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Micro Stutter

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I've been researching this issue, it's the one area that is very rarely mentioned, but often debated when referenced.

Just for perspective, I was planning on going with 590 (Quad) SLI @ stock, as from reviews it performs similarly to the 580's SLI in terms of heat & noise, yet offer greater performance. Then I was informed of microstutter, and how it gets worse with the more GPU's you have, and needed to research this some more. I'm personally very particular in hitting 120fps in the titles I play, I wouldn't want micro stutter to make the game-play look more like 20fps.

Few points:
  • I can only assume that microstutter is caused by two or more GPU's not being able to synchronize properly to display the image as seamlessly as possible. Thus, making it worse for 4 GPU's, which is what I was planning on a 590 SLI setup
  • I've read that microstutter can also be attributed to the bottlenecking of other parts, such as CPU and such.
  • Micro stutter has also been attributed to programs running in the background
  • Higher frame rates are reported to have less or non-existent micro stutter issues
  • There are some reports of vertical sync helping, and others negatively impacting micro stutter performance
  • Some attribute it to power-saving features of the operating system, disabling pci link power management has been reported to have less or non-existent issues
  • There is also quite a debate as to how to perceive micro stutter. Micro stutter isn't the same as visual stutters, it's not easily "seen", its rather fraction-of-a-second jitters than make high fps performance seem weak, sluggish.

So is micro stutter still an issue, would it be safer to go with 580 SLI? or is this something not to really worry about?
Edited by Scytus - 4/23/11 at 2:42pm
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post #2 of 21
You might not even notice it, some do, some don't.

If you've ran a multi card set up in the past, did you notice it?
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post #3 of 21
It is not as much of a problem on newer GPUs.

My 7900s are pretty bad though
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post #4 of 21
Before going into my current GPU purchase (5970) I had owned a few SLI and Crossfire setups in the past, and had heard about microslutter before, but never experienced it. However, since buying this card I started getting a lot of microslutter in certian games (one where it was really bad was Metro). If you watch fps counts it still remains fairly high, but it makes the game feel much worse because your eyes can definitely tell something is off. In a non-sluttering card if it slows down at least the slowdown is usually pretty consistent and you just see an overall frames hit, not the inconsistnet jerking feeling that I have been getting with this card.

For the most part, when I run a game I try and end all background services (other than overclocking and temperature utilities, and perhaps a chat client in some games) so I don't think that has an affect on my slutter. I'm not sure if Nvidia handles slutter any better than ATI, but I have read quite a few stories of slutter on the 295 so I'm guessing the problem still exists.

The matter still largely comes down to personal preference. But I can say for myself, that after having one dual GPU card that slutters, rather than go for the highest total speed card in the future (which is often dual GPU), I will always shoot for the highest performing single-GPU card to avoid the nightmares I've been having with this card.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scytus;13245354 
I've been researching this issue, it's the one area that is very rarely mentioned, but often debated when referenced.

Just for perspective, I was planning on going with 590 (Quad) SLI @ stock, as from reviews it performs similarly to the 580's SLI in terms of heat & noise, yet offer greater performance. Then I was informed of microstutter, and how it gets worse with the more GPU's you have, and needed to research this some more. I'm personally very particular in hitting 120fps in the titles I play, I wouldn't want micro stutter to make the game-play look more like 20fps.

Few points:
  • I can only assume that microstutter is caused by two or more GPU's not being able to synchronize properly to display the image as seamlessly as possible. Thus, making it worse for 4 GPU's, which is what I was planning on a 590 SLI setup.
  • I've read that microstutter can also be attributed to the bottlenecking of other parts, such as CPU and such.
  • Micro stutter has also been attributed to programs running in the background
  • Higher frame rates are reported to have less or non-existent micro stutter issues.
  • There is also quite a debate as to how to perceive micro stutter. Micro stutter isn't the same as visual stutters, it's not easily "seen", its rather fraction-of-a-second jitters than make high fps performance seem weak, sluggish.

So is micro stutter still an issue, would it be safer to go with 580 SLI? or is this something not to really worry about?
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post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
I have noticed it on a friends computer with 4870 x 2, and this shows it off pretty well I think:

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOtre2f4qZs[/ame]
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post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evanagar;13245401 
Before going into my current GPU purchase (5970) I had owned a few SLI and Crossfire setups in the past, and had heard about microslutter before, but never experienced it. However, since buying this card I started getting a lot of microslutter in certian games (one where it was really bad was Metro). If you watch fps counts it still remains fairly high, but it makes the game feel much worse because your eyes can definitely tell something is off. In a non-sluttering card if it slows down at least the slowdown is usually pretty consistent and you just see an overall frames hit, not the inconsistnet jerking feeling that I have been getting with this card.

For the most part, when I run a game I try and end all background services (other than overclocking and temperature utilities, and perhaps a chat client in some games) so I don't think that has an affect on my slutter. I'm not sure if Nvidia handles slutter any better than ATI, but I have read quite a few stories of slutter on the 295 so I'm guessing the problem still exists.

The matter still largely comes down to personal preference. But I can say for myself, that after having one dual GPU card that slutters, rather than go for the highest total speed card in the future (which is often dual GPU), I will always shoot for the highest performing single-GPU card to avoid the nightmares I've been having with this card.

Would it be possible that your 730 is a bottleneck?
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post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scytus;13245477 
Would it be possible that your 730 is a bottleneck?

That's actually wrong, supposed to be i7-930. It shouldn't be much of a bottleneck. I suspected that initially but I was looking at cpu/gpu uses and the cpu has never been hit nearly as hard as the gpu in games with sluttter. Usually the situations where I see it is in rain/high water environments or around lots of edges like in jungles/etc
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post #8 of 21
might be glitchtacular ATi linux drivers?
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post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Only a few suggestions come to mind.. trying it in another system to eliminate the possibility of bottlenecks, turning on/off vertical sync, or try a lower resolution (might be the card RAM).

Here's also a method specifically for ATI cards that I just came across: kill the MOM.exe (ATI event monitor) and CCC.exe (ATI Catalyst Control Center) processes by opening Task Manager finding CCC.exe and MOM.exe and hitting "End Process".
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post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by reflex99;13245723 
might be glitchtacular ATi linux drivers?

Nope, play all my games on a windows install (separate ssd, not partition). Have tried wide variety of drivers. I've had the best luck with 10.10 though
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