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Stuttering - Can't resolve - Looking for Ideas

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About two weeks ago, with no changes that I'm aware of, I started getting stuttering like I've never had before. The stutters are characterized by brief pauses occurring every second or so, whenever scenery is being panned across my view. I can pan the scenery by moving my view itself (VC or exterior), of fixing my view and turning the aircraft to the left or right, up or down or rolling side to side and those all induce stutters.Occurs with even the simple aircraft.


My system:

Sim: W7 Pro 64; FSX 'Gold'; P3D 3.1; TP; FSUIPC (free); Saitek X-55 'Rhino' HOTAS; Saitek Pro Flight pedals; Track IR 5
System: I5-3570K 4.3 GHz 8GB 1866HMz RAM; MB: Gigabyte Z77X-D3H; GTX 980 4GB; Panasonic TC-58AX800U 4K


Last major change to my system was at Xmas when I moved to a GTX 980 from a 680 and started simming in 4K. This configuration was stable for about a month before I started having this issue.


P3D is installed an a standard 1TB hard disk, separate from my OS drive (also a 1TB hard disk)

I also have FSX installed on an SSD, with some shared scenery on the P3D hard disk used by both sims.


Here's some of the steps I've taken to try and get a handle on what's going on, but none of these made a lick of difference or indicated anything was amiss:

1) Turned 'down' many of the more demanding configuration settings in P3D

2) Tried my monitor in both 4k and HD settings

3) Disabled Track IR

4) Unplugged all my USB devices except keyboard and mouse

5) Uninstalled all unused devices from the Device Manager on my PC

6) Tried to roll back (unfortunately,  no checkpoint went far back enough to be of use)

7) Checked for Windows S/W updates - there's been none new since I disabled them over a year & a half ago

8) Confirmed my NVidia drivers have not changed

9) Installed the latest Adobe Reader IX because there was a nag running that I thought might cause a problem

10) Ran a memory test on the PC

11) Ran full CHKDSK on the hard drives (no errors of any sort reported)

12) Ran virus checker

13) Looked via Process Explorer for anything weird

14) Shut down processes using Process Explorer, to see if any were the cause until I got to core stuff and caused a BSOD

15) Tried all P3D video options with buffering, vsync and limited and unlimited frame rates.

16) Conformed my NI settings

17) AFAIK, aside from Adobe Reader (which I installed as a possible cure') the only S/W I've installed this year is TeamSpeak 3, which I uninstalled to see if that was a fix. I had also added a USB mic/headset, which I uninstalled from Device Manager.

18) Checked the Windows Event Logger for errors.

19) De-configured all my scenery add-ons and UTX

20) Checked DLL.XML for duplicate entries and weirdness


I should mention that FSX is also effected - so it's a PC issue I think, as opposed to a sim issue. (but I posted in the P3D forum because best people hang here !! ) However, the problem is worse in P3D than FSX. The reason for this, as far as I can tell, is that because I run my sims in Full Screen and with FSX, Aero gets turned off, so that shuts off Windows DWM.EXE (Desktop Window Manager) whereas it continues to run with P3D. But full screen or windowed, I still get stutters.


I've monitored this DWM.EXE process and noted that it creates GPU utilization 'spikes' that correspond to the occurrence of stutters in the sim. But my feeling is that the DWM.exe exacerbates the situation rather than causes it. I recall seeing the associated GPU utilization spikes long before i got the stuttering issue (though the spikes could be bigger now.. not sure).  If I terminate the DWM.exe and run P3D, what I see the amount of stuttering diminish, but get a lot of tearing in it's place in P3D.


Anyway, I'm getting desperate here. I've pretty much run out of ideas as to what the cause might be and could sure use some ideas as to what to try. What specifically happens under the hood when I'm panning across scenery and what does that point at?  Are there diagnostic tests i can run on the motherboard, CPU, GPU or drives that can diagnose 'load' issues?


Thanks in advance for your help and If you have questions about symptoms, I'll do my best to provide.

7700K@4.8 GHz - MSI Z270-A Pro - 4x8Gb Corsair Vengeance DDR4 @3000 MHz - ZOTAC GTX 1080 TI @1683 MHz - 58" Panasonic TC-58AX800U 4K - Saitek X-55 'Rhino', ProFlight Pedals - TrackIR 5 - W10 Home 64 - P3D v4 - XP11 - MSFS

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I cannot really help you, But I had similar problems on my system the past 2 weeks. All of a sudden I would get a Major lag spike dropping my frame rate into the single digits, and the screen would almost stop then take off again. It was that bad. I tried everything I could figure out as well as you have. I had made no software changes at all. I did install Ultimate traffic, but disabling that made no difference.

 I had major stutters every 25-45 seconds. I see yours are much shorter time frame.

ANYHOW I did a restore point and it fixed my stuttering problem. I realize you cant roll back far enough, and you said you have windows updates turned off. I think in my case, something got updated on my system automatically which caused my stutter, and the restore point cured it.

 In my topic asking for help, another person said they have a similar stutter issue.

You may want to look further into what may have updated on your system without you knowing it.

 I also by the way had a terrible mouse lag/stutter. Moving the mouse over a click spot caused me to drop into single digits.

See if your mouse is doing such a thing also.



Specs removed.

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Have you checked the temps of your CPU and GPU? That would be the first thing I would look at. I use HWMonitor to keep an eye on my temps (get the 64-bit ZIP version, it's self-contained and requires no installation). A month ago I upgraded to a GTX 980 TI and it ran so hot that it was throttling. The 980 doesn't run as hot but if your case is dusty or your GPU fan is malfunctioning throttling could be an issue. You may have also inadvertently done something to the airflow in your case that's causing your CPU to overheat and throttle. I think the GTX 980 throttles at 85C. Your CPU probably throttles at 100C but if it's running that hot then something is very wrong.


I would also try swapping your old graphics card back in (if you still have it).

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I had unusual stuttering issues which happened unexpectedly and for the life of me could not pin down the culprit ..... I then updated my system from Win 7 to Win 10 and guess what ...... The stuttering has disappeared and the sim is now smooth as butter ....



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@Stampee - I was following your thread actually hoping for a solution that worked for me also (even considered posting on it since you were receiving some solid advice, but that wouldn't have been good etiquette.).


@Wing - yes, the temps look good. I ran one the OCCT GPU load test to see if i could force some sort of fault - 75 degrees max on the GPU with OCCT. (a little warmer than the max temps i see with P3D, but well the within comfort zone. Fan was just starting to ramp up.)


@Paul - Absolutely the last resort. I'd do a clean W 7 install first, but I'm seriously trying to avoid that.


Thanks all for the suggestions.. keep 'em coming if you have any ideas!

7700K@4.8 GHz - MSI Z270-A Pro - 4x8Gb Corsair Vengeance DDR4 @3000 MHz - ZOTAC GTX 1080 TI @1683 MHz - 58" Panasonic TC-58AX800U 4K - Saitek X-55 'Rhino', ProFlight Pedals - TrackIR 5 - W10 Home 64 - P3D v4 - XP11 - MSFS

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I had a similar stuttering issues a couple of years ago with FSX  on my old PC; turned out it was my CPU overclock beginning to degrade.


I had to lower the overclock and up the voltage slightly as the CPU was constantly error-correcting, which was causing the stutters.


FSX was the only app on my system that showed any symptom of this; other games ran perfectly and I also used several stress-test apps, but the CPU seemed fine.


At the time I was running an Intel i7-950 @ 4.2 GHz, I dropped down to 4.0Ghz and upped the voltage to a safe maximum and the stutters went away, CPU ran a bit hotter but it was worth it for smooth FSX'ing.


My suggestion would be to wipe all your overclocking settings from the bios and run all components at stock speeds to eliminate any potential overclocking related issues.


Good luck.

Gordon Hutchison

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Have you checked process explorer Odourboy? There may an application or service kicking off which is spiking your cpu or disk usage (I that a while back with the Windows Store app in Win10).


And on top of the virus scanner, have you checked for malware using Malwarebytes or Superantispyware?

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@ Gordan: OC doesn't seem to be the issue (4.3 -> 4.0) and no change. Admittedly, I did not completely reset to 'stock'.


Ran winsat assessments on all the drives. They seem okay, though the Scenery/P3D drive does show a higher latency than my C: drive... something I might revisit if all else fails.


Process Explorer revealed nothing but I have not yet tried Malwarebytes (I did run Avast! a few days ago and it found a few low-risk PUPs, which I quarantined, but it made no difference.)


Temps and airflow doesn't seem to be an issue, CPU and GPU temps are quite cool when running P3D. The case was completely cleaned at Xmas time when I changed my GPU.


Things I've thought of I need to try still: Re-seat the PC cards and cables - possibly something is making a poor connection and introducing errors.Since I was inside the box at Xmas, it's a possibility. Go back to my GTX 680. Malwarebytes.

7700K@4.8 GHz - MSI Z270-A Pro - 4x8Gb Corsair Vengeance DDR4 @3000 MHz - ZOTAC GTX 1080 TI @1683 MHz - 58" Panasonic TC-58AX800U 4K - Saitek X-55 'Rhino', ProFlight Pedals - TrackIR 5 - W10 Home 64 - P3D v4 - XP11 - MSFS

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