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Journeyman III

Getting to the root of chronic stuttering with an R9 290


For a few years now (across different operating systems,) I have had a chronic stuttering problem when playing games on my PC. It's hard to get a good recording of, but essentially what happens is when I play Dota 2 or CS:GO, but occasionally also in other games, my graphics will suddenly freeze for somewhere between 0.4 seconds to a full second, completely interrupting whatever I'm playing and often getting me killed. 

Things I've tried to do: I switched from Windows 7 to Windows `10, wiped and switched drivers 6+ times over the years, completely reformatted windows itself, reinstalled the games I play. None of them had any effect.

I tried tracking my lag overall with LatencyMon, but it didn't seem to point me towards any specific cause, though I may have misread the results. 

For what it's worth I'm not even certain that it is a graphics card problem, but when the freezes happen sounds continues as normal, and I never run into freezes like this in any other application but video games, so I strongly suspect it is the graphics card.

I'm willing to try anything it takes to get to the root of the problem, I have lots of time to kill to figure it out, and I appreciate any help!

My setup:

OS: Windows 10 Pro
Motherboard: MSI Z97S SLI PLUS
CPU: Intel Core i5 4690K
HDD: Samsung SSD 840 EVO 120GB
GPU: AMD Radeon R9 290
RAM: HyperX Fury DDR3 1866mhz 8GB
Power Supply: Thermaltake Smart 750W
Case: Corsair Carbine 200R

5 Replies

Have you tried clearing shader cache?


I just tried that and it actually seems to have worked. I can't confirm that yet but I played a game of Dota 2 and CS:GO after wiping shader cache and didn't notice any stuttering. 


The stuttering came back already. What else should I try?

Adept I

Try to pick up another 8GB of RAM for cheap. It's a nice upgrade and eleminates another potential bottleneck.

Another tip: It is worth to check the GPU temps under load. If they are bad - unmount the cooler an repaste with a high quality thermal paste. You can watch videos about repasting before, so you know what to expect and what to prepare. It's easier than most people think. The factory paste will be dust after that many years. This is a good idea even if it is not the cause of your stutter. too. I bet new thermal paste will bring down the GPU temps in a two digits range.

Good luck!


It's definitely not temps, I just played through DOOM 2016 and would have been at near 100% usage throughout the entire game and got no stuttering. I doubt it would be ram either if it's happening in old games like CS:GO.