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Old September 24, 2014, 01:06 PM
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Default Stuttering

Hey all,

About a month ago I upgraded my GPU from an ATI Radeon HD 6870 to an ASUS GTX 770 DirectCU II OC 2GB. A couple of weeks ago I started to notice some performance issues, mainly stuttering while playing some games and the occasional severe drop in steady framerate (FRAPS graph on my keyboard LCD looks like the teeth of a saw). I've been troubleshooting on and off since and I have not been able to pin point the problem. Today I uninstalled my GTX 770 and I put the HD 6870 back in (it performs well but the fan is ridiculously squeeky). Still getting the stutters albeit less frequently. So I thought it was the GTX 770 but obviously it's not so I won't RMA the card if that's not the problem.

I'm really stumped. It's pissing me off and I want to fix this problem even if it means rebuilding my PC. I use it mainly for gaming so you can imagine how frustrating it is to play any game and not have smooth framerate especially in racing games where a smooth and continuous framerate is important; ie stutter results in crashing. My audio does not cut out/stutter, only the visuals.

Things I've tried, roughly in order:
-played around with graphic settings
-v/sync on/off = no change
-tried different GPU drivers
-updated/flashed BIOS
-updated Chipset driver
-formatted my main drive
-optimized my RAM in BIOS
-ran MemTest86 for an hour, 1 pass, no errors
-changed back to my previous GPU
-updated main drive's firmware
-currently running Prime95, CPU core temperatures reach close to 90 Celsius. hmmmmmmmmmm

Now I'm wondering if it's the CPU, motherboard or the PSU (which as far as I know is adequate). I used NVidia Inspector and kept my eye out on power delivery whilst the stutters would occur and I did not observe a lack of power. Since the stutter occurs also with my older ATI then I believe I can rule out the GPUs.

Any more suggestions? It would be greatly appreciated. My system is as follows:

ASUS Sabertooth P67
i7-2600K @stock 3.4GHz w/ FreezerPro HSF
ASUS ROG Xonar Phoebus
ASUS GTX 770 DirectCU II OC 2GB
16GB (2x8) Corsair Vengeance Pro 1866 9-10-9-27 DDR3
Corsair HX650w PSU
C:\ Corsair Force 3 SSD 120GB (Minecraft installed here, plenty of stutters, stuttering lessens when I reduce 'chunk render distance'
D:\ 150GB Seagate from way back
E:\ 1TB WD Caviar Black 64MB 10'000RPM (Steam is installed here, lots of stuttering in a game called BeamNG Drive)
F:\ 1TB WD Caviar Green

The more I think about it the more I feel it's the CPU... ugh!
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Old September 24, 2014, 01:18 PM
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That does sound awfully hot on the CPU. Could be it's throttling to keep from overheating.

Have you pulled the CPU cooler, cleaned the heat spreader and heat sink, cleaned the fan and fins, put on new TIM and placed it back on?
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Old September 24, 2014, 02:12 PM
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CPU throttling. The AC7 FreezerPro may not be suitable for the 2600k. Swap for a CM 212+ (20$ish), and test with Prime again. If the CPU is the culprit, time to RMA. With the new chip in, you'll be able to oc with the 212+....
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Old September 24, 2014, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LHN91 View Post
That does sound awfully hot on the CPU. Could be it's throttling to keep from overheating.

Have you pulled the CPU cooler, cleaned the heat spreader and heat sink, cleaned the fan and fins, put on new TIM and placed it back on?
Yes I did. When I installed the GTX 770 I remounted the HSF, making sure to remove all the old gunk and I then applied a fresh dose of OCZ Ultra 5+.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3.0charlie View Post
CPU throttling. The AC7 FreezerPro may not be suitable for the 2600k. Swap for a CM 212+ (20$ish), and test with Prime again. If the CPU is the culprit, time to RMA. With the new chip in, you'll be able to oc with the 212+....
I'll check out that HSF. I have to pick up some parts for a business oriented mini ITX I'm planning on building so I'll pick up something for myself while I'm at it.

Let's say that the CPU is in fact throttling, if I get a new HSF and then run Prime95 and achieve lower temperature values but still experience the stuttering in games; would that be an indication of a faulty CPU? Is Intel going to let me RMA their processor years after its purchase?

Now that I come to think about it, I originally built this system for BF3. I haven't played in over a year but I remember experiencing some minor stuttering back then. I never thought much of it until now..
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Old September 24, 2014, 03:17 PM
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CPU Warranty is 3 years.

You have to troubleshoot, and find the culprit. It may very well be the CPU.
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Old September 25, 2014, 11:15 AM
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I purchased a 212 EVO HSF. BIOS gave me a CPU fan warning at post, I entered BIOS and chose the 'ignore' option; it was giving me a low ~500ish or so RPM reading plus I could see the fan spinning through the side of my case so I'm not too concerned.

CPUID HWMonitor and ASUS AISuite are giving me CPU fan speeds so I think I'm safe on that end. Prime95 has been running about five minutes now and temperatures have just crept past the 70 degree mark; mostly fluxing in the low/mid 60's to low/mid 70's. So that's certainly a near 20 degree difference. Not bad for a 35 or so dollar HSF. No as quiet as the FreezerPro but that's a [noise] compromise I'll take.

Once I get around to some gaming I'll see if these stutters are still there.
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Old September 25, 2014, 01:19 PM
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What are the other tools reporting for CPU speeds? I know that my motherboard doesn't spin up the fan on my 212+ properly when I leave the fan control on - it sits between 500 and 600 unless I disable fan control, then it goes up to 1800 or so. If I use Speedfan in Windows, around 800-1000 rpm is good enough to keep my system cool.

I wonder if the issue is that it's not spinning up as temperatures rise. The larger 212+ might mask the issue better.
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Old September 25, 2014, 05:38 PM
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OK so I'm still getting the stuttering. Here are some example from while I was playing Minecraft with vsync enabled:


ASUS Ai Suite and CPU-Z are showing me fluxing CPU frequencies of ~1600MHz, ~3400MHz, even as high as 4400MHz. Mostly hangs out in the 1600s. That's when idle. *quickly starts up Prime...

Well this is interesting, under full load the CPU is steady around the ~4430MHz. I see the multiplier goes up to 43 while under load but at 16 when idle. Bus speed remains around 103MHz with variations by a few tenths of a point.

A couple of hours ago I ran a program called Core Damage. When I changed the settings to 4. Realtime Priority my system came to a grinding near halt; hardly responding to any input. I resisted pressing the reboot button and I struggled to get my mouse cursor oriented to turn the program off.

I never noticed my CPU frequency change like this. In recent efforts to troubleshoot I had changed my BIOS power settings from normal to performance but I've never manually OC'ed my rig. Odd indeed.

Should I also mention that last night I got a BSOD? I don't think I've had more than 2 or 3 of those in the two or so years I've had this rig...

My head hurts. I'm going to bed. If you guys can suggest what other tests I can perform do let me know.

As far as I'm concerned it's either the CPU, PSU or motherboard. Probably the first...
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Old September 27, 2014, 07:38 AM
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I'd be doing a fresh install of windows too with the brand switch if you are still having issues.
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Old September 27, 2014, 10:11 AM
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My first thoughts would be a bad heatsink mount (poor contact, or bad TIM application). If that is not the case I would say possibly a GPU driver issue. I am leaning towards the CPU temps though. You should not be hitting 90 deg at stock clocks. Probably the CPU throttling to save itself.

I know you just replaced the cooler, so let us know if that fixes the issue or not.
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