Radeon Stutters and Freezes with DX11 Games and Chrome

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

For casual gamers like me, it’s super annoying when your game starts stuttering or lagging, or even when Chrome doesn’t run smoothly. I own a bunch of AMD Radeon RX 6000 and 7000 XT series graphics cards. You’d think they’d run everything perfectly, right? But no, I was facing annoying lags and random stutters even with older games or just browsing the web. After a lot of digging and trying different things, I figured out some ways to fix these issues. I’ll share what worked for me in this article.

Also see: How to Fix Game Stuttering on Windows 11

AMD Radeon Stutters and Freezes with DX11 Games and Chrome

Why are there stuttering issue with DirectX 11 on AMD Radeon GPUs?

A lot of us with Radeon RX 6000 and 7000 XT series GPUs have noticed our games not running as smoothly as they should, especially the older ones using DirectX 11 (DX11). It turns out, there’s a problem with certain AMD graphics cards and DX11 games. They just don’t play nice, leading to lags and freezes. This issue doesn’t pop up with DX12 or Vulcan games, though.

And it’s not just games. Chromium-based browsers, like Chrome, that use DX11 for some of their behind-the-scenes stuff also get hit by performance drops, making even simple web surfing a pain.
AMD Radeon Driver 22.5.1 causes lag and stutters

The trouble seems to come from updates AMD made to their drivers, starting with version 22.5.1. They tweaked the DX11 driver pipeline, aiming to boost performance, but it ended up causing more issues instead.

Suggested read: Does Faulty RAM Cause Freezes or Crashes on PC?

Solution 1: Disable DXNavi Driver

The new DX11 pipeline was supposed to improve things but ended up being a major headache. Going back to the old DX11 driver setup helped smooth things out, even if it meant a tiny drop in FPS. Here’s a quick guide on how to do it (but be careful, messing with your registry can be risky. Warning: Make sure to create a system restore point before you start):

  1. Press Windows + R, type regedit, and press Enter.
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4d36e968-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}\0000.
  3. Look for the D3DVendorName entry. At the end of the bottom two lines, you’ll see amdxx64.dll.Fix for DX11 games lag and stuttering with Radeon 6000 or 7000 XT series
  4. Change those to atidxx64.dll.DX11 games stutter and freeze with AMD Radeon 6700 XT
  5. Do the same for the last two entries of D3DVendorNameWow, changing amdxx32.dll to atidxx32.dll.
  6. Restart your computer to make these changes stick.

This might lower your FPS a bit, but your games will run smoother.

Linked issue: YouTube Video Lagging on Chrome When Full Screen (Fix)

Solution 2: Enable Shader Cache

Changing the Shader Cache setting from “AMD Optimized” to “Always On” can really help with game performance. The default setting restricts how much data is stored, but switching it up allows for more data and less lag.

  1. Open Registry Editor again.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4d36e968-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}\0000\UMD.
  3. Find the Shader Cache entry. It’s usually set to 31 for “AMD Optimized.” Change it to 32 for “Always On.”How to always on shader cache for AMD Radeon on Windows 11
  4. Restart your computer to see the improvement.

This tweak helps games run better by letting them use more cached data.

Related resouce: Game Keeps Compiling Shaders Every Time I Open It (Fix)

Solution 3: Disable Multi-Plane Overlay (MPO)

MPO is supposed to make things run more efficiently, but it can actually slow things down. Turning it off has helped some users see better performance in their games and browsers.

  1. Open Registry Editor one more time.
  2. Head over to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Dwm.
  3. Right-click, pick New > DWORD (32-bit) Value, and call it OverlayTestMode.
  4. Set its value to 5 by double-clicking on it.Disable Multi-Plane Overlay (MPO)
  5. Restart your PC to apply the change.

Disabling MPO can smooth out your gaming and browsing experience, even if it means a tiny bit more work for your CPU and GPU.

These tips have been tried with the latest drivers available at the time, but be careful if you have newer models of graphics cards, as these changes might not work the same way.

Pro tip: GPU Artifacting Examples, How to Test, and Fixes

Things to keep in mind

Trying out these fixes significantly cut down on the stutters, freezes, and lags I was dealing with, especially in DX11 games. But remember, if a game is just not well-made, these tweaks can’t fix everything. For AMD Radeon owners looking for smoother performance without having to fiddle around too much, these solutions could be just what you need.

However, everyone’s setup is a bit different, so what works for one person might not work for another. And for newer RDNA 3 series cards, think twice before turning off DXNavi.

It’s also worth noting that these fixes might not work with every driver version out there. When trying to disable DXNavi, for example, the needed atidxx64.dll wasn’t in the newer drivers, so that particular fix might not work with recent updates. If you’re still having trouble, you might need to go back to older drivers.

Other problem: Game Lag When Watching YouTube or Twitch on Chrome

Potential graphics cards affected

The issues I ran into aren’t just about my specific graphics card model (6700 XT). The whole AMD Radeon RX 6000 and 7000 series could be dealing with similar problems, according to lots of other users. Here’s a list of cards that might be in the same boat:

AMD Radeon RX 6000 series

  • Radeon RX 6900 XT
  • Radeon RX 6800 XT
  • Radeon RX 6800
  • Radeon RX 6700 XT
  • Radeon RX 6700
  • Radeon RX 6600 XT
  • Radeon RX 6600
  • Radeon RX 6500 XT
  • Radeon RX 6400

AMD Radeon RX 7000 series

  • Radeon RX 7900 XTX
  • Radeon RX 7900 XT
  • Radeon RX 7800 XT/XTX
  • Radeon RX 7700 XT
  • Radeon RX 7600 XT
  • Radeon RX 7500 XT
  • Radeon RX 7400 series

Summing up

If you’ve got a Radeon RX 6000 or 7000 XT series card and are struggling with DX11 stutters, Chrome freezing, or game lags, these fixes might help. Just be careful, as messing with system settings can be tricky. Always back up your system before you start. If you’re not sure about doing it yourself, maybe get a tech-savvy friend to help out.

If things don’t get better after trying these fixes, rolling back to an older driver version is another option. Ultimately, you’re aiming for a good balance between performance and stability. While these community-found solutions can offer some immediate improvement, it’s up to AMD to sort out these driver issues for good.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of WindowsDigitals.com. With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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