[SOLVED] Why is my GPU usage so low and CPU usage so high?

Oct 27, 2020
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I bought a pc with a intel i5 6600k and a gtx 1060 6gb factory overclocked but for some reason with every game i play i sit at 100% CPU usage and only 20-40% GPU usage. Some games stutter a lot too. Any tips on how to use my graphics card more and will this give me better frames?

Played rocket league and used HWinfo to check temps and my CPU got to a max of 58 degrees and my GPU got to a max of 67 degrees celsius.

CPU: Intel i5 6600k
GPU: GTX 1060 6gb factory overclocked
Motherboard: Asus Z170 Pro Gaming rev X.0x
RAM: 16gb
SSD: 256gb
PSU: 1000W Cooler Master
1680x1050 monitor

https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/34694115
 
Last edited:

Zerk2012

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Does going up from 1680x1050 to 1920x1080 really make a big difference?
First thing is I would suggest is not listening to anybody that talks about a bottleneck that is more of a unexperienced term for a limit of part of the PC and can change to a different limited part using the PC for different tasks.

From the very poor userbenchmark program, that compares your PC parts to others with the same hardware but is very poor since if I had the same processor as you but had mine overclocked I would score much higher than you without yours being overclocked.

When you ran the benchmark you already had almost 1/3 of your processor in use. You need to go into the startup menu and stop all programs that are not needed. (you could of had a few chrome tabs open making the results wrong) and not need to change anything.

Your memory showed to be @2133 but it could not detect the actual memory you were using (another fault of that site) with your parts I would think your memory is faster than 2133 if so you need to enable XMP profile in BIOS. On a Intel platform the speed is not as important as a AMD platform but it still helps to have faster memory.

Now for a answer to your actual question.

Your processor can only run any game depending on the game engine at a certain FPS (very few setting changes in game can affect that)

Your video card usage will depend on a couple things.
1. The game engine using your processor as from above it will be only put out X amount of FPS regardless of the monitor used or so called resolution.

2. The higher resolution monitor you use the higher % of the video card will be used (again your CPU can do X FPS with a game but your video card can put out X FPS at the monitor resolution and in game settings)

In general at a low resolution your processor is maxed out to put out the max FPS it can and the video card is just coasting nothing to do. If you increased the monitor resolution the CPU would be still maxed out but the video card would be used more still not increasing the FPS.

This would continue if you keep increasing the resolution till the video card could no longer put out the FPS that the processor could.
 
Make sure there aren't any background tasks using up your CPU resources in Task Manager(while playing). You can do this by clicking more details in task manager(only need to do this once), then in the list of processes that appears, sort them by CPU usage. If the game itself is using up all/most of your CPU resources and nothing else is using much, then you're simply CPU bottlenecked and the game needs a more powerful CPU to run without stuttering. What games are you playing, besides Rocker League?

PS : Your Userbenchmark result also shows high background CPU usage. Again, check for stray tasks in Task Manager that might be using up your CPU.
 

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I bought a pc with a intel i5 6600k and a gtx 1060 6gb factory overclocked but for some reason with every game i play i sit at 100% CPU usage and only 20-40% GPU usage. Some games stutter a lot too. Any tips on how to use my graphics card more and will this give me better frames?

Played rocket league and used HWinfo to check temps and my CPU got to a max of 58 degrees and my GPU got to a max of 67 degrees celsius.

CPU: Intel i5 6600k
GPU: GTX 1060 6gb factory overclocked
Motherboard: Asus Z170 Pro Gaming rev X.0x
RAM: 16gb
SSD: 256gb
PSU: 1000W Cooler Master
1680x1050 monitor

https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/34694115
Your CPU is bottlenecking your GPU; it has only 4 cores and 4 threads which isn't enough for most modern games.

The best CPU you could upgrade to on your motherboard (after ensuring your BIOS is up to date) is an i7-7700k. A 7700k has significantly higher boost clocks than your 6600k as well as 8 threads instead of 4.
 
Oct 27, 2020
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Your CPU is bottlenecking your GPU; it has only 4 cores and 4 threads which isn't enough for most modern games.

The best CPU you could upgrade to on your motherboard (after ensuring your BIOS is up to date) is an i7-7700k. A 7700k has significantly higher boost clocks than your 6600k as well as 8 threads instead of 4.
Make sure there aren't any background tasks using up your CPU resources in Task Manager(while playing). You can do this by clicking more details in task manager(only need to do this once), then in the list of processes that appears, sort them by CPU usage. If the game itself is using up all/most of your CPU resources and nothing else is using much, then you're simply CPU bottlenecked and the game needs a more powerful CPU to run without stuttering. What games are you playing, besides Rocker League?

PS : Your Userbenchmark result also shows high background CPU usage. Again, check for stray tasks in Task Manager that might be using up your CPU.
Doesn't this chart say that the i5 6600k is alright for my gpu?
 
Your CPU is bottlenecking your GPU; it has only 4 cores and 4 threads which isn't enough for most modern games.

The best CPU you could upgrade to on your motherboard (after ensuring your BIOS is up to date) is an i7-7700k. A 7700k has significantly higher boost clocks than your 6600k as well as 8 threads instead of 4.
I am sorry my friend but while in general I do agree with most of your posts, now you are incorrect. I speak from personal experience that a 6600k DOES NOT bottleneck a 1060 not even by a longshot. My second system is a 6600k@4,3GHz with a 1070 and the bottlenck is almost non-existent. There are games (most modern ones) that do use more than 4 c / 4 t but in most cases it's still fine.

The problem of OP here is the resolution.
1680x1050 monitor
At that resolution you are bottlenecked with even almost all 9th gen and above intel CPUs or Ryzen 3000 and above.
In lower resolutions CPU works a lot harder than the GPU and if you can buy a new monitor with 1080p and/or higher refresh rate, you would be more than fine. I am not suggesting going for 1440p or higher because a 1060 is not good enough for those resolutions.
 
Okay... what? You kinda contradicted yourself. Regardless, at this resolution the 1060 is being bottlenecked by the 6600k. It’s a weak CPU being strained even further at a low resolution.
You didn't fully read my post or you don't understand what I am saying then.
I said that 6600k will not bottleneck a 1060. After that I quoted his resolution which is 1680x1050 and said
"At that resolution you are bottlenecked with even almost all 9th gen and above intel CPUs or Ryzen 3000 and above. "
The GPU does not play a role in this situation because lower resolutions are CPU bound. Even a 10900k is bottlenecked at that resolution.

A 6600k will not bottleneck a 1060 in 1080p and above. In lower than 1080p resolutions almost all CPUs are bottlenecked.
 
Last edited:

johnsoner13

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Nov 24, 2019
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I read it and understand it. You seem to not know what you’re saying.
Even a 10900k is bottlenecked at that resolution.
Really? That doesn’t even make sense. At that resolution, the GPU is bottlenecked by the CPU, you’re saying that the CPU is being held back by another component.
In OP’s case, the 6600k is too slow to send enough data to the GPU to utilize it, hence why it’s struggling at 100% usage and the 1060 is waiting around at low usage for the CPU to send it some data. Either upgrade CPU or increase resolution. Either way, the CPU is the bottleneck in this case
 
I read it and understand it. You seem to not know what you’re saying.

Really? That doesn’t even make sense. At that resolution, the GPU is bottlenecked by the CPU, you’re saying that the CPU is being held back by another component.
In OP’s case, the 6600k is too slow to send enough data to the GPU to utilize it, hence why it’s struggling at 100% usage and the 1060 is waiting around at low usage for the CPU to send it some data. Either upgrade CPU or increase resolution. Either way, the CPU is the bottleneck in this case
I might not be able to explain it well since english is not my primary language.
Some basics first. A bottleneck is caused when some component is used at close to or at it's limit while other components are not, meaning that the "slower" component, helds back the rest of your system. Each and every system has a bottleneck because there will be always a limiting factor.
CPUs in lower resolutions struggle to feed fast enough the GPU with the necessary data since GPUs will utilise that data very fast, but in higher resolutions CPUs will catch up with the speed of GPUs since the GPUs now have harder task to complete. Newer and faster CPUs do perform better than previous ones in lower resolutions, raising the bar but they still remain the slower component for most GPUs.

In OP's case, I suggested a higher resolution monitor as a solution since I do know first hand that 1080p and above the 6600k will not hold back a 1060. It's also the cheapest upgrade he can do, considering a platform upgrade or a used and aged CPU (7700k) as the alternatives.
 
Oct 27, 2020
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In lower resolutions CPU works a lot harder than the GPU and if you can buy a new monitor with 1080p and/or higher refresh rate, you would be more than fine.
Does going up from 1680x1050 to 1920x1080 really make a big difference?
 

johnsoner13

Respectable
Nov 24, 2019
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I might not be able to explain it well since english is not my primary language.
Some basics first. A bottleneck is caused when some component is used at close to or at it's limit while other components are not, meaning that the "slower" component, helds back the rest of your system. Each and every system has a bottleneck because there will be always a limiting factor.
CPUs in lower resolutions struggle to feed fast enough the GPU with the necessary data since GPUs will utilise that data very fast, but in higher resolutions CPUs will catch up with the speed of GPUs since the GPUs now have harder task to complete. Newer and faster CPUs do perform better than previous ones in lower resolutions, raising the bar but they still remain the slower component for most GPUs.

In OP's case, I suggested a higher resolution monitor as a solution since I do know first hand that 1080p and above the 6600k will not hold back a 1060. It's also the cheapest upgrade he can do, considering a platform upgrade or a used and aged CPU (7700k) as the alternatives.
Okay? Regardless of your wall of text, the 1060 is being bottlenecked by the 6600k.
 
Does going up from 1680x1050 to 1920x1080 really make a big difference?
If you really want to test this, enable DSR in the NVIDIA control panel. This will cause the video card to internally render at a higher resolution. If the CPU usage dramatically drops at or close enough to 1080p (in games, DSR will add more resolutions to choose from), then we have our answer.
 
Right now 4 threads is the strict minimum all games are looking for - 6 is the average. Your CPU is thus switching contexts a lot and wasting a lot of time waiting for the new context to load from RAM. This, in turn , causes the GPU to stall. Making it clock higher would have hardly any effect. You could make sure that the RAM is running at its highest speed, though - slow RAM can cause CPU load to be high but the CPU is actually spinning on empty.
After you've made sure your hardware is running at its best, one workaround is to reduce the load on the CPU : as recommended, hunt down any and all processes that are not needed before gaming - stuff like Windows 10 decrapifier or debloater or 0&0 ShutUp10 can shut down several background processes in Windows 10, thus making it so that your CPU isn't extra busy, but the most basic one is to close any and all apps open on your desktop and remove as many notification icons as you can from your task bar (stuff like your printer monitor, OEM system update, GPU assistant etc.).
Doing this should make your CPU load reduce by a good 20%, and your GPU load should go right up.
Now, you are on a dead platform - don't expect miracles.
 

Zerk2012

Titan
Ambassador
Does going up from 1680x1050 to 1920x1080 really make a big difference?
First thing is I would suggest is not listening to anybody that talks about a bottleneck that is more of a unexperienced term for a limit of part of the PC and can change to a different limited part using the PC for different tasks.

From the very poor userbenchmark program, that compares your PC parts to others with the same hardware but is very poor since if I had the same processor as you but had mine overclocked I would score much higher than you without yours being overclocked.

When you ran the benchmark you already had almost 1/3 of your processor in use. You need to go into the startup menu and stop all programs that are not needed. (you could of had a few chrome tabs open making the results wrong) and not need to change anything.

Your memory showed to be @2133 but it could not detect the actual memory you were using (another fault of that site) with your parts I would think your memory is faster than 2133 if so you need to enable XMP profile in BIOS. On a Intel platform the speed is not as important as a AMD platform but it still helps to have faster memory.

Now for a answer to your actual question.

Your processor can only run any game depending on the game engine at a certain FPS (very few setting changes in game can affect that)

Your video card usage will depend on a couple things.
1. The game engine using your processor as from above it will be only put out X amount of FPS regardless of the monitor used or so called resolution.

2. The higher resolution monitor you use the higher % of the video card will be used (again your CPU can do X FPS with a game but your video card can put out X FPS at the monitor resolution and in game settings)

In general at a low resolution your processor is maxed out to put out the max FPS it can and the video card is just coasting nothing to do. If you increased the monitor resolution the CPU would be still maxed out but the video card would be used more still not increasing the FPS.

This would continue if you keep increasing the resolution till the video card could no longer put out the FPS that the processor could.
 
Oct 27, 2020
18
0
10
0
If you really want to test this, enable DSR in the NVIDIA control panel. This will cause the video card to internally render at a higher resolution. If the CPU usage dramatically drops at or close enough to 1080p (in games, DSR will add more resolutions to choose from), then we have our answer.
Did this and put it up to 2057x1286 because thats the lowest I could go and it put gpu usage up about 30% more than usual and cpu stayed the same but with no extra frames. Think it stopped stuttering so much though
 
Did this and put it up to 2057x1286 because thats the lowest I could go and it put gpu usage up about 30% more than usual and cpu stayed the same but with no extra frames. Think it stopped stuttering so much though
You need to go into Task Manager and check what's using up your CPU, you have high background CPU usage, which means there's something other than the game that's using up your CPU's resources.
 
Oct 27, 2020
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You need to go into Task Manager and check what's using up your CPU, you have high background CPU usage, which means there's something other than the game that's using up your CPU's resources.
I only sit on like 5% when I'm not doing anything and thats just all the default things open that are part of windows and that
 
do you think you could get CPU-Z and give us a screenshot of it? More precisely, the "memory" tab's content - that's to make sure you have your RAM running at its proper speed and in dual channel.
Some will say that it's only really important on AMD CPUs, but that's not true - it has MORE of an impact on AMD CPU's, but Intel chips feel it too when RAM is running at a third of its optimal throughput.
 
Oct 27, 2020
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do you think you could get CPU-Z and give us a screenshot of it? More precisely, the "memory" tab's content - that's to make sure you have your RAM running at its proper speed and in dual channel.
Some will say that it's only really important on AMD CPUs, but that's not true - it has MORE of an impact on AMD CPU's, but Intel chips feel it too when RAM is running at a third of its optimal throughput.
For some reason CPU-Z wouldn't download but I opened up my pc and saw that one of the ram sticks was in the wrong place so I moved it over and I think it's made a difference. I've started getting higher GPU usage and lower CPU sometimes.

Check while you are running the game, see if the game itself is using most of the CPU.
I had a look and it used to be just the game that used it all but now I've moved the RAM over and there's less CPU usage. I noticed OneDrive is using a lot and that's the only time CPU usage goes up to 100% now and it's because of that. OneDrive uses like 30% sometimes and idk how to stop that
 
For some reason CPU-Z wouldn't download but I opened up my pc and saw that one of the ram sticks was in the wrong place so I moved it over and I think it's made a difference. I've started getting higher GPU usage and lower CPU sometimes.



I had a look and it used to be just the game that used it all but now I've moved the RAM over and there's less CPU usage. I noticed OneDrive is using a lot and that's the only time CPU usage goes up to 100% now and it's because of that. OneDrive uses like 30% sometimes and idk how to stop that
IF you don't use OneDrive, you can simply uninstall it from the Settings app in Windows 10. You can also do a few other things, here's a guide for whateverr suits you best: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/turn-off-disable-or-uninstall-onedrive-f32a17ce-3336-40fe-9c38-6efb09f944b0?ui=en-us&rs=en-us&ad=us

What's your GPU usage like now?
 
For some reason CPU-Z wouldn't download but I opened up my pc and saw that one of the ram sticks was in the wrong place so I moved it over and I think it's made a difference. I've started getting higher GPU usage and lower CPU sometimes.



I had a look and it used to be just the game that used it all but now I've moved the RAM over and there's less CPU usage. I noticed OneDrive is using a lot and that's the only time CPU usage goes up to 100% now and it's because of that. OneDrive uses like 30% sometimes and idk how to stop that
Moving the stick enabled dual channel - that's easily 15-20% better performance 'for free' you're getting there. I wouldn't be surprised if XMP wasn't enabled too, that's another 5-10% performance you could get out of it. Try running CPU-Z again. I recommend using the portable edition.
 

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