Steam friends & Chat window causing micro stutter

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Steam friends & Chat window causing micro stutter

Post by fluidz » 02 Dec 2020, 11:58

If everything is running smoothly, this is how games will look

This is what I see when steam friends & chat window is open on the desktop (notice the regular frame skipping)

This issue only affects some games, not all of them. If I Alt and tab out of the affected fullscreen game, close or minimise the steam friends & chat window then alt and tab back into the game, the micro stuttering in the game will instantly stop. .

One of my friends in Steam has a glowing border around his avatar. If I click "-" to hide my friends in the steam friends & chat window, this too will stop the micro stuttering.


Aside from the Steam friends & Chat window being open causing issues, some games microstutter when I receive a steam message which triggers an icon to blink in the taskbar. This microstuttering will continue to happen indefinitely, but as soon as I click on the taskbar icon to stop it blinking, the micro stuttering will stop in the game.


I have reinstalled Windows 10 and the Nvidia driver (testing different versions of each). I have less than 10 friends on Steam so it cant be related to that (I have seen threads mentioning that having lots of friends in steam may cause stuttering in Destiny 2).

I can reproduce microstuttering by ticking the "disable full-screen optimisations" option in Destiny 2 shortcut prior to launching the game and keeping the Steam friends & chat windows open on the desktop (closing/minimising the steam friends window fixes it).

I have also seen this issue happen in Minecraft Java edition and Dying Light.

It seems that when something renders in the background, such as the glow of the avatar or glowing icon in the taskbar, causes this micro stuttering to occur in fullscreen games. I'm trying to make sense of what's causing it. Can anyone relate with this issue, does everyone else see this happen?

My monitor - Acer xb271hu Gsync 144hz
Gpu : Nvidia 2080ti
Os : Windows 10 2h02

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Re: Steam friends & Chat window causing micro stutter

Post by Inco^ » 02 Dec 2020, 21:18

Yes, it happens to me too. Not only from steam notifications, but notifications from other programs aswell. I just close steam and any other program susceptible to give notifications. I have this problem since windows 10.
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Re: Steam friends & Chat window causing micro stutter

Post by KuraiShidosha » 24 Dec 2020, 15:42

Yep happens to me too. I turned off the flashing when a new message is received and that at least helps with playing fullscreen games and I get a message so it no longer causes stuttering. It's pretty damning that playing in supposed exclusive fullscreen mode, a blinking taskbar icon can cause stuttering in game.

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Re: Steam friends & Chat window causing micro stutter

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 24 Dec 2020, 22:25

For less critical situations where you want to keep running Steam or talk to friends -- you can reduce process priority of Steam to LOW/IDLE to solve a lot of these. Not a 100% solution, but...
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Re: Steam friends & Chat window causing micro stutter

Post by fluidz » 10 Jan 2021, 17:50


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Re: Steam friends & Chat window causing micro stutter

Post by MT_ » 16 Jan 2021, 17:10

Be wary of adjusting steam.exe priority etc because it will also affect any child processes from inhibiting the same rules. (Same goes for explorer.exe when you start executable directly etc)

Its safer to try on 'steamwebhelper.exe' which afaik are actually responsible for the UI elements.

Have you tried disabling steam hardware accelerated UI rendering?

This shouldn't happen. (I'm on 1809 LTSC though)

Anything beyond that is a living experiment for me.
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