[SOLVED] This Stuttering Is Beyond Me, Please Help.

Jun 15, 2021
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Hey fellas, I'm currently running into an unbelievably aggravating issue with predictable FPS stuttering that has left me stumped. I'll first go over my specs, then the problems I've faced, their predictable reoccurrences, and then finish it off with hopefully everything I've done to try and rectify the issue to no avail.

Specs: OS - Windows 10 Pro ver. 19043 64 bit on an SSD, CPU - i7-2600k, GPU - 1660Ti (https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/evga-gtx-1660-ti-sc-ultra.b7813 exactly), RAM - 32g DDR3, Motherboard - Asustek P8B75-M, PSU - 750W, Monitors - G32QC 32" & Dell p2419h.

Alright, so nearly a week ago, I decided that I should finally treat myself to a monitor above 60Hz. This prompted a thorough cleaning of my PC down to new thermal paste and even my desk for space. The CPU and GPU both ran about 2 degrees cooler, and my PC didn't look nearly as ancient anymore. I even overclocked my somewhat new GPU to a perfectly suitable, plus stable level. All was well until, seemingly overnight (without any updates), my PC developed a stutter under high load processes. I've mentioned that they are predictable, and that's completely true. The FPS stutters happen at exactly the same place and time under completely different high load tests. Now keep in mind, these problems never remotely occurred before I went to bed 6 days ago. Here are two legitimate examples which are both ran on different SSD's. I'll load into a match in War Thunder, and predictably after exactly give or take 15 seconds into a match, I get an FPS stutter (all stutters drop my FPS to roughly 1/3 of its current average (typically 70~90) and last for about 1/5~1/3 of a second). Also, in Heavens DX11 benchmark, I get the 3 same distinctive stutters while spiraling down and around the dragon twice at their respective locations every time on the dot, and once more about 30 seconds afterward while closely panning around a house's roof with a window.

I have accurately, without fail, recreated these events while analyzing them for data via GPU-Z and other various software tools like MSI Afterburner. All of the data I've gathered has gained me an outstanding 0 steps closer to understanding what my problem is. All temps are easily within the green (GPU 69C Max under heavy load, CPU 59C Max under heavy gaming load). Both are utilizing themselves at appropriate levels, except for when the GPU sometimes flickers to about 50% exactly when the FPS stutter occurs, but only sometimes oddly enough. There are literally no other irregularities outside of that GPU utilization flutter down to the individual core temp. The problem persists even without an overclock on the GPU or CPU, setting the benchmarks to low graphical settings, Fullscreen/Windowed, using various NVCP settings such as Low-Latency & V-Syncs, and on both completely different monitors (one being 1080P 60Hz DVI & the other being 1440P 165Hz DP 1.2).

Here are all the things (that I can think of) I've done to try and rectify the problem in no particular order: Wipe & Reinstall Windows 10, try multiple Bios versions as I've updated it a little over a week ago, rollback Nvidia drivers (I've tried multiple dating back months old), replace 10-year-old SATA cables, switch testing drives, made sure there aren't any conflicting background software running, made doubly sure all of the components were properly plugged in, and trying dozens of forum remedies like changing tons of Windows 10 settings.

Nothing aesthetically triggers me more on a monitor than stutters. I feel like I've tried everything, and I'm honestly about to just give up. If you need anything, just let me know.
 

RTX 2080

Estimable
Hey fellas, I'm currently running into an unbelievably aggravating issue with predictable FPS stuttering that has left me stumped. I'll first go over my specs, then the problems I've faced, their predictable reoccurrences, and then finish it off with hopefully everything I've done to try and rectify the issue to no avail.

Specs: OS - Windows 10 Pro ver. 19043 64 bit on an SSD, CPU - i7-2600k, GPU - 1660Ti (https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/evga-gtx-1660-ti-sc-ultra.b7813 exactly), RAM - 32g DDR3, Motherboard - Asustek P8B75-M, PSU - 750W, Monitors - G32QC 32" & Dell p2419h.

Alright, so nearly a week ago, I decided that I should finally treat myself to a monitor above 60Hz. This prompted a thorough cleaning of my PC down to new thermal paste and even my desk for space. The CPU and GPU both ran about 2 degrees cooler, and my PC didn't look nearly as ancient anymore. I even overclocked my somewhat new GPU to a perfectly suitable, plus stable level. All was well until, seemingly overnight (without any updates), my PC developed a stutter under high load processes. I've mentioned that they are predictable, and that's completely true. The FPS stutters happen at exactly the same place and time under completely different high load tests. Now keep in mind, these problems never remotely occurred before I went to bed 6 days ago. Here are two legitimate examples which are both ran on different SSD's. I'll load into a match in War Thunder, and predictably after exactly give or take 15 seconds into a match, I get an FPS stutter (all stutters drop my FPS to roughly 1/3 of its current average (typically 70~90) and last for about 1/5~1/3 of a second). Also, in Heavens DX11 benchmark, I get the 3 same distinctive stutters while spiraling down and around the dragon twice at their respective locations every time on the dot, and once more about 30 seconds afterward while closely panning around a house's roof with a window.

I have accurately, without fail, recreated these events while analyzing them for data via GPU-Z and other various software tools like MSI Afterburner. All of the data I've gathered has gained me an outstanding 0 steps closer to understanding what my problem is. All temps are easily within the green (GPU 69C Max under heavy load, CPU 59C Max under heavy gaming load). Both are utilizing themselves at appropriate levels, except for when the GPU sometimes flickers to about 50% exactly when the FPS stutter occurs, but only sometimes oddly enough. There are literally no other irregularities outside of that GPU utilization flutter down to the individual core temp. The problem persists even without an overclock on the GPU or CPU, setting the benchmarks to low graphical settings, Fullscreen/Windowed, using various NVCP settings such as Low-Latency & V-Syncs, and on both completely different monitors (one being 1080P 60Hz DVI & the other being 1440P 165Hz DP 1.2).

Here are all the things (that I can think of) I've done to try and rectify the problem in no particular order: Wipe & Reinstall Windows 10, try multiple Bios versions as I've updated it a little over a week ago, rollback Nvidia drivers (I've tried multiple dating back months old), replace 10-year-old SATA cables, switch testing drives, made sure there aren't any conflicting background software running, made doubly sure all of the components were properly plugged in, and trying dozens of forum remedies like changing tons of Windows 10 settings.

Nothing aesthetically triggers me more on a monitor than stutters. I feel like I've tried everything, and I'm honestly about to just give up. If you need anything, just let me know.

At risk of you thinking I'm giving you some copy/paste answer without fully reading your question, it sounds to me like you have a CPU bottleneck.

Allow me to ellaborate. When a CPU is powerful enough to pre-render all the frames a GPU needs, the GPU can fully utilized. This is ideal, because being GPU limited is a stutter-free situation. However, when a CPU is being heavily utilized to the point that it is unable to to pre-render enough frames to keep the GPU fully occupied, this results in a CPU bottleneck which is definitely very stutter-prone.

You mentioned that your CPU was being utilized at the "appropriate level." I assume you were checking overall usage instead of monitoring individual cores and threads? Because it only takes a single maxed out core/thread to slow down your rendering pipeline. Monitoring overall usage (which simply averages your useage across all 8 threads) can give you the impression that your CPU is being utilized at the "appropriate level" when it is in fact slowing you down.

You also mentioned that your PC repeatedly and repeatably stutters at the same places in different games and benchmarks. This is also indicative of a CPU bound situtation. Particular camera cuts, loading in a large amounts of visual assets at once, or any number of things can increase the load placed on a CPU and if that load exceeds the abilities of the CPU, it will cause dropped frames and a spike downward in GPU utilization (which you mentioned was observable in GPU-Z).

In all honesty (and without trying to sound elitist) your motherboard/CPU is overdue for an upgrade. The 2600k came out in 2011 and has low boost clocks and IPC compared to CPUs from the last few years. 32 GB of RAM is a great amount, but the fact that its DDR3 means that its also contributing to your CPU's inability to reliably feed your GPU frames fast enough (slow RAM slows down the CPU, slowing down the GPU). Most more modern games run best on 6 core/12 thread CPUs paired with at least 16 GB of DDR4 RAM with a speed of 3000 MHz or higher.

If you were interested in a cost effective upgrade, the i5-11400 has great performance and value and works just fine with inexpensive motherboards.
 
Jun 15, 2021
3
0
10
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Have you tried setting the Power/Temp throttle in MSI Afterburner?
Is the card plugged with an external power cable to the mobo?
Did you accidentally plug your gfx card into a full length 4x or 8x slot?
 
Last edited:

RTX 2080

Estimable
Hey fellas, I'm currently running into an unbelievably aggravating issue with predictable FPS stuttering that has left me stumped. I'll first go over my specs, then the problems I've faced, their predictable reoccurrences, and then finish it off with hopefully everything I've done to try and rectify the issue to no avail.

Specs: OS - Windows 10 Pro ver. 19043 64 bit on an SSD, CPU - i7-2600k, GPU - 1660Ti (https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/evga-gtx-1660-ti-sc-ultra.b7813 exactly), RAM - 32g DDR3, Motherboard - Asustek P8B75-M, PSU - 750W, Monitors - G32QC 32" & Dell p2419h.

Alright, so nearly a week ago, I decided that I should finally treat myself to a monitor above 60Hz. This prompted a thorough cleaning of my PC down to new thermal paste and even my desk for space. The CPU and GPU both ran about 2 degrees cooler, and my PC didn't look nearly as ancient anymore. I even overclocked my somewhat new GPU to a perfectly suitable, plus stable level. All was well until, seemingly overnight (without any updates), my PC developed a stutter under high load processes. I've mentioned that they are predictable, and that's completely true. The FPS stutters happen at exactly the same place and time under completely different high load tests. Now keep in mind, these problems never remotely occurred before I went to bed 6 days ago. Here are two legitimate examples which are both ran on different SSD's. I'll load into a match in War Thunder, and predictably after exactly give or take 15 seconds into a match, I get an FPS stutter (all stutters drop my FPS to roughly 1/3 of its current average (typically 70~90) and last for about 1/5~1/3 of a second). Also, in Heavens DX11 benchmark, I get the 3 same distinctive stutters while spiraling down and around the dragon twice at their respective locations every time on the dot, and once more about 30 seconds afterward while closely panning around a house's roof with a window.

I have accurately, without fail, recreated these events while analyzing them for data via GPU-Z and other various software tools like MSI Afterburner. All of the data I've gathered has gained me an outstanding 0 steps closer to understanding what my problem is. All temps are easily within the green (GPU 69C Max under heavy load, CPU 59C Max under heavy gaming load). Both are utilizing themselves at appropriate levels, except for when the GPU sometimes flickers to about 50% exactly when the FPS stutter occurs, but only sometimes oddly enough. There are literally no other irregularities outside of that GPU utilization flutter down to the individual core temp. The problem persists even without an overclock on the GPU or CPU, setting the benchmarks to low graphical settings, Fullscreen/Windowed, using various NVCP settings such as Low-Latency & V-Syncs, and on both completely different monitors (one being 1080P 60Hz DVI & the other being 1440P 165Hz DP 1.2).

Here are all the things (that I can think of) I've done to try and rectify the problem in no particular order: Wipe & Reinstall Windows 10, try multiple Bios versions as I've updated it a little over a week ago, rollback Nvidia drivers (I've tried multiple dating back months old), replace 10-year-old SATA cables, switch testing drives, made sure there aren't any conflicting background software running, made doubly sure all of the components were properly plugged in, and trying dozens of forum remedies like changing tons of Windows 10 settings.

Nothing aesthetically triggers me more on a monitor than stutters. I feel like I've tried everything, and I'm honestly about to just give up. If you need anything, just let me know.

At risk of you thinking I'm giving you some copy/paste answer without fully reading your question, it sounds to me like you have a CPU bottleneck.

Allow me to ellaborate. When a CPU is powerful enough to pre-render all the frames a GPU needs, the GPU can fully utilized. This is ideal, because being GPU limited is a stutter-free situation. However, when a CPU is being heavily utilized to the point that it is unable to to pre-render enough frames to keep the GPU fully occupied, this results in a CPU bottleneck which is definitely very stutter-prone.

You mentioned that your CPU was being utilized at the "appropriate level." I assume you were checking overall usage instead of monitoring individual cores and threads? Because it only takes a single maxed out core/thread to slow down your rendering pipeline. Monitoring overall usage (which simply averages your useage across all 8 threads) can give you the impression that your CPU is being utilized at the "appropriate level" when it is in fact slowing you down.

You also mentioned that your PC repeatedly and repeatably stutters at the same places in different games and benchmarks. This is also indicative of a CPU bound situtation. Particular camera cuts, loading in a large amounts of visual assets at once, or any number of things can increase the load placed on a CPU and if that load exceeds the abilities of the CPU, it will cause dropped frames and a spike downward in GPU utilization (which you mentioned was observable in GPU-Z).

In all honesty (and without trying to sound elitist) your motherboard/CPU is overdue for an upgrade. The 2600k came out in 2011 and has low boost clocks and IPC compared to CPUs from the last few years. 32 GB of RAM is a great amount, but the fact that its DDR3 means that its also contributing to your CPU's inability to reliably feed your GPU frames fast enough (slow RAM slows down the CPU, slowing down the GPU). Most more modern games run best on 6 core/12 thread CPUs paired with at least 16 GB of DDR4 RAM with a speed of 3000 MHz or higher.

If you were interested in a cost effective upgrade, the i5-11400 has great performance and value and works just fine with inexpensive motherboards.
 
Jun 15, 2021
7
0
10
0
Have you tried setting the Power/Temp throttle in MSI Afterburner?
Is the card plugged with an external power cable to the mobo?
Did you accidentally plug your gfx card into a full length 4x or 8x slot?
Everything is fine in that regard, thanks though.

At risk of you thinking I'm giving you some copy/paste answer without fully reading your question, it sounds to me like you have a CPU bottleneck.

Allow me to ellaborate. When a CPU is powerful enough to pre-render all the frames a GPU needs, the GPU can fully utilized. This is ideal, because being GPU limited is a stutter-free situation. However, when a CPU is being heavily utilized to the point that it is unable to to pre-render enough frames to keep the GPU fully occupied, this results in a CPU bottleneck which is definitely very stutter-prone.

You mentioned that your CPU was being utilized at the "appropriate level." I assume you were checking overall usage instead of monitoring individual cores and threads? Because it only takes a single maxed out core/thread to slow down your rendering pipeline. Monitoring overall usage (which simply averages your useage across all 8 threads) can give you the impression that your CPU is being utilized at the "appropriate level" when it is in fact slowing you down.

You also mentioned that your PC repeatedly and repeatably stutters at the same places in different games and benchmarks. This is also indicative of a CPU bound situtation. Particular camera cuts, loading in a large amounts of visual assets at once, or any number of things can increase the load placed on a CPU and if that load exceeds the abilities of the CPU, it will cause dropped frames and a spike downward in GPU utilization (which you mentioned was observable in GPU-Z).

In all honesty (and without trying to sound elitist) your motherboard/CPU is overdue for an upgrade. The 2600k came out in 2011 and has low boost clocks and IPC compared to CPUs from the last few years. 32 GB of RAM is a great amount, but the fact that its DDR3 means that its also contributing to your CPU's inability to reliably feed your GPU frames fast enough (slow RAM slows down the CPU, slowing down the GPU). Most more modern games run best on 6 core/12 thread CPUs paired with at least 16 GB of DDR4 RAM with a speed of 3000 MHz or higher.

If you were interested in a cost effective upgrade, the i5-11400 has great performance and value and works just fine with inexpensive motherboards.
You didn't come off elitist at all, and thanks for the help. Yeah, I've known that the CPU is most likely bottle-necking the system (if not also the motherboard & "low" speed memory), but the utilization (overall, not the individual core utilization) I guess has given me false reading per se. The CPU & motherboard are legitimately at least 8 years old yet haven't possibly ever caused any problems until now. I never knew that the CPU usage is the average of all of the cores/threads, I thought it would've just shown the highest used one.

Unfortunately, the CPU threads seem "marginally" fine and only maxed out at 100% once or twice toward a single location that did have a stutter. The other typical stutters only happened under 75% thread 1 load. The ram usage doesn't ever peak over 40%/32g but I don't know if it's also monitored similarly to CPU threads (i.e I don't understand the stats I'm reading). I've included a graph from MSI afterburner of the CPU usages throughout the benchmark to the end of the application (the red circle indicates the launch of Heavens). Either way, I definitely plan on replacing the motherboard & CPU soon, especially since I clearly need at the minimum a CPU upgrade as you said. For the meanwhile though, if the CPU isn't actually the problem because the thread utilization doesn't completely match the stutters, is there anything else I can do to help remedy it?
 

RTX 2080

Estimable
Everything is fine in that regard, thanks though.



You didn't come off elitist at all, and thanks for the help. Yeah, I've known that the CPU is most likely bottle-necking the system (if not also the motherboard & "low" speed memory), but the utilization (overall, not the individual core utilization) I guess has given me false reading per se. The CPU & motherboard are legitimately at least 8 years old yet haven't possibly ever caused any problems until now. I never knew that the CPU usage is the average of all of the cores/threads, I thought it would've just shown the highest used one.

Unfortunately, the CPU threads seem "marginally" fine and only maxed out at 100% once or twice toward a single location that did have a stutter. The other typical stutters only happened under 75% thread 1 load. The ram usage doesn't ever peak over 40%/32g but I don't know if it's also monitored similarly to CPU threads (i.e I don't understand the stats I'm reading). I've included a graph from MSI afterburner of the CPU usages throughout the benchmark to the end of the application (the red circle indicates the launch of Heavens). Either way, I definitely plan on replacing the motherboard & CPU soon, especially since I clearly need at the minimum a CPU upgrade as you said. For the meanwhile though, if the CPU isn't actually the problem because the thread utilization doesn't completely match the stutters, is there anything else I can do to help remedy it?
I'll attempt to interpret the data you mentioned.

"I thought it would've just shown the highest used one." - That would be useful for gaming, but most people look at utilization from a productivity perspective and want to see overall how much their CPU is being utilized. Most non-gamers have very little reason to be concerned about a single core getting maxed out.

"only maxed out at 100% once or twice toward a single location that did have a stutter." - If a CPU is ever maxed out fully during a game or benchmark, you are being CPU limited and are dropping frames. Short of overclocking your CPU further or setting a cap on your framerate (30 fps for example) there is nothing you can do to get your CPU to not be the reason for stuttering in these scenarios.

"haven't possibly ever caused any problems until now" & "I decided that I should finally treat myself to a monitor above 60Hz." - These two are related. You've never had a problem for the last 8 years with your CPU because until recently you never gamed at anything above 60 fps. Eventually, your CPU would have become unable to cope with the demeands placed on it by more modern games (and frankly I'm suprised this is the first time you've had any issues) but by switching to a high refresh rate monitor you have overnight more than doubled the load that you can place on your CPU with a particular kind of game: 120 fps requires your CPU to work twice as hard as at 60 fps.

"The ram usage doesn't ever peak over 40%/32g" - The RAM usage you speak of refers to how much of your available RAM has been used. 40% of 32 GB means you have used 12.8 GB out of your available 32. This is good, but RAM utilization tells you nothing about whether the speed of the RAM is slowing down the rendering pipeline. In your case, it is likely contributing to the issue even though it is not able to be reflected at all from a RAM utilization perspective. It is important to realize that resource utilization only tells you how much of a certain type of resource is being utilized overall in some way; it won't necessarily tell you if one hardware component is slowing another down.

"other typical stutters only happened under 75% thread 1 load" & "the thread utilization doesn't completely match the stutters." - The simple answer to this is that CPUs have changed a LOT in the last 8 years and there is a huge list of little internal improvements that have been made over time that allows the modern ones to work significantly better. The long answer is more difficult. The lack of these improvements in older hardware become liabilities over time: older process dies mean lower transistor density, low boost clocks mean that information can only be processed so quickly, and older archiectures mean that clock speed for clock speed a 4 GHz CPU core from 10 years ago is actually significantly slower (half as fast if not less) than a 4 GHz CPU core from todays CPUs. All this even is just scratching the surface. Bascally, there is so much going on at the silicon level that can be difficult to quantify exactly what aspect of your CPU is holding you back. Suffice it to say, I am very confident that a modern CPU/motherboard/RAM combination will make a significant improvement.
 
Jun 15, 2021
7
0
10
0
I'll attempt to interpret the data you mentioned.

"I thought it would've just shown the highest used one." - That would be useful for gaming, but most people look at utilization from a productivity perspective and want to see overall how much their CPU is being utilized. Most non-gamers have very little reason to be concerned about a single core getting maxed out.

"only maxed out at 100% once or twice toward a single location that did have a stutter." - If a CPU is ever maxed out fully during a game or benchmark, you are being CPU limited and are dropping frames. Short of overclocking your CPU further or setting a cap on your framerate (30 fps for example) there is nothing you can do to get your CPU to not be the reason for stuttering in these scenarios.

"haven't possibly ever caused any problems until now" & "I decided that I should finally treat myself to a monitor above 60Hz." - These two are related. You've never had a problem for the last 8 years with your CPU because until recently you never gamed at anything above 60 fps. Eventually, your CPU would have become unable to cope with the demeands placed on it by more modern games (and frankly I'm suprised this is the first time you've had any issues) but by switching to a high refresh rate monitor you have overnight more than doubled the load that you can place on your CPU with a particular kind of game: 120 fps requires your CPU to work twice as hard as at 60 fps.

"The ram usage doesn't ever peak over 40%/32g" - The RAM usage you speak of refers to how much of your available RAM has been used. 40% of 32 GB means you have used 12.8 GB out of your available 32. This is good, but RAM utilization tells you nothing about whether the speed of the RAM is slowing down the rendering pipeline. In your case, it is likely contributing to the issue even though it is not able to be reflected at all from a RAM utilization perspective. It is important to realize that resource utilization only tells you how much of a certain type of resource is being utilized overall in some way; it won't necessarily tell you if one hardware component is slowing another down.

"other typical stutters only happened under 75% thread 1 load" & "the thread utilization doesn't completely match the stutters." - The simple answer to this is that CPUs have changed a LOT in the last 8 years and there is a huge list of little internal improvements that have been made over time that allows the modern ones to work significantly better. The long answer is more difficult. The lack of these improvements in older hardware become liabilities over time: older process dies mean lower transistor density, low boost clocks mean that information can only be processed so quickly, and older archiectures mean that clock speed for clock speed a 4 GHz CPU core from 10 years ago is actually significantly slower (half as fast if not less) than a 4 GHz CPU core from todays CPUs. All this even is just scratching the surface. Bascally, there is so much going on at the silicon level that can be difficult to quantify exactly what aspect of your CPU is holding you back. Suffice it to say, I am very confident that a modern CPU/motherboard/RAM combination will make a significant improvement.
There seems to be a timeline issue that I've caused. I cleaned my PC 7 days ago in preparation for the new monitor that arrived 4 days later. Then, after 2 days, I started to receive the stutter (with the same 60Hz monitor, Windows version, Nv. drivers, etc.). That's what confuses me the most. Why would I randomly start to receive a stutter if nothing has changed? Edit: And thanks for all of the useful information, man. I plan on using it in the future. What motherboard & CPU do you recommend I buy for a total of under 250~300 dollars? I obviously don't really know the modern terrain/economy of today's PC building (8/9-year-old motherboard and CPU, lol). I'm going to do some research on my own time but if you have any off-the-cuff recommendations I'm all ears, thanks!
 
Last edited:

RTX 2080

Estimable
There seems to be a timeline issue that I've caused. I cleaned my PC 7 days ago in preparation for the new monitor that arrived 4 days later. Then, after 2 days, I started to receive the stutter (with the same 60Hz monitor, Windows version, Nv. drivers, etc.). That's what confuses me the most. Why would I randomly start to receive a stutter if nothing has changed? Edit: And thanks for all of the useful information, man. I plan on using it in the future. What motherboard & CPU do you recommend I buy for a total of under 250~300 dollars? I obviously don't really know the modern terrain/economy of today's PC building (8/9-year-old motherboard and CPU, lol). I'm going to do some research on my own time but if you have any off-the-cuff recommendations I'm all ears, thanks!
There are many people on these forums reporting weird performance issues after cleaning out their PCs with no apparent explanation. I really can't help you with that one.

As far as building a system that has the potential to last almost as long as the one you currently have, I'd say you'll need to budget a bit more. You not only need a new CPU and matching motherboard, you also need DDR4 RAM; your old DDR3 RAM is incompatible with modern motherboards. Additionally, you'll want at a minimum a 6 core / 12 thread CPU as there is a growning list of games out there that don't run well on anything less.

Right now the sweet spot is an inexpensive Intel system. Ryzen's new CPUs are great, but they have ceeded the sub-$300 CPU market to Intel for the time being. Also, it used to be that you couldn't build a very good Intel gaming system with anything less than a Z-class motherboard and an unlocked (K-series) CPU, but due to competition from AMD, Intel has massively increased the competitiveness of its mid-range CPUs and allowed formerly Z-class motherboard exclusive features to work on B-class motherboards (such as memory overclocking).

Here's what I imagine will be something along the lines of what you want: (prices from newegg)

$140 - MSI B560M PRO-VDH - I know it's micro ATX, but its got all the features you might need and more, has good reviews, and is about as cheap as you're going to find. I also am partial to MSI's motherboard software.

$90 - CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) - Less RAM than you have now, but you can always expand it to 32 GB down the road if you decide you need it. Starting with 16 GB keeps the total price of your build lower.

$210 - Intel Core i5-11400 Rocket Lake 6-Core - Great value, the performance to $ ratio is basically unmatched. Anything cheaper isn't going to have the legs to last you 5+ years.

Total: $450, probably $500 with shipping and tax. I know that's more than you said you can afford, but if I had to choose between only spending $250 or waiting another year and spending $500, I'd say wait and do it right the first time. There isn't a whole lot of room here to save money without handicapping your build. Remember, high refresh rates require equivalently more powerful CPUs.
 
Jun 15, 2021
7
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10
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There are many people on these forums reporting weird performance issues after cleaning out their PCs with no apparent explanation. I really can't help you with that one.

As far as building a system that has the potential to last almost as long as the one you currently have, I'd say you'll need to budget a bit more. You not only need a new CPU and matching motherboard, you also need DDR4 RAM; your old DDR3 RAM is incompatible with modern motherboards. Additionally, you'll want at a minimum a 6 core / 12 thread CPU as there is a growning list of games out there that don't run well on anything less.

Right now the sweet spot is an inexpensive Intel system. Ryzen's new CPUs are great, but they have ceeded the sub-$300 CPU market to Intel for the time being. Also, it used to be that you couldn't build a very good Intel gaming system with anything less than a Z-class motherboard and an unlocked (K-series) CPU, but due to competition from AMD, Intel has massively increased the competitiveness of its mid-range CPUs and allowed formerly Z-class motherboard exclusive features to work on B-class motherboards (such as memory overclocking).

Here's what I imagine will be something along the lines of what you want: (prices from newegg)

$140 - MSI B560M PRO-VDH - I know it's micro ATX, but its got all the features you might need and more, has good reviews, and is about as cheap as you're going to find. I also am partial to MSI's motherboard software.

$90 - CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) - Less RAM than you have now, but you can always expand it to 32 GB down the road if you decide you need it. Starting with 16 GB keeps the total price of your build lower.

$210 - Intel Core i5-11400 Rocket Lake 6-Core - Great value, the performance to $ ratio is basically unmatched. Anything cheaper isn't going to have the legs to last you 5+ years.

Total: $450, probably $500 with shipping and tax. I know that's more than you said you can afford, but if I had to choose between only spending $250 or waiting another year and spending $500, I'd say wait and do it right the first time. There isn't a whole lot of room here to save money without handicapping your build. Remember, high refresh rates require equivalently more powerful CPUs.
Solid looking recommendations, I'll definitely take a look. Off the top of my head, because of random youtube video investigations for future PC part prospects, I've found that AMD is much better future compatibility-wise with its CPU & motherboards. I was thinking of probably upping my current budget to about 450 (like you said), getting some DDR4, a Ryzen 5 3600, and a future compatibility-conscious motherboard to tie it all together. I'm just a student, so I'm thinking more along the nows and being able to update two or 3 years down the line. I'll definitely be torn between Intel and AMD for a little bit, but thanks for all the help man, you've been fantastic.
 

RTX 2080

Estimable
Solid looking recommendations, I'll definitely take a look. Off the top of my head, because of random youtube video investigations for future PC part prospects, I've found that AMD is much better future compatibility-wise with its CPU & motherboards. I was thinking of probably upping my current budget to about 450 (like you said), getting some DDR4, a Ryzen 5 3600, and a future compatibility-conscious motherboard to tie it all together. I'm just a student, so I'm thinking more along the nows and being able to update two or 3 years down the line. I'll definitely be torn between Intel and AMD for a little bit, but thanks for all the help man, you've been fantastic.
Happy to help.

But before you make your decision, I want to alert you to some important facts that probably weren't mentioned in the video you watched:

  • AMD is historically better for upgradability because their CPU sockets don't change as often as Intels and CPUs are usually compatible with a few different chipsets; this is true. However, AMD is in the process of transitioning from the AM4 socket to the AM5 socket and from the 400 & 500 series chipsets (motherboards) to a 600 series chipset. AMD promised to support the AM4 socket until 2020; that time is definitely over.
  • Both AMD & Intel are planning on transitioning away from DDR4 memory to DDR5 memory with their next CPUs (Intel's being released late 2021 and AMD's being released later in early/mid 2022) which means that any motherboard/CPU/RAM combination that you buy now will be unable to carry over to a system upgrade in 2-3 years due to none of those components being compatible with what will be the mainstream hardware in 2-3 years. If you buy the most up-to-date platform right now from either AMD or Intel, it will only support up to 11th gen chips, (for Intel, they're switching from the LGA 1200 to the LGA 1700 socket for 12th gen) Ryzen 5000 series chips, (for AMD, they're switching from the AM4 socket to the AM5 socket for Ryzen 6000) and DDR4 memory (both are switching to DDR5, which is not backwards-compatible).
In sumation, no matter what platfom you buy now, everything you buy today will need to be completely replaced in 2-3 years if you want current-gen hardware when you upgrade.

Separate from above though, I cannot recommend strongly enough for you to avoid the Ryzen 3600 and to PLEASE NOT BUY IT. The Ryzen 3600 was recommended by many websites as a great all-around gaming CPU with significantly better value than what Intel had available at the time (cheaper, bundled cooler included) and with better prospects for upgradeability compared to what Intel was doing at the time. However, times have changed significantly. The Ryzen 3600 has not aged well and while it has 6 cores and 12 threads much like the Intel i5-11400 I recommended you, it has significantly worse single-core performance, significantly worse IPC (instructions per clock/cycle) and lower boost clocks as well. All these make it a headache for many modern games. I cannot tell you how many times I've had to explain to someone on these forums that their 1 year old CPU is bottlenecking the rest of their system (much like your 2600k is doing to you now). Some of them understand the issue, some of them cannot be convinced that their almost new CPU is holding back the rest of their system, it just doesn't seem to make sense to them. As an example, in Cyberpunk 2077 if one attempts to drive around in the game with a PC powered by a Ryzen 3600, it is impossible to hold a locked 60 frames per second; it doesn't matter what settings you use or what GPU you have, the Ryzen 3600 just can't handle it. Think about that, not even a regular 60 fps. There are many more games and examples of the Ryzen 3600 being rather poor for modern gaming, but I'm sure you get the idea.

AMD has gotten a lot of good press lately for how good their CPUs are compared to Intel, but that only applies to the current Ryzen 5000 series processors. It does NOT apply to the Ryzen 3000 series processors. The Ryzen 3000 series won on value and upgradeability, but in 2021, they don't win on either: AMD and Intel both have equal upgradeability right now (none) and the good 6 core / 12 thread CPUs available today are as follows:

Intel: i5-10600k (last gen), i5-11400, & i5-11600k. The two-generations-old i5-9600k is better than a Ryzen 3600 in many gaming scenarios, but Intel handicapped it with 6 cores / 6 threads for stupid product segmentation reasons, so it doesn't make the list).

AMD: Ryzen 5600x (they don't make any other good 6 core / 12 thread CPUs)

You can go the AMD route if you want, just please not with the Ryzen 3600. You'll want the Ryzen 5600x, which while being more powerful than the Intel i5-11400 is also more expensive ($300 vs $210) and (at the risk of repeating myself over and over again) will be just as unupgradeable as the Intel i5-11400.

Obviously, it's your money and you can do as you see fit with it, I'd just hate to see you go and spend it on something that doesn't do what you want and makes you question all the advice I gave you previously about your stuttering issue.

Let me know if you need any clarification about the stuff I mentioned above!
 

RTX 2080

Estimable
Oh my gosh, perfect example, this thread just went live:


Read it. This guy just paired a powerful new GPU with, you guessed it, a Ryzen 3000 series processor (which despite having 8 cores / 16 threads inherits the same boost clock, IPC, and single core performance issues of the Ryzen 3600). And, surprise surprise, he's having performance issues with it and doesn't understand why! Cue useless recomendations from people telling him to reinstall his drivers and make sure that he has two separate 8-pin PCIe cables plugged into the GPU rather than a single cable split into two.

I swear, half the advice I give on this forum in trying to explain to everyone why anything other than AMD's most recent CPUs are a bad buy and/or are slowing down their system.

Edit: Yep! First poster is already telling him to reinstall his drivers! (Rolls eyes)
 
Jun 15, 2021
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Oh my gosh, perfect example, this thread just went live:


Read it. This guy just paired a powerful new GPU with, you guessed it, a Ryzen 3000 series processor (which despite having 8 cores / 16 threads inherits the same boost clock, IPC, and single core performance issues of the Ryzen 3600). And, surprise surprise, he's having performance issues with it and doesn't understand why! Cue useless recomendations from people telling him to reinstall his drivers and make sure that he has two separate 8-pin PCIe cables plugged into the GPU rather than a single cable split into two.

I swear, half the advice I give on this forum in trying to explain to everyone why anything other than AMD's most recent CPUs are a bad buy and/or are slowing down their system.

Edit: Yep! First poster is already telling him to reinstall his drivers! (Rolls eyes)
Yeah, I completely understood from the last comment, lol. I'll definitely go with at least the 5600 instead of the 3600 or the identical Intel CPU. I'll save up a few more bucks over the next couple of weeks and probably try and snipe a used or similarly well-priced one off of eBay, thanks for the heads-up! Edit: I also forgot to mention that the vast majority of the video reviews research I did on processors around the 3600 were from 1/2 years ago on average like I believe you were hinting at.
 

RTX 2080

Estimable
Yeah, I completely understood from the last comment, lol. I'll definitely go with at least the 5600 instead of the 3600 or the identical Intel CPU. I'll save up a few more bucks over the next couple of weeks and probably try and snipe a used or similarly well-priced one off of eBay, thanks for the heads-up! Edit: I also forgot to mention that the vast majority of the video reviews research I did on processors around the 3600 were from 1/2 years ago on average like I believe you were hinting at.
Happy to help!

Yep, things have changed a lot with CPUs in just 1-2 years.
 
Jun 15, 2021
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There are many people on these forums reporting weird performance issues after cleaning out their PCs with no apparent explanation. I really can't help you with that one.

I am convinced these are caused by intermittent connection issues, which especially affect older hardware that has seen some use. When cleaning out a PC, generally a user will remove all plugs, RAM, and PCIe cards in order to blow out dust.

This can lead to a dust and dirt making its way between electrical contacts in vacated slots, where they previously couldn't go.

My advice to anyone in this boat is to clean and reseat any electric contacts they exposed during the procedure.
 
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Happy to help!

Yep, things have changed a lot with CPUs in just 1-2 years.
Small update! The stuttering is still here, though it's curiously been slightly more insignificant in the amount of FPS it drops and hang time. I was talking to my dad about it and asked if he could help me find a deal on a processor on eBay. Several days later, I asked him if he had any luck, and he brought me to an eBay listing that was far outside my expectations. It was a brand new Alienware prebuilt but with just the GPU ripped out of it (the GPU was a 3800 Ti) that he's going to help pay a bit for. There are a ton of really amazing deals because of the current GPU economy climate, and I'm easily saving a few hundred dollars due to the listing alone. The AIO water-cooled 5800X it has is a little over a hundred dollars more than my GPU when both are at MSRP, lol. I can't wait to use it; on the other hand, I'm probably going to have to customize it a little on the inside for better airflow (as it seems pretty snug and constricted as is). Thank y'all for the quick and precise help!
 

RTX 2080

Estimable
Small update! The stuttering is still here, though it's curiously been slightly more insignificant in the amount of FPS it drops and hang time. I was talking to my dad about it and asked if he could help me find a deal on a processor on eBay. Several days later, I asked him if he had any luck, and he brought me to an eBay listing that was far outside my expectations. It was a brand new Alienware prebuilt but with just the GPU ripped out of it (the GPU was a 3800 Ti) that he's going to help pay a bit for. There are a ton of really amazing deals because of the current GPU economy climate, and I'm easily saving a few hundred dollars due to the listing alone. The AIO water-cooled 5800X it has is a little over a hundred dollars more than my GPU when both are at MSRP, lol. I can't wait to use it; on the other hand, I'm probably going to have to customize it a little on the inside for better airflow (as it seems pretty snug and constricted as is). Thank y'all for the quick and precise help!
Nice! An AIO-cooled Ryzen 5800x will perform better and last you longer than any other hardware we discussed and will feel like an absolute rocket compared to your current rig!

Just keep in mind that the downside with pre-built rigs is the potential for proprietary components. I don't know how good about it Alienware is specifically, but pre-builts sometimes have proprietary motherboards and/or PSUs that can make them difficult to upgrade in the future (although considering that the supporting components in there were set up for a 3080 Ti, your 1660 Ti should have no issues). And, as you mentioned, the eccentric form factor of the tower will probably make airflow an interesting challenge.

That's all secondary to the fact that you're getting a huge upgrade though! Congrats! Just pop your 1660 Ti in there and have fun!
 
Jun 15, 2021
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Nice! An AIO-cooled Ryzen 5800x will perform better and last you longer than any other hardware we discussed and will feel like an absolute rocket compared to your current rig!

Just keep in mind that the downside with pre-built rigs is the potential for proprietary components. I don't know how good about it Alienware is specifically, but pre-builts sometimes have proprietary motherboards and/or PSUs that can make them difficult to upgrade in the future (although considering that the supporting components in there were set up for a 3080 Ti, your 1660 Ti should have no issues). And, as you mentioned, the eccentric form factor of the tower will probably make airflow an interesting challenge.

That's all secondary to the fact that you're getting a huge upgrade though! Congrats! Just pop your 1660 Ti in there and have fun!
Alright, alright... Update: I've configured my new PC, and everything seems to run a whole lot nicer. EXCEPT, I still get a (smaller than ever) stutter (yet still noticeable) at the same place in War Thunder. I tried Heavens Benchmark and had zero stutters! I have to say, some cheeks were definitely clenched waiting for the usual stutter to appear around their typical spots during that. I'm pretty confused as to how I'm still getting a stutter in some games like War Thunder (yet it's been minimalized to a drop of about 15/20 frames instead of 45). Remember, even when my graphical settings are completely lowered, I still get this stutter. I've genuinely done the most hail Mary thing possible by buying a high-end PC and mid-range monitor to replace literally everything outside of the 1660 Ti, just to still have minor stutters. At this point, I may use my EVGA warranty to see if it's the graphics card.
 

RTX 2080

Estimable
Alright, alright... Update: I've configured my new PC, and everything seems to run a whole lot nicer. EXCEPT, I still get a (smaller than ever) stutter (yet still noticeable) at the same place in War Thunder. I tried Heavens Benchmark and had zero stutters! I have to say, some cheeks were definitely clenched waiting for the usual stutter to appear around their typical spots during that. I'm pretty confused as to how I'm still getting a stutter in some games like War Thunder (yet it's been minimalized to a drop of about 15/20 frames instead of 45). Remember, even when my graphical settings are completely lowered, I still get this stutter. I've genuinely done the most hail Mary thing possible by buying a high-end PC and mid-range monitor to replace literally everything outside of the 1660 Ti, just to still have minor stutters. At this point, I may use my EVGA warranty to see if it's the graphics card.
Well, that's the only thing left really, so yeah, maybe that would be worth a shot.
 

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