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GPU utilization/bottleneck question.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 12, 2013 9:14:07 AM

Hey guys. I've been monitoring my GPU usage in a number of games and some games I see it at 99% or 100%. It drops sometimes but then goes back up. However, in other games, I don't see it hit 99% or 100%. It will get to like 70% or 80%. Here are a few examples. I usually see 100% in Crysis 3 with ocassional dips but for the most part it's at 100%. Witcher 2 usually gets to 100% but there are areas where it just wont go that high. It can be an area where I am at 60fps so it doesn't need to be at 100%? Or it can be in an area where I'm at 45fps and the usage is at say 60%. I'll need to check again but I'm pretty sure there were some games that just wouldn't reach 100% and the fps was not at 60.
August 12, 2013 9:27:43 AM

Some games are more CPU dependant than GPU, so on the games not using the full GPU, try checking the CPU usage.
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August 12, 2013 9:32:30 AM

Thanks for the quick reply. I have i7 920. I will check for the CPU usage. Atleast one of the cores needs to be at full usage or close to it, correct?
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August 12, 2013 9:36:20 AM

If you have vsync turned on and your at 60 fps your GPU may not be under full load because it doesn't need to be to maintain the 60fps. If your GPU is at full load but your not at your vsync cap it is usually because your CPU is not able to provide the GPU the data quick enough i.e. CPU maxed out/bottlenecking the GPU.
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August 12, 2013 9:43:46 AM

Hey thanks for the reply. In regards to your first answer that's exactly what I thought it was.

For the second part of your answer. I thought that if my GPU usage was at 100% it meant that it wasn't being bottlenecked even if it wasn't at the vsync cap. I mean I was told that if the GPU usage is at or near 100% then there is no bottleneck.

Also what about when I'm not at the vsync cap and the GPU is not at 100% usage?
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August 12, 2013 9:50:21 AM

Pavel Pokidaylo said:
Hey thanks for the reply. In regards to your first answer that's exactly what I thought it was.

For the second part of your answer. I thought that if my GPU usage was at 100% it meant that it wasn't being bottlenecked even if it wasn't at the vsync cap. I mean I was told that if the GPU usage is at or near 100% then there is no bottleneck.

Also what about when I'm not at the vsync cap and the GPU is not at 100% usage?


You are correct. If you are at the vsync cap and GPU is not at 100% that means your system is strong enough to hit the 60fps and beyond but since it doesn't need to go beyond it doesn't go up to 100%. It's like a speed limit on the road, once you hit the 75mph your car doesn't need to use all it's power to maintain that speed.
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August 12, 2013 9:57:14 AM

Right but what about the other stuff? Lets say I'm playing a game and the GPU usage is at 100% but I'm not at my vsync cap. Or what about when I'm playing a game and my GPU usage is not at 100% and I'm not at the vsync cap?
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August 12, 2013 10:02:43 AM

Pavel Pokidaylo said:
Right but what about the other stuff? Lets say I'm playing a game and the GPU usage is at 100% but I'm not at my vsync cap. Or what about when I'm playing a game and my GPU usage is not at 100% and I'm not at the vsync cap?


If your GPU is at 100% but you are not at your vsync cap it means your GPU just isn't strong enough to get you any more fps. If your gpu is not at 100% and you are not at your vsync cap it means your CPU is limiting you.
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August 12, 2013 10:11:26 AM

THanks for the replys guys.

Burden- Again, in regards to the first part of your answer, my thoughts exactly. As for the second part of your answer, the reason I'm so confused is that the GPU reaches 100% in some games or some parts of games but then in other games or other parts of the same games it does not reach 100%.
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August 12, 2013 10:16:18 AM

I mean when I play Crysis 3 for example, I do see 100% usage on the GPU but it does drop sometimes. What does this mean? Is there absolutely no bottleneck in my rig? Or does this mean that sometimes it bottlenecks and other times it does not? I'm so confused =/
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Best solution

August 12, 2013 11:22:30 AM

Pavel Pokidaylo said:
I mean when I play Crysis 3 for example, I do see 100% usage on the GPU but it does drop sometimes. What does this mean? Is there absolutely no bottleneck in my rig? Or does this mean that sometimes it bottlenecks and other times it does not? I'm so confused =/


Not every part of the game requires the same amount of resources. Depending on your location, field of view, number of enemies on screen/other players will require more or less CPU and or GPU power. I wouldn't worry about it too much, your CPU and GPU usage is going to fluctuate as you play, it will never stay constant throughout your entire play time.
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August 12, 2013 4:09:10 PM

Thanks. I'm going to add a second 7950 first and see what I get with that. If it doesn't give me the performance I want, I'll get a new mobo and cpu later. Probably the same CPU you have there.
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