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Battlefield 3: Micro-stuttering and sluggish gameplay

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

I've been using my new rig for almost 1 month now. Since day one, I felt like the gaming performance should have been better and by better I mean, smoother (stutter free) and without huge FPS drops.

First problem:

The first game I tested was BF3, I was able to play it on Ultra 60+ FPS almost all the time and sometimes reaching 80 FPS. However, whenever there is some action (explosions and you know what Battlfield has to offer), the FPS drops significantly, sometimes 30- FPS, but this happens only for a second or two. So my first questions, is this normal ?

Second problem:

I know recording through fraps or mainly through any other problem will cause a significant FPS drop, but are we talking about 10-15 maybe 20 FPS or like in my case, 40+ FPS ? even though I have the game installed on and SSD and fraps is recording to an HDD. Note that this happens regardless which preset is selected (Low,Medium,High,Ultra,Auto). On the other hand, If I try to lock the FPS to certain number, lets say 60, the game becomes unplayable since the FPS drops happens quite often. My second question, is this normal?

Third problem:

Alright, the above two problems are manageable and can be ignored to a certain level. However, this problem is really giving me a hard time. The problem is that the game play (BF3) feels slow paced and sluggish, with lots of micro-stuttering when moving around. I've tried everything but still unable to overcome this problem. I've tried all the presets (from Ultra to low), but still, nothing have changed. On low settings, I am getting 100+ fps easily, reaching 170. But the micro-stuttering is still there.

To give you a better insight about what is really happening, I've uploaded a video on youtube, playing on an empty server:

http://youtu.be/Y8tmJy0ecGI

Note: I've recorded it using fraps locked @60fps, so the footage is twice as worse as in the game itself since youtube limit is 30fps.

I also did another test run:

Server: 64 players Caspian border
Run time: 13 minutes
Battlefield preset in-game: Lowest settings
V-Sync in-game: off
Adaptive V-sync: off
Nvidia Driver: 310.90 (I've already tested the 306.97 and 310.70, both same results)
CPU Clock: Default

GPU Log (MSI Afterburner) & CPU Log (HWINFO64): http://easy-upload.info/do.php?id=690

Fraps benchmark: (Original files: http://easy-upload.info/do.php?id=689)








I would really appreciate if anyone here can provide help on any of the above mentioned problem, thanks in advance.
Edited by 1b0b1 - 1/29/13 at 1:15am
post #2 of 34
Are you using the LN2 bios? On my lightning using the LN2 bios would tangibly reduce the smoothness of gameplay. At the time I was using 310.90. I choose to use the standard locked bios and then use kgb to increase my vcore.
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post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
I've never touched anything with the GPU, it is still on factory settings and not running on the LN2 bios.
post #4 of 34
If you are not running windows 8 have you disabled core parking? Core parking in windows 7 caused some people to have microstutter in BF3 with HT CPUs. I'm pretty sure it won't help with the 1st and 2nd problem but for the 3rd problem it is worth a shot.
     
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post #5 of 34
On the 1st problem:

That's quite normal actually, big FPS drop(s) happen to all of us, you shouldn't be worried too much about this if I were you. You may want to reduce some settings, like the Effects one, so that went things blow right in your face, you don't get as much of a drop.

2nd problem:

I've never recorded or anything along those lines but, have you tried using another codec/program? or maybe lowering the quality?

3rd problem:

This is the big one for me, I truly haven't been able to fully enjoy BF3 because of this, for example, in my rig, BF3 runs at a constant 60 FPS, but every so often I get these little skips or stutters which to put it in a nutshell drive me $%#$% insane, I tried using the very latest driver set 313.95, but they were not that good, uninstalled those, and I downloaded the "legendary" 307.74 set that was released for Quadro/Tesla a couple of weeks ago, these are much better than the R313 ones, but there's still some stuttering/skipping here and there. The weird thing about it is that, I just recently upgraded motherboards, my previous one was an ASUS P8P67, and with that motherboard, I finally resolved my stuttering issues with the use of a 3rd party frame limiter, MSI Afterburner, but with this one, I still get them, but it's worth mentioning that when I had the ASUS one, I used the 310.54 driver set released by Xtreme-G, maybe those drivers do the trick, I'll probably download them later tonight.
post #6 of 34
I get the exact same issue if I don't cap my frame rate... basically stuttering and tearing and it feels like I'm lagging... look below... and this is the same thing that happens if I don't use vsync

Something I posted in another thread... basically, you will want to limit your frame rate to 59 instead of 60. Also enable forcerenderahead. You can do this in the user.cfg file.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derko1 View Post

Don't use MSI to cap it.

The cfg file is in your battlefield 3 main folder.

This is what mine has in it. You can copy the relevant parts if you wish. (To create the user.cfg file... go to your main Battlefield 3 folder and simply create a new text file. Then put the information below in it... now make sure you are able to see it's file extension of ".txt" and rename it to user.cfg.)
Quote:
GameTime.MaxVariableFps 59.000000
Render.DrawFps 0
Render.DrawScreenInfo 0
Render.PerfOverlayEnable 0
Render.PerfOverlayVisible 0
RenderDevice.Dx11Enable 1
RenderDevice.ForceRenderAheadLimit 1
RenderDevice.TripleBufferingEnable 1
Screenshot.Format jpg
UI.DrawEnable 1
WorldRender.DxDeferredCsPathEnable 1
WorldRender.SpotLightShadowmapResolution 1024

So here is my spikes with simply vsync on and no capping.


Here is capped at 59 through the cfg.

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post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derko1 View Post

I get the exact same issue if I don't cap my frame rate... basically stuttering and tearing and it feels like I'm lagging... look below... and this is the same thing that happens if I don't use vsync

Something I posted in another thread... basically, you will want to limit your frame rate to 59 instead of 60. Also enable forcerenderahead. You can do this in the user.cfg file.

Yeah but I got a 120hz monitor, what should I set the fps to ?
post #8 of 34
It will not hurt to set it to 59... otherwise... do you get a CONSTANT and by constant... I mean at least 99% of the time, 120 fps if you turn on vsync?

Like I said, just try testing it... you can turn on the same graphs I have pictured by setting the follow to options to 1 in the user.cfg. Then set the frame rate limit to 59 or 119.

Render.PerfOverlayEnable 1
Render.PerfOverlayVisible 1
Edited by Derko1 - 1/30/13 at 3:55pm
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post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 
I've set my monitor to 60hz and tried to use your setting, honestly, it only made it worse...
post #10 of 34
Guys the in game limiter is absolute trash.

Trust me, try the frame limiter built in MSI Afterburner.
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