A bit of stuttering with ATI 9600 and something else...

By Kuliddar
Mar 5, 2005
  1. Hi there,

    For a little over a week now, I've been getting a bit of stuttering issue with my graphic card (ATI 9600XT 256MB), which, obviously, is causing also an issue with the audio.

    I don't have the best system out there, but it's decent enough and I'm very happy with it. I've posted the dx info so you can take a look at specs so perhaps you can figure out what is going on. The main issue really is the stuttering. I have not installed or un-installed anything prior to the issue. I've had this card since November 2004 and never had a problem with it until now. Taking examples, I play eq2 or anything heavy textured games, I will get this problem. However, even simplier things such as viewing a movie trailer online will have the same issue.

    Furthermore, approximatly at the same time, if not the exact same time. Everytime I turn on the computer, it takes a good 40 to 60 seconds to load, compared to the 20-30 seconds it took before. So when I do play games with textures (we'll take the eq2 example again), when encountering a heavy object or other moving objects, the hard drive light goes wild and you can hear the hard drive working like crazy (swapping?). What is causing this?

    Before you start telling me I need more ram, please....I've been running on the same specs, and same customization on games since November with no problems at all. What changed that made this problem appear. I had drivers from ATI dating from November it was the first thing I thought though I had doubts in my head that it would do anything. Indeed I updated to Catalyste 5.2 and I think it made it worse so I reverted back my old drivers. My latest tests are on Omega drivers which aren't solving the problem which means, probably not a driver issue either.

    Things I have done to try to resolve the issue:

    -Ran Norton Antivirus
    -Ran Spybot
    -Ran TuneUp Utilities 2004 and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned
    -Ran msconfig
    -Ran services.msc and cleaned again
    -Ran events issues
    -Ran dx tests which resulted in a super-fast garbled rotating X-Box, which is something that had never happened before.
    -Updated sound drivers
    -Checked card heat

    Arrg, anyways, again, this is something recent, that has me baffled and frustrated. Here some of my dx info. The rest of it is attached to this post in a .txt file . If anyone has a good suggestion, please do tell.

    System Information
    Time of this report: 3/5/2005, 07:37:52
    Machine name: DAVID
    Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 2 (2600.xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)
    Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
    System Manufacturer: n/a
    System Model: n/a
    BIOS: Award Modular BIOS v6.0
    Processor: AMD Athlon(TM) XP 2200+, MMX, 3DNow, ~1.8GHz
    Memory: 768MB RAM
    Page File: 204MB used, 1673MB available
    Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
    DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
    DX Setup Parameters: Not found
    DxDiag Version: 5.03.2600.2180 32bit Unicode

    DxDiag Notes
    DirectX Files Tab: No problems found.
    Display Tab 1: The file ati2dvag.dll is not digitally signed, which means that it has not been tested by Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL). You may be able to get a WHQL logo'd driver from the hardware manufacturer.
    Sound Tab 1: No problems found.
    Sound Tab 2: No problems found.
    Music Tab: No problems found.
    Input Tab: No problems found.
    Network Tab: No problems found.

    DirectX Debug Levels
    Direct3D: 0/4 (n/a)
    DirectDraw: 0/4 (retail)
    DirectInput: 0/5 (n/a)
    DirectMusic: 0/5 (n/a)
    DirectPlay: 0/9 (retail)
    DirectSound: 0/5 (retail)
    DirectShow: 0/6 (retail)

    Display Devices
    Card name: RADEON 9600 Series (Omega 2.6.05a)
    Manufacturer: ATI Technologies Inc. (Omega 2.6.05a)
    Chip type: ATI RADEON 9600 Series AGP (0x4152)
    DAC type: Internal DAC(400MHz)
    Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_4152&SUBSYS_02901092&REV_00
    Display Memory: 256.0 MB
    Current Mode: 1024 x 768 (32 bit) (72Hz)
    Monitor: COMPAQ Presario MV700 Color Monitor
    Monitor Max Res: 1280,1024
    Driver Name: ati2dvag.dll
    Driver Version: 6.14.0010.6505 (English)
    DDI Version: 9 (or higher)
    Driver Attributes: Final Retail
    Driver Date/Size: 11/30/2004 22:13:41, 222208 bytes
    WHQL Logo'd: No
    WHQL Date Stamp: None
    VDD: n/a
    Mini VDD: ati2mtag.sys
    Mini VDD Date: 1/24/2005 19:31:32, 928256 bytes
    Device Identifier: {D7B71EE2-0212-11CF-4B6A-9A22A1C2CB35}
    Vendor ID: 0x1002
    Device ID: 0x4152
    SubSys ID: 0x02901092
    Revision ID: 0x0000
    Revision ID: 0x0000
    Video Accel: ModeMPEG2_C ModeMPEG2_D
    Deinterlace Caps: {6E8329FF-B642-418B-BCF0-BCB6591E255F}: Format(In/Out)=(YUY2,YUY2) Frames(Prev/Fwd/Back)=(0,0,1) Caps=VideoProcess_YUV2RGB VideoProcess_StretchX VideoProcess_StretchY DeinterlaceTech_PixelAdaptive
    {335AA36E-7884-43A4-9C91-7F87FAF3E37E}: Format(In/Out)=(YUY2,YUY2) Frames(Prev/Fwd/Back)=(0,0,0) Caps=VideoProcess_YUV2RGB VideoProcess_StretchX VideoProcess_StretchY DeinterlaceTech_BOBVerticalStretch
    {552C0DAD-CCBC-420B-83C8-74943CF9F1A6}: Format(In/Out)=(NV12,0x3231564e) Frames(Prev/Fwd/Back)=(0,0,2) Caps=VideoProcess_YUV2RGB VideoProcess_StretchX VideoProcess_StretchY DeinterlaceTech_PixelAdaptive
    {6E8329FF-B642-418B-BCF0-BCB6591E255F}: Format(In/Out)=(NV12,0x3231564e) Frames(Prev/Fwd/Back)=(0,0,1) Caps=VideoProcess_YUV2RGB VideoProcess_StretchX VideoProcess_StretchY DeinterlaceTech_PixelAdaptive
    {335AA36E-7884-43A4-9C91-7F87FAF3E37E}: Format(In/Out)=(NV12,0x3231564e) Frames(Prev/Fwd/Back)=(0,0,0) Caps=VideoProcess_YUV2RGB VideoProcess_StretchX VideoProcess_StretchY DeinterlaceTech_BOBVerticalStretch
    Registry: OK
    DDraw Status: Enabled
    D3D Status: Enabled
    AGP Status: Enabled
    DDraw Test Result: Not run
    D3D7 Test Result: Not run
    D3D8 Test Result: Not run
    D3D9 Test Result: Not run
  2. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,343   +6

    A few things to try.

    Fastwrites, off or on, change it and see what happens. Nothing? change it back.

    Install latest chipset drivers.

    Try rasiing your AGP Aperture size, more than likely set at 64mb, try 128, and even 256, change it back if it doesn't help.

    Change your page file. Set it to off, reboot, defrag, and then set min, max to the same thing. Try setting it to 768, then go up a little if no improvement. When I've had this problem with Far Cry, I went up 2048, and thought this helped, but later decided it was to large. I think 1024 is large enough, unless you really think you need more.

    Download PCi Latency Tool, read the instuctions. Your AGP latency is probably set at 255 for ATi card. Try lowering it in increments to no less than 64. If nothing improves, I'd set it back to original.

    Check if you have any kind of polling devices running in the background. like a temp monitor, if you do, shut it down.

    Are there any programs accessing the internet that you aren't aware of?

    Lower the settings for your audio in the game.

    Update Bios, (I'm not brave enough to try this one my self, to much risk, at least for me.)

    I didn't see it listed, is your power supply big enough?

    Defectiive card?

    Do a search for game tweaks, there are somtimes some game registry tweaks you might try. If you want to do that sort of thing. This is one area I enjoy fooling around in, ...........but for better and sometimes worse. Heh Heh.

    My last idea, reinstall the game.

    Edit: Make sure you use graphics settings like AA, AF, etc., in the game OR the graphics card Controly Panel, in other words, don't have a conflict. Probably set Control Panel to let application to control, then set in game settings.
  3. Kuliddar

    Kuliddar TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Fastwrite is off. This was done by recommandation when installing Omega Drivers.

    As for latest chipset, as I mentioned, they made the issue worst.

    About PCI Latency and AGP Aperture. Excuse my nOObness here, but what does Latency means and how does it apply to the card? Also where can I set the AGP Aperture?

    No polling device is running nor am I aware of anything accessing the internet. I just have 2.1 sound on my system thus it's pretty standard stuff. As for updating bios, nope not brave enough to do it, but again, this is a recent issue and nothing was added or removed in the last couple weeks. The game was just an example, the issue is a bit everywhere, but it it more apparent in some games. EQ2 for example, I know I have the issue even before starting to play. If I hover the mouse left and right on the log on screen, it freeze for a quick sec then moves again. Keep moving it left right, down and up, and it keeps doing it. That's how I know it's not normal. I doubt the card is defective but I will likely, soon, put back my old ati9000 card in there to see what is happening. As for power supply. I believe it's a 300w or 350w. I forget and forget how to check without having to open the case.
  4. shadow_29

    shadow_29 TS Rookie Posts: 211

    hey kuliddar,the problem isnt with your system specs,so if anyone tells you,you need more ram or a better cpu or a BETTER video card(provided if your is not defective),than they are probably wrong.since the problem started happening after a while of playing games and using your system it points to a couple of things,one is overheating-check you video card's temp and also your cpu,see if adequate vebtilation is available,open the case and boot your system than.two this could be a power issue, which psu do you have????.if you havent changed anything in the bios recently than there is alesser chance of the proble lying there although you should check out like olefarte said also check for ram latency.dont forget to check for any worms etc.that might be eating up your resorces.

    as for your pc booting up slowly well that is very normal on a windows xp,it slows down as you install newer software or a different drivers etc.check your startup list to see for any unwanted programs.
  5. shadow_29

    shadow_29 TS Rookie Posts: 211

    hey if its a generic psu rated at 300w,you might want to check that.see if you can get your hands on a different psu just to check.latency problem is most apparent in rams,there might be a memory leak or something run the utility olefarte suggested and see if there is a problem.check for any hardware conflict(shared irq,i/o).
  6. tbrunt3

    tbrunt3 TS Rookie Posts: 313

    Few things here besides what was already pointed out.. I check the powersupply it self can get a power supply tester for 14.00$ US at your local computer store.. POwer supply is very important and you need a good one with a good effiecenty rating.. Also try disabling VPU crash recovery in ATI control panel some of the cards have this some do not..

    Let us know
  7. Kuliddar

    Kuliddar TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for all the great info. I've been using a lot of it trying to figure out what is going on. I've set PCI Latency to 64 as recommended. Seems to be a constant in all the replies from this forum and the others and indeed, it did help a tad. It didn't resolve the problem though but it's a start I guess :) Also I decided to try the latest ati drivers, but with out the annoying catalyst control panel program requiring you to download framework .net. I used driver cleaner pro to take off all old drivers and cabs and that also improved it a little bit. I still have to check the power supply watts and one I do i'll probably keep the case open a bit to see if there is an improvement (aka is this a heat issue). I'm definitly going to try all you suggestions.

    Here is a great example though of what is happening. I go on and click on a movie to see the trailer. As soon as the movie starts loading up the light of the hard drive that says its working flickers like crazy which matches the stuttering of the video quality and audio quality.

    Back to work now :)
  8. punabutta8251

    punabutta8251 TS Rookie

    Is power that important?

    I have a Compaq presario 6370US FIC 31L mobo (never even thought about touching bios) P4 2.53 533 fsb case, psu, video and cpu fans ATI Radeon 9600XT 128MB 2x512 2100 sticks (Centon) SB Audigy 2 ZS CDRW 52x32x52 drive 16x DVD-ROM 120GB HD generic floppy Logitech MX510 mouse and X-530 speakers. All running on the stock 200 watt psu, play Halo CE, Far Cry, HL2 and BFV to name a few at medium to high settings no AA or that other thing, with no problems. Hows that for lucky, is my system just at that point where power is on the edge, I wanted to change it but my extended warranty would be voided and hey why mess with a good thing. And yes, I opened the case and did a double take to make sure it was 200 watts. I can't believe Compaq has a real quality psu so I wonder why I'm so lucky?
  9. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,343   +6

    Welcome to TechSpot.

    I'd say if it's working now, don't worry about it. if it's stock from the factory, it's designed to run as is. But if you decide to upgrade your video card for instance, you would need to get a bigger power supply. Most higher end video cards are going to require you to have a quality power supply of 300/350 watts minimum, more the better.
  10. Kuliddar

    Kuliddar TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Problem Solved

    Hello people,

    Well seems like I solved the problem. I did the ultimate and reformated my hardrive and re-installed WinXp. Whatever was going on is now gone and everything is working as it should. I've re-installed pretty much everything too. Loading time is faster, no more video and audio suttering. Conclusion: Probably a conflict somewhere with some old files. I admit I never reformated before and this computer I had for 2 years so I think I was overdue.

    Thx for all your help guys. For other 9600 users, this could be another solution if you are having issues as well.

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