HDD Major-Stuttering Solved (not micro-Stutt)

Technical Support
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@ABlackMan yup, you have arrived at exactly the right forum. Buy yourself a 16GB SD card with class 6 (6MB/s) or 10 (10MB/s). The SD card box should display a "class" rating.

Follow the instructions in the first post.

Enjoy a stutter-free demon slaying experience!
What about a USB key with the 3.0 connectivity? I've read on wikipedia that the 3.0 usb key can transfer at something like 2.0GB/secs instead of the 6MB/s or is there something I dont understand? If you have the USB 3.0 connexion of course...

I saw a Corsair USB Key 16GB USB 3.0 for sale for 21$ at future shop.. I think i'll buy it and install diablo III on the key. I've read that diablo 3 can run on standalone, and basically you can carry it around on your usb key.

I hope this fixes all my stuttering issue... if it works, I'll let you guys know. And I'll send a "nice" email to blizzard about it too.
If you are running at high FPS (60-FPS or more) you "should probably" buy the fastest (class 10 =10MB/s) *just to be safe*. Since I'm currently playing the game on an old laptop (30-35 FPS) I don't really know if the read/write speed of the flash drive has any effect with high FPS (60 or more).

It would be interesting if someone can comment on this ?

Has anyone tried this solution with high FPS ? (60FPS or more, 100FPS ?)
What flash drive read/write speed (MB/s) are you using (USB? SD class ?)
I actually got it to work smoother by putting it on the lame widescreen setting. It looks really blurry though so I figure if I mess with my graphics settings I can keep my FPS healthy/high. Thanks a lot for this fix my FPS is finally stable.
@Vezhan if you got USB 3.0, then all power to you my friend, go for it!
@AlexRussia Describe to us in details what you did, and why it did not work for you.

1) Did you use a 16GB flash drive (or SD card)... I don't think the transfer rate here is an issue.
2) Did you copy the entire folder "MPQs" to the flash drive ?
3) Did you rename the original "MPQs" folder to something else ?
4) Did you create the mklink in command prompt ?

If you did all of this right, you should see the newly created "MPQs" shortcut in the folder:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Diablo III\Data_D3\PC"
If you double-click on this shortcut, it should open the "MPQs" which is on the flash drive.

By the way, what is your in-game network latency ?
**** Note: There is a bar-meter in the game that displays your network latency. It is hard to see/find, but it is between the Mana-Sphere and the computer icon. Put your mouse over it and it will show you a number.

My network latency is usually between 200-400ms.

I used flash drive 3.0 16 gb. And did all things that you replied. My latency is 200-400, same as yours. Well, i forgot about D3 already.
@Vezhan, on second thought, just because it is USB 3.0, does not mean you will get the maximum 5 G.bit/s (625M.Byte/s). You will still be limited by the transfer rate from the flash memory chip inside the USB flash drive.

Example you gave:
Corsair Voyager 16GB USB 3.0 Drive ($21)
Maximum Data Transfer Rate:
Max Read (USB 3.0): 75 MB/sec; Max Write (USB 3.0): 18 MB/sec

***Note how the transfer rates are much lower than USB3.0 capacity.

However, This is by far faster than my class 10 SD card (10MB/s). Again, I had no troubles with my SD card. If you want to use USB 3.0, then it should work fine for you.

If I were to make a conclusive decision about the transfer speed, I would run the following experiment:
1) Run the game at 100FPS using low speed flash drive (~ 4MB/s - 10MB/s)
2) Run the game at 100FPS using high speed flash drive (~30MB/s - 70MB/s)
... and observe if there are any FPS drops in the two experiments. If none in either setup, then the transfer rate is not a bottle-neck.

People always want fast, faster, and fastest ... sometimes its an overkill.
I think if electrons can speak out, they would each say "I miss the old times when we just chilled at the negative pole of a magnetic rock.. those were the days man.. those were the days" :)

Everything else has failed and this didn't. I hope Blizz gives you credit for this. I have been looking through the forums since launch trying to figure out why my Asus G73jw didn't function properly with this game even though it is WAY over the minimum specs. Kudos!!!!!!
Thanks for the replies guys. I went and bought a Verbatim StoreNgo 16GB 3.0, it was cheaper. Ill try it as soon as I get home and let people know. I feel like this thread may be on to something and hey, If the fix requires to play D3 off a flash drive... its not that big of a deal.

May be Blizzard will include a flash drive with its game from now on lol. They already made that soulstone thing. They could associate with a brand... oh business opportunities. Customize your own flash drive with blizzard logos or games. (if you take this idea blizzard, I want royalties)
05/20/2012 06:57 AMPosted by DarkPrince
I knew that soulstone USB had a purpose.

LOL! You have won my Hero of the Day Award.
Had a 16gb micro Cruzer to try this technique on but instead of just the mpq files, I put the whole diablo 3 folder on the usb 2.0 flash drive and ran it on that.

This fixed the Loading asset stuttering frames issue.

Dled Msi afterburner and made a diablo 3 profile and set the max refresh rate to 60

This fixed the fps drop issue when just running around or fighting enemies and you feel a slowdown then everything speeds up again.

Now this game runs maxed out at solid 60fps, very much playable now. Hope this helps some.
I just copied Diablo 3 folder over to my SSD which currently runs my OS, and most off the freeze and stuttering went away. Still there is a few freezes each time i explore something new but its far less then earlier. I also benched my SSD and my regular disk.

SSD average read access: 0.17ms
WD Caviar 7600rpm average read access: 16ms
Here's my abridged version of the directions on how to do this for the tech savvy (OP was a bit too wordy :))

... Copy the entire MPQs folder from:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Diablo III\Data_D3\PC\MPQs"
to your SD memory card drive (or USB drive). Example: "D:\MPQs"

... Go to the original "C:\Program Files (x86)\Diablo III\Data_D3\PC\MPQs" folder location and rename the "MPQs" folder name to something else.

Open command prompt in administrator mode:

cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\Diablo III\Data_D3\PC"
mklink /j "C:\Program Files (x86)\Diablo III\Data_D3\PC\MPQs" "D:\MPQs"
If you have a 16Go USB Key, yes, put all the MPQs folder on it or even all the Diablo III folder, but with 8Go, I cannot put everything, I think I have some space for the sub folders, I'll add them.

1 more thing :
I've enabled the adaptive VSync in nVidia CP and VSync in Diablo too, strangely the micro stutters while running seam smoother, not sure. It could also be a combination of a better ping <75ms and the acte 2 where I play. You can try...
I can confirm. I installed D3 on the USB key, and using it on the 2.0 port instead of the 3.0 (for some reason, the driver for my 3.0 isnt working)

Here is the confirmation, this thing works.

Before this solution, all my settings were at low. I mean everything including sounds.

With the USB Key, I maxed out everything, and Im averaging 100 FPS. This is a whole new game, there is no stutter when masses of monsters show up or when new sounds are being played. I am enjoying the game... a lot more! Sure my FPS drop to 40 when there is massive on screen abuse, but 40 is my average when I played the game on my hard drive lol.

Best solution ever, costed me 20$.... may be I should send my bill to blizzard?

Hey Blizzard, see... its all your falt.


Can you tell us what are the specs of the USB-key you are using ?
We can probably look it up online if you just give us the name/model.

I am particularly interested in the read/write transfer speed of the USB-key.

Sorry, you had mentioned the USB-key name in an earlier post:
16GB Store 'n' Go PRO USB 3.0 Drive
Read speeds up to (30MB/sec) and write speeds up to (12MB/sec).
This is a pretty fast USB-key. I think you get the same transfer rate when you use it on USB 2.0 even though it is USB 3.0. By the way, USB 2.0 can handle up to 60MB/s, so there's no problem.

Someone earlier mentioned that they purchased a 30+MB/s USB 2.0 flash drive, so if 2.0 is cheaper, I would go for that.

For other people, if you already have a 16GB drive, just use that.

I'm glad you are enjoying 100FPS! :)
Just curious as to how to remove mklink in case I dont want to use this anymore? From microsoft article it says

Remove a symbolic link
remove symbolic file link

del <link-name>

remove symbolic directory link

rmdir <link-name>
Transferred to external hard drive and stutter is seemingly gone.

Simple, but ingenious solution. Thanks!

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