Question Micro-stuttering / hitch & Frametime spikes issue

Rachmaninov_

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Apr 3, 2017
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Hi everyone,

I want to share an issue I have since a long long time ago. This issue has obsessed me. I've tried everything to solve it and, although it got better, is still there torturing me and preventing me from enjoying gaming.

The issue is some kind of micro-stutter or hitch that freezes the image (not the sound) just a fraction of second but enough time to break the immersion... frametime spikes.

Let's see, since I've done thousands of tests with different hardware/drivers combinations I'm just exposing current RIG, where the issue still persists but it's the best experience I've been able to achieve. I can say that I've tested almost every from a default clean Windows 10 installation to a custom installation with these specs/settings/configurations:

  • i7 8700 5.1 GHZ Delidded (tested also before delid, with stock setting, manual OC, bios profile OC ...)
  • Trident Z Neo 32 [2x16] GB RAM DDR4 3600 Mhz CL16-16-16-36 1.35v B-DIE (tested also 1 DIMM, 2 DIMMs, swapped, stock, XMP, manual OC, same with 16 [2x8] GB from Corsair Dominator DDR4 4000 Mhz)
  • Asus Maximus X Apex last bios 2402 (tested with bios stock settings, custom settings...)
  • Asus Rog PG278Q 2560x1440 144hz (tested also with Asus Rog PG348q 3440x1400 100hz)
  • 1x GTX 1080 ti ASUS ROG (tested OC, non-OC, tested with another GTX 1080 ti ASUS ROG in SLI, single, swapped)
  • Samsung NMve M.2 970 Pro 512GB (tested in 4 different SSD: samsung, kingston...)
  • PSU BeQuiet 1500W Dark Power 11 (tested OC six 12V rails, non-OC one massive 12V rail)
  • Water cooling Fractal Design s36 Kelvin
[Note: all configurations have been tested and stressed, no thermal CPU/GPU throlling found]

- Windows 10 Pro 2004

  • Opera browser installed
  • Ethernet devices disabled
  • Audio devices disabled
  • GPU/Audio default drivers uninstalled with DDU (safe mode)
  • Nvidia Drivers 456.71 installed (tested with 456.55 and olders)
  • Chipset driver installed
  • ACHI driver installed (when tested in SDD)
  • NVM Samsung drivers installed (when tested in NMve M.2)
  • MSI Afterburner installed
  • Steam installed (overlay disabled)
  • GPU-Z installed
  • CPU-Z installed
  • XBox Game Bar disabled
  • Game Mode enabled (tested with it disabled)
  • VRR and GPU scheduled enabled (tested with them disabled)
  • Windows update disabled
  • Windows antivirus disabled (each time I reboot as I haven't been able to disable it forever)
  • Firewall disabled
  • HPET in device manager disabled
  • CMD:
bcdedit /set useplatformclock no - Reiniciar
bcdedit /set useplatformtick yes - Reiniciar
bcdedit /set disabledynamictick yes - Reiniciar

  • All not needed windows 10 features from configuration disabled (privacy...)
  • All not needed windows 10 applications uninstalled (office, spotify...)
  • Several not needed windows 10 services disabled (SysMain, windows update, printers mangement...)
  • Process Lasso and Park Cores installed (cores unparked and games with high priority class and I/O priority, CPU affinity to all cores/threads, Application power profile to Bitsum Highest Performance)
  • Intelligent standby list cleaner installed and current timer resolution set to 0.5)
  • MSI Util v3 installed and set GTX 1080 ti to MSI mode and Interrupt Priority to High
  • Interrupt Affinity Policy Tool (intPolicy_x64) installed and set GTX 1080 ti to Core 4 and USB HUB to core 2 (first core is 0)
* Latency Monitor installed

Steps before starting a game:

NVidia Control Panel:
GSYNC, Force V-Sync, Prefer maximum performance, preferred refresh rate highest available (however, I've tested a lot of combinations of v-sync nvidia/in-game, fast, adaptative, no-gsync...)

MSI Afterburner:
Cap FPS to 100 (or 60, 90, 98, 120, 142... depending on the monitor and the test I want to do. Also tested with NVCP Framelimiter)
Monitoring/On screen display: CPUx usage, framerate, frametime)
Power Limit 120%, temp limit 90º and GPU Boost


Issue:
It seems that sometimes when the game has to manage something (load a texture, pop up a new item or npc, show an explosion, do a physics calculation...) there's a micro-stuttering/hitch, a spike in frametime.

In some games, like The Witcher 3 (occasionally when riding fast but always when opening trunks, boxes or loot), with all previous configuration the result is quite good and I see isolated framespikes from time to time. In others, like Batman Arkham Knight (specially driving the car or each time a radio conversation appears during game) or Deus Ex: Manking Divided (specially Prague), there are framespikes.

If I cap FPS to 60 spikes disappear in games (however, spikes when opening boxes, for example, are still present, engine maybe?). It makes me think that is something binded to game engines (awful ports maybe?) since when FPS is capped to 90 or 100, for example, none of the cores nor the GPU is reaching 100% nor close. I don't know if its something related to latency that, although i've got pretty good results with Latency Monitor, is not perfect and something is stealing CPU cycles causing interruptions that do not allow CPU to mantain 90 or 100 fps when has to do extra stuff (load texture from SSD, do a physics calculation...).

The situation get worse with Hyperthreading off. Resolution or graphics settings seems to have no impact.

Sometimes it seems to me like some kind of unsync between monitor Hz, v-sync, game engine, cpu ... I don't know... maybe I am driving myself insane.

Here you can see several images that shows the behaviour I've described:











Latency Monitor reports
https://ufile.io/f/q97jk

If you need any specific MSI Afterburner monitoring graph, any kind of extra information or want me to test again something that I've already listed, I will do with pleasure.

The fact is that I wanted to buy a brand new RTX 3090 but having the same issue also with this card scares me a lot.

If I cannot find any fix, at least I hope my post helps somebody to improve his performance as I got my best results with these settings.

Thank you very much in advance.

My happiness is in your hands.
 
Last edited:
Oct 16, 2020
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Hardly recommend try without any monitoring software! I spent 2 complete days try figure out what cause spikes in frametime even I have nothing special settings in windows or bios. With a new ftw3 3080 , 10700k, rog z490e mobo , 970evo plus and freshly installed windows all my games had spikes (no fps drop!!!) especially multiplayer games ( in solos hardly noticable) . Allways monitored with afterburner or hwinfo , then once I just didn’t turned them on and spikes are gone! Not completely but way better! Maybe it’s an nvidia driver issue, cause when I swapped it to my old 2060super it did exactly the same. Maybe this help!
 

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