Question GPU load, frequency, and framerate drop

May 10, 2019
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I've started noticing that when playing graphics-intensive games like Far Cry 5, Assassin's Creed: Origins, and Minecraft with ridiculous shader packs, I've been getting lesser performance (basically I'm complaining). If I stand completely still, after stuff renders (mostly in Minecraft), the GPU's load increases, the core frequency locks at it's max (in this case, 1510MHz) the framerate locks at 60, and the fan speeds up. as soon as I start moving or looking around, everything I listed before decreases. I have the latest drivers from two days ago installed, nothing seems to be struggling, and temperatures well below 80c. Any thoughts?



(Budget PC description in signature, but I can elaborate more if necessary.)
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
Plenty of thoughts, but I'm not really reading anything here that sounds abnormal.

Typically when you sit still in a 3d game the rendering job gets a lot easier. It is like approaching a wall very closely. If the game engine is decent optimized it now only needs to render one surface which it can do at HUGE frame rates. That would explain the ramp up on the GPU.

You might want to enable V-Sync if you haven't. That will draw one frame per screen refresh and no more. If you can't achieve 60FPS all the time though it will lead to doubled up frames, further increasing input lag. Check the game engine settings as well.
 
May 10, 2019
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Plenty of thoughts, but I'm not really reading anything here that sounds abnormal.

Typically when you sit still in a 3d game the rendering job gets a lot easier. It is like approaching a wall very closely. If the game engine is decent optimized it now only needs to render one surface which it can do at HUGE frame rates. That would explain the ramp up on the GPU.

You might want to enable V-Sync if you haven't. That will draw one frame per screen refresh and no more. If you can't achieve 60FPS all the time though it will lead to doubled up frames, further increasing input lag. Check the game engine settings as well.
I would think that if my GPU wasn't working as hard rendering an object close up, wouldn't the load decrease? Also I have V-Sync enabled, that's why it will lock at 60fps.
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
I would think that if my GPU wasn't working as hard rendering an object close up, wouldn't the load decrease? Also I have V-Sync enabled, that's why it will lock at 60fps.
Meaning that it will render as many frames as possible, so each render is easy, but it will be able to do hundreds of FPS. With V-sync on that shouldn't happen.

With mods, it is possible you are exceeding the memory limits of the GPU as well. That would mean the GPU itself is waiting for the memory to be loaded with the correct information in the pipeline. That could lead to some GPU idle time. Not sure that explains the fan noise though.
 
May 10, 2019
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Meaning that it will render as many frames as possible, so each render is easy, but it will be able to do hundreds of FPS. With V-sync on that shouldn't happen.

With mods, it is possible you are exceeding the memory limits of the GPU as well. That would mean the GPU itself is waiting for the memory to be loaded with the correct information in the pipeline. That could lead to some GPU idle time. Not sure that explains the fan noise though.
I have 8GB of VRAM, and I have never seen more than 5.xGB used. It's almost as if when the card is needed to to work the hardest, it just doesn't. Moving around (With V-Sync on) I get 45+fps with about 50% or less GPU load. When I stand still I get 60fps with 60-75% GPU load. It's not like it's struggling to render, maxing out resources, or is just slow. It's (supposed to be) a great GPU. Also I get really nice benchmark scores. Unigine Heaven benchmark reports an average of 81fps on the highest settings not overclocking.
Benchmark results (I actually have 8192MB VRAM)

Edit: Clicking the link above doesn't seem to bring up the .html file very well. It works when downloaded though.
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
And what does the CPU look like when that is happening? It is older and when you push for high frame rates the load goes on the CPU to deliver the data necessary to render.

Since the CPU load balances itself you have to be cautious. A single core at 100% might look like 25% exactly on each core. Which indicates the game engine is limited to a single thread for the part that the CPU is struggling with. If it is simply maxed out entirely, then that is the obvious conclusion.
 
May 10, 2019
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And what does the CPU look like when that is happening? It is older and when you push for high frame rates the load goes on the CPU to deliver the data necessary to render.

Since the CPU load balances itself you have to be cautious. A single core at 100% might look like 25% exactly on each core. Which indicates the game engine is limited to a single thread for the part that the CPU is struggling with. If it is simply maxed out entirely, then that is the obvious conclusion.
You have a good point, I've heard that an i7 2600 can be a bottleneck. I've looked at it in task manager, and in games like AC:O, it sits around 75-80%, across all cores, I think (I haven't actually looked). In Far Cry 5 it's not under as much load, and I know that it distributes the load pretty well. Maybe the CPU is a bottleneck. In benchmarks, it is under 20% load, and I can get 80+fps. In FC5, it's under 50-65% load, and I get 48+fps (when moving). In AC:O, it's under 75-80% load, and I get barely 40fps. I think you have a very good point. I thought maybe it was because the CPU only had PCIe 2.0, but if it's loaded down, that makes a lot of sense.
 
May 10, 2019
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Yeah, that speaks highly of one core being maxed out that runs the main engine thread and the rest running whatever remains. Pretty hard to actually get 100% CPU load unless running a CPU benchmark.
Okay, I've done some testing. and my CPU has about 70% load per thread in Far Cry 5. I've tested ultra settings vs. low. There's a difference of about 5-12fps. Ultra gets 48-62, and low gets 54-63. These aren't really numbers from a benchmark, just my guesses from looking at my Radeon overlay. There's not much load on my GPU, about 60% for ultra, and 40% for low.
 
May 10, 2019
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Running Far Cry 5 benchmarks. The difference here is it's smooth panning, no quick movements of the mouse. Lowest settings, no AA; min: 53, avg: 75, max: 99. Ultra; min: 49, avg: 64, max: 87. Now these numbers are better than when I'm actually in-game.

Running the same benchmark at 2560x1440 downscaled to 1360x768 (native resolution).
QHD ultra; min: 41, avg: 47, max: 62. QHD lowest; min: 56, avg: 62, max: 73. Thoughts?
 
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