Threading performance

James Liggett jrliggett at
Sat Jan 21 18:19:41 CST 2006

On Sat, 2006-01-21 at 17:37 -0600, Evil wrote:
> Hi all,
> I was just playing around with the Video Stress Test in CounterStrike:
> Source, and noted a lot of odd stuttering.  The demo would run for about
>  15 seconds at 13fps, then completely freeze up for about 15 seconds.
> Then, it would start running again... only to freeze/unfreeze every 15
> seconds or so.
Is this sound stuttering you're talking about? If so, I've been noticing
it too since about 2 months ago. I think it has to do with DirectSound.
If you run Steam in a terminal with debug messages turned off, you'll
probably see a message that says something like this (taken from memory

"This soundcard's driver does not support direct access.
The (slower) DirectSound HEL mode will be used instead."

> Just for fun, I reniced all the wine processes down to +15.  The result:
>  the demo runs completely smooth (well, at 13fps... but that's on
> account of my low system specs) from start to finish.
Cool tip. Never thought of it. I'll try that. Thanks! :)
> I did some searching and noticed a similar report last year:
Yep, similar symptoms rear their heads from time to time with HL2 and
related games (including CS:S) There's bug 3665 that deals with
something a lot like what you're describing, with the HL2 intro video:
> I wasn't having this problem last year, but I've updated so many things
> in the last month (like moving from KDE3.4 to KDE3.5, and updating WINE
> from CVS), so I'm afraid I can't pinpoint the exact cause right now.
> Does anyone know of another, more permanent, workaround rather than
> re-nicing after starting WINE?  Is there anything I can do/test that
> might help the developers if this is a real threading issue?
You might want to try and get some traces (+dsound would probably be a
good start; I suppose someone more experienced could give some others to

> -J
> AMD AthlonXP 2000+
> ATI 9600XT w/128MB
> 1GB System RAM
> Mandriva 2006.0, updated to KDE3.5

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