SLI Utilization/Scaling Question

Hey guys, ever since I bought my gtx 690, there has been one thing about it that I have wondered if its normal or not. I'm assuming that this probably pertains to SLI configurations also, because that is essentially what the 690 is. Anyway, I was running mi afterburner to check my fps, temps, and what not, and I realized while looking in game that on most of the games I play, both of my gpu's never actually run at 100% utilization. For example, I was playing left for dead 2 maxed out (I play at 1920x1080 for the time being), and I was obviously getting a high enough framerate to get the job done (over 200 fps most of the time), but I noticed that the usage of each gpu was only at 50%. I wondered i this would still happen if I disabled one of the GPUs, so I did. After doing that, I still had the same framerate, but the one gpu that was being used was near full utilization as it should be. So basically, i'm wondering why SLI is proving to not be very beneficial on this game, and why the 690 wants to utilize the same amount of graphics processing power either way. Of course it's not really that big of a deal on this game, but the low utilization happens in other games also, and some more graphically intense games could definately benefit from both of the cards working at their full potential. It just seems weird that they wouldn't want to work at full force on some of my games (arma 2, Borderlands 2), is this a normal thing for multi gpu setups?
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  1. It's because you are going from spreading out the workload of two GPUs and running it as a single GPU. That's why. 690 is very powerful as it is, so nothing much is going to max it out easly.

    Edit: It's like disabling two cores from a quad core CPU, the usage for the two cores will almost double. Try your test on Metro: Last Light all maxed out.
  2. If your GPU is not at 100% it's because you either have a max frame limit, and many games do. vsync is on, Which id suggest using. Or you have a bottleneck.

    The games you listed are VERY easy to run and don't need much GPU power. So you're hitting a frame limit or the CPU can't feed Data fast enough. Either way it's a good thing. Having 200 FPS is already wasting frames/power/generating unnecessary heat. Why would you want to waste more power and have the card run At a high temp to get 400? that'd be silly.
  3. unksol said:
    If your GPU is not at 100% it's because you either have a max frame limit, and many games do. vsync is on, Which id suggest using. Or you have a bottleneck.

    The games you listed are VERY easy to run and don't need much GPU power. So you're hitting a frame limit or the CPU can't feed Data fast enough. Either way it's a good thing. Having 200 FPS is already wasting frames/power/generating unnecessary heat. Why would you want to waste more power and have the card run At a high temp to get 400? that'd be silly.


    Well it's not the least bit important to me in THIS game, but many other games like borderlands 2 can dip to below 60 fps sometimes with everything maxed out including physx, and you'd think at that point the gpu's would start to really push themselves, right? And by the way, I have an i5 3570k, so I don't think that would be too slow for the 690, would it?
  4. Heironious said:
    It's because you are going from spreading out the workload of two GPUs and running it as a single GPU. That's why. 690 is very powerful as it is, so nothing much is going to max it out easly.

    Edit: It's like disabling two cores from a quad core CPU, the usage for the two cores will almost double. Try your test on Metro: Last Light all maxed out.


    But why would it want to spread the workload across two gpus to get the same performance as one of them at full load, rather than trying to get the best performance out of both, especially on a game like planetside 2 or borderlands 2 when I sometimes get low framerates and could really use the performance boost. I just don't understand why they don't compensate for that, instead they stay at the same usage and give me low fps :(
  5. Check CPU usage in those games. Planetside 2 is supposed to hit the CPU pretty hard. Are you overclocked? What are your GPU temps?

    It's either bottlenecking, throttling due to power or temps, or the drivers are having an issue with those games. they should run at 100% otherwise unless frame limited.
  6. unksol said:
    Check CPU usage in those games. Planetside 2 is supposed to hit the CPU pretty hard. Are you overclocked? What are your GPU temps?

    It's either bottlenecking, throttling due to power or temps, or the drivers are having an issue with those games. they should run at 100% otherwise unless frame limited.

    Can you reccomend me a program for telling me my cpu usage on screen?
  7. Caliaton said:
    unksol said:
    Check CPU usage in those games. Planetside 2 is supposed to hit the CPU pretty hard. Are you overclocked? What are your GPU temps?

    It's either bottlenecking, throttling due to power or temps, or the drivers are having an issue with those games. they should run at 100% otherwise unless frame limited.

    Can you reccomend me a program for telling me my cpu usage on screen?



    Task manager? Lol ctrl+alt+del. Or the windows process monitor. Start it right before launching the game, alt tab out when it starts to act up and look at the chart of CPU usage. Check CPU time to make sure the game is what's using it not a rouge app.
  8. Yeah I found out that task manager would work right after asking and felt stupid lol. Anyway, I was on planetside 2 and my cpu usage was from only 30-40%! And my gpu usage still would not want to go over 50% on each gpu, and it seemed like the more graphically intense things got, the LESS gpu usage I got. It's supposed to be the other way around! In a tense fight or something I would drop to like 45 fps! Really? Is there something wrong with my card and how it tries to utilize itself?
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