Question Unusual CPU Utility

Mar 2, 2022
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Hi,

Recently my pc has been having some fps issues so I recorded a log during some gameplay.
The graph shows CPU utility alternating for seemingly no reason. Task manager doesn't show anything running and I recently windows reset my pc so I don't think it's malware.
Is it possible this is a hardware issue? My current thoughts are it's a problem with the psu, motherboard, or cpu itself.

Any help appreciated thanks.

 

Colif

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Jun 12, 2015
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It could be normal. I mean, its how Ryzen CPU work, core speeds are constantly changing and my CPU temp goes from 40 to 50C constantly all day. So a spike every few seconds is normal for CPU. Ryzen will wake a core, boost it to speed it needs to be to do job and then it will rush to idle again.

if you ran HWINFO you would see it happens even at idle. https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/how-to-use-hwinfo-to-track-sensor-values-on-ryzen.3693704/

I used to track temps and seeing a constant rise/fall didn't tell me much. There are better sensors that show the average state of all the cores and they generally show CPU is doing very little.

I don't think its the cause.
 
Reactions: dvdw
Mar 2, 2022
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It could be normal. I mean, its how Ryzen CPU work, core speeds are constantly changing and my CPU temp goes from 40 to 50C constantly all day. So a spike every few seconds is normal for CPU. Ryzen will wake a core, boost it to speed it needs to be to do job and then it will rush to idle again.

if you ran HWINFO you would see it happens even at idle. https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/how-to-use-hwinfo-to-track-sensor-values-on-ryzen.3693704/

I used to track temps and seeing a constant rise/fall didn't tell me much. There are better sensors that show the average state of all the cores and they generally show CPU is doing very little.

I don't think its the cause.
Hmm ok. I have recorded logs in better performing games (overwatch) and the alternating pattern is no longer present which is why I thought this could be the issue. Of course I'm not expecting the values to be constant but the strange consistency with which it alternates does stand out to me. I know for a fact there's something wrong with my pc since fps in one game will suddenly go from 2 to 60 with no change in gameplay and performance in other games is significantly worse than expected. If this isn't the problem I might just try swapping out components when I next get access to my other pc. To be honest I've tried so many things that at this point I'm more curious about what's wrong than annoyed lol

For reference here is the utility graph when playing overwatch over the same timeframe:
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
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Wonder why I thought you had an AMD CPU and not Intel. Slaps self... not sure why i thought I7 3770k was an AMD CPU...
It was only after I saw motherboard chipset that I worked out I was an idiot :)

its an odd reaction in the first graph.

Task manager isn't always accurate anyway. I would use something like Process Explorer to see what is using the most CPU

Download Process explorer and run it as admin (it comes from Microsoft so its safe)

The default view is tree structure meaning like your task manager screen, it will show what processes are under each service, if you click the header it will swap to alphabetical.
If you click the CPU header it will sort the columns by it.

hard part is finding a peak. Shame that graph doesn't show processes running. hmm, must be a way to see what its doing...
 
Reactions: dvdw
Mar 2, 2022
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Wonder why I thought you had an AMD CPU and not Intel. Slaps self... not sure why i thought I7 3770k was an AMD CPU...
It was only after I saw motherboard chipset that I worked out I was an idiot :)

its an odd reaction in the first graph.

Task manager isn't always accurate anyway. I would use something like Process Explorer to see what is using the most CPU

Download Process explorer and run it as admin (it comes from Microsoft so its safe)

The default view is tree structure meaning like your task manager screen, it will show what processes are under each service, if you click the header it will swap to alphabetical.
If you click the CPU header it will sort the columns by it.

hard part is finding a peak. Shame that graph doesn't show processes running. hmm, must be a way to see what its doing...
Thanks I'll give this a shot. Do you know if there's a way to record logs over time? Unfortunately I don't have a second monitor so keeping track of process explorer during gameplay will be tough. Maybe I could stream the window to my phone or something.
 
Mar 2, 2022
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You can log over time using Process explorer - https://superuser.com/questions/453909/log-cpu-by-process-over-time

which makes sense, I just should have looked.
Hi again,
I've been busy lately so it took me a while but I gathered some more data (see below), this time with process monitor. I'm now pretty confident that the issues I'm having are due to my cpu not being fully utilised for whatever reason. I ran some gameplay and roughly recorded where my fps jumped to 60 and then compared it with the cpu graphs and the spikes in performance seem to line up pretty well. The correlation isn't perfect but the central 5 peaks just seem too close to be coincidence. Process monitor seems to indicate that no other programs are putting load on my cpu so why would it alternate like this? It's clear that games can use my full cpu, they just don't consistently. At this point I'm considering just buying a new cpu and motherboard. Any idea of what could be causing this? Thanks.

 
Mar 2, 2022
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mbam seems to spike a little in those times

You could try updating lan drivers and see if that helps - download Win10 Auto Installation Program (NDIS) from under windows header here - https://www.realtek.com/en/component/zoo/category/network-interface-controllers-10-100-1000m-gigabit-ethernet-pci-express-software
many of the processes listed using internet so maybe.
Didn't seem to make a difference, still have the same spikes. I think if it's something using my cpu its not listed by process monitor since it should be very obvious. Mbam would have to be using like 60% of my cpu to cause this issue I think, which doesn't seem to be the case.
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
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Jun 12, 2015
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Try a clean boot and see if it changes anything - make sure to read instructions and make sure NOT to disable any microsoft services or windows won't load right - https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/929135/how-to-perform-a-clean-boot-in-windows

if clean boot fixes it, it shows its likely a startup program. You should, over a number of startups. restart the programs you stopped to isolate the one that is to blame.

tried running AV? malwarescans?
 

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