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Your opinion on a long-lasting gaming issue.

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Huxley2k7, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. Huxley2k7

    Huxley2k7

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    Hey guys,

    For a year now, i had experienced a stuttering/hitching effect in Lord of the Rings: Online, an MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game).

    You can view the issue here in this Youtube video. This is not me, just someone else with the same problem with more than adequate specs. Basically, i could max out the games graphics, and start running somewhere - as tree's, buildings, players etc load up in the distance, the stuttering begins - as if it struggles to load the content/sprites/frills etc. Even swivelling the mouse-look around, to reveal new areas on-screen, the stutter will occur - as if it can't keep up with generating the in-game textures.

    I had always assumed it must be the game programming/coding, since hundreds of other people were experiencing the same issue. Then, apparently Turbine released a patch which fixed it for many people. However, to this very day, the same issue exists in LOTRO for me - so i just forgot about the game and put it down to the developers to fix.

    Then, a few weeks ago, i got Gears of War for PC. Again, stuttering!? Turns out, once again, lots of other people were experiencing the issue. So, i waited for a patch. Then, instead, i found a fix that someone had suggested - Simply turn Textures down from High to Medium. Turns out, it fixed the major stuttering i was receiving (EG - Every 3-4 seconds). Why? I don't know. Thats what I'm here to find out.

    ... Just when i thought my stuttering woes may be over, yet another game whereby i am experiencing the same issue that has haunted me for so long! Pirates of the Burning Sea, suspiciously, another MMORPG type game, which include large worlds and lots of objects/characters/buildings being rendered on/off constantly.

    The mystery is - WHAT is causing this issue?

    I can play some games just fine without the stuttering, like Command and Conquer 3 (RTS), World in Conflict (RTS), and Company of Heroes (RTS), even Crysis. But large-scale games it seems, MMORPG's and FPS' seem to give me this stutter. My system is more than adequate for handling these games, and there's only one thing that i have never changed/altered since this problem began a year ago in Lord of the Rings: Online, and that is my 80GB Hard-Drive - Is THIS the problem? It must be, thats my conclusion, it's all i can think of now. I want to know your conclusion.

    One of the indications of it being the HD was the fact that turning textures down from High to Medium in Gears of War fixed the majority of it - as if the Hard-Drive has trouble loading/co-operating with the rest of my machine when loading large textures (Or a large amount of them) at a consistent rate. In all games, i can run the graphical settings on MAX! Easily max out most games. It's just, still, the stutter can remain. So no matter how high i can push the graphics and no matter how smooth it runs, while there's a stutter occurring every 3-4 seconds an enjoyable gaming experience is hindered.

    I like to think of myself as pretty PC savvy in terms of fixing games and maintaining the optimal health and speed of my PC, so;

    WHAT I'VE DONE OVER A YEAR TO REMEDY THE PROBLEM:
    • Formatted PC
    • Optimized Windows Fully
    • Adjusted Page File
    • Switched C2D to single core CPU
    • Overclocked
    • Cold Booted
    • Defragged
    • Upgraded CPU
    • Upgraded RAM
    • Changed MOBO
    • Updated Mobo Bios
    • Disabled on-board
    • Fixed overheating issues
    • No Anti Virus
    • Scanned for Malware etc, etc, etc.
    • ... Pretty much EVERYTHING except changed GFX card and Hard-Drive.

    I'd love to get this issue fixed. I've ordered a new Hard-Drive anyway, since i thought it were about time i upgrade. But, i would still like to know all your opinions on the matter, in-case it isn't the hard-drive.

    I look forward to your replies, my friends.

    Hux.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2007
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  2. Morgoth

    Morgoth

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    i think you are getting fps lag *frame per seconds lag* lower down the grapical details that may fix it or geth a bether videocard
     
  3. Grimskull New Member

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    look like lag on the GPU, but accordingto your system specs you ahve a X1950XT, which is a beefy card.

    You said it only happens on MMORPG's, this may be down to lag times on the MMORPG server that is hosting the game. Just a thaught!
     
  4. keakar

    keakar

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    REINSTALL ANTI-VIRUS!

    there is no reason you should need to not have it

    and i agree you probably need a new video card, the 8800gt are your best card rite now
     
  5. Chewy

    Chewy New Member

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    the guy on you tube has a 8800 series card so its not the video card it seems... is this a normal problem with the game? has me baffled :p Maybe its your internet connection? wi-fi?

    edit: Just read your post a bit more, strange problem it is..
     
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  6. Fuse-Wire

    Fuse-Wire New Member

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    Gotta be server lag, your specs are fine so it HAS to be the game, no other explination
     
  7. Huxley2k7

    Huxley2k7

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    I don't think you read my post entirely, nor did you view my system specs. Think again. :)

    Precisely. A very strange problem indeed. I don't see how internet connection could cause stuttering like that though? And stuttering that mainly occurs when sprites/objects come into view? Texture related? I don't think its anything to do with net-connection, been gaming online all my gaming life. 4MB connection. Do you not think it would have anything to do with the hard-drive, as i thought?

    Thats what i thought, but in multiple-games? The similarities between the stuttering issues are there, EG: In LOTRO and POTBS both give me the stuttering when simply running/looking around, as new sprites/objects come into view. Also, many people reported the issue fixed when Turbine (LOTRO) released a patch a few months ago, yet the problem persists for me.

    This problem has always bewildered me. Does anyone else think it might be HD related as i? Any other hypothesis? I'd like to crack this. :)
     
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  8. Cold Storm

    Cold Storm Battosai

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    Lag can kill anything. and MMORPG's have a lot of issues with that. Your fine.
     
  9. OrbitzXT

    OrbitzXT New Member

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    I played LOTRO for 2-3 months and I had some issues but never lag. It was a very common issue for the game to crash, especially with Vista users...not sure if they ever fixed that. Anyway, maybe upgrade your video card? What resolution do you play at? My 8800GTX ran the game fine maxed out. Also can you run one of those performance/health checks on your HD to see if thats the problem?
     
  10. IggSter

    IggSter

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    I have one idea you can try but let me give you some background first....

    I play Eve Online and have done for many years and one very unique thing about this game is it runs on one shard.

    Therfore on average there are 30,000 players in the same virtual world, all of which you can interact with at any time. On top of this you have many many non-player characters which are everywhere in the universe.

    All the information for these players/NPCs is loaded to the client when you first see/meet them and this is then stored in a few directories on your local disk.

    So this is what I and many other players do to minimise the loading of any screen based information (there are two ways to do this)

    #1 Plug in a sizeable USB flash memory device, move the the game content that gets accessed continually to this FLASH drive and use NTFS link to make windows believe it is still in its original location (NTFS link uses mount points)
    This solution is great if your game client uses/accesses lots of smallish files as a USB drive has very quick access times compared to a mechanical hard drive

    #2 Create a ramdrive, move game content to this drive and again use NTFS link to mount the game files in their original location. This gives you incredible fast loading times...BUT....you must have enough system ram to achieve this.

    Before i tried these methods if i warped into a large battle it would take 10-30 seconds for the screen to fully render now it takes a maximum of 3-5secs

    PS i have tried this method with many other games also (BF2, GTR2, SH4 etc) and it works remarkably well with them all.
     
  11. Huxley2k7

    Huxley2k7

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    Interesting, i don't know what a ramdrive is, i'm assuming its similar to the way a Rad setup/Raptor works - put all the game information on a faster drive for faster accessing? I don't know how to do this either, so would need to look into it. It doesn't seem to be loading problems that im experiencing though, in that i can load up large areas pretty quickly. It's when individual objects/sprites/structures/people enter/exit frame when the stutter occurs.
     
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  12. IggSter

    IggSter

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    Well the issue many games have is the inability to multi thread - ie they can only do one thing at a time - so for example: if the disk is being read from, screen rendering/physics calculations/network transfers will effectively stop.

    This is not so noticable in non MMOs as the content of the game is mostly static and thus can be pre-loaded/cached into system ram. However with MMOs things are always changing, characater outfits, weapons, effects, places etc etc = disk and network access.


    A ramdrive basically takes a portion of the system ram and turns it into a windows hardrive.

    example: you have 2Gig ram, you configure your ram drive to use 1Gig and be R:
    This will in effect give your system 1Gig of useable ram for OS/Apps etc and a superfast 1Gig hard drive.
    NTFS link will then mount any directories on the R: back in their original locations


    c:\LOTR\textures........move this to R:

    so now:

    c:\LOTR and R:\textures

    This will be no good as LOTR would expect the textures directory to be in the main LOTR dir

    Next create a mount point in the LOTR directory pointing to the R:\textures directory

    so now:

    c:\LOTR\textures and R:\textures (however the directory and files are stored on the R: and the textures directory in c:\LOTR is a LINK to this)

    you can do this with as many directories as you want with the only constraint being the amount of system ram you have for a ramdrive

    The USB drive option works in exactly the same way but due to the nature of these drives the sustained transfer rate is much lower than a normal hard drive so loading of large files will be slower
     
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  13. IggSter

    IggSter

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  14. Huxley2k7

    Huxley2k7

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    Hmm, this is interesting stuff Igg. Never seen or heard of it before. I don't think i could carry this out just yet though, with 2GB ram especially and with a new hard-drive on the way. I'm definitely bookmarking that for future reference though, seems like a nice gaming modification.

    Also, i've seen hyper-threading pop up a lot, what are the disadvantages of disabling hyper-threading and is it accessed via the bios? I can't remember.

    Cheers.
     
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  15. IggSter

    IggSter

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    Hyperthreading was Intels way of making a single core cpu appear as two cores.

    However if any application is single threaded you could have a 9000 core server farm and the app can only use 1 thread at a time.

    The main multi threaded apps tend to be workstation class ie, video editing, 3D graphics etc although Sup commander is also an example of multi threaded s/w.

    This is why is many cases you will see games getting better benchmarks on faster single core cpus than slower multi cores.
     
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  16. Huxley2k7

    Huxley2k7

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    Ahh i see. Okay mate. Thanks.

    But still, no-one seems to have a solution to my problem!

    Hux.
     
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  17. newconroer

    newconroer

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    Could you please provide a Hijackthis! log?

    Are you using 'software' setting for your sound, while playing LOTRO?
    What resolution are you playing LOTRO at?

    What is the status of your drives? Is there much fragmentation on the files?
     
  18. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

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    Not exactly, it was to utilize idle parts of the CPU, having them execute another thread. SMT != SMP.
     
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  19. Huxley2k7

    Huxley2k7

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    Hey Buddy.

    So! To answer a few of your queries - I ran LOTRO in both Software and Hardware mode with the same results - the stuttering persists.

    Resolution I'm running at is 1440X900, Widescreen.

    LOTRO would run the same (With the regular stuttering issue) even right after defragging my 80GB hard-drive.

    Here is the Hijackthis log. Hope you can work something outta that, if i haven't run the program correctly just let me know and ill be more than happy to do it again.

    Code:
    Logfile of Trend Micro HijackThis v2.0.0 (BETA)
    Scan saved at 5:10:08 PM, on 11/22/2007
    Platform: Windows XP SP2 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
    Boot mode: Normal
    
    Running processes:
    C:\WINDOWS\System32\smss.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\winlogon.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\services.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\lsass.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\Ati2evxx.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\Ati2evxx.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE
    C:\Program Files\Lavalys\EVEREST Ultimate Edition\everest.exe
    C:\Program Files\ATI Technologies\ATI.ACE\Core-Static\MOM.EXE
    C:\Program Files\SpeedFan\speedfan.exe
    C:\Program Files\ATI Technologies\ATI.ACE\Core-Static\ccc.exe
    C:\Program Files\Helexis\Drive Health\dhcore.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe
    C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe
    c:\progra~1\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe
    C:\Documents and Settings\Jordan\My Documents\My Downloads\install_tabula_rasa_0.23.0.1.exe
    C:\Documents and Settings\Jordan\Desktop\HiJackThis_v2.exe
    
    R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://www.daemonsearch.com/uk/
    R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Local Page = 
    O2 - BHO: Adobe PDF Reader Link Helper - {06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3} - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Acrobat\ActiveX\AcroIEHelper.dll
    O2 - BHO: SSVHelper Class - {761497BB-D6F0-462C-B6EB-D4DAF1D92D43} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_02\bin\ssv.dll
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [ATITool] "C:\Program Files\ATITool\ATITool.exe" -s
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [StartCCC] "C:\Program Files\ATI Technologies\ATI.ACE\Core-Static\CLIStart.exe"
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [EVEREST AutoStart] C:\Program Files\Lavalys\EVEREST Ultimate Edition\everest.exe
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [igndlm.exe] C:\Program Files\Download Manager\DLM.exe /windowsstart /startifwork
    O4 - HKUS\S-1-5-19\..\Run: [CTFMON.EXE] C:\WINDOWS\system32\CTFMON.EXE (User 'LOCAL SERVICE')
    O4 - HKUS\S-1-5-20\..\Run: [CTFMON.EXE] C:\WINDOWS\system32\CTFMON.EXE (User 'NETWORK SERVICE')
    O4 - HKUS\S-1-5-18\..\Run: [CTFMON.EXE] C:\WINDOWS\system32\CTFMON.EXE (User 'SYSTEM')
    O4 - HKUS\.DEFAULT\..\Run: [CTFMON.EXE] C:\WINDOWS\system32\CTFMON.EXE (User 'Default user')
    O4 - Startup: SpeedFan (2).lnk = C:\Program Files\SpeedFan\speedfan.exe
    O8 - Extra context menu item: E&xport to Microsoft Excel - res://C:\PROGRA~1\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\EXCEL.EXE/3000
    O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {08B0E5C0-4FCB-11CF-AAA5-00401C608501} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_02\bin\ssv.dll
    O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Sun Java Console - {08B0E5C0-4FCB-11CF-AAA5-00401C608501} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_02\bin\ssv.dll
    O9 - Extra button: Research - {92780B25-18CC-41C8-B9BE-3C9C571A8263} - C:\PROGRA~1\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\REFIEBAR.DLL
    O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
    O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Windows Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
    O12 - Plugin for .spop: C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\Plugins\NPDocBox.dll
    O18 - Protocol: skype4com - {FFC8B962-9B40-4DFF-9458-1830C7DD7F5D} - C:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\Skype\SKYPE4~1.DLL
    O22 - SharedTaskScheduler: Browseui preloader - {438755C2-A8BA-11D1-B96B-00A0C90312E1} - C:\WINDOWS\system32\browseui.dll
    O22 - SharedTaskScheduler: Component Categories cache daemon - {8C7461EF-2B13-11d2-BE35-3078302C2030} - C:\WINDOWS\system32\browseui.dll
    O23 - Service: Ati HotKey Poller - ATI Technologies Inc. - C:\WINDOWS\system32\Ati2evxx.exe
    O23 - Service: ATI Smart - Unknown owner - C:\WINDOWS\system32\ati2sgag.exe
    O23 - Service: DriveHealth - Helexis Software Development - C:\Program Files\Helexis\Drive Health\dhcore.exe
    O23 - Service: ServiceLayer - Nokia. - C:\Program Files\PC Connectivity Solution\ServiceLayer.exe
    
    --
    End of file - 3888 bytes
    
    Cheers,

    Hux.
     
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  20. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow, Huxley your issue sucks! I'm having a hard time figuring it out?! Have you done a complete reinstall of Windows? It might sound stupid but have you tried a different monitor cable?
    Try uninstalling Acrobat, I also wonder if Java is giving your system crap?
     
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  21. EastCoasthandle

    EastCoasthandle New Member

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    I wonder if -heapsize 512000 at the end of the command line found in the target box would help? Right click icon, properties then add -heapsize 512000 at the end, one space behind the quotation mark ".
     
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  22. Ketxxx

    Ketxxx Heedless Psychic

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    OC your VC and buy a better HDD. What Resolution do you game at? Are you using a lot of AA and AF?
     
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  23. Lopez0101

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    What RPM is your harddrive? A 5200RPM drive could cause you some problems if the game has to constantly access the HD.
     
  24. slothy_punk New Member

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    well imho... no on most of the time, i play crysis on my friends laptop that has 5200 RPM hdd, it runs fine(it has 8600gt on it).
    PLus i doubt his 80GB hdd is 5200 rpm anyway, it should've 7200 RPM
     
  25. Huxley2k7

    Huxley2k7

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    It's occurred even after a fresh reinstall/format, so it can't be java or anything like that. I've had a couple of monitors since the issue began, so it can't be that either. :p

    Do you mean the LOTRO target box? Afraid i uninstalled it, figured the issue was more of a general issue with my PC than LOTRO specifically, even though i mentioned it in my OP. Sorry.

    I shouldn't have to OC my Video Card though, i mean, it should be more than enough to handle the games i stated above. In fact, it is, they all run great apart from the stuttering.

    I have indeed got a new HD, ordered it on Monday and it arrived today. A 500GB 7200RPM Western Digital (The 5000AAKS). So, i'm really hoping this might solve the issue when i put it in next week. Obviously if not, ill be back here, but i do still appreciate all this input. As for Resolution, i run at 1440X900 Widescreen, and usually have AA at 6X and AF 8X, i have no set amount. Just whatever the game handles. In the above games (LOTRO and Gears of War) AA is disabled.

    I agree, and i'm not sure what RPM it is to be honest. It's nearly 2 years old now though, i do think its just a crappy HD. Thats why i think it might be causing the issue.

    Cheers guys.
     
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