Question Stutter/freezes on all games across 3 builds

Nov 5, 2019
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The first half of 2018, my PC ran like an absolute dream.

ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming
EVGA GTX 1080 FTW
i7 6700k
2x 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4
some shitty old HDD (OS drive)
Samsung 850 Pro 512 GB
EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2


Every single game was 120-144 FPS, no stuttering, no issues, no overheating, my year-long audio popping/crackling was finally gone, everything was fluid & relaxing.

Then exactly one year ago on the first week of November, annoyances started. The game would stutter heavily when entering a new "area" in previously flawless Victorian London of Syndicate. There would be a half second freeze every time I selected an enemy to shoot in XCOM 2. A full second freeze, give or take a half, when selecting a city or army in Warhammer II. Just maddening. I suffered for months before giving in and upgrading to maybe replace the parts that were aging.

ASUS Prime Z370 A-II
RTX 2080 XC Ultra Gaming
i7 8700k
4x 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4
Samsung 850 Pro 512 GB
Samsung 860 Evo 500 GB (OS drive)
EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2


Still, exactly the same. Exactly. Better FPS, still stellar performance, but every time I'd click on something for the first time. Everything from Windows options, to Total War cities/armies, to rooms in the XCOM headquarters, even research trees in War Thunder, everything. The first time I select something, it would freeze everything for a half to sometimes two seconds. After, it was fine. Although open world games like Assassin's Creed would still have these freezes in seemingly inexplicable places. One constant in Syndicate was a freeze upon my first dive into the Thames in a session. The only noticeable difference is games on the new SSD were better. It didn't fix the problem, but selecting Altdorf only resulted in a small stutter, not a second of frozen game.

I gave up. Thousands spent and nothing gained, I sold my PC. I went on vacation, came back, bought some consoles, played them, got bored, sold them, borrowed my friend's PC, then rebuilt my own a week ago from cheaper parts and shame at having sold the last build.

ASUS Prime Z370 A-II
RTX 2070 Super Black Gaming
i7 9700k
2x 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4
Samsung 850 Pro 512 GB
Samsung 860 Evo 500 GB (OS drive)
EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2


It's all exactly the same, if not worse. Both SSDs perform the same. Now the freezes are almost all two seconds long. And to top it all off, now my entire computer freezes for the entire duration of the "allocating disk space" portion of a Steam install.

The only parts that have remained throughout this process are the power supply, the two original sticks of RAM, and the 850 Pro. I don't know if the power could be an issue, or if the RAM is (but I tested two new sticks with the second build and it was the same I think?). I'm pretty much at my wit's end. I tried and I'm not a console guy. I need my PC but it's just maddening to have this issue on a great build. Am I doing something wrong? Is my motherboard choice shitty?

The ultimate mystery is why it started out of complete nowhere on my first build that previously ran fine. No driver or Windows updates coincided with the issue. I rolled back every Windows version or Nvidia driver I could and nothing worked. It's like a curse. Logic would dictate a freeze on loading be caused by memory but a new SSD and two new sticks of RAM (tested both with and independently of the old) only made the problem slightly more bearable for a bit.

Any help into my madness is appreciated. Thank you for reading my nonsense. I feel so frustrated and stupid for spending so much to make it work and it still hasn't.
 

Phaaze88

Admirable
Herald
Deductive reasoning would say the issue lies with the components you didn't change.
-I don't think it's the psu, because the game/PC isn't completely crashing/shutting down on you.
-I don't think it's the ram. While it's possible to get a defective kit, you've not described any system crashes, or BSODs.
-Have you checked the health of the Samsung drive with their Magician software?


Another possible cause that the 3 builds have in common that hasn't been mentioned: the peripherals, and the 3rd party software that comes with them, as well as the anti-virus/anti-malware programs you may have used.
 

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