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Windows 7: FRAPS recording eliminates cross-game stuttering issue

19 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
FRAPS recording eliminates cross-game stuttering issue

Hello all here's my issue:

I will keep this brief as I can, which isn't too brief since i've tried many things.
I have the following issue: Many games I own run at a pleasant frame rate but drop to 0 fps intermittently every few seconds. This was most pronounced in Source games (TF2, Half life 2), Oblivion (each of those through Steam), and starcraft 2. This would be associated with a short audio loop. The FPS drop and associated audio loop last less than a second.

My computer is a Dell XPS L502X laptop. Processor is i7 720. Graphics is Intel integrated+Nvidia Geforce 540M (2GB). 8GB RAM. This I don't think matters very much for this issue.

Running the dell pre-boot system assessment (F12 on dell splash screen during startup) and doing the extended test showed no errors.

Using this as somewhat of a guideMicrosoft Windows Locks Up, Hangs Unexpectedly or an Error Occurs | Dell Canada )I performed the built-in windows performance and maintenance checks. All was good with the world.

I ran sfc /scannow. No issues.

I have previously removed my video drivers are reinstalled the drivers recommended on the dell site for my computer and those on the nvidia site. I think i currently have the Dell-recommended set.

I made a list of games showing issues all within steam except for SC2. The following show stuttering: TF2, worms reloaded (especially in network game lobby), oblivion, halflife 2, MS word will sometimes hang briefly while scrolling through the symbols window holding an arrow key and sometimes the text i type will freeze then fill in (on same time scale as game stuttering).

Games that do not show issues: osmos, braid, cogs(this may hang a tiny bit occasionally)

Running out of ideas I decided I'd get a way to track FPS better and record issues. I donloaded FRAPS and much to my astonishment it eliminated stuttering 100% of nearly 100% in oblivion, TF2, and HL2.

How can I get my computer to not stutter on these games without recording everything using FRAPS

P.S. Temperature is always fine: reaches maybe 75C during SC2. normally runs around 50-60. Ram and CPU are never obviously maxed out, but I usually walk around with 4 GB ram of chrome windows open

P.P.S. Here's a couple screen shots of the FRAPS settings I had going and a SIW report of my graphics situation
(Photo Album - Imgur)

P.P.P.S. Tried using MSI afterburner to track GPU temp thinking maybe the temperature in the GPU is different than the CPU. GPU holding steady at 50-60C. video recording using msi afterburner did not stop stuttering issue.
TL;DR Recording video with FRAPS eliminates a stuttering problem I have in many different games. How do I get this solution without recording a shit ton.

This is cross-posted from reddit.com/r/techsupport

FRAPS recording eliminates cross-game stuttering issue : techsupport

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Dec 2011   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
update:

Someone sugested that I check for DPC latency. Here's what I found:

When i first started it i'm seeing latency around 1300 microseconds. starting some tests now. Running TF2 it's down below 500 microseconds. Some spikes really high (up to 2000 or 4000 seconds as i alt tab in and out of the game, or start a youtube video). Running a youtube video doesn't change it from the 1300.

Alt tabbing out immediately at some stutters I see no spike in the DPC latency around the time of the stutter.--Always in the green during TF2.
Now that i've closed that game it's back at 1300 microseconds
HUGE spike (up to 16 seconds when I started SC2. but running at 100-150 microseconds now that the menu is loaded)

Running FRAPS does not prevent stuttering in the menus of SC2 (Stuttering being the backround zipping stars freeze for a moment then carry on). The stutter can be induced SOMETIMES when I click on different parts of the menu (ladder, single player, multiplayer). It will also just happen if I'm sitting there. No DPC latency obviously associated with the stutters.

idle DPC latency to 160 microseconds! WOO SOMETHING!
For your reference--as far as I know the 540M sends its signal through the integrated graphics card on its way to the screen.

TL;DR DPC lag drops (gets better) when I go into game (even if I'm not switching from integrated graphics to the 540M). DPC lag spikes don't always occur with the stutters I see in games. Could DPC lag still be the case but the spikes are so short they don't show up in the dpclat program graph? idle DPC lag drops if I disable my 540M graphics card.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

this maybe a bit silly, but i suffered from the same issue, i fixed it by taking out 2 sticks of RAM, my memory controller couldn't cope with 8GB (4 slots of 2GB) so took out two sticks and i've never had an issue since, maybe a trial of taking out a few sticks may help?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Dec 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

My computer came with the 8 gigs of ram it has and I assume it's built in a way that's stable. The resource monitor has shown me the computer using more than 6 gigs of ram before. Does this mean that my problem is not the same as the one you were having?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TakGalaman View Post
My computer came with the 8 gigs of ram it has and I assume it's built in a way that's stable. The resource monitor has shown me the computer using more than 6 gigs of ram before. Does this mean that my problem is not the same as the one you were having?
mine detected and registered the 8GB of ram and utilized it, but it made the PC unstable and framerates weren't stable in the slightest, I took 2 sticks out and the framerate stabilized at 60+ on all games compared to 30-80fps variable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2011   #6

Win 7 Pro x64 SP1 Windows XP SP3
 
 

I'm having quite the same issue with an i7 920 CPU @ default clock.

It usually happens when I play FIFA12, but also when I mix with Virtual DJ for example: the audio "stutters" for half a second or so, while the image on the screen is freezed, then everything is back to normal.
It only happens once, then everything is smooth and fine until I switch the PC off or hibernate.
If it can be useful to you, I see that when it happens the eSATA HDD looks like powering off for a second, the resumes working as usual. And it only started happening since I switched to AHCI mode for my disks.

Strangely enough, as I use to "record" the sets I make with Virtual DJ, I've noticed that (even if this "freeze" actually happens while I mix) no trace of it can be found in the audio file VDJ records. Never ever a single glitch. The audio files recorded while the freeze happens show just no evidence of it, like it never happened.

Currently I've tried new chipset drivers, re-installing Windows, moving and replacing RAM modules, flashing the BIOS, swapping disks... To no avail.
I might try re-setting legacy ATA mode for disks, but it's something I would avoid honestly as doing so I will lose NCQ for example.

So, well, I hope I've given useful information to you, and I'll stay tuned just in case you find a solution, because I don't really know what to think next.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Have a look in the bios for HPET (high precision event timer), and if set to enabled, disable it. Seems to be the fix for a lot of people with high latency problems,

HPET destroying performance

disable hpet - Google Search
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Dec 2011   #8

Win 7 Pro x64 SP1 Windows XP SP3
 
 

I'll definitely give it a try, then I'll report if it works...

For now, thanks for the interest!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 FRAPS recording eliminates cross-game stuttering issue





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