Question Requesting advice for a constant stuttering (independent of graphics processing requirements) occurring only while playing Fallout 4

Jan 24, 2020

I am having a stuttering problem while playing Fallout 4, and I am hoping that someone may have had this same issue and could suggest a solution for me. My explanation is a little lengthy, so I apologize in advance if it is a little too much. First, I will give you my hardware configuration. Next, I will explain the problem as much as I can, detailing the different tests I did to attempt to find the root cause.

CPU: i7-6700K (at default multiplier)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H115i Pro
GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1070 (Founder's Edition)
Monitor: HP 2311x (standard 60 Hz monitor)
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V 2x16 GB DDR4-3000 C15 (running at 3000 MHz)
Motherboard: MSI Z170A GAMING M7 ATX
PSU: Corsair RMx 750 W 80+ Gold
Storage: Samsung 960 Evo 500 GB (OS and Fallout 4 are both installed here)
Samsung 860 Evo 1 TB
WD HDD Black 2 TB
Case: Corsair Vengeance C70 ATX
OS: Windows 10 (Creator's Update)

The stuttering problem I am having is more like a micro stuttering. It starts as soon as I start the game in the main menu, which is not graphically intensive. This stuttering is also constant, occurring sometimes more than once a second, as apparent from the framerate graph display in the Rivia Tuner Statistics Server incorporated into MSI Afterburner. The effect this has is that the game feels choppy, and the framerate (FPS) oscillates between 43 and 55 FPS and never reaches 60 (my Vsync is set up at 60 FPS). It is enough to break the gaming experience. Lowering my graphics settings to the lowest possible does not remove the stuttering, not even in the game's main menu.

I had a similar stuttering that I solved a few months ago. In this instance, the stuttering occurred in all games, but I was able to trace the problem to my use of NVIDIA HUD display to show my FPS. The solution was to start using MSI Afterburner and Rivia Tuner Statistics Server instead, and I never had the issue again. Yet, now I have the same stuttering, with the difference that now the problem only occurs in Fallout 4. In addition, I was able to remove the stuttering I had a few months ago, reach 60 FPS, and smoothen the gaming experience by disabling Vsync (using NVIDIA Control Panel, to adaptive) and limiting my FPS to 60 (though with some screen tears). Doing the same now allows me to reach 60 FPS, but the game still feels choppy and largely unplayable (though my FPS counter does not appear to reflect this). Also, this problem persists regardless of the FPS counter I use (I tested NVIDIA's HUD display, FRAPS, and MSI Afterburner).

Because I read that bugs in my graphics driver may cause this, I performed a clean installation of the driver, and this seemed to solve the issue immediately after, but after a while, I ran the game again, and the same problem occurred. Also, because I previously noticed that any game ran slower when Steam was installing another game, I ran Shadow of the Tomb Raider (installed through Steam), The Witcher 3 (GOG Galaxy), and Grand Theft Auto V (installed through Rockstar's Social Club), and I noticed no issues in any of these games at all (smooth at 60 FPS at graphically demanding settings). Also, the stuttering persisted when I cut my internet connection and disabled my antivirus (Norton 360). Finally, my CPU runs cool, and my GPU temperatures were within normal ranges (no more than 76 C) in game, which is expected since I configured my case with multiple fans to have a positive pressure inside the case while ejecting out the hot air from the CPU radiator.

I am at a loss and no longer know what to do to fix this stuttering. I would be very grateful if you could give me some suggestions of things I may have not tried, or if one of you knows what the problem is. Thank you for your help in advance.

Update: I again reinstalled NVIDIA drivers using the clean installation feature from the installer, but this time, it did not help with the stuttering.
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