Stuttering

Given our kin-ship with HalfLife 2, here is a separate forum to discuss anything related to HalfLife 2 and the various Mods out there (eg, Gary Mod, Zombie mod etc)

Stuttering

Postby GazNET on Sun Oct 09, 2005 12:37 am

Argh! :evil:

The stuttering in Half-Life 2 is driving me nuts. It should not be stuttering on my machine with these specs:

P4 3Ghz, 1Gb RAM, GeForce 6600GT

I have tried literally everything to eliminate it. Short of formatting my hard disk and reinstalling everything I'm not sure what else I can do! I have tried so many things to eliminate the stuttering:

1. I've turned both Audio and Visual settings right down to the lowest.
2. Turned off the textures entirely using "mat_loadtextures 0".
3. Tried to diagnose the problem using "+showbudget_texture" and "+showbudget_texture_global".
4. Used various options such as "mat_forcemanagedtextureintohardware 1", "cl_forcepreload 1", "sv_forcepreload 1" and "cl_smooth 0".
5. Defragged my hard disk and carried out various Windows maintenance.
6. Closed down almost everything in Task Manager before playing.
7. Changed the priority of the audio codec's in Windows.
8. Downloaded and installed the latest Miles Sound System.
9. Disabled onboard sound and removed the drivers.
10. Updated to the latest graphics and sound drivers.
11. Checked my speaker configuration is correct.
12. Put DirectX Hardware Sound Acceleration down to the lowest setting.
13. Moving my soundcard to a different PCI slot.

None of the above got rid of the stuttering. I even purchased a new soundcard but that didn't help either.

I am convinced my stuttering problems are sound related rather than texture related. I have noticed that when the game loads in various character speech and environmental effects it stutters. The stutter is most noticeable in the train station at the bit where the Civil Protection man says "Pick up that can...", and also just as you get off the train and the "Welcome to City 17..." bit starts.

Can anyone suggest anything else other than what I have mentioned above to get rid of the stuttering? I've got a support ticket open with Valve but I reckon I'll be waiting ages to here back off them.
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Postby Elghanz on Sun Oct 09, 2005 12:40 am

Same thing happened to me mate and i have a similar spec comp, i think a update sorted it or something because i only get stuttering now after a section loads.

You are bound to get a reply from Steam Support soon, Steams customer service is better then u think


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Postby The_Pope on Sun Oct 09, 2005 8:04 am

I'd suggest re-installing your on-board sound and using that >_>
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Postby GazNET on Sun Oct 09, 2005 9:45 am

You can't be serious? :shock:
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Postby The_Pope on Sun Oct 09, 2005 10:01 am

well, could help, I use on-board, but then again ive got onvoard creative 7.1, and a creative 7.1 audigy platinum, but there you go :roll:
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Postby Kirbo on Sun Oct 09, 2005 10:36 am

does the game stutter as in it freezes and makes a noise then go back to being smooth for a bit then back again? I had a similar prob which i may be able to help.
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Postby LuckyNV on Sun Oct 09, 2005 11:51 am

if its anything like my CSS problem then try mat_dxlevel 95 in the console
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Postby GazNET on Sun Oct 09, 2005 3:23 pm

LuckyNV wrote:if its anything like my CSS problem then try mat_dxlevel 95 in the console


No, I've tried doing that and it was worse than before - like 10 fps/sec! :shock:

Kirbo wrote:does the game stutter as in it freezes and makes a noise then go back to being smooth for a bit then back again? I had a similar prob which i may be able to help.


It stutters as in I can actually see it pause a second before it plays character speech during a scripted sequence. Couple of examples:

1. As you're getting off the train in the train station, the guy goes "Well, here we are...", walks off the train, then as he's about two steps down the stairs, it pauses for a second and then you hear the "Welcome to City 17..." bit start.

2. When the Civil Protection troop pushes the guy into all the suitcases. "But this is all I've got left...".

3. In the first room with Barney: "I can't take too long. I'm way behind on my beating quota...".

4. This is the worst one of all. The bit where the Civil Protection troop knocks the can off the bin and says "Pick up that can...".
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Postby LuckyNV on Sun Oct 09, 2005 4:17 pm

downloaded latest drivers?
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Postby GazNET on Sun Oct 09, 2005 6:22 pm

Yep. :)
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Postby saggymanboobs on Sun Oct 09, 2005 8:42 pm

Okies....first thing I prescribe for juddery-ness in a game is to shut off everything you don't need....that'll mean from the lovely screensaver/desktop wallpaper changing programs all the way through to AV and firewall (obviously offline at that point). **EDIT** re- read and saw what I wrote...meant the processes too, and stopping some of the services...doh!

With a completely cleared down box, is the problem still there? If yes then reboot and continue; if No, then re-do the sequence shutting off only a few things at a time until you find out what is giving the problem.


Next bit: -

Scandisk for errors - all partitions.

Then run a defrag - I use Diskkeeper - there is a free "lite" version which does almost everything.

Next is a bit tricky, I want to know all about your hard drive - what transfer mode your hard drive is in, whether LBA is on, what windows sees the transfer mode as.

Save me some time and let me know if you know how to get the info; if you don't I'll post a how to for you later.

A few more things I want to know: - % of free space left on all partitions; where the swap files are and how big; is HT enabled; what processes you have running.


- Saggy
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Postby jp on Sun Oct 09, 2005 9:16 pm

i've got this 2 and its started 2 happen in css thats y i haven't been on also happens with dod:s seems 2 of happened in my case since the last update just get stuttering and with css it seems 2 happen just as i shoot my gun i think its an audio issue but i'm not sure validated my steam files there fine so looks like i'll just have 2 wait 4 an update. also i have been getting hl2.exe has encountered an error and needs 2 shut down error a few times as well


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Postby GazNET on Sun Oct 09, 2005 10:52 pm

Thanks, Saggy. :)

I'll give all that a go tomorrow after work and will post my findings. Do you think I am asking too much to play the game on the highest settings (the game recommends the highest settings to me) with my spec?

Of what you've mentioned:

I regularly – religiously – defrag my HD using Diskeeper Pro.

Yes, Hyper-Threading is enabled on my P4.

I only have one partition. My HD is a 120Gb Seagate, of which I have 95.5Gb of free space left.

My swap file is 768Mb, which I think is fine. Upon checking Windows recommends it should be 1534Mb. However, I don't think changing this would have much of an effect, as HL2 doesn't touch the swap file at all in game on my machine.

The only other thing I've noticed is that the latency of my Sound Blaster and GeForce has the same value - 32. I wonder if giving the GeForce or the Sound Blaster an even lower latency setting would help?
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Postby ƒookin ßomboclaat!!™ on Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:15 am

when ever people come up with this problem i always ask the same question (EG lucky) and never got an answer back

What sound card are you using ? if its an origional Audigy 2 and not ZS then thats the problem

i had exactly tha same issues with hl2 and source untill i updated to a ZS platinum for my gaming and now its sorted

alternatvely do a search in google for KXaudio drivers as they may fix it but didnt for me (only if its live/audigy/audigy2)

im guessing you are using an audigy 2
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Postby GazNET on Mon Oct 10, 2005 11:08 am

You are correct FB - my current soundcard is a Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Value. However, I still experienced the problem when using my old soundcard, a Creative Sound Blaster Live! Value, and also the onboard AC '97, so I don't think it's tied to any one soundcard.
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Postby ƒookin ßomboclaat!!™ on Mon Oct 10, 2005 11:13 am

wot mobo dya have, as some onboard sound actually use creative live chipsets. however try this with your current audigy . you will have to remove your current drivers

http://kxproject.lugosoft.com/index.php?skip=1

they are vastly different and you may have to configure some stuff if it aint how you have it to start but you should get an improvement

try wot Saggs said also

if not, its likely to be a memory issue and one of you modules could be leaky

dload a memory tester and run it from dos for a couple of hours and it should let you know

the sound files are played from disk but instruction is held in memory. if theres a memory issue it can also cause this

EDIT i say this as i have a 6600GT and an athlon 64 3200+ so the setup is similar
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Postby GazNET on Mon Oct 10, 2005 11:58 am

Thanks, FB. :)

I have an Abit IC7-G motherboard. I also only use Crucial memory, which has a good reputation when it comes to memory.

As so many people have had this problem on a whole variety of different spec systems I am still convinced this is a Source issue rather than an issue caused by any specific hardware setup.
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Postby ƒookin ßomboclaat!!™ on Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:15 pm

just checked and your audi is realtech on board when using that so thats not the issue

pushed to find out what the problem is . it still could be memory so runung memtest or gold memory is advised

most source issues due to the update can be resolved using lucky's method but you say that does not work so im not sure anymore .

best of luck (ps feer had a problem with some really good memory but after swapping it out he found it was just that so check it . you have nothing to loose but time)
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Postby GazNET on Mon Oct 10, 2005 8:34 pm

Right, I'm making good progress now!

I added "-nosound" to the startup of HL2 and the stuttering went away. Kinda narrows it down, doesn't it? Obviously, I couldn't hear a thing, but the pause before the stutter parts has now gone. :D

I've also noticed that HL2 sets itself a crazy heap size of 256Mb. I'm going to add a "-heapsize 524288" command to the startup as well, which should also help.
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Postby pzych0 on Mon Oct 10, 2005 9:15 pm

Do you have 1GB RAM then? With 512, should I leave it to the defaults?
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