Mass Efffect Andromeda - Serious Performance Issues

Right, before I get started, the machine I'm running this on has the following:

i7 6770K (not overclocked, but not really necessary IMO)
16GB RAM
Nvidia 980Ti

So that's out of the way - I am having a horrible time with ME:A at the moment, wherein I seem to get a tonne of "lag", although I'm not sure if that's the best way to describe it. What I want to stress is that everything up to 'Press Space to Start' is fine - the background animations are all buttery smooth and I can move the mouse over the 'Start' icon, and the icon immediately highlights (as one would expect). However... as soon as I press space, I get the icon in the top right, indicating that it's trying to connect to EA and suddenly everything slows down - the background animations slow to a crawl and I cannot highlight any of the options without waiting a least 10 seconds for them pop up (10 seconds, at best...). Everything else is fine - Nvidia overlay shows the FPS at a stable 90 to 144 (I've tinkered around with the settings, at least as much as I'm able - navigation is horrible and I often rage quit) and I can hop into Origin overlay and open a web browser like nothing's amiss.

To test more aggressively, I managed to get the game to windowed mode and opened KF2 to see whether I was having some other kind of issue somewhere, but nope - side-by-side, KF2 ran at 90FPS/2K resolution, whereas ME:A was almost comatose.

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Things I have already tested:

Repair Game

Delete and Reinstall Game

Reinstalled Nvidia drivers

Disabled Nvidia Overlay (Shadowplay off)

Disabled Origin Overlay

Disabled Antivirus

Disabled Anti-malwarebytes

Repaired C++ '08, '12 and '13

Ran consistent PING test to 8.8.8.8 and 4.2.2.2: 1 packet in 10,316 dropped / average response time 23ms

Flushed DNS (this one was actually at the behest of EA Support: Me: you want me to flush the DNS now? We're going to lose connection: EA: No, it'll be fine, you'll reconnect. Me: Probably not though. EA: It'll be fine. You'll soon come to accept the events unfolding around you: Flush DNS: EA: Oh no... support ended - ticket closed as 'resolved')

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Yesterday at launch, I had a similar issue though not as severe - it seemed the animation 'paused' every few seconds, though background images seemed fine. For example ***MINOR SPOILERS*** when Ryder wakes up, she sits down in front of a large screen, showing some planets, to get medical treatment. The character animations paused, however the screen showing the planets continued to work during these pauses. Also, the other animations like lens flare, particle effects etc all continued as normal (also, Audio was fine, but as time went on, became more and more out of sync with the animations).

Today is way more severe - although I don't see the issue begin until I've pressed start, I don't see it subside once I have established connection to EA; I managed to partially load multiplayer in order to see whether connecting to EA would stop what's going on with the application but it doesn't seem to help, or at least not help much.

I'm positive it's a layer 6 or layer 7 issue (I've cleared session, so I'm not fussed by that) - I've already tested for layer 1, by Running KF2 side-by-side with ME:A and I sincerely doubt it's a layer 3 or 4 issue as a) PING tests are great and b) Firewall's have been disabled for the purpose of testing.

I've trawled through the internet as best I can for an answer, but no one is posting any issues remotely similar to mine, so I'm hoping the community here can assist. I'm more network literate than applications literate, but I'm more than able to diagnose or amend settings on my PC so please feel to suggest anything at this point.
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More about mass efffect andromeda performance issues
  1. I was having the same issue when using my 980ti and 6700K. I switched to the 980 I had and the problem went away so I think it may be a driver problem specific to the 980ti. Not an answer but hopefully more information helps.
  2. You may be on to something there - when you say "switched to the 980", do you mean physically (using a separate card?) or did you manage to do something else instead?
  3. I get good performance on a 970 so it sounds like an issue with connection. i had an oddly similar issue with mass effect 2 not long ago. If you skipped passed the main menu too fast it would act like you described. it sounds to me like a Bioware server issue. Honestly i cant think of a way to fix that I'm sorry
  4. UPDATE: Right, after a lot of investigation between myself and EA 2nd line support (hats off to those guys by the way) I have resolved the issue, but it may be one of two things (or both of them - still testing) which fixed it:

    i) Asus Game First Service III. We all know and love Asus; they make some of the best hardware out there, but when it comes to Software, it's a little more hit-and-miss. Asus GPU Tweak, Great - Game First Service, not so much. It seems that this application was causing a tragic memory leak in the game, triggered at the start menu, when it first tries to get online. I haven't had much involvement in the way of GFS III, but I know it has some kind of rudimentary QoS built into it, so it may have been this which triggered the problem. I'm still testing at the moment, but a quick fix is to simply uninstall it for now.

    ii) Perform a clean boot. Unfortunately, I did both at the same time, when I should have done it one at a time, so I'll need to retest under normal circumstances now to see if any file under normal boot affect the game. Essentially, you just need to get into msconfig (win + R -> msconfig -> enter or start/cortana - windows search bar -> msconfig) de-select 'Load startup items' (make sure 'Load system services' is ticked) navigate to the Services tab, tick the box for 'Hide all Microsoft services' and then tick on 'Disable all' before clicking 'OK' after which your PC will need to reboot.

    I'm not saying this has definitely fixed the issue, but for now things are looking very promising. If I find anything more out, I'll let you know.
  5. OK, after re-introducing services post clean boot, I am now 100% confident that the root of the issue is Game First Service III. I re-installed it to test and immediately I had performance issues, albeit, not as severe as before. That said the first time I played Mass Effect Andromeda, the issue didn't seem as bad as it was later on, it was only after the 3rd or 4th time that it really became a problem.
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