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  #1  
Old 08-28-2018, 10:02 AM
mpw90 mpw90 is offline
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Default The hardest microstutter to troubleshoot

I'm essentially encountering stuttering in games and some applications, despite my temperatures being fine and low usage of the components.

Prior to all of this, I have had difficulties with the system since I purchased the parts, and built it. I have had 3 motherboard replacements due to hard freezing, which appears to have been a PCIe lane problem from PCIe Gen 3 on the board. This is now resolved.

I have also had a problem with my GPU throttling due to heat problems, this was replaced and considered a faulty part.

Description of Problem:
On every setup I have tried, games will encounter some form of short micro stutter. This lasts a short amount of time, and occurs at seemingly unknown* intervals. It can happen in a series of stutters, or not happen for over one hour. Once it begins, it is very noticable and prominent. The stutter will last approximately between 250ms to 1 second. I observe that the frametime will often spike, but not always.

This was tested on both Linux and Windows 10, on separate drives, with fresh installs, over multiple disks. This has been tested under 'diagnostic' conditions, whereby I have installed and updated my drivers, and disabled anything that is not required, nor unrelated to the task at hand.

There are no overclocks, though I have tested with stock speeds at higher voltage. And tested with overclocks. If anything, an overclock will help. Though, I am keeping it removed. This began before any overclocking took place.

I have attempted the following:

* Replaced components
* Reinstalling the OS (and trying Linux, on different HDD's/SSD's, and removing them when other drive is in use)
* Flashing BIOS
* AMD chipset drivers
* Updating Nvidia drivers (and removing old ones with DDU)
* Reseating components
* Removing peripherals and components until the bare essentials
* Resetting CMOS
* Reducing GPU power target
* Checking VRM temps
* Disabling drivers, and keeping the bare esential drivers required to run
* Checking LatencyMon -- sometimes ntoskrnl will spike, sometimes it wont. Sometimes I will have a high ISR latency, sometimes I wont.
* Monitoring voltage
* 3 different monitors, cables and display interfaces (DVI, HDMI and displayport)
* Disabled and uninstalled monitoring software
* Reduced graphics settings in both Nvidia Control Panel and games themselves (remember, it happens in some applications, too) -- VSync off and on
* Using Prime95 for stability at stock settings -- passes all torture tests
* Tried different power plans, with different CPU % settings
* Purchased a PSU tester, and it passes all the tests.

I also disable unnecessary services and processes on both operating systems.

I've replaced the board, the GPU, and almost every other component. I've removed the network card and disabled the wifi and bluetooth drivers. My temperatures are good. To the point where Prime95 will max out around 78C on the test that produces the most heat. The GPU rarely goes above 70C unless in stress testing, and averages at around 61C during load. CPU averages around 58C during load.

There appears to be no throttling, or no obvious sign in monitoring software when this takes place.

The voltages appear to be fine, and hit the target voltages.

I do not know what to monitor anymore. I am kind of at a loss for where to look.

Clearing 'Standby Memory' on Windows appears to help for a short period of time, so I would have assumed disk/ram. Though, yesterday when I 'undervolted' (reduced power target) my GPU, it also helped for a long period of time. This does not always work, though. Sometimes I can remove the stanby memory and it will still happen, just less so. I cannot find the cause.

Component List

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 1600 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor

Motherboard: ASRock - AB350M Pro4 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard

Memory: Corsair - Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4-2400 Memory (2 x 8GB) (16GB)

Storage: Crucial - MX300 275GB 2.5" Solid State Drive

Storage: Seagate - BarraCuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

Video Card: EVGA - GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6GB SC GAMING Video Card

Case: Thermaltake - Core V21 MicroATX Mini Tower Case

Power Supply: Corsair - TXM Gold 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply

Wireless Network Adapter: Gigabyte - GC-WB867D-I PCI-Express x1 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi Adapter

Monitors: Acer - XF240H 24.0" 1920x1080 144Hz Monitor x 2

https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/p9mKsZ

Last edited by mpw90; 08-28-2018 at 01:55 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2018, 12:07 AM
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Conduct a memtestx86 and let me know if you run into issues. Might just be faulty even though it passed stress testing.

-Art
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2018, 09:29 PM
mpw90 mpw90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corsair Art View Post
Conduct a memtestx86 and let me know if you run into issues. Might just be faulty even though it passed stress testing.

-Art
UPDATE
I secured the GPU in PCIe Gen 2 slot x16. Not the main PCIe Gen 3 slot. I loaded CS:GO and at splash screen, I noticed an increase of 120 fps (yes, I am not joking, what the hell?) I was hitting around 550-580 fps, when usually it is the low 400s. Even when I loaded the game, it reduced, but significantly higher in FPS.



YET, the stutters occured, and then I had a huge sequence of them and the system hard locked. This is exactly the same symptom I had with this board previously but with the PCIe Gen 3 slot. Previously, the Gen 2 slot was the only slot that would work.



Now, I am pretty convinced it is still the board. I have seen so many other horror stories about this board, and this is my 4th board after 3 RMA's in 6 months. Even after them asking me to change CPU (which I did), changing my GPU 3 times (1 time due to EVGA confirming a fault, and another testing an AMD GPU), and trying single sticks of RAM, etc.



Is it best to use Occam's Razor here and return this board for a final time, and change manufacturer? There is a chance it is the CPU. There is a chance it is the memory.
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  #4  
Old 08-30-2018, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpw90 View Post
UPDATE
I secured the GPU in PCIe Gen 2 slot x16. Not the main PCIe Gen 3 slot. I loaded CS:GO and at splash screen, I noticed an increase of 120 fps (yes, I am not joking, what the hell?) I was hitting around 550-580 fps, when usually it is the low 400s. Even when I loaded the game, it reduced, but significantly higher in FPS.



YET, the stutters occured, and then I had a huge sequence of them and the system hard locked. This is exactly the same symptom I had with this board previously but with the PCIe Gen 3 slot. Previously, the Gen 2 slot was the only slot that would work.



Now, I am pretty convinced it is still the board. I have seen so many other horror stories about this board, and this is my 4th board after 3 RMA's in 6 months. Even after them asking me to change CPU (which I did), changing my GPU 3 times (1 time due to EVGA confirming a fault, and another testing an AMD GPU), and trying single sticks of RAM, etc.



Is it best to use Occam's Razor here and return this board for a final time, and change manufacturer? There is a chance it is the CPU. There is a chance it is the memory.
With how many times it's failed you, I personally would RMA and sell or put away and get a new one.

-Art
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  #5  
Old 08-30-2018, 02:31 PM
mpw90 mpw90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corsair Art View Post
With how many times it's failed you, I personally would RMA and sell or put away and get a new one.

-Art
Indeed, I have just ordered a new motherboard. As I am only 99.999% sure that this is indeed the cause, I would like to keep this thread open and potentially update it should the stutter continue, and this freezing be a separate issue (though, I don't think that is the case)
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  #6  
Old 09-03-2018, 05:30 PM
mpw90 mpw90 is offline
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Changed RAM, changed SSD. Same motherboard. Far more stable, less stuttering, but it still exists. I cloned the SSD (so, it's not entirely foolproof plan).

I plan to next test the motherboard. If it is not the motherboard, then it is either the PSU or the CPU.
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  #7  
Old 09-04-2018, 10:00 AM
mpw90 mpw90 is offline
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As can be seen here: https://i.imgur.com/G3QbAsq.png -- the spikes are still happening, but to a lesser degree. This is after a new SSD and new RAM.
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  #8  
Old 09-04-2018, 11:48 AM
mpw90 mpw90 is offline
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As per this thread: https://forums.evga.com/The-hardest-...2.aspx#2852897 -- I have attempted to run the kill ryzen script to detect hardware faults. I do not know if there are false positives with this, but I do get the error.



C:\Users\mpw90\Desktop\Stutter Solving\kill-ryzen-win-master>bin\x64\Release\kill-ryzen-win || exit /b

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

bzip2.c

Unhandled Exception: System.AggregateException: One or more errors occurred. ---> System.Exception: FAIL

at kill_ryzen_win.Program.<>c__DisplayClass0_0.<Main>b__0(Int32 x) in C:\Users\mpw90\Desktop\Stutter Solving\kill-ryzen-win-master\Program.cs:line 43

at System.Threading.Tasks.Parallel.<>c__DisplayClass17_0`1.<ForWorker>b__1()

at System.Threading.Tasks.Task.InnerInvokeWithArg(Task childTask)

at System.Threading.Tasks.Task.<>c__DisplayClass176_0.<ExecuteSelfReplicating>b__0(Object )

--- End of inner exception stack trace ---

at System.Threading.Tasks.Task.ThrowIfExceptional(Boolean includeTaskCanceledExceptions)

at System.Threading.Tasks.Task.Wait(Int32 millisecondsTimeout, CancellationToken cancellationToken)

at System.Threading.Tasks.Parallel.ForWorker[TLocal](Int32 fromInclusive, Int32 toExclusive, ParallelOptions parallelOptions, Action`1 body, Action`2 bodyWithState, Func`4 bodyWithLocal, Func`1 localInit, Action`1 localFinally)

at System.Threading.Tasks.Parallel.For(Int32 fromInclusive, Int32 toExclusive, Action`1 body)

at kill_ryzen_win.Program.Main(String[] args) in C:\Users\mpw90\Desktop\Stutter Solving\kill-ryzen-win-master\Program.cs:line 51
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  #9  
Old 09-04-2018, 05:47 PM
mpw90 mpw90 is offline
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Okay, as much as it pains me to say, I don't think it's the ASRock AB350m Pro4. Though, thankfully it's not. After 4 RMA's!

I tried the Gigabyte AB350M-DS3H and the stutters were still occurring.

New motherboard frametime spikes 1 - https://i.imgur.com/WLzCW2z.png
New motherboard frametime spieks 2 - https://i.imgur.com/1zkMAHI.png

So, I am beginning to think this *is* the CPU.

So, I am at a loss still.. This CPU was manufactured in Malysia week 42 of 2017.

If indeed this is an AMD issue, I would actually be kind of furious. This has been 6 months of struggling to find the cause. Whilst I would be relieved to discover it is indeed the cause (what else can it be at this point), it would be my second CPU, 4th motherboard, 3rd lot of RAM, 2nd GPU, 2nd SSD, and 4 or 5 installation of Windows, and maybe 3rd installation of Linux.

Not to mention all the time consumed updating drivers, BIOS, disabling services, plugging and unplugging cables, and using the screw driver, and thermal paste, etc.
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  #10  
Old 09-05-2018, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpw90 View Post
Okay, as much as it pains me to say, I don't think it's the ASRock AB350m Pro4. Though, thankfully it's not. After 4 RMA's!

I tried the Gigabyte AB350M-DS3H and the stutters were still occurring.

New motherboard frametime spikes 1 - https://i.imgur.com/WLzCW2z.png
New motherboard frametime spieks 2 - https://i.imgur.com/1zkMAHI.png

So, I am beginning to think this *is* the CPU.

So, I am at a loss still.. This CPU was manufactured in Malysia week 42 of 2017.

If indeed this is an AMD issue, I would actually be kind of furious. This has been 6 months of struggling to find the cause. Whilst I would be relieved to discover it is indeed the cause (what else can it be at this point), it would be my second CPU, 4th motherboard, 3rd lot of RAM, 2nd GPU, 2nd SSD, and 4 or 5 installation of Windows, and maybe 3rd installation of Linux.

Not to mention all the time consumed updating drivers, BIOS, disabling services, plugging and unplugging cables, and using the screw driver, and thermal paste, etc.
Please keep in mind we don't mind replacing this memory kit if within warranty but I'm not so sure that would help with the problem.

-Art
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  #11  
Old 09-05-2018, 06:15 AM
mpw90 mpw90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corsair Art View Post
Please keep in mind we don't mind replacing this memory kit if within warranty but I'm not so sure that would help with the problem.

-Art
Appreciate that, Art. Thanks.

I am convinced now that this is the CPU -- AMD have approved an RMA, so I suppose I will be without a processor for a while! This is the final test, before having to try another PSU (I cannot see how this would be a PSU issue).
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  #12  
Old 09-21-2018, 08:52 AM
mpw90 mpw90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corsair Art View Post
Please keep in mind we don't mind replacing this memory kit if within warranty but I'm not so sure that would help with the problem.

-Art
I have replaced my CPU with AMD. I will be testing this further this evening to determine whether or not the stutter still occurs.

Also worth noting that I replaced my RAM (Amazon were fine with this), and I am now running CL14, 3200Mhz DDR4 G Skill.

The remaining component that has not been changed is the Corsair TXM 550W+

I find it hard to believe a PSU could cause stutters, though.
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  #13  
Old 09-23-2018, 08:37 AM
mpw90 mpw90 is offline
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It is still happening.

- This is a clip I recorded in game of it happening, but for a very short amount of time. I noticed that, actually, the FPS *do* drop. They drop down to 89 from around 250-300fps. This is when the issues happens.
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  #14  
Old 09-24-2018, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpw90 View Post
It is still happening.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY5QyRKK0IM - This is a clip I recorded in game of it happening, but for a very short amount of time. I noticed that, actually, the FPS *do* drop. They drop down to 89 from around 250-300fps. This is when the issues happens.
If now the only common item that you have between the two builds is the PSU then please submit a ticket for that.

-Art
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  #15  
Old 11-01-2018, 10:10 AM
mpw90 mpw90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corsair Art View Post
If now the only common item that you have between the two builds is the PSU then please submit a ticket for that.

-Art
Corsair replaced the part, and I even went as far to buy an RX580 as well to test. It still persists.

I am so genuinely confused.
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