Question Micro-Stutter on main monitor only when disabling all other monitors

Aug 14, 2022
4
0
10
0
I have a rather weird issue ... googling it will forward me to many people having complaints about dual monitor setups resulting in stutters, but I'm having exactly the opposite problem. I only experience micro stutters (fraction of a second every 10 to 40 seconds or so) when I disable all monitors but my main monitor. This issue only appeared after one of the last Windows updates, which I already tried rolling back. It didn't solve it, though.

I came to this conclusion after already exhausting a bunch of other causes (hardware, software, drivers, PSU, even frequency and stability of my electrical output) and when I was close to giving up, I noticed that when I was activating my secondary monitor to watch TV shows while further investigating the issue on my main monitor, the problem was suddenly gone. I have since replicated the issue and it being solved by activating my secondary monitor several times to make sure it wasn't just a fluke.

I have the following setup

Intel i5, nVidia GTX 1060, Windows 10

with the following monitors:

(1) Viewsonic XG2401 (DP, 144 hz)
(2) Asus (HDMI, 60 hz)

Now, running 1 + 2 will run fine, but as soon as I disable the secondary monitor and only run the main monitor, i.e. when playing games with friends, I experience micro stutters every 10 to 40 seconds, both on desktop as well as in games. As soon as I activate my secondary monitor, the stutter is gone.

What could cause this issue? I really don't know what else to try.... I've already sunk 30+ hours into this problem but I can't seem to find the culprit. I desperately need your help, Obi-Wans of the hardware community ...
 
Last edited:
Aug 14, 2022
4
0
10
0
Okay, so, after typing this up I did some further testing. Buckle up, I made some substantial progress and things are getting even more mysterious. Like, seriously mysterious ... I've never thought THIS would be the problem ...

As I previously mentioned, as long as I have both monitors enabled in Windows, everything is running smoothly, it's just when I disable the second monitor through Windows that I get stutters on my first monitor.

So I tried physically disconnecting the HDMI connection of the second monitor to see what would happen, and the issue was gone. FYI, I usually have a habit of letting my second monitor rest in standby mode so as soon as I enable it through Windows, it will power on without having to press a button. So I thought maybe I don't need to disconnect the HDMI cable physically ... maybe powering it off will do the job when I'm only using my main monitor, so that's exactly what I tried next. And it worked ... no more stutters.

I have replicated this phenomenon a couple of times now. As soon as I press the button and turn that sucker on and it goes into standby, the stutter starts. Turn it off again and everything runs smoothly.

I am completely baffled by this. I don't understand how a monitor that is disabled in windows and resting in standby mode can cause stutters / freezes in desktop applications as well as games?! This isn't supposed to happen ... the monitor should be disconnected through Windows and not be able to run interference?! How can a disabled monitor cause the whole system to periodically freeze for a fraction of a second? I don't get it

As far as I'm concerned, I can live with having to power off my second monitor when I'm not using it. It's not a big deal. However, I don't understand how this could be explained and why it only occured after one of the latest Windows updates.... Do any of you have an idea how this could be explained? I am definitely interested in the opinion of someone with more technical knowledge...
 
Last edited:
Aug 17, 2022
3
0
10
0
Hello mikeymike123.

I have exactly the same problem.
Kind of weird really - it took a bit to understand what was happening, how and why.
But I've noticed this only when moving to Windows 11.
But also, since I was having some issues with my GPU's, now I am not sure if it happened with Windows 10 or not.

If I leave the 2nd screen on standby mode... everything stutters - mouse (simply moving it), resizing windows, watching YouTube videos, every damn thing.
Solution: turn off the second screen or disconnect the HDMI cable, or just turn the second screen on (Extend or Duplicate).

As you have said, not a big deal to turn it off, but I would like to know what is causing it exactly.
More, since I have a new Quadro GPU on my laptop, I'm kind of afraid that this could lead to some damage.

Really interested to know if someone else notices this and perhaps come with a solution.

Best.
 
Aug 14, 2022
4
0
10
0
It's been a couple of days since my post and I just wanted to confirm that the issue is completely gone, I have not had any issues since. Disconnecting the HDMI cable or simply turning the second monitor off when not using it fixed the stutters. As previously mentioned, I assume one of the more recent Windows Updates caused this issue as I had been using Windows 10 with this setup for years now, but the stutters only appeared around a couple of weeks ago. Really, really weird stuff.
 
Aug 17, 2022
3
0
10
0
Ok. Did not realize you were running on Windows 10.
So, perhaps not a Windows 11 thing, or even Windows 10.
I even tried to switch HDMI cables - the same thing.
Since I have a completely different setup, apart the GPU, now I'm more inclined to the Nvidia drivers.

My setup (laptop):
Windows 11
i7-6700k
Nvidia Quadro P4000
1st screen... AUO 4K 60Hz
2nd screen... AUO 1920x1200 60Hz

Nvidia driver: R515 U3 (516.94) WHQL 2022.08.02
 
Aug 14, 2022
4
0
10
0
I am currently running the 516.94 drivers as well BUT before I figured out the "second monitor on standby" cause, I suspected the Nvidia drivers as well as I updated these at the same time of updating Windows 10. Did a complete driver removal first with DDU (twice as instructed, with restarts in between) and reinstalled the last non-DCH 4xx.xx - however, this didn't solve the problem.
 
Aug 17, 2022
3
0
10
0
Along with this situation I had screen freezing.
Perhaps they were related. Don't know since I'm not using the 2nd monitor since a clean install.
But for this 2nd situation the problem was solved and I'm pretty sure what was causing it.
Do you have your phone linked to Windows 11?
I.e., did you start the service, even not using it?
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS