This site is a collection of information on a problem with Half-Life 2 that has plagued many players of this otherwise excellent game. This problem is characterized by a sudden massive drop in frame rate when turning corners or moving into new areas of the game. These drops are usually accompanied by looping or stuttering sound during the frame rate drop which is how most people become aware of the problem. Aside from these isolated drops in frame rate, the game is otherwise perfectly smooth. These sudden drops kill the immersion and lead to a very frustrating experience. Below you will find additional details on this problem, some theories, and all responses from Valve on this problem.

ATI comments on stuttering issue. (Nov. 21, 2004, 1:16 a.m. UTC)
Just received an email alerting me to a thread on in which Terry Makedon, ATI Senior Project Manager on the CATALYST drivers is soliciting people's experiences with Half-Life 2 and ATI cards. At the end of his post he mentions:
I have played it for the past hour and a half....oooops.. I mean I have been testing it as part of my job for the past hour and a half, and have found no problems.

Except on occasional stutter as it loads up stuff. The stutter also happens in as characters talk on occasion. Anyways thats not catalyst related.
This post seems to confirm that it is an engine issue and not a driver problem. As mentioned in the "More Details" section, the stuttering also occurs with NVIDIA cards.

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Mark McWilliams