Resolved Question

Mouse lagging under heavy CPU load, didn't happen before.

As the title describes, my mouse is lagging behind when the CPU (Core i5 4670, not overclocked) is under heavy load (97-100%). I used to be able to use discord, play a youtube video on 1440p and play (for example) the latest version of minecraft with heavy shaders on without any problems, besides some fps drops but that is logical considering the extreme loads. This was about 2 to 3 months ago.

Chrome always used around 15% of my CPU, discord around 5-10% (I think) and minecraft around 70-80% if not more (since its a CPU intensive game).

Nowadays, I can't even play a video on 1080p (or at all), not have discord or steam open and play minecraft without shaders for atleast a minute when loading a world without the mouse lagging/stuttering. Chrome takes up 40% of my CPU load already, and minecraft around 55%. because of this, and all other windows services running on my pc, the CPU load is 100% for that first minute and some random times here and there while minecraft is running at around 400-600 fps (GPU offcourse).
Without anything open, just minecraft (with shaders) my CPU hits 100% for the first 10 seconds or so, causing the same issue.

Less CPU intensive games, like League of Legends, don't cause this issue.

I have never had this issue before. Even with a performance test with 100% CPU load, my mouse moved smoothly. I held the test around 2 or 3 days ago (screenshot of the results included).

I am already planning on doing a complete, clean install of windows and all files but I don't know when this is possible school wise.

CPU: Core i5 4670 3.4GHz - not overclocked, and I won't overclock it.
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 4gB
RAM: 24 gB dual channel DDR3 (Speccy says it's running at 666MHz, bios says around 1600MHz) - 2 sticks of 4 (8 total) and 2 sticks of 8 (16 total) gB.
Windows 10 64 bit.

What is going on.. Does anyone else have this issue?
I somehow can't upload the screenshot via the "insert image" option. Here is the link:

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Best Answer

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[solution] To solve the issue, disable SteelSeries Engine 3.

Little time later. After significant testing, trouble shooting, researching online, etc. I've managed to solve the issue. This issue is caused by the SteelSeries (arctis) audio drivers (I have the SteelSeries Arctis 3).

Step by step: Disable Steelseries Audio + SteelSeries Engine
1. Open the system tray (the little arrow at the bottom right of the screen)
2. Search for the SteelSeries Engine 3 icon and rightclick it
3. Click "Exit".
4. Open task manager (rightclick on taskbar and select "Task manager" or via the ctrl+alt+delete menu)
Tip: sort on name
5. Scroll down to the "SSAudioSvc" 32 and/or 64 bits and end this/these tasks.
6. Select the "Startup" and scroll down to "SteelSeries Engine 3 Core" and turn this off. This will prevent the SteelSeries engine and drivers to start on startup.

The issue should be fixed now. Do note that the equilizer and bassboost in the SteelSeries Engine won't work anymore, since the engine isn't active. You will still hear normal audio.

What I think is the issue:
I think that because of the recent update, a incompatibility has been created between the audio drivers and something else, causing the weird lagg-ish experience.

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Sonic Studio was cuasing the same issue

Amazingly, Sonic Studio (provided by ASUS) was causing me the same issue with a wireless mouse I'm using. I closed the app from the system tray and viola, no more mouse lagging under high CPU load. How on earth this was related audio... I have no idea. Thanks for doing the legwork for the rest of us.

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Wow... I've been battling the issue for the past year on/off (I switch often between Windows & Linux) and this FINALLY fixed it! I've attempted everything... including full system restores.

Thank you so much!

FYI Anyone else reading this -- it's not just mouse lag... this issue causes severe OS lag.

Damn SteelSeries -- amazing headset, but what an abysmal problem to inure your customers with.

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[Extra information] Hardware temperatures + mouse

Temperatures might be usefull aswell.
CPU: average 60-64 degrees celcius under full load
GPU: average 65 degrees under full load

Mouse: Logitech G402 hyperion Fury.

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The mouse lag under load is normal. Here's why.

"Mouse movement only happens every refresh of the USB port, which can only happen as fast as 1.) your USB polling rate, and 2.) your CPU can call for the USB port to refresh itself. If your CPU is relatively weak and heavily tasked..."

As to the RAM MHz there are different measurements to clock speeds. One number is the clock rate of the input, the next is the data rate and these can be multiples of each other. Some double since both clock edges are used and some double again as the bus width is multiples of 8 bits. So all that is going on here is a cacophony of terms and ways to report speed.

Chrome is a pretty big load today so try it with hardware acceleration disabled and let's see your Web Speccy report for other areas of this PC.

How is at

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Mouse is regestering, just the movement lagging (+ speccy)

It isn't that the movement of the mouse doesn't register at all, it's just lagging behind.
If everything is running smooth and the pointer is supposed to move (lets say) 500 pixels in half a second, it does it in that half a second; The time between the mouse and pointer movement is about the input lagg of the screen+USB port (couple miliseconds).
If the exact same mouse movement is made under heavy load, it still moves 500 pixels. The movement however stutters a lot - jumps 100 pixels per 1/4th second.

I don't really know how to explain this. sorry.

Also, here is the speccy web profile:

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Speccy reading will be in another reply.

1. It isn't that the movement of the mouse doesn't register at all, it's just lagging behind.
Which is expected under heavy load. As an aside, gamers seem to be loving the old PS2 mice and keyboard because, no polling.

2. The jump is normal under load as all the movements were adding up so it jumps instead of moves.

3. Let's see what's in that Speccy.

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Just discovered it doesn't only happen on full load

I started extensive/advanced testing and after 10 minutes or so, I discovered that it doesn't just happen with full cpu load.
It just happened with 40% cpu load and 50% RAM usage. Just having minecraft open and alt tabbing out of it causing this permanant (as long as the game is open)... I don't know what it could be anymore. it isn't a CPU overload or something... Im just going to reset everything, basicly. seeing if that fixes stuff.

Can you delete this post? since the information given isn't right...

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Let's keep going.

There are items in the Speccy reading that I'd correct. For example the many Java versions. Read my reading below.

And I bolded a thing that I can't see in a Speccy.

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A Speccy reading.

1. JAVA. You have more than one version installed. Uninstall all, go get the latest.

But no. This is not a claim any of these items are the fix. This is simply a reading of the Speccy to see what stands out and my advice on some items.

2. Uptime is in days. Reboot.

3. Turn this off. Read

4. World Wide Web Publishing-service. Why run this? It's more load. Stop it.

5. Ask Avast folk what 0214dUpdateInfo is. Google says AVG but it's sort of a mess now they merged.

6. notes USB improvements. I'd update this.

7. XSplit. Now that's interesting. This machine should be fine for gaming but a little on the low side for recording. I'd disable and uninstall game recorders like this.

8. You have an USB Mic. And we see USB polling issues. Try it with this unplugged.

9. -> I WONDER if you tinkered with the mouse polling rate. It's counter intuitive but I did run into a gamer that pushed the polling rate to max and had all sorts of troubles. Set all mouse and keyboard polling rates to defaults.

10. Greenshot has a web connection? Ask why.

Nothing really stood out but there are items to work, clean up and ask about.

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Status update/effects of each individual points:

This post is a bit all over the place. See this post more as a diary of log instead of an actuall forum post.
*All of this will be tested with the game Minecraft, version 1.12.1 with heavy shaders equiped. Maximum RAM allowed is 12 gB.

1. Multiple versions of Java
uninstalled all java things via the control panel and downloaded the latest version (Java 8, update 151).
Effects: none/barely - still happening. Seems to be a bit less though.

2. Reboot PC
I don't know why it says that my pc has been on for such a long time. I turn off my pc every time I stop using my pc (since it starts up within 30 seconds). Anyways, rebooted again.
Effects: None.

3. Turn off the shared update option.
effects: nothing.
However, I did discover that the mouse lagg when the game is minimized only happens on that particulair screen (I have 2 screens active). Also, the minimized game seems to occupying way more CPU, GPU and RAM usage then when active.

4. Disabled this
Effect 1: this caused a windows helpprogram thing to start that took up 35% cpu usage. This caused the service manager to take up an another 30-40%. Just ended the helpprogram thing and everything is back to normal.
Idle cpu usage (with CNet open on chrome): ~7%; it was 10% at first.
Effect 2: The mouse actually moves a LOT smoother now. Still the stuttering for around 3 seconds or so but much less. Also, the mouse moves better when the game is minimized, although it still looks like a 30 Hz monitor, instead of a 144Hz. Second screen is still normal.
Hovering over icons on the screen where the game is minimized causes a delay/not highlightig at all. This does not happen on the second screen.

5. Wait.. Avast and AVG merged? I deleted AVG on purpose because of performance issues. Time to look for a new one.
No clue how to turn this off. looking it up on google (only 2 minutes of searching) doesn't do any good.

Also, deinstalled CCleaner. I don't even know why its on there, thought I deleted it already.

6. Update bios
I'll do this on the end, probably a seperate post.

7. uninstalling Xsplit
Although I don't think it was enabled and it was only acting as a driver (XSplit uses a seperate way to record audio, I think), I'll still uninstall it (took around 1.5 minutes per Xsplit).
effect 1: idle CPU usage with CNet on chrome is now 4-5%. Also, Minecraft seems to be taking up 40% average (and 60% MAX) instead of the 70% average (and the 95% MAX).
Just realized I never measured the memory usage. Currently 16%.

effect 2: The mouse lagging has lowened significantly. only happens once (one spike) at the start.
Game minimized: Pretty sure it got worse. Could be coincidence though.

8. Unplugging mic
This thing has always been connected with no issue. Going to try it anyways. It makes sence though to test this.
Effect: none

9A. Resetting the Logitech gaming mouse software and lowering the polling rate from 1000 to 500.
I have not touched these settings as far as I know (didn't know this was a thing). Lets see what happens anyways!
effect: it made the initial startup that causes most of these lagg spikes to get a bit worse (back to the first 5 seconds, but a significant improvement compared to before everything, but also improves the mouse movement on that screen when the game is minimized.

9B: Lowering from 500 (or 1000) to 125 (minimum)
Since it did change some stuff around, why not test this.
Effect: in game, it got worse. Now happening more often and also spikes after the first 5 seconds. Minimized however, is almost back to normal, only getting a spike when I try to open a new application. I will search for a good balance (if this is the best I can get).

Temperatures are under heavy load actually a bit higher. Temperature update:
CPU under heavy load: 61 degrees celcius with jumps up to 66-68 when loading something new (for a second).
The GPU under heavy load actually warms up to ~70 degrees celcius. It starts cooling more above the 70, keeping it there.

10: I don't see anything regarding to greenshot web connection. maybe its looking for a new update.

Only thing left to do is updating the driver of the motherboard, which I will do now.
great progress so far.

Also, I see a windows task regarding the Windows SQL server. Is this important and cn I turn it off? since it probably communicates with their database to store data (not that I care about the date, but it has some spikes up to 11% usage).

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Speccy readings do look like they are all over the map.

It's all about what I read and from prior experience. I find I have to add disclaimers today since some folk DEMAND that I only tell them what will fix it. Sadly that means we can't try anything except a factory reset which is not what anyone wants. So I read the Speccy and sometimes find gold and sometimes it's just list of things to clean up so we know what it isn't.

It sounds like all those shaders are pushing the machine to its limits. I do encounter gamers that don't quite get it about max settings. That is, IN YOUR CASE, the GPU may not have enough hardware to keep up. From the web: " TL;DR: The shaders are either pretty cpu intensive, or they are the worst optimized things on the planet and are gpu intensive."

And the impact can change with the drivers, any other update and the question gets down to "what changed?" It's Windows and the change is constant now.

My son runs Minecraft and learned the lesson. Run lean and fast.

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Shaders are indeed poorly optimized // also, Sorry

First off, sorry if I sound demanding for just the fix. I am a sucker when it comes to performance and if it suddenly drops, I get frustrated; I didn't mean it that way, I actually want to explore the issue as much as possible so I know what I need to do in the future and I really appriciate the help Happy

Shaders are indeed extremely heavy and Minecraft (Java version) is not made for shaders or such graphical intense stuff. If I compare the performance now and lets say 3 months ago, the FPS is the same. It just looks like a bottleneck has appeared or something causing these issues. I'll keep tweaking and researching!

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The bottleneck is likely to be shading units.

There are only so many in the GPU and all it takes is a new map and you see performance fall off the cliff.

You also have a display at double the frame rate so that's going to tax the CPU/GPU etc.

I think we've done what we can and if you wish to explore further that's fine but for me I think it's just an overloaded CPU/GPU issue and nothing terrible amiss. I've seen too many gamers to see a tar pit issue when I see one.

That is, I don't mind giving a go but at some point you have to move to "You need a bigger boat." (CPU or GPU.)

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Performance a lot better. not updated bios yet.

I guess I find it hard to accept hardware getting older and software getting more demanding resulting in the creation of that quote on quote tar pit that I am throwing my GPU and CPU into. I think it is time for less demanding shaders Wink

Anyways, thank you so much for your help. Although the issue is not completely gone yet, I'd say it is reduced with 80, maybe 90%. I will investigate this issue further on my own and let you know if I fixed it (besides turning off the shaders Silly

i have not updated the BIOS yet. I don't know exactly how to do this and a friend of mine bricked his motherboard doing this - I will let somebody else do it that actually knows what that person is doing. Might be the smarter call!

Again, thank you for your time! I have marked the post as answered (10 step post) so this discussion is closed.


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Disable NVIDIA Audio

It helped me Happy

Go to "Device Manager" and disable "Nvidia Audio".

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It was indeed audio, but not NVidia.

Hai there!
I already fixed the issue (see answer at the top). It was indeed multiple audio sources interfering with each other. Although my problem was the SteelSeries Audio engine (instead of NVidia) and I found the fix a short while after, I appriciate it that you took the time and write this answer. I'll try to remember this for next time this happens. Also, reading this it is probably an audio bug/incompatebility between multiple drivers, and not with the SteerSeries engine itself.

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I can confirm that this was the problem. I was also having black screen "flashing" (display driver hangs?) before disabling these drivers.

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i do have a SS mouse but i cant seem to find the ssaudio in the task manager... please contact me on gmail :
ive tried anything and cant solve this ... :/

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I'm feeling emotional about this being the fix i've needed.

Since 2016 i've had this issue, day in and day out. it'd sometimes be just the first 20 minutes of my pc's on-time. CS:GO and PUBG were my main games the last 3 years, and let's just say i wasn't very happy that this happened about 5-10% of the time. It'd always either stay UNTIL i restarted my pc, or for the first couple of minutes of starting a game. it was so upsetting. I learned to ignore it, as i googled 20 times every week for a while. In the end, i just dealt with it, thought it was my CPU being a bottleneck, while also having some sort of hardware issue that messed with mouse-prioritizing. A few days ago, i found this after my girlfriend questioned the problem while watching me play pubg, and asked a few general questions (things i would've thought of in the span of 3 years, of course)

that triggered me to google again. I always had a hard time explaining to google what i was looking for... but this time it brought me here.

I disabled realtek audio engine, which has always been on my pc's, never known why, it doesn't really help me.

What followed, was... a mouse, moving so smoothly and exactly to my hand movement... i could've thought it was more immersive than VR.

I genuinely felt my entire body tremble, i've been under this damned curse for 3 years since i upgraded my setup, and i had forgotten what freedom felt like. the curse, lifted away, i proceeded to play PUBG for hours upon end, and I destroyed like never before. I'm so happy

I don't think I'll ever encounter a pc issue that's had me more stumped than this one. I faintly remember filming my gameplay and trying to explain into the mic what was happening, and i was so confused about it. wanting to post it under all kinds of support forums. Noone could help. Only here could i find my issue.


Thank you.

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