Games use up 100% of the CPU

Tormidal

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I installed Windows 8 back in January, and somewhere along the line, games started using 100% of CPU(Confirmed in task manager).

Using CPU-Z, I compared what my CPU was running at, compared to what the default is listed as under CPU-World

Im using an AMD Athlon X3 463 with a NVIDIA GTS 450.
CPU-Z says that the core speed is 3408 MHz, with a multiplier of 17.
Bus Speed is 200.48, and the HT Link is 2004 MHz.

CPU World says that the core frequency is 3400, the bus speed is 667 MHz, the HT Link is 2000 Mhz, and the multiplier is 17.

Any ideas?
 

brisa117

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Honestly sounds like something is taking up a lot of CPU cycles. How's your RAM usage compared to "normal"? My suggestion is to run Malwarebytes. It's fast and light and catches almost everything! You can get it from download.com or directly from their site. Run that and let us know what happens!

Best of luck!
Brisa
 

Tormidal

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Hey Brisa, thanks for responding so fast. :p

Ill run both Malewarebytes, Spybot, and Norton just to be sure. :p(Boom, triple threat.)

RAM usage is always below 50%, since I have 16 gigs. Except on rare occasions.



If I were to flash the BIOS for my motherboard that supports my CPU, rather than continuing to use the one that came on the board, could that help?
 

brisa117

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Newer BIOS do often fix issues, but correct me if I'm wrong, but this sounds like an issue that has developed over time? A new BIOS probably won't fix this problem... Having said that, if you're using a newer CPU that your BIOS doesn't technically support, then yes do update your BIOS. I haven't ever run into that situation personally, so I don't know what effect that situation would have. I assumed the system simply wouldn't run. Lol. My bet is still on malware though.

.... But now that you mention it, if you're using something like Norton for active protection, a recent update to that program could be causing funky conflicts with your system and hogging resources. I know that norton fixed a lot of their problems a few years ago, but you never know. Anti Virus providers have been known to roll out updates that brick hundreds of PCs. Hahaha.
 

brisa117

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Also, that's a lot of RAM for your system. I love overkill RAM. Haha. Especially before the prices went back up! As you can see, I got my 32GB kit for like $145 at the time. Same kit goes for $269 these days! YEIKS!
 

Tormidal

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I love it too. :p I got 16GB for $80, now its like $120 for the same. >:D

Anyways, I dont think its Norton hogging resources, because under the task manager, it shows that the game executable is the thing hogging all my CPU, but im running all my scans to be sure.
 

brisa117

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You aren't by chance running 8.1 preview or have a system update pending do you? It just hit me... I was playing Battlefield 3 earlier on my desktop (FX-8350, crossfire 7970's) and I was hitting about 15-20 FPS...... I normally get between 90-170 depending on the level. haha. Anyways, it was just a pending update that was killing my game. A simple reboot fixed everything.
 
Diagnostics:

You can monitor CPU usage of individual process in the Task Manager (CTRL-ALT-DEL...). You likely have to run the game in WINDOWED MODE for this to work as Alt-Tab may PAUSE the game (or even crash it).

With the game running, now click "CPU %" so it shows the order of CPU usage.

Analysis:
1) If your CPU is showing most of the usage from the game you are playing, then the reason your CPU is showing 100% is likely that it's too slow and thus the bottleneck.

2) If a different process is using a lot of CPU cycles then Google the name if you don't know what it is.
 

brisa117

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Did you read the post? He's already determined that it is the game that is taking the CPU cycles and already has verified through the task manager. And if you're going to quote keyboard shortcuts, it's Ctrl-Shift-Esc to directly access the task manager...

The reason that I think it is probably malware is because he stated that games started taking more CPU horepower. Unless these are different games than he was playing six months ago, they won't be taking more cycles now (without increasing the graphics level). Furthermore, malware is known to hide itself as other, running programs.
 

Tabris DarkPeace

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Wow, just wow.
- The CPU is running a process that has three, or more, independent threads at 99%-100% CPU usage and you all think that there is a problem?

Modern games are geared towards tri-cores and 2C/4T SMT systems.

Do you really want the CPU to 'not' be the bottleneck when running software?
- It's cache hit rate is going to be above 70%, maybe even 97%

Turn on the CPU Time column in Task Manager and pair it with the wall clock or system uptime.

I don't think this is a problem unless Norton is installed.

With modern DirectX and WDDM v1.1 (or later) the CPU workload and GPU workload can be asynchronous, so one does not necessarily bottleneck the other.

When WDDM v1.3 becomes mainstream there will be more posts like this, when nothing is actually broken.
 

Tormidal

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While I encounter this issue more often with modern games, i do see in a lot of older games, like Napoleon: Total War(Which pisses me off, i get shit FPS on it. Might be my video card though, but I doubt it.), and Rainbow Six: Vegas 2.

How do I enable the CPU Time Column?(Windows 8)
 

brisa117

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To enable CPU Time Column (At least in 8.1 preview), go to your Task Manager (Ctrl-Shift-Esc), pick the App History tab, and if it is not already there, right click the columns and you'll be presented with "CPU time" as an option. Click that! : D


Edit: Sorry.... that's only for the apps. If you want for all programs, go to the "Details" tab and right click the columns, choose "select columns" and then you'll get a whole list including CPU time!
 

Tormidal

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Wat.



EDIT: Never mind, I cant read.
CPU Time isn't a column under Details though. :/
And I dont see the option to add it.

Also, ill go check that out and run it while I play, thanks.
 

brisa117

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Here's the screenshots from Windows 8 on my laptop (not 8.1)! I didn't even think of doing that!

Step 1: right click where it says "Name, PID, Status..." and choose "Select Columns"


Step 2: This menu should pop up and allow you to choose CPU time


Best of luck!
Brisa
 

Tormidal

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O.

okay, so what am I looking for exactly while playing with the CPU time column up?
 

Tabris DarkPeace

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Compare it to the System Up Time.
It also makes it easier to see stuff that spikes while you're gaming as they will accumulate CPU Time almost silently.

Over 2 hours it makes stuff stand out, you can use IObit GameBooster to temporarily disable unwanted processes and services while gaming, which should help on stutter issues heaps.
 

Tormidal

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Mkay. Ill go play a game.


Question though; If I can run a game like Skyrim on high with my GTS 450, why does Napoleon: Total War get low FPS?
 

brisa117

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Games tax PCs in different ways. I know that once you get to a certain level of graphics card, Skyrim is limited by your CPU performance. Taking a quick look at the recommended requirements for Skyrim vs. Napoleon: TW, it seems like TW would need less horsepower (less ram required, smaller graphics card), but the CPU suggestion is actually 600Mhz higher than with Skyrim!

Now it does appear that your system should be able to handle both of these games easily.... so I'm still betting it's something else. My honest suggestion at this point is to do a backup of what you want to keep and a fresh Windows install. I reinstall windows about every 6-8 months myself. Just keeps things running smoothly.
 

Tormidal

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Skyrim has always run just fine, but with N:TW, I always got around 20 FPS and the gameplay was super choppy.

But I did a re-install of windows and first thing I did was fire up the game, highest possible settings, got a steady 30-40 FPS and it ran smoother than ever.

On the other hand, I haven't installed Darthmod for it yet, which raises the amount of units as well as the graphics of the game.

http://www.moddb.com/mods/darthmod-napoleon <-darthmod


Could it have been darthmod that destroyed my framerate?


 

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