Well, I have a Dell XPS 14 (specs below) and I've been having problems playing media on it for a while. Videos, being on YouTube, VLC or Media Player Classic or even music on iTunes or MusicMonkey, always find a way to stutter. With videos, the sound rarely lags, but on the audio softwares, the music sometimes stutters. However, that's not the big thing here. I recently acquired a game on Steam (Deus Ex Human Revolution) and when I played it for the first time watching the cutscenes was impossible. They ALL stuttered heavily. It was 2-3s of playback and 1-2s of nothing... Thinking it might have been a problem with the game or whatever, I downloaded something much simpler (PS 1 emulator + Final Fantasy 7) and tried playing it. To my surprise, the results were exactly the same. During the cutscenes, heavy stuttering.
Willing to solve the problem, I downloaded softs like "Process Explorer" to analyse what was going on. So I ran these together with the emulator and what I was able to find out was that the CPU and the GPU usage, while there was no cutscene, was around 25%. However, when the cutscenes began, this number started oscillating between 25% and 0%. In other words, while the CPU and GPU usage was high, the scenes were flowing, but, as soon as the numbers dropped, the cutscenes stopped also. Therefore, every cutscene was a very painful process of intermittent playback.
I surfed the net nonstop for the past few days and I found a suggestion somewhere, which was to disable the Intel Speedstep tech on the BIOS. I did that yesterday and, surprisingly, it worked like a charm! Everything was fast, from windows simplest processes to gaming (even Deus Ex). BUT, I made the "mistake" of shutting down the notebook and today, after turning it on, I couldn't play anymore because of the SAME issues. Even with the Speedstep STILL disabled.
So here I am... What can I do guys? Is there a solution? Do any of you have the same problem?
By the way, the system is virus-free (according to Microsoft security essentials), defragmented (smart defrag), clean (ccleaner) and properly up-to-date regarding drivers.
Dell XPS Studio L401X
Intel Core i5 M460 2.53GHz
4GB de RAM
Intel HD Graphics + Nvidia Geforce 420M
HD: Toshiba 640GB
Windows 7 SP1 Ultimate Edition