Question Watch Dogs 2 MASSIVE Stutters and FPS drops - 8700k @4.9Ghz / 1080ti

Jul 2, 2019
Thank you for taking the time to read. Im fairly new to PC gaming as I have upgraded from an Xbox one X, however I do know a bit about the technical side of things. I have OC'd my CPU to 4.9Ghz with 65c max temp under aida64 bench.
My GPU is OC'd slightly but nowhere near its full potential.

In addition to the above specs I have 1X16GB DDR4 @ 3000Mhz

I run this game 1440p resolution with Geometry and other CPU bound settings turned to Medium.
This game is really starting to annoy me greatly. I really want to have a smooth experience.

I want a locked 60FPs as I use V-Sync and can't stand screen tearing.
During the game my GPU never goes over 70% usage.
My CPU (According to RTSS) never goes over 55%.
However, when I use windows game mode overlay its shows higher CPU usage up to 88% which is different to the RTSS OSD, I have no idea why.......

Anyways, assuming RTSS is correct, why am I getting so many FPS drops and stuttering when driving if I my CPU or GPU is not getting anywhere near 100%?

Is this it just another 'unoptimized' game, or are my specs no enough to handle this game?

If you can help me or give me some pointers as to why I'm getting these TERRIBLE drops, I would really appreciate it!!

Here are my UserBenchmark stats:

UserBenchmarks: Game 135%, Desk 111%, Work 111%
CPU: Intel Core i7-8700K - 120.1%
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1080-Ti - 169.6%
SSD: Samsung 960 Evo NVMe PCIe M.2 250GB - 220.4%
SSD: Samsung 860 QVO 1TB - 129.2%
RAM: Corsair CMU32GX4M2C3000C15 1x16GB - 54.8%
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Nov 15, 2014
It's just this game is really demanding because of the open world map " Ubisoft things". I got 40ish fps with ultra settings i7 8700 & rtx 2060. Similar with Ghost Recon Wildlands.
I just did a whole play through on my 8700k, 1080 SC, 2x 8GB RAM rig and was at first getting pretty bad performance.

I then read the PCGamingWiki on the game and used most of the suggested fixes for stutter, save for FPS cap (used Vsync instead), Unpark CPU cores, MFAA (works for Nvidia 900 and 1000 series) and turning down extra details. I did however set Power management to Prefer maximum performance (can be done specifically to game specified in NCP or Nvidia Inspector).

Note that it says to turn on MFAA in game, but I found it can only be turned on in NCP or NI (at least on my 1000 series GPU anyway). I found turning on Temporal Filtering (MSAA + reprojecting prior frame) instead was the most beneficial of all tweaks beyond hard stutters. It seemed to clean up any residual microstutter, like in certain wooded areas. You can't use any other form of AA while using it, but I had no trouble with jaggies or blur, and it uses less VRAM and boosts performance significantly. The primary fix for hard stutters for me though was installing on an SSD. Even my Plextor 128GB 365 write, 500 read drive pretty much eliminated the stutter, but I now have it on a Samsung 500GB EVO NVMe.

With these settings I am able to run everything max with the High res textures at 1440p, and no stutter or lag anywhere. Sometimes the nethack vision runs slightly chuggy when lots of crap is going on, but I think that and the stutter and AA issues may be more a problem of it using the Disrupt engine, which was also used on original Watch Dogs. This engine seems to have notorious optimization issues with certain features, or, as many assumed with WD 1, it could be they're just lazy porting games that use it to PC.

At any rate try this and tell us how it goes.

BTW I'm running my 8700k just stock (same with GPU) and usage never indicates it needs an OC in any way. What I like about using Prefer max performance in games that have such issues is my PC automatically goes back to Balanced mode when I exit the game, which obviously makes it run cooler and quieter during idle, sucking in less dust too. If you ask me it's the best of both worlds.
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