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I need help with stutter diagnosis (probably not GFX related)

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:23 am
by DanGio
Hello, I lack the technical knowledge to know why my game stutters sometimes.

The stutters appear when "calling" a new element (that wasn't used in the last minutes) : opening a GUI (very prone to stutter), browsing menus, game tips simulation, playing a new soundtrack, playing an entity sound, or even pausing the game (I can say by looking at FPS value which goes down to 45-50).

History :
- My computer from 2013 : Win10, Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4440 CPU @ 3.10GHz, 8,00 Go RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770
- In november 2020, my GTX 770 died
- In december, I bought a Cooler Master MWE 650W FM V2 - Gold and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER
- Since december I'm able to play Factorio again but the stutters appeared

Things I tried without any effect :
- install latest nvidia drivers
- moved the Factorio install to a different SSD drive
- force openGL as Xelephant suggested
- tested various atlas texture sizes
- increased minimum processor state to 100% in Windows power settings

Thing that had a little effect :
- reduced graphics to minimum, which decreased the stutters length (50FPS for 1 sec -> 56FPS for 1 sec) without removing them. This confuses me, as opening a menu or playing a sound shouldn't make the GFX suffer...?

More tests :
- creating the first blueprint of the game (even with just 1 burner miner in it) and opening train GUI often stutters
- new game always begins at 40FPS then reaches 60 FPS after 2 sec
- tips simulations always begin at 50-56 FPS then reach 60FPS after 2 sec
- did a 3dmark "Time Spy" test : I got 4805 (5908 on GFX, 2335 on CPU), here are the full results. Seems OK, considering that GFX are much more recent than CPU.
- DOOM (2016) runs on Ultra settings at 60 FPS steadily. That being said, there was sound & video lags in loading screens. I'm not sure if that's abnormal or common.
- Terraria runs fine except when changing biome. When I change biome, the music and background change, and I get a small stutter, very likely to the ones I have in Factorio.

Can someone give me some hints, in which direction should I investigate to solve this issue ? I'm ready to invest in better hardware but I have litterally no clue of which part could be causing those issues. Thanks by advance !

Re: I need help with FPS stutter diagnosis

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:18 am
by DanGio
To complete the first post, here's my config.ini file, and a log from a 2 minutes session where I experienced these FPS drops (from 50 to 55) :
- when opening Load game window
- when walking a few steps
- when opening Inventory
- when opening Menu

Re: I need help with FPS stutter diagnosis

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:37 am
by Xelephant
Did you try any of the solution out of the commen graphic problem thread?

viewtopic.php?f=49&t=9300

Forcing OpenGL might solve the issue.

Re: I need help with FPS stutter diagnosis

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:01 am
by DanGio
Thank you. I'm currently investigating Graphics settings. Turning everything to very low improved performance : the stutters happen but they're much shorter so FPS drops to 56-58 only. I'm confused about force-openGL, I did try that, and thought it was enabled on the config.ini I sent, but it turns out it wasn't... Probably a restart after change issue :oops:

Re: I need help with FPS stutter diagnosis

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:12 am
by Bilka
The title alone reminded me of the "performance tweaking" section of https://factorio.com/blog/post/fff-261, perhaps give that a shot.

Re: I need help with FPS stutter diagnosis

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:09 pm
by starlinvf
How much GPU memory is on the card, how much RAM is "in use" when idling after Windows starts up, and how many PCIe cards do you have installed?

And was your previous GPU an AMD?

Re: I need help with FPS stutter diagnosis

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:53 pm
by DanGio
How much GPU memory is on the card
6 Go GDDR6
how much RAM is "in use" when idling after Windows starts up
2.8 Go in use of 8 Go total
how many PCIe cards do you have installed?
I'm not 100% sure, but I'd say only the nvidia GFX one. (assuming pcie cards are the cards connected on the long yellow slots on motherboard, and assuming those 2 * 4Go DDR3 RAM are not pcie). Apart from that I got a DVD drive, 2 SSD drives.
was your previous GPU an AMD?
it was a 2013 MSI GeForce GTX 770 - 2 Go (N770 TF 2GD5/OC). I changed it because it didn't work at all anymore and the error code (53 iirc) referred to "change your card" from nvidia help

Re: I need help with FPS stutter diagnosis

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:26 pm
by MEOWMI
It's useful to know, if you are able to test, do any other games cause issues? Preferably test a variety of low-load and heavy-load games.

My main line of thinking is that if it's something general, it would probably be very apparent in other games and programs too.

Re: I need help with FPS stutter diagnosis

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:41 pm
by Deadlock989
For me the biggest cause of FPS stutter was a result of the "Atlas texture size" setting in Factorio > Settings > Graphics. Having it set unnecessarily large is a lot worse than having it too small. I changed it to 4096 and have had constant 60 FPS ever since, even at 4K resolution with heavy mods. The "largest possible" setting is a particular issue. (Video card several years old, 4GB VRAM).

Re: I need help with FPS stutter diagnosis

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:52 pm
by DanGio
Good evening, and thank you all for answering to this post. I made some additional tests. Setting minimal CPU at 100% as FFF 261 linked by Bilka suggested had no effect. Changing atlas texture size as Deadlock suggested had no effect.

I also tested 2 games as MEOWMI suggested and found something that could be interesting :
- DOOM (2016) runs on Ultra settings at 60 FPS steadily. That being said, there was sound & video lags in loading screens. I'm not sure if that's abnormal or common.
- Terraria runs fine except when changing biome. When I change biome, the music and background change, and I get a small stutter, very likely to the ones I have in Factorio.
- I also did a 3dmark "Time Spy" test : I got 4805 (5908 on GFX, 2335 on CPU), here are the full results. Seems OK, considering that GFX are much more recent than CPU.

More Factorio tests led me to notice that this was very likely to drop FPS :
- creating the first blueprint of the game (even with just 1 burner miner in it) and opening train GUI often stutter
- new game always begin at 40FPS then reaches 60 FPS after 2 sec
- tips simulations always begin at 50-56 FPS then reach 60FPS after 2 sec

I'm beginning to stare intensely at my 2*4Go RAM... Could they cause such issues ?

Re: I need help with FPS stutter diagnosis

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:36 am
by jodokus31
I have this and it works great on my stone old 2GB Nvidia GTX 750Ti
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