Thank you for your post and for the help!
I too thought it might be a timer issue, which is why I ripped all the timers out in my sample program. The sample program simply takes the image and each frame it moves its xPosition and yPosition +1. Since it's capped by VSync at 60fps, it moves 60 pixels per second across the screen. There are no timers that cap the framerate, it relies solely on VSync.
As for the 16-18ms, it usually shows 18ms as the amount of time per frame. I don't understand why though, as the only thing controlling this is VSync (and my monitor is 60hz refresh rate). So 16.6ms would seem right to me, but each frame seems to just take 18ms. And this is with no timers, no frame limiting beyond VSync.
And when I do enable timers to delay, pause, nanosleep, etc. I wind up with the problem being amplified.
Also, the loading of the image occurs only once, I just tried setting the processor affinity to only run on the first core and the problem still persisted, and lastly, I reformatted yesterday with a fresh install of 13.10 and killed all other running processes and it still stutters.
Here is the code I took out that just scrolls the background image across the screen. You may need to tweak the sconstruct's paths for it to build, as I made it for my systems' environments.
I have run the progam with high precision timers using Chrono from c++0x and I get the following output during jitter times
Maybe the problem is with your timer source. Try running your code on a single CPU core (SetProcessAffinityMask on Windows) - if it still stutters, then it must be that the timer you're using is having sync problems across core switches. As you said, other games run fine, so the problem is probably not with OpenGL - it must be somewhere in your time-keeping code.
Also, try to make sure that what you're seeing isn't tearing. If you enable VSync, you can eleminate that possibility.
And with VSync, you said that your "frame time" is somewhere between 16-18? On a 60Hz monitor, any frame that lasts longer than 1000/60=16.6 ms will be dropped or delayed, so I would also look into what is causing that.
In your second post, it's not clear what you mean by "1px at a time" - are you still using your timer in this case, or just drawing the image continuously? If you're just drawing continuously (no timer delays in between) then with VSync enabled, you shouldn't be getting any stuttering.
Also, are you loading the image every time you draw it, or just once?
If you try all this and it still doesn't work, then the problem must be external to your program - try to find out what other (background) programs are causing CPU spikes every 1-2 seconds.