[SOLVED] GPU and CPU never reach 100% despite games not reaching 60 fps and having lag spikes.

Jan 18, 2022
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For example - Witcher 3. My fps is fine for the majority of the game but when I reach an intesive area such as Novigrad, my FPS drops and I experience lag spikes. Issue is that both the CPU and GPU aren't using their full potential - only around 45-70%. This is annoying as I feel like I have pretty decent specs that aren't being fully utilised.

Specs:
i7 6700
GTX 1070
16gb RAM
 

Eximo

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This is likely one of your CPU cores maxing out that is running the primary game engine thread. Not all code can be spread on across all available cores.

Check memory consumption as well. 16GB should be enough, unless you have a lot of background applications still running.

If your GPU isn't being utilized all the way, increase resolution or game detail settings. You should achieve similar FPS and enjoy higher quality graphics.
 

Eximo

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This is likely one of your CPU cores maxing out that is running the primary game engine thread. Not all code can be spread on across all available cores.

Check memory consumption as well. 16GB should be enough, unless you have a lot of background applications still running.

If your GPU isn't being utilized all the way, increase resolution or game detail settings. You should achieve similar FPS and enjoy higher quality graphics.
 
This is annoying as I feel like I have pretty decent specs that aren't being fully utilized...
i7 6700
GTX 1070
16gb RAM
i would actually call those rather low-end specs these days.

your frame rate drops in larger detailed areas are normal but the stuttering normally shouldn't happen.

the majority of games out there will not continually stress even an average CPU's cores to 100% ever.
include what resolution and game settings you are using, what your average and and lowest fps are, along with the temperatures you are reaching when playing the game.
 

Eximo

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Might also be storage related. If your drive is nearly full, that can cause slow downs when the game tries to load in new textures. Witcher 3 doesn't really have loading screens last I checked, so it would be constantly trying to pre-load things.

Then again last time I tried Witcher III I think I was still on my 7700k? Maybe even 4770k, probably the latter. Definitely tested out dual GTX 980 and/or a single 1080.
 
Jan 18, 2022
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i would actually call those rather low-end specs these days.

your frame rate drops in larger detailed areas are normal but the stuttering normally shouldn't happen.

the majority of games out there will not continually stress even an average CPU's cores to 100% ever.
include what resolution and game settings you are using, what your average and and lowest fps are, along with the temperatures you are reaching when playing the game.
1080p, pretty much max settings apart from disabled HairWorks and Ambient Occulsion.
Both CPU and GPU temps below 65 degrees C
Running around Novigrad gives me an average of 51 fps, with lowest being around 45.

Might also be storage related. If your drive is nearly full, that can cause slow downs when the game tries to load in new textures. Witcher 3 doesn't really have loading screens last I checked, so it would be constantly trying to pre-load things.

Then again last time I tried Witcher III I think I was still on my 7700k? Maybe even 4770k, probably the latter. Definitely tested out dual GTX 980 and/or a single 1080.
My drive still has quite a lot on it, although it is an HDD

This is likely one of your CPU cores maxing out that is running the primary game engine thread. Not all code can be spread on across all available cores.

Check memory consumption as well. 16GB should be enough, unless you have a lot of background applications still running.

If your GPU isn't being utilized all the way, increase resolution or game detail settings. You should achieve similar FPS and enjoy higher quality graphics.
I'm using below 65% of my RAM
Lemme get this straight - one CPU core is being used to it's max which is then bottlenecking the rest of the parts?
 
Jan 18, 2022
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I've been having performance issues for months now - my PC just simply doesn't seem to perform as well as it used to. I've tried everything, cleaning out the PC, reinstalling Windows, stress tests. And this video has much better performance than my PC does despite having the same specs. It simply makes no sense.
 

Eximo

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Yes, this is typical for games, particularly older ones or ones based on older game engines. There is one thread that acts as the core of the game and directs other parts of the CPU to do less critical tasks that can be done in parallel. Everything else has to stay together to function, so it must run on a single core in a single thread. It may move that task from CPU core to CPU core to prevent local overheating, but it can still only do one thing at time. Which is why single thread performance has always been important to games, still is, and why when AMD finally caught up and surpassed Intel with the Ryzen 3000 and 5000 series we finally had competition again.

Also related to why I stopped overclocking. Typical boost profiles will allow one or two cores to run a little faster than an all core overclock (in my case, 5.2 Ghz) with no action on my part. All core overclock of more than 4 cores is mostly just inefficient.

This is why the first dual cores were such a huge change back in the day. Your game ran on one core by itself, and Windows and all its tasks could be relegated to the other. Compared to single core systems this was a huge gain even if the CPUs weren't twice as fast (they typically were, and then some)

We've moved on from quad cores and hyperthreading is now basically standard in all but the cheapest CPUs.

Now the big move is towards lots of cache, the fastest memory type available to improve general CPU core performance.
 

Eximo

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Start trying to isolate the problem.

You can head over to userbenchmark.com for the broad strokes (ignore the comparisons, they aren't that accurate)

That can point out a CPU/GPU/Storage/RAM issue pretty handily.

Monitor your GPU with GPU-Z, or perhaps MSI Afterburner / EVGA Precision with the overlay turned on. You can watch the GPU frequency as you play to see if something is up there.

Then you can try individual benchmarks like Cinebench for the CPU, Unigine Heaven for the GPU. Or something combined like 3D Mark Firestrike. Compare your CPU and GPU scores against the average for your hardware.

Lastly, with any older system, start poking question marks at the power supply. It is tricky to test, but testing with a known good PSU will let you know if it has been a problem. A sagging 12V line could certainly cause the GPU or CPU to throttle on you.
 
Jan 18, 2022
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Start trying to isolate the problem.

You can head over to userbenchmark.com for the broad strokes (ignore the comparisons, they aren't that accurate)

That can point out a CPU/GPU/Storage/RAM issue pretty handily.

Monitor your GPU with GPU-Z, or perhaps MSI Afterburner / EVGA Precision with the overlay turned on. You can watch the GPU frequency as you play to see if something is up there.

Then you can try individual benchmarks like Cinebench for the CPU, Unigine Heaven for the GPU. Or something combined like 3D Mark Firestrike. Compare your CPU and GPU scores against the average for your hardware.

Lastly, with any older system, start poking question marks at the power supply. It is tricky to test, but testing with a known good PSU will let you know if it has been a problem. A sagging 12V line could certainly cause the GPU or CPU to throttle on you.
I do use HWinfo and RTSS and have noticed that sometimes the Performance Limit - Power sensor for the GPU will sometimes switch on, but not for long and it is rare. Could this be cause for concern?
 

Eximo

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Yes, if the 12V line is sagging under load, it might not be getting enough juice through the PCIe connector(s) and motherboard. If the PSU is the age of the system, and it wasn't a high quality unit to start with that could easily be the problem.
 
Jan 18, 2022
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Yes, if the 12V line is sagging under load, it might not be getting enough juice through the PCIe connector(s) and motherboard. If the PSU is the age of the system, and it wasn't a high quality unit to start with that could easily be the problem.
Well, I don't think Dell pre-builts are known for their good PSUs so I will look into getting a new PSU or swapping my current one out with my brother's new one. That would explain the degrading performance.
 

Eximo

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Of late they have been using Great Wall units, which are decent. Not sure what they were using around the 6th gen. But Dell has been doing proprietary 12VO for a while now, so the supplies are lot less complex and they rely on the motherboard to make the 5V and 3.3V.
 
1080p, pretty much max settings apart from disabled HairWorks and Ambient Occulsion...
Running around Novigrad gives me an average of 51 fps, with lowest being around 45
this is perfectly normal for your setup.
to figure out what may be causing excessive stuttering would be the task.
it is an HDD
drives in use a lot of times turn out to be the culprit for stuttering
and/or causing areas with lots of models & textures to load to not perform well.

one simple improvement would be adding a nice 2.5" SATA III SSD for games.
hopefully this motherboard & power supply could support an additional SATA device.
I will look into getting a new PSU or swapping my current one out with my brother's new one.
i would doubt this Dell can support a standard power supply.
their motherboards usually wouldn't use standard 24pin and i doubt would fit in the case.
 
who knows what some video post may include.
the whole point of these videos is to draw views so claiming to get better or even substantially worse performance than normal would draw in much more users.
many of these systems have been altered, settings have been lowered considerably, videos have been edited, etc to show something you wouldn't normally expect.

do not go by any YouTube or other media sharing site's member's claims.
 
Jan 18, 2022
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who knows what some video post may include.
the whole point of these videos is to draw views so claiming to get better or even substantially worse performance than normal would draw in much more users.
many of these systems have been altered, settings have been lowered considerably, videos have been edited, etc to show something you wouldn't normally expect.

do not go by any YouTube or other media sharing site's member's claims.
hmm, alright
 
Jan 18, 2022
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one other thing I find strange is that my fps doesn't look as smooth as others - even on 60, it doesn't look quite right. 45 fps is a lot choppier than it should be. could be due to frametime but that seems to remain ~16ms at 60, but it might be flucuating quickly
 

logainofhades

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You can use this to check drive health.

 
Jan 18, 2022
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You can use this to check drive health.

Here are the results, I think everything is good
 

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