[SOLVED] Micro-stuttering, unstable core clock & power in certain games

Caster13

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Apr 1, 2011
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I've been having a problem on and off for a few months now where certain games will experience severe microstuttering (pausing for quarter of a second every half second). The problem first started last year when the issue randomly popped up 30 hours into Sekiro (was running smoothly and beautifully until the problem started) . A reformat and clean Windows reinstall fixed the issue.

These past few months, though, the issue has cropped up again--but not in all games. I've done a bit more troubleshooting this time and I noticed that the micro-stuttering occurred in games that also had wildly unstable and fluctuating core clock and power usage as can be seen here.

Some games that don't micro-stuttering:
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Elite: Dangerous
  • Hades
Some games that do have micro-stuttering:
  • Hardspace: Shipbreakers
  • Total War: Warhammer 2
  • Old World
I've done all the usual general troubleshooting solutions: updated GPU drivers, downgraded GPU drivers, reformat/reinstall, physically cleaned inside my PC case, etc. but the issue persists.

Anybody have any idea as to what could be causing the problem and how to fix it?

My specs:
Mobo: B85M-D Plus
CPU: i5-4460
GPU: RX 480 8GB
RAM: 16 GB
PSU: Corsair 750W
 

Caster13

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Apr 1, 2011
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Good news! I've seemed to have solved the problem. While I was researching the issue, I came across a few posts and suggestions in other forums that mentioned replacing the thermal paste compound for my GPU.

I decided to give the suggestions a try, dropped $20 on some Artic Silver 5 and rubbing alcohol, and spent two hours of an afternoon doing a bit of DIY hardware tinkering. Overall, I: a) cleared the dust in my case b) replaced the thermal paste for my GPU (note: potentially voids your warranty!), and c) replaced the thermal paste for my CPU while I had everything open.

I've done a quick test and the new thermal paste seems to have done the trick; my GPU core clock and power usage is now stable in Hardspace: Shipbreaker.

Only bad news is now I have one less excuse to build a new PC from scratch.
 

Caster13

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I don't use the AMD software because of how clunky they are but I've increased the power limit by 20% using MSI Afterburner. This hasn't had any effect and the microstuttering and unstable core clock and power usage continues.
 

Caster13

Distinguished
Apr 1, 2011
6
0
18,520
1
Good news! I've seemed to have solved the problem. While I was researching the issue, I came across a few posts and suggestions in other forums that mentioned replacing the thermal paste compound for my GPU.

I decided to give the suggestions a try, dropped $20 on some Artic Silver 5 and rubbing alcohol, and spent two hours of an afternoon doing a bit of DIY hardware tinkering. Overall, I: a) cleared the dust in my case b) replaced the thermal paste for my GPU (note: potentially voids your warranty!), and c) replaced the thermal paste for my CPU while I had everything open.

I've done a quick test and the new thermal paste seems to have done the trick; my GPU core clock and power usage is now stable in Hardspace: Shipbreaker.

Only bad news is now I have one less excuse to build a new PC from scratch.
 

tennis2

Honorable
Ah, so you were thermal throttling.

I prefer AMD Settings (wattman) to afterburner. But also because AMD settings is already installed with the driver software.

I had great success re-pasting my MSI RX480 GamingX 8G also. It was hitting 85C @ 2400rpm. Using the same undervolt after re-paste, it's at 73C @ 1100rpm for over a year now. I can't tell the difference between the fans being off and 1100rpm.
 

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