I've been following this thread because I have the same issue. I wanted to get my STEP:extended process finished prior to chasing this issue down. I just did the "TB" in console. You're right, it happens nearly every time I cross a border and only when I cross a border. That slight pause. It's more of a single full stop and go than what I've come to associate with a micro-stutter.
My system couldn't be more different than yours. FX-8350@5GZ, dual R9 290s. Like you, I am using an SSD (samsung 840 evo). I'm only running 8Gb of ram right now but have 16Gb on the way. This was going to be my first swing at the issue.
As school has started back this week and I have to "be the teacher"; I won't be able to devote any time to this issue. Needless to say, I'm rooting for you wholeheartedly in this endeavour!
EDIT: My motherboard is an ASUS sabertooth 990FX R2.0
I am glad to see that I am not the only one on STEP forums with this issue in 2015. It really felt like I was.
Here is another thread from this year on nexus forums with the exact same issue running almost identical hardware. I suggest you read through it. I am posting in that thread as well. It has a bevy of "fixes" recommended by different users, worth a try:
Now I had the full STEP 2.2.9 installed before and I was using a GTX 780 Ti 3GB, 8GB RAM, Win 8.1 and a 7200RPM Western Digital HDD, then later an OCZ Agility 120GB SSD (Switching from HDD to SSD made no difference in stutters, it only reduced the loading screen times)
Let me tell you, although i have upgraded to a 980 Ti 6GB, 16GB RAM, Win 10 and a Samsung Evo 840 250GB SSD, the stutter is so IDENTICAL that it is just shocking. It feels as if the beefier hardware has not improved the game in any way. With my hardware, I should be able to run at 2k-4k textures on EVERYTHING. Instead i can barely run 1k textures. 2k is out of question, it worsens the stutters. I am sorry but I don't think that the extra 8GB of RAM you are getting to attempt to fix this will change anything. That is what i initially thought as well.
The issue is so bad that I have had to downgrade all the 2k recommended STEP mods to their 1K variants and the stutters and minifreezes when crossing borders STILL happen although they are not as severe. So texture loading into memory is definitely the culprit and the bigger the textures the worse the stutters are regardless of VRAM and RAM pool and SSD superior read speed. But WHY does it happen with such powerful overkill hardware? That is the real question and that is what i am desperately trying to investigate
Ugrids shouldn't be changed until after you have a solid STEP install. DynDOLOD is also set up to use uGrids of 5 which is the game's default value.
Pauses at cell borders is usually an issue with textures loading and switching in and out of RAM/VRAM.
So what could be causing this? You have here 3 people with the exact same problem(including the guy from the other thread i linked), all running on SSDs and with more than 8GB RAM and GPUs with 3GB+VRAM and stuttering even on vanilla Skyrim. It cannot be hardware issues.
I can cross back and forth over a border at a full run and the only time it pauses is with the first crossing. Once I cross an intersecting border it pauses again. As I have 8Gb of Vram is there a way I can use that excluively to verify if texture loading is the culprit?
I can hear my SSD working really hard when I am crossing a border and whenever a stutter happens, the SSD's noise will actually stutter as well for half a second.
I read about people fixing stutters by disabling pagefile which some applications access heavily such as Battlefield 4. I tried it thinking that finally I might crack the puzzle and was greeted with a massive stutter when crossing a border... -.-
I have now re-enabled it and put in on a different drive (I heard its better to have the pagefile on another drive) and again it has not made any difference, I still hear heavy reading noise from my SSD and the chugging when a stutter happens.
You can see that the pagefile is now on drive :F(OCZ Agility 3 120GB SSD). Before the pagefile was on my :C drive(Samsung 840 Evo 250GB SSD) which is where Windows and Skyrim are installed. :E and :G are 7200RPM HDD drives.
Edited by scorpgul, 17 August 2015 - 08:53 PM.