Question Why is my CPU maxed in almost any game i play, whereas a friend with worse specs is fine?

Sep 22, 2019
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Gpu is a gtx 1080, cpu is an intel core i5 4690k

Having alot of trouble with crashes and fps chunks due to my cpu being maxed out in a lot of games i play. Not too sure what the problem is, i thought bottlenecking at first but i have a friend with a similar, but slightly worse setup who isn't having any similar issues at all. Did have a 960 but just upgraded to a 1080.
 
Sep 22, 2019
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I'll have to get ahold of him and find the exact spec, usually just leave matters of fixing my pc to him but he's stumped atm. And yeah im in 1080p atm, was in 1440p a bit ago, but figured i didn't mind 1080p so if things ran a bit smoother it would be worth it. Do you think setting it to 720p would make much of a difference overall in terms of cpu usage? Also i recently overclocked to see if it would solve the problem however it didn't seem to make a bunch of difference.
 
Sep 22, 2019
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I7 7700hq gtx1070, and plays in 1080. It is a laptop, don't really know how much of a difference that makes if im honest. (My friends specs)
 
720p would make it worse. The cpu determines the best FPS you can achieve, the gpu determines at what resolution and game settings you can achieve that FPS at. Reducing the resolution will reduce reduce the workload on the gpu but not the cpu.

Your friends laptop has an 4 core/8 thread cpu, your cpu is 4 core/4 thread. In many modern games 4 core/threads is very limiting. Also as your friend has a 1070 so even if you both had the same cpu and all other factors were the same any bottleneck would be less with the 1070.
 
Sep 22, 2019
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Ok think i understand, i do have a monitor capable of 1440p, i assume having it in that resolution will put more of a load onto the gpu, and free a little on the cpu if i understand what you said? Other than that, is there anything else i can do short of reinstalling windows to reduce the amount of crap i have running in the background, or is it simply a hardware limitation that i will have to upgrade? (Also, how much of a difference does a second monitor make? On newer games, i shut everything off and dont even use the second monitor, but that one's only capable of 1080)
 
At 1440p chances are you will still see very high cpu usage and in some games will still be cpu limited but you will be utilising more of the 1080’s performance.

Having fewer background programs can help a little bit I mean a little. A second monitor makes negligible difference if gaming on one monitor.

Ultimately 4 core / 4 thread cpu’s are entry level by today’s standards, they are now i3 level. The 1080 is still a strong gpu especially for 1080p. This is a hardware limitation so there is little you can do apart from overclocking the cpu and ensuring you have minimal other applications using the cpu. There are games that just won’t stay above 60 FPS on a 4 core/ 4 thread cpu.
 
Sep 22, 2019
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Got it, thanks for the help. Think i will try to reinstall windows when i can, running it off a fresh os will hopefully help. I know someone who's thinking of upgrading some form of i7, should be able to get that off him cheap in the future.

(also, how do i mark this thread as solved?)
(also also, i have another friend with the same processor as me, but with a 1070, who has no issues at all in similar games, does bottlenecking mean im just not getting the max value out of my 1080, or does it mean i can be getting worse than say a 1070's value?)
 
Last edited:

Chrushop

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Mar 2, 2019
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Your CPU might be getting too hot and going slower than in should, when they get hot they downclock then run way slower than they should. If reinstall etc. doesn't work, check the temps next time it's at 100%, if they're over 80°C, redo the thermal pase with arctic silver or similar, if you have the Intel stock CPU cooler then get a new one, like a small AIO Water cooler or a big air cooler
 
Sep 22, 2019
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Yeah this is what I originally thought the problem was. With over clocking, I got a hand with it. With how it is now, after a test at max usage, temp sits around 75 degrees, and from what I’ve heard they downclock around 80? Either way a mate of mine ran quite a few tests before he was happy with the overclock, plus I keep an eye on the temps manually with hw monitor, so I don’t think that’s the problem atm.
 

boju

Champion
75c isn't too bad, would see it start to throttle around 88c.


I agree, four cores nowadays has become a limitation especially in modern high-end games with powerful graphics cards.

16GB ram is also recommended now.

If you can get a hold of an i7, that should improve your system considerably. Games today are very good at utilising the extra threads.

Things you can do for now to help your current system is run next to nothing on the primary core. Diagnostic programs, Discord etc, if need any program running while playing games, try move the process away from core 0 to the last core using infinity in task manager. The primary core does majority of the work so try free it up best as you can.

Another thing to try is limit your fps output to reduce cpu frame pre-rendering called on by the gpu.
 
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