Stuttering in video games

Feb 4, 2019 11:45AM PST


I got an issue I just can't seem to find a way to fix. I am open to anything. I just freaking want to get rid of this. I got stuttering in nearly all video games (not all). Like, a video game running in DOSBox has no stuttering, but any 3d game out there is full of them.

What kind of stuttering? Here are two examples, both of them recorded a while ago by me, today being the same way as then:



So, there is a very long story behind this issue, a really huge one, but I will try to say it as short as possible. This issue is for like months of months. Used to have 1SSD with 120GB on which I only had my Windows installed, a HDD with 1TB on which I only had my programs installed, and a 4TB HDD on which I had all my video games installed. After posting on a forum about my issue, some dudes kept saying it is because of the 2 HDDs, somehow they said they are faulty because they found something written in Speccy. But what are the odds both of them to have issues? Anyhow I tried reinstalling the windows and changing the sata cables to the HDDs, no result. Scanned both of them and the SSD for errors with HDDTune, no errors. Changed the install folder of a game from the 4TD HDD to the 1TD HDD and then the 120GB SSD, stuttering on all of them. I ran out of ideas so I went to an IT repair shop or however it was called, and gave 108 freaking euros to have my PC tested. They said that both HDDs are fine, but the SSD showed issues when tested. Alright, went home and took out the SSD and installed the Windows and all my programs on the 1TB HDD, and all my video games still on the 4TD HDD. Now the PC was way slower (obviously because there was no SSD anymore), but not only slower, but everything kept freezing and stuff. That showed me that the 1TB HDD had something for sure, but before doing AGAIN anything rushed and losing money again, I remembered that my video card still had warranty, so I sent it back to the place where I bought it from, and received a new one in its place. Yes, no change. Ran out of options so I stayed like that for a while, until some days ago when I finally had the money to buy a new SSD. A 1TB one. Bought it, put it inside and installed windows and all of my programs on it, took out the 1TB HDD, and left the 4TB HDD to have all my video games installed on it. Aight, So I went and installed all of my video games on the 4TB HDD again, the programs, made the pc settings and whatever and guess what, tried to run CS:GO and the stuttering is still there, but way more rare, like before I had it 10 times in a round, now I had once in 2 rounds or something. Oh, but the PC is faster as it ever was, and everything runs amazingly smooth, just that I still got stuttering. After testing with CS GO, I went and made my steam grids and added all of my games on steam, then ran a HDDTune errors scan on my new SSD, ofc no errors, and after I was done with everything, I went and took my pc to take the dust. (I know the time sounds funny, but I just received my comprimate air thingy so yeah) After being done with that, I've put my PC back and tried to run Assassin's Creed Syndicate... aaaannd.. whoa what, got a huge lots of stuttering, the same as in the video, also the same as I used to have at the very beginning of this adventure. Then I run CS:GO, lolwut, all of my 10 stuttering per round are back. Changed the install location of CS GO to the SSD, exatly the same.

So, that was all, I literally feel like crying for wasting so much money, time, effort, and everything, and I still have no solution. It feels like I will never find my way out of this issue ever, only by buying a new pc. So, please, I beg you all from the bottom of my broken heart.... help... me... I can't play one freakin game without stuttering, only if the game is a visual novel or a 20 years old pixelated game for DOS...

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They spotted what we look for too.
Feb 4, 2019 11:55AM PST

In the HDD values 01, 07and BC are sky high numbers that cause this sort of complaint. It's easy to test too. You unplug that drive and run without.

BUT here's the thing. That drive has not failed. It's just performing badly from what we've seen. It will pass many tests.

-> Now if you change the install location, that's not good enough. Drives with this issue have to be unplugged from the system which can create another issue where Windows has cached information that something is on drive D or such and it can take a few boots and runs to clear that out.

I've written too much about this area here and will be back with ideas OTHER THAN THE HDD. Not that I expect it to help but hey, we'll try anything a few times. But at the end of the day you never want a HDD with high values in 01, 07, BB, BC and a few others.

Note: Edited after I found BC to be reporting in.

Post was last edited on February 4, 2019 12:10 PM PST

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Feb 7, 2019 9:42AM PST

As an update, I just tried without the HDD, only with the SSD connected, and I still have stuttering. Tried using CS:GO.

So, it seems the HDD is not the real problem here...

I'll also try the other solutions either later today or tomorrow. Though I am 100% not hoping for any miracle, I... have no hope left after all I tried so far.

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I see I did note that unplugging the drive may not work.
Feb 7, 2019 9:56AM PST

And why. Windows has a bad habit of looking for drives that are gone and you get a delay or stutter.

Let me be blunt here. The HDD issue you have there is well done. As well as the owner that wants it not to be that. We've been through this hundreds of times and after this many there is no sign the owner that pushes back won't learn until they learn it themselves.

The HDD is a REAL PROBLEM when you see them with high values in 01, 07 and maybe other slots. There can be other problems but don't put this as it's not a problem.

And I noted why it may not be enough to unplug it. (repeating this as some miss that info.)

There are many other suspect items in your Speccy report. I find that folk today are blindsided by the work required.

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Feb 7, 2019 10:44AM PST

Aight, 'kay.

But what do you mean by repeating? Should I restart the PC 10 times and then try to run the game again or what should I do? :s

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May have to cover all the items I listed.
Feb 7, 2019 10:55AM PST

Item 2 is a killer. Microsoft has improved on drivers but then for gamers? Not good enough. To make matters worse it may work for some and they argue it's working. Sorry folk but if you want the best from your rig, you learn what to do after a Windows install.

As to reboots, I'd at least do a boot to safe mode then a normal boot to see if that helps. But there were many items on the list and then you have what may not show in a Speccy report. I work what I see.

Also try this in a NEW Admin capable user account. Why? Because of how Windows works this could reduce references to the now gone drive HDD.

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Nothing software related, nothing from HDD
Feb 8, 2019 2:28PM PST

So, we can ignore all your tips for the HDD and everything you posted below that is windows/software related. I ran in safe mode, no use, and then I just took out the 4TB HDD completely from the pc and only let the 1TB SSD, and changed the Sata Cable and the slot where the sata cable was inserted, and then did a complete windows reset. After the reset, the first thing I made sure was that I have the latest windows updates (it only updated some malware definitions), and then updated the video card with geforce experience, made sure there was no issue displayed in the device manager (did not install any other driver than the video card, because before when I reinstalled the windows, everytime I first updated all drivers and then tested for stuttering, thought maybe if I do it this way I will have no more stuttering, was hoping for a driver to be the issue) and then installed Steam and CS:GO. As you can guess, I still have stuttering.

We can now completely "delete" some stuff from the possible reasons for my issue:

- HDD/SSD (HDD because I took it out and I reset the windows, SSD because it is new and I had stuttering before it as well)

- anything software/not hardware related (because I just restarted the windows after a hundred thousand times, and tested without having anything else installed)

- SATA cable (just changed it for the third time)

- GPU (even though you tell me to test it, I am 100% sure it is not the issue, since I had it replaced, and had the same stuttering with the old one, as much as I have now with the new one)

- HDMI cable (forgot to mention I tested that out as well, tested with 2 different hdmi cable, and a dvi one)

What's left to test out? Just tell how and what to test, and I will. Can it be from the monitor? Motherboard? PSU? CPU? RAM? I also tested all four rams I have half a year ago I think, and they were alright, but I will gladly test them again, if you think that can be a cause.

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Back to the makers now.
Feb 8, 2019 2:34PM PST

There are rare times where we swap out the GPU, RAM, Motherboard and CPU to figure it out.

I do worry that you'll learn later why those HDDs are called out. I have never written "this is it." We can only work what's in the reports and what has helped in the past.

I still worry this machine is leaning on Microsoft drivers. Try it the old fashioned way with drivers from the makers. In this order, BIOS (make it current) then motherboard package, audio then video. Now LAN/WiFi etc.

If this doesn't clear it up and get you some rating in the middle of the pack, then look at the Userbenchmark report where it came in low. That could be the troubled hardware.

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PS. Try Tomshardware.
Feb 8, 2019 2:37PM PST

They have different ideas at times.

Also, let's see the result.

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Speccy reading. HDD is not acceptable but how about other?
Feb 4, 2019 12:09PM PST

1. Current Uptime. Reboot once in a while. This has been up for 3 days.

2. It appears this install of Windows is leaning on Microsoft driver choices. I see a very dated Nvidia driver from 2017. Don't use a driver finder either. For Nvidia I use their GeForce Experience. For the motherboard the driver from the maker, etc.

3. Disable this:
Why? Can cause more disk i/o, lag. See all those System connections at the end of the report.

4. Because we are looking for ANYTHING other that the HDD, unplug the DVDRW if you don't use it.

5. DNS. In most cases we can optimize that. Read

6. Under the IP connections so many us

4. Disable Nvidia Share or "overlays." notes where it is. While the HDD effect is known I want to repeat this thread is for other ideas.

5. Twitch. Disable for now.

6. Temperatures look fine, RAM looks to be clocked as much as it can be. Since this looks fine I didn't check for a BIOS update. In this case I suggest leaving the BIOS as it is.

7. DNS. Try optimizing that. Read

8. Teamviewer. Disable for now.

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What happened to item 6?
Feb 7, 2019 9:57AM PST

I don't know. It was a comment about so many IP connections. You need to curb those.

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Driver from 2017?
Feb 8, 2019 2:31PM PST

I just saw you mentioned the video card driver. Really? It was uptodate with nvidia geforce experience.

Doesn't matter now though, since we now know it is nothing windows/software/driver related, but hardware.

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The driver was in your Speccy report.
Feb 8, 2019 2:36PM PST

It's under Windows updates in this one. I've lost count how many times Microsoft has made bad soup.

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(NEW) I'm thinking harder. Let's go about it like this.
Feb 8, 2019 6:02PM PST

1. Let's see that result. To be fair, here's one I shared with others recently:

The original machine is in the first post with a step by step, change one thing at a time to see the effects. You can see I too has a HDD with high values in 01 and 07 which was kept until a few basic items were cleaned up. So with the change you can see that the HDD was impacting test scores even though there was no game running, just the benchmarks after the usual cleanup I know such as disabling update sharing and getting the OS up to date.

2. Since your reports show Microsoft installing a dated GPU driver and now that I'm think more about your PC overall if this was mine I'd disable W10's driver update system then go get DDU (you can google DDU and should be the first hit.) This will ensure that we have cleaned out all the old GPU drivers and let us get GeForce Experience (GE) then let GE do the update for the GPU drivers without Microsoft mucking it up.

3. USERBENCHMARK your PC before and after and share the reports so all can take a peek.

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Feb 17, 2019 12:42PM PST

For some reason my stuttering... disappeared. Suddenly, without me doing anything. The only thing that changed is that I got some windows updates over night 2-3 days ago, and then next day I have no stuttering anymore. Been testing lots of games I own, and there's no damn stuttering. I can't explain how happy I feel. After nearly 1 year of struggling with this thing. My guess is that either was because of the HDD, and my PC needed a little while to get rid of its cancer after removing it (even though I also reinstalled the windows and I still had stuttering even so, so it makes no sense, but WHO CARES?!) so I can play without stuttering, or that windows update fixed something. I'm so damn happy!!

My realy guess is that you were right and the HDD was the reason why I had stuttering, though, again, it does not explain why I still had stuttering after the windows reinstall. Kinda funny. But who cares? I am so damn happy now. Thanks for helping me out mate!!

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Feb 17, 2019 1:09PM PST

The only time this didn't fix it on removal was when Windows was looking for something on the removed drive. To make matters funky the owner kept plugging in the iffy HDD and Windows would note a path there and when they unplugged Windows was looking for that file for an icon or such. It took time for Windows to forget about that old drive.

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Feb 18, 2019 10:33AM PST

Even if I did reset the windows, with only the SSD inside, and still had stuttering after the reset?

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That was most likely drivers.
Feb 18, 2019 10:50AM PST

I'm running into folk that rely on Windows to get the drivers. So on reset you have basic drivers that are non-optimal. We saw that in your Speccy reports and since I don't provide a step by step other than note that issue so never can sort that out.

Nothing has changed with Windows and drivers since the 90's in my experience. You can't count on Microsoft in this area.

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Just dawned on my something besides drivers.
Feb 18, 2019 9:36PM PST

If you use an EMAIL LOGIN there are items that sync and could cause trouble. We know Windows can go single task (micro brain freeze?) when it has items that can't be found on a missing drive or network drive so what could be the source of that? My answer: Email login and Microsoft's sync.

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