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Stuttering in an unusually large amount of games (not frame drops)

I'm not entirely sure if it's just that I'm noticing it more or if it's actually happening more but I've noticed that a lot of the games I play are stuttering and hitching a lot. This happens on almost every game I play and I can't really seem to find a solution for it for any of them. I can't stand stuttering in games, so this it's really bothering me that it happens so much. Can I get some help and see if it's the games I'm playing or something to do with drivers or my PC?

 

Every game is installed on my SSD except for Forza Horizon 4, because my SSD is small and the game's massive but I still play it consistenly from time to time so I don't wanna uninstall it.

 

Specs: (Prebuilt from Lenovo, no my hardware isn't throttling, my CPU temp is like 65C highest and my GPU temp is like 80C if I really push it.)

CPU: i5-10400F

GPU: 1660 SUPER 6GB (Game ready drivers 466.77,)

RAM: 12GB (8GB+4GB)

Storage: 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD

Monitor: MSI Optix G241, using it at 1080p 144hz, I'm also using gsync even though this monitor doesn't officially support it but from what I've noticed when I switched to gsync it made an improvement, although that might not be true for all games, but when I turned it off it didn't do much to help for most games)

PSU: 380W (possible cause?)

 

Games I've noticed large stutters in:

 

[Steam, 141fps lock with NVTF] Fallout NV (probably the engine, pretty much everyone seems to have stutters with this game, although I will note that I had less stutters when I wasn't using my bluetooth XBOX controller and instead using my keyboard.)

[PC Game Pass, 60fps lock] Crackdown 3 (Strangely enough, I played it a while ago and didn't have many issues at all with stuttering, picked it up again because I was bored and wanted to see if I could beat it on the hardest difficulty and it ended up stuttering a ton too.)

[PC Game Pass, 72fps lock] The Outer Worlds (probably the engine as well, the stuttering isn't too massive and I can manage to play through the game ignoring it since it tends to be infrequent, but it still ties into the stuttering issue I'm having.)

[PC Game Pass, no fps lock] Forza Motorsport 7 (I've looked all over the place for any sort of fix and unlike other games I can't even seem to find people trying to fix this very often. With NV I found pages upon posts upon mods trying to fix stuttering, but for me, none of them worked very well.)

[PC Game Pass, 72fps lock] No Man's Sky (The stuttering in this game tended to be very light and infrequent up until I reinstalled it and it began to stutter more for some reason)

[Steam, 60fps lock] Assassin's Creed II (I know this game is ancient at this point just like NV but I could barely find anything either on the community posts on steam or on google even about the stuttering, let alone how to fix it, and when I did find the "fixes," they didn't do much of anything. It's probably the engine fighting with my modern hardware, but it still ties into the whole stuttering in a lot of games.)

 

Games that don't stutter or stutter normally, like in large areas or during loading screens:

[PC Game Pass, 60 fps lock] Night in the woods (I've not noticed much of any stutter in this game, and I'd say it's because it's 2D and so not exactly graphically intensive, but then there's starbound so that line of reasoning falls on its face.)

*[PC Game Pass, 144fps lock] Forza Horizon 4 (I do get stutters, but it's not the random and persistent stutters, it just tends to when I first bootup the game and I first drive around, and from what I've noticed these stutters are frame drops, not frametime spikes. ALSO NOTE that this game is on my HDD, and tends to have slower loading screens but less stutter. Is that some sort of deep dark hardware nonsense, or is this game just optimized with sorcery?)

[Steam, 60fps lock] Skyrim Special Edition (This game seems to run better than almost any other game that I've played on this PC so far, aside from maybe horizon 4. Never had a single stuttering issue with it like I did with almost every other game.)

[Steam, 143fps lock] BeamNG.drive (This game has small stutters when opening menus but outside of the menus and loading has no issues.)

 

I play most games with my bluetooth XBOX series x|s controller, but I played New Vegas with my keyboard for most of the time.

 

I also know that I meet the requirements for all of these games, although my RAM could be a little bit better, but from what I've noticed it never really goes above 70%~ usage, so I don't think it's a problem, although it could be.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated because this issue has been really getting on my nerves, and tell me if you need any more information.

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Well first thoughts:

1 - This PSU is scatchy AF. Granted the system shouldn't be drawing more than 280Ws in total, but at least 450W from a reputable brand is a must with a dedicated mid-tier GPU. 

2 - This GPU runs hot AF. A bunch of reviews i've seen basically peak that card at 70°C. That leads me to believe the case has terrible airflow if any at all. From this a bunch of overheating components could be causing instability - chipset, RAM, VRMs even the SSD.

3 - This RAM configuration is pointless... There is a possibility you actually would get better performance by removing the 4GB stick and leaving in only the 8GB. Another question here - what is the RAM speed and timings? If it's 2133MHz it might be another possible culprit. 

4 - What motherboard is in there. 

5 - Almost forgot 5 - what brand and model are the HDD and the SSD. 

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54 minutes ago, QuantumSingularity said:

Well first thoughts:

1 - This PSU is scatchy AF. Granted the system shouldn't be drawing more than 280Ws in total, but at least 450W from a reputable brand is a must with a dedicated mid-tier GPU. 

2 - This GPU runs hot AF. A bunch of reviews i've seen basically peak that card at 70°C. That leads me to believe the case has terrible airflow if any at all. From this a bunch of overheating components could be causing instability - chipset, RAM, VRMs even the SSD.

3 - This RAM configuration is pointless... There is a possibility you actually would get better performance by removing the 4GB stick and leaving in only the 8GB. Another question here - what is the RAM speed and timings? If it's 2133MHz it might be another possible culprit. 

4 - What motherboard is in there. 

5 - Almost forgot 5 - what brand and model are the HDD and the SSD. 

Well since it's a prebuilt they don't tell you jack shit about most things, but I'll tell you what I know.

1. I'm not even gonna try to disagree, but I don't know if I can even upgrade the PSU in a prebuilt, because of OEM form factor sorcery. Can I?

2. The case does have terrible airflow, but it's not throttling anything and to get it to 85C I have to launch an empty roblox baseplate with unlocked framerate and then it'll hit like 700fps and make it really hot. In normal gameplay, it usually is around 75C, a little higher than that peak you were talking about, assuming because of the awful airflow.

3. I'm actually kinda confident I might be able to upgrade the RAM in this computer, if I can't upgrade anything else. CPU-Z says my RAM speed is 1330MHz, which from what I've heard means it's probably 2666MHz, because from what I've seen around the internet, it usually displays half of your RAM speed. Unless it's actually running at 1330MHz, which would probably be more funny than anything.

4. System info says my motherboard is a lenovo 370a. Not sure if it's actually some piece of chinese plastic, but I trust system info.

5. The HDD is a 7200RPM Seagate Barracuda, and the SSD is some random samsung thing called MZALQ256HAJD-000L1.

 

The only thing holding me back from dropping cash on a new SSD or PSU is that this is a prebuilt so it probably can't be upgraded. Am I wrong about that?

 

**CORRECTION: My RAM is actually 2933 MHz, I was looking in the wrong window**

**CORRECTION OF THE CORRECTION: Task manager says my RAM is 2667MHz, CPUID says my RAM is 1330MHz in one place, and says it's 2933MHz in another. ??????**

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DDR means Double Data Rate so yeah, the actual speed is half of the rated one. Probably one of you sticks is rated for 2666MHz and the other 2933MHz, but when put together the faster DIMM always downclocks to the slower DIMM. You should have somewhere a product or model number with barcode on that case. Write it so we can check if that rig has the option for normal ATX PSU. I guess it's one of those cases with the ugly shield-like front panels. If it is that, there is no flow for sure. Also that SSD MZALQ256 ... think it was an old laptop nvme ssd introduced back in 2017 - not good, but also not completely terrible. To me looks like the most likely reasons are the PSU and the RAM. Mismatching speeds and capacities with RAM is a big no-no; can cause all sorts of issues and that PSU.. i wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't even have an 8-pin PCIe connector to power the GPU. Look if there is some kind of adapter cable for the GPU power.

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Just now, QuantumSingularity said:

DDR means Double Data Rate so yeah, the actual speed is half of the rated one. Probably one of you sticks is rated for 2666MHz and the other 2933MHz, but when put together the faster DIMM always downclocks to the slower DIMM. You should have somewhere a product or model number with barcode on that case. Write it so we can check if that rig has the option for normal ATX PSU. I guess it's one of those cases with the ugly shield-like front panels. If it is that, there is no flow for sure. Also that SSD MZALQ256 ... think it was an old laptop nvme ssd introduced back in 2017 - not good, but also not completely terrible. To me looks like the most likely reasons are the PSU and the RAM. Mismatching speeds and capacities with RAM is a big no-no; can cause all sorts of issues and that PSU.. i wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't even have an 8-pin PCIe connector to power the GPU. Look if there is some kind of adapter cable for the GPU power.

Alright I'll look into getting a RAM upgrade. I've also noticed that these issues tend to happen in open world games only and changing graphics settings doesn't do much to change it. I opened task manager while playing crackdown 3 and I noticed when I got stutters my CPU usage was getting really high. I'm assuming that's because of loading the little chunk things? I also can confirm I was just looking at the wrong numbers in CPU-Z, my DRAM frequency is 1330 and my RAM frequency is listed as DDR4-2933. I don't think the speeds are mismatched, although the sizes definitely are. Can that still cause a problem? My RAM usage is only ever around 70% at most.

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17 hours ago, QuantumSingularity said:

DDR means Double Data Rate so yeah, the actual speed is half of the rated one. Probably one of you sticks is rated for 2666MHz and the other 2933MHz, but when put together the faster DIMM always downclocks to the slower DIMM. You should have somewhere a product or model number with barcode on that case. Write it so we can check if that rig has the option for normal ATX PSU. I guess it's one of those cases with the ugly shield-like front panels. If it is that, there is no flow for sure. Also that SSD MZALQ256 ... think it was an old laptop nvme ssd introduced back in 2017 - not good, but also not completely terrible. To me looks like the most likely reasons are the PSU and the RAM. Mismatching speeds and capacities with RAM is a big no-no; can cause all sorts of issues and that PSU.. i wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't even have an 8-pin PCIe connector to power the GPU. Look if there is some kind of adapter cable for the GPU power.

I've ran afterburner and used all the monitoring things to try to correlate the stuttering to like CPU or RAM usage, and I've found out that it's definitely frametime spikes, not framerate drops, actually my framerate didn't change at all in the game, it stayed pretty much a totally consistent 72, but I couldn't pinpoint it to GPU usage, CPU usage, individual CPU core usage, RAM usage, really I can't tell what's causing it at all. Do you want me to send the graphs to you so that you can try to make some sense of it?

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image.png.631675e1a4312ca4b5aafeb1fa3c52a2.png

From options, go to monitoring and for each thing you wanna monitor, check "Show in On-Screen Display". Do this for GPU usage, CPU usage (CPU1,2,3,4,5 and so on are different cores/threads) and RAM. Also at the bottom there is an option for average, min and max FPS and a graph for the frametimes. Hardware polling period is how often the information gets update. 1000 milliseconds is 1 second. U can use 500 or 200 to better watch the CPU and GPU utilization.

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1 hour ago, QuantumSingularity said:

image.png.631675e1a4312ca4b5aafeb1fa3c52a2.png

From options, go to monitoring and for each thing you wanna monitor, check "Show in On-Screen Display". Do this for GPU usage, CPU usage (CPU1,2,3,4,5 and so on are different cores/threads) and RAM. Also at the bottom there is an option for average, min and max FPS and a graph for the frametimes. Hardware polling period is how often the information gets update. 1000 milliseconds is 1 second. U can use 500 or 200 to better watch the CPU and GPU utilization.

Alright. I've also noticed that all this stuttering garbage only really happens on games from the microsoft store, not on games from steam, and specifically games on game pass. Does that make any difference?

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You should've started with that. It's just the way it is. Pretty much everyone is experiencing it. 

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11 minutes ago, QuantumSingularity said:

You should've started with that. It's just the way it is. Pretty much everyone is experiencing it. 

Oh fuck I'm sorry I didn't mention it earlier I just didn't think it made any difference because I'd never heard of any stuttering issue with game pass on pc.

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