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High FPS but high stuttering?

 
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christophwilhelm

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:44 pm    Post subject: High FPS but high stuttering? Reply with quote

I would like to know if stuttering when driving around in cars is normal in Mafia gameplay? Sometimes I experience awful stutter in the game even though my FPS is fine (so I assume this is most likely a CPU problem, not GPU).

The stuttering (short micro-pauses during gameplay which ruin immersion) occurs most frequently when the car drvies into an object - i.e. another car, lampost etc. or also when on foot and engaging in hand-to-hand combat.

Whilst I have been able to lessen the intensity of the stutters by running the game in windowed mode, I am finding it difficult to completely eliminate the problem.

Is this a normal occurrence in Mafia gameplay and does anyone else experience the stuttering issue? Please let me know.

Thanks.

Last edited by christophwilhelm on Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Hunter

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:09 am    Post subject: High FPS but high stuttering? Reply with quote

Does not sound normal. Sounds like some sort of caching issue. Generally speaking, your computer shouldn't be a limiting factor. A lot of mods will push the engine to the limits and in those cases some stuttering (a large amount of texture loading, high poly cars) may be inevitable.

Pauses are most likely when changing areas, when music/models/textures in the city are loaded.

So, if you have the high data mods, that's likely what is happening, and if not, your computer is either very busy somewhere else or has some kind of memory I/O delay. I would also check into sound - try playing with setup settings by disabling it or using software sound.

I don't think MAFIA needs virtual memory...
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:16 am    Post subject: Re: High FPS but high stuttering? Reply with quote

Hunter wrote:
Does not sound normal. Sounds like some sort of caching issue. Generally speaking, your computer shouldn't be a limiting factor. A lot of mods will push the engine to the limits and in those cases some stuttering (a large amount of texture loading, high poly cars) may be inevitable.

Pauses are most likely when changing areas, when music/models/textures in the city are loaded.

So, if you have the high data mods, that's likely what is happening, and if not, your computer is either very busy somewhere else or has some kind of memory I/O delay. I would also check into sound - try playing with setup settings by disabling it or using software sound.

I don't think MAFIA needs virtual memory...


First of all, thanks so much for your reply and the suggestions.

I am not using many mods at all, and the ones I am using are not major game changing ones, so I think I can rule that one out as a factor.

However, what I will say is, as you implied, that from what I have found I believe the stuttering issue to be probably sound related.

I tried what you suggested, first enabling 'software mixing only' in the setup, and the stuttering was even less but not totally gone.

Then I tried disabling sound altogether and that seemed to remove the stutter even more to an almost non-noticeable level.

Do you think there will be a way in which I can sort this problem with the audio without having to completely disable my sound? I am hoping so as the game obviously isn't worth playing without any sound at all.

Lastly I might just add that I think you're right that the caching could also be at fault here, because I have noticed that the stuttering tends to becomes less severe the more I play the game. It is at it's worst level when I first begin a mission (with sound enabled).

Once again, thanks for your input, this is really helpful Smile
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Hunter

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:23 pm    Post subject: High FPS but high stuttering? Reply with quote

I don't know how helpful I am, solutions are helpful Sticking out tongue

The only other thing to say about sound is EAX proably isn't going to help, pure speculation on my part since I don't like it. Make sure your sound card drivers are updated or chipset drivers if your sound is chipset integrated.

Oh yeah. DirectX. So...more sound crap. You can control the sound acceleration level in dxdiag. Go to the sound tab and see if that will avail you relief. You may be able to lower sound acceleration without any problem in game.

These are just workarounds, knowing what the problem is would be better. Could be a conflict - if you have multiple sound devices connected. Could be anything - multiprocessor malaise, DirectX version issues, codec issues.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:07 pm    Post subject: Re: High FPS but high stuttering? Reply with quote

Hunter wrote:
I don't know how helpful I am, solutions are helpful Sticking out tongue

The only other thing to say about sound is EAX proably isn't going to help, pure speculation on my part since I don't like it. Make sure your sound card drivers are updated or chipset drivers if your sound is chipset integrated.

Oh yeah. DirectX. So...more sound crap. You can control the sound acceleration level in dxdiag. Go to the sound tab and see if that will avail you relief. You may be able to lower sound acceleration without any problem in game.

These are just workarounds, knowing what the problem is would be better. Could be a conflict - if you have multiple sound devices connected. Could be anything - multiprocessor malaise, DirectX version issues, codec issues.


Hm, interesting points raised there.

Well, dxdiag is out of the question since post WinXP, Microsoft no longer allows a way to reduce sound acceleration in dxdiag (no slider).

Regardless, I have come to the conclusion that this is more a caching issue than anything else given that I have more recently discovered stuttering still exists when I disable sound, yet seems to lessen the more I play the game.

In other words, if I perform an action in game such as combat or driving through an object, I can often get a big, fat, ugly pause (stutter) in the game. However, If I quit the game, load the level then do the same thing, no stutter... It's almost as if 'something' has loaded in to the game that had not loaded in before... also known as caching, right?

The game/engine doesn't seem to like 'new' actions which have not occurred before. For example, the first time a car exploded in the game during my first playthrough, there was a pretty big pause - at least a second long. When a car exploded again later in the game, the pause was much less severe.

What I would ultimately like to say regarding this issue is that I have come to the conclusion that, unfortunately, I cannot completely eliminate stuttering in this game as I had hoped to do.

The best I can hope for, or so it seems, is to merely minimize the stuttering so that it becomes least noticeable. Don't get me wrong - at times there can be no stuttering at all, smooth as butter, though this is short lived because there always seems to be microstutter.

My specs (obviously) far exceed the specifications required to run this 15 year old game, yet I don't seem to remember stuttering ever being this noticeable when I very first played through Mafia many years ago.

Anyhow, here's my setup.exe settings I have chosen after experimenting to lessen stutter as much as possible:

Triple buffering - OFF
Vsync - OFF

Bit depth - 32

Texture quality/size:
Truecolor - OFF
Low detail - OFF
Compressed (textures) - ON

Lightmap quality/size:
Truecolor - ON

Sound:
Stereo speakers
Software mixing only - OFF
Disble EAX - ON

Open expert settings:
Hardware Transform Lighting - OFF
Suspend when inactive - ON
Multipass rendering - OFF
Clip always - OFF
W Buffer - OFF

(Borderless) windowed mode - ON

Changing resolution seems to have little to no effect.
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Hunter

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:40 am    Post subject: High FPS but high stuttering? Reply with quote

Yeah, caching is the workaround to the stuttering, one way of defining it being the consequence of spooling to a cache.

I mentioned I don't think MAFIA needs virtual memory. I still don't think so...but I have found games that had choppy/stuttered sound (which is just the rate of hard drive reads; can't be played back smoothly without a cache) unless that specific feature was enabled. Because that stupid game wouldn't put the sounds in memory.

One way to check for driver issues is to uninstall your sound card if any and try default drivers.

I was going to check in game settings (probably nothing there) but now I seem to be getting error 4205 and evidently need to reinstall graphics drivers for some reason Laughing

Sorry we couldn't find a better solution.
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