What we know about the Half Life 2 stuttering issue thus far

cambrian

Gawd
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Aug 5, 2004
Messages
628
This site sums it up pretty well. Nvidia users need not worry that it's only their cards. It's interesting that Vampire Bloodline is having the same problem and it's a half-life 2 engine; thus, further proving that it's a game problem.

http://www.blep.net/hl2stutter/

I've collected the following points based on my own experience and the information collected from hundreds of forum posts on this problem.
  • It occurs on both Intel and AMD CPUs of all speeds.
  • It occurs on systems with 2+ GB of RAM although it appears to be worse for users with 512MB of RAM or less.
  • It occurs on both ATI and NVIDIA video cards, including video cards with 256MB RAM.
  • It occurs with multiple sound cards and chipsets, including the Sound Blaster Live!, Audigy, Audigy 2, NVIDIA SoundStorm, Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, Realtek, etc.
  • It occurs regardless of in-game screen resolution.
  • It occurs for both CD/DVD installations and installations downloaded via Steam.
  • It occurs on all supported versions of Windows including Windows XP Service Pack 2.
  • It occurs on all supported versions of ATI CATALYST and NVIDIA ForceWare drivers, including the CATALYST 4.12 and ForceWare 67.02 beta drivers that contain optimizations for Source engine games.
  • There are reports that lowering in-game texture detail and/or sound quality helps. I had to set texture detail to low before I noticed an improvement. This is unacceptable considering my system specs.
  • This issue is not the result of the in-game auto-save feature as many people suggest. While the auto-saving may cause stuttering, the stuttering also occurs many times between auto-save points.
  • The stuttering occurs in the same spot every time but only once per the loading of that level. I have recorded a 10 second demo that illustrates this. When executing the demo multiple times, the stuttering occurs every time in exactly the same spot. However, if while the level is loaded, you go back to the location of a previous stutter, it no longer occurs.
  • According to some, this problem has existed as far back as the Half-Life 2 demos that were shown at E3. Indeed, if you go back and watch some of the footage, you can hear the audio stuttering as new scenes are loaded.
  • The stuttering occurs in Half-Life: Source which has significantly less resources to manage than Half-Life 2.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade, which is based on Half-Life 2's Source engine is also reported to have the same stuttering issues.
 

batty

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
156
So what's new. HL is 6 years old and it's still buggy as fuck. Can't honestly say the current state of affairs has me surprised. This is Valve. This is who they are. Maybe/Hopefully Nvidia can clean up their mess and get us some non-stuttering drivers.
 

Spank

Limp Gawd
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Dec 10, 2003
Messages
378
the stuttering happens whenever the game has to load a new sound, the engine for some reason do not pre cache the sounds when it loads a new area.
 

joecuddles

[H]ard|Gawd
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Aug 16, 2004
Messages
1,103
It's happening in HL:S apparently, which is rediculous.

They need a fix for this or there will be hell raised. If this fix works for you though, all the better, GL Bat... guy ;)
 

piocar

n00b
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
Messages
15
This happens in normal HL, non source, if sound precache is not enabled. I would think this would be the same problem.

Anyway to forece sound precache?
 

batty

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
156
FUCKING Steam cache validation just corrupted my HL2 installaion. Mother Fuckers! I gotta uninstall and go through being steam's bitch all over agian.

Steam MUST DIE!

Pleast note that I am mildly unhappy.
 

Mikey20

Gawd
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Aug 21, 2003
Messages
762
These kinds of things is what patch updates are for. I mean the game just came out im not sure what version is the latest i think its 1.0 still. In due time updates will improve performance, not to mention also the videocard updates.
 

joecuddles

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Mikey20 said:
These kinds of things is what patch updates are for. I mean the game just came out im not sure what version is the latest i think its 1.0 still. In due time updates will improve performance, not to mention also the videocard updates.

If it's showing up not only in HL2 but also in Vampire : Masquerade, it may be an engine problem, I don't know how they'd fix that. Or how they never noticed it before released :confused:
 

peacetilence

2[H]4U
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I'm starting to think it happens when scripted events are loaded, that's when I notice it the most.
 

Chris_B

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joecuddles said:
If it's showing up not only in HL2 but also in Vampire : Masquerade, it may be an engine problem, I don't know how they'd fix that. Or how they never noticed it before released :confused:


I noticed skipping stuttering even during the e3 demos, one of the gamespot cam recorded vids you can hear the audio stuttering before it loads a level, not entirely sure what video this is in though. On another gamespot vid showing the g-man giving his speech at the start of the game it skips when he says "again". This also happens in the released version but not all the time. At the same time i dont think any of the e3 vids really showed scenes where the stuttering would show up, like opening a door to a new part of a level which was graphically complex. Its possible its something they knew about (dont see how the hell they couldn;t have spotted it) but were unable to fix.
 

joecuddles

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I noticed those hiccups as well, but just ignored them. It doesn't look like it's been fixed though. If it's some sort of deep engine problem I'm not sure how they can fix it, but lets hope they can (even though I'm not getting the issue).
 

Mikey20

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peacetilence said:
I'm starting to think it happens when scripted events are loaded, that's when I notice it the most.

Thats what i was thinking as well
 

batty

Limp Gawd
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Ok guys. Finally got a chance to test out this 'fix'. It fixed all the stuttering. I do get some sometimes when I quick save though, but never randomly.
 

Major_A

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Well I'm glad I read this forum everyday. I finally got around to playing HL2 a bit today and it was stuttering bad. I mean as soon as I got off the train it was stuttering. All I was able to play so far is getting to the outside of the check station so far. As soon as I took a step outside it locked up and had a sound loop. I had to manually reboot my computer and haven't messed with it since. I just figured it was a sound issue and was going to try to update my sound drivers.
 

batty

Limp Gawd
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Oct 31, 2004
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pigpen said:
Am i missing something? Ati users have had this problem?

Yes. Just as much as Nvidia users. It has nothing to do with the IHVs. Seems like it's Source related.
 

joecuddles

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Reading the thread is fun!

From the first post :
"It occurs on both ATI and NVIDIA video cards, including video cards with 256MB RAM"

:p
 

Sc0rched

Gawd
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I am not sure if I am having this issue.. The only time it stutters is for about 2 seconds after the loading has gone away. It doesnt stutter at all otherwise. I have had 2 game crashes though, I can't minimize to read the error though. (Once on an elevator, another time in the water). It just froze, popped up with an error, and the sound repeated, had to ctrl+alt+del and then load at last save.
 

batty

Limp Gawd
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Oct 31, 2004
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You're not having it. The stuttering after the loading screen is from the autosaves. You can disable autosaves to fix that like I did.
 

TheRapture

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peacetilence said:
I'm starting to think it happens when scripted events are loaded, that's when I notice it the most.


I see it right when the guy talks to you, on the level where you go out into the city17 with a gangof rebels to fight some striders....
 

Moloch

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how the hell did gabe play this game, and all the other crack team, and not notice it?
wtf..
 

batty

Limp Gawd
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Messages
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Moloch said:
how the hell did gabe play this game, and all the other crack team, and not notice it?
wtf..

He knows. He just doesn't care. What was he going to do? Delay it for another year?
 

V0ltage

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yea i notice it, thought it was just since i had 512 ram... maybe when i get a gig next week it will fix it a little bit?
 

Deadly sk1llz

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Jan 26, 2004
Messages
130
I've seen this issue, and it really hasn't been that bad for me, I just notice it when I'm entering a new area {not when it matters in a gunfight}

This may be a save issue (I notice I get this where I save last), or a checkpoint (similar to Halo's checkpoint). I don't understand that this is such a huge issue inbetween gunfights and just walking around. This has never hindered my preformance.
 

Michael Younger

Weaksauce
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Messages
77
I have no idea what you people are talking about?

I've encountered no stuttering whatsoever when playing HL2. Of course, I haven't bought a PC yet and am still playing in my dreams.

My system specs:

Processor: 37 year-old male brain; slightly abused from too much wine, women and song.
Video: One incredibly vivid imagination.
RAM: My memory is not so good anymore; all I remember is that whatever it was 'I didn't do it'. Honestly, I didn't.
 

osirus35

Gawd
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
871
i have not noticed any stutters at all and i have the retail verson of HL2 normal edition
system specs:
P4 3ghz northwood 800mhz fsb
DFI Lanparty pro875
1GB pc3200 DDR ram
PNY 6800 GT with nvidia forceware 66.93 drivers
160 gb 7200rpm 8mb cache hard drive
 

spruce

Banned for Name Calling - Care to join me?
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Jul 21, 2004
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osirus35 said:
i have not noticed any stutters at all and i have the retail verson of HL2 normal edition


same here ;)
 

Mr Mean

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Oct 2, 2004
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I get the stuttering also. But it's not to the point of ruining the gaming experience. Granted it is annoying :) All Gabe has to do is make the game take in more RAM ;) That will fix it!
 

Mister E

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It's not that bad on my rig. Reminds me of how Mad Max used to talk. A slight sound loop re-re-repeat and its done.
 

Sanitarium

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I get it pretty often. It seems like a sound loading issue. As the other guy said, how could they not notice it in testing?
 

Major_A

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Anyone getting this with a SB Audigy 2 ZS installed? Reason I ask is I ran across a guide to trick my Audigy MP3+ to use the newest ZS drivers.

Edit
Nvm, the guy above me has a ZS, oh well.
 

Jasonizer

Weaksauce
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Sep 28, 2004
Messages
107
What do you think causes this? I am not overclocking and have a 3200+AMD/9800Pro. help please.

 

Impact9

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The stuttering gets worse farther into the game since there is more action going on. First off there is only minor stuttering which leads everyone to think autosave is to blame. Further into the game you start thinking, hmm maybe that's my drivers. A bit farther and your starting to think, hey this is happening anytime a new sound loads. Now I'm at the striders level and I just had my first crash due to the stuttering.

How many people are playing this from their c:\ drive? I can't say it's not file swapping since my swap file is on my windows drive. Going to move my swap file to a different drive to check. BRB
 

Jasonizer

Weaksauce
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See it does it here too so I don't think it would be a ..missing texture.. I am using DX9C+ ATI Driver 4.11 (latest on ATI Download site)



Ps. As far as shuttering goes I know it's a bitch but the only way to get the game out of that state is to pause it and hit the windows key and then go back into the game and unpause it. Sad but hey.
 

Sanitarium

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Jasonizer said:
See it does it here too so I don't think it would be a ..missing texture.. I am using DX9C+ ATI Driver 4.11 (latest on ATI Download site)

Ps. As far as shuttering goes I know it's a bitch but the only way to get the game out of that state is to pause it and hit the windows key and then go back into the game and unpause it. Sad but hey.

It is indeed a missing texture. You''ll have to redownload or reinstall to fix it. It happened to me in CS:S and redownloading fixed it.
 

The[H]uman

Secret Agent Man
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Feb 16, 2001
Messages
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I noticed this somewhat but i just love valves response

We're also investigating a solution for the sound skipping problems a small number of users are running into. We'll have a solution for this as soon as possible.

reading that i'm like okay there was atleast 100,000 views they were saying on this one thread how many people does it take to say hey there is a problem 1,000,000 or what ?
 

haroldmeyer

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I get this "stuttering" even at 85fps sometimes. I know it's not my system so I just play through it.
 

Impact9

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Moving my swap file did in fact reduce the stuttering problem but didn't solve it all together. I also tried decompressing the audio files as well. Is there a config file to increase cache like doom 3 has?
 
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