Need Your Help! FPS Drops & Stuttering on High-End PC

Please, read the thread first! What, in your opinion, is the culprit?

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Beta member
Hi community,

It's sad to say, but there are serious FPS drops/spikes/freeze and micro stuttering in almost all the games on my new self-built high-end PC with Intel i7 8700K + Aorus NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Please Note:
1. PC specifications, Windows 10 & Software configurations are below in this topic.
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I figured out that only with NVIDIA 388.13 Driver MSI Afterburner's "Power" monitoring option cause enormous FPS drops and especially stuttering in absolutely any game every time MSI AB refresh values in hardware monitor. This depends directly on hardware polling period in AB settings. Therefore, I recommend you to disable "Power" monitoring feature to prevent issue with future or other NVIDIA drivers.


FPS drops/stutters are very noticeable in GTA 5, The Witcher 3 and War Thunder (very laggy hangar). There are almost no drops in recently released World of Tanks 1.0. Every game's graphics settings are set to Max/Ultra values without any type of sync or FPS lock.

All PC hardware have been purchased from trusted local vendors with original seal and warranty from the official manufacturer. PC was precisely built by me without any mistakes, with all the manual/PC building guides requirements.

Enough intro, let's dig in!

GTA 5 — FPS Drops/Stuttering

I have read that I'm not the first player who catch these kinds of issues. But this Rockstar child is especially laggy on my rig. FPS drops occur after each 1-2 minutes of gameplay with high average FPS, particularly noticeable when flying and aiming at the police helicopters on the background of the skybox.

Also I know that GTA 5 game engine doesn't allow more than 188 FPS. For the first time, I thought that the game is just the culprit because of the 188 FPS engine lock and Grand Theft Auto 5 porting from consoles. But now I'm think that troubles arise due to software or much worse hardware fault.

FPS Drops:

MSI Afterburner Graphs:

GTA 5 Graphics Settings:

The Witcher 3 — FPS Drops/Stuttering

Well, I didn't expect any problems with this CD Projekt great-optimized masterpiece game due to very positive feedback on all game platforms and tons of articles like "The most optimized game ever". Unfortunately, of course, not on my rig.

Drops are rarely and less noticeable compared with Grand Theft Auto but they ARE, and this an issue. Usually, I notice them while moving, Roach riding or fighting with monsters and guards. And the biggest sorrow is that there is no workaround for this awesome game.

FPS Drops:

MSI Afterburner Graphs:

The Witcher 3 Graphics Settings:

World of Tanks 1.0 — FPS Drops Only

What about this MMO, I didn't catch any spikes up to yesterday evening, when I decided to play a test battle to show that only one game can run smoothly on my high-end PC without any issues. But what was my disappointment when I found out that WOT wasn't as seamless as I expected.

I noticed only one drop to 18.7 FPS after 8 minutes of battle. It's the first huge FPS drop
in the last month playing WOT. Till this moment the maximum frames drawdown wasn't below 53.8 FPS and it only happened after my tank was destroyed.

WOT graphics settings was set to Ultra preset and 100% 3D Render Resolution without any other changes. Screenshots are not needed there. Also, I missed a moment of FPS drop and didn't have time to take a screenshot, so there are only MSI AB graphs.

MSI Afterburner Graphs:

What I tried to do and that DID NOT HELP any game:

1. Marts_Sum's method with EmptyStandbyList on GeForce Forum:
2. Set UEFI (BIOS) and Windows 10 to default settings.
3. Roll back to Windows 10 Anniversary Builds 1703, 1607 and fresh reinstall of 1709.
4. Disable/Enable: Windows Defender, Firewall, Cortana, Game DVR/Game Bar/Game Mode, all unnecessary services/drivers/startup items, indexing, consumers features, power modes (Balanced/High performance/Power saver), hibernation, SWAP & PAGE files, Fast Boot (in UEFI as well) and LAN by unpluging an Ethernet cable.
5. Reinstall/Reconfigure all possible old/new drivers and firmwares from official sites. Also tried to use DDU.
6. Overclock/Downclock GPU, CPU and turn on/off XMP Profile (3,200 MHz).
7. Install other overclocking software.
8. Uninstall all Windows 10 built-in apps.
9. Uninstall MSI Afterburner & RTSS.
10. Paused MSI AB Hardware Monitor and disable "Power" monitoring option.
11. Reinstall game from M.2 SSD to 7,200 RPM HDD and vice versa.
12. Lower down/max out graphics settings, screen resolution and refresh rate.
13. Run as Administrator and disable/enable Fullscreen Optimization.
14. Switch to integrated Intel® UHD Graphics 630.
15. Install GTA 5 and The Witcher 3 on NASA computer in the hope of getting rid of FPS drops and stuttering. :)

What I tried to do and that SOMEHOW HELPS (unfortunately only for GTA 5):

1. Lock up to 150 FPS and less using the Rivatuner Statistic Server.
2. Enable VSync. But I rarely notice some drops down to 32 FPS, better than falling down to 5-8 FPS but not worth it. Also, high input lag doesn't make this method a pill from all the illnesses.
3. Hope it will be soon thanks to your helpful tips.


I hope that I gave you enough information to find out the reason. Unfortunately, I still haven't found any permanent way to play games without these killers of the game experience.

Let it be a software fault, because I really don't want to send my hardware to a service center, and I definitely don't know which part of the PC causes problems.


1. So, dear readers, do you know any advices, workarounds and working fixes?
2. Or, maybe, any official confirmation from NVIDIA, Microsoft and Intel that is 100% related to their software failure instead of hardware defect?
3. If FPS drops and stuttering caused by hardware, сan you roughly determine what is the culprit and where to dig?

Thank you very much for the attention!
I will be very grateful for any of your help!

With deepest respect,
"Happy" High-End PC Owner

Hardware and Software Configurations

PC specifications:

MB: Asus Maximus X Hero
CPU: Intel i7 8700K Kaby Lake
Cooler: Noctua NH-D15
GPU: AORUS GeForce® GTX 1080 Ti 11G
RAM: HyperX Predator 3200MHz DDR4 16GB (2x8GB in Dual Channel)
SSD: Samsung 960 EVO NVMe M.2 250GB
HDD: Western Digital Black 1TB (7200rpm 64MB)
PS: Seasonic Prime 850W Platinum
LCD: Acer Predator XB271HU (27", 2560 x 1440, 144 Hz, G-Sync)
KeyB: HyperX Alloy Elite MX Blue (1,000 MHz)
Mice: A4Tech Bloody V2 (1 ms, 1,000 MHz)
Case: Corsair Graphite 780T
Fans: (X5) Noctua NF-A14 PWM (140mm) & (X1) Noctua NF-S12A PWM (120mm)
UPS: APC Back-UPS Pro 1200VA/720W


Windows 10, UEFI (BIOS) and Software settings:

NVIDIA Control Panel settings:

Benchmarks results:

P.S. Dear Administration, I'm new to this forum. If something is wrong with this topic or its location, please, correct it and let me know. Thank you!