HDD Major-Stuttering Solved (Second Thread)

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I also need to mention that the results you get from "HDDscan" or "HD Tune Pro" are not 100% reliable, because guess what .. Windows and background running programs will also interfere with these results, so its good to close any running programs first. Also run the test couple times until you get something consistent.
I can understand your pain Ed. I had a 10yr+ old custom built PC up untill just recently. Got a fresh built one on June 19th. Only reason was that my hard drive took the way of a ticking clock and stopped working.
But before it did, I ran D3 on it pre-1.03 and had no issues with the game. But since the new rig began running D3 post-1.03, I have had the stuttering and rubber banding. Now its not game breaking as of yet, since I have only played enough since launch night to finish normal. But it certainly is annoying when it happens.
I have 2 seperate HDDs on my new PC. 1 is a solid state drive and the other is a mechanical one. Windows 7 is installed to the solid state drive and so is D3 (along with WOW and all my other games). WOW and the other games run flawless. Just D3 gives me the issues.
Ed, or anyone else for that matter, would you suggest that i uninstall D3 from the solid state drive, and install it to the mechanical one? As in, just keep Windows to the solid state drive and all else to the mechanical one. Would that alleviate the stutters?
My MPQs folder is 10.2 GB. I'm not bragging, I'm just curious as to why it wouldn't be 7.7GB and if this might be a problem.

Oh and excellent job Sir! /Salute
http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/blog/5280248/Patch_103a_Now_Live-27_06_2012

The 1.03a patch is out.

Will test it tonight when I get home.. see if it improves anything regarding the stuttering... probably not.
In regards to the initial post on this forum, I'm just wondering if there's a specific usb flash drive or SD card that anyone recommends. I was browsing NewEgg a bit and it seems like there's a wide variance in the transfer rates that some of these devices say they have and some don't reference a transfer rate at all.
Damn, bought a 16gb flash drive for nothing. I did it all like the instructions said but it changed nothing on my gameplay, I just have to wait 'till blizz gets the !@#$ fixed.
Yeah this fix hasn't improved the gameplay for me really. I'm not saying it doesn't work, just didn't for me. I really hope the address this problem, it's just not playable the way it is.
Ok, the following seems to work for my system( i5 2500k, 8gb ram, 2 GTX 560 ti SLI, 2 TB hdd green caviar, etc)

- Open your Nvidia Control Panel
- Click 'Manage 3D Settings'
- Uncheck 'Show only programs found on this computer'
- Use the drop down menu to find Diablo 3
- Scroll down in the settings in the box below that and find the 'Power Management Mode' option
- Select the drop down menu from that and choose 'Prefer Maximum Performance'
- Next choose the 'CUDA - GPUs' option
- Select the option for your GPUs to force the game to utilize the graphics cards
- Apply the settings, close the window and start up D3

Not sure if this will work for everyone, but maybe for people with similar systems.

Also, I recommend scanning the HDD and running chkdsk etc. just to be sure.
FYI:

For a perfectly working HDD, the normal seek time is around 15ms (average), but in other cases this can also be as low as 1ms or as high as 30ms depending on how close the HDD head/arm is to the the data (cluster location).

Certain HDD clusters can become damaged (unreadable) or SLOWED DOWN (poor read response times).

When a cluster is damaged (bad-sector), Windows scan-disk will detect it and delete read/write access to its location. However, when a cluster has a SLOW read response time (>150ms) , nothing is done in this regard. This means you can still read/write to these clusters, and if Diablo MPQ files are located on some of these clusters, then you will easily notice stuttering, and it will make the game unplayable.

In fact, if you are running Diablo on high FPS, you can even notice stuttering as low as 20ms, which is normal/expected HDD seek time.

This is why the Flash method in the OP has helped many, even if your HDD was acting normally or as expected.
BTW:

HD Tune Pro (www.hdtune.com) has a much faster and easier user interface than HDDscan. It can do a quick scan of your HDD in less than a minute. However, you have to understand what the graph result means in order to know if your HDD is in normal conditions.

Examples:


Good HDD:
This result shows normal performance:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/misc/picture/?src=/images/storage/wd-velociraptor/hdtune-1.png&1=1

Very Bad HDD (needs replacement):

These results show a very bad HDD results:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/269/hm640jjanim01.gif/

Faulty HDD (will stutter):
Windows and some games may "seem" to run normally to "inexperienced" users.
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/441/hitachi01n.jpg/

How to tell the difference:
If you notice that you have steep and sudden drops in transfer rate (MB/s) in your scan graph, then you have sectors that are SLOW, and this is the root of your stuttering problem.
im buying a new computer tomorrow, im pretty sure the stuttering will go away
Hey Edstroyer,

here is my HD Tune result:
http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/8601/43607706.jpg

Considering that my HD is 5400 rpm, it's ok, I guess.
What do you think ?

Do any of you guys play TF2 ? I have noticed that TF2 has the same kind of stuttering that D3, for me. But yeah, D3 is much worse.
06/28/2012 10:01 AMPosted by darkslayer
im buying a new computer tomorrow, im pretty sure the stuttering will go away


What if its not your computer?
Hey Edstroyer,

here is my HD Tune result:
http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/8601/43607706.jpg

Considering that my HD is 5400 rpm, it's ok, I guess.
What do you think ?


From what I can see, looks like your HDD is behaving normally (or as expected). There are no sudden steep spikes, so that's good. The 18.3ms is very typical for a mechanical HDD (averages are between 15-20ms). Your average read response time is 18.3ms, so If your running the game higher than (1000/18.3 = 54FPS) you are most likely to notice stuttering. Also, I "suspect" that with background running programs, the average read response time would be worse than 18.3 (maybe +10ms ~ 28ms, or 1000/28 = 35FPS).

This is why some people running the game at lower FPS (30-40) would notice less stuttering.

The more I look into this problem, the more I think that mechanical HDD are not good for this game. The cheapest temporary solution is the Flash disk solution described in the OP.

Maybe its time we started investing into an SSD, not just for Diablo, but for Windows and more.
It can't be the solution to buy extra RAM for a RamDisc or buy anything else to solve the HDD Stutter! There are other games running flawless with more complex graphics and bigger maps, why not D3???

Why is this basic function not on top of Blzzrdz agenda to provide a fluently gameplay???
It can't be the solution to buy extra RAM for a RamDisc or buy anything else to solve the HDD Stutter! There are other games running flawless with more complex graphics and bigger maps, why not D3???

Why is this basic function not on top of Blzzrdz agenda to provide a fluently gameplay???


No load screens "."
I got this answer from Bliz CS, so there is hope:

"Thank you very much for the update and i apologize for the delay of our answer, we are doing our best to answer as fast as we can to all of our customers.

You can read this forum Thread that helped many user:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5149178443?page=1

We are aware of the issue and we are working to resolve it hopefully with the next patches.

For further information please do not hesitate to contact us .

Kind regards,
Raminersh"

Anyways, for me limiting the fore and background fps to 29 and setting my nvidia control panel for D3 as: CUDA - forced to GPU and Power management mode to max performance made a huge difference. Not perfect, but good enough to play and the Hardware class is set to 6 and all graphic settings are maxed out. I also use a tool called Leatric Latency Fix v3.00 to avoid lagging and latency is never above 80 with that. GL!
06/29/2012 08:20 AMPosted by Shougun
limiting the fore and background fps to 29


You are limiting your FPS to 29.

Read this recent post:

The 18.3ms is very typical for a mechanical HDD (averages are between 15-20ms). Your average read response time is 18.3ms, so If your running the game higher than (1000/18.3 = 54FPS) you are most likely to notice stuttering. Also, I "suspect" that with background running programs, the average read response time would be worse than 18.3 (maybe +10ms ~ 28ms, or 1000/28 = 35FPS).

This is why some people running the game at lower FPS (30-40) would notice less stuttering.


SO, you either have a slow (but normal) HDD, or you have a fast HDD with some slow sectors. Either way the OP solution will help you.

Run HD Tune pro (trial version), and post your image graph online (I will take a look at it):
www.hdtune.com

EDIT: oh BTW, if you follow the OP solution, you should be able to run the game at 60FPS (if your video card is capable of that)
06/29/2012 01:28 AMPosted by Edstroyer
The more I look into this problem, the more I think that mechanical HDD are not good for this game.


Well, an SSD is not a requirement to run D3...
But yes, I totally understand that Windows and background programs are most likely the main reasons to this problem.

Anyway, it is good to know that Blizzard is working on a fix / solution.
I just wish they could talk to us more frequently about what is going on with this issue.

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