Question Low GPU usage, High CPU usage lead to terrible frames.

Jun 22, 2019
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Hello. I've tried asking all over the internet but to no avail, maybe the folks here can help. I'm using a GTX 1060 3gb, with 12gbs of RAM and an FX8320E processor overclocked to 4.0ghz. Motherboard is M5A78L-M. Most games like Witcher 3 and Overwatch will run fine, but games that also ran fine like Rust, PUBG or BF5 are now terrible in frames. At times, frames will be in the 50-60s which I'm fine with, but will constantly stutter and drop for split seconds, making it unplayable. Any advice is welcome
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
Make sure you have all the latest motherboard chipset drivers. Windows updates can play havoc with many older version drivers, especially legacy drivers and 16/32bit drivers that are closed ended and not accepting of 64bit commands. Audio and Lan are especially susceptible to this, but can include data, pcie and USB family.
 
Jun 22, 2019
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Make sure you have all the latest motherboard chipset drivers. Windows updates can play havoc with many older version drivers, especially legacy drivers and 16/32bit drivers that are closed ended and not accepting of 64bit commands. Audio and Lan are especially susceptible to this, but can include data, pcie and USB family.
Hey. Thanks for the advice. All I could find for chipset drivers were the 2015 "system stability " updates provided by Asus. What do you mean specifically?
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
If you go to the support section, downloads there'll be 2 choices, or should be, drivers/tools and bios/firmware. But this is where it gets a little tricky. Many drivers aren't updated to windows 10CE, so you'd get the win7 x64 drivers. You'd look for the last published dates. Audio and Lan should have Win10CE listed.

Some of the drivers are self-executing, those are easy. Some are not, so those you'd save to desktop, then use device manager to update the drivers, when it asks, don't bother searching you just point to the driver on the desktop.
 

CosmicDance

Proper
Jun 11, 2019
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I don't know about PUBG or Rust but I can hopefully help you with Battlefield V.
It is in a very poor state of optimisation at the moment and even people with high end rigs are getting poor performance often specifically CPU spikes that cause frame rate drops.
I finally managed to get the game running smooth by changing some things so I hope this helps.

Use DX 11 and switch Future Frame Rendering on in the in game options.
Download and run the program 'Intelligent Standby List Cleaner'.
In the box 'Free memory is lower than' - change this to 3072.
Click 'Start'.

Andy
 
Reactions: Kvp311
Jun 22, 2019
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Hey guys. Thanks for the advice. However, I just discovered something interesting. I ran a benchmark for my system (To be specific, the Heaven benchmark) and got 100+ frames on ultra settings. This was the only application to fully use my GPU to around 97%. I think this is the biggest issue in my system. Hope this helps. Any advice is still appreciated and welcome.
 
Jun 22, 2019
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I don't know about PUBG or Rust but I can hopefully help you with Battlefield V.
It is in a very poor state of optimisation at the moment and even people with high end rigs are getting poor performance often specifically CPU spikes that cause frame rate drops.
I finally managed to get the game running smooth by changing some things so I hope this helps.

Use DX 11 and switch Future Frame Rendering on in the in game options.
Download and run the program 'Intelligent Standby List Cleaner'.
In the box 'Free memory is lower than' - change this to 3072.
Click 'Start'.

Andy
Thank you so much mate! Its running at 60 FPS dipping to 30 every now and then but thats better than anything I've had before. You've made my day friend.
 

CosmicDance

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Jun 11, 2019
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Well glad to hear that you are finally able to enjoy Battlefield as it is a fine game despite all of its bugs and apparently still in the Beta stage still!
If you have a look on the official Battlefield Dice forums in the PC section there are absolutely dozens of posts where people have poor performance.
Most of them are similar to yours - CPU spikes causing huge frame rate drops and stutters.
You can observe these CPU stutters in game playing Battlefield by opening the console - press the ` key which is under ESC.
Type perfoverlay.drawgraph 1 and you will see a GPU/CPU graph in the bottom left.
Type perfoverlay.drawfps 1 and it will show your FPS in the top right.
When your frame rate dips you will see the CPU spike massively in the graph.
Like I said in my case that program Standby List Cleaner eliminated the spikes for me so that it finally is smooth.
As your system has 12 GB of RAM I used the value 3072 for the program which is 3 GB but try different settings in that box.
I have 16 GB and Set it at 6 GB so this amount of RAM is kept clear during gaming.

Going from 60 FPS to 30 is just colossal and not the hardware struggling as that would drop from 60 to 55, 50, 45 etc at worst.
All of the other games I play just never do this when they struggle with graphics settings, you only lose a few FPS at worst.

Dice are releasing a patch next week which includes performance optimisations for the spikes so hopefully it will help us all.


Andy
 
Jun 22, 2019
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Well glad to hear that you are finally able to enjoy Battlefield as it is a fine game despite all of its bugs and apparently still in the Beta stage still!
If you have a look on the official Battlefield Dice forums in the PC section there are absolutely dozens of posts where people have poor performance.
Most of them are similar to yours - CPU spikes causing huge frame rate drops and stutters.
You can observe these CPU stutters in game playing Battlefield by opening the console - press the ` key which is under ESC.
Type perfoverlay.drawgraph 1 and you will see a GPU/CPU graph in the bottom left.
Type perfoverlay.drawfps 1 and it will show your FPS in the top right.
When your frame rate dips you will see the CPU spike massively in the graph.
Like I said in my case that program Standby List Cleaner eliminated the spikes for me so that it finally is smooth.
As your system has 12 GB of RAM I used the value 3072 for the program which is 3 GB but try different settings in that box.
I have 16 GB and Set it at 6 GB so this amount of RAM is kept clear during gaming.

Going from 60 FPS to 30 is just colossal and not the hardware struggling as that would drop from 60 to 55, 50, 45 etc at worst.
All of the other games I play just never do this when they struggle with graphics settings, you only lose a few FPS at worst.

Dice are releasing a patch next week which includes performance optimisations for the spikes so hopefully it will help us all.


Andy
Hello again Andy. I'm afraid our success was short lived. I came back from a short walk, booted up ISLC and MSI AB, but only got a max of 24 frames in a heated game of rush. Once again, my CPU was capped at 76-100% but my GPU was relaxing at 30%. I'm starting to lose hope.
 

CosmicDance

Proper
Jun 11, 2019
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Well that is both annoying and odd as you had better performance before!
Any 100% CPU or GPU usage will slow the game down though.
Try dropping all of your graphic settings to LOW and resolution to 1920 X 1080 if it isn't already.
The aim is to get a smooth frame rate then step up each setting individually.
Literally try changing Graphic Quality to Medium, play for a bit then work your way down Texture Quality to Medium etc and play for a bit.
A bit tedious but eventually you will pinpoint the graphics setting that is choking your CPU.
Your GPU is coping fine.

Interestingly above 1920 X 1080 resolution, if your monitor runs these resolutions, they are GPU dependent.
So 2560 X 1444 resolution offloads more work to your GPU.
Obviously you will then start to hit the limits of the GPU so more experimenting and tweaking is involved if you try this.

I mean it's not just for the heck of it as I bought a PC to play and not tweak like most people so I appreciate it's easy just give up sometimes or buy an Xbox!
Perseverence pays off though to get this train wreck of a game playable as you do have the hardware.

Check your HDD or SSD is not thrashing during gaming too as background tasks in Windows can drown performance when it's running slow. Especially when first losding a map.
 
Jun 22, 2019
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Well that is both annoying and odd as you had better performance before!
Any 100% CPU or GPU usage will slow the game down though.
Try dropping all of your graphic settings to LOW and resolution to 1920 X 1080 if it isn't already.
The aim is to get a smooth frame rate then step up each setting individually.
Literally try changing Graphic Quality to Medium, play for a bit then work your way down Texture Quality to Medium etc and play for a bit.
A bit tedious but eventually you will pinpoint the graphics setting that is choking your CPU.
Your GPU is coping fine.

Interestingly above 1920 X 1080 resolution, if your monitor runs these resolutions, they are GPU dependent.
So 2560 X 1444 resolution offloads more work to your GPU.
Obviously you will then start to hit the limits of the GPU so more experimenting and tweaking is involved if you try this.

I mean it's not just for the heck of it as I bought a PC to play and not tweak like most people so I appreciate it's easy just give up sometimes or buy an Xbox!
Perseverence pays off though to get this train wreck of a game playable as you do have the hardware.

Check your HDD or SSD is not thrashing during gaming too as background tasks in Windows can drown performance when it's running slow. Especially when first losding a map.
Do you think factory resetting my PC could help?
 

CosmicDance

Proper
Jun 11, 2019
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Resetting might help smooth Windows a bit but like Bignasty said - monitor your hardware.

You already know that your CPU is maxing out at 100% sometimes.
Finding the cause of this will help you balance out your hardware with the demands placed on it.

Finding graphic settings that work with your CPU is tweaking the software to match the hardware's limits.

Looking at CPU performance and what your motherboard is doing e.g. possibly bottle necking your CPU or it is being throttled if it is getting too hot will help you to find the reasons behind your underlying adverse performance that you are experiencing.
After monitoring the CPU frequency and temperature you will find out if your hardware is just reaching its performance limits and make compromises with graphic settings to compensate this like we all do in PC gaming to various extents.
It's just a balancing act until you get acceptable performance by monitoring, tweaking, raging etc!
The factors involved are unique to each person's PC so you have the GPU, CPU, RAM speed, Motherboard quality, power supply amongst other things to consider in terms of the hardware.
Each part of the hardware is generally made by different manufacturers and just connected together internally then Windows attempts to pull it all together cohesively so it's actually surprising that PC s run as well as they do considering the spaghetti that is inside them.

The software side is sometimes easier to sort out but on occasions a change to DX 11 instead of DX 12 can help for example.
You also have Windows itself which can just grind everything to a near halt on occasions.
Hence why so many people post problems and potential solutions on these forums with game related issues including myself.

Sorry if I sound patronising in any way but it's hard to gauge each person's knowledge from their post so considering the lowest common denominators helps you work your way through these frustrations until you switch the PC on without having to contemplate that dreaded 24 FPS game destroying performance.
In an actual war soldiers don't function too well if their eyes only see 24 FPS so I would imagine that they may stop and tweak their brains with an extra fan stuck in their ears to cool their brains on occasions or :p

Usually around 75c the throttling starts kicking in on many CPU s but it varies according to each model.
My Ryzen 2700X has a threshold of 75c before the fans step up then if the temp continues to rise beyond this it automatically throttles to reduce the temperature it at some point.

Remember though Battlefield V is a real exception to performance as it is astoundingly badly optimised even on Xbox One X.

Andy
 
Last edited:
Jun 22, 2019
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Hello everyone. I'm pleased to announce that my frames have finally stabilized at 30-40 FPS on Rust. I'm content with these frames as long as no stutters occur. This was achieved by installing Rust onto my SSD. However, I've noticed even more questionable trends. At level 3 graphics quality, my GPU is maxed out at 39% and my CPU at 55%. According to CPU-Z, my CPU is putting out a constant 4.0ghz. Any recommendations?
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
You misunderstand usage. Your cpu/gpu always work at 100%. Always. The cpu pre-renders the game code. It'll do this as fast as it can, and as many frames as it can, then sends that to the gpu. The gpu has to finish render that data, and put it on screen, according to the detail settings and resolution.

So the cpu might render 100frames and send that to the gpu. That's the maximum amount of fps you can achieve. The gpu then tries to put all 100 frames up every second. If you have a strong enough gpu, you'll get that 100, at any detail setting. Lowering or raising detail settings won't change that 100fps. If you have a weak gpu, it might struggle at ultra and only put up 60,but lowering settings is less taxing on gpu, can put upto 100.

Throughout all this, both cpu and gpu are working at 100% ability. However the cpu might only use 60% of its resources to do so, so that'd be 60% udage. CSGO for instance is a 2 thread game. You might see high 90% on 2 cores, even 100% on 2 cores, but the other 4 are concerned with windows tasks, background apps etc. So 100x2 +30x4 = 320. /6 =53% usage. Even though the cpu is bottlenecked by the game code running only 2 cores at 100%. The game itself does not make provision for 3 or more thread usage. Once those cores hit 100%, the fps is effectively capped. At only 53% usage.

There's other factors that play into it too, like usage of bandwidth, L3 cache, memory speeds etc. So the point being, usage is a useless figure except when it IS actually reading close to, if not at, 100% in which case the equipment is slammed to the gills, is going to slow down as data/threads get backlogged and start prioritizing etc. It's bad, bad, bad when a cpu/gpu hits 100%.
 
You misunderstand usage. Your cpu/gpu always work at 100%. Always.
Yeah and you are not really helping here.
The CPU and GPU allotting 100% of the resources the game needs to run towards running the game is not the same as the CPU/GPU always running at 100%
There are even plenty of games where the CPU only renders as many FPS as the GPU can show at the time so it doesn't even hit 100% usage on a single core.


Kvp311 you have an fx8320 at 4Ghz, it's going to be bad at a lot of games.
You have to increase your resolution/image quality settings if you want your GPU to reach closer to 100%
 
Reactions: Kvp311
Jun 22, 2019
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Yeah and you are not really helping here.
The CPU and GPU allotting 100% of the resources the game needs to run towards running the game is not the same as the CPU/GPU always running at 100%
There are even plenty of games where the CPU only renders as many FPS as the GPU can show at the time so it doesn't even hit 100% usage on a single core.


Kvp311 you have an fx8320 at 4Ghz, it's going to be bad at a lot of games.
You have to increase your resolution/image quality settings if you want your GPU to reach closer to 100%
I've tried increasing resolution and graphic quality in several games time and time again, and whenever I go from Very Low to Mid or anything in between, this is the abnormality that occurs. The FPS don't change. On Rust, I can switch from Super Potato to Pretty (0-4) and have the same exact FPS with about 10% higher displayed GPU usage. If I swap to 5, the game crashes. I don't think people understand that I'm simply reading off MSI AB readings here and not diving into BIOS to see the core clock after every game. I appreciate the concrete advice Laze. I'll keep trying. If anyone finds anything else that could help, please do tell.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
I've tried increasing resolution and graphic quality in several games time and time again, and whenever I go from Very Low to Mid or anything in between, this is the abnormality that occurs. The FPS don't change. On Rust, I can switch from Super Potato to Pretty (0-4) and have the same exact FPS with about 10% higher displayed GPU usage.
Nothing surprising there, this is what is called a "hard bottleneck": graphics options almost exclusively affect GPU load and if the CPU is so slow that the GPU can stick its thumbs up its ass while waiting for the CPU most of the time (low GPU usage, high CPU usage), then increasing details will have little to no effect on frame rate - the GPU can still render whatever frames the CPU is able to throw its way with one thumb still up its ass. If you don't want your GPU to have thumbs to spare, then you need a faster CPU.
 
Reactions: Karadjgne
Jun 22, 2019
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Nothing surprising there, this is what is called a "hard bottleneck": graphics options almost exclusively affect GPU load and if the CPU is so slow that the GPU can stick its thumbs up its ass while waiting for the CPU most of the time (low GPU usage, high CPU usage), then increasing details will have little to no effect on frame rate - the GPU can still render whatever frames the CPU is able to throw its way with one thumb still up its ass. If you don't want your GPU to have thumbs to spare, then you need a faster CPU.
So if I'm to consider an upgrade, from what I've read since I have an M5a78L-M, I should upgrade that, then like you said, the CPU, but because I'm tossing the MB, I now need new ram so in the end I have to upgrade pretty much everything spare the power supply and graphics card. Is there anything that can be done to somewhat help my poor little PC without replacing over half of it?
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Is there anything that can be done to somewhat help my poor little PC without replacing over half of it?
In two words: obsolete platform.

In more words: You already have close to the best CPU you can possibly install on that board and there is very little more you can do with that board to make it meaningfully faster, you will need to upgrade CPU+MoBo+RAM to get significantly better performance.

Until about 10 years ago, it was quite common to upgrade every 2-3 years, can't really complain about a 5+ years old system still being somewhat viable.
 

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