Hi, I couldn't help but notice this thread. @3rr0r. This idea that GTA 4 is a bad port, is a myth propigated by word of mouth gossip and an assumtion made because it came AFTER the console versions were released. I worked several years in the game industry (Descent back in the day, Parallax/Interplay, EA, Sublogic, knew people on Id Doom team, MS other connections from friends etc) and first off, most games are created first on PC or what ever high powered machines that can speed development. It's often inefficienct to continually rebuild the game for a console because that eats up too much development time. Developers get a rough idea of how the game will function, and keep around basic functions needed to run on the target platform, but tend to stay on the speediest platform they can work on until the project is near completion. They keep in mind the target platform has limits to it's abilities, frame rates and so on.. Likely GTA was ported to the consoles last, but since RS wants to sell those games in lower fidelity off first, they only show those at first launch. So assumptions are made by fans. The reason it runs as expected on xbox is because the xbox NEVER changes (other than a couple different iterations) even though it's old. While that's a good general guideline, I'm not 100% certain on how GTA was developed, however the big point is too many people are jumping on the "it's a bad port" wagon and riding it and repeating vauge generalisations like parrots. Acurate knowledge isn't always the general concesus or "collective conisous" of a basic internet search. Too many myths, old wifes tales etc are propigated that way.
Next 3rr0r, a rock solid 30 fps is more than your eye can see and more than enough to be "playable". If a game becomes unplayable, it's often due to displayed number of polygons in the data base vs the efficiency of the occlusion code (code that determins what the viewer can really see) as the player view position updates and world spins around him. Yes, the player doesn't really move in a game. The world translation code moves the world around a stationary player in the opposite direction of intended movement. Yes, you could think in relativity, but this is how the coder sees the game during development. It's an illusion that the player is moving as the viewport is a stationary window (your monitor on your desk). Think about that for a minute. I have the source code to several games, and know. In an inefficient game, they will typically just draw most of the world from far Z to near Z, having the closer objects render over top of the more distant ones. By drawing over top, it covers up what the eye should not see. With the exception that some irregular shaped objects can draw improperly, but then that gets into BSP trees and other sorting algorithms etc. Also new games like GTA use much of this same technology, only the game, concept, publisher etc change. But as the world is rendered on screen, frame rates dip and spike all the time within some reasonable range. Being that the GTA world is large, it's logical to see that they have some pretty decent rendering code, so as to not waste too much CPU or GPU etc. If the game runs as intended and is smooth on say an xbox, then the rendering code that determines what is visible, is already efficient enough. If it's a large place, and the user has say some issues with their PC, such as a slow hard drive, poor bus, poor video card, odd audio card/drivers, conflicts etc, stuttering can occur. Especially if there are driver issues, or something is funky with the windows install. This can happen even on a high end PC, if something is amiss. But usually it can be remedied, and these people here are trying to help you. While you can say this is the frame rate as it dips, it's not the overall real frame rate average. In other words, if you are playing at 30 fps, but then due to a problem it dips down to 3 frames per second, It's not going to play well and you should look to your system for issues no matter how fast or new it is. That said, when GTA 4 came out, I played it on a 3 year old, high end system and it ran perfectly smooth and no stuttering. So it has nothing to do with optimizing, optimizations etc to get the code to be efficient enough as people seem to think. It's often more due to all the combinations of unforseen hardware and possible settings. Sometimes code is tweaked by the developer to help avoid issues, but the developer can only go so far to address the sea of hardware out there. Your playability problems ARE problems with your PC or it's settings, OR your install of windows etc and nothing to do with how fast it is or how efficent the orignal rendering code is, or that you think it's a "port" etc..
If my 2006 computer ran it perfectly, the issue is NOT your new i7 rig. So all this "it's not optimized" bull is just that, bull. At this point your new i7 is so fast, it would overcome any inefficiencies anyway as we are years into the future (of the past when GTA came out, lol). It is so much faster than any console that it has oodles of processing power to deal with whatever... So again look for conflicts, problems, weird combos. Look and pay attention to other people who are getting the results you want on PC's where they have a fun playable game. Draw conclusions from that. Keep in mind that hardware has changed vastly since the release of GTA 4 and there is room for things to go wrong in a game that was developed 5 years ago. I have a new system, much like yours, but a litte faster with 4770k and cherry picked cpu at 3.8ghz. It makes no difference. My Crysis 1 demo install would NOT run correctly or display true stereo correctly, and it stutters while my older system runs it much better. I could fool with it, or do the full install again, but I'm too busy and will just look to newer releases.