Stuttering on Open World Games

PaladinGeorge

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Over the past few years I have had a lot of stuttering on mostly open world games, however I have not been able to determine the cause. Some good examples of games I have stuttering on include Trailmakers, Jurassic World Evolution, and Ark Survival Evolved. For most of these games, the stuttering shouldn't be a result of my PC's limitations. My specs are as follows:

Operating System: Windows 10
Motherboard: PC Mate z97
RAM: Trident G.Skill 16gb DDR3 @ 2400mhz
CPU: i5 4690k
GPU: MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6gb
HDD: TOSHIBA DT01ACA100 1TB 7200rpm 32mb cache
PSU: Seasonic s12 650w 80 plus gold.

As a side note I also get stuttering whenever loading new areas and such on certain games like Terraria. Terraria also stutters for a brief moment whenever I hit an enemy for the first time after launch of the game or if I'm traveling fast across the world it micro stutters quite a bit. With that being said, this is a problem that has persisted through tons of hardware changes made to my computer over the years. The only constant in my computer throughout those changes has been the HDD, which leads me to believe its an HDD problem, though all diagnostics I have used show that its in good condition. My hard drive is about 4 years old now, so maybe it is time to get a new one.
 

PaladinGeorge

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Thank you for the response.

I've tried plenty of graphics driver re-installations, however it never seems to do much to help. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong? I don't think I've ever done a clean installation using a Tomshardware guide, so I'll investigate that.

Also, would you mind pointing in me in the right direction for a clean installation? I don't know where to look for that on Tomshardware...
 

PaladinGeorge

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Thank you. I'll report any new developments after I finish the process.

UPDATE: A clean installation has not resolved my stuttering issues. I may need to investigate getting a new hard drive, and I am debating between getting a 1tb hdd to replace the old one or get a 250gb ssd first and seeing if it fixes the problem.
 

ikaz

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Also check to see if your CPU is spiking maybe try running games in window mode and watch the CPU process, if it spiking to 100% that also could be the cause of your stuttering. It could be back ground process like a Virus scanner etc.
 
Hdd cannot cause stutters because of loading, only at start of world it can but later it should be smooth. Since i have 1tb full hdd which was used and works like charm.
Download hdtunepro it has free trial and run benchmark and post back with screenshot of it.
If it seems fine probably an power options, set to high perfomance and double check in advanced that they are on high perf. or off.

If hdd is trouble then i suggest to replace it.

If not windows update or other services?( which windows is it?)
 

PaladinGeorge

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Thank you all very much for your replies. I will investigate each possibility and come back with an answer.
In another note I do want to add that I've had doubts about my hdd before, so I will be purchasing a new one. If I can get my current one sorted out then the extra storage space will be welcome.
 

PaladinGeorge

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No, I actually use kaspersky for virus protection. I keep the settings kept not to run while I'm gaming. I did use to have that problem back in the day, but thats no longer an issue.

So, quick update on the status of my computer:
- First of all, In the past I have tried to run chkdsk on my computer to fix any issues, however, they always failed or got stuck, though these events could be chocked up to other issue I had at the time or because I didn't wait long enough for it to finish.
- However, this time around I decided to scan the drive first at my desktop before initiating the repair restart. It did find one error, to which then I ran the command to restart and repair without checking for failed sectors. This time it processed through and a subsequent chkdsk scan on my desktop reared no more errors.
- As far as the stuttering goes, I'm still not completely sure on whats causing it. I used MSI Afterburner's OSD to keep track of my system resources. I can see now that for some games, namely Jurassic World Evolution, that its not really stuttering but slight and sudden dips in FPS while moving across the map (the frame time also does increase when this happens though). However, certain games, namely Terraria, still stutters quite a bit while traversing across the map, though Terraria hardly uses my system resources enough for me to understand why any lag would occur whatsoever (though I will note that when the stuttering occurs, my CPU usage is usually around 24% then instantly spikes up to 34% before going back down). There is of course the possibility that Terraria itself just can't always handle the loading so smoothly.

 

PaladinGeorge

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CONCLUSION

So its been a number of days now since I updated the status of my computer. A few days ago I received a new hard drive I had ordered on Amazon. I decided to run it with my other hard drive and test some games on it to see if there was any performance difference and there was! I wasn't ready yet to toss out my old one as I wasn't completely sure whether or not the hard drive was actually going bad. After all, every diagnostic program I used prior said it was fine. However, the next morning I turned on my computer and Windows immediately began running a scan and repair on my old drive which raised a red flag for me. I decided to uninstall windows and reinstall on my new hard drive. Low and behold, my stuttering problem completely faded away. This includes a stuttering problem while windows loaded that I had surface a while back. I also made a thread for that issue at the time as well.

While stuttering on a game due to a problematic hard drive is selective, it can be a problem.
I no longer get stuttering on basic games like Terraria anymore. :p

And as a side note for anyone thinking that maybe the stuttering was due to a need for a fresh install of the graphics driver, that is not the case because I've reinstalled the drivers AND windows on my old hard drive numerous times and yet the stuttering problem with windows persisted. Its only after the stuttering problem worsened that I came to realize it was due to a faulty hard drive.
 
so you are I were right all along. I don't listen to anyone who says something is not possible. LOL, like they are an CE or EE and know anything, right? a failing HDD SURE AS HECK CAN cause stuttering! So can drivers that cause latency but that is beside the point.
 

PaladinGeorge

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I think generally people assume that because most games don't generally have high hard drive usage that a hard drive cannot be a performance problem, and for most games that's true. However, a lot of lower ended games like Terraria only keep a portion of the world fully loaded at a time, so stuttering is bound to happen with a faulty hard drive when loading new parts of the world.
 

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