Frequent "jitter"/microstutter in lots of games with G-Sync/3900X/2080S @1440p

Discussion in 'Videocards - NVIDIA GeForce Drivers Section' started by BlindBison, Oct 23, 2020.

  1. BlindBison

    BlindBison Master Guru

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    Hi there guys,

    I'm sorry to bother you, but I've been trying to figure this out for awhile now without much success I'm afraid. My specs are as follows:
    • 1440p G-Sync 144 Hz panel 1ms
    • 3900X (stock bios settings / amd ryzen balanced power plan)
    • 2080S (stock control panel settings + G-Sync ON + control panel V-Sync ON as per blurbuster's guide)
    • 32 GB 3200 MHz RAM (though I run it at 2933 MHz since for some reason I can't clock it stable beyond that frequency even with higher voltage values -- there's another thread on this, but memtest says it's stable at the current values)
    • NVMe SSD (1 TB)
    • X570 ASRock Phantom Gaming 4 motherboard (BIOS stock default settings other than RAM frequency/timings).
    • Hardware Accelerated GPU scheduling ON (off seemed to make little difference in my local tests thus far).
    I've updated my Windows 10 version to latest as well as my BIOS, GPU drivers, and AMD chipset drivers. Some titles work fine for me (CSGO/Overwatch/DOOM Eternal/the recent Modern Warfare for example though I suppose those games run very well for most everybody, but just as an example they work great for me without much of any issue).

    However, maybe "most" games I play seem to exhibit frequent microstutter/framepacing "jitter" with uncapped FPS on my G-Sync panel and some games also don't play nice with framelimiting via control panel or RTSS either (Mafia Definitive Edition for example).

    Hunt Showdown from Crytek for example has this near constant framepacing "jitter"/microstutter that I can see when panning the camera/tracking a distant object like a tree or building despite reaching high FPS (around 100 at 1440p and max settings) -- it simply isn't "smooth" even on a G-Sync panel. To only way I've found to resolve this is to cap framerate in-engine to a consistently achievable value. Perhaps to be fair to Crytek, ever since a particular driver update it seems CryEngine games have been sort of "borked" in terms of stutter/framepacing -- there was another thread on Ryse/Crysis 3 for example and Digital Foundry found at the time of release for Prey (2017) even that they had to roll back their driver to get the game to work correctly so perhaps one of Nvidia's drivers borked something, who knows. I could test rolling way back, but in general that's not a solution I'm especially fond of since it means other games probably won't work correctly/optimally then (for example the recent Modern Warfare also stuttered rather frequently for me until a driver update which resolved the issue for me almost entirely).

    Mafia Definition Edition has a similar issue and unfortunately has no in-engine limiter (external limiters it stutters hard with for whatever reason in my tests even with very aggressive fps caps that don't dip on the frametime graph). Master Chief Collection is also a stuttering mess if I dare uncap the FPS within the game (Halo Reach for example, but fortunately capping to 60 in-engine works -- once again this game hates external limiters and stutters very badly even if capped to 60 externally in my tests though Halo 3 works better).

    Arkham Knight -- stutters like mad barring a very aggressive external FPS cap. Here, the game is "smooth", but only if I cap to literally around 30-37-ish FPS with RTSS. In-engine limiter stutters like mad regardless of value for me. Outer Worlds is quite similar to Arkham Knight for me (they're both UE4 games I suppose) where unless I cap it to literally 30 fps (though this one I can cap internally), I will get bad stuttering frequently. Dark Souls 3 stutters very very hard from time to time seemingly at random and I've reproduced this one on three different PCs -- the game is just totally borked it would seem (never saw it happen on my PS4 so it seems to be a PC only issue).

    Honestly I'm just weary of all these issues -- forget "high framerates", I just want smooth, non-stuttery, non-jittery looking framerates that are paced properly and don't look like a jittery mess. Why is that so difficult? My PC should be more than capable of handling modern games without such issues, no?

    Could it be the 3900X? I'm aware it has a split CCX design with some latency when each CCX has to pass data between from what I've read -- also, not the "best" single threaded perf out there compared to Intel's higher end offering, but I'm speculating. Don't get me wrong, when PC gets an actual proper version (DOOM Eternal/Overwatch for example seem to be far better games on PC vs console for example) then I really love gaming on my PC, but it seems like many games out there don't exhibit these stuttering problems on console and generally run/look smoother to my eye in their console versions despite running at significantly lower framerates. The whole online subscription fee has sorta killed my enthusiasm for consoles, but PC has been somewhat of a grating experience with respect to troubleshooting stutter on a per game basis and often there seems to be nothing I can do about it. Anyhow, if there's something I haven't done yet or have not considered feel free to let me know. Thanks for your help and time,
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
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  2. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    Have you tried to investigate interrupts? (I have experienced microstutters only in one game and that was solved by system timer resolution, so I can`t advise on frame pacing and stuff...)
     
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  3. BlindBison

    BlindBison Master Guru

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    @mbk1969 I’ll read over that after work! Thanks! Does that cover system timer tweaking then? I haven’t tried tweaking the system timer yet I don’t think (I’m not even sure how off the top of my head). Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it.
     
  4. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    No, this post has nothing to do with system timer resolution. Here is post with a quote about timer resolution - https://forums.guru3d.com/threads/windows-timer-processing.377790/
    But nowadays 3 game platforms do set system timer resolution to 1 ms - Steam, Origin, UPlay. I don`t have Epic one so I don`t know.
    You can try Wagnard`s ISLC app and there are other apps to do the tweak. You can try but do not have high hope.
    I doubt many games you mentioned do suffer from bad code depending on system timer resolution. Such dependency is the thing of past now.
     
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  5. BlindBison

    BlindBison Master Guru

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    @mbk1969 Thanks, that's very helpful -- appreciate the link :)
     
  6. Erick

    Erick Active Member

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    I upgraded to a 240hz monitor because of these nuances that were never addressed by either the driver makers or VESA with 144hz. I currently use a Acer Predator XB3 240hz monitor and a RTX 2060 Super 8GB. I also use RivaTuner Statistics and the Profile Inspector to help with frame limits.

    The panel is set to 240hz as the refresh rate and I use Fast Sync. Mind you that NVIDIA's Fast Sync is superior to the normal VSync in speed, so it works for most, but not all. Flashing will occur.

    - I set Rivatuner to use a Framtime Limiter for 60hz or 1/60 =
    0.0166666667, which is more granular. Rivatuner understands the value and as a base limiter, 60 is by far the best. I tried 120hz and because some games still use older frameworks or DirectX, the screen would either flash or just cannot keep up with 240hz.
    - I then set the default framerate limiter to 120hz in the Profile Inspector for the Global policy. Why do all of this?

    Games like Cuphead (Microsoft Store version) was buggy at 240hz; I would run to the right and the screen would slowly pan to the left because the refresh rate was so fast. The screen would flash violently as well. This is where the NVIDIA Profile Inspector comes in. I had to set the limiter to 60 first and set the VSync policy to On (Fast Sync causes the flashing).

    So for what you are doing now on your 144hz setup is the best thing, because when you report it, some devs and driver makers will not take the time to replicate the issue or send it back to their engineers.
     
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  7. eGGroLLiO

    eGGroLLiO Member Guru

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    Do you have more than 1 display?
     
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  8. SpajdrEX

    SpajdrEX AMD Vanguard

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    @BlindBison have you tried to disable SMT in bios? I had better (no microstutter) results when I disabled it on my Ryzen 2600. It could be different here, but it's worth the try.
    Also disable Xbox Gamebar in windows settings.
     
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  9. BlindBison

    BlindBison Master Guru

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    @eGGroLLiO Nope, just the one display connected via displayport cable to the GPU.

    @SpajdrEX I just tried disabling SMT in the BIOS -- interestingly framerates were basically identical in Hunt, but the "jitter" was still present same as usual. Hardware Unboxed did a video sometime back with the 3900X where they found disabling SMT (at least with up to date chipset drivers) didn't really aid in game performance. Still, thanks for the tip, I gave it a shot.

    @mbk1969 You were right, altering the windows timer value with Wager's intelligent standy list cleaner (it has the option under advanced) didn't change anything -- also, Steam does in fact set the timer to 1 ms when running as you said. I actually wasn't to override Steam with the standby list cleaner's option for the timer in fact interestingly.

    One thing I may try after all is just rolling back to a much older GPU driver just to see what happens. People in the Hunt Showdown subreddit for example claimed an older driver worked better for them so I'll give it a shot if nothing else I suppose. Thanks for your comments!
     
  10. SpajdrEX

    SpajdrEX AMD Vanguard

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    @BlindBison : what if you run LatencyMon and leave it running while doing nothing in Windows for 5-10 mins, any high values are being shown?
     

  11. BlindBison

    BlindBison Master Guru

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    Ah, I may have a "theory" -- interestingly, in Mafia Definitive Edition and Hunt Showdown, if I force DSR in the control panel to run the game at 4K then downscale to 1440p, though framerates are a lot lower (~50-ish at max quality), frametimes seem to smooth out a ton. Almost no microstutter is present with G-sync (presumably because the game's have become very GPU bound). The implication to me then (Digital Foundry actually talked about this in their 2080S review and in one of their 3900X videos iirc) is that I'm perhaps running up against single threaded CPU limitations at high 1440p framerates. So, in those DF videos they used an 8700K and found they were still getting CPU bound microstutter at 1440p in some games. Perhaps that's what I'm experiencing.

    @SpajdrEX Thanks fore the tip, I'll give it a go.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
  12. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    What SpjdrEX proposed (LatencyMon) is the same thing as I proposed in my first reply - investigate interrupts. But LatencyMon has issues on many rigs, and it is less detailed.

    PS
    Btw, did you set performance mode for videocard "Prefer performance" either in games profiles or in Global profile?
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
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  13. BlindBison

    BlindBison Master Guru

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    @mbk1969 Yup, I tested all the various windows power plans as well as forcing "Prefer max performance" on a per game profile basis -- no change.

    Thanks, that's good to know -- I have yet to test latencymon, but I'll try it out tomorrow -- so far my test with DSR to bring down overall FPS/put more load on the GPU is all that's helped (other than capping FPS to achievable, but some games don't like that/stutter regardless with external limiting) hence my theory above, but could be some other reason perhaps.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
  14. aufkrawall2

    aufkrawall2 Master Guru

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    Is www.vsynctester.com free of stutter?
    Though most (all?) of the games you listed don't have perfect frame time variance and certainly show some form of stutter on every PC there is.

    I'd also always disable any background polling of the power target sensor on Nvidia cards in tools like Afterburner/GPU-Z, it has a long history of causing stutter. It might not be obvious, but my opinion of it not to be trusted is not going to change ever again.
     
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  15. BlindBison

    BlindBison Master Guru

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    @aufkrawall2 Thanks, that’s helpful — I do use Rivatuner’s FPS overlay in most games, but only as a stand-alone app/I don’t have MSI afterburner installed at the moment — would that cause problems do you think?

    Ive used Vsync tester before and it looks smooth to me on the monitor I’m using — I did notice my monitor has a dead pixel now though lol, feelsbadman.

    Also, perhaps you’re right about it being limited to the games I play, but that would mean quite an awful lot of pc ports/games have these issues :(
     

  16. aufkrawall2

    aufkrawall2 Master Guru

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    It should be no issue to have AB running all the time in terms of performance if polling of the PT sensor is unchecked. It might seem harmless to keep it enabled, but there definitely is some realistic chance for it to cause issues one day. E.g. with my 1070 Gaming card it was solely with the Nvidia driver fps limiter in DX12/Vulkan games.

    You probably are VRR aggrieved. :p
    Can be quite a curse to feel every little isolated spike with it.
     
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  17. Dr4Wm4N

    Dr4Wm4N Active Member

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    For Mafia Definitive Edition I found that not forcing V-Sync in Nvidia control panel, and instead enable the ingame V-Sync setting works better with my G-Sync display (I had some very bad stuttering before, now it has almost completely vanished).
     
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  18. BlindBison

    BlindBison Master Guru

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    @Dr4Wm4N That's interesting, I'll give that a go -- I did try swapping to the in-game vsync in some other games like Hunt Showdown but it didn't seem to result in much of any difference as far as I could tell.
     
  19. BlindBison

    BlindBison Master Guru

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    @aufkrawall2 Thanks, that's good to know -- yeah, you can really really see those small frametime spikes with G-Sync -- fortunately I've discovered framelimiting and/or forcing DSR (shift more load onto GPU/less chance or running into any kind of cpu bound microstutter) fixes it in "most" cases I've tested so there's that at least. Generally I prefer the framelimiting approach but some games like Mafia just did not play nice with RTSS or the control panel limiter so DSR was my only solution.
     
  20. SpajdrEX

    SpajdrEX AMD Vanguard

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