Stuttering in CW3

Started by Auditor, December 08, 2022, 10:02:11 AM

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I have searched for this issue, but couldn't find it.
Recently I had a craving for playing some Cw3.
So I installed it on my new game/laptop-thingy.

But it keeps stuttering, even in the main menu.
All the graphics, planets rotating and such, stutters.
In the game proper, all graphics/game-play seems to stutter as well.
Creeper world 4 works perfectly on the system.

I tested Cw3 on my work laptop, and there it works perfect.

Perhaps Cw3 is not compatible with Windows 11?
Or that newer CPUs are mostly many cores, and since the game only uses 1 core it can actually perform worse?
Is there any tricks in getting it to run well on a more modern system?

Thanks in advance, and sorry if I just missed it somewhere here in the forums.


Current system.
Rog Flow Z13
12th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-12900H   2.50 GHz
16Gb RAM
Windows 11 Home 22H2
Nvidia GeForce 3050 Ti Laptop GPU

Worked fine on work laptop.
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-9850H CPU @ 2.60GHz   2.59 GHz 6 cores
16 Gb Ram
Windows 10 Pro 21H2
Nvidia Quadro T1000
Intel(R) UHD Graphics 630


You said laptop, there's a chance the game is playing on the iGPU and not the dGPU. I have seen cases where a laptop is configured in a way that a game would not run the correct GPU, I think it on these forums. Someone on another topic posted to turn off frame limit. Doesn't help that it's someone who seems to be using a translating service.


You should certainly investigate (as per miquelfire) whether the game is, in fact, running on the discrete GPU and not the integrated GPU.

However, the symptom of the above should be a low frame rate, not stuttering. Same for lack of horsepower on a CPU core. Not that I suspect this, since the game is relatively old and should run just fine on today's hardware and on Windows 11.

We do know of an old, unfixed issue in Unity where if you stay on the menu screen too long, the game will lose frame sync. But that is usually like overnight or so. I don't know how that would manifest itself.

All of this to say that the issue is most likely to be external to the game, not likely to be one of the causes you mention, but we just don't have enough information to assist you in finding the source of your problem.


Hi, and thank you for the quick responses :-)

I have checked this, and it seems to be running on the discrete GPU.
(even the output log confirms this).

QuoteInitialize engine version: 5.2.3f1 (f3d16a1fa2dd)
GfxDevice: creating device client; threaded=1
    Version:  Direct3D 9.0c [nvldumd.dll]
    Renderer: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptop GPU
    Vendor:   NVIDIA
    VRAM:     3072 MB (via DXGI)
    Caps:     Shader=30 DepthRT=1 NativeDepth=1 NativeShadow=1 DF16=0 INTZ=1 NULL=1 RESZ=0 SlowINTZ=0

And when I force the dGPU off I get.
QuoteInitialize engine version: 5.2.3f1 (f3d16a1fa2dd)
GfxDevice: creating device client; threaded=1
    Version:  Direct3D 9.0c [igd10iumd32.dll]
    Renderer: Intel(R) Iris(R) Xe Graphics
    Vendor:   Intel
    VRAM:     2111 MB (via DXGI)
    Caps:     Shader=30 DepthRT=1 NativeDepth=1 NativeShadow=1 DF16=1 INTZ=1 NULL=1 RESZ=0 SlowINTZ=0

However, when the dGPU is off, I see no difference at all at the performance.

I guess the integrated GPU is actually good enough, and there is something else that the game don't like about the computer.
Much more demanding games work fine on it, so it´s just a little strange.

I think I found the FPS in game (the key to show map info? it seems to go between 26-28 to 30fps).
Will have to check that on the work computer where I don't have issues and see if it does that there as well.
Going to have a look at the frame limit, but I guess that's something to do with unity, and not CW3 generally?
Could not find any settings file which I understand either.

Going tinker some more with it, but for tonight I´ll settle for some CW4 :-)
Just kinda hoped there was a common issue on newer systems, and that there was an easy solution.

Again, thanks for your support!


There is a distinct difference between the integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics and the GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptop GPU - the latter is about 4 time more powerful. If you did not notice any degradation, it's because the GPU was not a bottleneck - which is interesting, because way back then, I noticed a big difference when I upgraded my Sandy Lake rig to have a discrete GPU.

However, CW3 is more processor bound than anything. and it's frame locked to 30 FPS, so you won't exceed that. On demanding maps it gets single core bound and the FPS drops.

An area that you may want to investigate is the graphics driver. CW3 uses DirectX 9, CW4 uses DirectX 11. Whatever issue you have, it's not common, and we've not heard from anyone else that there are issues on Windows 11. Having said that, I do know that MS had to fix issues with gaming, but again, I don't think CW3 (or Unity3D for that matter) is in the league where the issues were.

I really hate to bring this up, but it may be something you want to check. Many new, thin laptops throttle to keep heat down. They're not good at running flat-out. If course, I would expect this to show up in all games, not only CW3, but that's all I have.


I'm wondering if the game is running on the efficiency cores, or is bouncing around between the efficiency cores and the performance cores. If this case, you might want to lock to a set group of core/threads (I don't have access to a 12th Intel or even Windows 11, so I don't know if there's an easy way for you to know which core in Task Manger is which).


Hi, you gave me quite many clues :-)

Suffice to say, I have investigated if there are issues with Directx 9 on my setup, but that was a hard topic.

This thing about efficiency cores and performance cores are new to me.
But is sounded reasonable, perhaps CW3 is so low demanding on newer computers that the computer deems it as a background program or such?

I don't think it was set to efficiency core, since that should have a leaf icon in the task manager.
I however set the priority to high on cw3.exe in the task manager.

Haven't tested much yet (got stuck in CW4) but now it seems to keep a stable 30.1 fps, and no stuttering.
Briefly saw a small drop in the FPS as the creeper increased a little.

So most probably the computer just didn't give the game enough priority, and it helped to change priority from normal to high.

Thanks for your help!