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henryw
Adept I

Constant stuttering and crashing in most games (MSI Radeon RX 480 8GB Gaming X)

Jump to solution

Hello, for the past 4-5 months I've had a problem with constant annoying stuttering/hitching every ~0.75 seconds ingame, and GPU fails/crashes during graphic-intensive moments in game, specifically during fire/smoke/rain/explosion/water effects, my monitor shuts off and then goes to "No Signal", GPU fans turn up high, and the only way out is to hard reset the computer. This has happened in games like Mafia 3, Starcraft 2, Divinity: Original Sin 2, Monster Hunter: World, Skyrim Special Edition, and more. Sometimes this GPU crash also happens right when the game starts/enters the Main Menu.

PC Specs

Case: NZXT S340 ATX Mid Tower Case

Motherboard: Asus - Z170-A ATX LGA1151 Motherboard

CPU: Intel Core i5-6600 3.3 GHz Quad-Core Processor

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler

RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-2133 Memory

GPU: MSI Radeon RX 480 8 GB GAMING X Video Card

PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA NEX 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply

SSD: Samsung - 850 EVO-Series 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive

Monitor: Acer GN246HL 24.0" 1920x1080 144 Hz Monitor

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

*Monitor connected to GPU with DVI cable

*I have no antivirus besides Windows Defender

*Note: I’ve owned this computer for approximately 2.5 years.

What I have already tried so far:

  • Updating Drivers
  • Rolling back drivers
  • Uninstalling drivers with DDU and reinstalling
  • Cleaning dust out of PC
  • Improving airflow
  • Resetting all AMD Radeon Settings
  • Overclocking
  • Downclocking/downvolting
  • Increasing power limit in Radeon Settings
  • Decreasing power limit in Radeon Settings
  • Tweaking global graphics in Radeon Settings
  • Turning up fans in Radeon Settings
  • Disabling PowerPlay
  • Disabling ULPS
  • Turning on/off Chill
  • Cleaning registry with CCleaner
  • Resetting shader cache in Radeon Settings
  • Updating BIOS
  • Optimizing SSD
  • Deleting all Xbox Windows 10 files
  • Uninstalling MSI Afterburner and all other hardware monitoring programs
  • Updating Windows
  • Disabling Windows Defender
  • Ending all unnecessary background processes
  • Exiting iCUE
  • Exiting f.lux
  • Ensuring power settings are set to High Performance
  • Intel XTU Stress test, passed
  • Ran a LatencyMon test for 20 minutes. Results here: https://puu.sh/CZ5Hu/310c5062e6.png

I've been scouring Google/forums for the past two months with no improvement whatsoever and I'm out of ideas on how to fix this, so any new advice would be appreciated. What else can I do? Or is my GPU simply deteriorating and I need a new one? Thanks.

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
henryw
Adept I

Re: Constant stuttering and crashing in most games (MSI Radeon RX 480 8GB Gaming X)

Jump to solution

Okay, I finally managed to fix the problem. Turns out the culprit was actually the GPU's old thermal paste. Thermal paste tends to start degrading after 2-3 years so it makes sense. Also, when I opened the card up I saw that a lot of the original thermal paste was actually pushed OUT of the diode and there was dried up thermal paste all along the entire edge of the diode which undoubtedly was causing the serious performance issues. Cleaned it all up with rubbing alcohol and q-tips/cloth and put new thermal paste (properly applied this time) and the stuttering is gone. 

If your card is old and you're having similar problems, change the thermal paste! Keep in mind this will void any warranty you might have.

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5 Replies
os2
Adept I

Re: Constant stuttering and crashing in most games (MSI Radeon RX 480 8GB Gaming X)

Jump to solution

Unfortunately could be a number of things including one of the latest windows updates.

See if any of this helps:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comments/avhszk/games_stuttering_despite_fps_not_droping/ 

henryw
Adept I

Re: Constant stuttering and crashing in most games (MSI Radeon RX 480 8GB Gaming X)

Jump to solution

Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately, I tried everything mentioned in that thread but nothing helped. Is it likely that my GPU is failing and needs replacing?

coreytv
Adept I

Re: Constant stuttering and crashing in most games (MSI Radeon RX 480 8GB Gaming X)

Jump to solution

make sure power efficiency in global settings is turned off. send a screenshot of your global wattman. try giving my settings a try, load this preset through wattman.

henryw
Adept I

Re: Constant stuttering and crashing in most games (MSI Radeon RX 480 8GB Gaming X)

Jump to solution

Okay, I finally managed to fix the problem. Turns out the culprit was actually the GPU's old thermal paste. Thermal paste tends to start degrading after 2-3 years so it makes sense. Also, when I opened the card up I saw that a lot of the original thermal paste was actually pushed OUT of the diode and there was dried up thermal paste all along the entire edge of the diode which undoubtedly was causing the serious performance issues. Cleaned it all up with rubbing alcohol and q-tips/cloth and put new thermal paste (properly applied this time) and the stuttering is gone. 

If your card is old and you're having similar problems, change the thermal paste! Keep in mind this will void any warranty you might have.

henryw
Adept I

Re: Constant stuttering and crashing in most games (MSI Radeon RX 480 8GB Gaming X)

Jump to solution

Managed to fix the problem, it was old thermal paste in the gpu leaking outside of the diode lol. Also power efficiency was turned off and I have just been using the default Wattman settings. Thanks anyways for your help.

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