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5 posts

Wannabe Geek


#270434 9-May-2020 20:29
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Hi.

 

Got a bit of a puzzler on my hands.

 

Running a PC with 17-6700, 16GB of RAM, GTX1080, and have games installed on a WesternDigital SSD.  Win10 64bit.  It's getting a bit older, but still respectable enough that it can run modern games at 'Recommended' settings (eg: Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order)

 

However, games running off this SSD are having 'micropauses' and 'hiccups' that range from mildly annoying to downright gamebreaking.

 

I've run disk diagnostics (CrystalDiskInfo, HDSentinel) and they all report my drives are working fine.  I've installed the WesternDigital SSD monitoring tool, which insists the drive is working fine.  Windows10 doesn't report any defragmentation, and the drive is only about 33% used.

 

However, the micro-stuttering is still there.

 

It comes in two main forms:

 

1) Graphics will 'hitch' for half a second or so, typically when doing an action, but otherwise will be fine.

 

2) Sound will 'hitch' repeatedly for half a second or so.  But not all sound - the soundtrack for the game might hiccup, while the sound effects continue uninterrupted.  Happens in some games, but not others.

 

3) Possibly related, but the first time I load a game (eg: Star Wars Fallen Order), it takes a long time for the game to load.  About 5 mins.  Subsequent loads take place in about a minute flat.

 

It's driving me insane trying to diagnose the problem.  PC Diagnostic tools say everything is fine, when it's clearly not.  If it was just a single game doing this I could write it off as a game bug, but it's across multiple games.

 

I'm running to the end of my rope (and technical ability) trying to figure this out.

 

Any suggestions would be welcomed.  Thanks.


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5 posts

Wannabe Geek


  #2479975 9-May-2020 22:01
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Thanks for the suggestion.

There was no improvement when turning Game Mode off.  Same problems persist - stuttering and freezes/hiccups in graphics and sound.


 
 
 
 


433 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2479976 9-May-2020 22:02
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Sounds like something else running in the back ground. If you have 2 screens run Task Manager and keep an eye on CPU usage. 

 

It may be simply antivirus software, disk defrag going on or something.


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  #2480000 10-May-2020 00:24
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sqishy:

 

Sounds like something else running in the back ground. If you have 2 screens run Task Manager and keep an eye on CPU usage. 

 

It may be simply antivirus software, disk defrag going on or something.

 

 

This.

 

I find that if I've got Epic Games app running as well as Discord, Steam etc, my games run like crap. Exit Epic and things improve a lot (don't know why - CPU usage etc is fine).

 

But its generally always something in the background causing the issues. If you torrent, make sure whatever client you use is disabled when gaming, as its writing/reading constantly to your drive.

 

 





XPD^ / DemiseNZ

 

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Uber Geek


  #2480070 10-May-2020 07:30
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gehenna:

 

Turn off Game Mode

https://www.techradar.com/amp/news/windows-10-users-should-turn-this-feature-off-now-for-better-gaming-performance 

 

 

 

 

Similar to this suggestion above:

 

disable recording in geforce experience

 

https://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/disable-nvidia-game-experience-recording-windows-10/

 

 

 

disable the steam overlay

 

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-disable-steam-overlay

 

 

 

Close any hardware OC monitors like msi afterburner, evga precision.

 

 


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  #2480072 10-May-2020 07:37
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you say games running of the SSd are having that issue, so does that mean if you moved/installed the game on a different drive it doesnt have that issue?

 

is your windows instillation on the same SSD?


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Master Geek


  #2480106 10-May-2020 09:34
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Jase2985:

you say games running of the SSd are having that issue, so does that mean if you moved/installed the game on a different drive it doesnt have that issue?


is your windows instillation on the same SSD?



If this is the case I've noticed on mine if any game is downloading to the SSD I see severe slowdown across the board, even Windows stutters when downloading from Steam or game pass. I've not found a solution beyond letting the games finish installing before doing stuff.

My systems not exactly new though, still sporting a 3570k and 8gb of DDR 3 using an RX570 so I'm just dealing with the problem for now until it becomes less usable, I may stick another 8gb in it as I don't seem to max out the CPU all that often and don't pay games enough to warrant a GPU upgrade.

 
 
 
 




5 posts

Wannabe Geek


  #2480112 10-May-2020 09:53
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Thanks for the suggestions.

> "Watch second screen for monitoring?"

I don't have a second screen, but was able to run Task Manager on top of a game with issues while in the menus or cutscenes.  CPU and RAM remained steady at using less than 50%.  The interesting result was the SSD disk, which went to 100% disk active time (I think that's normal) while loading, but when sitting in the menu (at 0% active time) I was seeing Disk Transfer Rate spikes back to 100% that coincided with audio stuttering.

The average response time was usually 6-10ms, but when the spikes hit, it rocketed up to 700-800 (even as high as 1800ms), just as the audio stuttered.

> "Could be antivirus or updates?"

Task Manager and resource monitor didn't show antivirus sucking up any significant resources.

> "Close Epic Games Store?"

I don't have Epic Games store, only Steam and Origin.  Have to have Origin open (even though it's a horrible hog) to launch the game.  Steam is better, but still.  However, Task Manager shows these processes aren't sucking up any CPU or RAM that might be 'starving' the game.

 

> "Disable GeForce Recording and Steam/Origin overlays?"

Already disabled.  Problem continues to persist.

> "Disable hardware OC monitors?"

I haven't overclocked anything, and don't have any hardware monitors past things like the WesternDigital SSD manager, CrystalDiskInfo, and HDSentinel.  Even uninstalling them doesn't improve the stuttering.  And all three report my drive is in "Good" health.

> "Torrenting disabled?"

No streaming or torrenting going on, and since I have a single screen, I can't exactly watch YouTube while playing.  I also close any web browsers and have disabled Win10's background apps when playing.

> "Do they work fine on another drive?"

I have my 1TB SSD partitioned in two.  C: has the Win10 install, and F: is the rest.  I also have a 1TB HDD as D:.  D is getting a bit full (programs, docs, music, all that stuff) , which is why I'm transferring games to F. 
Playing Subnautica on D or F: Runs perfectly fine on both, no audio stuttering or graphical stuttering, although load times on D are noticeably longer. 
Playing Path Of Exile on D and F: Have graphical and audio stutter on both, and load times are horrendously long on D, and only slightly less horrendous on F. 
Playing Warframe on D and F: Have slight graphical stutter/lag on F, no audio issues on D or F.
Haven't tried Jedi Fallen Order on D.

Pagefile is system-managed and located on F:.  Steam and Origin are installed on D (the HDD).

> "Anything else installing/downloading at the same time?"

Nope. 


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  #2480308 10-May-2020 10:47
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you need to work out what is causing the writing to disk then, should be able to do that in task manager or even resource monitor


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Master Geek

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  #2480353 10-May-2020 10:58
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What type of SSD is it - if its a WD Green one then they dont (I think) have DRAM as a cache.

 

Basic explanation - Youtube (Linus Tech Tips)




5 posts

Wannabe Geek


  #2480847 10-May-2020 22:11
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> "What Type of SSD is it?"

 

Ah. I think I've finally narrowed it down to something in the "Smack me over the head, this should've been obvious from the start" basket:  The system keeps saying it's an SSD, but it's apparently not.

Running the model numbers, it appears I have:
1) A WesternDigital Black2, which is a dual-drive with 120GB SSD (C: OS installed here), and the 1TB part is an HDD (F: Games stored here), despite being labelled as an SSD
2) A WesternDigital Black, which is a 1TB HDD  (D: programs/data/music installed here).

The WesternDigital SSD Manager says the F: is a 1TB SSD.  Piriform Speccy says it's an SSD.  HDSentienel says it's an SSD. When it's not...quite.  Bizarre

The REALLY strange thing is that some games (but not all, and not the problem child of Jedi Fallen Order here) are working fine on the D: HDD.  Could be the RPM - the Black has a 7200rpm rate, while the Black2 HDD only has a 5200rpm rate.

So now I think the only thing for me to do is get an ACTUAL SSD, not some hybrid from...2014.  Well, it was probably getting close to replacement time anyhow. Looks like I have a lot of research to do on what to replace it with.

 

Then I need to buy and install.  I am not especially confident in messing around with the guts of my PC, but am going to have to do it.  Is it still recommended practice to have the Win10 install on a separate partition?

Thanks for the suggestions and help everyone.  Much appreciated.


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  #2480872 11-May-2020 04:41
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Buy something 240GB or bigger. SATA / NVME, it doesn't really matter just so long as it has DRAM on the SSD. Just but a decent brand name but cheap is fine. This would be great for you and cheap too.

 

 

 

Install Windows on the new SSD, leave the existing drives as storage. Sit back and enjoy your radically more responsive system - seriously this will be sooooooooooooooo much better.

 

 

 

NVME, M2, etc, it's all just diminishing returns to be honest.


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  #2480876 11-May-2020 07:35
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wouldnt you want to work out what is causing the writing/reading from the disk? the games should run fine from a standard HDD, even if it is hybrid one.

 

you could upgrade and still have the same issues.


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  #2480879 11-May-2020 07:57
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Cheap potential thing to look at to, is the SATA cables - maybe buy a couple of new ones. Wont hurt. 

 

 





XPD^ / DemiseNZ

 

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Disclaimer - It wasn't me, the dog ate my keyboard, my account was hacked, I was drunk, ALIENS.


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Uber Geek


  #2480999 11-May-2020 10:54
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Jase2985:

 

wouldnt you want to work out what is causing the writing/reading from the disk? the games should run fine from a standard HDD, even if it is hybrid one.

 

you could upgrade and still have the same issues.

 

 

These problems do suck.   It could be either software, storage,  ram, PSU, gfx card , CPU, or a cable, or even a failing mobo.

 

It is a great investment to get a real SSD anyway regardless of this issue. You need access to spare components to swap them out to see which fixes your issue. That is a problem for many people, if you have to test each component by buying a new one then you may as well rebuild your system. 

 

 


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