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View Full Version : Intermittent slowdown on SoC?


Nirruden
03-31-2010, 01:32 PM
I'm getting an unusual bug when trying to play SoC. My game will be buttery smooth most of the time, but every couple of minutes or so, it will degrade into a "moving through molasses" slideshow that lasts for a minute or so, then goes away.

It's not an FPS drop, per se. The slowdown will be intermittent in the same areas, with the same graphics settings, coming and going within the same session and no settings changes. That is, if I leave the character looking at a wall in Sid's shelter, then the slowdown will eventually occur despite being next-to-nothing to actually show to the camera, and when it's not occurring, I could be looking down range at high grass densities and full range lighting in a thunderstorm and not suffering any FPS/slowdown problems at all, despite there being much more going on for the video card to render. Likewise, if I stay in one place long enough, the slowdown will occur and recede multiple times in the same area, and will occur in different areas during repeated play sessions crisscrossing The Zone.

I've managed to torture myself into finishing up the "military documents" quest in Agroprom, but I can't see myself finishing the game under these conditions - when it occurs, I'm forced to do things like "doorway camp" because I can't react to things occuring behind me (rapid POV changes are hard to control and wildly overcorrect, lateral strafing motion is difficult to judge and perform correctly).

For the record, I do not suffer these problems in other games - the slowdown issue only appears in SoC, and occurs on both bare minimum and "recommended" graphics settings despite being utterly glass-smooth at other times.

Any idea what could be causing this slowdown? It's rapidly sapping the fun out of the game, and I'm at a loss of where to look to resolve the problem.

Edit: It should go without saying, but this is on a base install through Steam, with no current or prior mod use, no additional external tweaking or modification - a pristine copy.

v@.Li.um
03-31-2010, 02:02 PM
Same problem here, I guess. Though, in my case the screen is eventually tinted with yellow.

E6400 + GTS 250 (latest drivers)

marie pavie
03-31-2010, 02:21 PM
if I leave the character looking at a wall in Sid's shelter, then the slowdown will eventually occur despite being next-to-nothing to actually show to the camera
That's a weird one. Try quitting the whole game & restarting it, that works for me if I get slowdowns on the warehouse map.

TheKompressor
03-31-2010, 02:59 PM
doing vid_restart occasionally stops that for me

Nirruden
03-31-2010, 03:08 PM
Same problem here, I guess. Though, in my case the screen is eventually tinted with yellow.I've never had any unusual screen tinting that wasn't due to a loose monitor cable, but I have verified that I am using the most current drivers for my 7900GT, per nVidia's site.

That's a weird one. Try quitting the whole game & restarting it, that works for me if I get slowdowns on the warehouse map.Quitting and restarting does not solve the issue, nor is it specific to any one map. I've had it underground (below Agroprom) topside (in all of Cordon/Garbage/Agroprom) and even "transition" areas like Sid's shelter.

doing vid_restart occasionally stops that for meI will try this. I assume this restarts the video subsystem. Have you had much experience with this issue?

3xecuter
03-31-2010, 03:11 PM
Yep same story fps above 80+ but it feels like the game stutters when runing

Nirruden
03-31-2010, 04:34 PM
doing vid_restart occasionally stops that for meThis does not fix the issue. If it is present before a restart, it is present after a restart. If it is not present before a restart, restarting does not prevent it from occurring later.

Any other ideas, folks?

Tornhelix
04-01-2010, 01:04 PM
I had this exact same issue with SoC. What fixed it for me was I lowered the resolution from 1680x1050 to 1440x900 (I have a widescreen monitor).

n0bby
04-01-2010, 04:07 PM
I'd suggest installing the Stalker Complete 2009 mod.
It made the game run smoother for me. It leaves the main game vanilla, fixes various problems, adds some functionality like allowing fast named saves and the sleeping bag, and generally makes the game run a whole lot better and look much nicer too. Why not give it a try? (It's all contained in the Gamedata folder, so is easily disabled if it doesn't help or for some inexplicable reason you don't like it.)

Nirruden
04-01-2010, 04:47 PM
Still slugging it out, guys, but really, really would love a fix for this issue!

I'd suggest installing the Stalker Complete 2009 mod.I may consider this as a last resort. For now, I'm steadily working my way through the game, but I've had a few "close calls" with bandits, bloodsuckers and the crawling ex-stalker things in the lab that were really, really unpleasant, but since I've been caching spare supplies like a madman, it hasn't hurt me too badly - lots of medikits and bandages burned while I can't tell how far my health has dropped but it's worked - so far.

It made the game run smoother for me. It leaves the main game vanilla, fixes various problems, adds some functionality like allowing fast named saves and the sleeping bag, and generally makes the game run a whole lot better and look much nicer too. Why not give it a try? (It's all contained in the Gamedata folder, so is easily disabled if it doesn't help or for some inexplicable reason you don't like it.)I'll consider it - but whatever this problem is, I can't imagine that a mod would fix it.

Extra symptom explanations: Sometimes it freezes. If I'm running when it "freezes", and I keep the "forward" button depressed, I can drop from 2/3rds stamina to completely out before it recovers, as though the game has kept running but totally failed to provide any visual or auditory feedback while doing so. I suspect if this were to happen while under fire, it would result in having to reload, but it has not, yet.

I had this exact same issue with SoC. What fixed it for me was I lowered the resolution from 1680x1050 to 1440x900 (I have a widescreen monitor).I can try that - I'm playing at 1024x768 and can drop to 800x600 and see if it goes away. (I don't expect this to fix the issue, but keep trying guys - surely someone else has had this problem and solved it!)

FreemanForPrez
04-01-2010, 04:56 PM
How much video ram does your 7900 GT have?

Nirruden
04-01-2010, 05:41 PM
How much video ram does your 7900 GT have?nVidia 7900 GT 256MB card - the exact spec in the "recommended" system requirements for the game!

Let me be frank: I'm not trying to play on maximum settings. I'm well aware that a developer's "recommended" specs are often lower than they should be. I've already got most things turned down or off - AA off, AF off, grass minimum, shadows off.

Now, it happens with both static lighting or dynamic lighting (which should make a monstrous difference in GPU usage), and as far as I can tell it's not a video card issue - it occurs with MINIMUM settings - everything turned down or off as low as it will go. The "lag" will sometimes happen in the "search item" interface while underground and looking at a wall and cause the "radiation sign" mouse pointer to crawl instead of moving smoothly. At that point (eg. while I'm looking into a wall) there's really next-to-nothing for the card to render, and as I've said, it runs butter-smooth most of the time, even with many entities on screen, heavy firefights, etc. It doesn't appear to be related to what's being rendered at all.

FreemanForPrez
04-01-2010, 06:24 PM
No I suppose it's not your vram. Was just curious anyway, and it was kind of a longshot, given your success with it at other times.

So are you playing other equally demanding games through this, also with no problems?
Have you tried the -noprefetch setting? I don't think it would matter, but it's worth a shot.

How about your PC? Anything overheating - CPU, GPU, hard drive or system ram? Do you ever get BSOD's?

I've not had these issues in SoC or heard of anyone else describing what you're seeing, so I would definitely recommend looking at your temps and run some diagnostics for your hard drive and system RAM, if for no reason other than to rule them out.

How about background processes like an anti-virus or disk scan or anything like that kicking in automatically while you're playing?
What OS, btw?

Have you tried setting your maximum pre-rendered frames to, say, 2, instead of the default of 3, in the Nvidia Control Panel for SoC?

Other than these things, and what others have offered, I can't think of anything else.
.
.

n0bby
04-02-2010, 01:51 AM
Extra symptom explanations: Sometimes it freezes. If I'm running when it "freezes", and I keep the "forward" button depressed, I can drop from 2/3rds stamina to completely out before it recovers, as though the game has kept running but totally failed to provide any visual or auditory feedback while doing so.I get the same sort of phenomenon as this too when I play - but I've got so used to it now (and know exactly where it will happen) that I don't really notice it. For me, it happens every time I enter points in maps where a dense population of AI is situated. So when I get to the bar from the garbage, for instance, I can run happily towards the Duty checkpoint but I know that as I cross the small sheet metal bridge the game will stutter to a complete halt for maybe 10-15 seconds.

As I say, this always happens - but I'm used to it. Complete 2009 improved the overall performance of my SoC, but it still doesn't run smooth all the time by any means. My PC is a Core2 Duo 6600 @ 2.4, with 3gb RAM and a 9800GTX+ running the game at 1920 x 1080 with high settings but no AA.

I was told in a CoP thread about performance that my 512mb of video RAM was to blame (when I reported the same sort of stuttering in CoP) - but I still tend to suspect that the slowdown is due to a lot of A-life being loaded up.

JediZero666
04-02-2010, 06:12 PM
Same freezing thing happens to me. I believe the issue is with too many items being stored in a box/corpse that is in the area being loaded. I first encountered this when I decided to move all my items from the Trader to the Train Depot. I'd have like a 20-30 second freeze and the game would resume fine afterwards. Exiting the area created no freezing. For the record, I had over 30 guns, 1500 ammo for AK, over 70 bandages, over 50 medkits, over 20 scientific med kits, over 700 NATO ammo, and other crap stored at the Train Depot. I tested this by putting less items at the Trader and I encounter a 1 second freeze. For areas with no stored items I don't encounter any freezing. I'm running Win 7 x64 with Intel Core i7 920 @ 2.66 with 6GB OCZ Gold DDR3 1600 RAM with a EVGA GTX 260 Core 216 Super Clocked Edition on a an EVGA 3x SLI X58 mobo so I know it's not my hardware. All my video settings are on high with 4x AA.

Bad_Motha
04-02-2010, 10:46 PM
The items inside boxes and/or corpses shouldn't be an issue. There may be some bit of pausing when you open them, or opening your own inventory should there be alot of items. But the overall game performance shouldn't be affected by this. Now if you were to have lots of items on the open grounds somewhere, that is an issue because the game has to render all those items as they would be in plain sight at some point. And the more in a single spot or scattered about on the grounds can cause quite a bit of slow-down.

I've had many games where I've had so many items either in a stash box or on my person that I had to scroll quite a bit to view them all and it doesn't effect the game. Only issue I get (and this is with all Stalker game) is that having large amounts will cause a good deal of pause when opening, say a stash box or your own inventory. Having 10,000 rounds of a single type of ammo shouldn't matter. It's when having alot of multiple types of things.

Again the pausing for opening a box or inventory is still minimal, but can grow as your inventory grows. But overall this doesn't effect or create longer load times or stuttering in the game while moving around/fighting, etc.

MattMock
04-03-2010, 12:16 AM
You really should install the Complete 2009 mod. It includes a lot of bug fixes and might solve your problem. It does require a new game start though.
It also enhances the visuals without much of a performance hit.

Nirruden
04-03-2010, 11:33 AM
No I suppose it's not your vram.

So are you playing other equally demanding games through this, also with no problems?Equally demanding is debatable, but I can play CoD:WaW or CoD4 without the issue, so if it were not game specific, I'd suggest that these would also cause it. They do not.

Have you tried the -noprefetch setting? I don't think it would matter, but it's worth a shot.I have both this and the -nointro flag set, as a matter of course.

How about your PC? Anything overheating - CPU, GPU, hard drive or system ram? Do you ever get BSOD's?No, and no.

I've not had these issues in SoC or heard of anyone else describing what you're seeing, so I would definitely recommend looking at your temps and run some diagnostics for your hard drive and system RAM, if for no reason other than to rule them out.I've used Memsys to confirm that system ram is good, and my HD is defragged. It's very strange - I've found no other references to this sort of behavior, and I've certainly never seen anything like it from other games. (I play a LOT of FPS games, but add salt as I've not played them all.)

How about background processes like an anti-virus or disk scan or anything like that kicking in automatically while you're playing?Possible - I haven't ruled this out (I'm not sure how to do so other than by uninstalling NAV) but I'm not seeing a surge in activity like I'd expect from this. I also wouldn't expect it to come and go at intervals.

What OS, btw?XP. System's a bit old, but that should be supported for SoC.

Have you tried setting your maximum pre-rendered frames to, say, 2, instead of the default of 3, in the Nvidia Control Panel for SoC?No - I'll look into this.

Other than these things, and what others have offered, I can't think of anything else.Thanks for trying. I'm pushing through Pripyat now (so many snipers and RPGs...) so I'll probably just tough it out and then uninstall and be happy about it.

Mythril
07-10-2010, 12:57 PM
I have this exact same problem. Butter smooth and then wham, grinds to a holt. Random places but it's making the game unplayable ! Is there anyone out there that might suggest a fix for this ? I've tried installing the Complete 2009 mod but it still does the same. It's the only one out of the Stalker collection I've not actually finished yet and I want to complete it :)

Mythril
07-10-2010, 01:05 PM
Ok managed to get an error message from it this time.


Expression : fatal error
Function : CScriptEngine::lua_error
File : E:\stalker\sources\trunk\xr_3da\xrGame\script_engi ne.cpp
Line : 73
Description : <no expression>
Arguments : LUA error: ...shadow of chernobyl\gamedata\scripts\xr_logic.script:1105: attempt to index field '?' (a nil value)

Mythril
07-11-2010, 02:24 AM
Ok I've disabled EAX in the options, quit the game and reloaded it up. Touch wood it seems to be working ok now :confused: