[SOLVED] High CPU Usage when downloading(Steam, Browser, anything)

Laur__14

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Hi!
So the problem is that when i download something, CPU Usage is 30-50%, even spikes to 80%.
My CPU is a i3 3240, and my internet plan is gigabit, and I believe my cpu bottlenecks the internet speed, because my internet speed doesn't go beyond 400 Mbps(when it reaches about 400 Mbps, my cpu is at about 80-90% usage, it should go to 940 Mbps.
Is my CPU too weak for my internet? I also called my ISP's support, and i was told that the cpu is too weak, and i need at least an i7 2nd gen or equivalent. I'm not sure if that is the cause.
Maybe someone hare can help me

PC Specs:
CPU: i3 3240
RAM: 8GB DDR3
Storage: 2 x 256 GB SSD's and a 2TB HDD
 
You could try plugging in a dedicated network card with CPU offloading and see if things get better. Indeed, Startech products can reduce stuff like CPU use greatly. However, if said downloads still need CPU processing (Steam unpacking, P2P sharing etc.) then a better CPU will be your best bet. If a CPU upgrade is over $100 though, you should consider a platform upgrade.
 
Some ethernet adaptors are more CPU dependent than others...

Additionally, just because an ISP advertises 900 Mbps downloads does not mean you will regularly see that speed, and, certainly not with random websites you happen to download things from, which routinely throttle individual downloads in order to better serves hundreds of people over just a pair of quad port adaptors...

If you suspect your ethernet adaptor is perhaps suspect, buy a used Intel dual port GbE adaptor for perhaps $20...
 

Laur__14

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Mar 30, 2017
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Some ethernet adaptors are more CPU dependent than others...

Additionally, just because an ISP advertises 900 Mbps downloads does not mean you will regularly see that speed, and, certainly not with random websites you happen to download things from, which routinely throttle individual downloads in order to better serves hundreds of people over just a pair of quad port adaptors...

If you suspect your ethernet adaptor is perhaps suspect, buy a used Intel dual port GbE adaptor for perhaps $20...
My ethernet adaptor is a Intel 82579LM. I even updated the drivers, but no change. I'm thinking that my 2 core 4 thread CPU simply cannot handle such high speeds.
I'm gonna get a i5 3570 to test if I will get more speed
 

shady28

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Jan 29, 2007
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Steam decompresses while it downloads, along with ethernet driver overhead.

Linus had a 10Gbit connected 5950X with full speed DL/install from Steam and it was near 100% CPU load because of that, and that is a 16 core / 32 thread CPU.

You're running a 2 Core 4 Thread Ivy Bridge, so I'm not surprised you are at 100% at 400Mbit actual DL speed.
 

Laur__14

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Mar 30, 2017
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Steam decompresses while it downloads, along with ethernet driver overhead.

Linus had a 10Gbit connected 5950X with full speed DL/install from Steam and it was near 100% CPU load because of that, and that is a 16 core / 32 thread CPU.

You're running a 2 Core 4 Thread Ivy Bridge, so I'm not surprised you are at 100% at 400Mbit actual DL speed.
Well, looks like it's time for an upgrade.
 

shady28

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Well, looks like it's time for an upgrade.
Yeah, it's kind of surprising. I looked at my 10400 during a steam download where I was getting around 20MByte/S (roughly 200Mbit) and I was bouncing between 5 and 15% overall CPU load.

Anyway, if you've been getting along with an i3-3XXX then the i5-3570 @ $45-$60 would be a substantial upgrade.

I wouldn't count on getting full on 960Mbs though unless you are hard wired to your router and nothing else is using your internet connection. In that case, the 3570 will probably be pushed pretty hard to use that full bandwidth on steam downloads.
 
You could try plugging in a dedicated network card with CPU offloading and see if things get better. Indeed, Startech products can reduce stuff like CPU use greatly. However, if said downloads still need CPU processing (Steam unpacking, P2P sharing etc.) then a better CPU will be your best bet. If a CPU upgrade is over $100 though, you should consider a platform upgrade.
 

Laur__14

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Mar 30, 2017
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Yeah, it's kind of surprising. I looked at my 10400 during a steam download where I was getting around 20MByte/S (roughly 200Mbit) and I was bouncing between 5 and 15% overall CPU load.

Anyway, if you've been getting along with an i3-3XXX then the i5-3570 @ $45-$60 would be a substantial upgrade.

I wouldn't count on getting full on 960Mbs though unless you are hard wired to your router and nothing else is using your internet connection. In that case, the 3570 will probably be pushed pretty hard to use that full bandwidth on steam downloads.
I am aware that even a i5 3rd gen can't support such speeds, but i do expect some increase in speed, or at least, a lower cpu usage. I'm also fine with the current speed, but the high cpu bothers me. I pay around $6 for the internet plan, so i don't feel so much wasting money on unused speed.
The i5 3570 is already on its way, found one used for around $38, so i guess it wil help me, until next year when I'll do a Mobo+RAM+CPU upgrade.
 

Laur__14

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Mar 30, 2017
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You could try plugging in a dedicated network card with CPU offloading and see if things get better. Indeed, Startech products can reduce stuff like CPU use greatly. However, if said downloads still need CPU processing (Steam unpacking, P2P sharing etc.) then a better CPU will be your best bet. If a CPU upgrade is over $100 though, you should consider a platform upgrade.
sounds interesting and i think it's worth trying. anyway, an i5 3570 used for around $38 is already on its way, so i expect some increase in speed, or at least lower cpu usage.
Can you recommend me a dedicated network card?
 
My MOBO has 2 integrated NICs. The Intel 82579LM Gigabit and the 82574L Gigabit. I use the first, will a dedicated NIC show any improvements, or is the integrated one enough?
It's a matter of relieving the CPU from driving network traffic - most of these integrated NIC don't have an integrated circuit for traffic management, thus relying on the CPU. Now it would seem a waste to buy a third NIC when a quad core CPU would probably solve your problem, but then you can re-use the card in a newer setup if that ever happens.
 
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