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michoko Feb 5, 2017 @ 5:14am
Is a stutter-free experience at least possible?
Hi,

I bought a steam link recently, and before I was using a laptop to stream games from my PC.

My PC config is pretty good, at least for the games I want to run:
Intel 6700K 4.2 Ghz
Z170 PRO Gaming motherboard
16 GB of RAM
Nvidia GTX 1060

I use beta steam client, but the latest stable build does the same. I use a wired ethernet network.

When I paly streamed games, I always get a micro stutter here and there that prevents the experience to be totally smooth. There is no lag spike in the performance graph, no lost packets or frames. But when I play a 2D game like OwlBoy or Seasons After Fall, the stuttering is very obvious.

I tried MANY things, like:
- Changing bitrates limits
- Enabling/disabling shadow play
- Changing games settings (resolution, vsync on/off, triple buffering on/off, and so on)
- Tried various NVidia drivers versions and registry tricks

None of them seemed to remove this stutter. Since my rig is certainly capable of handling those indie games, I begin to wonder if the current In-Home Streaming technology is actually able to provide a stutter-free experience. Because if it isn't, there's no need for me to bother finding a solution that will never exist.

Could someone tell me that they experience butter smooth side scrolling with streaming without a single frame drop? I'm very sensitive to this, and I'd like to solve this issue.

Thank you!
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Showing 1-15 of 308 comments
michoko Feb 5, 2017 @ 5:25am 
Here is a streaming log, in case it could help:

"GameNameID" "Owlboy"
"TimeSubmitted" "1486300880"
"ResolutionX" "1280"
"ResolutionY" "720"
"CaptureDescriptionID" "Game threaded D3D9 NV12 + NVENC H264"
"DecoderDescriptionID" "libavcodec software decoding with 4 threads"
"BandwidthLimit" "15000"
"FramerateLimit" "0"
"SlowGamePercent" "0"
"SlowCapturePercent" "0"
"SlowConvertPercent" "0"
"SlowEncodePercent" "0"
"SlowNetworkPercent" "0"
"SlowDecodePercent" "0"
"SlowDisplayPercent" "0"
"AvgClientBitrate" "1.6928963661193848"
"StdDevClientBitrate" "1.3974062204360962"
"AvgServerBitrate" "11094.0126953125"
"StdDevServerBitrate" "10731.2763671875"
"AvgLinkBandwidth" "127445.4140625"
"AvgPingMS" "0.045276086777448654"
"StdDevPingMS" "0.086718946695327759"
"AvgCaptureMS" "0.22918657958507538"
"StdDevCaptureMS" "0.050383038818836212"
"AvgConvertMS" "0.012590133585035801"
"StdDevConvertMS" "0.29975974559783936"
"AvgEncodeMS" "2.3841762542724609"
"StdDevEncodeMS" "0.21372386813163757"
"AvgNetworkMS" "2.3392491340637207"
"StdDevNetworkMS" "1.3369132280349731"
"AvgDecodeMS" "2.789588451385498"
"StdDevDecodeMS" "0.91469603776931763"
"AvgDisplayMS" "3.1752259731292725"
"StdDevDisplayMS" "3.2102220058441162"
"AvgFrameMS" "12.94493293762207"
"StdDevFrameMS" "3.7181687355041504"
"AvgFPS" "59.721469879150391"
"StdDevFPS" "5.540278434753418"
"BigPicture" "0"
"KeyboardMouseInput" "0"
"GameControllerInput" "0"
"SteamControllerInput" "0"
JlnPrssnr Feb 5, 2017 @ 5:32am 
Have you tried disabling Nvidia hardware encoding on the host computer settings thus utilising Intel encoding? Works a lot smoother for me
michoko Feb 5, 2017 @ 5:41am 
Thank you. Yes, I did (and just did it again right now before replying to you), but this stuttering still occurs. That's why I was actually asking if someone at least has a completely stutter-free experience, or if the technology can't do it yet.
Ozi Feb 5, 2017 @ 6:50am 
i second that. I tried every thinkable option and all advises in the forum. Yet, no matter what program i run, i have micro stutters as if i was on 15 fps. All logs and graphs are fine. That affects videos as well as games. Not even a 360p video can be streemed smoothly...

I am very disappointed by steam link. The forums are full of problems regarding stuttering, yet, theres no solution, not even a comment from the devs or a real support...
DickHams Feb 5, 2017 @ 8:34am 
Thirded. I've had many discussions on this very forum trying to find out if there is a solution, and I don't believe there is one. I honestly think most people who use the Link simply don't notice the stuttering. Part of what I do for a living involves noticing frame rate fluctuations, so I'm very sensitive to it.
daaw_gees Feb 5, 2017 @ 8:39am 
Have any of you tried turning off v-sync in whatever game you're playing that experiences this 'stutter.' I had this problem myself a long time ago but I've since figured it out.

In addition, if you're streaming to a TV, make sure you set the TV to game mode. There's a high chance the your problem is the TV and not related to anything on the host, link or anywhere in between.

Also, it's important that you match the refresh rate of the game to refresh rate of your TV.
Last edited by daaw_gees; Feb 5, 2017 @ 8:40am
slouken Feb 5, 2017 @ 11:53am 
I haven't noticed microstutters, but it may be that I'm just not sensitive to them. Can somebody post a slow motion video that shows what you're talking about?
Bota Feb 5, 2017 @ 12:47pm 
Since i cannot record the stream at 60fps, i will post 2 videos from someone that had the same problem with nvidia gamestream.

Please notice that this situation does not occur with gamestream anymore.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evPY_rPmye8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2zbbEvbtWk


The platform is different but the problem is the same. Sometimes is smooth for some seconds and then it does it like the videos above.

This happens no matter the settings, and wired and wirelessly.

Basically, the 60 fps capture of steam is not synchronized with the 60 fps framerate generation from the gpu.

Nvidia has solved this issue a few months ago. I´ve bought a steam link because people say that this was smooth, but it´s the same experience that i had with gamestream before they fixed it.

My specs:

Intel i7 3770K 3.5GHz(no overclock)
Gigabyte GTX 1070 G1 Gaming
Gskill DDR3 1866MHz cas9
Intel smart response(64GB SSD (cache + 1TB Western Digital Blue)
Asus P8Z77V-LK(realtek ethernet card)
650Watt Antec Power Supply
Lg E2350 1080p 60Hz monitor
Huawei router HG8247H (ISP provided)
Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Edition

michoko Feb 5, 2017 @ 2:20pm 
Thank you all for your replies, it is interesting feedback.

@daaw_gees: yes, I disabled vsync, triple buffering, and every other setting I could think of, but it didn't solve the issue. Also, I don't think it's the TV, as it happens also when streamed on my pretty powerful laptop.

@Bota: Thank you for the videos. They are showing a pretty extreme example of what I'm experiencing though, since those videos show a constant awful stuttering. In my case, it's really more micro-stuttering, i.e. the game is totally smooth, then suddenly it misses one of two frames (every 6 or 7 seconds). So for example, I can't do a 360° turn with the game camera without feeling a hiccup or two during that movement. It's even more obvious on 2D games, where the movement is constant and those hiccups are easier to spot.

@slouken: unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to record it, and even if I was, I'm not sure it would be visible on a compressed video (because again, it can only occur on 1 or 2 frames, every 5 seconds or so). Maybe I have an eagle eye, but like DickHams, I'm trained to spotting those issues, and it's difficult to ignore. :)

That's why I wanted to know if someone with the same attention for smoothness had managed to get a perfect 60fps stutter-free experience, but it seems from what I see that it may not be the case. What's strange is that a few weeks ago, I still had an AMD Radeon HD7850 before switching to a GTX1060, and completed "INSIDE" (which is also a side-scrolling game) and it seemed butter smooth. So I don't know if it's because of the AMD encoder, or because the streaming was better a few Steam builds ago (but since I also have the issue with software encoder, it could mean it is not encoder-dependent, and I suspect the Steam client code to have changed). Now if I play INSIDE again with my current setup, I can spot some subtle stuttering too. It seems to be varying depending on the game engine, as OwlBoy or Seasons After Fall stutter much more often.
dbowen Feb 5, 2017 @ 3:16pm 
dont bother, this thing is a piece of garbage. I expect more from valve.
michoko Feb 6, 2017 @ 2:33am 
I made a small experiment: I have also an Intel HD Graphics 530 chipset on my motherboard (which is enough for a perfect 60 fps experience with OwlBowl). So I activated the Intel chipset and deactivated the Nvidia card. The game runs flawlessly on the main PC. Now when I stream the game, and when I check the F6 stats, I indeed get Quicksync hardware encoding. And the stuttering is still there.

So it seems this stutter is not encoder-dependent, and is either an issue with something else on the system or a problem in the Steam encoding algorithm. It really feels like Steam streaming can't remain synchronized constantly with the game output.
Last edited by michoko; Feb 6, 2017 @ 2:34am
michoko Feb 6, 2017 @ 5:55am 
Sorry for the double post, but I have more feedback. Actually I managed to make Nvidia Gamestream work on my laptop with the Moonlight client. And despite the fact that this client is a pretty buggy and WIP Chrome app, once it worked, my jaw fell on the floor: the streaming is just absolutely perfect, with silky smooth movement and scrolling (and over Wifi!). So now, at least I know this is technically possible, and I hope Valve will improve their technology, because if Steam In-Home Streaming was as good as what I experienced with Gamestream, I would just jump and dance all day long! :)
slouken Feb 6, 2017 @ 7:35am 
Thanks for the feedback!
Ozi Feb 6, 2017 @ 7:44am 
Originally posted by michoko:
Sorry for the double post, but I have more feedback. Actually I managed to make Nvidia Gamestream work on my laptop with the Moonlight client. And despite the fact that this client is a pretty buggy and WIP Chrome app, once it worked, my jaw fell on the floor: the streaming is just absolutely perfect, with silky smooth movement and scrolling (and over Wifi!). So now, at least I know this is technically possible, and I hope Valve will improve their technology, because if Steam In-Home Streaming was as good as what I experienced with Gamestream, I would just jump and dance all day long! :)

Can you explain this in more detail to me? I am not quite in to streaming. Nvidia shield is hell of expensive and no option for me. But i didnt understand everything i read about the moonlinght client and chrome. Are you using the nvidia shield hardware?
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