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.

New Patch Results (Jan. 11, 2005, 1:27 p.m. UTC)
Well, I spoke too soon. While the game seems to have less hitching than before, I am now experiencing complete system freezes with looping sounds at certain points in the game.

My system is 100% stable and flawlessly passes extended runs of the Prime95 torture test and Memtest86. My system is not overclocked and I have great temps on the components in my system. I have absolutely no problems running Unreal Tournament 2004, FarCry, DOOM 3, Painkiller and World of Warcraft among many other games that I own.

My gut tells me that this is a driver problem triggered by something that the Source engine is doing. In Windows NT based OSes, it is impossible for a user mode process to directly cause a total system freeze. However, a user mode process can certainly trigger a bug in kernel mode processes like drivers which can lead to a system freeze. I am going to continue looking into this.

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Mark McWilliams