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Inconsistent framerate breaking my pc experience

Yorkshirelion

Prominent Member
Hi all,

Built the rig that's in my sig about 4-5 months ago and since I've come back to pc gaming one problem is really ruining it for me. When playing games like Saints Row, Batman and Skyrim they all have inconsistent frame rates and for me whenever a game goes below 60fps the judder or slowed motion really destroys it for me, I would love to be able to lock my framerate on all games to stop this from happening. It's that lag you get when you turn around for example and it will be really smooth and fast and then lag on a graphics intensive moment, you get that fast and then slow movement I find it really jarring and would much prefer a more consistent movement.

I realise all the benefits of much higher graphics and resolution Pc gaming has to offer but I've got accustomed to that locked at around 30fps console type experience and I'm not currently enjoying Pc gaming because of this issue.

Anyone else get this issue I'm having, is it something you become accustomed to? I getting tempted to buy certain games on the 360 again even though I will be giving up obvious benefits of what my Pc can offer.
 

GMC79

Distinguished Member
Strange you say judder when dipping below 60fps, really shouldn't notice anything even if it was to dip suddenly to 40fps.

My rig for example (old cpu) playing BF3 on high (textures ultra) with 4x AA and i will get anything from 30fps-60fps all the time and cant really tell. With my rig on some games i expect fps drops but do i get judder when it does? No.

When i first started on PC gaming i was always monitoring fps and fiddling all the time and it was that and watching fps that put me off the games not the actual performance. Suppose you do get used to it.

With a rig like yours you should just turn stuff up to max have a peek at fps for few mins and turn whatever ur monitoring it with off and play.

If actually getting judders and things with minor dips in fps something may not be right.

If you turn settings down to guarantee no dips below 60 do still get any judder/stutter etc? are you using vsync? I find it awful when off so put it on if not as it may be the tearing stutteryness ur getting. Really annoying.
 

TheNameIsJambo

Distinguished Member
You shouldn't get stutters like that, especially with your rig. Are you running any indexing, anti-virus, firewall services in the background? Or something that constantly scans your hard-drive/system, sapping resources?

Even my HD 6970 rips through games.. The only time it has lagged was when my CPU was being bogged down with PhysX in Asylum and the expected technical stutters in Skyrim.

I don't think my rig has ever lagged in Saints Row 3...

Your overclocked card could be overheating, or it's not getting enough power. That's another possible cause of the stuttering - Maybe both!

Get Sapphire TriXX, that allows you to both set custom fan settings and tweak the card's voltage. You may need to increase the Vcore of your card, ever-so-slightly, and/or manually control the fan settings, to feed your card more air.

My card is an ASUS HD6950, although I've flashed it to the next model up. I've found that my ASUS HD 6970 w/ DirectCU II needs higher than stock fan settings.

Since I've flashed the card, it also has the 'default' HD6970 Vcore settings, which means it's more stable too, although I can let AMD give the card 20% more power, automatically, if required. Giving me a slightly better overhead for performance.

If I let ATi/AMD control the fans, they never go above 15%, and my graphics drivers will eventually crash, after a period of time (several hours). I try to keep the temperature under 70C, at all costs. So I have the fans running at 30%, when under load. Which keeps it around 60C.

When/if the temp hits 70C, the fans hit 80%.
 
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Yorkshirelion

Prominent Member
Thanks for the replies,

I have a Coolermaster 750w power supply so I don't think that this is my problem, my graphics card has never gone above 62c on msi afterburner, it has really good cooling with the three fans and I have zero stability problems.

Take saints row for example if I leave it on the auto detect it will set the profile to ultra, when I start of in the apartment it will be running at 60fps with vsync on but when I get outside it will drop to 40-45fps for example and then the smoothness of motion when turning or looking up and down will slower and no where near as smooth as 60fps. If I set a custom profile of say 4x AA and turn off ambient occlusion and set lighting down to low it will stay pretty much on 60fps but when driving will go down to 59fps and sometimes when turning can drop down to 56-57fps,for a second causing a little stutter. I know that my system can run games smooth as when I play Skyrim 90% of the time it runs at 60fps, if I go into whiterun though when you go through the gate if I look around it will drop to 50fps and I can tell straight away, certain fires and things in the game cause the slowdown effect as well even if the fps are locked at 60fps. I think my current situation is exasperated by the fact that most new PC games need days or weeks after they are released before they become stable. I got Batman Arkham Asylam free with my gtx 580, but when playing that without direct x11 on it drops from 60 to 50 to 40fps and actually physically pauses when gliding round the city or when going through a door for example.

On all the above games I am using a 360 controller so maybe it is easier to tell than when using a mouse. My operating system is running on a 60gb Corsiar Force GT which is one of the fastest SSDs around and most of my games are installed on a black caviar 2tb drive, I don't have any antivirus installed and windows defender is not running, I will have to look further to see if nothing else could be causing problems but I cant think what.
 

Oggie

Distinguished Member
Might be a long shot but have you checked that your pc power setting is set to performance instead of balanced. Sometimes this can make a difference
 

PocketBunny

Prominent Member
I was getting some pretty odd pauses in my games, the framerate would generally be ok but every 10s or so get a noticable pause with the sound sticking for a split second too.

This was with a GTX560Ti. Most noticable in shift 2 and crysis

BF3 however went 1 further doing the same thing but ending in a crash

It turned out my gigabyte GTX560Ti OC was actually glitching out, i upped the voltage another 0.05v using afterburner and it has fixed it, no stutters in anything (unless I try to up my details, but then my card is 2 levels below yours in terms of performance..

This is probably not your problem but its worth a try, unless you are trying to game at some insane resolution I would really expect you to not be struggling with stutters!.

Just spotted this post in the Batman thread, may be worth taking note of.
 

TheNameIsJambo

Distinguished Member
It's nothing to do with your PSU Carnage. It's to do with the actual voltage that is being fed into the GPU on your card.

Your card might need more voltage, to make those clock speeds effective. Imagine upping the revs on a car, but the engine isn't getting enough fuel. Similar scenario.

Increase the voltage on the card, 0.5V should be more than ample and put the fan speeds up, slightly. More volts = More heat. Higher clock speeds don't mean more heat, don't fall into that misconception.

If you feel it is struggling, in terms of raw performance, why don't you overclock the card some more? You shouldn't need to, but it will have ample headroom. The stock (vanilla) GTX 580 is woefully slow compared to your factory overclocked card, and even then, yours can still be pushed harder. Our cards have massive overheads, in terms of OC performance. My HD6950 came with 810MHz core and 1250MHz mem. Those are 'Vanilla' clock speeds. The AMD stock is 800/1250.

When I flashed it to the 6970, it went up to 880Mhz and 1375MHz, and unlocked extra shaders in the process.

I now run that at 945MHz on the core and still 1375Mhz (5500MHz effective) on the memory, and my cooler still only needs 30%, but can just run fine at 20%. I like too much cooling, rather than too little. I can actually squeeze even more out of the RAM, all I need to do is increase the voltage, but the stable performance can be a bit iffy as the cooling needs to go into overdrive, making far too much noise. As of right now, it's stable and I get perfect results.

Considering your card is more powerful than mine, in terms of raw throughput, you shouldn't have any problems, at the moment.

Check out this below:

HardwareCanucks said:
Gigabyte's Super Overclock's series has always exhibited a good amount of additional overclocking headroom and the GTX 580 version is no different. We were actually quite pleased with the results, thought our sample didn't quite hit the same clock speeds as the MSI Lightning from a few weeks ago. Nonetheless, variance from one core to the next could mean other Super Overclock cards could clock to higher or lower levels than this one. In order to increase clock speeds and voltages we used Gigbayte's OC Guru software.

All results were achieved with voltages of 1.23V on the GPU and an additional 40mV on the GDDR5 memory. Naturally, these increases led to a spike in heat production so the fans were increased to 75% in order to compensate.

Core Clock: 966Mhz
Engine Clock: 1932Mhz
Memory Clock: 4232Mhz (QDR)

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/foru...gabyte-gtx-580-super-overclock-review-13.html

You should get similar results, if you don't mind loud fans :)

Another note on poor performance:

What has been said before, inefficient games [and their code], like Skyrim [which renders shadows on the CPU, like a console], will choke-out any PC before the GFX card is hampered. On Skyrim my card doesn't ever hit 100% usage. Arkham Asylum plays flawlessly, until I turn PhysX on, and a lot of PhysX code is being executed. It will run fine otherwise.

A little background info - PhysX is written in X87 - Meaning there is no SSE support, no nothing. It will run on a CPU, but it will be highly inefficient. The only reason it runs on an nVidia graphics card is because it has hundreds of stream-processors. So it can execute loads of PhysX instructions simultaneously; although being slightly optimised for the graphics card, yet, still highly inefficient. It runs so well because of the raw power of the card, it will run better than a CPU.

If PhysX was written in X86, and sent out X86 instructions, coupled with SSE1/2/3/4, it would actually perform better than running on a graphics card. But because nVidia want the exclusive rights to use it, and are using PhysX to sway some consumers to their market.

Here's one article to back up my theory: http://semiaccurate.com/2010/07/07/nvidia-purposefully-hobbles-physx-cpu/


Might be a long shot but have you checked that your pc power setting is set to performance instead of balanced. Sometimes this can make a difference


That is also true. In my ASUS EPU settings, it's set to 'Performance' - Which means, nothing turns off, ever. Which is what you want on a gaming rig. Maximum power for maximum performance.
 
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DeanE

Distinguished Member
To be honest, from what has been described it just sounds like the drop in framerate it what is causing the stuttering. I'm guessing that in a game like Skyrim that you can pan around at 60fps outside but it will drop when a city comes in to view? Some people can spot a dip in framerate whilst others don't and if you are running at a nice 60fps and it drops into the 40's or 50's, it's probably just this that you are seeing and having vsync enabled will only accentuate the effect. Having vsync enabled will stop the tearing effect that can happen when it tries to draw the next frame to maintain the framerate, but will have the knock on effect of accentuating this juddering if you do drop frames considerably as it is waiting untll the current frame being drawn is completed.

Skyrim isn't a good title to assess these issues with either as it isn't optimised very well. I can't speak for Batman or SR3 having not played them, but if the effect lessens when you reduce the games graphics settings then it is a case of lack of grunt (or poorly optimised game code), maybe use BF3 as a better barometer and compare your results to other 580 users and the detail settings they are using. To max out current games with a frame locked 60fps at 1080p though, I would think you would require a SLI setup. Saying that though, even that won't guarantee anything if a game is poorly optimised.

Just out of interest, what resolution are you gaming at?
 
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Yorkshirelion

Prominent Member
DeanE said:
To be honest, from what has been described it just sounds like the drop in framerate it what is causing the stuttering. I'm guessing that in a game like Skyrim that you can pan around at 60fps outside but it will drop when a city comes in to view? Some people can spot a dip in framerate whilst others don't and if you are running at a nice 60fps and it drops into the 40's or 50's, it's probably just this that you are seeing and having vsync enabled will only accentuate the effect. Having vsync enabled will stop the tearing effect that can happen when it tries to draw the next frame to maintain the framerate, but will have the knock on effect of accentuating this juddering if you do drop frames considerably as it is waiting untll the current frame being drawn is completed.

Skyrim isn't a good title to assess these issues with either as it isn't optimised very well. I can't speak for Batman or SR3 having not played them, but if the effect lessens when you reduce the games graphics settings then it is a case of lack of grunt (or poorly optimised game code), maybe use BF3 as a better barometer and compare your results to other 580 users and the detail settings they are using. To max out current games with a frame locked 60fps at 1080p though, I would think you would require a SLI setup. Saying that though, even that won't guarantee anything if a game is poorly optimised.

Just out of interest, what resolution are you gaming at?

I game at 1920x1200 which is my monitors native resolution.

This definitely accurately describes my problem, as you say smooth at 60fps then once the drop down to 40-50fps that smoothness is gone. That's why I bring up the 360 as that is locked at 30fps for most games, it doesn't have this fast then run slow effect, it is consistent. I'm not saying you never get slowdown but overall you get a more consistent experience with regards to overall smoothness, unless you can guarantee a constant 60fps which is where PC gaming is obviously superior. As you stated in your reply, Skyrim is a good example, when in Whiterun as you step into the gate if you turn around it drops fps down from 60fps to say 45-50fps so when you turn when facing the town it is slow and when facing the gate your turn rate increases dramatically as the framerate goes backup to 60fps, that is essentially my problem in a nutshell.

I will try all the suggestions and thanks to those that have already made some, I appreciate your effort in replying and will thank you all when I am on my pc rather than iPhone app.
 

BYF

Prominent Member
I game at 1920x1200 which is my monitors native resolution.

This definitely accurately describes my problem, as you say smooth at 60fps then once the drop down to 40-50fps that smoothness is gone. That's why I bring up the 360 as that is locked at 30fps for most games, it doesn't have this fast then run slow effect, it is consistent. I'm not saying you never get slowdown but overall you get a more consistent experience with regards to overall smoothness, unless you can guarantee a constant 60fps which is where PC gaming is obviously superior. As you stated in your reply, Skyrim is a good example, when in Whiterun as you step into the gate if you turn around it drops fps down from 60fps to say 45-50fps so when you turn when facing the town it is slow and when facing the gate your turn rate increases dramatically as the framerate goes backup to 60fps, that is essentially my problem in a nutshell.

I will try all the suggestions and thanks to those that have already made some, I appreciate your effort in replying and will thank you all when I am on my pc rather than iPhone app.

What you're describing is down to your display and the frame rate not keeping up with the refresh rate. I game on CRT's, LCD and Plasma, the Plasma is great with 60fps being a 60hz display, but anything below that even 50-60fps there is judder and the motion is nowhere near as clear and fluid, plus there is double imaging which is really bad at 30fps.

Even the CRT, the king of motion, shows the same thing but to a lesser degree. With the LCD it's less noticeable thanks to LCD's inbuilt blurring capability :) but it's still there.

But even so to get a smooth fluid experience your frame rate needs to match or exceed your screens refresh rate for optimal viewing, otherwise the frame rate cannot keep up with the refresh rate and lag/stutter and other graphical artifacts become visible. On some games I used to run 50hz refresh where my frame rate was between 50-60fps, becasue at 60hz you would really notice it when it dropped below 60.

Even using a proper 120hz LCD won't solve the problem although it does solve it somewhat as it's unlikely your ever exceed 120fps, so you will never know how smooth and clear it can be. That is until you do and then crave 120fps all the time which is going to get pricey.

The ultimate answer is to build a beast of a PC that can always run at frame rates above your refresh rate so it's never a problem, or and lower settings so you can achieve your refresh rate at all times. Some games have frame rate caps but these are few and far between.
 
I recently switched over to VGA on my tv and have noticed that games seem to feel alot smoother than HDMI. Possibly because then the TV is seen as a Monitor rather than a TV and all the TV processing is turned off.
 

eiren

Distinguished Member
I game at 1920x1200 which is my monitors native resolution.

This definitely accurately describes my problem, as you say smooth at 60fps then once the drop down to 40-50fps that smoothness is gone. That's why I bring up the 360 as that is locked at 30fps for most games, it doesn't have this fast then run slow effect, it is consistent. I'm not saying you never get slowdown but overall you get a more consistent experience with regards to overall smoothness, unless you can guarantee a constant 60fps which is where PC gaming is obviously superior. As you stated in your reply, Skyrim is a good example, when in Whiterun as you step into the gate if you turn around it drops fps down from 60fps to say 45-50fps so when you turn when facing the town it is slow and when facing the gate your turn rate increases dramatically as the framerate goes backup to 60fps, that is essentially my problem in a nutshell.

I will try all the suggestions and thanks to those that have already made some, I appreciate your effort in replying and will thank you all when I am on my pc rather than iPhone app.


You can lock Skyrim or Batman to 30fps in the ini files, and that should keep the frames consistent for you then.
 

Houghsx

Distinguished Member
Seems a bit odd really. Saints row runs smooth on my laptop let alone a 580? What drivers you using?
 

Yorkshirelion

Prominent Member
Houghsx said:
Seems a bit odd really. Saints row runs smooth on my laptop let alone a 580? What drivers you using?

I'm using the latest nvidia beta drivers, no doubt I will be able to get it to run at 60fps by lowering some settings, ultra does put the AA at 8x with ambient occlusion on so dropping down to 45fps isn't bad and still runs higher than the 360 version but doesn't solve my problem. I will also look to lock the framerate as mentioned that although not as smooth as 60fps is the next best thing I can do.
 

Houghsx

Distinguished Member
Personally I would uninstall those beta drivers for a start and stick to official release. You could even try some 260/270 branch and see what happens.V
Have you monitored the fps during actual play?
 
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Yorkshirelion

Prominent Member
Houghsx said:
Personally I would uninstall those beta drivers for a start and stick to official release. You could even try some 260/270 branch and see what happens.V
Have you monitored the fps during actual play?

Yeah on ultra on saints row it starts at 60 and drops to 45fps when I go outside. If I turn AA down ambient occlusion off and put lighting to low it runs at 60 but sometimes goes to 59 57 sort of thing. Those settings I got off another forum I haven't messed around that much with them. I like the flexibility of PC graphics settings but trying to get every game to lock at 60 is a losing battle and it would seem I need to compromise somewhere. I have also been surprised at how much stutter there seems to be in just about all new releases.
 

Yorkshirelion

Prominent Member
I had a play around tonight on saints row and I definitely get stutter when driving around, maybe some people wouldn't notice. I bought the 360 version so when that comes I'm going to test and see what the experience is like.
 

Houghsx

Distinguished Member
I'd still give a different set of drivers a go other than beta's. Easy to do and takes a few mins
 

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