Why so many micro stutters?

One reason for microstutter (actual microstutter, i.e. stutter 10+ times a second) are the cockpit displays. When the update rate isn’t set to the highest, they update e.g. every other frame, or every third frame. Since updating them takes a while (especially in complex planes like the A320 or 787), every few frames will be slower and therefore cause microstuttering.

Actual stuttering (when you freeze noticeably with seconds or more in between), i.e not microstuttering wouldn’t be caused by this however.


I’ve definitely noticed it less with analogue aircraft v glass.

But most infuriating, it seems to happen religiously during the flare/touchdown. I’ve actually started believing simple things like activating a different sound effect can cause it, touchdown squeak, thunder etc.


I do get stutters, but I am on low hardware so expected. I do think this was a rushed release, but I do also sympathise with the developers on some levels. FSX was not perfect on day one, month 6 etc and has 14 years’ worth of time! I started on MSFS95, we have come far!

Also, unlike other games, which usually just process the players field of view objects / things etc, simulators need to process a lot more all at once. We now bring high-def scenery, weather, lighting etc, makes it complicated. We also have a large range of hardware and specs, usually why sometimes console versions are optimised better because developers can develop for just one set of specs.

Unfortunately, it looks like MSFS2020 wont be really good/polished until Q3/Q4 2021, it needs a lot of work still…I just hope they dont give up!


I have stutters since the last update. They are extremely regular, every 4 to 5 secs, I have a stutter. It happens even in the hangar view.
It appears with the last update of MSFS, and I also updated NVIDIA drivers to 460.79. Never had such a behaviour before (i have always played on high end settings, was perfectly fine). Lowering graphics settings doesn’t help at all, and anyhow, it used to work properly.
I have 16gb RAM, i7 9700, RTX2080

edit: basically, it is impossible to play the game, stutter will screw up any proper landing (flaring with stutter… a nightmare).


If I’m not mistaken they’ve mentioned in the latest Q&A they’re are reworking their task scheduler and have changed how some background “tessellation” work (or something terrain related I don’t remember exactly what) was spread onto different cores. Is it possible the constant stuttering we’re experiencing since last update is a consequence of this change (a bug) ?

Otherwise, I don’t know whether this is revealing how much FSX code is still running despite the announcement telling there is not so much, but it is something which has always existed with any flight simulator version as far as I remember back: whenever you’re close to landing the aircraft there is a significant stutter. I always suspected this was as if the code is pre-loading the upcoming “tire scratch” sound a second or so before the simulator is expecting it would play the sound, which is in fact right at the wrong time before flaring from a pilot perspective if this is causing a stutter.

A similar stutter is also nearly always happening a little before, typically when flying over the rails for example, and I’ve always attributed this to the same “sound file loading” problem and in this case, the OMI markers sound.

Even if these stutters are not related to what I’m describing, and even if the legacy FSX code is not so much remaining in the FS2020 code anymore, the same stutter events are occurring the same way which is revealing to me how even if modernizing the code (classes, features), the same software architecture flaws might still be present and causing the same fundamental problems.

Case in point:
Heading Increment Bug (10 degree instead of 1) Explained

I know I am gonna get flamed for this, but…

  • RTX2060 Super
  • B360 MB
  • i5-8400
  • 32 GB 2666
  • 1000w PSU
  • 1080

Was having issues with pixelated clouds, micro-stutters, fps drops and generally crappy visuals after MSFS update and NVidia update. Was never perfect but over the last few updates I had noticed it just seemed worse.
Back in FSX days it took a lot of time and effort to get everything set up so I could smoothly shoot ILS approaches in bad weather to busy airports using PMDG hogs. I had not really spent a lot of time looking at the setting in MSFS. When I installed, I just set everything to HIGH, bumped a couple up to ULTRA and even turned off some of the stuff that didn’t matter to me. Big one for me early was dialing traffic WAY back and sinking boats and ferries. Then AI traffic and airport ground traffic went.
(Don’t mind the real live traffic but to be told to hold on the taxi way a half dozen times to wait for baggage carts and fuel trucks mixed in with AI airliners, all at a small regional airport was a bit much)
I had the basics to where I could fly without significant graphics issues, at decent FPS (30-45), unless I was buzzing around, say, KLAX, where the sim ground to a crawl.

Just a couple days ago, I was just breaking through the clouds at 25000 and the tops looked like Rice Crispies. Decided it was time to dig into settings.

I started by defaulting my NVidia settings, went back to MSFS and messed about there. It wasn’t until I got into the USERCFG file that I started seeing adjustments that made a difference. Clouds look like cotton again. Stutters? Gone. I can actually see the LA skyline as it comes over the horizon, instead of buildings popping out of the ground a half mile in front of me.

Sure, compared to most in this thread, my system isn’t much more than a glorified calculator, but even though FPS drops to about 20-24 around New York or Tokyo, I do most of my flying in sparse areas and am humming along at 40-45 fps. The overall experience is smooth as silk, clouds look amazing, trees and buildings look real. Quite simply, it doesn’t matter what I tweak, I can’t actually see ANY improvement in the visuals and all that happens is performance suffers.

This took a couple hours running searches on this forum and a couple more doing some trial and error. I am going to bet that everyone fussing over the visuals/experience and waiting for Asobo to optimize the code could benefit from doing the same. After way too many years on the hardware vs flight sim race track, I learned that, at the time of release there will never be hardware available that can run a flight sim wide open. It is part of the design process. Push beyond the current technology and as the computers catch up, years down the road, release upgrades that strain the hardware again.

I know you all went out and bought the baddest systems money could buy with the idea that you could boot up MSFS at 4k wide open and it would be silky at 60fps. You were wrong. With todays tech it is unachievable. That does not mean you can’t have amazing 4k visuals AND super smooth performance. It just means you have to find that sweet spot with the hardware mix you have. Maximize those things that have the most affect on the visual experience and minimize all the ■■■■ that has no benefit and just adds to the system workload.

Don’t be afraid to admit that the software is more that the hardware can handle and all we can do at this point is maximize our enjoyment using what is on the desk in front of us. Or you can continue chasing that 4K 60fps white whale. I, for one, am getting far too old for the stress, anger and frustration that comes from obsessing over something I will never be able to achieve. I just want to go flying and enjoy myself.

I started right here…


i won’t flame. I do Flight Sims for 20 years now, and I share your view, you need to get your hands dirty. It’s just that now with 2 kids, I don’t have much time …
I wish I could use a random forest to play around with settings and find the optimal setup for my build… :slightly_smiling_face:
Thanks for the link, I’ll get back to it AGAIN and try to find the magic combination

Regarding the userconfig tweaks, which links did you use to guide you?

EDIT: for now I am still wondering where my regular lag is coming from. As said, even in the menu I get these regular micro freeze… Was wondering a frequency issue but even on a 60hz monitor, i get the same behaviour

I am getting stutters pretty much all the time specially with the jets 787 is the worst when the cockpit avionics are on! No major issues with the Longitude that so far is the best running jet minus its issues. Steam Gauge aircraft run just fine. Normally get stuttering during takeoff and landing.

i5 8400<<< that is likely my main issue with the stutters.Smoother in x-plane but framerate is quite low in that sim with also jets.
Although if I drop my res to 1920x1080 the fps is higher but the stutters are still there.

Try dialing back your ram timing, if you are running 3600 it can be a bit unstable.

Biggest improvements were adjusting LOD, Render and turning off sharpening in USERCFG.

Ram is at 3200 with XMP, without XMP it is lower, behaviour is similar.
To give more insights, the screenshot below show the vertical line that gives the stutter. This is where the issue comes from, and appears in menu (where i have around 100 FPS, and stutter).

Suggest you leave MSFS running and open your Windows Task Manager and watch the Resource Monitor. I have to wonder what the cpu is doing when it loses focus on MSFS. See if there is a background process that is sporadically utilizing resources.

CPU has spikes during these stutters, but i assumed it was due to MSFS, i’ll check if this is really the case

While you are at it I think I would also turn off GPU scaling in windows settings. You will need to exit MSFS and restart to see if that some of the load on the GPU.

Didn’t know the GPU Scaling tip, thanks.
Spikes come from MSFS, and GPU scaling didn’t do much. I lowered down all settings, removed any type of traffic. FPS increase of course, but still same regular stutter.
It’s like there is a query/operation that lags the all system… Any chance to see any kind of logs to see if a pattern emerges?

Someone smarter than me may know of a way to log that.

I am still not convinced that something else isn’t stealing resources. Please humor me and try going back to the task manager with MSFS open in the background.
On the Process page, click on the CPU% title for that column. That will sort all running process by CPU usage, in real time. Watch and see what processes are sharing resources. I would particularly watch for any antimalware scans or security processes. Make note of anything that pops up to second place or even top spot, assuming that MSFS holds top spot to start.
I could be up the wrong tree here but I can’t imagine why the CPU would just stop processing MSFS unless it is shifting its focus for a split second or maybe has to stop to wait for the GPU but you seem to have mem space on the GPU.

just a thought. you mentioned you were getting 100fps in the menu. That would mean you have V-Sync off?
Try setting V-Sync on and frame limit to 60 in the NVidia Control panel, not MSFS.

Please note some of the stuttering problems might also be related to NVidia drivers (if this is what you’re using). In effect, there is for example a known performance problem with all NVidia drivers lately in VR (any VR game is affected).

Some are reporting any driver since 451.48 included are causing stuttering and lag spikes. I personally believe the issue is rooted way lower in the system into the new HAGS feature + wddm 2.7 introduced with Win10 2004.

NVidia is aware but only recently and this might have to wait a driver in 2021 for a solution. Last week during the HP Reverb G2 AMA on Reddit:

If you want to try out and compare with the latest driver pre-Win10 2004 (hence without HAGS mode) which is 446.14:

And the most adventurous of us might want trying the unreleased yet 465.12 (and let us know how it goes):

More info here, where many are reporting this seems to be their new ‘gold’ driver since the 45x.xx drivers mess:


Regarding the ressource manager, MFSF is around 50 to 70%, any other process is less than 2%, and never spikes above. True, some antimalware are running, but even after de activation, nothing changes.
I also suspect NVIDIA, cause I had no issue previously. I’ll try to revert to an older version.


Well at least we know what it isn’t. That is a win.

Checked older & newer drivers, didn’t change anything (seems older drivers run smoother though).
Did remove the community mod also to avoid any issue with mods.
I recently had a windows update, might be the reason why…

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SPOCK: Origin?

SULU: I can’t seem to pinpoint it.

SPOCK: I would suggest, Mister Sulu, if you cannot find out where the power source is, you should find out where it is not. A simple process of elimination.

SULU: The whole planet, sir? Yes, sir. The whole planet.