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Game/Mouse/Audio Lag and Stutter - 13900k / Asus Rog Maximus z790 Hero / RTX 4090

Level 7

Hi All,

So I've been dealing with a game stuttering, mouse and audio lag issue basically ever since I upgraded to Alder Lake and now Raptor Lake.  Ever so often performance is fine, but most of the time it's horrible, stutter/lag wise.  It's been a complete nightmare and I just can't figure out why all my games lag, it's insane.  For starters, I'm not a noob which makes this even more infuriating.

My Specs:

13900k / Asus Rog Maximus z790 / RTX 4090

6400cl30 and 7200cl34 kit (2x16) XMP (Fully tested and stable. 7200 kit I run at 6800 for stability without errors)

Samsung 980 Pro m2 nvme

MSI 1000W  GOLD PSU ATX 3.0 / Also have a corsair 1000W platinum - Both more than sufficient for my setup

Asus 27" PG27AQN 360hz 1440p / Asus 27" 270hz 1440p -  I've tried other monitors too

Win 10 and 11, same problem - Fresh installs from USB

All drivers up to date and installed.

The best way to describe my problem is that my games feel like my GPU is underpowered.  It feels like my audio can't keep up and begins to lag behind and then I'm getting hit immediately without any opportunity to dodge/maneuver.  It's like I'm behind everything a fraction of a second and there's absolutely nothing I can do.  I just die instantly because I can't actually see what's happening because it's like my system can't keep up with the action on the screen.  My temps are perfect, my memory is fully tested, passes all tests, etc.  I've tested my Internet for packetloss, even installed a powerful pfsense router to handle queue management to take care of bufferbloat.  I get an A+ score at a full 1GB w/ only 0-1ms increase under full load.  My cinebench scores are where they should be for my setup. My FPS is HIGH and never drops.  Even my frametimes are fine, but my system in games is not responsive.  

In regards to P and E cores, I've tried disabling E cores utilizing many different methods. 1) disabling e-cores in bios - This makes stuttering worse for some reason.  This CPU does not behave well when P cores are fully disabled. 2) I've left E cores enabled in BIOS and set bcdedit numproc to 16 so my OS only sees the primary cores.  This causes more lag for me.  3)  Leaving all E-Cores enabled but setting affinity to only P-Cores gives me the best performance but there's still lag and the game is still desynced and everything is behind, just not as bad.  My drivers appear to be fine dpc latency wise according to latency monitor.

In regards to my system environment, no 3rd party apps get installed, no additional overlays.  I fully disable gamebar.  Disabling HAGS also helps a little.  I can't help but think there's a rogue driver somewhere whether it be a driver, software component, software device or even faulty pcie driver.  Every time I think I have resolved the issue, the issue just reappears.

Recently I decided to fully disable windows update from installing any drivers in the background to ensure I'm aware of every driver installed on my system.  The drivers I install are straight from the manufacturer's website and the latest.  It's good to note that I fully disable core parking as well, set my nvidia nvcp settings properly (Max perf, disable vsync, set on or ultra for low latency, etc). I'd also liketo note that even though my audio stutters, I'm not convinced it's an audio issue because I've tried disabling audio completely and using usb only, ive tried disabling all sound devices and playing the game without sound to see if there would be any difference, etc.  Games are still stuttery, not responsive, erratic player movement, etc.

Any help on this matter would be appreciated.  I've tried the majority of things one could try and I don't think I have faulty hardware because I've changed out every component, some more than once.




Customer Service Agent

Hello, @cthree 

Regarding the memory information you provided, we have noticed that you seem to be using two different memory kits.
According to the Memory QVL page for the ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO, under the "Check purchasing and installation guide" section, we specifically state, "Ensure that all memory modules are from the same validated memory kit. Do not mix DIMMs from different memory kits—even if they are the same brand and model (e.g., two DIMMs each from two different memory kits)."
Please refer to the guide, [Motherboard] How to query (CPU/memory) QVL List? and the recommended memory configurations on page 1-5 of the ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO user manual for memory installation.

Regarding the stuttering issue you described, may I ask what your current BIOS version is? 
Have you updated the Intel ME to the corresponding version in the BIOS? 
For example, the latest BIOS version of the ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO is 1303, which requires updating the Intel ME to
We recommend clearing the CMOS and checking again under the default BIOS settings or try installing a single memory module in the recommended A2 slot. 

Thank you.

Hi @Jiaszzz_ROG ,

Thanks for getting back to me.

I may have been unclear regarding my memory.  I have 2 sets of DDR5 memory kits.  I am not mixing these together.  I purchased another kit in case my current kit was bad.  Both kits are on the memory QVL and both kits pass all memory stress/stability testing.  So just to reiterate, I am not mixing kits.

In regards to my BIOS/Intel ME Firmware, I'm on the latest for my board.  Bios Ver 1303 and Intel ME  I have flashed intel ME w/ the latest multiple times along w/ the BIOS.  I've also cleared CMOS more times than I can remember, so there must be something else going on.

I will try 1 stick in the A2 port and see what happens.  I'll report back!

Level 7

Hi @Jiaszzz_ROG ,

1 stick of ram makes no difference w/ XMP enabled/disabled.  I also reset CMOS again.  No difference unfortunately.  I thought I figured out the issue the other day because my stuttering/lag was temporarily resolved by changing primary display to PEG in the BIOS.   Unfortunately after a couple of reboots or so the issue returned and changing primary display to PEG made no difference.  I've tried setting it to PCIE as well so it goes through the PCH bus instead but the setting just resets to AUTO after I save and exit BIOS if I choose that setting.

The best way to describe the issue I'm having is that either my CPU or GPU can't keep up w/ the action on the screen and my system begins to lag and stutter behind.  It feels like something is underpowered but I've already tried 2 separate known good PSU's and even swapped out my RTX 4090 w/ my RTX 3080 to test and the problem remains.

All drivers/firmware/bios is fully updated..

Customer Service Agent

Hello, @cthree 

May I inquire whether the system experiences game, audio, or screen stuttering exclusively during gaming, or does it occur in other contexts as well, such as web browsing or running low-load software?
Have you attempted to use a clean system disk to eliminate potential malware factors as well as rule out network instability as a possible cause of stuttering?
Could you kindly confirm the following details for us to better understand the situation?
- the brand, model, and part number of both of the memory kits, and the slots in which they are installed during testing
For example: 
VENGEANCE® 32GB (2x16GB) DDR5 DRAM 6600MHz C32 Memory Kit — Black
CMK32GX5M2X6600C32 (Ver 5.43.13) 2x 16GB
installed alone in the A2 slot, as well as in the A2 and B2 slots
- images of each customized adjustment in the BIOS setting, including the item name and its value
- the frequency and context in which the stuttering occurs, such as every ten minutes or only when launching specific games
- a comprehensive video recording of the issue

Thank you.

I experience this primarily in games only.  The stutter is screen and audio stuttering in all the games I play (All competitive FPS titles).  The stuttering and mouse lag I experience is not represented on a frametime graph.  FPS is typically pinned at maximum rarely dipping below max.  It's like the game just isn't in sync and the game model moves erratically, not smooth.  There also appears to be severe pixel skipping issues where the enemy model will stutter and then instantly appear in a different location.  Movement is erratic.  In regards to sound, I have troubleshooted the heck out of it.  Tried multiple drivers, disabling realtek audio altogether and using a usb device, etc.  Tried uninstalling realtek audio software components like Nahimic to see if they were conflicting... Tried changing bitrate, etc.  Any audio related setting changes makes no difference.

Yes, I've tried multiple disks, all formatted and/or cleaned using diskpart.  I've tested fresh installs on 3 different NVME drives and even on a standard SSD drive connected via SATA.

All kits I've tried so far




I've also tested using each one in only the A2 slot.  All my kits are always installed in A2/B2 slots which is the correct and recommended slots.

The stuttering happens the whole time.  It's severe microstuttering where the audio/visual/mouse all lag and stutter.  The mouse slows down when the stuttering occurs.   The stuttering and lag increases when landing shots on an enemy model.  I've also tried different monitors, keyboards, mice.  So it's not an issue w/ a peripheral device.  I've also tested unplugging the USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connector headers from the boards.  I've even tested unplugging the ARGB board connectors to ensure it's not conflicting somehow.

I will provide screenshots later today and try to provide a video of the behavior.

Just a quick note about my BIOS settings.  I just reset my bios (Unplugged power, pulled battery, held cmos button for 20 seconds and let sit for another 10m).  All my BIOS settings currently are Default w/ these exceptions (XMP 1 is selected.  System still stutters w/out XMP enabled), Primary display was changed to PEG, onboard IGPU disabled, the rest is default.  Performance is also the same at 100% default settings.

Customer Service Agent

Hello, @cthree 

Thank you for providing the relevant information.
We kindly request your assistance in confirming the following details:
- Regarding the mouse stuttering issue, does it occur only during gaming or is it also present in the system's normal operation?
- Please provide the brand and VBIOS versions for both graphics cards, RTX 4090 and RTX 3080. 
If they have not been updated, kindly update them to the latest versions and recheck.
- For the first-person shooter games you mentioned, could you specify their names?
Additionally, please record a video documenting the visual elements, audio, mouse latency, and stutter you described.
During this recording, please enable frame rate counters, ping value changes, and other relevant information either in the game or within the system.
- Please verify your current network configuration and provide relevant information or descriptions to help us identify and address any potential network issues
- To further rule out the possibility of overheating in your PC build, please provide a comprehensive photo of your PC and mark out the fan configurations and the positions of intake and exhaust fans.
-  Additionally, use benchmark tests, HWiNFO, or software testing results to monitor temperature changes in both the CPU and GPU from startup to in-game performance and provide a video illustrating these variations.

Thank you.

Level 10

Few suggestions:

•There have been reports of stutter / microstutter in games after Win updates. The last one without issues was Win10 21H2.
Please check if Win10 you installed is 21H2 or a later version. I'm only mentioning this as I also have same corroborating experience - on a PC with Win11 and 4090 I started to see microstutters, another one just built also 4090 I found and installed ISO of Win10 21H2 and didn't have any stutters (evern with a much slower CPU).

•One remedy with Win11 22H2 that helped some - was to set game executable in Task Manager-Details as Realtime priority (but still had some stutter).

•Also - try disabling/re-enabling/updating audio drivers as Realtec (which may not be used at all as audio may be driven by Nvidia digital driver).

•Internet loaded latency usually causes overall lag (as you are late by 1-2 sec in the gameplay) but not stutters.

• Gamebar also disabled and uninstalled in Win11 - didn't help.

That rogue driver is Win11.    : )

Level 10

Also - have you considered getting a third 27inch monitor (for nvidia surround immersive gameplay) - your username reminded me.