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Windows 7: Weird frequent stuttering problem on new laptop when playing games

21 Jun 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Weird frequent stuttering problem on new laptop when playing games

Hello everyone. I am very concerned as to what is wrong with my laptop because it is not even a year old yet. I am hoping someone here can point me in the right direction. Also, I am uncertain of what is causing the problem.

I used to play Portal, The Sims 3, and Fallout 3 on my laptop with no issues. Recently, I've been having the strangest issue...

I first noticed it when playing Minecraft about a month ago when my little brother wanted me to try it. It was fine at first, but seemingly after every 20 minute interval, the game would go through extreme stuttering and slow to a crawl, making it literally unplayable for maybe 20 seconds. If sound was playing in the background, it would become very distorted and extremely slow as well.

Was I concerned? Not at first. See, I have a switchable graphics card and for some reason it will not allow me to use my better graphics card with Minecraft.

I stopped playing games for a while except for Minecraft and managed to live through the annoying bouts of "unplayableness" every 20 minutes.

Recently, I decided I would play Portal again in addition to Assassin's Creed. Both games are set to run with my better graphics cards. To my horror, the same issue persists in both of these games as well!

Is this a graphics card issue, a processor issue, an issue with Windows itself?

Please, if any of you could help me, I would really appreciate it. As I stated before, this PC is relatively new, and was a gift that costed a lot of money. I would hate to have it die on me now.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Jun 2012   #2

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit with SP1

Antivirus biting Windows Defender.
Either way disable the Defender for good, if you use another Antivirus software.
Or disable the Antivirus software, when you start playing (enable, when finished of course).

With a regular PC it does not matter.
Their HDDs have faster RPM (7200+ RPM), while most Laptops have slower HDDs (onlyy 5400 RPM).
Though your Antivirus on/off will have a performance impact.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

I already have Windows Defender disabled and I really don't think this has anything to do with my other antivirus software (Avast!) this is a relatively new development. Any other suggestions?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Jun 2012   #4

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit with SP1

Are these problems only related to games or also stuttering movies for example.

Can you keep an eye on the resource monitor of the taskmanager?
In case you do not know how to open it:
Start the taskmanager and navigate to the "performance" tab
Click on "Ressource Monitor"
Go to the "disk" tab and additionally "disk activity"
Sort the activity with "write"

Now you can track the application which writes the most on your HDD.
This might be one step getting closer.

Track the games and also other applications and compare the used bandwidth.
This is to sort out, if it is a hardware issue related to your HDD or any other issue (drivers?).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Hmm...I haven't watched any movies recently on my PC...I'll have to test that out. I will say that watching long YouTube videos in 720p causes no problems.

Thank you for your response. I will definitely be watching resource monitor. However, when these slowdown events occur, it is somewhat difficult to control the computer. Also, what exactly am I looking for? Unusually high spikes in writing to my HDD?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Okay sorry to bump, but this is now very likely a problem with my graphics card. The reason why two cards are listed in my specs is because they are switchable.

Now, I was on YouTube, as usual, when all of a sudden my screen went black when trying to watch a video. It came back on a split-second later and a notification popped up that said "AMD Display driver has stopped responding and has successfully recovered." Then, I tried to play the video again, when all of a sudden I got a BSoD with error code 0x000000116 (video card).

This has NEVER happened to me before. According to HP, my drivers are up to date. I'm not sure how to check if they are up to date on the AMD website because of the switchable graphics.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2012   #7

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit with SP1

Oh my.

You have two graphicadapters?
One integrated in your CPU (Intel Core 2nd Generation have HD2000/HD3000 integrated graphics), the other is dedicated (AMD/ATI), I guess.
Do you use Virtu, to switch between them (especially for gaming)?

Anyway, remove the drivers of both cards first (at once!) and restart.
Use the drivers from your driver-DVDs or windows update as a base.
The AMD/ATI drivers should help you out with an auto-update or update-notification service.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

No, I don't use Virtu. The AMD card has switchable graphics options. I will try reinstalling them...but recently I had to do a reinstall of Windows and the problem was still there, so I'm not sure that it's the drivers.

Is there any sort of diagnostic program I can run for this as well?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2012   #9

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit with SP1

Maybe GPU-Z will help you out.

It is not a real diagnostic tool, but provides good information about your video card.
You will be able to compare the details in tech-forums or the like (for example "is XY temp in idle OK for model 123" etc.).

You already re-installed windows and still have the same problem?

Did you use newer drivers of your video card or the ones from the driver DVD?

Sometimes the drivers from the DVD are recommend after a fresh installation.
If you want to remove the newer ones, do this in windows safe mode.
Uninstall the drivers and then remove the hardware from the device manager.
Reboot and install the drivers from your DVD or the standard drivers from windows update.
These are always stable/tested versions of the respective devices.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home premium 64bit SP1

Are you by any chance using firefox?That would happen to me and i got the display driver stopped responding when i would watch videos after a while.I stopped that by disabling hardware acceleration in firefox.There's something wrong with the drivers i believe or something with the latest firefox release.Anyways if you go in firefox options,you untick the box called hardware acceleration in firefox.About the games what driver version are you using?12.4 or the beta 12.6?If you updated drivers recently and before updating everything was working fine then i suggest rolling back to a earlier version of drivers until amd releases some drivers that are more stable. Btw i'm using the 12.6 beta drivers and encountered that problem with the drivers stop responding then re-enabled when watching videos in firefox but my games run fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Weird frequent stuttering problem on new laptop when playing games

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