AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Stuttering at 1080p

Quick note before I go into any details: I did not find a solution for this problem, unfortunately. I’ll be explaining what happened and show frame time graphs as proof.

So, with that out of the way, let’s get into it. I’m certainly not the only one with this issue. If you employ the search engine of your liking you will find many threads covering that topic (like here and here and here and here and so on). Some managed to get it working, some did not. I’m obviously in the latter category.

What happens? From what I found in my research it seems like the RX 5700 XT GPU aggressively tries to save energy if it is not fully utilized. If you run MSI’s Afterburner or any other monitoring software, then you’ll see the GPU load and frequency being all over the place. In general, this is a good thing – if it does not affect perceived performance. And this is where it fell apart for me.

My system specs:

  • Ryzen 5 2600
  • Sapphire Pulse RX 570 8GB to be replaced by PowerColor Red Dragon RX 5700 XT
  • 16GB 3000MHz CL15 RAM

Clearly, the CPU is the bottleneck, I know that. The GPU was chosen to be able to gain additional performance in a CPU upgrade later in 2020. In an ideal world, the 5700 XT is around twice as fast as the RX 570 as shown in this benchmark graph from the reputable German technology site Computerbase. This ideal world is a 9900K.

I only have four games installed now and one of them did manage that jump. It’s the Division 2 in DX12 mode. In this game I saw a boost from 48 fps at 30% CPU utilization to 102 fps at 73% CPU utilization at Ultra settings. However, I’m not playing this game right now. It’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Far Cry 5 (and I just finished Ghost Recon: Wildlands which I will also use to verify improvements in key areas where performance was atrocious with the RX 570).

To make it short: although FPS were higher in all those games, but not as spectacular as in Division 2, perceived performance was terrible. I’ll be using ACO and the built-in benchmark to make my point because it provides a nice frame time graph and it conveniently exports the results to a file.

Here’s how it looks at Very High to Ultra settings (the exact settings don’t really matter) at 1080p.

As can be seen, the frame times are all over the place. There are more than 50 shades of gray in there.

Now the same settings with a resolution scale of 140%.

Granted, it’s a subtle difference for sure and it is way more obvious in the in-game graph (which, oddly enough, is not exported), but the number of shades has dropped below 50. Putting a higher load on the GPU resulted in better frame times without actually reducing the average FPS number.

Lastly, the same settings with the RX 570.

Now that are stable frame times! Yes, the performance is lower, not by much mind you, but the overall experience is waaaaaay better. As a result, I’ve returned the 5700 XT and I will go with NVIDIA the next time.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood – Coop Review

Wolfenstein Youngblood follows in the same footsteps as its three predecessors that sucessfully revived the series in 2009. Having liked Wolfenstein, The New Order and The New Colossus I thought that sharing that kind of game with a friend in Coop would be even better. This is the first installement in this series that allows you to do that and I’m a big fan of Coop gameplay. And by Coop I mean playing the regular campaign with a fellow gamer, not some unrelated multiplayer map or basic PvP action. I want to experience the story with somebody, have a ton of fun and discuss the game while playing it.

Read More »

Red Dead Redemption 2

I’ve been a gamer for a very long time – it’s easily been twenty years or more (yes, I’m old). But, in the past year or so, my excitement has been waning. I have mentioned in another blog post that I was planning to replace my big tower PC with a notebook for (mobile) coding and writing – which I have done – and, in the short- to mid-term, get a gaming console to replace the video gaming part of the PC with something more casual and affordable. This day has finally come and the first game I have played has been Red Dead Redemption 2. Now, this game was many firsts for me:

  • First non-digital game since Steam has launched. I bought it in a retail store on a BluRay disc.
  • First full-price video game at 60€. Before that, I have always been shopping for special offers and discounts.
  • First console game.

I think Red Dead Redemption is something very special and I will try to explain why I think that is. One thing is for sure and that is the fact that it has rekindled the fire within me to play a video game on-end without pause. Unlike the other game reviews/experience reports I have written so far, this one is a bit different. I started writing when I was about 40% through the game and added to it at different stages of progress. In short: it’s like a diary.

Read More »

I could really bite myself in the butt right now

Somehow, I managed to lose the Intel mounting bracket and standoffs for my Corsair H100i v2 liquid cooler. To be honest, I’m pretty sure I sold them together with the Intel motherboard when I switched to AMD Ryzen. Yes, you read that correctly.

Sold. With. Motherboard.

I can’t find that stuff anywhere in all the packaging that I always keep around until I throw away or sell the hardware. So that’s the only logical conclusion says Mr. Spock.Read More »

NVIDIA GTX 970 vs GTX 1080

As mentioned in the Overclocking the Core i5 post a while back, my graphics card was limiting higher performance outputs, especially since it had to render games in 2560×1440. I hinted at an additional post dedicated to overclocking the GPU and this is it in some ways. I did overclock the GPU, but shortly after I also replaced it with a Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 1080. Nevertheless, for comparison, I will include the overclocked results based on the custom graphics settings from the last post and also compare it to the 1080 using default game presets. This way you can easily compare with your own rig. I had hoped I could also include Ryzen tests, but unfortunately Corsair’s AM4 mounting kit for the watercooler is still travelling around the world. So, there’ll be another performance related article (hopefully) soon. That one will compare the overclocked i5 with the GTX 1080 to a Ryzen 1700X with the 1080. Not only in games, but also in encoding.Read More »

The Witcher 3

Released in 2015, The Witcher 3 quickly advanced to become the new high standard of action role playing games – of all times. CD Project Red, a polish studio, created a masterpiece of a video game based on the characters of novels by polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. This game eats away at your time and is an amazing ending to the great Witcher Trilogy. Such high praise cannot be given to every game – although there are some out there. In fact, I’ve written about one of them in the past, Dragon Age Origins. But, despite all the praise, there are also some things wrong with this game and I’ll address them as well. Unfortunately, it was one of the core elements that didn’t really resonate with me at all, the combat. Let’s get this out of the way so we can focus on the good parts and end on a high note, shall we?
Read More »

Overclocking Intel Core i5 6600K to 4.2 GHz

The Skylake i5 is the 6th generation Core micro-architecture that has a lot of gaming power by default, especially the K series of CPUs. But, with only 4 cores and no hyper-threading, they are just not the right fit for some scenarios, especially video encoding. So, other than buying a new CPU (and board and maybe even RAM – as intriguing as it sounds), what can you do to get more performance? Overclock it! That’s what the K stands for, right? OverKlocK.Read More »