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View Full Version : Stuttering in Gaming and Modeling!



AlexeyT
05-09-2007, 01:21 PM
Sorry for a long post but please bear with me and help me if you can. (i think it's a hardware problem)

Recently a couple of my games (namely Bioshock and Dark Messiah) and even a modeling program (Zbrush) are experiencing video stuttering problems (runs smooth for about 5 seconds then freezes for a second repeatedly), but ONLY during gameplay. Cut-scenes and videos are fine, and even when i'm just standing still in the game, as is regular tasks like working in desktop, surfing, etc. VERY FRUSTRATING. I have tried the following solution from the web with no results:

- adjusting video settings and resolutions in the games including Vsync
- tried 4 nvidia card drivers including the latest one (though i don't know which is optimal for my card)
- exiting all non-essential programs in the background including virus scanner (even cleaned up my startup from msconfig)
- downloaded latest directX (not dx10)
- dusted inside my pc with the air-dusting thingy
- did a registry, spyware and virus scan/cleanup as well as defragged my HD, freed HD space.
- yelled and threatened my computer while bashing my head with my keyboard

I then installed two older games (Medieval 2 total war and Unreal 2k4) to see if the problem persists and discovered something interesting. Instead of stuttering/pausing every 5 seconds the program "slides" for both games. Basically, If i take my fingers off the keyboard at exactly the right time (every 5 seconds) my character/camera on screen continues moving as if i hadn't (with no lag whatsoever). Running unreal 2k4 windowed showed me that happens when my cpu usage spikes in task manager (which happens every 5 seconds). Same thing with Bioshock/Dark Messiah stuttering. This lead me to believe that its a processor problem (but i'm no expert). I've also tried these solutions:

- setting single cpu affinities
- installing latest BIOS driver
- installing a hotfix (KB896256) from microsoft having to do with dual core processors and service pack 2 not working together or something (whatever it didn't work)

Unfortunately that's as far as my computer knowledge has lead me. What really annoys me is that i never had this problem up untill about a week ago. Zbrush , Tomb Raider and Medieval 2 ran fine (on max settings). I couldn't think of any particular event that may have triggered this other than installing Bioshock, because that's when i got stuttering (although i can't be sure, as i hadn't played a game for over a week before that). The computer actually started working fine yesterday (i had my hopes up...), but today it's BACK.

Regardless, here are my specs:

- Windows XP Media Centre Ed.
- Intel Viiv dual core 3.00 GHz
- 2GB RAM
- Geforce 7800GT video card
- 300 GB HD with 150 free left

I'm at the end of my wits. Any help would be appreciated.

SolMiester
05-09-2007, 01:31 PM
Hi, what resolution are you using, and remove vsync!

Speedy Gonzales
05-09-2007, 01:38 PM
Looks like its a common prob (http://www.google.co.nz/search?q=stuttering+when+playing+bioshock&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a) with Bioshock.

There is a hotfix for ATI cards, dont know about the Nvidia ones tho.

It happens on the Xbox 360 too, by the looks of it.

The Xbox prob by the looks of it is its caching system on the hdd.

It maybe the same prob, on a desktop.

AlexeyT
05-09-2007, 01:59 PM
My monitor runs at 1680 x 1050. I have tried different resolutions in game including non-widescreen. And yes I tried with both Vsync on and off.

As for the bioshock stutter, i have already tried the beta driver (which supposedly fixes Bioshocks stuttering) with no results. However, i don't think this is the same kind of stutter, since this problem is affecting all my games in the EXACT same pattern.

AlexeyT
05-09-2007, 02:00 PM
I do want to mention that i have tried uninstalling bioshock and playing other games. No luck

The_End_Of_Reality
05-09-2007, 02:15 PM
Just with Bioshock, I am running XP and the 'Bioshock' nVidia drivers and I have not had any pauses, freezes or crashes of any sort, You can try memtest 86 (http://www.memtest.org/) to rule out RAM, you can try Orthos (http://sp2004.fre3.com/beta/beta2.htm) to test the CPU.
This is extreme, but a full format could be a possibility.

AlexeyT
05-09-2007, 02:34 PM
ok, which memtest do i download and how do i use these arcane programs (to me at least). I just started runnng orthos at default but i have no idea what it's doing.

And let's not get hasty with the reformat, I'm still going to wait at least a week for all my replies for all the various forums i posted this question to.

AlexeyT
05-09-2007, 05:59 PM
I have discovered that this problem is widespread. I tried a flash game. Same problem. Typing. SAME PROBLEM. Probably other things as well. Every 6.2 seconds to be precise. But it only stutters if a have a key pressed exactly at 6.2 seconds. Hence the typing. Mouse is fine. Both are connected wireless, however i doubt a keyboard could be causing actual frame stutters in games. Looking at cpu usage history in task manager as I'm typing, it looks like a freaking heart monitor

Speedy Gonzales
05-09-2007, 06:09 PM
See if theres a BIOS update that'll fix it.

Pete O'Neil
06-09-2007, 09:05 AM
What sort of PSU do you have? If its widespread and happens on a lowly flash game it sounds like a hardware fault and not a driver issue. I would check the memory and make sure your PSU is powerful enough? Also have a look inside the case to see if there is any dust around the CPU and video card, overheating could be the problem.

Bozo
06-09-2007, 06:40 PM
This is extreme, but a full format could be a possibility.
Too right this is extreme and will not fix the problem.
The Nuke Method is not needed to solve a problem like this.

Try downloading O&O Defragger (http://www.softforall.com/Utilities/Optimizers/OO_Defrag_Professional_Edition09040428.htm) and run that through your OS hard drive.
This defragger is not just an add-on to the windows defragger (like most others are) this is seperate and does a much better job.
Free up at least 20% on your OS drive and give it a good defrag.
While this may not be the problem - at the very least it will help optimize your computer. :p

The_End_Of_Reality
06-09-2007, 06:50 PM
Too right this is extreme and will not fix the problem.
The Nuke Method is not needed to solve a problem like this. I have fixed MANY things that have been unfixable by reinstalling the drivers and getting rid of any other crap in Windows. I don't consider it to be extreme personally, I format every few months. But to someone who is not like me it is extreme. You cannot say it will not fix the issue, do you know where the issue is? :rolleyes: it could be software related or it could be hardware, both are to be ruled out.

Bozo
06-09-2007, 07:15 PM
I have fixed MANY things that have been unfixable by reinstalling the drivers and getting rid of any other crap in Windows. I don't consider it to be extreme personally, I format every few months. But to someone who is not like me it is extreme. You cannot say it will not fix the issue, do you know where the issue is? :rolleyes: it could be software related or it could be hardware, both are to be ruled out.
I do not consider formatting extreme, but i do consider it to be the cheats (and noobs) way out of solving a problem - mainly because it doesn't solve the problem.
It just gives you a new software platform for you to go and screw up again.
If you have a problem you need to find the root cause and fix that, and make sure you don't do it again.
Formatting and re-installing will often make the problem go away, only until you make the same mistake that caused it to fail last time, because you don't know what you did that caused the problem the first time.
I will agree that for some problems a format and re-install is easier and faster but doesn't actually fix the problem.
I pretty much can say that while the actual re-installation of windows will not fix the problem - the whole destroy EVERYTHING and start again possible will.
Format.....pfft! for noobs who can't be bothered caring for their computers properly and fixing the root cause of problems.

(i think i may have trodden on a few toes with this post :stare: )

Pete O'Neil
06-09-2007, 07:41 PM
I do not consider formatting extreme, but i do consider it to be the cheats (and noobs) way out of solving a problem - mainly because it doesn't solve the problem.

How is it a noob solution? Most noobs couldn't reinstall Windows if their life depended on it let alone source drivers and software. I've been in few situation where its simply quicker to do a reformat, especially if its an installation thats getting long in the tooth. In many cases not just computing its often easy to start fresh and learn from your mistakes, nothing about being a cheat or noob. :)

Bozo
06-09-2007, 08:09 PM
Ok, fair enough. This is a fairly debatable subject and our opinions will probably always differ!
Will most noobs wouldn't be able to re-install windows, i wasn't refering to them in the first place, as a true noob probably wouldn't even notice that their computer was running super slow.
Formatting i agree can be easier and quicker than fixing the problem.
But as for learning from your mistakes, formatting doesn't do that.
All you know, is that you screwed up somewhere, and now you have a clean system, you still don't know why or how you screwed up.

The_End_Of_Reality
07-09-2007, 12:05 PM
So what happens if you get a virus which damages some system files? the virus was put on by someone other than you who used your PC only once, you cannot boot into Windows, would you really try to salvage that instal or slave the HDD and get all important data off and format? I say format faster and easier. and I fail to see how that is a noobs option out. :illogical

Pete O'Neil
07-09-2007, 12:19 PM
Ok, fair enough. This is a fairly debatable subject and our opinions will probably always differ!
Will most noobs wouldn't be able to re-install windows, i wasn't refering to them in the first place
Um yes you were, perhaps you should consider reading your original post before you post more crap.


but i do consider it to be the cheats (and noobs) way out of solving a problem
Sounds like you were refering to them to me ;)

Bozo
07-09-2007, 12:29 PM
Will most noobs wouldn't be able to re-install windows, i wasn't refering to them in the first place, as a true noob probably wouldn't even notice that their computer was running super slow.
ok i have a typo there, it should read WHILE not WILL.
However, i still hold my original opinion:
- Formatting is the quick and easy way out of not solving the problem - but makes it go away
- Problems solved by formatting will come back because you don't know what caused them so you won't know to not do them again.
- In some cases formatting is the faster and easier way out - (cheats way out)

I would suspect that we will always disagree on this but thats life!
Enjoy :p

Bozo
07-09-2007, 12:41 PM
So what happens if you get a virus which damages some system files? the virus was put on by someone other than you who used your PC only once, you cannot boot into Windows, would you really try to salvage that instal or slave the HDD and get all important data off and format? I say format faster and easier. and I fail to see how that is a noobs option out. :illogical
sorry bowt the double post here guys :(

I agree that formatting and re-installation of a clean set of software does have its place, and depending on the severity of the problem, may be the best way out.
With the scenario above i would say that your suggestion is most likely the best - depending on how many system files the virus had corrupted and the extent of its other damage.
But I will only format if I have nothing else that I can do.
Others may/will format for errors that i would fix in other ways but wtf? its ur computer not mine at the end of the day! :p

AlexeyT
07-09-2007, 01:08 PM
Wow this topic really picked up since last i was here. Thanks for all the input everybody.

Regarding the drivers. My HP update says all drivers are up to date, but this site:

http://driveragent.com/?PHPSESSID=f97fa7ed55ecd02b814744aa284f4609

says 50% of my drivers are not up to date!? But you have to pay like 30$ to get access to all the downloads, so screw that. Any suggestions welcome here.

Regarding PSU: I'm not really an advanced user so i don't know what info is needed here but i got this off my psu lable inside my cpu:

Dynex
Model: DX-PS 500W
Ac Input: 115/230V - 60/50Hz, 7/4A
as well as:
Output Watts 500W, +5V, +3.3V: 180W

checking out my innards i also made sure every card was fixed properly in place, no dust, fans work, basically everything looked good (to me at least)

Also according to two sources my cpu is not overheating, and is working at a healthy ~48C. (Other devices are also fine)

I will try running O&O Defragger and see what comes up (thanks DemonHunter). In the meantime, I am running two online virus scans (one after the other of coarse and from different sites) because all this talk about viruses is making me nervous. I generally keep my ZoneAlarm up to date, but who knows...
I will let you guys know if anything comes up.

And finally regarding Reformatting. I generally don't like resorting to this, but mostly because i always find it a hassle. I have to back up around 80 G of crap on a 80 G storage device. do the reformat, reinstall everything. Sigh... I've only done it once this year. And yea, I'm also not sure if it will fix the problem. This "solution" is becoming more appealing, though, as i have had this problem for a week, and no forums have a fix yet.

What i find most curious of all is how randomly the problem will appear/disappear. This happened three times now. Yesterday, for example, it just went away without me rebooting (in fact it just spontaneously went away as i was typing on another solution forum). Today when i booted up after waking up, it was there again. I was able to get screens of my task manager when I'm typing to show what it looks like. I don't know how to post them here, but you can check them out in his site:

http://www.karlsforums.com/forums/viewthread.php?tid=32250&page=2

SolMiester
07-09-2007, 01:14 PM
LOL, format the drive due to a graphical hitch...ROFL....

This has been covered before, and is NOT a technician's solution period, unless of course this is a standard build on standard hardware in a corporate environment to save time an allow the tech to continue browsing the web...LOL

I'd love to be a fly on the wall at an IT interview with the interviewee giving that as an answer.....ROFL

Pete O'Neil
07-09-2007, 02:43 PM
So your system is an HP model? Would have been useful if you mentioned this in the first place. :mad: Whats the particular model?

AlexeyT
07-09-2007, 03:32 PM
m7480n

SolMiester
07-09-2007, 06:07 PM
I have discovered that this problem is widespread. I tried a flash game. Same problem. Typing. SAME PROBLEM. Probably other things as well. Every 6.2 seconds to be precise. But it only stutters if a have a key pressed exactly at 6.2 seconds. Hence the typing. Mouse is fine. Both are connected wireless, however i doubt a keyboard could be causing actual frame stutters in games. Looking at cpu usage history in task manager as I'm typing, it looks like a freaking heart monitor

What keyboard/mouse connections do you have?, are you using the same USB tower connections, what happens if you change/separate the USB device thru the different USB ports?

AlexeyT
08-09-2007, 06:56 AM
Hurrah! I think i found the culprit!!! I checked out Task Manager again, and instead of looking at mem usage tab during spikes i looked under cpu tab and found the process "rundl32.exe" taking up 50% during the spikes! Note the name of the task IS "rundl32.exe" and not "rundll32.exe" which is required system process. Looking in google i found out that this is indeed a worm! As soon as i ended this process, my stuttering dissapeared. How can i permanently remove this, though? ZoneAlarm, SpyBot and Online scans didn't pick this up! but good old google pulled through in the end.

Speedy Gonzales
08-09-2007, 07:29 AM
Do a scan with AVG or Avast or get trojan remover in my sig update it then scan.

And then open my computer right mouse on c and select scan with TR.

To see if TR DOES pick it up, reboot and leave the rundl file running get off the net, then scan with trojan remover.

Then UPDATE windows.