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On 4/8/2017 at 8:12 AM, Support said:

There are potentially 2 different issues here. For those that are having consistent drops in vocals/wolf sounds/bear sounds/etc I recommend first checking to make sure your system settings are setup to match your output. For example ensure that if you have 2 speakers, that windows is not set to anything other then 2 speakers and you're not using virtual surround. This can be done through the audio properties. Essentially this could be an issue with windows thinking there is a center speaker channel, when there is none. So the audio plays on that channel, but there is no output for it, resulting in missing audio. 

Outside of that we've found that general audio drops are usually due to high CPU usage. When at very high CPU usage the audio streamer will pause as it can't get the resources to load in a new sound. So that sound gets dropped. This tends to manifest with SFX like wind. but can impact much of the audio. 

This is likely the cause of Wastland Watcher's issue based on the cpu and windows version shown in the log (without going into it too deeply, an AMD X6 is pretty close to min spec and have not aged very well over 7 years, even on release were never great performers. I say this as someone who had an X6 at launch.) Also note that the 6 cores on the X6 don't always get utilized, more so on Windows 7 as it's a fairly early implementation of multi-threaded support. I would hazard that most of the machines you've tried this on are not strong in the CPU department.

I'd recommend trying medium settings as this disables some of the more CPU intense audio and video processing. Lowering your resolution can help a bit as well, but the visual settings are a good place to start. Also try disabling things like temporal AA or other processing you have setup on the video card side, as they also have an impact on CPU usage as well. And of course, limiting the number of running apps in the background will help as well. 

Note that this can also happen due to the HDD being saturated, but I'd expect to see game stuttering and loading issues at that point. 

Thanks very much for the updated reply. I believe your suggestions will resolve the issues on my AMD system.

I still have the issue on a 2015 laptop, albeit far less frequently:
MSI GT72S Dominator Pro G-219 Laptop, 6th Generation Intel Core i7 6820HK (2.70 GHz), 16 GB Memory, 1 TB HDD, 128 GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M 8 GB GDDR5, Windows 10 Home.

I will try disabling things like temporal AA and set the GPU general 3D settings to 'balanced' vice "high quality."

As a general rule of thumb I do not run other programs while gaming and uninstall bloatware.

Do you think PC gaming performance booster apps such as Razer Cortex would improve performance of The Long Dark?

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Lower the game settings to the lowest, play for a while and see if the issue persists. This may ease the load on the CPU to allow the sound requests to get through, if that is the problem. It's true that lowering the settings may not take much load of the CPU (ease the GPU instead) but it easy to do and is worth a try.

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21 hours ago, Wasteland Watcher said:

Do you think PC gaming performance booster apps such as Razer Cortex would improve performance of The Long Dark?

I don't think it would. From testing I've seen across a number of different games "performance boosting" apps such as Cortex and even Windows Game Mode don't do a lot to help performance, unless you're running with very tight memory constraints. The one area these apps might impact is if your laptop is running a power savings profile that is capping the speed of the CPU. Many laptops have various power profiles and tend to default to power savings, but you can also change these via your laptops software or in Windows Power Settings. 

The other note is try running the laptop with the cooling at full and see if there is a difference. Depending on the laptop (IE the MSI Apache that I use) have a second fan that is only enabled on request. If a mobile CPU hits a certain thermal threshold it will throttle itself down in speed.  

9 hours ago, Carbon said:

 It's true that lowering the settings may not take much load of the CPU (ease the GPU instead) but it easy to do and is worth a try.

This entirely depends on the what settings you're running at. TLD is far more CPU bound then GPU bound and running at Medium does in fact disable a number of CPU dependent features, including some audio processing. It's certainly worth trying at a lower setting and scaling back up. 

It's also always worth running a performance profiler (even the one found is task manager) in the background and see if any spikes in usage correlate to the audio drop outs. That would help pin point the bottle neck. And of course we're always working on ways to optimize performance. 

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10 hours ago, Support said:

I don't think it would. From testing I've seen across a number of different games "performance boosting" apps such as Cortex and even Windows Game Mode don't do a lot to help performance, unless you're running with very tight memory constraints. The one area these apps might impact is if your laptop is running a power savings profile that is capping the speed of the CPU. Many laptops have various power profiles and tend to default to power savings, but you can also change these via your laptops software or in Windows Power Settings. 

The other note is try running the laptop with the cooling at full and see if there is a difference. Depending on the laptop (IE the MSI Apache that I use) have a second fan that is only enabled on request. If a mobile CPU hits a certain thermal threshold it will throttle itself down in speed.  

This entirely depends on the what settings you're running at. TLD is far more CPU bound then GPU bound and running at Medium does in fact disable a number of CPU dependent features, including some audio processing. It's certainly worth trying at a lower setting and scaling back up. 

It's also always worth running a performance profiler (even the one found is task manager) in the background and see if any spikes in usage correlate to the audio drop outs. That would help pin point the bottle neck. And of course we're always working on ways to optimize performance. 

 Thank you very much for the additional info and guidance. Really, much appreciated! 

And if I notice any sound hitches on my MSI gamnig laptop I will turn on its manual turbo fan mode. 

 Really appreciate the guidance :)

 Thank you very much 

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@Support Yesterday, I played the test branch, and it appears that my problem might be gone. I need to do some extensive testing, but at first 'glance' the audio didn't seem to be dropping out.

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