Topic Title: Microstutter if FPS is below refresh rate
Topic Summary: When my FPS is below my refresh rate, I get choppy gameplay.
Created On: 03/26/2013 11:37 AM
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 03/26/2013 11:37 AM
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brandon02852
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I recently purchased a Sapphire Vapor-X 7970 GHz Edition 3GB card and have been having issues in my games.I game at 120Hz and when my FPS falls below that, even slightly, my gameplay becomes choppy, stuttery, and uneven.  It is very unenjoyable.Let's say I am at 120Hz and my FPS is 100.  The stuttering occurs.  If I am at 100Hz and my FPS is 100, the stuttering doesn't occur.  This stuttering only occurs IF AND ONLY IF my FPS is below my current refresh rate.Today I took out my 7970 and put in my old MSI Twin Frozr III R6950 and the issue happens with that card as well.  I am using the stable release of Catalyst 13.1.  The issue persists regardless of if I am using Windows 7 x64 or Windows 8 x64.  Modifying settings in CCC hasn't made any difference.  Vertical sync makes no difference.  Triple buffering makes no difference.The only solution I have is to reduce the graphics settings so much that the FPS never falls below my refresh rate.  This simply IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.I need help.
 03/26/2013 11:53 AM
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Canis-X
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Hello, a bit more information may be needed to help you with your issue. Please read the thread below and revise your post to include the requested information in detail.  Doing so will help us help you more efficiently.

Thanks in advance...

**STICKY** | PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING
Please use the template, and fill out as much information about your issue as possible.

Also, have you tried OCing your CPU or GPU at all to help maintain the FPS or are you still running at stock?



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Please don't PM me with questions, instead create a thread so that everyone can assist and benefit from the knowledge provided. Thanks in advance!

 03/26/2013 01:42 PM
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brandon02852
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Graphics Card
- Sapphire Vapor-X 7970 GHz Edition 3GB GDDR5
- Overclocked to 1175/1500 with MSI Afterburner 3.0.0 Beta 7

AMD Catalyst Driver Version, and Driver History
Currently using 13.3 beta 3 but occurs with all 13.x drivers

Operating System
- Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1

also tested Windows 8 x64

Issue Details
you can read about the whole issue above.  i am running world of warcraft on almost full ultra settings with 4x MSAA.  no pictures or video can display exactly what is happening

Motherboard or System Make & Model
- ASUS Sabertooth Z77 with latest BIOS (1805)

Power Supply

- Corsair AX760i (760W PSU)
- http://www.corsair.com/us/power-supply-units/ax-series-power-supply-units/ax760i-digital-atx-power-supply-760-watt-80-plus-platinum-certified-fully-modular-psu.html

Display Device(s) and Connection(s) Used
- Samsung S27A950D 27'' 120Hz 3-D Ready Gaming Monitor

connected to GPU via a dual-link DVI cable

Applications and Games

- the only games i have tried are World of Warcraft and Sniper: Ghost Warrior.  It is especially noticeable in Sniper: Ghost Warrior.

CPU Details
- Intel Core i7-3770K  not currently overclocked but I have the same issue if I overclock it to 4.6 or 4.8

Motherboard BIOS Version
- ASUS BIOS 1805

System Memory Type & Amount
- four sticks of 4GB Corsair Dominator Platinum 1866 DDR3 totaling 16GB

Additional Hardware
- i am using an OCZ Vertex 4 as my SSD (only drive in the system), a really basic Optiarc CD/DVD drive, a bunch of Corsair SP120, AF120, and AF140 case fans, a Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100 NIC, and an ASUS PCE-N53 wireless adapter.


Additional Details
-this is a clean version of Windows 7 x64.  I have run the System File Checker, Chkdsk, and a full scan of the latest version of Malwarebytes Anti Malware.  This system is not infected.

-my scores and overall system performance in many synthetic benchmarks (3DMark, 3DMark11, Unigine Valley) are all normal.  prime95 is stable and i have done memory benchmarks with AIDA64

 03/26/2013 02:59 PM
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Mime
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Sounds like your having fun with frame interpolation/doubling.

Most 120hz displays have the ability to repeat the last frame displayed, or generate intermediate frames in order to make whats usually a much slower input signal work with a 120hz refresh rate.  When all goes well there's little or no noticable impact.  When things don't go well you get stutters and jerks and various annoying problems like this.

From the sounds of it, your machine is confused on how to close the gap when the refresh rate and frame rate don't match.



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Edited: 03/26/2013 at 03:06 PM by Mime
 03/26/2013 06:37 PM
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Eydee
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Setting the monitor to 60Hz could help.



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 03/26/2013 06:58 PM
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Mime
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Clearly eydee is less concerned with inciting nerdrage than I am. 

"OMG D00D! 120hz is double teh 60!!!oneone!!eleventy!!!"

Since they're using a dual-link DVI cable though... I'm not sure it's 60 vs 120 deal exactly, but depending on how the drivers are handling things internally it might as well be.  Or I could be wrong entirely... hard to say without more tests being done.  "stuttering" is becoming a catch-all word for any kind of weirdness which people think shouldn't be there.



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 03/27/2013 08:36 AM
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brandon02852
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The games that I play will never drop below 60FPS at max settings regardless of the situation.  This means that if my refresh rate is 60Hz, the stuttering will never occur.

But playing at 60Hz on a 120Hz monitor completely destroys the point of getting a 120Hz monitor in the first place.  To my eyes, 60FPS is low and 120FPS makes a world of difference in terms of smoothness and my overall enjoyment.

And "stuttering" is the correct word for this situation.  When I play my games, I expect the image to be smooth and fluid.  If my refresh rate is at 120Hz and my FPS is less than that, the FPS will be high (90-110) but the image will not be smooth and fluid.  It will instead be uneven, choppy, and downright annoying to view.

 03/27/2013 10:50 AM
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Mime
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Yeah I know I've been doing this for way too long...

Re-read post... either you can fix this with a different driver, or you can't and your most likely stuck with it.  I could be wrong, and this could be an atypical presentation of the same kind of frame latencies which have been getting all the attention lately.  Either way, 120hz displays are by no means a magic bullet...



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 03/27/2013 11:27 AM
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Canis-X
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This might be a good candidate to report as an issue to AMD then....

**STICKY** | AMD ISSUE REPORTING FORM
Reproducible issues can be reported here.



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Please don't PM me with questions, instead create a thread so that everyone can assist and benefit from the knowledge provided. Thanks in advance!

 03/27/2013 05:11 PM
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black_zion
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It is impossible to have a perfectly fluid experience in games because it is impossible to have exactly 60.00 -> FPS (or 120.00 -> FPS) because nothing in a game is ever constant, and the eye evolved to see changes in fluidity. Television broadcasts are different, as they have an absolute fixed rate, same with movies. Technically "stuttering" is not the correct term either. Stuttering is a term for repetition, such as saying G four times before being able to say a word beginning with the letter G. A more accurate term would be "skipping" or "jumping".

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 03/27/2013 06:46 PM
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Mime
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Yeah there's that also.  That's the job of the developers to build the game such that there's a smooth and steady stream of data passing through the rendering pipeline.  Ideally, there will be no "holy crap" moments where the game engine realizes it needs a ton of stuff right now and needs to hold everything up in order to go get it and run it through the pipeline.



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 03/27/2013 08:39 PM
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black_zion
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Aye, the only way that I can think of it being able to do that is if the game were programmed so that within the viewable distance 360° around the player at all times were rendered, since you can notice these "jumps" easily if you swing around quickly in an FPS, and if the frames rendered ahead were always equal to your refresh rate, since anything over your refresh rate necessitates the neglect of some rendered frames which can cause the same "jumping". Much easier said than done of course, BUT these same techniques would be used to improve the increasingly PC-like consoles as well.

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ASUS Sabertooth 990FX/Gen3 R2, FX-8350 w/ Corsair H60, 8 GiB G.SKILL RipjawsX DDR3-2133, XFX HD 7970 Ghz, 512GB Vertex 4, 256GB Vector, 240GB Agility 3, Creative X-Fi Titanium w/ Creative Gigaworks S750, SeaSonic X750, HP ZR2440w, Win 7 Ultimate x64
 03/27/2013 09:02 PM
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Mime
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We have our ways...

Oh yes we do...

It's not a problem specific to game design, actually.  In general it's called the thundering/stampeding herd problem.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thundering_herd_problem

The wiki page describes it in terms of processes where only one process can proceed at a time, but that's just one special case of the problem in general.



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Do not meddle in the affairs of archers, for they are subtle and quick to anger.
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 03/27/2013 10:03 PM
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black_zion
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Things would be so simple if your computer could send information from a couple of seconds in the future back to itself in the past so it always knew what was going to be requested of it, but they couldn't even do that in the 24th century

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