Question 980Ti can hardly run games at 1080p lowest settings

Jan 26, 2021
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So I just upgraded most of my system, except for my 980Ti and now know it's the reason I have to play on the absolute lowest settings 1080p. Apex and CoD MW both on lowest settings give me between 20-40 fps, among many others, but certain games like Valorant give me 60 at 4k. I've done a full fresh driver install, changed motherboard, changed connectors, nothing helps. I just want to know what's causing this issue so I know if I need to spend the money on a new GPU or not.

Specs:
GPU - Asus Strix 980Ti
CPU - i7 10700k
Ram - 64GB G.Skill Ripjaw 4 2400
MOBO - Asus Prime z490-A

Any help would be very appreciated.
 
Jan 26, 2021
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You said you did a full fresh driver install. Does this mean you did not do a full, fresh Windows install with a significant CPU/motherboard change?
I did not do a fresh Windows install, no. This issue has persisted basically since I got the 980Ti 5 years ago. I thought it was my previous Xeon processor bottlecapping my fps, so never thought much of it until now.
 
Jan 26, 2021
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Alright bois, so I did a Win 10 reset, though I did keep my files. No change, unfortunately. Even postponed downloading GeForce Experience just to test without it. No luck :(
 
Alright bois, so I did a Win 10 reset, though I did keep my files. No change, unfortunately. Even postponed downloading GeForce Experience just to test without it. No luck :(
That wouldn't help at all. You need to do a full WIPE and reinstall windows from a USB. If you don't want to mess with your files, use a spare HDD/SSD to install windows there and see if the issue remains. I would advise to have only that spare HDD/SSD plugged in the system and not any other drive.
 
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DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
Alright bois, so I did a Win 10 reset, though I did keep my files. No change, unfortunately. Even postponed downloading GeForce Experience just to test without it. No luck :(
You're trying to make up for cutting corners by...cutting corners. You can't eliminate your install as the source of your problems unless you do a full install properly.

If a full install would cause you to lose files, then you have a much bigger problem than a struggling 980 Ti. All important files should be backed up, ideally in multiple places, at all times. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
 
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kamenrusev

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Dec 3, 2013
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Excuse me for the dumb advice, you don't even have to answer this.
I am seeing that even with the integrated UHD Graphics 630 you should get more FPS than you are getting right now.
So here is the dumb, just in case, 'i just had to ask' advice: You sure you've plugged the cable in the right hdmi/video output, right? Not the one in the MOBO, but the other one?
Another dumb thing i wanted to say.. You've got the 980Ti in the top PCI slot on your MOBO?
All the best,
Kamen
 
Jan 26, 2021
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You're trying to make up for cutting corners by...cutting corners. You can't eliminate your install as the source of your problems unless you do a full install properly.

If a full install would cause you to lose files, then you have a much bigger problem than a struggling 980 Ti. All important files should be backed up, ideally in multiple places, at all times. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
woahh uhh ok..forgive me for thinking a reinstall of windows would...reinstall windows. I wouldn't lose any files, they are all backed up in Onedrive. I just have work to do and didn't have the hours it would take to do that full factory reset at the moment. Could you please explain what the actual difference would be between the semi reset I did, and a full reset, in terms of my GPU issue?
 
Jan 26, 2021
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Excuse me for the dumb advice, you don't even have to answer this.
I am seeing that even with the integrated UHD Graphics 630 you should get more FPS than you are getting right now.
So here is the dumb, just in case, 'i just had to ask' advice: You sure you've plugged the cable in the right hdmi/video output, right? Not the one in the MOBO, but the other one?
Another dumb thing i wanted to say.. You've got the 980Ti in the top PCI slot on your MOBO?
All the best,
Kamen
lmao nah you're good, I am plugged into the correct output, and my 980Ti is in the top PCI slot. I'm getting readings in task manager that it is working, 3D, video encode, GPU memory, all go up and down as they should during their respective tasks. I'm just grateful someone finally realizes I should be getting better FPS with a toaster than my 980.
 

HWOC

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Jan 9, 2020
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Might be worth getting a screenshot of GPU-Z and posting it here. In case there would be something obvious there.

EDIT: Have you looked at Task Manager in Windows to see if there is any crap running in the background? Sort by CPU usage/memory usage/GPU usage in case there is something taking up significant amount of resources/processing time.
 

palladin9479

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It sounds like games are running on the iGPU and not on the 980ti, thus requiring the potato settings since iGPU's are generally for potatoes. Install the nVidia driver package and inside the settings there should be a preferred GPU section. Unfortunately since I usually disable iGPU's inside BIOS I can't remember where that setting is at.
 

HWOC

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View: https://imgur.com/a/dftq5jx

I appreciate the help, let me know if you need any different pages.
The only thing that looks suspicious is the PCI section where it says "PCIe x16 3.0 @ x16 1.1". Usually it would say "PCIe x16 3.0 @ x16 3.0" for example, if your GTX980 was running at the full speed of PCIe x3.0. What other PCIe devices do you have plugged onto your mobo, and onto which slots?
 

HWOC

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Jan 9, 2020
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One other thing you can try. In the Nvidia Control Panel, under the "Desktop" menuitem, there is an option called "Display GPU activity icon in notification area". Tick that on, then open it from the Windows Taskbar Notification section, it will show which apps are running on which GPU. At least this should be able to tell you whether the games are definitely running on the 980 or not.
 
Jan 26, 2021
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The only thing that looks suspicious is the PCI section where it says "PCIe x16 3.0 @ x16 1.1". Usually it would say "PCIe x16 3.0 @ x16 3.0" for example, if your GTX980 was running at the full speed of PCIe x3.0. What other PCIe devices do you have plugged onto your mobo, and onto which slots?
Ah, I was going to mention this when I posted it. I checked with a game running and it does tick to 3.0, but it seems like it only stayed at 3.0 for a second, then back down to 1.1, and back and forth. I also checked the Display GPU activity and confirmed at least Apex was using the 980.
 
Jan 26, 2021
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It sounds like games are running on the iGPU and not on the 980ti, thus requiring the potato settings since iGPU's are generally for potatoes. Install the nVidia driver package and inside the settings there should be a preferred GPU section. Unfortunately since I usually disable iGPU's inside BIOS I can't remember where that setting is at.
So I found preferred GPU in both Nvidia Control Panel and Windows' Graphics Settings, forced them both to use 980, with no change in performance. I also did what HWOC suggested which was to force games to use the 980, and to check if they were actually using it, with no change.
 
Jan 26, 2021
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I also want to mention that in Apex Legends for example, There is almost literally no difference in FPS between 1920 and 2k, both getting between 30-50 fps. I'd think that lowering from 2k to 1k, all other settings the same, I'd at least see some fps increase. 4k brings it down to 20-30 fps.
 

kamenrusev

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I also want to mention that in Apex Legends for example, There is almost literally no difference in FPS between 1920 and 2k, both getting between 30-50 fps. I'd think that lowering from 2k to 1k, all other settings the same, I'd at least see some fps increase. 4k brings it down to 20-30 fps.
Brainstorming here:
  • Have you checked the power options in control panel? If it is not at High Performance, it might be causing these issues? Or if it is, try another mode.
  • It seems that the 1.1 and 3.0 numbers you are seeing after 'PCI 3.0 @ x16' might be about saving power.
  • There is a nice monitoring software part of 'MSI Afterburner' which helps you monitor your hardware during game.
    • Maybe you could download that and enable GPU core and memory clocks as well as some other GPU stuff to see whether it might be downclocking for some reason?
  • Or maybe you have already done these.in that case clean install would really be the only thing left.
    • You asked earlier why it is better than the normal one where you keep files...I have no clue, but there is something about 'clean' that makes it sound nice :) Things screw up in windows from time to time and cleaning the whole of C might help.
  • How about your PSU, you have probably already checked that but what wattage is it, is it enough? You mentioned it is an EVGA Supernova 80 Gold but make sure there's enough wattage, not familiar with the different options under that model.
I'll reply with anything else that comes to mind.
You've decided to ask a question on this forum and, one way or another, an answer shall be found.

Regards,
Kamen
 
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