Question Frametime spikes 5700XT + 3700X Microstutter

Nov 14, 2020
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Computer Type: Custom Build https://pcpartpicker.com/list/3mYgBc
GPU: SAPPHIRE 11293-01-20G RX 5700 XT 8GB GDDR6 Pulse
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler
Motherboard: MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk
Monitor: AOC CQ27G2U/BK 1440P 144HZ Freesync
RAM: G. Skill Ripjaws V 16GB (2x8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL19 Memory, Slot 2 and Slot 4, XMP Profile 2.
PSU: CX Series™ CX750M — 750 Watt 80 PLUS® Bronze Certified Modular ATX PSU
Case: Phanteks Eclipse P400
Operating System & Version: Windows 10 Pro Version 10.0.19042 Build 19042
GPU Drivers: 20.9.1
Chipset Drivers: 2.10.13.408
Background Applications: Steam
Description of Original Problem: Okay, so keep in mind im not the most tech savy guy. I have gotten this configuration around a month ago, and everything worked fine, games were smooth, and I had absolutely no problems with it. Around 3-4 days ago I was playing Apex Legends, at one moment my PC froze, and just shut down. I rebooted it thinking nothing of it and started up another game of Apex Legends and things were fine. After that I had installed Left4Dead2, started a game and I noticed stuttering, I played for around 30m to 1h when the same thing that happened during Apex happened with Left4Dead2. I checked in event viewer to see what happened and I found a critical event called kernel-power event id: 41 and an error event called WHEA-LOGGER event id :18 which said a fatal hardware error has occured. I googled a bit, and found similar issues to mine already posted on here such as Link1 Link2. I disabled ULPS, and did some power plan options changed such as turning off hard disk to 0, Link State Power Management turned Off, and everything seemed fine after that. I haven't had the same issue since. But after this event, a game that was previously smooth Witcher 3, started having micro stutters (In-game footage of the issue, In-game footage of the issue2). These micro stutters happen at completely random times from what i've noticed. I installed RiviaTuner after that, and seems like the frame times are having spikes, and i'm having micro stutter at the exact time the frame time spike happens. In-game screens of frame time spikes: Img1 Img2 So I thought, maybe it's just a Witcher 3 issue all of a sudden? Nope, downloaded Ghostrunner Demo, and same thing: Img Witcher 3 is installed on SSD, installed Ghostrunner on SSD, thought maybe the SSD was the problem so I uninstalled and reinstalled to HDD but no, same thing over again. In Fall Guys the problem does not appear for example, frame times are steady: Fall Guys frame time (EDIT: I have noticed the frame time spike happen in Fall Guys too, but it is very rare!) I am lost, I do not know what to do, this micro stutter is ruining my experience with this PC, and I have no idea what is the problem, since it was not here before, Witcher 3 used to run smoothly, and no game had micro stutter.
Troubleshooting:
  1. Messed with manual fan control, no help.
  2. Tried DDU, and installing other AMD driver versions. Tried every driver from 20.9.1 to the latest one. No change.
  3. Deleted Windows, and did a fresh install. No change.
  4. Checked GPU, CPU, both seem fine? This is their status while a few Chrome browser tabs are open. In Radeon Software (while 4 Chrome tabs are open+steam+paint): GPU. Checked CPU temperatures with Ryzen Master before reinstalling the OS, and they were at 35C idle, seemed fine?
  5. Tried different monitor refresh rates, from 100 to 144hz, both produced the same problem. Tried turning VSync On in Witcher 3, did not help. Limiting FPS to 60, did not help.
  6. Disabling bunch of Windows stuff, did not help.
  7. Everything in Radeon Software is disabled, except Freesync.
  8. Tried turning Freesync off, VSync on etc. no use.
  9. Tried playing in Borderless Window/Window/Fullscreen, no effect.
  10. Tried playing games with Radeon Software running in the background, no effect.
  11. Uninstalled drivers, and did a clean install of drivers 20.5.1, the issue still remains.
  12. Tried setting the fans to always run at 90% and it improved the frame time spikes in Witcher 3: Img1 Img2 There were no previously huge frame time spikes, but there are still some, not as noticable as the previous one, so I think this helped some? I also tried the fans running at 55% and it was the same as the 90%, frame times were the same. However, I tried Ghost Runner after that, and i'm still getting the same problem: Pic
I am really LOST here. I have no idea why this is happening, and what is the issue here? This is a brand new system, but its not behaving like one, i'd really appreciate any help because at this point i'm desperate, I don't know what to do.

Here is what the inside of the PC looks like: Image And this is how BIOS looks like when I enter it: BIOS
Edit: Just to add, I have noticed these micro stutters happen even when im not in game, while watching a video on youtube etc.
 
Last edited:

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
If there are any steps listed here that you have not already done, it would be advisable to do so if for no other reason than to be able to say you've already done it and eliminate that possibility.



First,

Make sure your motherboard has the MOST recent BIOS version installed. If it does not, then update. This solves a high number of issues even in cases where the release that is newer than yours makes no mention of improving graphics card or other hardware compatibility. They do not list every change they have made when they post a new BIOS release.


Second,

Go to the product page for your motherboard on the manufacturer website. Download and install the latest driver versions for the chipset, storage controllers, audio and network adapters. Do not skip installing a newer driver just because you think it is not relevant to the problem you are having. The drivers for one device can often affect ALL other devices and a questionable driver release can cause instability in the OS itself. They don't release new drivers just for fun. If there is a new driver release for a component, there is a good reason for it. The same goes for BIOS updates. When it comes to the chipset drivers, if your motherboard manufacturer lists a chipset driver that is newer than what the chipset developer (Intel or AMD, for our purposes) lists, then use that one. If Intel (Or AMD) shows a chipset driver version that is newer than what is available from the motherboard product page, then use that one. Always use the newest chipset driver that you can get and always use ONLY the chipset drivers available from either the motherboard manufacturer, AMD or Intel.


IF you have other hardware installed or attached to the system that are not a part of the systems covered by the motherboard drivers, then go to the support page for THAT component and check to see if there are newer drivers available for that as well. If there are, install them.


Third,

Make sure your memory is running at the correct advertised speed in the BIOS. This may require that you set the memory to run at the XMP profile settings. Also, make sure you have the memory installed in the correct slots and that they are running in dual channel which you can check by installing CPU-Z and checking the Memory and SPD tabs. For all modern motherboards that are dual channel memory architectures, from the last ten years at least, if you have two sticks installed they should be in the A2 (Called DDR4_1 on some boards) or B2 (Called DDR4_2 on some boards) which are ALWAYS the SECOND and FOURTH slots over from the CPU socket, counting TOWARDS the edge of the motherboard EXCEPT on boards that only have two memory slots total. In that case, if you have two modules it's not rocket science, but if you have only one, then install it in the A1 or DDR4_1 slot.



Fourth (And often tied for most important along with an up-to-date motherboard BIOS),

A clean install of the graphics card drivers. Regardless of whether you "already installed the newest drivers" for your graphics card or not, it is OFTEN a good idea to do a CLEAN install of the graphics card drivers. Just installing over the old drivers OR trying to use what Nvidia and AMD consider a clean install is not good enough and does not usually give the same result as using the Display Driver Uninstaller utility. This has a very high success rate and is always worth a shot.


If you have had both Nvidia and AMD cards installed at any point on that operating system then you will want to run the DDU twice. Once for the old card drivers (ie, Nvidia or AMD) and again for the currently installed graphics card drivers (ie, AMD or Nvidia). So if you had an Nvidia card at some point in the past, run it first for Nvidia and then after that is complete, run it again for AMD if you currently have an AMD card installed.



And last, but not least, if you have never done a CLEAN install of Windows, or have upgraded from an older version to Windows 10, or have been through several spring or fall major Windows updates, it might be a very good idea to consider doing a clean install of Windows if none of these other solutions has helped. IF you are using a Windows installation from a previous system and you didn't do a clean install of Windows after building the new system, then it's 99.99% likely that you NEED to do a CLEAN install before trying any other solutions.


How to do a CLEAN installation of Windows 10, the RIGHT way

Cool N Quiet - Enabled (If this setting is not available in your BIOS, just worry about the rest)

Core CPPC - Enabled

CPPC preferred cores - Enabled

Advanced/Global C-states - Enabled

Precision boost overdrive (PBO/PBO2) - Disabled (Unless you have high end cooling installed. Also, standard boost profiles like Precision boost (Non-overdrive) and XFR2 should be left enabled.)

Are you using the stock CPU cooler? What does your case fan configuration look like?

Try also, going into the BIOS and adding about .005-.010v to the DRAM (Memory) voltage. Despite the fact that XMP calls for a specific 1.35v for most DDR4 kits, even at higher frequencies, I've been seeing some systems that are not stable at the XMP profile spec on Ryzen with the default profile voltage. A minor bump in memory voltage might stabilize things for the IMC. Memory issues are OFTEN a source of micro stuttering.
 
Nov 14, 2020
5
0
10
0
If there are any steps listed here that you have not already done, it would be advisable to do so if for no other reason than to be able to say you've already done it and eliminate that possibility.



First,

Make sure your motherboard has the MOST recent BIOS version installed. If it does not, then update. This solves a high number of issues even in cases where the release that is newer than yours makes no mention of improving graphics card or other hardware compatibility. They do not list every change they have made when they post a new BIOS release.


Second,

Go to the product page for your motherboard on the manufacturer website. Download and install the latest driver versions for the chipset, storage controllers, audio and network adapters. Do not skip installing a newer driver just because you think it is not relevant to the problem you are having. The drivers for one device can often affect ALL other devices and a questionable driver release can cause instability in the OS itself. They don't release new drivers just for fun. If there is a new driver release for a component, there is a good reason for it. The same goes for BIOS updates. When it comes to the chipset drivers, if your motherboard manufacturer lists a chipset driver that is newer than what the chipset developer (Intel or AMD, for our purposes) lists, then use that one. If Intel (Or AMD) shows a chipset driver version that is newer than what is available from the motherboard product page, then use that one. Always use the newest chipset driver that you can get and always use ONLY the chipset drivers available from either the motherboard manufacturer, AMD or Intel.


IF you have other hardware installed or attached to the system that are not a part of the systems covered by the motherboard drivers, then go to the support page for THAT component and check to see if there are newer drivers available for that as well. If there are, install them.


Third,

Make sure your memory is running at the correct advertised speed in the BIOS. This may require that you set the memory to run at the XMP profile settings. Also, make sure you have the memory installed in the correct slots and that they are running in dual channel which you can check by installing CPU-Z and checking the Memory and SPD tabs. For all modern motherboards that are dual channel memory architectures, from the last ten years at least, if you have two sticks installed they should be in the A2 (Called DDR4_1 on some boards) or B2 (Called DDR4_2 on some boards) which are ALWAYS the SECOND and FOURTH slots over from the CPU socket, counting TOWARDS the edge of the motherboard EXCEPT on boards that only have two memory slots total. In that case, if you have two modules it's not rocket science, but if you have only one, then install it in the A1 or DDR4_1 slot.



Fourth (And often tied for most important along with an up-to-date motherboard BIOS),

A clean install of the graphics card drivers. Regardless of whether you "already installed the newest drivers" for your graphics card or not, it is OFTEN a good idea to do a CLEAN install of the graphics card drivers. Just installing over the old drivers OR trying to use what Nvidia and AMD consider a clean install is not good enough and does not usually give the same result as using the Display Driver Uninstaller utility. This has a very high success rate and is always worth a shot.


If you have had both Nvidia and AMD cards installed at any point on that operating system then you will want to run the DDU twice. Once for the old card drivers (ie, Nvidia or AMD) and again for the currently installed graphics card drivers (ie, AMD or Nvidia). So if you had an Nvidia card at some point in the past, run it first for Nvidia and then after that is complete, run it again for AMD if you currently have an AMD card installed.


Graphics card driver CLEAN install guide using the Wagnard tools DDU



And last, but not least, if you have never done a CLEAN install of Windows, or have upgraded from an older version to Windows 10, or have been through several spring or fall major Windows updates, it might be a very good idea to consider doing a clean install of Windows if none of these other solutions has helped. IF you are using a Windows installation from a previous system and you didn't do a clean install of Windows after building the new system, then it's 99.99% likely that you NEED to do a CLEAN install before trying any other solutions.


How to do a CLEAN installation of Windows 10, the RIGHT way

Cool N Quiet - Enabled (If this setting is not available in your BIOS, just worry about the rest)

Core CPPC - Enabled

CPPC preferred cores - Enabled

Advanced/Global C-states - Enabled

Precision boost overdrive (PBO/PBO2) - Disabled (Unless you have high end cooling installed. Also, standard boost profiles like Precision boost (Non-overdrive) and XFR2 should be left enabled.)

Are you using the stock CPU cooler? What does your case fan configuration look like?

Try also, going into the BIOS and adding about .005-.010v to the DRAM (Memory) voltage. Despite the fact that XMP calls for a specific 1.35v for most DDR4 kits, even at higher frequencies, I've been seeing some systems that are not stable at the XMP profile spec on Ryzen with the default profile voltage. A minor bump in memory voltage might stabilize things for the IMC. Memory issues are OFTEN a source of micro stuttering.
Thank you for your reply, I have done all of the above but had no success. I only haven't tried updating to the latest BIOS version, the people from PC shop that built the PC from parts did it for me last month and the system was running smoothly in all games until I suffered a "a critical event called kernel-power event id: 41 and an error event called WHEA-LOGGER event id :18 which said a fatal hardware error has occured. " Never updated BIOS myself, but if its worth doing I could try? I am using stock 3700X cooler, here is what the inside of the PC looks like: Image And this is how BIOS looks like when I enter it (before trying to add .005-.010v to DRAM): BIOS
 
Nov 14, 2020
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Ok, so you had a shop build this for you last month. Did you get any kind of warranty on the build?
Yes, I have a warranty for all parts.

Edit: Just to add, I have noticed these micro stutters happen even when im not in game, while watching a video on youtube etc.
 
Last edited:

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
When you say "deleted Windows and did a clean install", what process, exactly, are you inferring by the "delete Windows" part of it?

Did you begin a Windows installation, then choose the "Custom" option, then delete ALL existing partitions on the drive until there is ONLY unpartitioned space remaining, and THEN click ok to install to the unpartitioned space, allowing Windows to partition the drive and perform any required formatting, or did you partition and format the drive yourself prior to doing the installation or did you simply tell Windows to REINSTALL over the top of the old installation? It is important as we could be dealing with a poorly configured installation now.
 
Nov 14, 2020
5
0
10
0
When you say "deleted Windows and did a clean install", what process, exactly, are you inferring by the "delete Windows" part of it?

Did you begin a Windows installation, then choose the "Custom" option, then delete ALL existing partitions on the drive until there is ONLY unpartitioned space remaining, and THEN click ok to install to the unpartitioned space, allowing Windows to partition the drive and perform any required formatting, or did you partition and format the drive yourself prior to doing the installation or did you simply tell Windows to REINSTALL over the top of the old installation? It is important as we could be dealing with a poorly configured installation now.
I did the custom install option, as I remember there were quite a few partitions, some were named "System Reserved partitions" or something like that. I deleted all I could, but I think it didn't let me delete the SSD and HDD partition, so the ones I couldn't delete, I did the formatting myself, and then proceeded to install OS on my SSD.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Uh, ok. Let me be clearer. When you do the installation, you NEED to disconnect EVERY SINGLE DRIVE, except for the drive you are installing TO and the drive you are installing FROM.

So if you are installing to an SSD, that should be connected, and if you are installing FROM a USB thumb drive, that should be connected. No other drives should be connected during the installation. Secondary drives can be RE-connected later, after the installation is complete. That way you do not accidentally delete any desirable partitions or data, but MORE importantly, you don't end up with any critical paritions located on multiple drives, which Windows likes to do sometimes and which causes problems, often.

My guide:

 

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