Sign in to follow this  
Jessica Bannister-Pearce

Heavy stutter fsx. CPU failure imminent?

Recommended Posts

Hey guys,

 

It pains me to ask this, but I will anyway. For the last week or so, fsx has been hit with incredibly heavy stutters. Their random and weirdly, seem worse on aircraft that don't stress the system. Ok, here's my system stats.

 

Core i5 2500k o/c to 4.6ghz

16gb 1866mhz ram

Nvidia 680gtx 4gb factory o/c'd

Fsx stored on 1tb western digital caviar black drive.

3 x 27" screens.

 

So far I've unchecked all addon scenery -stutter still there

Fresh fsx.cfg file. - stutter still there.

Turned the sliders down -stutters still there.

Rolled back gpu driver to 314.22. -stutter remains

Swapped gpu -stutters still there.

Returned the CPU to factory - stutter still there.

Checked all drives with WD lifesaver - no problems reported.

 

I'm at my wits end. Now my only option is a reinstall, which could take all weekend.

 

I'm holding off however, because weirdly, I have P3D installed and its showing the same stutter issue there with p3d being virtually stock.

 

So I'm concerned now that my CPU, after nearly 2 years of running, may be failing. I'll admit though this is a hell mary pass. The only reason I'm thinking it is because I know the CPU Is responsible for sending the textures to the gpu. If its failing, then the gpu is getting incomplete data.

 

So anyone got some helpful advice, or am I shopping for a new board and CPU

 

Best wishes,

Jess B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Run Prime95 Blend for at least 1 hour with no OC on anything to make sure your hardware at stock setting is working. Then do the same with your OC setting. Make sure you can pass a Prime95 Blend for AT LEAST 1 hour (preferably 12 hours). If you fail, get an error, or BSOD at stock then you do have a Hardware issue. If you fail, get an error, of BSOD with your OC then you need to up your voltage, or lower your OC. 

 

Also, check and make sure you do not get any WHEA Parity error in your Windows Logs during these tests.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

too many possibilities... i would re-install everything, folowing some guides very carefully.

- windows 7 / 64 bit fresh install
- install latest drivers starting with the chipset
- windows 7 tuning http://www.tweakhound.com/tweaking-windows-7/
- some good FSX guide, i prefer Word Not Allowed's guide, we can't do more then this for performance and smoothnest.
Bad tweaks and settings can give heavy stuttering too. Realy too many possibilities :) Stay away from venetubo, it was great some time ago, but can induce stutters on modern hardware.

This will be time consuming but is not waste of time anyway. Make a backup - Acronis True image 2011 will put whole system back in about 30min. It is free for 30 days, more then enough to fix the problem and put everything back very fast. Be aware, Acronis 2013 had some problems with Windows 7, i don't know if they fixed that.

Then check hardware - i would check memory first, BTW how many stick's of RAM you have for 16GB?
Clean up PC - http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-the-Inside-of-a-Computer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey guys. Thanks for the replies.

 

Memory could be an issue I guess. It's two sticks of 8gb ram by ocz iirc. It's new, just 4 months old, but I'm wondering if one stick has worked loose. My rig gets dragged to shows and back so it's possible a bump has dislodged a stick. I'll investigate tomorrow. My rig is unavailable due to guests. Grrrrf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jessica, do you see anything abnormal on the CPU load in windows task manager? Is there anything causing a sudden spike in CPU load every now and again that could cause the stutters, or even worse, anything using quite a bit of CPU running all the time?

 

As has been said before. Run Prime95 for a while at stock. If it fails you have a problem with either CPU or RAM. I doubt the RAM is at fault because every time RAM has failed on me windows has bluescreened a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When was the last time you removed the cpu and re-applied the thermal paste, I would try that before any new installs of fsx - lot of work if its only a re-installation of that cpu.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

good call Rich. the cpu will slow down right away it gets too hot. Mostly RAM that fails simply wont allow the mobo to work until it's removed/replaced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again guys. I'll run prime95 in the morning and I'll check to see what's happening with the CPU loads. It's a strange fault. Fps is actually skittle constant at 30 locked, but the stutters remain. Occasionally fps nosedives to the mid teens for a second then back. There's no pattern at all. Grrrrr.

 

X-plane is fine though. Lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 


X-plane is fine though. Lol

 

 

I highly doubt that you are experiencing a hardware issue then. I recommend clean installing GPU drivers, re-tweaking your FSX.CFG, and then testing things out again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey guys. First some good news. I ran prime95 this morning and at stock and at 4.6ghz, my setup remained stable with temps just touching 70°c on 2 cores.

 

The bad news is I'm back to square 1.

 

Ben, I already rolled back the driver, performing a clean install and no joy. Even resetting my fsx.cfg file didn't help.

 

When I get home this evening I'll see what's happening with the CPU load and as saab340 asked, I'll keep an eye out for spikes. But for now I'm relieved I'm not looking for a new mobo and CPU.

 

Best wishes,

Jess B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perplexing.

 

Only other suggestions I have are

 

Check background programs/services that may be interfering

Disk de frag

Check virus scan activity

 

I've heard of simconnect causing problems if it gets corrupt but I can't confirm that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Disk drive is fairly new, defrag reports 0% fragmentation.

I ran game booster to close unwanted background apps and closed as many as I could with no result.

And I'm only using ms defender and I don't think it can run without my say so.

 

As you say, perplexing indeed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, update time. Tonight I took saab340's advice and looked at the CPU load over the cores for spikes. I think I've found my stutter issue. Once I'm in flight, fsx is loading everything it seems onto cores 3 & 4. 4 is running at nearly 100% all the time whist 3 runs at 100% for a little, then dropping back to say 60 to 70% for a moment then back to 100%. Tis corresponsed with the big stutters with the smaller stutters seeming to come as core 4 intermittently hits full load.

 

Adjusting the affinity mask does nothing to help. Even removing it failed to do anything. Adjusting the affinity does seem to shift it around, but only between two cores. Never the full four.

 

So what's causing this then. Hmmmmm. I'm feeling a 'windows screwed up' bug coming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cores 3 and 4 are typically used for scenery loading.

 

Every minute or so, you should see heavy activity as the scenery is re-lit..

 

With no Affinity Mask, you should expect the first core to run at 100% with the FSX load,

and the other cores varying..

 

With Affinity Mask = 14, you should expect the second core to run FSX, and the first core to be lightly loaded.

 

What happens if you cut back on scenery settings and LOD radius?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey burt,

 

Turning the sliders down didn't help at all. Cores 3 & 4 still max out, although core 3 is still intermittent. Core 1 cranks up on starts up but once I'm into an aircraft, it falls back whist 4 maxes out.

 

In contrast p3d spreads nicely across the 4 cores although it still causes a stutter if cores 3 and 4 hit 100%. X plane doesn't seem to bother any of the cores sufficiently though.

 

What's going on I wonder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No affinity mask set?

The first core (technically Core00) is then running the FSX load - typically at 100% utilization, unless
an external framerate limiter is used.

If you introduce affinitymask=14, this load should clearly move to the next core (Core01) and
Core00 should now be lightly loaded.

The remaining cores should vary, and even if they max out, there should be no noticeable effect on FSX.

Try renaming your fsx.cfg file and let FSX run with the default settings as a test.

You'll have to select the proper graphics resolution, and limit framerates to 30 in FSX for the test.

 

Also try running a CPU monitor, like CPU-Z or Rightmark while FSX is running, and see if the CPU throttles back at

the times FSX stutters - possibly the Processor is taking protective action..

 

Here is a typical CPU usage snapshot with FSX running with affinitymask=14

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Morning burt,

 

Compared to the view above , all I'm seeing I cores 3 & 4 getting a good work out. It Appears that windows own 'set affinity' takes priority over the 'affinity mask' command in my fsx .cfg. I tried using affinitymask=7 to see if it would leave the last core free with no result. However. Switching between core via 'set affinity' seemed to work.

 

I'll post up a shot of my task manager later to show what I'm seeing.

 

Best wishes,

Jess B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May or may not be related to your issue, but Windows Defender is known to be troublesome.

 

Disable it, and run Microsoft Security Essentials.

 

You can test your RAM very easily, by trying one stick at a time. Try different slots as well, to determine if it's the MB or RAM.

 

You can also try memtest, or indeed Windows 7's built in memory tester. Just go to the search box and enter memory, then hit "diagnose memory problems".

 

Very unlikely to be your CPU. Your temps are fine, as you confirmed. And CPU's very rarely fail.

 

Having said the above, given that everything else runs okay on your comp, it is most likely an FSX issue. Sorry to have to say this, but you may have to bite the bullet and completely reinstall FSX and all add-ons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ok guys, here's a shot of what's going on core wise.

 

taskman1_zps42dc1123.jpg

 

Spook, nice idea but i don't have securesearch installed.

 

the above was taken at my usual settings. Scenery maxed out except water - high x2 and autogen - dense. 

 

rolliing it back to nothing still causes stutters but only core 4 is working hard, with occasional spikes on 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To eliminate affinity problems - with FSX runing, open task manager, go to processes tab, right click on FSX and select "set affinity" from menu. Then check cores 2,3,4 and click ok. Load the flight and see what happens.
Also, could you attach your FSX.CFG file and Nvidia Inspector settings? + screenshoot of FSX menu settings.
If not memory, just one bad tweak or setting can do this in FSX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tried it last night. Cores 3&4 still fills up whist core 2 sits quietly. The problem seems to be core 3. It's this core that's overloading and causing the stutters. 4 is working hard but not at 100% at the moment. Cores 1&2 seem asleep by comparison.

 

This ones got me beat so far. I can see this ending in a reinstall. Grrrrr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Installing FSX elsewhere will mainly pick up loads of old settings so may not be any use. Try renaming dll.xml, try renaming exe.xml so they are unused, uncheck all the addon scenery or better still rename the scenery.cfg, restore default terrain.cfg, use a stock aircraft.

 

...default the GPU to let app decide

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And got the little S.O.B! I've just spent the last hour or so doing as Steve mentioned (hey Steve btw, long time since we've spoken eh!) and after removing my dll.xml file, the stutters ceased and everything. Returned to normal in the cores with 2,3 & 4 all working properly.

 

So I systematically disabled everything in the XML and then switch them back on two by two. The culprit is fs copilot. It's the one that's been forcing everything onto the last two cores. Disabling it brought everything back in line.

 

I've no idea why it was doing that but I'm glad its gone. Of course ow I have to find out how to make sqauwkbox work over my network.

 

Thanks for the help guys.

 

Best wishes,

Jess B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this