Question i7-9700k 100% CPU usage when gaming

NateJayy

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Mar 4, 2014
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Hey All,

Having an issue with my CPU where when I’m gaming, just about any game will spike my CPU to 100%. At first, I thought it was just CoD/Warzone (where I first noticed it/it’s the worst), but then I started to notice in other games.

CoD, Warzone, Tarkov, Rocket League, no matter what I play, it’s bad. Some are better than others, but most recently my friends got me back on Fortnite and it’s awful. Like most games, Fortnite will automatically set your graphics settings based on your hardware. Well, like every game, it sets everything to ultra/high based on my hardware. Yet in game, even after bumping settings down to medium or lower, I skip even though I have 150+ FPS. I’m aware CoD is optimized like crap, but I feel that my other games shouldn’t be lagging on medium settings.

I have tried what feels like everything. Updated all drivers listed on the motherboard page, updated GPU, updated BIOS, updated Windows, uninstalled/reinstalled games, checked windows power settings. I only really ever have discord and Chrome open in the background, which don’t use too much CPU at all.

I’ve monitored temps, CPU and GPU, both of which are totally fine (GPU not past 75, CPU not bad 80), with temps staying normal under load w/o fluctuating too much and going back down to normal numbers when idle.

I have my CPU overclocked to 5.2 GHz (only OC’d after the issues) and I have tried to dial back the overclock a bit/undo it as well, nothing made any changes. I have my RAM running at the advertised speed of 3200 MHz and my graphics card is overclocked, but only slightly.

What could be wrong? For a while I kept telling myself it’s just the games being optimized poorly or being intensive, but at this point I feel something has gotta be wrong. When I can run tarkov on nearly ultra but can’t run fortnite on medium without it dropping frames and skipping, I’ve begun to question things.

Build:
i7-9700k @ 5.2 GHz
RTX 2070 Super
16 GB Corsair RAM @ 3200 MHz
ASUS ROG Strix z390-E motherboard
h110i cooler
WD Black M.2 boot drive
1440p 144hz monitor
 
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Viking2121

Distinguished
That seem to be normal for that CPU on Warzone to run close to 100%, I have a 9700k on stock I can try it on an see, but it'll be a while for the crazy big download....

Make sure you chipset is updated along with Nvidia drivers, I'd recommend the DDU method, and no in game overlays are enabled, make sure the Game bar is disabled in the windows settings menu. Also usage is your cpu sitting at on your desktop doing nothing?
 

NateJayy

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Mar 4, 2014
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what is using the cpu? malware scan the system?
Just the game itself will show that it’s using 80%+ of the CPU. The rest of the use is a few percent here and there for discord, chrome, etc. when I’m not in a game, CPU sits idle at <10% with no spikes or anything.
Also, no, I haven’t tried to scan for malware.
 

NateJayy

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Mar 4, 2014
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That seem to be normal for that CPU on Warzone to run close to 100%, I have a 9700k on stock I can try it on an see, but it'll be a while for the crazy big download....

Make sure you chipset is updated along with Nvidia drivers, I'd recommend the DDU method, and no in game overlays are enabled, make sure the Game bar is disabled in the windows settings menu. Also usage is your cpu sitting at on your desktop doing nothing?
I updated the chipset a few months ago when I initially was troubleshooting it and there was no change. Again last night I updated all drivers, the chipset, and the BIOS and it still seems the same, maybe a little better.
I don’t use in game overlays and as far as the game bar thing, I’ve got that off and have tried having windows “game mode” both on and off, with 0 change no matter how it’s set.
Usage on my desktop is <10% with no spikes and only discord/chrome open. Also, I’ve never done the DDU thing, I wasn’t sure about trusting a program I’d never seen. If that’s a legitimate trusted method, I’d give it a shot.
 

__blackha7__

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Nov 8, 2016
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I updated the chipset a few months ago when I initially was troubleshooting it and there was no change. Again last night I updated all drivers, the chipset, and the BIOS and it still seems the same, maybe a little better.
I don’t use in game overlays and as far as the game bar thing, I’ve got that off and have tried having windows “game mode” both on and off, with 0 change no matter how it’s set.
Usage on my desktop is <10% with no spikes and only discord/chrome open. Also, I’ve never done the DDU thing, I wasn’t sure about trusting a program I’d never seen. If that’s a legitimate trusted method, I’d give it a shot.
I have the same CPU on 5.1 GHZ, and can't say I do have the same issues you do. This CPU is amazing even with RTX 3090 which I'm currently using. Every game is different in terms of CPU utilization, but even in a high CPU demanding game, you must not reach 100%.

  • What CPU temperatures do you reach in game? if you're between 60-80 you are fine.
  • Did you scan for malware? You can try Malwarebytes - it has a free version that will do perfectly fine, and it takes about a minute for a scan.
  • Open a game that pulls 100% utilization, like Warzone in your case, then open the task manager and sort all processes to CPU usage. Which are the top 5 processes?
 

NateJayy

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I have the same CPU on 5.1 GHZ, and can't say I do have the same issues you do. This CPU is amazing even with RTX 3090 which I'm currently using. Every game is different in terms of CPU utilization, but even in a high CPU demanding game, you must not reach 100%.

  • What CPU temperatures do you reach in game? if you're between 60-80 you are fine.
  • Did you scan for malware? You can try Malwarebytes - it has a free version that will do perfectly fine, and it takes about a minute for a scan.
  • Open a game that pulls 100% utilization, like Warzone in your case, then open the task manager and sort all processes to CPU usage. Which are the top 5 processes?
Temps stay low, I have never seen them get past 80 even when I was stress testing my OC. Under load on a game they're around 60, but if they stay under load they will creep up to 70 or so. As far as malware, I just scanned with malwarebytes free version and it found nothing. I have attached screenshot of the task manager as well as hardware monitor showing usage and temps for my CPU. The CPU is currently no longer OC'd to 5.2, I changed it back last night. But performance of it seems fine at the clock speeds it's at now.https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zXqF_5VZj7LvW4Ka6FLKrBy7GOFFMCB9/view?usp=sharing
 
Jan 2, 2021
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I registered just to post this, as I had the same issue with a 9700k and a 2070. God hoping it's the same thing.

I am assuming you run windows 10? Right click and personalize your background. Check your background settings for each image, if it's set to 1 minute, change it to an hour.

If that does not help, make sure you search for the game bar and disable it.
 

NateJayy

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Mar 4, 2014
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I registered just to post this, as I had the same issue with a 9700k and a 2070. God hoping it's the same thing.

I am assuming you run windows 10? Right click and personalize your background. Check your background settings for each image, if it's set to 1 minute, change it to an hour.

If that does not help, make sure you search for the game bar and disable it.
I have game bar off and as far as the background, I do not have it on slideshow so it's just 1 image, there is no timer on it like slideshow.
 
Jul 19, 2020
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Sorry mans, you got a bad cpu. I had purchased the same CPu back in hmm I'd say last February or something and yeah It basically performed worse than my 7700k on fortnite. Sure the 9700k would get a few more frames but it would hit 100% cpu usage and microstutter, so in essence the performance was a DOWNGRADE than my 7700k which was more stable albeit with lesser frames.

SO what did I do? I sold it on Ebay and took a hundred dollar loss. Oh wells, you live and learn. 9900k replaced it and I'm happy with it. I'm not so sure a 10900k is worth it right now for you., It would require a new motherboard as well but a 9900k is 330 dollars at microcenter and will give you the performance you EXPECT and DESERVE! These new games rely on threads and my 7700k had 4 cores and hyperthreading whereas the 9700k has no hyperthreading which is just terrible.

So I'm guessing if the games go by an on core basis and say fortnite uses 4 cores and 4 threads on a 9700k, whereas on a 7700k it will use the 4 cores and 2 hyperthreads per core hence the better performance!

Don't listen to all those shills on freaken youtube trying to sell product. They are testing out a 9700k with a 3080/2080 and are like GEE YA look at the FPS difference it's awesome! They don't account for microstutters or CPU usage hitting 100% causing slowdowns. They just record their little test and give you the numbers. So buy a 9900k you will be happy with it I guarantee.

New Amd builds alot of people are having temp spikes and instability issues. My friends 3900x has crazy temp spikes and we have no clue why, and it's 500 dollars. And since you already have a compatible motherboard just go with the 9900k.
 

NateJayy

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Mar 4, 2014
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Sorry mans, you got a bad cpu. I had purchased the same CPu back in hmm I'd say last February or something and yeah It basically performed worse than my 7700k on fortnite. Sure the 9700k would get a few more frames but it would hit 100% cpu usage and microstutter, so in essence the performance was a DOWNGRADE than my 7700k which was more stable albeit with lesser frames.

SO what did I do? I sold it on Ebay and took a hundred dollar loss. Oh wells, you live and learn. 9900k replaced it and I'm happy with it. I'm not so sure a 10900k is worth it right now for you., It would require a new motherboard as well but a 9900k is 330 dollars at microcenter and will give you the performance you EXPECT and DESERVE! These new games rely on threads and my 7700k had 4 cores and hyperthreading whereas the 9700k has no hyperthreading which is just terrible.

So I'm guessing if the games go by an on core basis and say fortnite uses 4 cores and 4 threads on a 9700k, whereas on a 7700k it will use the 4 cores and 2 hyperthreads per core hence the better performance!

Don't listen to all those shills on freaken youtube trying to sell product. They are testing out a 9700k with a 3080/2080 and are like GEE YA look at the FPS difference it's awesome! They don't account for microstutters or CPU usage hitting 100% causing slowdowns. They just record their little test and give you the numbers. So buy a 9900k you will be happy with it I guarantee.

New Amd builds alot of people are having temp spikes and instability issues. My friends 3900x has crazy temp spikes and we have no clue why, and it's 500 dollars. And since you already have a compatible motherboard just go with the 9900k.
Thanks for the response! I have slowly begun to come to the same conclusion. Before this I had a i7-4770k and I remember I could play on high settings and stream, while only hitting 70-80% CPU usage. Now any time I load a game, or get in an intense place to render, I lag because it hits 100%. Like I should NOT be struggling to get 100 FPS on CoD with a 2070 super and an i7 on such a high overclock, on LOW settings. The computer should easily obtain high settings, if not ultra on many games. Yet it performs terribly. I saw the sale on the 9900k, it’s very tempting. I just hate to think about putting $350 in a CPU when soon it’ll be 2 years old and that much more dated.. almost considering just waiting and doing a full upgrade later this year. The 2 games it performs the worst on are the 2 I play the least, so I might just cut my losses and deal with it for a while. Kinda sucks, but like you said, live and learn.
 

rickypicky5

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Sep 9, 2019
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Sorry, but I'm having a real hard time believing the i7-7700k (4 cores/8 threads, 4.2GHz base, 4.5GHz turbo) performs better than the i7-9700k (8 cores/ 8 threads, 3.6GHz base, 4.9 turbo) in anything. My guess would be the 9700k is not boosting to the turbo frequency the way it should for some still to be determined reason. If I were you, I'd download and install HWINFO. Then I would start HWINFO and let it run while your gaming. HWINFO will show you min and max temperatures and min/max frequencies each CPU reached while you were gaming. Oh, and I suggest you turn off your overclock when you do this!
 

Viking2121

Distinguished
I have to agree with @rickypicky5 a 9700k has 8 true cores where the 7700k only has 4, hyper threading is not real cores and can not really act like cores, there is just no way, Hyper threading often hurts performance anyway in games.

Also OP, DDU is a trust worthy program, and is better than just clicking uninstall, It will remove anything and everything related to Nvidia, making it act like its the first time you installed the graphics card on that operating system, though I do strongly recommend you disconnect from the internet when you go to remove the drivers so windows doesn't do its thing and install older drivers.
 

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