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Old 01-29-2013, 06:29 AM   #1
Durp
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Default Stutter that I can't get rid of

The problem is more of a micro stutter but I'm only using one GPU and it happens in many games and benchmarks. Online players skip around, animations are choppy and it looks like frames are being skipped. 120fps looks like 40 fps. This can be felt with mouse movement as well. The system is in my sig and is running at 3.5GHz.
The system:

i7 920 @ 3507MHz (stutter happens with optimized defaults as well)
Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R-SLI
3x2GB ddr3 @ 1336 MHz
Stock GTX 460
Creative x-fi xtremegamer
Windows 8 pro 64 bit
Western Digital WD6401AALS 640GB mechanical hard drive
Seasonic Platinum 660XP 660w power supply

Example with the vantage CPU test showing the planes skip around and even rewind for a split second: I used afterburner to record this and it only lowered the score, it didn't add any extra stutter.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTF-0wPwhmk

Another video example here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8R_EsJg3bE

Before and during recording this it looks like many very short microstutters but in the recorded video they showed up as large spikes or skips.



A second but probably related problem is short pauses in the game when playing online. The net graph in games shows what looks like a network problem but my ISP has come out to my house many times to test the lines. I have bypassed the router and tried a new modem and these pauses do not change. Valve had me change all of the network settings and then install a program called Vtrace to see if any programs or drivers could be causing this but they couldn't find anything. Valve's conclusion was that something was wrong with my network and not with my PC. Both of these problems happen in windows 8 and vista.

Example of the pauses and gaps in the network graph:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0cQCm0_R2k



To troubleshoot my GPU

I RMA'd it through MSI and the replacement changed nothing. I got a third GTX 460, this time from ASUS, again nothing changed. All three of these GTX 460s passed all benchmarks, EVGA oc scanner and OCCT artifact scanner. I tried using the second PCIE slot but again nothing changed. I also went out and purchased a Gigabyte 7850 but it still showed this weird stutter. Both problems exist with my older 60Hz monitor with a replacement dual DVI cable.

To troubleshoot my processor, ram and motherboard

I ran prime95 blend for almost 19 hours, long enough to pass all of the tests with 90% memory usage and no errors were found. I passed 10 runs of IBT at max without an error. It passed OCCT's 1 hour test. I also left the PC to fold overnight but it was still happily folding on a second work unit when I got up. Overnight memtest86+ AND memtest86 came back with no errors. I ran HCI memtest to 1000% without errors. I also made sure to test the stutter problem with everything running stock by loading optimized defaults but that didn't help. I also tried a second memory kit from OCZ that also passes these tests but the stutter was still there. The highest temperature was 61c and that was during IBT.

I flashed to different bios versions including the latest beta bios for my motherboard. I tried disabling all power saving features in the bios.

To troubleshoot my hard drive

The hard drive is currently running in AHCI mode but I have also tried IDE mode. I have also tried using the Microsoft AHCI drivers and the Intel drivers but there isn't a difference between them. Iran the Western Digital advanced diagnostics twice and neither showed any errors. The smart data is also all OK without any warnings. I also replaced sata cables and swapped to alternative sata ports.

To troubleshoot my power supply

I replaced my XFX 650w XXX power supply with the Seasonic platinum 660XP but nothing changed.

To troubleshoot my network


I mentioned this above but ill add it here too. I had my ISP come out and test my lines and they said everything was fine. I bypassed all cable splitters. I bypassed my router and tried a new modem with replacement ethernet cords but the problem remained. I installed an Intel PCI network card in case my motherboards port was failing but yet again, nothing was changed. I even tried using a wireless USB adapter.

To troubleshoot the OS and drivers

I tried the default windows update drivers for my network adapter as well as the newest available from Realtek. I tried clean installing many whql Nvidia drivers in vista and windows 8. I tried reformatting and installing chipset drivers as well as reformatting again without installing chipset drivers. I have tried enabling and disabling HPET in both the bios and windows. With windows using HPET 64 bit the DPC latency is very low. I have 8 tabs open in Firefox, one of them is a 1080p youtube video playing and another one is pandora playing music and the DPC latency is 5-15 in LatencyMon.

To troubleshoot audio

I pulled my sound card out and removed the drivers. I made sure the integrated sound card was disabled in the bios and drivers for it were never installed. Both problems remained without sound.

What's left to troubleshoot? Did I overlook something?

The only hardware that hasn't been swapped out is the CPU, motherboard and the hard drive. Maybe my ISP is lying about my lines being problem free?

I have a 120GB Samsung 840 SSD coming next week but since no errors were found with my current drive I doubt the SSD will fix my problems.

Could the CPU or motherboard be causing this problem but still pass every stress test that I throw at it? Unfortunately I can't find any cheap X58 boards to buy. The benchmark scores seem to be normal and where they should be.

CPU is at 3507 MHz and the ram is at 1336 MHz.

Cinebench 10 = 20264 multithread and 4938 single thread.
Cinebench 11.5 = 6.02 multithread and 1.19 singe thread.

The frustrating thing is that this PC hasn't blue screened or frozen since I have been experiencing these problems. Zero WHEA errors as well. I just don't get it. Please help before I just give up and find a new hobby.

Last edited by Durp; 02-02-2013 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:49 AM   #2
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the first video is private, I can't see it. Check your channel settings.
I'd wait for the SSD before giving up, maybe a clean install and new drive will solve it.
btw it's normal that you can't see the difference between 120 fps and 40 fps, the human eye has limitations.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murloc View Post
the first video is private, I can't see it. Check your channel settings.
I'd wait for the SSD before giving up, maybe a clean install and new drive will solve it.
btw it's normal that you can't see the difference between 120 fps and 40 fps, the human eye has limitations.
Thanks, the video should be viewable now, not sure why it was private.

I don't want to start an off topic debate about how much FPS some people think the human eye can see but I do notice 120fps on my 120Hz monitor. Before making the 120Hz monitor purchase I did a blind test on my old 75Hz monitor. I had a friend toggle it from 60 to 75 Hz and I aced it after 5 random tests. Going to 120Hz is just that much more obvious.

Last edited by Durp; 01-29-2013 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:41 AM   #4
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Go into task manager and start killing processes until you cant kill any more. See if that has any effect.

Do you have rthdribl?
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by sm625 View Post
Go into task manager and start killing processes until you cant kill any more. See if that has any effect.

Do you have rthdribl?
I have tested this issue immediately after a reformat before installing anything but a game and the problem remains.

I have no idea what rthdribl is.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:39 AM   #6
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Even a fresh install of windows loads several processes that can be killed for testing purposes.

rthdribl is a useful standalone HDR demo program. I would give a link to it but I cant find one that works.

Have you tried running only the boot drive and no DVD or any other SATA device? Have you tried your boot drive on both the white and the blue SATA ports?

List all gigabyte software you are running. Be very suspicious of any process that is running on your machine if it came from gigabyte. I like their boards but their software seems to be.... problematic.
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Last edited by sm625; 01-29-2013 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:48 AM   #7
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The Vantage test looks fine to me. What about the other 3dmark benchmarks? Do they look odd?

The second one is more pronounced, but that could be external to your computer.

It is really neat that your are able to show YouTube versions of your issues, but I would like to see some real games running on your PC alone and are not affected by external networks/benchmark programs.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:14 AM   #8
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I'm leaning towards something more fundamental, like CPU voltage, DRAM voltages, PCI-e frequency, etc... butyou say you ran with optimized defaults. My Gigabyte board doesn't know what "optimized" is for my RAM, so I always have to adjust it manually, even when not OC'd, and looking at screenshots of this version of BIOS, it isn't too far off from my P45. Just throwing that out there. *shrug*

Did this start happening recently, or has it always been like this? I'm guessing this is an issue that just arose and you've had this computer built for a while. In that case, nothing has changed from when it wasn't stuttering?

Does this happen when the GPU isn't accelerating graphics?


sm625 touched on the SATA port being used by your boot drive, and I'd also like to make note not to use the JMICRON controller (AKA the white ones). I've had problems with that controller on my board, and have read elsewhere it's a common issue for others as well.
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Last edited by pandemonium; 01-30-2013 at 02:18 AM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:00 PM   #9
Durp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sm625 View Post
Even a fresh install of windows loads several processes that can be killed for testing purposes.

rthdribl is a useful standalone HDR demo program. I would give a link to it but I cant find one that works.

Have you tried running only the boot drive and no DVD or any other SATA device? Have you tried your boot drive on both the white and the blue SATA ports?

List all gigabyte software you are running. Be very suspicious of any process that is running on your machine if it came from gigabyte. I like their boards but their software seems to be.... problematic.
Killing processes didn't help.

I forgot to mention in the first post that I have tried taking out the DVD drive because google led me to someone having a problem with it causing stutter but it made no difference for me.

I also forgot that I did try the Gsata ports instead of the Intel sata port but once again, no luck.

I don't have any Gigabyte software installed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pandemonium View Post
I'm leaning towards something more fundamental, like CPU voltage, DRAM voltages, PCI-e frequency, etc... butyou say you ran with optimized defaults. My Gigabyte board doesn't know what "optimized" is for my RAM, so I always have to adjust it manually, even when not OC'd, and looking at screenshots of this version of BIOS, it isn't too far off from my P45. Just throwing that out there. *shrug*

Did this start happening recently, or has it always been like this? I'm guessing this is an issue that just arose and you've had this computer built for a while. In that case, nothing has changed from when it wasn't stuttering?

Does this happen when the GPU isn't accelerating graphics?


sm625 touched on the SATA port being used by your boot drive, and I'd also like to make note not to use the JMICRON controller (AKA the white ones). I've had problems with that controller on my board, and have read elsewhere it's a common issue for others as well.
I just tried running optimized defaults with very loose (cas 11 @ 1066MHz) and overvolted ram to see if that would fix it but no luck. I also tried running the loosened ram on my overclocked supposedly 100% stable settings but no change there either.

It wasn't always like this. I would have to guess that it popped up around 6-8 months ago. Before that time everything was buttery smooth. No hardware changes, the stutter is what caused me to go out and buy replacements for everything except the CPU and motherboard.


Speaking of wasting money on new parts, right now I'm using a new Samsung 840 SSD in an Intel sata port and the stutter remains so my old 20k hour mechanical drive wasn't causing the problem.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:07 PM   #10
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The other thing I wanted to suggest was disabling your onboard LAN controller if you're using a PCI ethernet adapter. I have yet to see your videos, but if the stuttering is at a constant frequency, the onboard LAN controller can do that as well.

It really sounds like you've gone over everything though. Have you happened to go over the MoBo and look for bulbing or busted caps?

I'm not an electrical engineer, so I'm just theorizing here, but since you're seeing gaps in your performance graphs, I wouldn't think it'd be the CPU, since those gaps wouldn't be reported if the CPU was haulting. Do you have another CPU you can test? Or a shop nearby where they can stick a spare CPU in there to test if it's the MoBo?
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pandemonium View Post
The other thing I wanted to suggest was disabling your onboard LAN controller if you're using a PCI ethernet adapter. I have yet to see your videos, but if the stuttering is at a constant frequency, the onboard LAN controller can do that as well.

It really sounds like you've gone over everything though. Have you happened to go over the MoBo and look for bulbing or busted caps?

I'm not an electrical engineer, so I'm just theorizing here, but since you're seeing gaps in your performance graphs, I wouldn't think it'd be the CPU, since those gaps wouldn't be reported if the CPU was haulting. Do you have another CPU you can test? Or a shop nearby where they can stick a spare CPU in there to test if it's the MoBo?
When I tested the Intel PCI NIC and the USB wireless adapter I had the motherboard's NIC disabled and the drivers uninstalled. After those two changes didn't help the problem I just went back to using the motherboard's integrated NIC.

I just pulled the GPU out and scanned the board for popped, missing or deformed caps and everything looks fine. I thought one was missing near the I/O but I guess the board shipped like that because the product images show it missing out of the box.

There aren't any PC shops in my area, there was one but they quickly died off unfortunately. I emailed Gigabyte asking if they had any old refurbished X58 boards that I could purchase from them but they said no.

Thanks for the suggestions, I didn't even think to look at the caps.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:22 AM   #12
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Another video example here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8R_EsJg3bE

Before and during recording this it looks like many very short microstutters but in the recorded video they showed up as large spikes or skips.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durp View Post
Another video example here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8R_EsJg3bE

Before and during recording this it looks like many very short microstutters but in the recorded video they showed up as large spikes or skips.
Looking at the numbers, could just be your framerate. I just ran it on my machine and my framerate is about double, and runs fine.

Usually anything under 60 is not going to look perfect.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:00 PM   #14
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Last bump before I let this thread die. Hoping someone knows of a fix or a specific voltage tweak to save this supposedly stable rig. I bumped the VTT and Vcore two notches each just in case but that didn't help.
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