Question Low GPU usage after 10 mins of gaming on laptop?

Oct 25, 2021
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My laptop is Dell XPS 15 9550 with Gtx 960m 2Gb, 8Gb ram. It suddenly performs very bad a week ago, the GPU usage always becomes very low after a few mins of gaming which leads to low fps and it never goes up again until restart. It happens in every game. It used to work fine with just some sudden drop in GPU usage and it always went back to high usage without any problem.

I have tried to flashback to older bios, revert the Windows update and use DDU to uninstall the display driver and reinstall the Dell-certified driver 442.74. I have also tried to disassemble the laptop and disconnect the battery and press the power button to drain the battery but the problem still persists.

The Windows power option has been set to maximum performance. I have also done all the necessary settings in the Nvidia control panel such as using the high-performance Nvidia processor and setting it to prefer maximum performance.

Temperature is not the problem as they keep at 70-80 degrees underload with laptop cooling pad and throttle stop undervolting. I have used throttle stop with the same settings long ago and It is stable without any issue. I have created two separate log files with Hwinfo64 and saved them in the google drive below. One of them is for the Firestrike Benchmark and the other one is for gaming.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1uEQ1hcinR33dByY8R7uBIq_ob2yQDUDm?usp=sharing

FireStrike marks: https://www.3dmark.com/fs/26487222?locale=en_GB

One thing that I have noticed so far is that the Memory controller load drops while the GPU usage is low (observed from the GPU-Z log file) seems like it is what causes the low FPS. I would appreciate any help in this matter.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Low GPU usage usually isn't the 'cause' of low fps, it is a symptom or side-effect of something else.

At a glance, it looks like your CPU is permanently stuck at 2.6GHz on all cores, which can be an issue for games that could benefit from 3.2GHz boost. At 15-20% total CPU utilization in the "gaming" log, the CPU should have plenty of opportunities to boost but isn't doing so. Looks to me like you have a CPU-related issue: boost isn't working.

Then again, your CPU isn't even reaching 25% utilization (one thread at 100% activity, which is practically always the case in games) so it seems there is an even lower level issue in there, something causing the game engine to completely pause.
 
Oct 25, 2021
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Low GPU usage usually isn't the 'cause' of low fps, it is a symptom or side-effect of something else.

At a glance, it looks like your CPU is permanently stuck at 2.6GHz on all cores, which can be an issue for games that could benefit from 3.2GHz boost. At 15-20% total CPU utilization in the "gaming" log, the CPU should have plenty of opportunities to boost but isn't doing so. Looks to me like you have a CPU-related issue: boost isn't working.

Then again, your CPU isn't even reaching 25% utilization (one thread at 100% activity, which is practically always the case in games) so it seems there is an even lower level issue in there, something causing the game engine to completely pause.
Thanks for your reply, I've just realised that disabled speedstep would also affected the turbo boost. I've enabled it now and will test if it works better. So far the CPU is at 3.1GHz underload and the fps is more stable right now. Just that the peak temp rise to 90 degrees after gaming for a period.
 
Thanks for your reply, I've just realised that disabled speedstep would also affected the turbo boost. I've enabled it now and will test if it works better. So far the CPU is at 3.1GHz underload and the fps is more stable right now. Just that the peak temp rise to 90 degrees after gaming for a period.
Maybe you should invest in a cooling base and possibly replace the thermal paste with a better one (yours may or may not have started to dry out).
 
Oct 25, 2021
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Maybe you should invest in a cooling base and possibly replace the thermal paste with a better one (yours may or may not have started to dry out).
I have clean my laptop and repaste it just around four months ago and I'm also using a cooling pad already. I dont know what can I do to further improve the thermal
 
Oct 25, 2021
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Oct 25, 2021
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90c for a laptop cpu isn’t bad. You can try reducing the boost speeds by 200-300mhz using ThrottleStop. The performance difference is negligible and it can help remove a few degrees from the temperature.
I have reduced the boost speeds by 200mhz and the temperature is reduced to around 85 degrees and It seems to become more stable, Thanks!
 

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