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Medic
05-09-2014, 05:12 AM
I have an ASUS ROG G750JH (http://www.asus.com/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/ASUS_ROG_G750JH/overview/)

Any games that I install on the SSD have zero problems, but any games that are installed on the secondary HD stutter all the time when loading in new audio samples. Also if I play music off of the secondary HD, the song will stutter for the first second or two. I've updated my sound driver.

EDIT: After playing around with a few games, its not just on new sound samples. Sound - Anytime a sound is first loaded there is about a 1-2 second stutter in which any audio currently playing is looped and the game hitches.
On certain games switching inventory pages or loading up a shop will cause the game to hitch for about a second, but the sound won't loop.

Does anyone know how to fix this?

hmscott
05-09-2014, 08:20 AM
HD's do a lot of physical stuff that causes lag, some you can tune out, like with quiethdd.

quiethdd
https://sites.google.com/site/quiethdd/

Here's a youtube video, pretty easy to install and use, but it might help to see it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFPsvse8PCE

Anything that shares IO on that drive while you are gaming will get in the way of the transfers too, so make sure you stop all background downloads, updates, indexing, etc.

Here is an example of another approach - simply put the large file accesses on a fast flash drive (you could also split it out to your SSD), or even a RAM drive would do it:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5642269402

You would create a script/batchfile to start of the RAM drive, the copy of the data to it, and then start of the game. I have done this for code builds, and it really helps.

What really helps is to get rid of the HD, and replace it with an SSD!

Let us know what you found works for you :)

KoolASUS
05-09-2014, 10:37 AM
Honestly, I don't think that installing games on a mechanical drive is in cause. All my games are on the mechanical HDD (only Win8 & program files are on the SSD of my G750JH), and I never have sound stutter. Increased loading time (the first times, after that, the data is cached in the 16GB), yes, but that's all.
My Win7-64 desktop machine has a mechanical HDD and I've never experienced your problem either.
I often "try" new applications directly from an external WD 5400rpm Passport drive : same.

What you describe is not normal. Something must be wrong.

hmscott
05-09-2014, 10:51 AM
Honestly, I don't think that installing games on a mechanical drive is in cause. All my games are on the mechanical HDD (only Win8 & program files are on the SSD of my G750JH), and I never have sound stutter. Increased loading time (the first times, after that, the data is cached in the 16GB), yes, but that's all.
My Win7-64 desktop machine has a mechanical HDD and I've never experienced your problem either.
I often "try" new applications directly from an external WD 5400rpm Passport drive : same.

What you describe is not normal. Something must be wrong.

KoolASUS, while your experience is valid, it isn't comprehensive, as I can assure you HD mechanical lag is a real thing. :)

The head parks, the mechanism resets due to thermal calibration, and HD sleep / wake delay are all real things.

But, there are lots of other lags induced by HD's that have to do with the slow serial access.

When more than one process competes for the IO throughput of 1 disk head, that needs to keep resetting it's physical location over the platter to read different areas of the disk - going back and forth as both processes make read/write requests, both processes are going to get interrupted throughput.

An SSD doesn't have to physically reposition for multiple accesses, it can immediately provide the requested data without physical lag. It is a big difference.

When you say, something must be wrong, can you give some examples that can be investigated and resolved?

KoolASUS
05-09-2014, 11:28 AM
Medic says :

any games that are installed on the secondary HD stutter all the time when loading in new audio samples. Also if I play music off of the secondary HD, the song will stutter for the first second or two.
I don't think this is normal; it should not happen because the data is read from a mechanical HDD.
(In 1993, When I played Strike Commander on a 486DX2-50 with an old 120MB drive, it didn't happen.)

Slow loading times are Ok, extreme audio stutter is not. Don't know what could cause it : bad HDD connection/configuration, bad (audio or other) drivers ?

PS : what do you mean exactly, Medic, with "stutter" ? Real pauses ? Partial sound-loop ?

hmscott
05-09-2014, 11:28 AM
I have an ASUS ROG G750JH (http://www.asus.com/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/ASUS_ROG_G750JH/overview/)

Any games that I install on the SSD have zero problems, but any games that are installed on the secondary HD stutter all the time when loading in new audio samples. Also if I play music off of the secondary HD, the song will stutter for the first second or two. I've updated my sound driver...

Medic, which disk do you have in your JH? Mine is the HGST hts541010a9e680
http://www.hgst.com/hard-drives/mobile-drives/9.5mm-mobile-hard-drives/travelstar-5k1000

36517

Make sure the Windows Power Plan you have selected disables disk sleep - should be set to 0 = Never to avoid needing to wake up the disk for infrequent accesses - it will cause a delay of seconds depending on the disk / access location.

36518

Turning off disk sleep, APM and AAM with quiethdd will give you the best shot at a glitch free HD access :)

Medic
05-09-2014, 09:37 PM
The HD in question is an HGST HTS541010A9E680, so I got "DFT For Windows" from the HGST website. The extended test show that is passed with no errors.

I've had mechanical HDs in the past that never had problems with this type of stutter. Its basically anytime a new asset is loaded, there's a 0.5 to 1.5 second delay. If that asset is sound, such as a character spitting out a one-liner, then all the sound and music currently playing is looped until the new asset is loaded, as well as the game "freezing" for that short time. If its a graphic, such as a spell effect, there is no sound looping, but the game still "freezes" for 0.5 to 1.5 seconds. It only happens the first time that asset is called up, and it happens on every single game I install on this hard drive. I have zero problems with any games installed onto my SSD.

I've updated all the drivers on my system including my BiOS. I have the power saving mode for the hard disk turned off just like in the screen shot above. I'm kind of out of ideas as to what the deal is. I would think if this drive couldn't load things into RAM fast enough to prevent stuttering then a lot more people would have this problem. Is there some difference in the setup of my drives that causes this to happen?

The HGST is split into two partitions, and my primary drive a 256GB (128GBx2) SSD configured in RAID 0.

hmscott
05-10-2014, 12:18 AM
The HD in question is an HGST HTS541010A9E680, so I got "DFT For Windows" from the HGST website. The extended test show that is passed with no errors.

I've had mechanical HDs in the past that never had problems with this type of stutter. Its basically anytime a new asset is loaded, there's a 0.5 to 1.5 second delay. If that asset is sound, such as a character spitting out a one-liner, then all the sound and music currently playing is looped until the new asset is loaded, as well as the game "freezing" for that short time. If its a graphic, such as a spell effect, there is no sound looping, but the game still "freezes" for 0.5 to 1.5 seconds. It only happens the first time that asset is called up, and it happens on every single game I install on this hard drive. I have zero problems with any games installed onto my SSD.

I've updated all the drivers on my system including my BiOS. I have the power saving mode for the hard disk turned off just like in the screen shot above. I'm kind of out of ideas as to what the deal is. I would think if this drive couldn't load things into RAM fast enough to prevent stuttering then a lot more people would have this problem. Is there some difference in the setup of my drives that causes this to happen?

The HGST is split into two partitions, and my primary drive a 256GB (128GBx2) SSD configured in RAID 0.

Medic, you said other games installed on the SSD don't exhibit the freeze, but can you try uninstalling this problematic game from the HD and install it on the SSD to see if the lag in this specific game goes away - it might be something other than the HD - you can confirm if it does the same thing when installed on the SSD.

c3141rog
05-10-2014, 03:30 AM
KoolASUS, while your experience is valid, it isn't comprehensive, as I can assure you HD mechanical lag is a real thing. :)

The head parks, the mechanism resets due to thermal calibration, and HD sleep / wake delay are all real things.

But, there are lots of other lags induced by HD's that have to do with the slow serial access.

When more than one process competes for the IO throughput of 1 disk head, that needs to keep resetting it's physical location over the platter to read different areas of the disk - going back and forth as both processes make read/write requests, both processes are going to get interrupted throughput.

An SSD doesn't have to physically reposition for multiple accesses, it can immediately provide the requested data without physical lag. It is a big difference.

When you say, something must be wrong, can you give some examples that can be investigated and resolved?

Thermal recalibration hasn't been a problem for hard drives in ages (see : http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/op/actRecal-c.html). Modern hard drives can recalibrate on the fly without having to go offline.

Medic : Most likely, it is the APM settings. The hard drive will park its head after ~10-30 seconds of inactivity; if the head is parked and data is called for, there is a delay as the head has to be unparked and the drive spun back to full speed. You can use this program : https://sites.google.com/site/quiethdd/. Make sure to set APM to a value of 255.

hmscott
05-10-2014, 03:52 AM
Medic, what is the name of the app that is causing the problem?

Here are the settings in quiethdd.ini after using the GUI to make all the settings:

FirstRun = 0
AC_APM_Value = 255
DC_APM_Value = 255
AC_AAM_Value = 254
DC_AAM_Value = 254
AAMEnabled = 1
APMEnabled = 1

What values do you have?

You can put those settings in the quiethdd.ini file directly for quiethdd.exe to read when it starts up next time.

Medic
05-11-2014, 04:27 AM
Installing quietHDD completely fixed the issue. I guess it was an APM problem with the harddrive. Thanks hmscott and c3141rog.

It wasn't any specific app, it was every single game or music file that was read off of the HD. The exact same games played off of my SSD wouldn't have any problems at all. Its strange to me that the harddrive would do this, I've never had problems with mechanical drives in the past.

I appreciate everyone's help in resolving this!

hmscott
05-11-2014, 07:07 AM
Installing quietHDD completely fixed the issue. I guess it was an APM problem with the harddrive. Thanks hmscott and c3141rog.

It wasn't any specific app, it was every single game or music file that was read off of the HD. The exact same games played off of my SSD wouldn't have any problems at all. Its strange to me that the harddrive would do this, I've never had problems with mechanical drives in the past.

I appreciate everyone's help in resolving this!

That's great Medic, that quiethdd worked for you to stop the game lag caused by the 1TB HD. :)