue. A HDD could do that, so could a memory stick. You may have a virus, or drivers issues. It could even be a motherboard.

    I do not know what the problem is, but your system spec's should run Diablo 3 with ease.

    Oh, one more thing. Diablo 3 is online all the time. If you have a poor internet connection, you'll get these rubberbanding problems as well.
  3. Thanks for the reply! I have not done a hdd test - I will look into it, and I did the memory test for all of the sticks at the same time. Is it better to do them 1 by 1?

  4. yes one at the time will be better
  5. Micro-stuttering requires a multi-GPU setup, which you don't have.
  6. Thanks again guys. If it is a motherboard issue, is there an easy way to test for this?

    I've updated video drivers and a couple others, but that didn't help. Is there any other driver I should specifically make sure is up to date?

    The internet connection is good, and hopefully the reformatting would have killed any viruses that were eluded anti-virus software, so I would think those 2 to be less likely.

  7. "Micro-stuttering requires a multi-GPU setup, which you don't have. "

    This is where I got the term, but it's really the best description of what happens when it does the mini-chops every second. Though I haven't ever used a dual video card setup so I wouldn't really know what that type of micro-stutter looks like (probably much more subtle than what I'm experiencing)

  8. did you install the latest driver for this hd 6850,and what about the other test
  9. I'm leaning towards memory, or motherboard issue. His problem was there with the 5850 and the 6850. He did a reformat and reinstall of windows. I've definitely seen this issue due to bad memory.

    Oh, it could also be a failing PSU. It may cause the video card to throttle. What is your PSU?

    It is also possible you did reinstall a conflicting piece of software after the reformat. Did you try running any games before you installed all your background software stuff?
  10. "did you install the latest driver for this hd 6850,and what about the other test"

    I did install the latest hd 6850 driver. What is the other test?

    I'm away from my computer at the moment, but I'll check on the PSU asap. It was whatever came with the computer, I don't recall upgrading it or getting anything super fancy.

    As for the reinstalling conflicting software, I thought about this at the time of my reformatting - the very first thing post reformat (after updating drivers) was install heroes of newerth to test frame rate. It recall it being minorly improved but the problems were definitely still there.

    Sorry I got called into work, otherwise I'd be trying all of your suggestions right now!

  11. Well, I've tried all the various suggestions and more over the last couple months with no avail..

    I did an hdd check, and an individual memcheck on each of my sticks of ram - both came back happy.

    I also downloaded a diagnostics program called FreshDiagnose. If anyone is familiar with the program - on almost every single benchmark my computer rates really high and it's awesome, but on one benchmark it receives the lowest possible score: a display adapter benchmark using random pixels. All the other display adapter benchmarks come out great, but this was rates lower than 64 mb vid cards.

    Any idea what this means? I don't have any concept for what would cause a low random pixels benchmark, and google searches have been fruitless

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