Question Bizarre stuttering issue in new SFF build - troubleshooted exhaustively and at a loss. Probable motherboard issue?

Apr 16, 2021
Hi all,

I would greatly appreciate any guidance as far as what to do next with this build. I have tried other forums and have received little response - SOS!

To keep the root issue relatively short - I just built an ultra SFF PC and it produces some pretty severe video and audio stuttering from the GPU output. At it's best, the stutter is limited to audio and can be bypassed through the motherboard line out. At it's worst (which it is at most of the time), both the display and audio stutter to a near unusable degree.

I troubleshooted quite extensively and narrowed the issue to most likely be the motherboard, but I will expand on that below.

Here's the kicker: Putting the GPU under load seems to mitigate the problems. Bizarrely, games run fairly well. It's the light use - web browsing, video streaming, even just moving the cursor on the desktop - that seems to yield problems.

System Specs:
  • Gigabyte Aorus b540i
  • Ryzen 5 2400g
  • PowerColor ITX 5600XT
  • SilverStone FX500 Flex ATX PSU
  • 16GB (2x8) Corsair Vengeance LPX 2400
  • Silicon Power 512GB NVMe M.2
  • SGPC K39 Case
What I've already tried and probably eliminated as the source of the issue:
  • Tried the GPU and it's accompanying pcie riser cable in a different machine - it runs just fine even without installing any AMD drivers, at idle and under load. (Need the riser because the build in question is so small).
  • Tried running a different GPU in the build in question. A GTX 1660. Couldn't even get output from this.
  • Tried running integrated graphics from the 2400g. No issues there whatsoever - presumably rules out a CPU/memory issue.
  • Updated/rolled back/reinstalled every possible software - BIOS /Windows 10/ Radeon Drivers, nothing helps.
  • Tried different cables (wish it were that easy)
  • Toggled various display settings including VSync, resolution, refresh rate, etc.
  • Checked temps - these were actually pretty good, even under load in such a small build.
  • Changed power plan settings in windows. No noticeable differences between them.
  • Slightly overvolted/overclocked the GPU for lower frequencies. Given that the issue seems to go away when the GPU is under load, I figured this might help. It didn't.
Other peculiar nuances that may be of use:
  • When streaming video through a browser, the stuttering isn't just simply frame drops. Sometimes the video pane will "split" with one half of the video completely frozen and the other half a jittery mess. It leaves the rest of the page alone, however.
  • When I attempted to boot the machine for the very first time, I could not get any output from the GPU. I later realized that, for some reason, the GPU refuses to output anything not produced by Windows 10. In other words, I can't see the BIOS through the GPU, nor does the system startup loading screen display at all. In order to see these, I have to switch to integrated graphics.
  • I mentioned it above, but I wanted to reiterate because it is so weird: I could not get any output whatsoever from my GTX 1660 when I tried it in this build. Strange.
As a final note, as I mentioned, I believe the motherboard to be the culprit here. I am not sure how to distinguish the hardware vs software in this case however. The issue could feasibly be the PSU as well, I suppose. Again I am not exactly sure how to reliably test that, however, without completely tearing apart both of my machines.

I apologize for the lengthy post, and I greatly greatly greatly appreciate any help that may come from this. I've been driving myself mad for the past two weeks trying to figure this out. Thank you so much!!!

Vic 40

When testing a gpu in another system are drivers part of that so soemthing you didn't do. Would test that.

Ryzen doesn't always play nicely with Corsair Vengeance ram, so might be that too. Depends on what chips on the sticks. Can you test with ram out of that other system?

Wouldn't just throw it at the motherboard. Seems to be a good motherboard afaik, but you can always have a less good example of course.

Read a review of the psu, seems not very good, not really awfull too. Can under high heat load shut down and ripple isn't great. So might be the issue too, although there probably would be different symptoms in that case so for now gonna say you're safe with it.