Question PC stuttering badly

Oct 14, 2021
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I have a really difficult issue with my PC. It starts stuttering after some time of usage. By stuttering I mean everything will stop responding, image freezes, audio starts repeating same sound, mouse or keyboard not responding. Stuttering will last around 200-500 milliseconds.
I made one thread about the issue to MSI forums but I will try out my luck here as well. Link to other thread is this https://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?threads/pc-starts-stuttering-after-a-while-of-gaming-freezes-completely.367172/

The issues began after I upgraded my PC with some new parts. I got new motherboard, NVM SSD, RAM, CPU.

Full specs are:
  • AMD Ryzen 5 5600X, AM4, 3.7 GHz, 6-Core
  • MSI MAG B550 TOMAHAWK
  • Kingston 16GB (2 x 8GB) HyperX Fury, DDR4 3200MHz, CL16
  • Kingston 1TB A2000 NVMe PCIe SSD (also have 1 smaller SSD and few HDD's hooked up)
  • XFX 550W PSU
  • ASUS STRIX GTX 1060 6GB
After I updated the parts, I reinstalled Windows 10. I think that the stuttering was not there right at the beginning. After the stuttering started to get really bad in games, I tried troubleshooting and Googling and ended up reinstalling Win 10 again as you can read from other thread and the issue went away.
Now after around 1 month of fresh Windows install, stuttering is back again. It happens when I just browse the internet or just move my mouse around on desktop. At one point it seemed to become worse when I was playing games and the PC got some temperature, but the odd thing here is that after I reinstalled Windows it went away and now its back again.

Nothing strange can be seen from Task manager, no sudden spikes or anything during the stutter. All temperatures are normal, CPU is never more than 60C and GPU never more than 70C (these temps are in games, not in normal usage).

From LatencyMon I can see that the interrupt routines of drivers are taking way too long when the stutter occurs:


As you can see, some interrupts are running for hundreds of milliseconds while they should take less than one ms. I cannot figure out if this is hardware or software issue.
I have all the latest drivers for GPU, chipset and BIOS. One thing that comes to my mind that could cause this is some bad Windows update, but I couldnt find anything via Google. At one point I was suspecting bad GPU then motherboard, and NVM SSD but I really dont know anymore. I have no good way of figuring out if this is hardware or software issue, never seen anything like it.

I really hope someone can help me out with troubleshooting this, thanks in advance.
 
Oct 14, 2021
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Did you do the reinstall using the latest version of windows, from the media creation tool? Is your bios up to date? How old is that PSU? Ram in the correct slots, for dual channel, with XMP on?
Yes to everything else except PSU is probably 7-8 years old. Though from what I've been reading usually bad PSU will cause blue screens and shut down whole PC.

Here's some screenshots from HWiNFO as well while I was playing: View: https://imgur.com/a/QB8nmkH
 
Oct 14, 2021
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On the weekend I reinstalled Windows 10 to two different hard drives and plugged them out so only one was connected. No change. Ran Memtest86 twice today, no problems found. First run with "cold pc". Second run right after I noticed stuttering on desktop.
The stuttering usually gets worse in GPU intensive tasks, so I'm guessing it must be failing GPU or maybe something wrong with PSU but it seems unlikely after everything I have read about failing PSU's. Might order a new one though just to be safe. Anyone else have any opinions on this?
 

helper800

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When audio and video stutter start and happen simultaneously I typically suspect something interfering with normal CPU processing. Shorting can cause this issue. I would check for any stray screws on the motherboard and make sure that the motherboard was not installed with an extra standoff mounted to the case. I would also check the pins on the CPU and the holes in the motherboard socket for rust or residue of sorts.
 
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I will pull the motherboard out of the case tomorrow but I'm fairly certain it is properly installed and I do not have any screws poking it as I've taken a look at it couple of times inside the case and was careful while installing it. I'm not certain if there could be a fault from factory though. But for me this is starting to seem like a GPU problem since running Cinebench never triggered any stuttering which is benchmark for the CPU, but usually after a while of gaming the stuttering will begin. Though I still cannot be sure since sometimes I just start the PC, browse the internet and stuttering begins even if GPU isnt stressed
 

mrmike16

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Mar 10, 2016
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I just want to throw this out there:

This happened to me on a laptop after upgrading the SSD. Despite showing no signs of having any issues, replacing it solved the problem. I see that you have upgraded to an NVME SSD, so that could be the cause.
 
Reactions: numberonevillain
Oct 14, 2021
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I just want to throw this out there:

This happened to me on a laptop after upgrading the SSD. Despite showing no signs of having any issues, replacing it solved the problem. I see that you have upgraded to an NVME SSD, so that could be the cause.
On the weekend I tried running Win 10 from my old SSD without having the NVMe plugged in and I'm fairly certain I saw a short stutter but I think it only happened once so I'm not too sure about it anymore, could have been some actual lag, I dont remember audio breaking. I might need to reinstall Windows to that drive tomorrow and try benchmarking for like an hour to see if anything occurs. But thanks for telling this, the SSD has been one of my main suspects as well but cant be too sure. BIOS has some test to test NVMe SSD and it says the SSD is fine but I guess you cant be too sure since the test wont even take very long and the stuttering starts happening quite randomly.
 
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mrmike16

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On the weekend I tried running Win 10 from my old SSD without having the NVMe plugged in and I'm fairly certain I saw a short stutter but I think it only happened once so I'm not too sure about it anymore, could have been some actual lag, I dont remember audio breaking. I might need to reinstall Windows to that drive tomorrow and try benchmarking for like an hour to see if anything occurs. But thanks for telling this, the SSD has been one of my main suspects as well but cant be too sure. BIOS has some test to test NVMe SSD and it says the SSD is fine but I guess you cant be too sure since the test wont even take very long and the stuttering starts happening quite randomly.
As I said, in my case the SSD was shown as healthy, but it was stuttering, and randomly as well. Please let us know if it works.
 

mrmike16

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Just to confirm were your problems like stuttering at start up or when opening apps, having mouse cursor lag and weird distorted audio?
I think I remember the audio turning into a buzz whenever it stuttered until the PC got its act together again. As for the others, all of those happened when stuttering. It would freeze for a few seconds, and if music was playing it would buzz, and then continue as normal until the next one.
 
Oct 14, 2021
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As I said, in my case the SSD was shown as healthy, but it was stuttering, and randomly as well. Please let us know if it works.
Okay, today I did a test by removing all other hard drives and leaving only my old SSD I know is working. Installed Win 10 and all the same drivers I have, but the stuttering started happening again while running benchmark for GPU. I also took out the motherboard today and checked it but visually there is nothing that looks wrong so I put it back in.

The issue is likely either in GPU or the motherboard, or in an unlikely case it is CPU, RAM or PSU but I dont really believe in that at the moment. I really need to try to get a hold of another GPU I can test. If the issue persist with another GPU I will probably swap the PSU as well as it is the oldest part in my PC and not too expensive. If all that fails then I would bet my money on motherboard but I dont really know is it common for motherboard to cause such glitches coming from factory. I'm 99% sure though that it is not a software issue. I've tried so many tricks and settings already
 
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helper800

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Okay, today I did a test by removing all other hard drives and leaving only my old SSD I know is working. Installed Win 10 and all the same drivers I have, but the stuttering started happening again while running benchmark for GPU. I also took out the motherboard today and checked it but visually there is nothing that looks wrong so I put it back in.

The issue is likely either in GPU or the motherboard, or in an unlikely case it is CPU, RAM or PSU but I dont really believe in that at the moment. I really need to try to get a hold of another GPU I can test. If the issue persist with another GPU I will probably swap the PSU as well as it is the oldest part in my PC and not too expensive. If all that fails then I would bet my money on motherboard but I dont really know is it common for motherboard to cause such glitches coming from factory. I'm 99% sure though that it is not a software issue. I've tried so many tricks and settings already
If you are going to grab a PSU anyway, this is a really high quality unit that has a great warranty and is on sale!
 

mrmike16

Honorable
Mar 10, 2016
282
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10,815
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Okay, today I did a test by removing all other hard drives and leaving only my old SSD I know is working. Installed Win 10 and all the same drivers I have, but the stuttering started happening again while running benchmark for GPU. I also took out the motherboard today and checked it but visually there is nothing that looks wrong so I put it back in.

The issue is likely either in GPU or the motherboard, or in an unlikely case it is CPU, RAM or PSU but I dont really believe in that at the moment. I really need to try to get a hold of another GPU I can test. If the issue persist with another GPU I will probably swap the PSU as well as it is the oldest part in my PC and not too expensive. If all that fails then I would bet my money on motherboard but I dont really know is it common for motherboard to cause such glitches coming from factory. I'm 99% sure though that it is not a software issue. I've tried so many tricks and settings already
To rule out software, you can try Safe Mode. But I am pretty sure it is hardware, too.
Try using the integrated graphics to rule out the GPU.
 
Reactions: helper800

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