Question Driven mad by microstutter in games [example attached]

Dec 6, 2019
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Hi everyone

I've been having this microstutter issues for many months now, and have extensively searched and tried to fix it at various intervals to no avail.
I ignore it at times and go on with my life, but recently when playing Jedi Fallen Order it almost drove me insane and I now wish that I can fix this for good with the help of knowledgeable users.

Video attached here of CSGO and Skyrim example, and more info below after watching example:
Stuttering in CSGO... This also happens in other games like WarCraft 3 Reforged, Jedi Fallen Order and Skyrim and so on. Some games seem unaffected,
but only mostly in benchmarks where the FPS is never stuttering and the average is good according to other posted benchmarks with similar specs.

My specs:

MSI Z170A Tomahawk
i7-6700k at 4.2GHz 1.25V
2x8GB G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4 3200MHz RAM
Zotac RTX 2080 AMP! Extreme stock settings
Windows 10 on 250GB Samnsung 850 EVO
Super FlowerLeadex II 750W 80 Plus Gold PSU

Things I've tried:

Updating BIOS from 2016 to 2018
Formatting to Windows 10 Pro and updating to October 2018
Installing latest Nvidia Drivers
Disabling Realtek sound device and running game without sound
Disabling RTX 2080 and running CSGO at lower settings on HD530 graphics to maintain 90FPS, stutter continued at intervals
Running the games on SSD instead of my HDDs
Running on RAM module at a time, and switching each between slots
Running all stock BIOS settings
Enabling 8 processors in Advanced Boot Options under msconfig
Only running essential USB devices such as Mouse and Keyboard
Running Malwarebytes, Avast, RogueKiller etc. to make sure all malware removed

I cannot think of all of the things I have tried in the past few months, but I'm now really at my wits' end and I'm at the
point of nearly buying an entirely new upgrade kit including new RAM, Mobo and Ryzen 7 3700x or 9700k.
That's if those specific components are causing the issue. The biggest suspect for me is the mobo, but could be CPU.
It's hard to isolate them because I don't have replacements.

I know that this PC of mine is still more than suitable for my needs, and I would really like a second opinion of what the cause could be.
 
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This could be due to various things.

A common cause of microstutter traditionally has been an under performing or mismatched CPU bottle necking the GPU. This you can test for via comparing CPU and GPU usage in MSI Afterburner while playing with those stats set to shown onscreen in real time.

In recent times, the myriad of CPU security patching done both in W10 and in MB BIOS updates, certainly has had performance effects, which include microstutter. This is why I run just a basic older BIOS version on my MB. There are also some games now where it is suggested by some tweak sites like PCGamingWiki that turning off Windows Defender's Control Flow Guard for the game can minimize stutter. It's not something you ever want to set globally though, and even when doing it for a game, it's safest to play it with zero net connection.

There are also settings in Nvidia Control Panel now which can help minimize stutter. Whenever I play a new game that can yield decent FPS at high settings, but hitches noticeably in places (like Jedi Fallen Order), I always start Googling for stutter tweaks. I stumbled upon one a guy used where you set in game Vsync off, and use NCP to set Vsync On, Power management mode to Prefer maximum performance, and more importantly, the new Low latency mode setting to Ultra.

The above certainly doesn't remove all the stutter, but it minimizes it considerably for me. One thing I noticed though is this game stutters quite a bit more right after launching it, and after a minute or so gets a lot smoother. I have yet to try installing it on my super fast NVMe drive though, and currently have it on one of my WD Black 1TB HDDs, which with it's current capacity is measuring roughly 107Mb/s. That's compared to over 2100 Mb/s on my NVMe.

That said, stutter at points in the game where assets are loaded has always been the Achilles Heel of Unreal Engine games. It's Why when Irrational Games switched to Unreal Engine for Bioshock Infinite, there was tons of stutter the prior games didn't have, and a resulting marathon thread complaining about it on their official forum. UE is just poorly optimized for loading textures quickly and smoothly.

JFO stutters on pretty much all PCs, even very high end ones. Below I linked an article that talks realistically about it and what you can and can't do to remedy it to some degree. Today I'm going to move Rage 2 and Terminator Resistance to my WD Black 1TB, and JFO to the NVMe. I'll report back on the performance difference.

https://www.naguide.com/star-wars-jedi-fallen-order-hitching-stutter-and-lag-minimizing/
 
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Dec 6, 2019
9
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10
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This could be due to various things.

A common cause of microstutter traditionally has been an under performing or mismatched CPU bottle necking the GPU. This you can test for via comparing CPU and GPU usage in MSI Afterburner while playing with those stats set to shown onscreen in real time.

In recent times, the myriad of CPU security patching done both in W10 and in MB BIOS updates, certainly has had performance effects, which include microstutter. This is why I run just a basic older BIOS version on my MB. There are also some games now where it is suggested by some tweak sites like PCGamingWiki that turning off Windows Defender's Control Flow Guard for the game can minimize stutter. It's not something you ever want to set globally though, and even when doing it for a game, it's safest to play it with zero net connection.

There are also settings in Nvidia Control Panel now which can help minimize stutter. Whenever I play a new game that can yield decent FPS at high settings, but hitches noticeably in places (like Jedi Fallen Order), I always start Googling for stutter tweaks. I stumbled upon one a guy used where you set in game Vsync off, and use NCP to set Vsync On, Power management mode to Prefer maximum performance, and more importantly, the new Low latency mode setting to Ultra.

The above certainly doesn't remove all the stutter, but it minimizes it considerably for me. One thing I noticed though is this game stutters quite a bit more right after launching it, and after a minute or so gets a lot smoother. I have yet to try installing it on my super fast NVMe drive though, and currently have it on one of my WD Black 1TB HDDs, which with it's current capacity is measuring roughly 107Mb/s. That's compared to over 2100 Mb/s on my NVMe.

That said, stutter at points in the game where assets are loaded has always been the Achilles Heel of Unreal Engine games. It's Why when Irrational Games switched to Unreal Engine for Bioshock Infinite, there was tons of stutter the prior games didn't have, and a resulting marathon thread complaining about it on their official forum. UE is just poorly optimized for loading textures quickly and smoothly.

JFO stutters on pretty much all PCs, even very high end ones. Below I linked an article that talks realistically about it and what you can and can't do to remedy it to some degree. Today I'm going to move Rage 2 and Terminator Resistance to my WD Black 1TB, and JFO to the NVMe. I'll report back on the performance difference.

https://www.naguide.com/star-wars-jedi-fallen-order-hitching-stutter-and-lag-minimizing/
Both of my videos show the OSD of Rivatuner, and there seems to be no mismatch between GPU/CPU. I didn't get this kind of stuttering years ago, with the same mobo, RAM and CPU but a different GPU (1060 6GB). Was also on Windows 7 at the time so I'm racking my brain now to find out what could be the cause, as some of my components like the GPU and PSU have been upgraded, leading to these issues perhaps.
 
Regarding the videos, I don't consider them very informative since you didn't scale the stat fonts to be even large enough to easily read, plus you didn't even bench the one game which would have had the most chance of bottleneck, JFO.

I see really low usage on both in the Skyrim scene, but no stutter to speak of. It's basically a short clip with no action that is useless for determining such things. The CPU/GPU aren't going to be used much just standing there talking to an NPC.

Maybe try benching while a big battle is going on, like the first dragon you fight with the help of the village.

BTW, Jedi Fallen Order was noticeably smoother on my NVMe for me, but it's quite fast.
 
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Dec 6, 2019
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Regarding the videos, I don't consider them very informative since you didn't scale the stat fonts to be even large enough to easily read, plus you didn't even bench the one game which would have had the most chance of bottleneck, JFO.

I see really low usage on both in the Skyrim scene, but no stutter to speak of. It's basically a short clip with no action that is useless for determining such things. The CPU/GPU aren't going to be used much just standing there talking to an NPC.

Maybe try benching while a big battle is going on, like the first dragon you fight with the help of the village.

BTW, Jedi Fallen Order was noticeably smoother on my NVMe for me, but it's quite fast.
I think we are both talking past one another, since I don't think we're talking about the same stutter. The stats are readable on fullscreen, and I'll find a way to scale them to make them bigger.
The stutter I am experiencing in many games is that whilst I'm playing , sometimes the FPS would drop dramatically (sometimes more than half of current FPS) and the game would freeze for what feels like a few hundred milliseconds.

That fact that you think that the CPU/GPU usage needs to be high for stuttering to occur makes me think we're experiencing 2 different kinds of issues here. Because that's the whole point of my post, is that my PC is having random stutters in even older games where I don't have much action on the screen (although it could obviously happen then as well). It seems to happen in quiet areas as well, especially turning around and when clicking on things. In WarCraft 3 Reforged it happens sporadically when moving my army, but the most salient examples are from the very start of the game, where it stutters when I place my buildings.

This is totally clear in the CSGO and Skyrim videos. In the Skyrim video, at around 00:02 when I click on the NPC to talk to him the FPS drops from 60 to 29, and because I was moving the mouse while the game stuttered, after the game stopped stuttering my mouse cursor ended up further to the right. This section is very clear in the video.

I will try to do JFO, but like I said, we might be experiencing 2 different issues here. I'm having this issue in many games. If you have an example video of the JFO stutter then perhaps it would be easier to compare.
 
Dec 6, 2019
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I got two more stutter videos for you with Large font stats. I finished JFO and deleted it so busy downloading it again.

WC3 Reforged Building placement, stutters right after using hotkeys for buildings -
View: https://youtu.be/AtV-Q_x_5Oo

WC3 Reforged Sniper shot during battle -
View: https://youtu.be/25sJGFX4v2c
This shows you that similar stutters occur inside and outside of battle.


CSGO stutter during AWP shot -
View: https://youtu.be/Ed5HYrYHk6o


Now we've got CSGO, Skyrim, WC3 showing stutters. There are many more games but I'm tired of looking for examples. I just want a solution to this annoying problem.
 
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Dcopymope

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Aug 13, 2018
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I got two more stutter videos for you with Large font stats. I finished JFO and deleted it so busy downloading it again.

WC3 Reforged Building placement, stutters right after using hotkeys for buildings -
View: https://youtu.be/AtV-Q_x_5Oo

WC3 Reforged Sniper shot during battle -
View: https://youtu.be/25sJGFX4v2c
This shows you that similar stutters occur inside and outside of battle.


CSGO stutter during AWP shot -
View: https://youtu.be/Ed5HYrYHk6o


Now we've got CSGO, Skyrim, WC3 showing stutters. There are many more games but I'm tired of looking for examples. I just want a solution to this annoying problem.
Have you tried defragmenting your drive? Just type 'defragment' into your search bar and click on the app that says "defragment and optimize drives". It says it does this on a schedule automatically, but I wouldn't put my trust in the operating system to do this for you. I check mines every day or so.
 
Yeah the stats are readable fullscreen if I walk close to my TV, , but since the vid title obscures them half or more way through the video until it disappears, it doesn't give me much time to see what's there.

The video is way too short, and there's not anything I saw in the way of stutter. Again, very poor way to example it.

As far as JFO, just search that title in YouTube and you'll see most videos made of the game have some degree of stutter.
 
Dec 6, 2019
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Have you tried defragmenting your drive? Just type 'defragment' into your search bar and click on the app that says "defragment and optimize drives". It says it does this on a schedule automatically, but I wouldn't put my trust in the operating system to do this for you. I check mines every day or so.
Hi, unfortunately they were done automatically a few days ago.

 
Dec 6, 2019
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Yeah the stats are readable fullscreen if I walk close to my TV, , but since the vid title obscures them half or more way through the video until it disappears, it doesn't give me much time to see what's there.

The video is way too short, and there's not anything I saw in the way of stutter. Again, very poor way to example it.

As far as JFO, just search that title in YouTube and you'll see most videos made of the game have some degree of stutter.
Well, I did provide 3 other videos with large font stats for you . JFO is the least of my worries right now, as most of my games are stuttering. I'm not intending to find out why JFO is stuttering -- I want to get to the root of all games stuttering in this manner (I'm aware some games stutter, but this type is consistent across most of the games experiencing this).
 

Dcopymope

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Well, I did provide 3 other videos with large font stats for you . JFO is the least of my worries right now, as most of my games are stuttering. I'm not intending to find out why JFO is stuttering -- I want to get to the root of all games stuttering in this manner (I'm aware some games stutter, but this type is consistent across most of the games experiencing this).
Which drive do you have your operating system installed on? Is it on your HDD or SSD?
 
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Dec 6, 2019
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Oh, I see, so do you have multiple anti-virus programs installed or just one or two? I only use windows defender and malwarebytes. I have found that using too many at once can cause some problems in itself.
I disabled Windows Defender because of its constant delivery optimization, which annoyed me quite a bit. Running AVG at the moment, and its the only one. I will try disabling/uninstalling all antivirus just for brief moments to see if that helps, but I highly doubt it because I got the same issues from a fresh install as well if I remember correctly. Worth another try
 

Dcopymope

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I disabled Windows Defender because of its constant delivery optimization, which annoyed me quite a bit. Running AVG at the moment, and its the only one. I will try disabling/uninstalling all antivirus just for brief moments to see if that helps, but I highly doubt it because I got the same issues from a fresh install as well if I remember correctly. Worth another try
I would also start disabling some services you don't need. You can access it either by typing 'msconfig' or simply typing 'services' in the search bar. Just research each one carefully before disabling it so you don't break your PC. Shut down your computer and reboot it once you're done. The only other things I can think of you can try is running a 'system file checker' scan and a 'chkdsk' (check disk) scan. The former is designed to scan any system files that could be corrupted or missing, while the latter scans your drives for any errors in your file system. At this point it could be anything.
 

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