PC: Stuttering when players change heroes

I’m experiencing stuttering, complete gameplay lock when players change their heroes mid game, for about 1/2 second at a time. It regularly results in losses of team fights. It never used to do this so a solution should be possible.

If I play something like no limits, without hero restrictions and people are changing their heroes frequently, it’s almost unplayable. The stuttering results in death all the time.

Systsem specs:

  • Threaderipper 2950x on Asus X399 E Gaming
    • The Latest bios
  • EVGA 850P2 platinum rated 850W power supply
  • 64GB 3200 DDR ram (ram’s not an issue)
    • I’ve also tried quad channel 8gb sticks, 32GB total, with supported ram and the same problem happens.
  • EVGA 3080 FTW3 Ultra Gaming, latest drivers.
    • I tried a complete reinstallation of the drivers multiple times and it didn’t help
  • 2x1TB Adata 8200 Pro drives in nvme RAID 1. I’ve repeatedly performed consistency checks and there are no issues.
  • Windows 10 updated to the latest version
  • Overwatch high priority mode registry fix

Settings in Nvidia:

  • Physx processor: 3080
  • High performance mode
  • Gsync on/off doesn’t make a difference
  • 2x ansitropic, 16x anisotropic filtering, it doesn’t make a difference

Settings in Game

  • low textures results in shorter stutters than high textures. This is why I think it’s the texture streaming system introduced, similar to the Switch’s asset loading system.
  • 75% and 100% render scale doesn’t change the behaviour
  • 1440p, 1080p, doesn’t make a difference
  • 60hz, 120hz, 240hz, doesn’t make a difference
  • fps frame limit to screen refresh rate minus 3, doesn’t make a difference
  • effects on low
  • reflections on low
  • ambient occlusion off
  • shadows on low
  • everything else on low

What I’ve tried so far without any benefit:

  • nvidia driver updates
  • nvidia driver reinstalls
  • storage driver reinstalls
  • lowering the gpu clock to avoid thermal throttling
  • stopping startup of as many programs and services as possible (except nvidia tray icons)
  • disabling xbox game bar
  • disabling geforce experience
  • uninstalling nvidia broadcast
  • uninstalling all my mouse & keyboard driver software (logitech & corsair)
  • uninstalling all my gpu performance management software (not running msi afterburner or evga’s gpu software)
  • 32GB of ram supported by the motherboard manufacturer
  • turning off AMD precision boost 2 didn’t help (turned it back on)
  • cleaning the cpu cooler (runs cool and quiet)
  • scan & repair of the game installation
  • uninstalling and reinstalling the game
  • uninstalling the game and blizzard’s battle.net then reinstalling from scratch

All that’s helped so far:

  • decreasing texture size in game to low results in 1/2 second stutters instead of almost full second stutters

What I can’t try for the short term:

  • This is a workstation during the day time, so I can’t waste time on a reinstallation of the operating system and all the other programs. I use the PC for high performance computing for my day job and don’t experience these issues, just in overwatch. Other games work great.

Any advice on how to troubleshoot this, or confirmation from developers that this is a known issue and a fix is in the works would be nice. I’m about ready to stop playing the game for a couple months, checking back in a while to see if it’s resolved because the experience is pretty bad. This is not a slow system, overspec’d for this game because I use the hardware for work. I’m a software developer myself and suspect it’s the game client itself, not my system.

Around october I think there was an update which changed how hero changes result in streaming game assets in, behaving similar to the Switch’s game client. Around then, when picking a hero would result in seeing myself as invisible for a short second as it loaded correlated with the stuttering.

A few things to try.
1st: Get the latest chipset drivers for the TR4 chipset for X399 (sTRX4 is for 3000 series).
2nd: in the AMD Ryzen master change your CPU to Game mode
3rd: What anti-virus are you using? Exclude your overwatch folder.

1st: I just tried that out now and it didn’t resolve the issue.

2nd: I forgot to mention that I tried that, thinking that cross-chiplet communication would be an issue. Didn’t resolve it.

3rd: Windows Defender. I’m sorry, but I’m not excluding my overwatch folder from windows defender, it’d be a major security & compliance risk for my day job because I’m responsible for a lot of infrastructure, services and people. I understand antivirus can cause issues but I haven’t changed my antivirus solution and I never used to have this issue. If I have time to completely disconnect my workstation drive, to air gap them in this scenario, and reinstall windows on a separate drive to try this out, I’ll do it, but that’s not happening in the near future. I’ll stop playing the game before I go through that trouble.

I can understand that completely. If excluding the whole folder is an issue you can exclude a process, overwatch.exe which may help.

From Microsoft

Adding an exclusion for a process means that any file opened by that process will be excluded from real-time scanning. These files will still be scanned by any on-demand or scheduled scans, unless a file or folder exclusion has also been created that exempts them.

I actually just started to experience this today, a loooong time ago this was a problem in the beta as well back in like 2016 I think? But yeah it looks like it’s back.

A DxDiag would be a good startting place. Developers don’t the troubleshooting forum, so you’d want to post in #bug-report. A video of the issue happening may be helpful here and there, as well.