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So this is a story of a computer issue that I've had for a long time that has spanned several configurations and still plagues me to this day. Maybe someone will enjoy hearing about my suffering. 

 

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So I have two 4k TVs setup next to each other both hooked up to gaming PCs that my gf and I use to game. The problems all started with Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Wildlands is a coop game that we played together. One PC had a 3770k @4.2 with a 1080ti and the other was a 2600k @4.5 with a 1070. Every game we played together ran as expected, meaning better performance on the 1080ti PC but Wildlands was different. That game was smooth on the slower 1070 PC but stuttered quite a bit on the 3770k PC. Not so much to make the game unplayable, but enough to be pretty annoying. I figured the my main PC, the 3770k 1080Ti rig, was due for a CPU upgrade anyway so I decided to upgrade. 

 

Since I enjoy tinkering around and finding deals if I can, I decided to try a 5820K build and go with quad channel ram. I'd never done a quad channel build for myself before, and I thought for sure having such a powerful PC would smooth out any issues with Wildlands. Well this led to a whole round of new issues. 

 

Not knowing much about quad channel ram, at first I thought I could just get 4 matching sticks and it would be fine. Turns out (as I'm sure many of you already know) that's not the case and quad channel ram really requires following QVL guidelines, or at least in my case. Also due to knowing very little about quad channel ram, I opted to get 3200mhz ram thinking that since the motherboard said it would support 3200mhz ram it should simply just work. So the matching ram from two different kits that I had did not work at all in quad channel and I eventually bought some different ram that was all one kit. 

So now a new phase of poorly thought out experimentation began with 4 matching ram sticks all from one kit at 3200mhz. I tried and tried to get them to work in quad and they just didn't. Scratching my head at this point, I had basically gone my whole life building various PCs for friends and customers without ever considering the QVL list for ram that matched up with whatever motherboard I was using at the time as really it's never an issues with dual channel ram or at least it was super uncommon to have issues with ram compatibility back then. So being unable to get the ram to work in quad I decided to actually look up the QVL and sure enough my ram was not on the list. Returned it, got some ram that was on the list. Still didn't work... or at least not right away. This was when I learned quad channel ram requires some finesse to get working. Slowly I got closer to getting it to work, trying the ram in different slots and getting it closer to stable. Eventually I actually got it to work and for a little while everything seemed OK. 

 

Well, probably only a month or so later the PC became completely unstable. I had to pull the ram out and reseat it all to get it to even boot up again, and at this point it would never boot at 3200mhz in quad channel again. This is when I really should have rethought my plans for this build, but some of the parts I had bought used from ebay (CPU and mobo) and I figured they could possibly have issues, so I returned them both and started fresh with another 5820k and another X99 motherboard of a different brand, but this time I checked the QVL list and made sure the ram I already had was on it. 

 

So now on my second CPU 5280k and X99 mobo I tried again... and failed. The ram was still the same ram from before so, returned it and got different ram. Still, no luck. At this point I started grasping at straws and looking for issues with other parts so I swapped out my power supply, no change. Swapped out the ram again, no luck... Finally I did what I should have done a lot sooner and did some deeper research into quad channel ram and I learned that 3200mhz (which doubles to 6400mhz effectively in quad mode) was really pushing it for a 5820K and X99 mobo. Since I had already come so far, I bought 2 more 5820K CPUs and tried them all. One of the three actually worked and once again I was finally running stable at 3200mhz. I returned/resold all the other parts and thought this madness was done. 

Well... not exactly. Although the PC seemed to work fine at this point, after all this Wildlands was still pretty stuttering on my PC. If I didn't have two PCs next to each other I probably would have just written the game off as poorly optimized (which is definitely is) but I knew first hand it should be able to run more smoothly on my hardware so I was just totally confused. One PC seemingly better than the other in everyway but only it had issues with this game, and this game only. The stuttering issues were just that, stuttering... almost like an early SLI system before they had SLI micro-stutter under control but much worse. Performance number were fine but the game was just not smooth. I had long since tried all the optimization guides and tweaks I could possibly find. I even pirated the game at one point after reading the anti cheat/DRM could potentially cause performance issues. I made support tickets with Ubisoft, nothing helped. 

 

Feeling basically defeated, I decided to give up on this whole X99 quad channel experiment and return to something more standard. I resold the parts and bought a z270 board and 7700k, and returned to a standard dual channel setup in doing so. Wildlands was still stuttering, but I figured I couldn't do much about it at this point. 

After a while I decided to try again and see if I could figure out what the issue was with some investigation myself so I installed MSI afterburner and used that to check my in game performance. I enabled the frame time graph so I could see if it was spiking. I had also increased the polling frequency in afterburner to make sure I didn't miss any spikes. Having not played the game in a while, it was definitely still stuttering and even seemed worse than before. I made a video of the gameplay with the in game performance metrics showing and made another support ticket with Ubisoft so I could show them the video. They were... lets say, less than helpful, basically sending me nothing but basic windows cleanup guides. 

I kept fiddling with the game and MSI afterburner and getting no where. The stuttering was really bad and I wondered how I ever played the game at all like this. I started trying other games with afterburner to compare. I'd never had any issues with other games before but now suddenly I was getting similar stuttering in all games! At this point I'm starting to wonder if my GPU is failing which would be pretty terrible during this mining rush and GPU's being so hard to get. I tried more games that should be less demanding and still had stuttering and I'm thinking great, my GPU really is failing. 

Turns out I had a bit of self induced mania going on... by increasing the polling rate in MSI afterburner I had caused the stuttering issue. I must have set it too high plain and simple. As soon as I closed afterburner my issues were gone in every game I tried... except Wildlands.

 

Wildlands is a poorly optimized game, and it's also got very good graphics so it's also fair to say its a really demanding game. I decided to upgrade my PC one more time and switch to AMD and more threads. Partly I wondered if I could have some PCIe bandwidth issues on my z270 board since at this point I have 2 nvme drives installed, so I got a B550 board and a 3700x CPU which should have plenty of PCIe bandwidth, and plenty of CPU thread... everything needed to run the game smoothly.

 

Wildlands still stutters for me, although slightly less so now than before. I still don't know why. Lots of people have this issue and seemingly none have really fixed it. My best guess is the game itself has some sort of bug that only shows up with certain GPUs because my GPU is really the only thing I didn't swap out with it being so expensive. I don't expect to ever really fix this, or at least no time soon. Digital foundry mentioned in one of their videos on the GeForce 3000 series that even the 3090 can't do 60fps at 4K in wildlands and that game is from 2017, so knowing that I figure there really is no fix I can do on my end with the GPU I have now. It's a mystery to me that the game doesn't stutter on the older slower PC to this day. If not for the stuttering in Wildlands there is a pretty good chance I would still have that 3770K PC since in 4K it would probably still hold up. 

So that's it. Just a rant of sorts about all this effort to try to fix an issue that just won't die. I hope someone gets a kick out of it. At least I know more about quad channel ram now 🤣

Edited by UltraMega
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Well that was a long read haha. Sounds like a saga dude. RAM issues aside sometimes stutter can be caused by high system latency which can be caused by rogue process's and notably certain system drivers. Have you ever tried Latency Mon ? Might be an ides to check the overall system latency is not causing you issues. As for the Quad Channel RAM, I have never had an issue with it, never checked a QVL list for it and it has "just worked" like dual channel memory, perhaps I am lucky. I can only imagine it was a BIOS/Board issue whereby it was not working for you.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, ENTERPRISE said:

Well that was a long read haha. Sounds like a saga dude. RAM issues aside sometimes stutter can be caused by high system latency which can be caused by rogue process's and notably certain system drivers. Have you ever tried Latency Mon ? Might be an ides to check the overall system latency is not causing you issues. As for the Quad Channel RAM, I have never had an issue with it, never checked a QVL list for it and it has "just worked" like dual channel memory, perhaps I am lucky. I can only imagine it was a BIOS/Board issue whereby it was not working for you.

I haven't tried that, but its only Wildlands that I have issues with. Even other Ubisoft games work perfectly fine including breakpoint which is the sequel to Wildlands. If it's a windows/driver issue, it's one that has survived multiple different hardware configurations and reformats. 

As for the quad channel ram, what's the fastest quad channel you ever tried? As I understand it, 3200mhz was just too much to get consistently stable results with a 5820k but if I had tried a lower speed it probably would have worked fine. 

Edited by UltraMega
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8 minutes ago, UltraMega said:

I haven't tried that, but its only Wildlands that I have issues with. Even other Ubisoft games work perfectly fine including breakpoint which is the sequel to Wildlands. If it's a windows/driver issue, it's one that has survived multiple different hardware configurations and reformats. 

As for the quad channel ram, what's the fastest quad channel you ever tried? As I understand it, 3200mhz was just too much to get consistently stable results with a 5820k but if I had tried a lower speed it probably would have worked fine. 

I had G.Skill Trident Z 32GB Kit which was XMP at 3200Mhz, worked out of the box fine on my Threadripper 2990WX and 3950X systems. I actually had that kit overclocked to 3600Mhz just fine.

3 minutes ago, UltraMega said:

Tried LatencyMon, it said my system is suitable for real time audio. 

 

Well it was worth a try !

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Wow what a ride.

 

I might have missed it, but have you ever tried the 1070 that seemingly has no issue in the gf PC in your PC to see if it also stutters? Guessing not the issue, but would be curious to see.

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9 minutes ago, ENTERPRISE said:

I had G.Skill Trident Z 32GB Kit which was XMP at 3200Mhz, worked out of the box fine on my Threadripper 2990WX and 3950X systems. I actually had that kit overclocked to 3600Mhz just fine.

 

Well it was worth a try !

5820K is way older than the 2990WX/3950X.

 

2 minutes ago, Sir Beregond said:

Wow what a ride.

 

I might have missed it, but have you ever tried the 1070 that seemingly has no issue in the gf PC in your PC to see if it also stutters? Guessing not the issue, but would be curious to see.

 

 

I haven't tried that, I know I should, but it wouldn't really change anything for me. Either way I'm going to want my 1080Ti paired with the faster system so if I swap the GPU's and the issue turns out to follow the 1080Ti into the other system there still nothing I can really do about it. I've tried every tweak/fix I can find or think of. If the GPU market wasn't how it is, I'd have replaced my 1080Ti by now. If the issues shows up on the 1070 after swapping, well then I'd be REALLY confused because I've basically replaced everything except the GPU over the last few years. 

 

I actually didn't mention that I also briefly tried a different 8700k build with all new parts but the CPU ran really hot like to the point of defect and I didn't want to delid a brand new CPU and void the warranty so I returned that and the parts that went with it. 

 

I also discovered recently by upgrading to a 3700x that I have a bad ram stick. My PC always had an issue with sleep mode and it often wouldn't wake up from sleep mode properly. I never thought much of it but after going from a 7700k to a 3700x recently and still having issues with Wildlands, I decided to try taking out some ram and trying 2 sticks at a time (I have 4 sticks). That didn't fix the issue with Wildlands but it did fix the issue with sleep mode. 

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27 minutes ago, UltraMega said:

5820K is way older than the 2990WX/3950X.

 

 

 

I haven't tried that, I know I should, but it wouldn't really change anything for me. Either way I'm going to want my 1080Ti paired with the faster system so if I swap the GPU's and the issue turns out to follow the 1080Ti into the other system there still nothing I can really do about it. I've tried every tweak/fix I can find or think of. If the GPU market wasn't how it is, I'd have replaced my 1080Ti by now. If the issues shows up on the 1070 after swapping, well then I'd be REALLY confused because I've basically replaced everything except the GPU over the last few years. 

 

I actually didn't mention that I also briefly tried a different 8700k build with all new parts but the CPU ran really hot like to the point of defect and I didn't want to delid a brand new CPU and void the warranty so I returned that and the parts that went with it. 

 

I also discovered recently by upgrading to a 3700x that I have a bad ram stick. My PC always had an issue with sleep mode and it often wouldn't wake up from sleep mode properly. I never thought much of it but after going from a 7700k to a 3700x recently and still having issues with Wildlands, I decided to try taking out some ram and trying 2 sticks at a time (I have 4 sticks). That didn't fix the issue with Wildlands but it did fix the issue with sleep mode. 

 

Yeah I expect my Quad Channel RAM experience was smooth as the components going with it were much newer.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, ENTERPRISE said:

 

Yeah I expect my Quad Channel RAM experience was smooth as the components going with it were much newer.

Yea definitely. I remember using some ram testing program that had stats from other users along with it and only about 5 people were listed on it as having 3200mhz running in quad on x99/5820k systems. At the time I couldn't really find any instances of people talking about doing it online. I had unknowingly set myself up to push the 5820k IMC to it's absolute limit.  

Edited by UltraMega
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