Why do I have low gpu usage on my gtx 690?

First off, have this card paired with an i5 3570k, both of them at stock clock speeds, and I currently play at 1920x1080. This is my first computer build and i've had it running for about a week (rest of my specs are in my sig). Now, i've ran some synthetic benchmarks, and the scores that I get with my system are similiar to people with similair sytem specs as me. But i've been having some real concerns about my gpu usage though, as they haven't been looking good in the few games that I own, and here's some examples:

Battlefeild 3 (multiplayer)- usage across both cards on the 690 is 50%-70%

Borderlands 2- usage sits at only about 40% or 50% on either card

Arma 2- only uses 30% of each gpu!

Is this even normal at all? Because when I was playing single player on battlefield 3, I was achieving over 90% usage on both cards consistently, and after benchmarking the entire first level with fraps on max settings I had an average of 120 fps (on par with most benchmarks i've seen on the internet). But when I started playing online (immediately went and tried gulf of oman as I heard that is the most intense map), usage became a complete fail compared to what it was, and after benchmarking twice, I had an average of 85 fps both times.

Also, both borderlands 2 and arma 2 have bad usage no matter what I try. Borderlands 2 acts especially weird, I will be playing and looking one direction and get 100 fps or more, and I turn around and i'm at 50 fps somehow. The framerate jumps around way more than I think it should. I even tried using only one gpu, both gpu's, and one gpu dedicated to phys-x, but all showed the same performance results.

As for arma 2, I've heard that it really dosen't work with sli, but i'm still not positive so if someone could confirm whether it is or not that would be nice.

I'm just really concerned about this whole thing, because I think that my actual framerate in most games isn't on par with other 690 owners. But then again, I'm always paranoid and obsessive about whether my stuff is working properly when I spend a lot of hard earned money it. Maybe this is normal, but someone with my level of knowledge on this subject would never really know either way. So if the knowledgeable people on this forum could help me out like you guys always do, I would be very thankful.

And before anyone asks why I got a gtx 690 for a single monitor, it won't be a single monitor for long, and I got a deal on it :)
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  1. well... your resolution is actually low for a gtx690. if you consider its actually a double gpu. try higher resolutions with higher details it should max the gpu out somehow.

    fyi... low usage of gpu is actually something good unless you are actually not bottlenecked (in your situation 3570k is far away from bottlenecking)
  2. I get some of the same usage on my GTX 670 SLI most of them are from games that do not support Surround so I am playing the game on a single 1080p monitor instead at 5760x1080 on all three Asus 27" monitors. For most games even a single GTX 670 is enough for 1080p at max/ultra settings.

    You really will only max the usage of that card when you are playing at higher than 1080p or running a 3 monitor Surround. On a single monitor I get about 30-40% usage from both cards. Borderlands 2 for instance at 5760x1080 I get 85-90% usage but at 1080p I get about 30-40%. Both resolutions I still get constant fps so I do not think it is a problem. What I think it really means is that even with games coming out today they still can't max higher end SLI/Crossfire setups on just a single 1080p monitor.

    From what I have read BF3 uses more resources in multiplayer. I do not really know for sure as I never play any online games at all.
  3. Best answer
    Multiplayer games require more resources in general, especially from the CPU.

    ARMA2/3 is a horrible measure of performance. The game is known to be extremely CPU heavy and has its own issues with utilization of the GPU. I would say you're fine...if you want some physical means of relief you can try to get EVGA OC Scanner and unless it starts detecting artifacts right off the bat (excessively), you're fine.

    With what you have you're set for awhile to come. If you really must use that excess GPU power for something, you could get a higher resolution monitor, or use Nvidia Inspector to enhance AA in games. I think you're fine with regards to no bottleneck.
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