Stutter problem that I can't get rid of

The problem is more of a micro stutter but I'm only using one GPU and it happens in many games and benchmarks. Online players skip around, animations are choppy and it looks like frames are being skipped. 120fps looks like 40 fps. This can be felt with mouse movement as well.

The system:

i7 920 @ 3507MHz (stutter happens with optimized defaults as well)
Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R-SLI
3x2GB ddr3 @ 1336 MHz
Stock GTX 460
Creative x-fi xtremegamer
Windows 8 pro 64 bit
Western Digital WD6401AALS 640GB mechanical hard drive
Seasonic Platinum 660XP 660w power supply

Example with the vantage CPU test showing the planes skip around and even rewind for a split second: I used afterburner to record this and it only lowered the score, it didn't add any extra stutter.

A second but probably related problem is short pauses in the game when playing online. The net graph in games shows what looks like a network problem but my ISP has come out to my house many times to test the lines. I have bypassed the router and tried a new modem and these pauses do not change. Valve had me change all of the network settings and then install a program called Vtrace to see if any programs or drivers could be causing this but they couldn't find anything. Valve's conclusion was that something was wrong with my network and not with my PC. Both of these problems happen in windows 8 and vista.

Example of the pauses and gaps in the network graph:

To troubleshoot my GPU

I RMA'd it through MSI and the replacement changed nothing. I got a third GTX 460, this time from ASUS, again nothing changed. All three of these GTX 460s passed all benchmarks, EVGA oc scanner and OCCT artifact scanner. I tried using the second PCIE slot but again nothing changed. I also went out and purchased a Gigabyte 7850 but it still showed this weird stutter. Both problems exist with my older 60Hz monitor with a replacement dual DVI cable.

To troubleshoot my processor, ram and motherboard

I ran prime95 blend for almost 19 hours, long enough to pass all of the tests with 90% memory usage and no errors were found. I passed 10 runs of IBT at max without an error. It passed OCCT's 1 hour test. I also left the PC to fold overnight but it was still happily folding on a second work unit when I got up. Overnight memtest86+ AND memtest86 came back with no errors. I ran HCI memtest to 1000% without errors. I also made sure to test the stutter problem with everything running stock by loading optimized defaults but that didn't help. I also tried a second memory kit from OCZ that also passes these tests but the stutter was still there. The highest temperature was 61c and that was during IBT.

I flashed to different bios versions including the latest beta bios for my motherboard. I tried disabling all power saving features in the bios.

To troubleshoot my hard drive

The hard drive is currently running in AHCI mode but I have also tried IDE mode. I have also tried using the Microsoft AHCI drivers and the Intel drivers but there isn't a difference between them. Iran the Western Digital advanced diagnostics twice and neither showed any errors. The smart data is also all OK without any warnings. I also replaced sata cables and swapped to alternative sata ports.

To troubleshoot my power supply

I replaced my XFX 650w XXX power supply with the Seasonic platinum 660XP but nothing changed.

To troubleshoot my network

I mentioned this above but ill add it here too. I had my ISP come out and test my lines and they said everything was fine. I bypassed all cable splitters. I bypassed my router and tried a new modem with replacement ethernet cords but the problem remained. I installed an Intel PCI network card in case my motherboards port was failing but yet again, nothing was changed. I even tried using a wireless USB adapter.

To troubleshoot the OS and drivers

I tried the default windows update drivers for my network adapter as well as the newest available from Realtek. I tried clean installing many whql Nvidia drivers in vista and windows 8. I tried reformatting and installing chipset drivers as well as reformatting again without installing chipset drivers. I have tried enabling and disabling HPET in both the bios and windows. With windows using HPET 64 bit the DPC latency is very low. I have 8 tabs open in Firefox, one of them is a 1080p youtube video playing and another one is pandora playing music and the DPC latency is 5-15 in LatencyMon.

To troubleshoot audio

I pulled my sound card out and removed the drivers. I made sure the integrated sound card was disabled in the bios and drivers for it were never installed. Both problems remained without sound.

What's left to troubleshoot? Did I overlook something?

The only hardware that hasn't been swapped out is the CPU, motherboard and the hard drive. Maybe my ISP is lying about my lines being problem free?

I have a 120GB Samsung 840 SSD coming next week but since no errors were found with my current drive I doubt the SSD will fix my problems.

Could the CPU or motherboard be causing this problem but still pass every stress test that I throw at it? Unfortunately I can't find any cheap X58 boards to buy. The benchmark scores seem to be normal and where they should be.

CPU is at 3507 MHz and the ram is at 1336 MHz.

Cinebench 10 = 20264 multithread and 4938 single thread.
Cinebench 11.5 = 6.02 multithread and 1.19 singe thread.

The frustrating thing is that this PC hasn't blue screened or frozen since I have been experiencing these problems. Zero WHEA errors as well. I just don't get it. Please help before I just give up and find a new hobby.
9 answers Last reply
More about stutter problem
  1. Wow you really went through a lot of steps. In order to rule out the computer once and for all could you take it to some one else's place and use their internet? Just to be clear you said this only happens in online games? If you play something offline the rubberbanding and everything doesn't happen?
  2. Well vantage isn't online and I notice the microstuttering in games like Dirt 2 benchmark and campaign as well.

    When I play an online game i deal with both problems listed above. I only explained the seemingly network related problem because they might be related.
  3. You have to remember when playing online, you can still get lag spikes, or jitter from your internet connection.
    It depends on the server and all the hops between you,the distance, and the game server. Also the type of connection you use.
    For example. Most Adsl type connections take a good hit in speed and signal drop due to a run of copper cable to a telephone exchange, and also at peak times how much load is put on the telephone exchange. An internet company cannot resolve the problems in such a case.
    Say for example at peak times. Fiber optic cable suffers less from Spike lags or Jitter or the Line, or packets of data being lost and having to be re sent, this can also be the cause of lag in playing a game online.

    You can test if you are getting the right speed, and if the line has jitter. it`s best to do a test at peak times just to see if it is the exchange if of a adsl type broadband connection.

    Be aware both Ati cards and Nvidia cards do suffer from Micro stutter, they are working on drivers to try to fix the problems, in a few games.
  4. This is interesting. Hmmm, the only possible thing I could think of is maybe your NB/SB is causing issues. Possibly overheating. I would check that. Do you see the same issues if you were to vsync it to 30/60 instead of 120fps?
  5. start with checking your mb bios make sure it has the newest bios code and fixes. run cpu-z make sure your ram running at it rated speed and timing.also try using msconfig and turn everything off in start up. try making the system as clean as it can be. also make sure you have the june update for direct-x. if it not software i would see if it could be two bad spots on the mb. a lot of mb use a nforce 200 chip for more pci video lanes. could be that chip having an issue. see if in the bios there were anjy setting to change the pci bus video speed. if you can slot it down to 2.0 or less mode and see if the micro studder stop. I would alos use gpu-z to see that the video card and pci slot are working right. one other thing i would try is go into the bios and turn off serial and printer ports. any extra sata ports not uses to see if it a mb chipset issue. it could be that you have one of the first rev of the x58 chips and there a bug/flaw in it.
  6. I have monitored my connection with a program called ping plotter and everything looks good. Ping will go up and down by 2-3 at times but the average stays the same. No packet loss either.

    I'm not sure what sensor (hwmonitor shows Temp# 2) it's for but it's the only one that raises in temperature when I stress the CPU and it stabilizes at 49c when stress testing at 100% load so I don't think overheating is the problem. The highest CPU core load is ~61c and the highest the GPU gets is around 50c ( the auto fan profile seems aggressive).

    Turning on Vsync doesn't get rid of this problem. Even if it did it wouldn't be a solution because the input lag associated with Vsync is just as awful.

    I mentioned that I have tried the latest stable bios as well as the latest beta bios. Direct X says that there is no need to update.

    I have reformatted many times and tested before installing anything but a game or a benchmark and testing it with an extremely clean system but that didn't solve anything. Ram is running as it is set in the bios and my board doesn't use the Nforce chip. I have all ports or features that I do not use disabled in the bios.

    Thank you for your suggestions so far.
  7. Update, my new Samsung 840 SSD came in and it didn't solve the problem.

    So I'm down to just the motherboard and CPU that haven't been swapped out but they can pass all stress tests....
  8. Another video example here:

    Before and during recording this it looks like many very short microstutters but in the recorded video they showed up as large spikes or skips.
  9. I wonder why my last post was deleted?

    I bumped the VTT and Vcore two notches each just in case but that didn't help. Hoping someone knows of a fix or a specific voltage tweak to save this supposedly stable rig.
Ask a new question

Read More

Homebuilt Systems