Stutter on Aspire VX5-591g

NitramNitram Member Posts: 17 Troubleshooter
Hello there :) - I wanted to pick your brains on a problem I have been having and trying to fix for the past few months. The problem is that the laptop started being unresponsive for a decent 1-2 seconds randomly. I believe it happens more under load but I tested this and it might just end up being my own bias.
To begin I wanted to post the laptop specs as I have added hardware and the models don't seem to match anyways.

SPECS:
CPU - Intel i7-7700HQ
GPU - NVidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti
RAM - 2x8GB DDR4 2667Ghz Crucial CT2K8G4SFS8266 <- Upgraded from 1x8GB
HDD - Stock one - I don't believe it's worth mentioning because I only use it as storage
SSD - Crucial P1 CT500P1SSD8 500GB <- Added this myself (PS thank you to the people who helped me choose the right one :) )

I decided to attempt to debug my own computer so I went online to find some diagnostic tools and decided to use LatencyMon and WhySoSlow as they seemed like good candidates. I also use CPU-Z to monitor my PC in general. I ran WhySoSlow while under a normal workload - gaming (Dota 2, Mount & Blade Bannerlord, Runescape), browsing the internet on Firefox or some decent programming load running multiple instances of Visual Studio Code and multiple hosting servers. All of those scenarios had the same issue - none of my resources were above 60% but I would still get these unresponsive moments which were infuriating. I checked WhySoSlow and it reported exactly what I had noticed - App unresponsiveness up to 3seconds, kernel unresponsiveness at max 1second and Bios/Chipset 0.5sec latency. Something that I also noticed is just how hot my laptop is running - according to WhySoSlow the average temp I run at is 70C and can get up to 90C. My hands can confirm this as at least somewhat true. I clean my laptop regularly from dust build up and I keep it propped up so the fans have ample intake of air but this doesn't really drop it substantially - at best 5C. I am currently out of wits as I have tried everything(updated BIOS, updated every driver, stress tested CPU & GPU, tried running in safe mode alas nothing worked) short of reinstalling windows as I feel like it might be something going on with the fact I am not making use of the new UEFI thing that is supposed to replace the BIOS startup. Lastly I wanted to mention that I have been completely unable to replicate the stutter no matter what I do - which is why I mention the temperature of the PC.

I can provided files from the debugging process if needed. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated :)

Best Answer

  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 28,404 Trailblazer
    Accepted Answer
    >>>can get up to 90C>>>>>>I clean my laptop regularly from dust build up and I keep it propped up so the fans have ample intake of air but this doesn't really drop it substantially - at best 5C.>>>

    If this is the 1050 GPU, it's way too high. If you're seeing 90*C on the WSS app, it's probably momentarily peaking above 94*C which would explain momentary unresponsiveness. You should be seeing about a 10-15*C drop if it's raised about an inch above a hard surface using an oven cooling rack like the one shown below. A drop of only 5*C suggests moderate blockage of the airflow.

    If you've had the machine for a few years, it's probably time to open it up to clean thermal module fans, ductwork, and repaste the heatsinks to both the CPU/GPU and discrete GPU with a good quality paste like Kryonaut or ArcticMX-4. The factory paste tends to dry out and crack after a few years.

    If you're reluctant to do this right now, you might improve flow somewhat and dislodge dustballs inside by alternately vacuuming the two outside air intake ports on the bottom and blowing air  into the middle air exhaust port 







    Jack E/NJ

FAQ & Answers

  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 28,404 Trailblazer
    Accepted Answer
    >>>can get up to 90C>>>>>>I clean my laptop regularly from dust build up and I keep it propped up so the fans have ample intake of air but this doesn't really drop it substantially - at best 5C.>>>

    If this is the 1050 GPU, it's way too high. If you're seeing 90*C on the WSS app, it's probably momentarily peaking above 94*C which would explain momentary unresponsiveness. You should be seeing about a 10-15*C drop if it's raised about an inch above a hard surface using an oven cooling rack like the one shown below. A drop of only 5*C suggests moderate blockage of the airflow.

    If you've had the machine for a few years, it's probably time to open it up to clean thermal module fans, ductwork, and repaste the heatsinks to both the CPU/GPU and discrete GPU with a good quality paste like Kryonaut or ArcticMX-4. The factory paste tends to dry out and crack after a few years.

    If you're reluctant to do this right now, you might improve flow somewhat and dislodge dustballs inside by alternately vacuuming the two outside air intake ports on the bottom and blowing air  into the middle air exhaust port 







    Jack E/NJ
  • NitramNitram Member Posts: 17 Troubleshooter
    JackE said:
    >>>can get up to 90C>>>>>>I clean my laptop regularly from dust build up and I keep it propped up so the fans have ample intake of air but this doesn't really drop it substantially - at best 5C.>>>

    If this is the 1050 GPU, it's way too high. If you're seeing 90*C on the WSS app, it's probably momentarily peaking above 94*C which would explain momentary unresponsiveness. You should be seeing about a 10-15*C drop if it's raised about an inch above a hard surface using an oven cooling rack like the one shown below. A drop of only 5*C suggests moderate blockage of the airflow.

    If you've had the machine for a few years, it's probably time to open it up to clean thermal module fans, ductwork, and repaste the heatsinks to both the CPU/GPU and discrete GPU with a good quality paste like Kryonaut or ArcticMX-4. The factory paste tends to dry out and crack after a few years.

    If you're reluctant to do this right now, you might improve flow somewhat and dislodge dustballs inside by alternately vacuuming the two outside air intake ports on the bottom and blowing air  into the middle air exhaust port 








    Hey JackE,
    I clean the laptop every 2-3 months from dust but I have not cleaned the actual ductworks. Do you have any videos or some tips on doing that as they seemed to glued into place for me or I guess stuck?
    Also the GPU runs at 50C, it's only the CPU which decides it feels like cooking eggs.
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 28,404 Trailblazer
    No glue. Each fan is held in place by two screws. The thermal module ductwork with six screws. Underneath will be the heatsinks you need to repaste.




    Jack E/NJ
  • NitramNitram Member Posts: 17 Troubleshooter
    JackE said:
    No glue. Each fan is held in place by two screws. The thermal module ductwork with six screws. Underneath will be the heatsinks you need to repaste.





    Ah I see - I thought that those ducts had ends that might've been full of dust. I clean those regularly. I guess it might be time for a repaste. I shall re-apply thermal paste and come back with my findings after running it a bit. Thanks for reminding me thermal paste is a thing that needs to be changed every now and then :)
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 28,404 Trailblazer
    Good luck.
    Jack E/NJ
  • NitramNitram Member Posts: 17 Troubleshooter
    JackE said:
    Good luck.

    I have changed the thermal paste - the temperatures have dropped significantly. To be precise about 10-20C and judging by how dry the stock paste was it was about time to change. Sadly the stutter is still present. In the same vein of thinking I decided to tinker with the fans on the laptop and I got them to spin at max speed by tinkering with the embedded values in the micro-controler in the actual laptop. That dropped the temperatures even more but the stutter would show up nevertheless.
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 28,404 Trailblazer
    Those are nice temp reductions. Try adjusting/dropping the max cpu/gpu states to 80-90% in advanced power plan settings. Also battery should be near 100% charged and charger plugged in for maximum stutter-free play time since battery can drain under heavy loads even plugged in to supplement charger power output. Avoid battery dropping below about 50% as charging it takes precedent over the game by charger.
    Jack E/NJ
  • NitramNitram Member Posts: 17 Troubleshooter
    JackE said:
    Those are nice temp reductions. Try adjusting/dropping the max cpu/gpu states to 80-90% in advanced power plan settings. Also battery should be near 100% charged and charger plugged in for maximum stutter-free play time since battery can drain under heavy loads even plugged in to supplement charger power output. Avoid battery dropping below about 50% as charging it takes precedent over the game by charger.

    I keep the laptop constantly plugged in for that exact reason. I rarely use the laptop without a plug. As for the processors I have a question - is this so that I can force my fans to kick in on their own and reduce temperatures as I have noticed that they are not tied to the temperature of my CPU but the % load it is under? I did test this by stressing the CPU with CPU-Z and the fans started up within a minute. I am asking because I do not see why reducing the performance of the components would reduce the stutter.
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 28,404 Trailblazer
    No. Reducing the processor states helps to assure that battery and/or charger aren't overwhelmed under very heavy loads. It either one is taxed too much, it will just temporarily cut/trip its power and cause instant on/off cycling ---- aka stuttering behavior. Try 80% first to see what happens. You can always change it back.
    Jack E/NJ
  • NitramNitram Member Posts: 17 Troubleshooter
    JackE said:
    No. Reducing the processor states helps to assure that battery and/or charger aren't overwhelmed under very heavy loads. It either one is taxed too much, it will just temporarily cut/trip its power and cause instant on/off cycling ---- aka stuttering behavior. Try 80% first to see what happens. You can always change it back.

    Hello there - thanks for cluing me in on that. I tried multiple new things - mostly attempts to lower the temperatre the computer runs at. I have undervolted the CPU as I saw a decent amount of threads on this line of laptops that overheat and I did some decent stress testing using Intels' XTU tool - around 2 hours of stress testing, and it has yet to crash so I believe it is fine with this voltage. Another thing I managed to uncover is how this laptop has either an AUTO or MAX mode on its fans so controlling the fans is out of the question (I currently have them at max when I am doing something heavy by using RWEverything and changing cell 189 in the embedded controller to anything but "52" (Sadly I could not make a NBFC config for the previously mentioned weird design choice Acer made with the EC). I also tried your suggestion to reduce the processor state to 80%. Sadly none of these has eliminated the stutter. Weirdly enough during the stress test I did on the CPU with Intels' XTU tool - I ran WhySoSlow and it showed no stutters during that period.
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 28,404 Trailblazer
    >>>eirdly enough during the stress test I did on the CPU with Intels' XTU tool - I ran WhySoSlow and it showed no stutters during that period.>>>

    (1) What processor states?
    (2) What games stutter or don't stutter?
    Jack E/NJ
  • NitramNitram Member Posts: 17 Troubleshooter
    JackE said:
    >>>eirdly enough during the stress test I did on the CPU with Intels' XTU tool - I ran WhySoSlow and it showed no stutters during that period.>>>

    (1) What processor states?
    (2) What games stutter or don't stutter?

    1. Currently have the "maximum processor state" in the advanced power options set to 80%.
    2. Everything stutters. I am currently playing Runescape and I have Mozilla Firefox open and it freezes up at times. It does not seem to matter the game as I got it to freeze with Dota 2 then I proceeded to try Witcher 3 and Mafia 3 - those also froze up every now and then. This also carries over to normal programs - I have had it freeze up when I'm just programming in Visual Studio Code or just designing something in Astah.
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 28,404 Trailblazer
    Go to the elevated command prompt.  Enter 'powercfg /batteryreport'. Then return to the desktop. Open file explorer. Then search for' battery-report.html' in the c:\windows\system32\ sub-folder. Double-click to open it in the browser. Post screenshot of the first part of the report if possible that compares design full charge capacity with its remaining full charge capacity. Jack E/NJ

    Jack E/NJ
  • NitramNitram Member Posts: 17 Troubleshooter
    JackE said:
    Go to the elevated command prompt.  Enter 'powercfg /batteryreport'. Then return to the desktop. Open file explorer. Then search for' battery-report.html' in the c:\windows\system32\ sub-folder. Double-click to open it in the browser. Post screenshot of the first part of the report if possible that compares design full charge capacity with its remaining full charge capacity. Jack E/NJ


    Hello. I decided that I needed a reinstall, as I grew tired of the freeze during work, and formated the computer and reinstalled windows 10. I did this on the 17th of July. The same day I ran an 8 hour stress test using Intels' XTU with no crashes. I have ran the PC through the normal rigmarole of programming and playing games and I happy to say that the stutter has gone away completely even after reinstalling everything that was previously on the computer. I am guessing the stutter was due to me fiddling with the computer overtime. I am going to mark Jacks' reply about the thermal paste as the answer as that was definitely something I had forgotten and it helped me out quite a bit.

    P.S. Thanks for the help Jack and the miriad of replies :)
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 28,404 Trailblazer
    Thanks for the report. Just in case an errant Windows update contributed to the issue (an all-too-common occurrence), I suggest that you make sure that System Protection is turned on in Control Panel's restore point app. That way you can easily rollback and temporarily block the offending update until a future update addresses the issue.
    Jack E/NJ
  • EaswarEaswar Ally Posts: 2,094
    Hi Nitram,

    Reset this PC and keep my files
    1. Shutdown the unit. Press and hold alt+F10 key. Then turn ON the unit.
    2. You will get a blue screen. Choose the option troubleshoot. 

    3 Ways to Reset Acer Laptop to Factory Settings without Password


    4 Methods to Reset an Acer Laptop with Windows 7810 or Linux

    3 Ways to Reset Windows 10 Computer to Factory Settings  Password Recovery
    3. Select Keep my files to refresh your PC and reinstall your operating system without removing your personal files. Click Next to continue. Important If you have apps installed on your PC, they will be removed. Recovery - 25
    4. Resetting the PC will reinstall Windows, change settings back to their factory defaults and remove all preinstalled apps and programs without removing your personal files. Click Reset to continue.
    5. You will be shown the reset progress on the screen. The screen will turn off during the reset process.
    6. The screen will turn back on when it is installing Windows. Your PC will restart several times during the reset process.
    7. Follow the process until it completes.
    8. When your PC has completed the reset process, Windows will have been reset back to its factory default settings without removing your personal files.​

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