FEAR and "hitching" with an 8800gts

Sanctuary

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 2, 2006
Messages
72
Not sure if that's the correct term, but what causes the stuttering in FPS games when running around? I just built a new computer and am using an EVGA 8800gts, thinking I would be able to play FEAR in all its graphical glory without any issues, especially after seeing all of the tests of it being run at max settings at a much higher resolution than what I am using (1024x768). I'll be running along and then if I turn a corner, the game will suddenly jerk (hitch) and I end up disoriented and facing some totally random direction. A prime example is when you first get out of the car at the very beginning and are walking to the end of the alley and then turn right...

It's like the game is loading for just a split second, but it happens so much, like just about every new room or two. Would this be an issue with the hard drive (using a raptor)?

I ran the performance demo and this is what I got:

Lowest Graphical Settings:

Min = 74
Max = 85
Avg = 75

Maximum Graphical Settings:

Min = 46
Max = 69
Avg = 77

It also does it quite a bit whenever a lot of sound is happening, or like when something falls and there is a crash, the screen will stutter during that time. I thought most modern games were GPU dependant (for now) and that the CPU has very little impact on the graphics and frames. I don't currently have a soundcard installed and am using onboard, but it shouldn't be affecting the game this much should it? It runs exactly like the game did in my old system (Athlon XP 3800+ with a 6800GT) on medium settings. Something is very fishy here.
 

Rash

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
2,557
what system and software u running?
i had a big prob with vista and fear framerates and got round it by disabling hid devices that had no drivers installed.
 

spaceman

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
14,875
every time I played FEAR I had to reboot and play it before I played anything else and it ran fine. otherwise it lagged like a mofo and I have an 8800gts.

I uninstalled it even though it's a cool free game.
 

Sanctuary

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 2, 2006
Messages
72
Nothing is running in the background. 1 GB ram (I shouldn't need 2 GB for every other room...), yes my HD is defragged always, and Vsync is ON. Yeah, of course I get higher framerate with it off, but I don't like tearing. I also didn't realize all the benchmarks were done with it off? I get nearly double what I posted above with it off lol . :( That also doesn't solve the jerking issue.
 

CaiNaM

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 13, 2004
Messages
215
it's been my experience that with the 8800 cards "slow downs" are generally caused by one of two things: drivers or the power supply.

use driver cleaner and make sure you have no remains of old drivers.

not sure on PSU as you didn't post specs, but try disconnecting everything from your power supply except the motherboard, video card and hard drive and see if that helps

also check and make sure there is no spyware slowing you down.
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2006
Messages
542
I get horrid frame drops in NFSMW with application settings at full. I can run NFSC with 16xAA and 16xAF and get better performance... so i'll take a stab at the drivers.
 

Sanctuary

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 2, 2006
Messages
72
it's been my experience that with the 8800 cards "slow downs" are generally caused by one of two things: drivers or the power supply.

use driver cleaner and make sure you have no remains of old drivers.

not sure on PSU as you didn't post specs, but try disconnecting everything from your power supply except the motherboard, video card and hard drive and see if that helps

also check and make sure there is no spyware slowing you down.


Using a 620 Watt Corsair, have two hard drives, one DVD drive and an e4300@2.2 (not too worried about OC right now) on an Evga 680i. I am also using the latest drivers from the Nvidia site, and those are the only drivers I've even bothered to install. This was after a new installation of XP just last night.

Speaking of spyware, on one of the bench runs, my FPS was TERRIBLE, then after I exited the game, I noticed Steam running in the background, but after that, nothing at all has been on, and normally Steam is shut off, but I forgot to after a last reboot.
 

erico6980

n00b
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
37
Nothing is running in the background. 1 GB ram (I shouldn't need 2 GB for every other room...), yes my HD is defragged always, and Vsync is ON. Yeah, of course I get higher framerate with it off, but I don't like tearing. I also didn't realize all the benchmarks were done with it off? I get nearly double what I posted above with it off lol . :( That also doesn't solve the jerking issue.

Well I guess you do need 2gig ram or more . I am using 512 mgb and was dropped to desktop twice due to "virtual mem too low " Windows.
And I experience the same hitching as you describe.

That happens when game tries to load new data for processing, i.e. when you turn the corner and new "room data" is loaded . This applies
for both comp and video card memory.

I bet you that after the stutter disappears ( data loaded fully ) there is no stutter at all while you moving in the same area (room) But it happens again when you reach new area.
That is what is happening when I play.

My future upgrade will include minimum 2 gigs of Ram since new games will desire more and since Windows is such a memory hog.
 

tekcajder

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 18, 2001
Messages
253
what kind of mouse are you using? and if its an opitical mouse, what kind of surface is it on? i had that problem that sounds similar, it would look like the game would stutter and i'd get spun around, but it was just the mouse ... i donno how to describe it, loosing track of itself. i put a piece of paper down (instead of the surface of my desk, which seemed to be causing the problem) and everythign worked out.

it might not help, but its worth a try. stranger stuff has happened.
 

Sanctuary

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 2, 2006
Messages
72
I bet you that after the stutter disappears ( data loaded fully ) there is no stutter at all while you moving in the same area (room) But it happens again when you reach new area.
That is what is happening when I play.

Yep, that's exactly what it's like.

Using a G5, and on a Func pad, so it's not that. Games did this previously as well when I had 512 mb and was using an optical. I thought maybe it had something to do with ram, but I also thought that 640 mb video ram + 1 gb regular would be more than enough for a game that's nearly a year and a half old. I've actually had the game since it came out, but only played it about 1/3 of the way through, simply because I wanted to wait until I had better hardware and could play it "lag" free.
 

Unknown-One

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Messages
8,905
I am using 512 mgb and was dropped to desktop twice due to "virtual mem too low " Windows.
And I experience the same hitching as you describe.
It won't fix the hitching, but you can fix the virtual memory warnings by increasing the size of your pagefile manually.
 

DarkOneX

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
119
Guys the problem isn't hard drive fragmentation, mice, keyboards, virtual memory, etc. I have this exact same problem running Fear Combat in Vista 64 (32bit had some problem). When I first went to Vista I was using a 7900GT and 2GB ram, everything else was the same, even peripherals. In XP the game ran perfect on that setup for months. When I went to 32bit Vista Fear Combat started having this issue. Basically it will pause at points, then will drop down to low framerate for the remainder of the map.

I notice that it does NOT happen in every map though. For instance the Docks map runs perfect the whole way through, but when playing Factory, it will happen just seconds after starting it. It always happens int he same spots too, like I'll be going throguh some doorway and it does a complete pause for 1-3 secs, and it does it several times in a row. Then once it comes to I'm all disoriented and usually die, and also from that point on during the rest of the map if feels like my video card is running at half power because for the rest of the map, it will run at what feels like probably 20fps or less.

I have read several forums and found other people complaining of the same exact issue and tried out several suggested fixes that have supposedly worked for some people such as disabling all HID devices, killing off Creative processes, killing Logitech software and processes, etc and nothing has helped. I can only conclude that this issue is either with the cruddy nVidia drivers in Vista or Fear Combat needs a new update to fix the issues. Really sux too because I love the game, one of my all time favs but it's such a cruddy issue it makes it unplayable except for only select maps.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
47
I have the exact same problem, except with a core 2 duo at 3.3ghz and an EVGA 680i motherboard and a 8600GTS and CSS instead of F.E.A.R. When I run the video stress test, the displayed "frame rate" will never drop below 100, even though there are many instants where it freezes and updates nothing for a half-second.
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2005
Messages
2,340
I think FEAR actually has two horrendous stuttering bugs. For some, stuttering has been eliminated by switching from onboard sound to a cheap sound card (launching the game through config.exe with sound disabled might tell you whether sound is the problem). For me, however, the stuttering is caused by texture loading - drop texture detail to medium and it's almost gone (but AFAIK there's no other solution to this one). I also get a one-second pause whenever a volumetric light comes into view...

I have the exact same problem, except with a core 2 duo at 3.3ghz and an EVGA 680i motherboard and a 8600GTS and CSS instead of F.E.A.R.
A known issue with the Source engine. Setting mat_forcemanagedtextureintohardware to 1 finally fixed it for me. Others have apparently had some luck with cl_forcepreload 1 and sv_forcepreload 1, as well as the -heapsize X command line option (X being the heap size for the game, in kB - should probably be set to around 1/3 - 1/2 your total memory).
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
655
My X1900XTX does this same hitching when loading new areas though this was known to be a problem in all ATI cards due to the way it handles the cache of this particular game engine. I have heard of no such issues on latest Nvidia cards which has me wondering. All videos I have seen of 8800's running this game have been silky, smooth and hitchless.
 

DaCoOlNeSs

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 8, 2004
Messages
1,472
I remember if you ran the game at high when it first came out, almost everyone complained of hitching. the problem occured because people had lack of memory, and if they did have 2GB+ RAM, they had too many applications running in the background. FEAR is a huge game to load, make sure you don't have a bunch of useless apps running in the background when you start it up.
 

XNeKoSX

Weaksauce
Joined
May 14, 2007
Messages
83
FEAR and the expansion pack never caused any problems on my new build. I only see a freeze when its auto-saving, Otherwise it runs perfectly.

It could be the PSU not supplying the correct voltage or a stable voltage. I have a 1000w and I tend not to worry of the voltage drops since I have overkill anyhow.
 
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