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Old 04-25-2015, 10:07 PM   #1
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Default Game hiccups and freeze spikes. Savvy gamers please assist!

I am having a very annoying and obtrusive issue with random hiccups or mini freezes while playing all my games. Hopefully one of you will feel like racking your brain and help a fellow gamer out. Most recently: Diablo 3, Heroes of the Storm, and GTA 5. It doesn't matter what graphics quality I set each to, every couple minutes I get a complete freeze for maybe 1 second where the fps drops to 0-15. While seemingly random, it is consistently happening anywhere between 1-3 minutes apart. All other game time is a solid 60fps or more. I monitored MSI Afterburner and noticed sharp spikes to 0% GPU usage on the graph. Temps on both GPU and CPU cores seem reasonable and I ran an Intel CPU stress test (passed) and a Furmark GPU stress test (no issues). I guess I just don't know where to look or what steps I could take. I have already reformatted my SSD and reinstalled Windows 7 x64 a couple times, tried the latest 3 Nvidia drivers, and checked if there were issues with the titles I have been trying. I don't have other parts I can swap with to test if it is the GPU, CPU, RAM, MOBO, or whatever else, so it is very frustrating. There's no doubt there are countless threads regarding similar issues I'm experiencing, but mine seems strange enough. Hopefully you can point me in the right direction. My current setup is as follows:

GPU: Gigabyte GTX 970
CPU: I5-4690K 3.50GHZ
RAM: G Skill Ripjaws 2x4gb
MOBO: Gigabyte z97x-sli
PSU: EVGA 850 B2



Here's a screenshot of all the hiccups shown in MSI Afterburner. My gpu drops to 0% usage for each of them as shown. http://s16.postimg.org/uum44bc7o/msi_results2.jpg
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Old 04-26-2015, 03:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: Game hiccups and freeze spikes. Savvy gamers please assist!

Do you face the same problem when watching videos like on YTube or media players?

Try re-positioning the video card, sound card if any, memory sticks and make sure the CPU heat sink is well put.

Make sure storage cables are well plugged. All of them, not just the ones for those you run the games from.

What other devices do you have connected? Disconnect all possible of them and try. I had a similar problem because of the USB headphone.

All of the above are basic trouble shootings.
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Old 04-26-2015, 07:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Game hiccups and freeze spikes. Savvy gamers please assist!

I'd check to see if the PSU is up to snuff.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: Game hiccups and freeze spikes. Savvy gamers please assist!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celery View Post
I'd check to see if the PSU is up to snuff.
Hmm alright, how do I go about doing that? The reviews were solid on the one I purchased, and it's obviously working enough to power my components currently. Is there a way to tell if it's faulty or not giving the right amount of power or something?

---------- Post added at 10:51 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:48 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smart_Guy View Post
Do you face the same problem when watching videos like on YTube or media players?

Try re-positioning the video card, sound card if any, memory sticks and make sure the CPU heat sink is well put.

Make sure storage cables are well plugged. All of them, not just the ones for those you run the games from.

What other devices do you have connected? Disconnect all possible of them and try. I had a similar problem because of the USB headphone.

All of the above are basic trouble shootings.
I don't seem to have the issue for any video playback or youtube. Only devices are my usb mouse, keyboard, and speakers. I'll give the hardware repositioning a go, maybe move the gpu to the other pci-e slot and remove my speakers. Is there a sure way to pinpoint which piece of hardware might be causing it, whether internal or external?
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: Game hiccups and freeze spikes. Savvy gamers please assist!

Right now I'm trying to trouble shoot connectivity. Sometimes storage connectivity looks fine and the system runs flawlessly, but it really isn't.

Let's make sure everything is connected correctly then think of the next step.

Also, try running the game in window mode and enable the CPU usage monitoring under Processes in Windows Task Manager with the GPU usage monitoring and see if at the time the hiccups happen how the graphs acts. Let's see how the system acts when all components work together, something specific device stress testing does not show.

Are the speakers USB?

I'm not aware of a way to pin point things, but with several test we could get to a point the problem does not happen, and that's where things will get much easier.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Game hiccups and freeze spikes. Savvy gamers please assist!

Mini freezes as you call them, are when the system is over loaded and is taking the time to catch up. Another cause is over heating. Even though you say the temps are reasonable, they might not be. Intel CPU chips have a self defense mechanism built in that when the chip gets over a set temp it throttles back to a lower speed. It will check the temp again and if it's still too hot it will send a shut down command to the mother board.
Also when playing on line if your connection slows down so will the game as it catches up.

What CPU cooler do you have in your rig? Matter of fact what case do you have?
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Game hiccups and freeze spikes. Savvy gamers please assist!

The PSU is a good one. I was talking about the voltages on the rails. Does your BIOS show the voltages?
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Old 04-26-2015, 03:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: Game hiccups and freeze spikes. Savvy gamers please assist!

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Originally Posted by setishock View Post
Mini freezes as you call them, are when the system is over loaded and is taking the time to catch up. Another cause is over heating. Even though you say the temps are reasonable, they might not be. Intel CPU chips have a self defense mechanism built in that when the chip gets over a set temp it throttles back to a lower speed. It will check the temp again and if it's still too hot it will send a shut down command to the mother board.
Also when playing on line if your connection slows down so will the game as it catches up.

What CPU cooler do you have in your rig? Matter of fact what case do you have?
Alright, that makes a lot of sense. The heatsink is the intel one that came with the cpu (I have heard they are not that reliable). Should I try getting an aftermarket cpu cooler and apply some new thermal paste? I have a Corsair Carbide Series 300R case with a front, rear, and top fan. No liquid cooling or anything like that. If it helps, I don't think it's my GPU now. I swapped my 970 with an old 560 I found, and the hiccups still continued. This screenshot might help you more with my issue maybe?



^ is before gaming or with anything running.



^ cpu values with a quick alt+tab during gameplay
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: Game hiccups and freeze spikes. Savvy gamers please assist!

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Originally Posted by Celery View Post
The PSU is a good one. I was talking about the voltages on the rails. Does your BIOS show the voltages?

Pulled some info from bios, not sure what to make of it.

+3.3V/3.363V
+5V/5.160V
+12V/12.168V

DRAM Voltage 1.412V
CPU Vcore 1.080V

Everything look normal?
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Game hiccups and freeze spikes. Savvy gamers please assist!

Excellent PSU.

Only thing I can think of now is maybe you have something running in the background while playing your games.
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