I picked up a new Dell System a few months ago, briefly, here are my specs
Dell Dimension 5100
Pentium 4 3.4 gHz with HT
1 gigabyte pc3200 400mHz RAM
160 gb HD
nVidia 6800 256 megs RAM
onboard sigmatel audio
I've noticed in a lot of games (the FEAR demo, the COD2 demo, COD2 full version, Everquest 2, King Kong demo) that I'm getting a video and audio stutter that can make them unplayable. In the cases of the demos mentioned above, the audio and video will play for a few frames, pause, then play for a few frames, pause, and so on. Graphics and sound stutter simultaneously.
In the case of COD2 (that's call of duty 2) it will do it for a couple of minutes, then everything will be smooth, but for those couple of minutes, it's unplayable. In EQ2, I've noticed it does it on the character creation screen (which has fancy water in the background) and sometimes in indoor environments where water is present (not all the time though). Note that while the two eq2 examples include heavy graphics effects, this is not always the case. It stutters nonstop through the demos mentioned above (although the cod2 demo smoothed out immediately upon changing the sound from Miles Fast 2D audio to Creative EAX, however, the full version of the game won't let me do this, it switches automatically back to Miles Fast).
I've fiddled with settings and am having a hard time gettign to the root of the problem. My guess is that it could be a video card issue, a RAM issue (isn't 1 gb enough?!?), or possibly I need a better soundcard (never had this problem with onboard sound on other systems, though). Do I need to change my memory settings in windows? Any help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated, this has been driving me nuts.
Thanks so much!