Question Weird Stuttering (might be audio related) - clip included

Dec 11, 2020
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So I have been having this weird stuttering issue that has been plaguing me for over a year now.

This happens in MOST games that I play (CSGO, Dear Esther, Hob, RE2 Remake, Jedi Fallen Order etc.) and even in older ones (Skyrim, Thief Gold etc.) or even in newer games that are not resource intensive.

Games where I haven't really gotten the issue at the same time that the other games still produce the issue: Outlast, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Death Stranding, Hollow Knight, Katana ZERO,

It's hard to explain exactly what happens in each game, but the basic flow of things is the same and can be seen in the clips:
Framerate is relatively smooth -> Something happens in-game that causes a stutter-> FPS drops significantly (oddly, exactly 50% in many cases) and game freezes for a few milliseconds, sound bugs out -> FPS recovers to normal and game unfreezes

Sometimes, the FPS will drop again a second of two later before it recovers.
It's weird that in some games like Skyrim, the FPS drops from 60 to around 28 EACH time, and in other games from 144 to 72. In Dear Esther's case this only goes from 144 to around 80.

Please note that this occurs relatively frequently and really depends on the game. Can be more than once a minute, and seems to be related to certain triggers. My main suspicion is sounds that are loaded, but the bias may be leading me in the wrong direction.



I initially thought it could be hardware-related, but last month I have upgraded the majority of my PC components and it is still occurring. Unless there's something
wrong with my power supply but I doubt it, as it also occurred just before upgrading the power supply.

Current build
MSI MAG X570 Tomahawk Wi-fi
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X stock settings
G.Skill TridentZ 3200 MHz (3000MHz A-XMP in BIOS)
RTX 2080 stock OC settings, custom fan curve
Windows 10 1909 installed on HP EX920 1TB M.2 NVMe
Samsung 250GB 850 Evo SSD
Super Flower Leadex II 750W Gold power supply
AOC C24G1 144Hz Monitor

Previous build
MSI Z170A Tomahawk
Intel 6700K @4.00GHz stock 1.25V
G.Skill Ripjaws 3200 MHz (3200MHz XMP 1.35V in BIOS)
RTX 2080 stock OC settings, custom fan curve
Windows 10 20H2 installed on Samsung 250GB 850 Evo SSD
Super Flower Leadex II 750W Gold power supply
AOC C24G1 144Hz Monitor

Things I have tried between the two builds:
  • Reinstalling windows and installing drivers and every program afresh
  • Redownloading Steam games
  • Disabling Game Bar
  • Disabling overlays including running without MSI Afterburner in the background
  • Switching games between hard drives and SSD
  • Disabling all sound devices in device manager
  • Uninstalling GPU from slot and running on integrated Intel HD graphics
  • FPS limiting with Rivatuner Statistics Server or in-game settings (I always do this anyways, but stutters without limiting)
  • Vsync on/off without/without FPS limiting
  • Memtest, no errors after ~1 hour. Didn't bother for longer since this stuttering occurs many times an hour
  • Prime95, no errors ~1 hour. Didn't bother for longer since this stuttering occurs many times an hour
  • Playing on low settings with FPS caps

Examples of stuttering:
View: https://youtu.be/nz31JIKJaJs

View: https://youtu.be/Ed5HYrYHk6o

View: https://youtu.be/8mUNtQ0FkfY

View: https://youtu.be/oBqSOO8cYhs


9 minutes of no stuttering in Outlast:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqaYu5gV0Q8&ab_channel=NeThZOR
 

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