Windows XP games stuttering issue

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by masterpace, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. masterpace macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal
    #1
    Hi there! I've bought an Air, which I'm really happy with it so far. I've created a Windows XP partition (Boot Camp), updated Windows, DirectX and the graphics driver too. I've decided to install a few old games. Then, I've turned off paging (in Windows virtual memory settings) and defragmented the drive. I've disabled any known power saving feature (on the graphics chipset and Windows itself).

    All the games, even those 7 years old (like Return to Castle Wolfenstein) are running fine for the first minute or so then start stuttering badly. When the game is launched, gameplay is smooth, which indicates that the X3100 can handle it (at least for a given amount of time). Stuttering occurs suddenly, for a few seconds and re-occur every 30 seconds - 1 minute or so. That's really annoying. Sometimes, when stutter is really bad, audio stutters as well.

    I've tried a few Intel native games under OS X. Although I'm getting bad framerates in some of them, it's more or less constant and there's no or verry little stuttering.

    I'm a bit despered. I mean, from a raw power perspective, the X3100 should be able to handle any pre 2003 game. And, the spontaneous stuttering (occurring every 30 seconds or so) is an indication of a "generic" issue. Any idea how to improve this? That would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
     
  2. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #2
    Pack it in ice cubes :p

    Or more sensibly, try a rell-reviewed stand with forced cooling facilities.
     
  3. Alkiera macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    #3
    Might be a windows thing, like FastFind or similar, occasionally taking CPU. Aside from that, not sure; might open the task manager and leave it open while playing, then go back and see if the CPU usage changes during those stuttering periods.
     
  4. masterpace thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal
    #4
    Thanks for your recommendation. I've played one of the games, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, in window mode (not full screen). Then, I've brought up the task manager. At any time during the game, total CPU usage was ranging from about 50 % to less than 60 %. During stuttering periods (sound/video), I could not see any significant CPU increase. The only processes I can see are:

    -taskmng: from about 1 to 3 %
    -the game: about 50 to 60 %
    -the idle process: about 40 %

    I'm not sure the idle process could play something in that. But that's all I can see. Any other ideas? Thanks.
     
  5. masterpace thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal
    #5
    Hi guys! I've got some new insight regarding the stuttering issue in Windows XP when running games. As you know, I've ran one of the games, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, in window mode. Now, I've checked the performance tab from the tasks manager, more specifically the CPU utilization graph.

    Whenever there's stuttering (video only or audio/video), the CPU clearly peaks around 100 %. So, I've decided to enable logging in RMClock. Every second, stats from both cores are pulled. Results are quite interesting. Here's a snippet of it:

    20:55:27.796, CPU: 0, Clock: 1596.00, Throttle: 21.01, FID: 8.0, VID: 0.987, CPULoad: 14.45, OSLoad: 59.09, CoreTemp: 79.2
    20:55:27.796, CPU: 1, Clock: 1594.45, Throttle: 21.04, FID: 8.0, VID: 0.987, CPULoad: 14.26, OSLoad: 70.31, CoreTemp: 79.2
    20:55:28.796, CPU: 0, Clock: 1595.99, Throttle: 20.94, FID: 8.0, VID: 0.987, CPULoad: 17.45, OSLoad: 74.19, CoreTemp: 78.6
    20:55:28.796, CPU: 1, Clock: 1596.00, Throttle: 21.01, FID: 8.0, VID: 0.987, CPULoad: 17.56, OSLoad: 57.81, CoreTemp: 78.4
    20:55:29.796, CPU: 0, Clock: 1596.00, Throttle: 20.98, FID: 8.0, VID: 0.987, CPULoad: 17.00, OSLoad: 72.73, CoreTemp: 78.0
    20:55:29.796, CPU: 1, Clock: 1597.48, Throttle: 21.03, FID: 8.0, VID: 0.987, CPULoad: 16.88, OSLoad: 56.25, CoreTemp: 77.8
    20:55:30.796, CPU: 0, Clock: 1595.95, Throttle: 20.99, FID: 8.0, VID: 0.987, CPULoad: 18.36, OSLoad: 77.42, CoreTemp: 77.6
    20:55:30.796, CPU: 1, Clock: 1597.47, Throttle: 20.92, FID: 8.0, VID: 0.987, CPULoad: 18.44, OSLoad: 48.44, CoreTemp: 77.4
    20:55:31.827, CPU: 0, Clock: 1605.74, Throttle: 21.04, FID: 8.0, VID: 0.987, CPULoad: 19.06, OSLoad: 83.58, CoreTemp: 77.4
    20:55:31.827, CPU: 1, Clock: 1595.99, Throttle: 21.04, FID: 8.0, VID: 0.987, CPULoad: 18.99, OSLoad: 60.94, CoreTemp: 77.2
    20:55:32.811, CPU: 0, Clock: 1596.67, Throttle: 21.02, FID: 8.0, VID: 0.987, CPULoad: 16.97, OSLoad: 71.88, CoreTemp: 77.2
    20:55:32.811, CPU: 1, Clock: 1596.01, Throttle: 21.03, FID: 8.0, VID: 0.987, CPULoad: 16.97, OSLoad: 56.25, CoreTemp: 77.0
    20:55:33.733, CPU: 0, Clock: 1595.98, Throttle: 100.00, FID: 8.0, VID: 1.137, CPULoad: 51.00, OSLoad: 71.67, CoreTemp: 77.8
    20:55:33.733, CPU: 1, Clock: 1595.96, Throttle: 100.00, FID: 8.0, VID: 1.137, CPULoad: 51.01, OSLoad: 44.26, CoreTemp: 77.8
    20:55:34.749, CPU: 0, Clock: 1595.96, Throttle: 100.00, FID: 8.0, VID: 1.137, CPULoad: 77.85, OSLoad: 85.94, CoreTemp: 79.2
    20:55:34.749, CPU: 1, Clock: 1596.01, Throttle: 100.00, FID: 8.0, VID: 1.137, CPULoad: 77.85, OSLoad: 32.31, CoreTemp: 79.2

    As you can see, many times within 7 seconds the total CPU load went either close to 100 % or above it. One thing quite concerning is the OSLoad. I find it quite high and I cannot find any Windows process likely to make it that high. Also, that game (Return to Castle Wolfenstein) used to run properly on a P3 1 GHz. My MBA has a 1.6 GHz Core 2 Duo. Moreover, throttling has been disabled so it runs to full speed all the time (1.6 GHz or 8x).

    There's definitely something wrong here. Any idea of what might make the CPU to peak 100 % all the time?
     

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