Serious Sam 3: BFE
oryan_dunn Aug 10, 2013 @ 9:13am
SS3 Game completely freezes for ~3s, then back to normal until the next freeze
First, system specs:
Core i3-3225
ASRock Z77 Extreme6
Radeon HD7850 2GB GDDR5 (13.4 drivers)
8GB DDR3 1600
Samsung 840 Pro
Win7 x64
Old 1440x900 monitor
CM Silent Pro M700 (700W)

The game auto-detects Ultra/Ultra/Ultra and for the most part, when the game isn't frozen, it plays ~50-70 fps consistently.

The place where I tested, is in the first level after you pick up Mr. Smith and Mr. Weston and shoot the first Kamakazi. You round the corner and there are some of the purple guys as well as a couple of the one eyed guys. Basically, when the game freezes, it just looks like the game was paused, the music stops, but the sounds of the enemies loop in the background until the game unfreezes.

I did a bit of testing, and after many times reloading, I seem to have narrowed the problem down to the MSAA setting. At 4x MSAA, it seems to freeze within that scene every 10s or so (all approximate numbers). Going to 8x MSAA, it's frozen more often than it's not. At 2x, I've played that scene 4 or 5 times and only saw it freeze for a short period once.

I do notice that anytime there is an autosave, the game stutters for a half second or so, which I didn't figure would have been a problem with an SSD.

Luckily, I think I'll continue to play on 2x MSAA (I can't tell a world of difference going to 4x or 8x anyways), unless the community or Croteam has a solution.
Last edited by oryan_dunn; Aug 10, 2013 @ 1:01pm
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Showing 1-15 of 19 comments
oryan_dunn Aug 10, 2013 @ 11:13am 
I played a bit further in the first level, got to the helicopter crash, and even at 2x, it was locking up as I've described. Looks like this game doesn't play well with MSAA enabled at all.

I should note, this is on a relatively new build (~1 month old) and a fresh install of Windows 7. I've not noticed any other games having issues with MSAA, certainly nothing like this.
Last edited by oryan_dunn; Aug 10, 2013 @ 11:21am
ChrisW Aug 10, 2013 @ 12:18pm 
I notice you didn't mention the most important component: the power supply. You do have a high quality power supply, like a Seasonic or Corsair, right?
oryan_dunn Aug 10, 2013 @ 12:31pm 
It's a CM Silent Pro M700.
ChrisW Aug 10, 2013 @ 12:39pm 
I would check the usual things first, such as your system temperature at full load. You might want to try relaxing your memory timings. Make sure you only used a very small amount of thermal paste on your CPU and it is as close to metal to metal contact as possible.
oryan_dunn Aug 10, 2013 @ 12:59pm 
Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's nothing like those issues. Nothing is overclocked or anything, using standard memory timings, under full load Prime95 (in-place large FFT), the CPU levels out around 58C, while the motherboard temp is 32C. I've also run memtest86 overnight, and all ram passes.

The rate at which the freezes happens is directly proportional to the MSAA setting. I've been playing through SS1 HD, with everything on Ultra (4x MSAA), am currently at the Great Pyramid level, and never once had anything like this happen.

I played a bit longer with MSAA disabled and so far haven't had any freezes at all.
Last edited by oryan_dunn; Aug 10, 2013 @ 1:02pm
ChrisW Aug 10, 2013 @ 1:13pm 
The problem with those tests is they don't test with the GPU at full load (or any load at all). You would need to run a game at the same time you run those programs to rule out system stability problems.
oryan_dunn Aug 10, 2013 @ 1:16pm 
I just played about 10min of RS Vegas 2 while running the large FFT, no issues at all in that game.

Just played about 15min of SS3 (everything on Ultra except MSAA off) while the Prime95 large FFT was running, obviously, the FPS was much less ~15-30, but no freezes.
Last edited by oryan_dunn; Aug 10, 2013 @ 1:37pm
AlenL  [developer] Aug 10, 2013 @ 2:21pm 
This looks like the "GPU locks up for a few seconds" problem that we've heard of often with some newer ATi drivers. Some people were successful in working around that by reverting to an older driver. Still no words from ATI on whether they know why this happends.
oryan_dunn Aug 10, 2013 @ 2:46pm 
Thanks AlenL, do you have any idea what version of driver I should revert to?

I've got a friend with a similar setup with an HD6850. I know he's not updated the driver since the day his neighbor built it for him over a year ago. He doesn't have these issues, but I'm not sure what GPU setting he's using (I know for sure it's whatever it'd be auto-detected as). The only setting he messes with is volume. I'll find out what driver verison he's running.
Cunin Aug 11, 2013 @ 4:11am 
Might also want to give the latest beta drivers a go, in case you need the fixes of the 13.4 and don't want to go back:
oryan_dunn Aug 11, 2013 @ 9:31am 
Thanks for those links. I'll definitely try out different drivers and report back.
Kozzy Aug 11, 2013 @ 2:23pm 
In all honest I just got the newest nvidia beta drivers yesterday and now my serious sam 3 is doign this same thing, 2 second freeze then back to normal. It was not doing it with the previous drivers. Ill switch back and see if it fixes it, it should, its the only new thing i installed yesterday. It does it weither in game or even at main menu, only after I installed the latest nvidia beta drivers from the previous official ones (all other games work better with this beta driver though besides serious sam III)
Last edited by Kozzy; Aug 11, 2013 @ 2:24pm
oryan_dunn Aug 11, 2013 @ 2:56pm 
I'm looking at what driver to go back to... Sapphire has 2 versions of the 13.1. One is the official AMD version, and another special version that has an HDMI audio fix.

I suppose I should just use the one with the HDMI fix, but I can't seem to find any info other than the blurb on the Sapphire site about a patch 13.1.

I think first I'll try the 13.8 beta drivers. If not, then I'll roll back to 13.1. Hopefully these other drivers won't introduce issues into other games.
Last edited by oryan_dunn; Aug 11, 2013 @ 3:01pm
oryan_dunn Aug 11, 2013 @ 4:16pm 
Just played through that trouble section with the 13.8 beta drivers, and I didn't have one freeze (other than the short hicups due to autosave). Looks like I'll be sticking with 13.8 for the time being.
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Date Posted: Aug 10, 2013 @ 9:13am
Posts: 19