Question An unsolvable hitching/micro stutter on my new build?

Oct 5, 2020
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Specs:

Case - NZXT H510i

CPU - AMD Ryzen 5 3600

AIO Cooler - ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240

GPU - Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 Super

MOBO - Gigabyte B450M DS3H

RAM - Corsair Vengeance 2 x 8gb DDR4 3400MHz

SSD - 500GB T-Force Vulcan

HDD - Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200RPM

PSU - EVGA 600BR (600watt)

Display - MSI Optix G24c @ 144hz

Games affected: Warzone, Witcher 3, Nier Automata, FF14, essentially every game I try to run and even youtube videos and twitch streams are affected



I've been wrestling a micro stutter since day one of this build about 3 weeks ago so I decided to take another of MANY steps in my troubleshooting journey by doing some GPU overclocking. I've been adding ~20MHz to my core clock in Afterburner and then benchmarking with Unigine Heaven, rinse and repeat. (I began by setting my core voltage slider to the max)

I topped out with a score of 2248 at around +50MHz on my clock speed

FPS 89.2

Min FPS 10.2

Max FPS 140.0

The more I added 20MHz to my core clock my scores continued to drop little by little so I just stopped and decided to compare my score with other 2070 Super users and I found a thread on where OP had the exact same GPU & CPU as me and scored 3400 in Heaven with stock settings asking if this was normal. To which he got many replies where other people with similar hardware scored right around 3400.

This makes me think something is seriously wrong with my set up if I'm scoring that much lower with some overclocking vs these peoples' stock settings on the same hardware.

Another anecdote I have yet to make sense of, my friend just bought a new PC and with the same GPU and a moderately better(?) CPU: Ryzen 7 3700x and is getting 160-180FPS to my 80-100 FPS in Warzone. He told me he did some overclocking as well but surely it shouldn't be yielding such a drastic performance increase?



In the replies, I'm going to try to type out exactly what I've done in an effort to attack this micro-stutter problem as well as general performance optimizations along the way but I would be EXTREMELY grateful for any advice or thoughts on why this $1000 set up is running so poorly. <3



tldr; I'm concerned I'm doing/did something extremely wrong while trying to optimize/solve a microstutter to have my PC perform so poorly vs similar machines. But what?
 
Reactions: fluidz
Oct 5, 2020
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So to begin I'm not sure if the micro stutter and generally, relatively lower performance are in any way linked, in the off chance that they are I want to describe my experience with the stutter. At first, I'd like to mention, my suspicion was that the stutter was tied to my RAM. I thought this because usually upon a fresh reboot my games will run with nearly no microstuttering and over the course of 2-3 hours it will creep up until it becomes so unbearable that I will have to literally quit the game I'm playing and restart.

Anyways I'm going to try my hardest to remember everything I've tried in an effort to increase overall performance as well as directly address this micro-stutter over the past 3 weeks or so. In no specific order:

Re-seating my RAM: Seemed like a shot in the dark but an easy thing to try, alas this didn't solve the issue

Memtest86: Did a complete test of my RAM while I was out at work and came back to 0 errors upon completion.

Windows Memory Diagnostics: Basically a less thorough version of Memtest86 from my understanding; yielded 0 erros.

XMP Profile: By default it's off, I turned it on relatively early in the build process when I learned you don't get your advertised RAM speeds by default. So I had it enabled for a good while before being told this can sometimes cause stuttering. Tried this out for awhile with no luck, and was told by another "Turn XMP back on. Period." and have had it and left it on since.

It was also suggested to me to take the time to set my RAM timings manually but this is a new rabbit hole I have yet to delve into with time restraints. I'm told XMP is basically a default OC profile for you RAM but IDEALLY people suggest doing manual OCing (as with all overclocking I would assume this is the ideal course of action)

CPB/PBO/AMD Cool& Quiet: While I'm not entirely sure how these three functions work I've tried them on and off (auto) in bios. Neither seem to truly provide a noticeable increase or decrease in performance from my experience. When I was first setting up the PC I was dealing with chronic blue screens of death and unusually high CPU temps so it was suggested I disable PBO. I eventually updated by bios and this problem was solved quickly and completely and so I just recently re-enabled these settings (or disabled in the case of Cool and Quiet) and haven't seen much of a performance boost or thermal difference.

Running with as little background operations as possible: Obvious and simple step, closing as many unnecessary background tasks as possible...I'm looking at you Chrome.

Windows Power Plans: Set to 'AMD Performance' though I've read that AMD Balanced is slightly better? Not entirely sure and haven't tried it as, frankly, I don't think this is the cause of my stuttering or lower performance.

Max CPU usage setting in windows(?): Forget exactly what this setting was called or where it was located but early on when dealing with overheating issues and trying to address the BSOD catastrophe someone suggested I set this to 99% vs 100%. I BELIEVE this has been set back to 100%

CPU Overclock in Ryzen Master: I run my CPU overclocking entirely through Ryzen Master/bios (mainly bios) and have it more or less set to auto/default. I haven't bothered with CPU OC too much as it makes me a bit nervous and I honestly just haven't had much time with work. I DO know my clock speed limit is set to 4.2GHz vs the 3.6GHz advertised cap by default so I've watched hit that 4.2 at full load. I'm sure there's more to OCing a CPU than that but If I've been satisfied knowing I'm at least getting the 4.2GHz.

GPU Overclocking: See OP. Though I will add that I haven't touched the memory clocking on the GPU as the posts I was reading to guide me through OCing the card said that nowadays most cards have enough memory, etc. etc. that it isn't super necessary. I also changed my fan curve to by +10% higher than every degree -- Starting around 40 Celsius -> 50% fan speed, 50 Celsius -> 60% fan speed, and so on. I don't care about my PC making a bit more sound if it means better performance at a safe level.

Updated Drivers/Chipsets: As far as I'm aware I've all updated drivers. GPU drivers, CPU Chipset, bios updates, etc. etc. thought I suppose it couldn't hurt to double-check all of these again. I know I read someone mentioned audio drivers and stuff before which I honestly cant remember if I updated those or not, or if that would cause any issues to begin with.

Driver Verifier Command: I think I've run this through the command prompt window a few times and it hasn't reported any issues. I will say though, that Easy Anti-Cheat has has been BSODing me ever since I tried to play Rogue Company, if I try to boot the game it'll BSOD when EAC tries to load up so basically Im avoiding all Easy Anti Cheat games.

Windows Updates: 100% up to date.

ISLC Intelligent Standby List Cleaner: Someone suggested in my FF14 guild that I try out ISLC which clears cached memory. He said to check my task manager for cached memory and if was ever getting above 8gb or 9gb that this could be an issue and to try running ISCL in the background which keeps that number down. I never noticed it really get too far above 8GB so I gave it a try without much results and wrote this off as not the cause of my problems.

Nvidia Control Panel: All settings geared towards optimized performance vs 'balance, energy saving' etc. etc. I tend to use NVCP global settings across the board but I will tinker with my ingame video settings for each game (Witcher 3, Nier Automata, FF14, League of Legends, Modern Warfare, Risk of Rain 2, etc.) but at the end of the day I haven't had much success in reducing the stutter aside from trying to get the highest FPS across the board in order to make the stutter less impactful if that makes sense?



V-Sync/FreeSync/Gsync: This while I don't think is my problem has always kind of been beyond me. I've read so many posts and been told so many things that I don't really know what to believe about these settings. For starters I tried V-sync enabled/disabled exclusively via NVCP (Global settings) and v-sync enabled/disabled exclusively via ingame settings and every combination of the two. I also have a Freesync monitor which has Freesync ON and I've enabled the "Gsync compatible" setting in NVCP and I will say this definitely helps as opposed to these settings not being turned on. I've tried no Vsync and it's noticeably worse.

FPS Capping: In the same vein as V-Sync/Gsync/freesync, I've also tried to throw in FPS caps/limiters to these combinations to see how that worked out and landed on: Capping my FPS to 143 with a 144hz monitor made the most sense if I WERE to use a cap. Though with V-sync enabled capping it didnt make much sense anyways and if I'm to play without V-sync? Well I'm DEFINITELY not getting anywhere near 144fps steady on ANY of my games so I think V-sync enabled or a 60FPS cap and 60hz monitor setting are my two options.

I'll add this microstutter existed before I bought this 144hz monitor and was on a 60hz AOC monitor exclusively. Vsync still had the same positive effect. So I think this is to be expected for most people and once again NOT the cause of my microstutter.



Now as for a few things I HAVEN'T tried yet but have been suggested to try:
  • Manual RAM timings
  • Latency Mon? Looking at this website I honestly couldn't figure out how to apply it to my issue or even use it. It seems to be audio oriented?
  • Checking for a faulty SATA cable
  • Someone mentioned that the PCIE cables running from my PSU -> GPU and that if theyre split off the same cable it can be an issue sometimes, and that a split cable therefore split powerload is better or something? Right now I have 6-pin with a dangling 2-pin that is attached to the 6 but not needed on the left, and a 8-pin (6-pin + 2-pin split like the one next to it but they're both used this time)
  • Testufo (I messed around with this a little bit, it was a nice visual tool for seeing different FPS and refreshrates or whatever but not much of help for microstuttering or solving underperformance
  • Motherboard AGESA? A guy was saying something about how my Motherboard is kind of dated (I knew I shouldn't have skimped out on the motherboard) and this and that about AGESA 1.0.0.3ABB = BAD and AGESA 1.0.0.3ABBA = GOOD. Upon googling this I didnt really know what to do with this information and moved on.
  • Peripherals I haven't tried a process of elimination approach to plugging and unplugging different peripherals to see if any of them are causing the stutter. To me this kinda seemed like a shot in the dark, though I do plan on giving it a try. Im just unsure how to test this accurately with the stuttering being something that creeps.
  • SSD/HDD? So I have an HDD installed but currently it has literally nothing on it. Maybe my SSD is the culprit?
If you think an image of any of my hardware (Like those PCIE cables on my GPU) could possibly help root out my problem here I'm more than glad to post them here!

IF YOU MADE IT THIS FAR YOU'RE A GOD DAMNED HERO THANK YOU FOR THE READ! Im genuinely just out of ideas.

My big final question: If I cant solve this issue is there A) Any chance doing a complete factory wipe of the entire machine would solve this problem, or is it more likely a hardware issue?
OR
B) Places you can send or take your PCs into that you can pay for professional troubleshooting on things like this?
 
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Reactions: fluidz
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A quick side note; I don't have a lot of problems with
Thermals
My CPU never gets above 65 C or so and that's really only during some heavier benchmarking, full load, @ 4.2GHz

My GPU will rarely hit full load while playing Warzone (possibly an issue cause my friend says his 2070 super runs at full load pretty much constantly according to MSI Afterburner, where as I use HWMonitor for those stats) and Ive never seen it break 60 C

(Can run some in-game tests or benchmarks and post HWMonitor screenshots if needed.)
 

CosmicDance

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Jun 11, 2019
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Hi Crab

Did you do a clean install of Windows if you upgraded from a previous build?
Also is your RAM using the XMP profile in your BIOS to run at full speed?

if you run a game then change it to Windowed mode.
Open Task Manager and monitor your Processes to see if anything is hogging the CPU/HDD/RAM whilst gaming.

Andy
 

alceryes

Distinguished
From what you posted above, the stuttering lessens (or goes away) when you're at lower or stock speeds on your CPU/RAM/GPU, so it makes sense to start at the beginning. Take everything (CPU, GPU, FSB, RAM, timings, etc.) down to stock with the exception of XMP - keep that enabled for now.

Try running Open Hardware Monitor (with logging), in the background, while your system is 'stuttering'. It will create a .cvs file. Review your CPU and GPU frequencies in this file to see if any downclocking is going on.

Yes, it could be your SSD. Many games constantly read data during gaming - slower (or defective) SSDs can cause issues.
 
Oct 5, 2020
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Hi Crab

Did you do a clean install of Windows if you upgraded from a previous build?
Also is your RAM using the XMP profile in your BIOS to run at full speed?

if you run a game then change it to Windowed mode.
Open Task Manager and monitor your Processes to see if anything is hogging the CPU/HDD/RAM whilst gaming.

Andy
Hey, first of all thanks for your reply! Any and all input is appreciated on this subject because even though I feel like I've exhausted every option of what this could be I know there's a lot of unseen depth to even the most simple things that I've tried so I'm not opposed to re-visiting things and being more thorough.

So, to clarify, this is a 100% ground up new build with all factory sealed brand new parts -- nothing used.

-I installed Windows 10 via USB (so far I haven't upgraded/paid for a license because as far as I'm concerned there's just no need as of right now. Perhaps once I start my new job at the end of the month.) I take it the free/license-less install of Windows 10 has no performance flaws that could be causing this?

-As for XMP -- I have it enabled via bios and and its running at the advertised 3200Mhz

-I was always under the impression performance was better in full screen vs windowed or even windowed fullscreen so I currently run everything in fullscreen and put my 3rd party hardware monitoring software (HWMonitor, Ryzen Master, Afterburner as well as Task Manager to monitor my RAM tab under 'Performance' because the others don't cover that base)

As for specifically if anything is hogging my CPU/SSD/RAM; It would have to be the game I'm trying to run at the time -- Warzone, League of Legends or Nier Automata lately -- OR any of the aforementioned hardware monitoring softwares/discord. I don't typically run even something like Chrome in the background in order to focus all my power into the game I'm playing, especially with the current issues I'm having. But I'll definitely keep an eye on the processes tab next time I play to see if any thing is sneakily sucking up my performance.
 
Oct 5, 2020
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From what you posted above, the stuttering lessens (or goes away) when you're at lower or stock speeds on your CPU/RAM/GPU, so it makes sense to start at the beginning. Take everything (CPU, GPU, FSB, RAM, timings, etc.) down to stock with the exception of XMP - keep that enabled for now.

Try running Open Hardware Monitor (with logging), in the background, while your system is 'stuttering'. It will create a .cvs file. Review your CPU and GPU frequencies in this file to see if any downclocking is going on.

Yes, it could be your SSD. Many games constantly read data during gaming - slower (or defective) SSDs can cause issues.

Hey thanks for the input! This is definitely a new angle to look at things and that's exactly what I need!

Just to be certain of what you're suggesting. You think I should first take all my settings to stock by that you mean: Re-enable things like Cool and Quiet (currently disabled) that are on straight out of the box as well as Core Performance Boost and Performance Boost Overdrive (currently enabled, as they were from the start)?

I also am 99% certain my CPU came out of the box over clocked to 4.2GHz even though it's advertised at 3.6 ("up to 4.2" or something along those lines I thought implied I could safely overclock it to this point not that it would come with a stock clock limit of 4.2) Do you think I should set this upper limit to 3.6GHz or leave it? Via Ryzen Master or bios?

Set all this back to the way it came out of the box, save for XMP, and then run Open Hardware Monitor to log the performance during a serious fit of stuttering. Would it be okay to post a screenshot of the logs here because I'm not entirely sure what I'd be looking for as far as 'downclocking' and what the next steps would be.

As for the SSD being a possible issue, is there any diagnostic tool or monitoring I could do to identify such an issue? I've done full system scans before and they never yield any errors or negative results but I know HWMonitor always gives a false reading of 133 Celsius which blew my mind, pulled open the case to give it a touch and its not even warm so I think the SSD isn't set up, maybe its a cheapo SSD, to give any readings like that.

Thanks Alceryes!
 

alceryes

Distinguished
Yes. Turn off all motherboard 'performance' boosts. It sounds like your board may be automatically boosting your CPU to 4.2GHz. Many enthusiast boards do this. Unfortunately, 4.2GHz is your CPU's single core boost clock. I bet your board is just overvolting and boosting all cores to this, all the time. Don't set any speed upper limits. You'll also want to keep the AMD Turbo Core settings on which is AMD's version of Intel Turbo Boost. Basically, turn off all motherboard-specific overclocks and leave on all the standard CPU ones.

For your SSD, look for your drive manufacturer's diagnostic tools/software to check it out.

You'll have to save the Open Hardware Monitor .csv log file to OneDrive, or something like that, and then share the link.
 
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Currently I'm double checking all my Chipset drivers and BIOS and all that are up-to-date and I have a few questions regarding that which could end with me actually having out of date stuff here.

For one: Gigabytes page for my mobo is listing drivers that are many versions older than what I currently have installed. Not sure how this is possible (perhaps the mobo's ship with more or less the most up to date drivers?) But is it possible I may need to roll back my Realtek LAN/Audio drivers back to the most recent listed by gigabyte? If I do is it possible to revert those changes, seeing as how they aren't exactly listed on the site?

Second: My BIOS as far as I can tell is at the most up to date version F51 released 8/03/2020. Description reading in part: "
Update[d] AMD AGESA ComboV1 1.0.0.6 for 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen XT series processors"

I know updating this originally solved my chronic BSOD issue so I think this is A-Okay thought the acronym AGESA is listed here and I know I mentioned this in one of my original posts.

Third: I'm trying to verify that Gigabyte's page for my mobo is providing me with the most recent AMD Chipset Drivers (Ver. [1‎9.10.16] ) compared to the actual AMD page for my CPU but when I go to the support tab for the Ryzen 5 3600 it just gives me a link to install Ryzen Master??

Lastly: I'm quite certain I never installed anything from my Gigabyte page under the "SATA RAID/AHCI" tab -- could this be a source of error? It looks related to NVME SSDs (Not what I have) It's two most recent options are "AMD RAID Preinstall Driver 9.2.0.105" and "AMD RAID Driver 9.2.0.105" so essentially the same thing I take it pre-install is only slightly different.

Which if any of these should I install?


I'm mostly concerned with my third point about my Chipset driver but all of these seem to be reasonably important.

Thanks for your time!
 
Oct 5, 2020
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Yes. Turn off all motherboard 'performance' boosts. It sounds like your board may be automatically boosting your CPU to 4.2GHz. Many enthusiast boards do this. Unfortunately, 4.2GHz is your CPU's single core boost clock. I bet your board is just overvolting and boosting all cores to this, all the time. Don't set any speed upper limits. You'll also want to keep the AMD Turbo Core settings on which is AMD's version of Intel Turbo Boost. Basically, turn off all motherboard-specific overclocks and leave on all the standard CPU ones.

For your SSD, look for your drive manufacturer's diagnostic tools/software to check it out.

You'll have to save the Open Hardware Monitor .csv log file to OneDrive, or something like that, and then share the link.

As far as I know PBO And CPB are all AMD related but I could be wrong? I don't think I've noticed anything motherboard specific, is there a quick way to identify what's AMD and what Gigabyte trying to be spicy?

Thanks for the quick reply!

I'll try to get that .csv log sometime tomorrow. I just got off a double and only plan on checking up on this thread and chillin' a little bit for the rest of the evening. But I appreciate your time and I'll get that done for sure.
 
Oct 5, 2020
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Yes. Turn off all motherboard 'performance' boosts. It sounds like your board may be automatically boosting your CPU to 4.2GHz. Many enthusiast boards do this. Unfortunately, 4.2GHz is your CPU's single core boost clock. I bet your board is just overvolting and boosting all cores to this, all the time. Don't set any speed upper limits. You'll also want to keep the AMD Turbo Core settings on which is AMD's version of Intel Turbo Boost. Basically, turn off all motherboard-specific overclocks and leave on all the standard CPU ones.

For your SSD, look for your drive manufacturer's diagnostic tools/software to check it out.

You'll have to save the Open Hardware Monitor .csv log file to OneDrive, or something like that, and then share the link.
Okay so you said overvolting and boosting all my cores all the time??

Looking at HW Monitor right now and I'm more or less idling. Like 10 or so Chrome tabs, HWMon, TaskManager and a Twitch stream running. MY Voltages are are all just spiking from 1.000 V to about 1.400 V just under my session MAX of 1.444 V. But largely theyre hovering just below 1.444 V.

As for my core clocks. All 6 of them are sitting right at 4.192MHz right under that 4.2GHz limit.

While utilization across all threads(? -- theyre labeled CPU#0 - CPU#11 so 12 total) are averaging like 15% or less.

EDIT: Perhaps this is inaccurate readings on HWMonitors part as AMD Ryzen Master is showing me between 2.2-4.2 but averaging probably 2.4GHz I'd say with an average core voltage of 1.33 V Hard to say til I get you those readings I suppose.
 
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I've got a .csv file from Open Hardware Monitor while I was stuttering my ass off in a League of Legends match but I don't know what to open it with or how to best upload it to share the results, let alone the steps to take based on its data.

Also, I don't think it's giving accurate readings to be honest, I'm seeing vastly different results between it, CPUID HWMonitor and Ryzen Master. Probably worth noting it doesn't look like Open Hardware Monitor even tracks CPU Voltage as compared to HWMonitor.
 

alceryes

Distinguished
.csv files can be opened with Excel or Calc. What were your results after turning off all overclocking settings except AMP and Turbo Core?
Download and run Unigine's Valley demo/benchmark and let it loop. Take a note of any stuttering (when it starts, etc.).
 

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