OBS preview as well as recording change from Smooth to Choppy seemingly at random.


New Member

I normally don't post or ask for help with most technical stuff as with the internet most things can be figured out through trial and error, or just research.

Unfortunately, this issue has me completely stumped.
I'll start with specs and then go into the issue, don't exactly know the etiquette for these types of things.

CPU: i7 9700K (currently running stock though I'll mention this in a moment.)
RAM: 2x 3200MHz 32GB dual channel
MONITORS: 1x Benq 2560x1440, 1x Asus 1920x1080. Benq is running Freesync and I cap to 141, Asus is 2nd monitor running 60hz no Freesync.

The issue is no matter what encoder I'm using, after an unspecified amount of time the OBS preview as well as the Recording after the fact are choppy. I record at 720p/60fps and it looks as if the 60fps is dropping to roughly 2/3rds of that, all while OBS reports that all is fine and dandy. 0 dropped frames, average time to render frame remains rock solid, game feels exactly the same. According to the frontend, I should have a smooth, solid recording; I do not. I can re-create this by alt-tabbing at what feels like specific times, but is surely random.

Here's the other thing, I've been using the same system and settings as I was 2 years ago in 2020 to record videos. Upon watching those videos I had recorded I noticed that there was none of the behavior seen currently. The recording is smooth and any dropped frames were legitimately dropped due to encoding/rendering lag and you can visually tell a distinct difference between my "choppyness" and the dropped frames in the 2020 recordings. These are multiple hour-long recordings as well so if the same behavior happened at all it would've been evident.

Before I go onto providing logs and a video, I mentioned earlier that I'm running stock. That is purely for troubleshooting as in those videos from 2020 and until this started happening I was OC'd from 3.6>4.7GHz with no issues.

I don't know very much ( like at all ) about how OBS actually functions internally, but it's very easily re-created on my machine, to the point that if I'm trying to make it happen I can. Otherwise, it's just ( as far as I know ) an unspecified amount of time before it begins. It almost looks identifiable if you know the ins-and-outs of how OBS actually functions on an internal level, which I do not. If I may go into layman's terms for a moment, knowing again that I know nothing of how this works; It looks to my eyes like it's trying to 'Hook' a specific frame or something for timing's sake, and when my issue occurs it's missed whatever it was trying to hit. The reason I say that is because it still MOSTLY works. It (OBS) still does look like it believes that it's 'doing good', ( I know it's not sentient but I really don't know how else to describe it ) and the videos are still mostly watchable, but they're nowhere near as smooth as they could/should be.

In the video I'll attach the beginning is mostly smooth and if it is choppy then it 'Hooks' and you can see that it smooths out after alt-tabbing in. However, if you replay from 1:07 on, you can see me alt-tabbing in, it being smooth, and then that 'Hook' thing happens and it goes choppy. Again, to me it looks identifiable if you know the steps OBS takes after tabbing in, but I could be wrong; it's happened before.

Also just in case it's mentioned I do have RivaTuner limiting my FPS, it does have the compatibility option enabled, I was running Riva in 2020 without the compatibility with no issues. To add, closing Riva does not fix the issue as I'd imagine it would if it itself were the issue.
By they way I love that 'View Mode 'Master' is active, avoid giving anything but basic support. Error is most likely caused by user settings themselves.' is slipped in the logs. I assure you that the only settings I've changed are I-FrameQP and P-FrameQP, and if 0/0 is not good that's fine, but it's also not what's causing my issue as this same issue happens regardless of CQP or CBR and regardless of bitrate/QP. Again, before I switched to master view I was just using my regular settings from 2020. Only reason I switched it was to see if I could get some insight into what might potentially be the problem. Honestly I would've re-recorded and logged had I seen that earlier but like Trust me bro I didn't do nuffin', and if anything needs changing for troubleshooting purposes I absolutely can do.

Video Link: https://youtu.be/n-q-duZ3kH0

Log Should be attached, the 86 frames dropped are from alt-tabbing, the only other thing that stands out to me is adding of audio buffer for my mic, but 46ms is nowhere near max, I know as I did have a max audio buffer issue when going through and attempting to troubleshoot by myself. The logs come back clean according to the OBS analyze function.

I thank anyone who took the time to read this and genuinely hope the troubleshooting is "you silly goose you don't have X enabled" or "you don't have X installed you absolute papaya" and that's the extent of the issue, but given that nothing's changed between now and 2020 besides drivers and various updates, I can only currently assume that it's some wonky backend complications. Either that or again, I'm just a silly goose (I hope I am).


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