Question High end PC underperforming in almost every game title

Sep 20, 2022
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Hello,

Around 3 years ago i have built a fairly high end system that I feel should crush 1080p gaming, but actually doesn't. Let me explain:

My specs:
CPU: Ryzen 9 3900X (Auto OC)
GPU: RTX 3070 Ti FE
Mobo: TuF Gaming X570 PLUS (Wi-Fi)
SSD: Samsung QVO 870 1Tb (OC'd using Samsung magician)
RAM: 1x 16 GB GSKILL RipJaws
PSU: EVGA SuperNova 750 Gold Plus
OS: Windows 11

I know what you're thinking... "Oh, you have single channel ram, that's your problem" Unlikely, sure, I could benefit from dual channel which i plan to upgrade towards, but fortunately i had a friend let me borrow his dual channel config and it posed 0 improvements. I have RMA'd my CPU, which i figured was broken, and that didnt work either, tested my gpu in another system, works fine, bought a new PSU, and reseated everything 4 times. I have wiped all drivers and reinstalled them, have the latest NVIDIA and BIOS drivers and I am completely out of luck. I feel I tried everything. Nothing over heats as well.

But here's my issue, in benchmarks however.. my system does wonderfully, actually it does better than it should. In Superposition at 1080p high, i score around I should, near users who use i9 9900k's and 2080 Ti's which is basically what my system compares to. 3D Mark shows i slightly underperform but that can be from single channel. Im kinda confused. In games I perform horribly, (1080p 75 FPS) but in benchmarks I am around 1080p high with 180 FPS.. truly confusing. I notice my gpu and cpu utilization are very low, i can max out resolution and get 90% but then my fps suffers. No matter what texture prefix i use, my fps doesnt budge, DLSS doesnt work, 720p doesnt work, 540p, 480p and so on.. All show the same fps. Nothing is capping my FPS, no V-Snyc, no fps limiters in NVIDIA control panel, i dont know.

I have been on and of this for around 3 years and i have made 0 progress. I feel like my issue is such an easy fix but i have scavenged the internet and somehow i see no one else have this problem. I wanna say it's the utilization. On average gpu utilization is in the 20's, and the cpu is in the 10's. There's nothing i can do to raise them. But in applications such as benchmarks that use all the gpu it performs fine, I cant find anything that raises it besides resolution but i play at 1080p and that kills my fps.

A lsit of the FPS I normally get at 1080p med/high settings:

Borderlands 3: 80 fps
Fortnite: 95 fps
Insurgency Sandstorm: 95 fps
Warzone 1/2: 95 fps

In short, high end PC, low utilization all around resulting in low fps in every game, performs as intended in benchmarks but not in games.
 
I know you said it’s not the single channel RAM but when you tested it did you ensure it was running in dual channel mode and the correct speed? Single channel memory can reduce performance by up to about 30% in some games and cause random fps drops and stuttering. A gaming pc should not be running single channel RAM.
 
Reactions: Vic 40
Sep 20, 2022
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I know you said it’s not the single channel RAM but when you tested it did you ensure it was running in dual channel mode and the correct speed? Single channel memory can reduce performance by up to about 30% in some games and cause random fps drops and stuttering. A gaming pc should not be running single channel RAM.
I could've very well have done that but im just weirded out by the benchmark performace compared in game. it does just fine in benchmakrs
 
Would there be any reason for my gpu to not want to utilize in gaming applications?
The gpu relies on the cpu to provide it frames, if the cpu is limiting the fps lower than what the gpu can render then the gpu is only partially utilised. Slow or single channel RAM can impact the cpu performance. The fps will only be as good as the weakest link.
 

nimbulan

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Apr 12, 2016
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The gpu relies on the cpu to provide it frames, if the cpu is limiting the fps lower than what the gpu can render then the gpu is only partially utilised. Slow or single channel RAM can impact the cpu performance. The fps will only be as good as the weakest link.
Yeah generally if the GPU is being underutilized, unless it's a specific software/driver bug, it's because the CPU is bottlenecking it. Games need far more CPU power than synthetic benchmarks do, since there's a lot more going on than just rendering graphics.

On the topic of dual channel, remember that single channel offers half the memory bandwidth. Some games use a lot of memory bandwidth and that can easily be a bottleneck, though I wouldn't expect it to be THIS large, typically.

Edit: Now that I think of it, how are you measuring your GPU utilization? The percentage you mentioned sounds far too low for the framerates you listed. If you're looking at it in the task manager, that can't measure GPU utilization properly.
 
Last edited:
Sep 20, 2022
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Yeah generally if the GPU is being underutilized, unless it's a specific software/driver bug, it's because the CPU is bottlenecking it. Games need far more CPU power than synthetic benchmarks do, since there's a lot more going on than just rendering graphics.

On the topic of dual channel, remember that single channel offers half the memory bandwidth. Some games use a lot of memory bandwidth and that can easily be a bottleneck, though I wouldn't expect it to be THIS large, typically.

Edit: Now that I think of it, how are you measuring your GPU utilization? The percentage you mentioned sounds far too low for the framerates you listed. If you're looking at it in the task manager, that can't measure GPU utilization properly.
I use three applications,

GPU-Z
Task Manager
Nvidia performance overlay (the overlay i use the most)
 

Elusive Ruse

Upstanding
Nov 17, 2022
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I use three applications,

GPU-Z
Task Manager
Nvidia performance overlay (the overlay i use the most)
Hmm, I assume you had the same problem on Windows 10 since the issue persists for three years? Really weird, I had heard of Win 11 messing with gaming and Ryzen CPUs.
On another note, can you install MSI Afterburner and monitor your usage on it? I trust AB over all others.
 
Sep 20, 2022
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Hmm, I assume you had the same problem on Windows 10 since the issue persists for three years? Really weird, I had heard of Win 11 messing with gaming and Ryzen CPUs.
On another note, can you install MSI Afterburner and monitor your usage on it? I trust AB over all others.
I dont think so. At the time I had a RX 570 gpu and i think it was doing just fine I think. I felt like I got more fps on that than my 3070 Ti. And I also used AB, its the same result, same temps
 

Elusive Ruse

Upstanding
Nov 17, 2022
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I dont think so. At the time I had a RX 570 gpu and i think it was doing just fine I think. I felt like I got more fps on that than my 3070 Ti. And I also used AB, its the same result, same temps
The constant variable seems to be the OS then, there's been reports of Win 11 affecting gaming and Ryzen but as far as I remember they were presumably fixed. I don't know how committed you are to testing out the theory, but you might want to revert to Win 10 and see if you still suffer from the same issue.
 
Sep 20, 2022
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The constant variable seems to be the OS then, there's been reports of Win 11 affecting gaming and Ryzen but as far as I remember they were presumably fixed. I don't know how committed you are to testing out the theory, but you might want to revert to Win 10 and see if you still suffer from the same issue.
I dont know. I mean ive already reformatted Win 11 and with no fix. I figure theres no point in reverting if im going to try dual channel to see if that fixes it
 
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Vic 40

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My specs:
CPU: Ryzen 9 3900X (Auto OC)
GPU: RTX 3070 Ti FE
As good as this cpu is it can be a sort of "bottleneck" on it's own as well ,combined with single channel ram not great. Upgrading to just a 5600(x) should already have benefits if you make sure you get dualchannel ram as well. Shall depend on the game played as well.
 
Sep 20, 2022
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As good as this cpu is it can be a sort of "bottleneck" on it's own as well ,combined with single channel ram not great. Upgrading to just a 5600(x) should already have benefits if you make sure you get dualchannel ram as well. Shall depend on the game played as well.
I get where youre coming from and obviously a 5600x is ideal, but i see people use a R9 3900x with 3090's or 3090 Ti's and they dont seem to have a problem. i mean obviously its gong to limit the potiential of the 3090 but a 3070 Ti is fairly below a 3090 in terms of performance, is a 3070 Ti really that held back by this cpu?
 

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