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Utorrent causing (non online) Games to stutter.


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Hey there,

Just wanna say first that I think utorrent is an excellent client and the betas are of extremely high quality (i'm using 433 build)

I am having one issue though and it's not really with the clients performance itself (its working great for torrents), but its baffling me to no end. It seems that despite utorrent's light build, it seems to cause some major stuttering in games (at least for me).

I don't have a beast of a system, (Barton 2500@3200, 512mb (8-3-3-3), 128mb 9800se, XP SP1, Virtual Mem: 768 min&max) but it is tweaked for optimal performance. I also run a tight ship, no malware/spyware/viruses, I have my software and hardware firewall configured properly there are no speed issues or noticeable conflicts with other programs.

It's understandable that running programs that constantly access and write to the hard drive is going to affect all programs especially memory dependent resource hogging games. However, the effects are far too noticeable with utorrent, as opposed to my old client Bitlord.

The odd thing is, it's not as if the stuttering it causes in games is random, because it isn't. With utorrent off, starting a new game/level there's always the initial cacheing of texture files etc. but after that it's smooth sailing.

With utorrent on, it happens whenever something new appears onscreen. For example in Swat4: If a criminal opens a door and runs out shooting, the game pauses for a second and then I'm dead before I know what hits me, but if the guy hadn't jumped out at me, it wouldn't have froze. It's only when the games need to load something new that this happens, and it only happens with utorrent running in the background.

I would assume that it's a HD seeking issue, or a cache issue, but because it doesn't happen with Bitlord, I imagine that it could possibly be controlled via a setting.

I have these settings in relation to utorrent's cache:

diskio.flush_files true

diskio.sparse_files false

diskio.write_queue_size 32768 (increasing this seemed to help slightly)

diskio.read_cache 0

diskio.use_partfile true

diskio.smart_hash true

diskio.coalesce_writes true

Now I couldn't say what all of those do, but is it possible that my solution lies there somewhere?

Don't get me wrong here, I absolutely love utorrent and it puts Bitlord(and a lot of other clients) to shame, but this one issue is driving me nuts. I only have a 1024/256 connection, so when I'm trying to make up my ratios I can't play any online games, so single player games/movies are the only thing I can do to keep myself occupied, and I've nearly exhausted my film library.

Anyone got any ideas?

Thanks in advance

**I did a search but I couldn't find much on this issue, so sorry if there's an obvious solution I'm missing. I also wasn't sure if this was the right forum for this kind of thing, so again sorry if it's in the wrong place.

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Did you even read his post at all 1c3d0g? He said he's using build 433. I'm having the same issue and I got a high-end computer. µTorrents only flaw is the great load on HDDs (this is a fact, I've even run benchmarks and µTorrent is performing really bad vs other clients).

I've set the read_cache_size to 80 MB, doesn't help. I've set it at -1, doesn't help (I get more loads when having -1).

Other than that, µTorrent kicks every single other client's asses.

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Yeah I'm already on 433, read cache is at 0 (it's all in the first post).

Setting read cache at 80mb doesn't do anything, what about setting it higher or is that not recommended? As harsh as it sounds shadek, I'm glad I'm not the only one with this problem :).

Thanks for the responses.

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Yes Firon, this was the first thing I did. The maximum CPU usage I've ever seen µT use is 2.91% but most of the time it stays at 0 (disappears) with the occasional spike to 0.099%. As for the rest of the apps they are the same. Negligable cpu usage and it's 98% idle on average, no spikes or anything over extended periods of time (I've sat and watched this for ages on more than one occasion).

However, I know µT is the root of the problem because running or exiting this program is like flipping an on/off switch to this problem. (there are also no dodgy/unnecessary threads in use via any of the applications I do run aswell, my pc is clean).

I'll get 434 now and see if it makes a difference.

Thanks again for the responses.

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How fast were your torrents running during this?

I cap my connection (100 down, 22 up [max 120/32]) and only download from private sites. I always get great speeds down and up, but this happens if I'm downloading and uploading, or just uploading whether it be going at 10k down, 0k up or 100k down, 22 up, it makes no difference the stuttering is the same no matter how fast or slow the downloads/uploads are going.

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My firewall and antivirus are Sygate professional and AVG.

I highly doubt they are causing issues, they are properly configured and remember Bitlord doesn't have this problem at all, so if it were my firewall scanning incoming packets or my AV scanning the files in use then it would happen with Bitlord too. Yet it doesn't.

I just tested 434 with Swat4 again. I did the following:

With µT running,

Ran to the door (minor stutter), mirrored under it (bigger stutter), opened and cleared (huge stutter), threw a flash (minor stutter).

With µT exited,

Ran to the door (minor stutter), mirrored under it (smooth), opened and cleared (smooth), threw a flash (smooth).

The intial stutter with µT closed happens with all my games that recommend 1gb or more of ram. It's an initial cache, and is expected.

I also set the update rate of the GUI to a higher number to see if that might have been it but it made no difference.

Thanks again for the responses, it's appreciated. I just know there's got to be a solution to have my cake and eat it too with µT, I really do like this client.

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Seriously, I don't think the problem is Sygate, it's a great firewall and has had no issues with any program (including uTorrent) to date. I really don't want to go through an uninstallation + lengthy reconfiguration (application specific settings + all my advanced rules) on a hunch that it might be Sygate when it's only µTorrent causing this issue.

I'd rather look for a solution within the program before resorting to extreme measures such as uninstalling programs that work perfectly. I'm willing to bet that any problems with Sygate that other users may have had in the past were more of the "n00b not knowing how to configure his network" variety than a cacheing/HD issue anyway, no offence.

I'm really not trying to find flaws in µT (I'd love for it to be working fine alongside my games), and I do appreciate the advice and suggestion, but It makes no sense that it would be Sygate at all, given the evidence.

What I can do though is remove Sygate from startup using process explorer, and backup it's registry settings and remove them with Regcleaner, reboot and test it again. That will guarantee that Sygate isn't running/interfering with any program whatsoever as windows will have no way to reference it. This is essentially the same as uninstalling the program without losing my config and it's simpler.

Thanks again.

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Nah, I even got so paranoid that I enabled system restore and uninstalled it just incase. It still does it, I used the same test as before and the results were the same. Damnit!

Any other suggestions? What about some of those advanced settings?

Well, I only thought it may've been that since you said that it happened regardless of your download or upload speed, and perhaps Sygate was choking on DHT packets.

Just to recheck I'll download a huge file and max out my connection to see if I can notice any difference in performance. It might be worth mentioning that the private site I use has DHT disabled, and I don't really get anything off public trackers.

Thanks again.


At full pelt download and upload (roughly about 110/28 averaged), the CPU usage isn't going higher than 3.x% but most of the time it stays at 0-1%

With just upload going at about 30 ish, the cpu usage stay around 0-1% with occasional foray into 2.x%. It's really not fluctuating too much at all, but is a tiny bit higher when downloading too. The majority of the time I only play games when I'm just uploading (including when I've done previous tests).

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Hmm.... is it possible that it's AVG? I know people haven't had issues with other clients, but occasionally there's been issues with AV clients scanning files over and over, though I still kinda doubt it, since your CPU use is so low. I really don't know...

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I doubt it's AVG either, I've got it set up really light, "on close scanning" which scans files when they are opened is disabled, for example. It's realtime monitoring system is optimised, it's really mostly for doing once overs.

I appreciate the help all the same. Hopefully maybe someone who's had the same problem (and solved it) will show up and give us the; sure-to-be easy answer *prays*.

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efilflah: How big are the torrents you're downloading? I've noticed that HDD reads __a lot__ more when seeding a 4.5 GB torrent than when seeding a 700 MB torrent. A 700 torrent barely affect my benchmark performances at all.

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