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Low system usage while gaming

Last response: in Video Games
June 12, 2012 11:10:40 PM

I was doing some tesing because of problems with Max Payne 3, and I realized that in most games, my system is not at 100%
For example with FIFA 12, CPU load was below 60% and GPU at 60-70%. With MP3 it is far worse: CPU 70-80% and GPU 10% or less.

I'm pretty sure that it is a bottlencking problem, but which one coudl be causing it: RAM, HDD (I discard GPU and CPU)

a c 112 à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
June 13, 2012 12:45:39 AM

your system is a bit gpu heavy. but on most games it will run well enough to get you 30-60fps depending on how many threads the game uses. if it uses 2 or less then you will likely not get much in the way of bottlenecks, if you do you can up the settings. i know this is counter intuitive but it does reduce the stress on the cpu because less fps will be thrown back at it.
the problems will arise when you try to run a game like bad company 2, bf3 or gta 4 which prefer to use 4 threads but will still work on 2 just slower as they will limit the gpu to 50% and this is when you will see huge fps droop where your gfx will max the fps to around 45 fps but will droop to 5-10 every couple of seconds.
so really it depends on the games how badly a bottleneck will show up...
normally i would say just get a 775 quad like a q8300 or q8400 and oc it to 3.0 ghz. but because the i5 quads are cheaper now with a cheap h61 and very cheap ram it would cost just a little more to upgrade your system to a new socket but will give a whole heap of cpu performance over your current cpu.
either way will allow you to play any game you want at reasonable settings and rez.
my guess is its purely a cpu issue. unless your hdd is a particularly slow hdd but again that will just lead to texture pop and long load times rather than limiting the cpu usage...
the ram will be fine for that system as long as its low latency like 5-5-5-14 or less.
June 13, 2012 1:57:44 PM

I've tried Max Payne with affinity set to only one core, and I get exactly the same FPS, so I think it is not a CPU problem.
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June 13, 2012 3:38:11 PM

It does seem like a CPU bottleneck due the low GPU usage, are you running the latest drivers? I read about some problems with MP3 and ATI cards but I have an Nvidia, so I did not read in detail, but it could be that.

a b à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
June 13, 2012 4:03:29 PM

I'd suggest as a test to crank in game settings to max, check CPU and GPU usage, then drop them to min and check again. Make sure to monitor framerate as well, you can use a free version of FRAPS for that, or MSI Afterburner (probably the better option).

This will help rule out a CPU bottleneck, and whether the GPU can go to higher usage.

Also how full is your HDD? Beyond 50% full the read/write speeds are dramatically reduced. Always a good idea to partition it for OS/programs at the front and media at the back.
June 14, 2012 6:30:57 AM

At last the problem was in the game. I've reinstalled it and all the issues are gone. I tested again system usage and now it is CPU at nearly 100% and GPU at 90-95 (which I assume it's a normal bottleneck). In Crysis GPU goes down to 85-90%, but CPU is at full, so it's another time the bottleneck. Thanks for your fast response.