Question FX-8350 low usage in some games?

Apr 22, 2020
So my question is, in some games like Hitman 2, Rise of the tomb raider, all my 8 cores from my FX-8350 are at around 90-100%, obviously a bottleneck, and my GPU usage isn't at 99% but more in the 60-80% range, then there are games like Batman Arkham Knight, all far cry games etc... where my 8 cores are at around 40% usage instead of 90-100% and my GPU usage isn't 99% either but at around 60-80%. What's the reason for this? Why aren't all my cores being used to the limit in some games? Or a better question is, why isn't my GPU usage at 99% if my CPU usage isn't that high? I have the latest drivers installed, latest bios update and my temps are fine too.


Games cannot use more threads than they are programmed to. If your CPU can handle 8 threads but the game only uses the equivalent of 4 by the time it encounters a single-thread bottleneck, you get ~50% overall CPU usage by that game at most.

Only the most heavily threaded games will get to ~100% CPU usage on CPUs capable of executing 8+ threads.
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On PC, most games are programmed towards making use of low core count, high IPC processors (like Intel core or AMD Ryzen) and as an afterthought still for several concurrent threads. Thing is, your FX CPU is a low IPC, high thread CPU - in most cases a game will under-utilize its threads or stall them because it was expecting to execute a task in less cycles than the CPU actually did.
As InvalidError said, your average CPU use is no indication of how the game performs - if the game uses 4 threads, half the CPU does nothing while the rest is overworked and can't feed the GPU. And even when properly threaded, the FX architecture is inherently flawed under Windows, causing stalls.
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