Question 40% GPU usage while idle

Gebaben

Honorable
Dec 22, 2016
51
0
10,530
0
Hello everyone!

I have a dual boot system with win7 32 bit on a HDD and win10 64 bit on a SSD. My GFX card is an used ASUS GTX 1060 6GB OC which is in very good condition.
The past 3-4 months I mainly used the win10 OS and everything has worked fine, no problems at all. In the meantime I barely touched the win7 OS, even if I did so, I haven't experienced anything strange.
However today I saw that MSI Afterburner and GPU-Z shows my GPU uses 2-2,2 GB of VRAM immediatly after I start up win7 while idling on the desktop. Every other stat is normal. (clocks, temps, load, cpu usage, ram usage). I have a single Full HD monitor with 60Hz. On the win10 OS it's only uses 150-210 MB of VRAM which I think is normal.

Things I tried:
Disable hardware acceleration in Chrome
Uninstall Chrome and start up win7 while disconnected from the internet
Malwarebytes scan on both OS (found only on the win7 OS some PUP from a pop-up blocker Chrome extension I don't use anymore because it sucks.)
Reinstall Nvidia drivers using DDU
Checking processes using windows taskbar, process explorer and HWINFO. All shows nothing that would eat up my VRAM. The highest VRAM user is DWM.exe with 42 MB.

Currently I'm clueless. Haven't installed anything for months. Any ideas?
 
Last edited:

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
Jun 12, 2015
61,167
5,188
166,290
10,454
what is usage like in safe mode?

so its not afterburner using the ram?

normal for dwm.exe to be using gpu. nothing would appear on screen if it didn't
 

Gebaben

Honorable
Dec 22, 2016
51
0
10,530
0
Hi!

I can't measure VRAM usage in safe mode sadly because Afterburner nor GPU-Z not launch in that mode.

If I only launch GPU-Z it still shows that 2GB VRAM in use.

If I launch a game, the VRAM usage increases as the game use it as well. So default 2GB VRAM+ for example 1 GB VRAM for the game= 3GB VRAM usage shown in Afterburner.
I started to think that maybe it is a 32 bit limitation, meaning it can't use more than 4 GB of VRAM. So the system loads 2 GB VRAM as default (6gb minus 4gb) and then adds more as it needed for games. At the end of the day it can use 4GB of VRAM for games but it will show as it using 6GB. Sadly I only have one game which use more than 4GB of VRAM but it require a 64 bit system, so I can't test it on the win7 OS.

Interesting topic about the fake afterburner though, but I downloaded it a long time ago and had no problem with it.

What do you think?
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
Jun 12, 2015
61,167
5,188
166,290
10,454
I have seen something like this recently but I can't remember details...

this is unlikely to be cause on a PC you rarely use
Try a clean boot and see if it changes anything - make sure to read instructions and make sure NOT to disable any microsoft services or windows won't load right - https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/929135/how-to-perform-a-clean-boot-in-windows

It doesn’t delete anything, it just stops non Microsoft programs running with start. Easy to reverse.

if clean boot fixes it, it shows its likely a startup program. You should, over a number of startups. restart the programs you stopped to isolate the one that is to blame.


Win 7 doesn't get any updates and if its been off... how can it have changed. Probably been there a while, and you didn't notice before?
 

Gebaben

Honorable
Dec 22, 2016
51
0
10,530
0
So it turned out it's the OS version.

I swapped my card with my previous GTX 1050 Ti which has only 4 GB of VRAM (with the same driver version). After startup both Afterburner and GPU-Z showed around 147-200 MB of VRAM usage and showed correct values in-game. After I put back the 1060 it showed 2 GB of VRAM usage again.

So as it seems 32 bit OS not only limit the max RAM you can use but the max VRAM too, which is 4 GB.

I find it still weird why does it show 2GB VRAM usage instead using 100-200MB and just detect only 4GB like in the case of RAM.
 
Last edited:

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
Jun 12, 2015
61,167
5,188
166,290
10,454
max vram for 32bit is indeed 4gb, it can't access anything higher than that. its more to do with windows, than the gpu. Biggest file size is 4gb. If its running 32bit, it can only access 4gb ram, and cpu can only map 4gb of memory addresses from the gpu

whereas a 64bit can access up to 16 million tb, meaning... a 64 bitsystem has so many memory addresses that the VRAM on the gpu never cuts into ram space. that isn't what is happening here.

I don't know why it uses 2gb.
 
Reactions: Gebaben

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
Jun 12, 2015
61,167
5,188
166,290
10,454
how much ram does it show in use? the vram on the gpu should be biting into your total ram amount, so putting a 6gb card on a PC that only has at most 3.5gb for you to use makes me wonder how.. 4gb cards should also be improbable. Unless you running completely off the page file.

link
 

Gebaben

Honorable
Dec 22, 2016
51
0
10,530
0
My page file size as shown in the win7 OS is 3535 mb. About the ram it's around 960 mb-1,3 gb on start up while idling on desktop.

Here is a screenshot in Skyrim: Legendary Edition : https://ibb.co/jLK9ypG As you can see it's way over the 3,5 gb limit. On the 1050 Ti the vram usage would be around 800 mb.

Also here is another about the vram usage after launch: https://ibb.co/hm5Lj2D You can see the time since launch is 46 sec.

Maybe the 1060's software has this bug on 32 bit systems?

I haven't experienced any negative effects, like running out of memory.

I have 2x4gb of ram btw.

I've tried it to stress it so I opened a chrome tab while playing Skyrim . The results was that ram + vram usage could reached 5,7 gb in total.
 
Last edited:

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
Jun 12, 2015
61,167
5,188
166,290
10,454
whats max ram you have access to in win 7?
page file size is just max, it doesn't necessarily use it all. Mine is about same size but I only use 500mb

sure the 2gb you are seeing isn't the igpu?

what shows in dxdiag?
 

Gebaben

Honorable
Dec 22, 2016
51
0
10,530
0
In control panel it says 3,45 gb ram usable.
In task manager it says 3535 total physical memory as you can see on the second pic I sent previously. Moreover 2187mb available and 1904mb free memory.

This is what shows in dxdiag (it's hungarian):
win7: https://ibb.co/34rP4vN (total memory 4095mb)
win10: https://ibb.co/4SJVrG4 (10115mb total, shared 4063mb)

I also checked it out in the resolution panel:
win7: https://ibb.co/NC9p9s2 (total available graphic memory 4095mb, dedicated 3072mb, shared system 1023mb)
win10: https://ibb.co/wrNCGBW

The cable is definitelly connected to the card and not the motherboard.
 
Last edited:

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS