[SOLVED] GPU is not being used at all on some games (unplayable). Very low clock speed (under base boost level). Used to work perfectly fine before.

Oct 23, 2021
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Config :
OS : Windows 10
CPU : AMD Ryzen 5 3600
GPU : Nvidia RTX 2070 SUPER (ASUS)
RAM : GSkill DDR4 64GB (4x16) 3200MHz
MB : ASRock X570 Pro4
PSU : Corsair RM850X
Monitor : AOC CQ32G1, 1440p, 144Hz

Some games don't use my GPU properly.

Two important facts to avoid being off topic :
-First, it's not about a GPU under-performing : it's about the card not even being used by some games !
-It's not about the GPU itself since I already tried with another GPU (GTX 1060) and I got the exact same problems.

On thoses unplayable games, I observed common odds problems : gpu load, clock, and voltage are all extremely low and fans speed is close to 0 RPM since the card is not used.

I tested plenty of games so that you can see the "benchmarks" results (see the sheet I shared).

Playable games :
BF1, BF3, BF4, Battlefront 2, Metro Exodus, Call of Duty Cold War, Borderlands 2, Titanfall 2
On a side note : every benchmarks tools like 3DMark, Unigine, Kombustor and any stress tests worked perfectly fine with the GPU load to the max and high FPS.

Unplayable games :
BFV, Call of Duty Warzone, SkaterXL, Session, Rocket League, For Honor, The Witcher 3, Tekken 7, GTA V, Street Fighter V, Crysis 2, Bioshock Infinite

Works but... games :
Dead Space, Starcraft 2
I got decent fps still on those ones but it's because they are old games and pretty easy to run. But GPU clock speed is not ok though.



I ran all those games fine before, and now everything's broken...

What I already tried to fix it :
-change settings in nvidia control panel (force maximum performances)(in programs tab or global)
-force windows power plan to max settings
-uninstall drivers with DDU (safe mode)
-reinstall old drivers (tried 5 differents versions)
-rollback windows update
-set and check RAM configuration in BIOS
-remove 2/4 RAM sticks to see if there was a conflict.
-changed cables on PSU
-update bios version
-update chipset drivers
-uninstall/reinstall games on other drives
-check temperatures on GPU or CPU (it's normal).
-reinstall directX
-change monitor resfresh rate (144Hz, 60Hz...)
-switching off/disable others monitors to keep only one
-change GPU for another one (GTX 1060) : still the exact same problems on the same games.
-did run RAM tests (chkdsk and memtest) without any failure/crash.

None of the above worked.

My observations :

-The GPU acts like it's not being used/activated (I'm on desktop it's not a problem of forcing the correct GPU to be used). It's either black or white : not an underperfoming GPU.
-It's not about CPU bottleneck since my CPU usage is low aswell.
-Temps are good on both GPU and CPU.
-Some games I have plenty of FPS in menus, but when the game starts it's terrible.
-Nvidia Control Panel settings seems to not affect anything since there is no difference with "max performance setting" cause GPU still have low clock speed with that setting "on".

My theories :
It's probably software related cause I have no solid proof of hardware failure on any of the PC components.
Plus the fact that I can play some other games and benchmarks perfectly prove that point.

My questions :
-Is it really a driver issue ? I tried reinstalling nvidia drivers (different versions) multiples times with DDU in safe mode.
-Is it the MOBO ? If so, why it's working perfectly on other games ?

I would like to know what exactly triggers a GPU and set the clock speed, cause It's probably there we will find a solution.

Thanks a lot in advance guys.
 
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it's not about a GPU under-performing : it's about the card not even being used by some games
if the card wasn't being used then you would have no display whatsoever; either plain black screen or "no signal" is all you would see.
it is only about under-performing.
but what is causing the low performance is what needs to be determined.
What I already tried to fix it :
out of the list of "What I already tried" i do not see a drive wipe & fresh OS install listed.
many times a corrupt OS can lead to issues with performance even if it isn't, or hasn't yet begun, crashing.

i also don't see that you've run MEMTEST or CHKDSK to determine if memory or drives may be failing or having issue(s).
I already did all basic stuff and fixes found on forums.
if there is more than you state in the OP,
you should add those troubleshooting steps also to avoid repeat suggestions.
 
Oct 23, 2021
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if the card wasn't being used then you would have no display whatsoever; either plain black screen or "no signal" is all you would see.
it is only about under-performing.
but what is causing the low performance is what needs to be determined.

out of the list of "What I already tried" i do not see a drive wipe & fresh OS install listed.
many times a corrupt OS can lead to issues with performance even if it isn't, or hasn't yet begun, crashing.

i also don't see that you've run MEMTEST or CHKDSK to determine if memory or drives may be failing or having issue(s).

if there is more than you state in the OP,
you should add those troubleshooting steps also to avoid repeat suggestions.
Thanks for the reply.
When I said "not used" i meant the GPU runs at the exact same pace as when I'm on desktop without any apps open : The GPU clock is at 1170Mhz for most "broken" games, and the same when no game is running.
So it's probably not well said, but I have to maintain the fact that it is not about underperfoming like we could understand having low framerate on a game compared to other people.
It's not about that.

You are right about the OS, cause I can't afford to format and reinstall Windows, I use my PC for work and It will take ages to reinstall everything.
Also, I read plenty of other forums and found that any people having a similar issue to mine tried reinstalling Windows without any success.
I want to try other fixes if possible.

I did run memory tests (both chkdsk and memtest) without any failures or crashes, I forgot to mention it, thanks.

If you have any other ideas except reinstall Windows, I'm down to test it.

Thanks again for your time.
 
I did run memory tests (both chkdsk and memtest) without any failures or crashes, I forgot to mention it, thanks.
these are not stressing tools. so having no failures or crashes during them means nothing.

they are only diagnostic tools that will give you a report of the status of your hardware;
CHKDSK for drives, MEMTEST for memory.
You are right about the OS, cause I can't afford to format and reinstall Windows, I use my PC for work and It will take ages to reinstall everything.
if you haven't, you may want to get on backing up any data you cannot lose that is located on this OS drive.
about 30% of issues like what you describe end up being some sort of OS corruption.

you also may want to go ahead and start storing any application install packages you have or can get elsewhere so you can jump right back into installing them if/when you do reinstall.

for now you can just run SFC with fix parameters in place and hopefully catch and fix any issues within the OS.
many times these fixes are only temporary though and corruption creeps back in again.
 
Oct 23, 2021
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I had run a SFC who fixed some things but nothing changed after it.
BUT I installed a fresh Windows on another drive to test some games, and it seems to work ! (I will continue to tests other games to be sure). Now, I STILL don't want to reinstall Windows, but I know it's responsible. So what can mess up with the GPU ? What "thing" in Windows triggers the clock speed or manage the detection of the card by a 3D app ?
 
Oct 23, 2021
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