Question GPU usage 1-3% in games but near 100% in benchmarking

Aug 16, 2022
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Specs:

GPU- EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB XC Gaming (Issue also present using GeForce RTX 1060 6 GB)
CPU- AMD Ryzen 5 1600x 3.6 GHz 6-Core
Power Supply- Ultra LSP650 650 W ATX
RAM- 2 x 8gb Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2400 CL16
Motherboard- A320M Pro-VH Plus
OS- Windows 10

For a while now I have had an issue where GPU usage is very low (1-3%) in games resulting in bad performance, despite me having a decent build. The strange thing is that using benchmarks like Furmark brings the usage up to 95-100%. This problem occurred with my old 1060 as well as my brand new 3060 that I just got a month ago.
I've done everything I can think of to fix the solution to no avail. Reinstalled all current GPU and chipset drivers, confirmed integrated graphics isn't being used, changed Nvidia's 3d settings for performance, and anything else any online guide could tell me to do. I factory rebooted my computer as well and the problem still remained. Yesterday I brought it in to a computer repair shop and the people had no idea what the problem was. I don't know where to go next, but I really want my computer to perform at the level it should be.
 
Aug 16, 2022
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latest motherboard bios that work with your cpu?
latest chipset driver?

cpu/gpu temp and usage during the game?
ram/ssd usage?
Installed latest BIOS yesterday and chipset drivers the day before.

CPU usage during game averages 45-60% and temps are about 74.
GPU usage during games averages 0-2% and temps are about 41
RAM Usage during games averages 60%
No SSD, but HDD usage rapidly changes in the range 4% to 45%
 

Nighthawk117

Respectable
Sep 27, 2021
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Specs:

GPU- EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB XC Gaming (Issue also present using GeForce RTX 1060 6 GB)
CPU- AMD Ryzen 5 1600x 3.6 GHz 6-Core
Power Supply- Ultra LSP650 650 W ATX
RAM- 2 x 8gb Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2400 CL16
Motherboard- A320M Pro-VH Plus
OS- Windows 10

For a while now I have had an issue where GPU usage is very low (1-3%) in games resulting in bad performance, despite me having a decent build. The strange thing is that using benchmarks like Furmark brings the usage up to 95-100%. This problem occurred with my old 1060 as well as my brand new 3060 that I just got a month ago.
I've done everything I can think of to fix the solution to no avail. Reinstalled all current GPU and chipset drivers, confirmed integrated graphics isn't being used, changed Nvidia's 3d settings for performance, and anything else any online guide could tell me to do. I factory rebooted my computer as well and the problem still remained. Yesterday I brought it in to a computer repair shop and the people had no idea what the problem was. I don't know where to go next, but I really want my computer to perform at the level it should be.
Your GPU is not using 1-3% in games. It's showing like that because you are using a low level API like DirectX 12 or Vulkan. Download the latest version of MSI Afterburner and use that to track GPU usage instead.
 
Aug 16, 2022
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Oh ok may have jumped the gun there then. GPU usage is often inaccurately reported when using things like DirectX 12 which is why I mentioned it.

What games are you playing and what frame rate?
Games such as Spider-Man, Red Dead 2, Deep Rock Galactic all can't hit stable 60 at low 1080p. My build isn't top of the line, but games should run a lot better than this.
 
Aug 16, 2022
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Games such as Spider-Man, Red Dead 2, Deep Rock Galactic all can't hit stable 60 at low 1080p. My build isn't top of the line, but games should run a lot better than this.
Not only that but GTA V and Minecraft as well, which just don't make sense to run poorly.
 

geofelt

Titan
Some games are graphics limited, such as fast action games.
Such games should have responded nicely to your gpu upgrade.
Others such as strategy,mmo and sims are more cpu single threaded limited.
Sometimes, a game will alternate between the two limits.

Your 1600X is not the fastest chip on the block.
And, you have slow ram. Ryzen performance is tied to fast ram.
To test, run the cpu-Z bench and look at the single thread performance rating.
It should be about 408:
http://valid.x86.fr/bench/ppr7ym
 
Aug 16, 2022
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So things to check are:

  1. Is your CPU running at the correct speed during gameplay, so 3.6Ghz or above?
  2. Is your PCI-E link speed correct? I had this issue before and the performance went down the toilet. You can check with GPU-Z, see below:
View: https://imgur.com/bhQac9c
I believe my CPU is running at the correct speed. How do I check for sure?

GPU-Z says it is running at PCI- Express x 16 3.0. I don't know anything about PCI-E so is that what it is supposed to be?
 

Nighthawk117

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Sep 27, 2021
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I believe my CPU is running at the correct speed. How do I check for sure?

GPU-Z says it is running at PCI- Express x 16 3.0. I don't know anything about PCI-E so is that what it is supposed to be?
That's the correct link speed yes. You can add CPU clock speed to the overlay on MSI Afterburner. It should be at least 3.6Ghz on every core. Have you ever used any GPU other than Nvidia with this machine?
 
Aug 16, 2022
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Some games are graphics limited, such as fast action games.
Such games should have responded nicely to your gpu upgrade.
Others such as strategy,mmo and sims are more cpu single threaded limited.
Sometimes, a game will alternate between the two limits.

Your 1600X is not the fastest chip on the block.
And, you have slow ram. Ryzen performance is tied to fast ram.
To test, run the cpu-Z bench and look at the single thread performance rating.
It should be about 408:
http://valid.x86.fr/bench/ppr7ym
I understand that my 1600x and ram aren't top of the line, but not running Minecraft at 60 does not make sense for my build as a whole.

I ran the CPU-Z benchmark and the single-thread performance rating ended up being only 282.4.
 
Aug 16, 2022
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That's the correct link speed yes. You can add CPU clock speed to the overlay on MSI Afterburner. It should be at least 3.6Ghz on every core. Have you ever used any GPU other than Nvidia with this machine?
Okay. I'm following a tutorial on how to add CPU clock speed and it says to check my cores in the monitoring tab, but none of them are there or in the add source tab. How else could I check?

I've only used Nvidia cards with this machine.
 

Nighthawk117

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Sep 27, 2021
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Okay. I'm following a tutorial on how to add CPU clock speed and it says to check my cores in the monitoring tab, but none of them are there or in the add source tab. How else could I check?

I've only used Nvidia cards with this machine.
On the monitoring tab, does it not have CPU1 clock, CPU2 clock ect..?

Also what is your CPU usage idling on the desktop?
 

Nighthawk117

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Sep 27, 2021
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It doesn't even though it should be there.

Idling CPU usage is 2-3%
CPU usage is fine then, just wanted to make sure there wasn't other stuff running. On the general tab, do you have the following ticked:
-Enable hardware control and monitoring
-Enable low-level IO driver
-Enable low-level hardware access interface

Some people said that their CPU clocks became available under monitoring when they disabled the low-level IO driver. Though I think you need the above to measure GPU stats when using a low level API.

You might want to want to benchmark your PC with userbenchmark:

You should be able to link the results here, it would give you an idea if your hardware was performing way below expectations. Running games on the HDD is not going to do you any favours but I still wouldn't expect the performance your getting.
 

rgd1101

Don't
Moderator
test with a different psu?

 

Nighthawk117

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Sep 27, 2021
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hello i get the visual poppin issue along with the Gpu usage drop.. do you know a fix for it?
If you mean visual popping where textures are very blurry and then suddenly pop into view after a very brief delay. Then that's normally caused by slow I/O, in such a case the only solution would be to move Windows and the game in question to an SSD.
 
Aug 17, 2022
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If you mean visual popping where textures are very blurry and then suddenly pop into view after a very brief delay. Then that's normally caused by slow I/O, in such a case the only solution would be to move Windows and the game in question to an SSD.
Thanks for replying, and here is a link to my thread..
https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/gpu-usage-fluctuations-fps-drops-and-texture-popping-or-poor-lod-bad-distance-draw.3774383/#post-22774930

Can you plz analyze it?
Its more of an LOD issue than Texture.. Is LOD also connected to I/O?
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
It's not the gpu. It's the cpu.

Cpu = fps.
Gpu = eye candy.
The gpu can only render whatever frames the cpu sends it, so if the cpu sends limited amount of frames, the gpu only has a limited amount of frames to deal with. So if your gpu can handle 200frames and the cpu sends 20, gpu usage is going to be very, very low.

This should have been recognised before as the old 1060 did the exact same thing.

As for pcie link speeds, that needs to be checked in game not at idle because nvidia cards will lower link speed when not in heavy demand, saves power.

You have a 1600x with 2400MHz ram on an A320 chipset mobo. Need to verify that ram in in slots 2/4 not 1/3, need to verify that the cpu is running while gaming at @ 60-70°C at most or you won't get high boost clocks, need to verify the cpu is actually hitting boost speeds and not sitting at base speeds or below, ram reported is not hardware reserved, ram is running at rated speeds and size etc.
 

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