Constant video stutter and display problems (not caused by GPU)

ZFR77

Honorable
Nov 15, 2013
14
0
10,510
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Specs:
Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming GT
Intel Core i7-4790K Quad Core CPU 4.00 GHz1150 ATX
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 G1 GAMING 4 GB (3.5 GB + 0.5 GB)
G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400 CL10 32GB Kit (8x4)
Corsair RM Series 850 Watt PSU

Hi,

I'm getting a bad, random (see below) sutter when using my PC. It's most noticeable when playing videos through VLC, but also appears in video games, other programs and general usage.

Symptoms:

• The intensity is random. It can be anything from a mild case of a single stutter every 8-10. I medium cases, videos hiccup noticeably and video games start experiencing stutter too. In its worst cases, videos become almost garbled and all programs slow down too. Pressing Start for example causes the menu to appear for 2-3 secs, as if in slow motion.
• Whether it happens, and its intensity is determined when the system boots. i.e. if I get a stutter of medium intensity when I boot, it won't get better or worse. It will remain a stutter of medium intensity till I reboot.
• Putting the PC to sleep and waking it also "resets" the stutter (i.e. it can start appearing, or stop appearing or appear with a different intensity).
• When it happens, it happens even before Windows loads. BIOS can be slowed down too. In fact I can fairly predict whether it will happen by observing how fast BIOS logo goes off the screen and how long the Windows logo appears.
• Switching to mobo's integrated video card completely removes the problem. Even without restarting. I can switch back and forth between my Geforce and the integrated graphics card, and the problem appears and disappears.
The above made me reach the obvious conclusion that it's the graphics card that's broken and so ordered a new one. Unfortunately though that did not solve the problem. New graphics card (Gigabyte Geforce 1060 6GB) still experiences the same problem.

The problem first started appearing a year and a half ago, but it was so small I ignored it. Initially every 8 or so days I'd get a tiny stutter when playing videos, so I'd just restart the PC to make it go away. It gradually got worse, till I'm now in a stage where I sometimes have to restart the PC several times to have it boot without the stutter.

Tried:

• Moving the graphics card to different PCI slots. Many times.
• Playing around with different video card settings. Some settings would alleviate the problem on some software, but nothing would solve the core issue.
• Changing NVidia drivers. Updating to the latest, reverting to older ones. Installing them completely from scratch. The problem happens even if there are no nvidia drivers installed.
• Playing around with all the different BIOS settings I could find. All the obvious and less obvious ones.
• Different monitors. Different monitor cables.
• Switching between DVI and HDMI.
• Memtest.
• Checking cooling, fans... etc Temperatures are normal when problem happens. Both CPU and GPU. Even when stress-testing both.
• Different PSU cables.
• Updating BIOS.
• Updating HD firmware, checking HD using Samsung Magician.


Observations:
The following 2 obeservations might be wrong. I haven't done enough test to be 100% sure they are right, and due to the random nature of the problem it's difficult to tell.
• Shutting down and turning back the PC (whether via Windows menu or case button) has a bigger chance of "resetting" the stutter than restarting the PC (whether via Windows menu or case button).
• I moved the PC between USA and Europe. The problem seems to be noticeably worse in the US (stutter appering worse and more frequently). I moved it to the US first time a year ago, and that's the first time when the problem became frequent enough to become an annoyance. Moved it back to Europe after few months and it seems to have gotten a better (but still worse than it was initially). Now again moved to US last month, and it seems to be worse again.
Not sure how much importance to attach to the above, it could just be me imagining things.

Any idea what can I try next? Of course the obvious answer seems to be to change the mobo, but given how that will involve dismantling and rebuilding my PC, I really would like to leave this as a very last resort only. Especially if it turns out something else is causing it; I wouldn't want to go through all the trouble of replacing a mobo, only to discover the problem is still there.

Could this be caused by the PSU? In my experience, a bad PSU causes shut downs or failures to start altogether. What do you think?

What's the best way to test if it's indeed a mobo fault?

I'd really be grateful for any suggestions on how to proceed here.
 

alexanderburger07

Prominent
Jan 3, 2018
30
0
560
7
Hi, generally a faulty PSU could cause your pc to shutdown and reboot randomly. So I highly doubt that is the cause. You should try reinstalling windows, a faulty windows can cause a lot of issues especially with software.
 

ZFR77

Honorable
Nov 15, 2013
14
0
10,510
0


As I mentioned, the issue happens even before Windows loads. BIOS gets slowed down too. Do you think faulty Windows can be causing that?
 

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