Games stutter really bad in fullscreen mode, but run smoothly in windowed mode.

Hi all,

A couple months ago I upgraded to a new processor and motherboard, specifically an intel i7-3770 and an ASRock Z77 Extreme 4. I've had an HD Radeon 6950 gpu with 2gb of vram since before the upgrade. I've only just had to the time to sit down a try playing a few games, but I've started having problems where I didn't have any before I upgraded. I tried playing Skyrim first and encountered horrible stuttering despite a steady 55-60 fps on ultra settings (which I also played on before the upgrade with no issues). I thought it might be a bug, so I emailed Bethesda's tech support and tried playing a different game.

Next I tried Fallout 3 and, low and behold, encountered the same problem once again. I tried downloading stutter removing mods, I fiddled around with the Catalyst Control Center and forced it to use its own Vsync, AA, and AF over the game's, but nothing worked.

The last thing I tried was running both games in windowed mode, and for some reason that fixed it for both games. I'm not sure why but something I changed during the upgrade (or maybe something that happened as a result of reinstalling my operating system) caused a problem with playing games in fullscreen.

Does anyone have any advice? I've read that it might be bottlenecking between my cpu and gpu, but considering my old (and much worse) cpu worked fine I don't think that's it. I also read that my gpu could be dying, but it's less than two years old and I don't overclock it so that seems unlikely.

Thanks in advance.
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More about games stutter bad fullscreen mode run smoothly windowed mode
  1. Is it only in Skyrim and fallout 3? (Both are bethesda games and are known to have issues with fps).
  2. As far as the stuttering goes, so far yes. I've been having strange texture issues with the Total War series as well where they simply don't load until I get close to them and then they suddenly appear out of nowhere, and then disappear right away when I scroll back a little bit. I'm not sure if it's related or not because I know AMD drivers have caused issues with Total War games in the past. I'm not sure if it's relevant but I thought I'd bring it up just in case.

    I know both Skyrim and Fallout 3 have had issues with fps but my fps remains 55-60 consistently and doesn't drop in either game, yet I'm still experiencing really noticeable lag and stutters. I didn't have these issues a few months ago and neither game has been patched or updated since then, so it must be something on my end.
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