It also has some long draw distances, depending on where you are, which is where I will see some drops as well. Specifically, when there is a lot of detail from close to me and into the distance, with combat taking place in that line of sight.
This doesn’t sound like what I think of when I think of ‘microstutter’; this sounds like “normal” game issues. As in, I usually play at 164FPS (G-Synced to a 165Hz monitor), and in those same situations, it can drop down to the 50s. However, this is rare, and it is brief (and G-Sync makes these transitions between framerates transparent). If it got down below 40FPS, I would still notice it.
This phenomenon is something that I think is inherent in this instance of their implementation of the Unreal engine (and I’m dying for someone to provide evidence to the contrary and answer basically all these questions in this support category). I mean, I’m dropping over 100FPS on occasion here, and all modern hardware does (faster CPU/GPU and G-Sync) is keep the minimums at an acceptable level and hide the transitions from me. When I ran an older CPU/GPU (nVidia 470GTX and Intel Core2Duo), I ran at a lower resolution, turned off some eye candy (not PhysX though), and set the game to “Smoothed 20-60”. I still got these sporadic framerate drops with busy draws, and the minimums were rough (think I saw 20FPS as a low, with screen tearing), but much of the combat would otherwise be just fine, no matter how much was going on.
The first thing I would look after in your system is why it’s only getting to 60-80FPS. If we assume that these big drops in FPS during deep, busy draw scenes is something we’re going to live with, we just need to get the total frame rate high enough that those dips aren’t noticeable. I’m not familiar with ATI’s stuff, but that seems like a newer card that should be able to push more FPS than that?
What’s the max refresh rate on your display, what’s your FPS setting in game, and when you’re on the character selection screen, what’s the framerate there (let it sit for a moment so the character starts spinning around). This is a good baseline for a theoretical maximum. What are you using to track framerate?