5 Common Causes of Computer Stuttering

If you’re using your computer and experience sudden hitches or pauses, you may be experiencing computer stuttering. This can make your experience browsing your computer or playing a game very difficult. It’s important to understand why this happens, so you can fix it. Below we’ll explore some of the common causes of computer stuttering, so you can get a better idea of what’s going on.

What is computer stuttering?

Computer stuttering, also referred to as computer freezing, is a technical term used to describe inefficient image display on a computer screen. The situation is experienced in old computers and computers running prolongedly in a hot and humid environment. Computer stuttering results in freezing or lagging image display while playing games or watching videos. The computer stuttering can get worse over time if it’s not resolved.

Why does computer stuttering occur?

Although computer stuttering can be caused by a variety of factors, there are generally a few common factors. Some of the most common causes of computer stuttering include:

Overheating GPU And/Or CPU

Overheating in the graphics processor often causes stuttering. If you play video games for a long period of time, this can cause computer stuttering. This is often the case for most users who play a very demanding computer game. Overheating can also damage your computer over time, so it’s important to keep an eye on the temperature of your computer.

Overheating results in reduced output and efficiency of a computer component since excess heat gets built up on it. The sensors on the motherboard force the overheating components to slow down or shut down completely if the heat build-up remains untreated. As a result, the users often experience lagging image output, otherwise called stuttering. If the GPU/CPU has undergone irreversible damage due to overheating, stuttering doesn’t remain restricted to video games and causes disruptions when doing normal tasks like browsing the internet.

That happens when the CPU cannot work efficiently anymore, causing stuttering even during lightweight usage. Under certain circumstances, stuttering forces the CPU to shut down completely, causing the computer to turn off suddenly as if the power cable was unplugged.

Outdated Drivers And/Or Drivers Issue

Driver updates are necessary in optimizing the performance of your computer. Without routine driver updates, your computer will not be able to keep up with the latest applications and games. This will result in computer stuttering and other performance issues.

Computer stuttering is also common in computers with highly outdated component drivers. Since video games and other new software use modern algorithms for image processing, it becomes crucial to keep the hardware drivers updated to make the hardware learn to comply with those new algorithms. Failure to do so can result in a mismatch between the software and hardware responsible for displaying images on the screen, ultimately resulting in more computer stuttering.

Sometimes, corrupted drivers are the reason for computer stuttering. Corrupted drivers don’t come into notice easily and cause performance issues quietly. Additionally, incorrectly installing drivers is another reason for sluggish computers. If you suspect that you have corrupted drivers or an incorrect installation, consider reinstalling the drivers and/or reinstalling the hardware component from the device manager. If you experience computer stuttering after a driver update, consider rolling back to the previous version of the driver.

Overutilization Of RAM & CPU

Hardware utilization must be optimal to keep your computer running smoothly through applications. Keeping CPU usage high and/or keeping RAM filled up with the processes will build up garbage values in your computer’s memory. Lacking cache and buffer memory in CPU and RAM will also discourage a video playback tool from creating a buffer stream for an uninterrupted video display. Similarly, video games are highly dependent on cache and RAM. Their absence results in freezing or lagging video games.

Users with limited hardware capacity in their PCs should avoid running too many apps simultaneously and focus on keeping free space in their RAM by limiting running processes. The alternative solution includes installing more RAM sticks and/or upgrading to an SSD (only if the CPU is high-end such as Intel i5 or above.) The installation of advanced hardware and/or increased capacity will accommodate more running processes at once, hence resolving the sluggish nature arising due to over-utilization of hardware resources.

Faulty Power Source

An interrupted power supply causes hardware components to receive fluctuating voltage. This happens due to a faulty, incorrect, or incompatible power adaptor or incorrect voltage supply due to any reason. Affected components include the motherboard, CPU, GPU, and other micro components. This can result in a sluggish computer or computer stuttering. A faulty power adaptor causes computer stuttering during offline video playback within seconds or sometimes in a couple of minutes.

Poor Network Connection

Poor network connection might be the culprit only if experiencing stuttering in online videos. For instance, a Netflix session might freeze or interrupt while the offline videos play perfectly. This indicates a possibly poor network connection. Consider switching to a stronger network with better upload and download speed.

Alternatively, each web browser has a caching threshold used for uninterrupted playback. Full, almost full, or no cache can cause stuttering during an online video playback due to the unavailability of free memory to store temporary internet files.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I upgrade my CPU/GPU to resolve stuttering?

That’s possible only on desktops. In most cases, CPU and GPU upgrade/downgrades are not supported by laptops, hence discouraging users from resolving stuttering by switching to another piece of a microcontroller.

Why does my PC stutter even with a high-end CPU & GPU?

PCs with a dedicated graphics card still run lightweight processes such as playing a video through the CPU’s built-in graphics. This puts additional load on the CPU while keeping GPU underutilized. Only the processes beyond the CPU’s processing level are covered by GPUs. So, the users can manually ask the video playing tools to run on the dedicated GPU hardware by tweaking settings. This will allow a software to use unutilized GPU resources, hence resolving stuttering issues caused due to insufficient hardware.

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