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CPU Load 100% when playing games

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November 13, 2006 2:41:45 PM

Basicly when playing games my CPU load is at 100%
Doesnt matter what game i play ( q3 , cs1.6 , cs:s . cod2, nfs mw, battlefield 2 , oblivion ) the CPU load is always at 100% when playing.
I think this is effecting my fps in newer games which really pisses me off.
I have a friend with basicly the same computer and he doesnt have the problem.

i cant figure out what this is! please help??

my rig :

AMD Athlon 64 3500+ venice ( 25 degrees - 30 when loading )
Asus EN7600 GT 256 MB (40 degrees - 45 when loading )
Asus a8n-SLI Premium
2x512 DDR2 400MHz
160GB Sata HDD

Thanks for reading!
November 13, 2006 3:00:42 PM

Virus, spyware, other background processes that you probably have running, they all consumer CPU cycles. How much load is on your cpu when your out of the game? Do you have Firewall/Anti-Virus running? How many processes are running?

Can't just really compare specs, unless the two machines are mirror images of each other.
November 13, 2006 3:13:44 PM

Is this a joke topic? I'm really bad at recognizing written sarcasm...
Related resources
November 13, 2006 3:13:59 PM

Quote:
Virus, spyware, other background processes that you probably have running, they all consumer CPU cycles. How much load is on your cpu when your out of the game? Do you have Firewall/Anti-Virus running? How many processes are running?

Can't just really compare specs, unless the two machines are mirror images of each other.


these processer are running , iam pretty sure i dont have spyware and for antivirus i use nod32

http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/2830/hereoj1.jpg
November 13, 2006 3:17:41 PM

Hmmmm... you don't have a lot of background processes going on, much less than mine at least... seems pretty nominal there...

Now I'm stumped, not sure why your CPU will be running at 100%, when you alt-tab it consumes quite a bit of your CPU, but it'll settle back down in a couple of seconds, so I'm not sure if your seeing 100% load because of all the work the cpu needs to do when you alt-tab out of a game or if it's always like that...

Anyone else have a suggestion?
November 13, 2006 3:27:49 PM

What is "Niet-actieve syste..."?
Why is it only 28k?
And why is it using 99% of your processor?
November 13, 2006 3:31:08 PM

Quote:
What is "Niet-actieve syste..."?
Why is it only 28k?
And why is it using 99% of your processor?


it means something like "none active systems"
and why its taking 99% i dont know :x
a c 79 à CPUs
November 13, 2006 3:31:54 PM

I think it is system idle process, or 'not active system' seems like half a translation.

To the OP:
With the amount of RAM that you have you could be swap file thrashing which would consume some CPU cycles.
November 13, 2006 3:33:03 PM

Nevermind.

The English version of that is "System Idle Process". It just means unused processor cycles. Nothing wrong there.
November 13, 2006 3:35:27 PM

One thing that helps me out in games is that I disable all virtual memory (aka pagefile). This dramatically affected performance. I can even ALT-Tab in and out of CounterStrike: Source or Half-Life 2 with no issues and it only takes the time for the resolution to adjust.

HOWEVER, you may not want to do that with only 1 gig of RAM. It might be worth a try. I have two gigs, so my situation is different.
November 13, 2006 3:36:52 PM

Well I am used to my A64 hitting a 100% during gaming, especially playing a mmorpg. Iam not sure what is causing you problems, but looking at your screenshot it may just be that the games just eat up your cpu's clock cycles. As for a actual problems,I don't see any.
November 13, 2006 3:42:16 PM

Doesn't 100% CPU usage sound about right while playing an intense game. I mean firstly there's the game and then you add in a few background processes (especially real time virus scanning) and perhaps even a little system caching to hard drive. I mean this isn't a high end dual core rig.... it's easy to get to 100%.

Yep I think you could easily expect to see that kind of utilization, which means it's probably time to upgrade :roll:
November 13, 2006 3:46:13 PM

Quote:
Doesn't 100% CPU usage sound about right while playing an intense game. I mean firstly there's the game and then you add in a few background processes (especially real time virus scanning) and perhaps even a little system caching to hard drive. I mean this isn't a high end dual core rig.... it's easy to get to 100%.

Yep I think you could easily expect to see that kind of utilization, which means it's probably time to upgrade :roll:


i have it in counter-strike 1.6 aswell, which is a game that excist for about 7 years now.
November 13, 2006 3:47:25 PM

Quote:
One thing that helps me out in games is that I disable all virtual memory (aka pagefile). This dramatically affected performance. I can even ALT-Tab in and out of CounterStrike: Source or Half-Life 2 with no issues and it only takes the time for the resolution to adjust.

HOWEVER, you may not want to do that with only 1 gig of RAM. It might be worth a try. I have two gigs, so my situation is different.


how would i disable this?
November 13, 2006 3:54:20 PM

What kind of resolution do you game at ? My wife games on a 20" LCD and the CPU is always maxed out. I use a 19" and my frame rate and cpu utilization are a lot better. If you are gaming at 1600x1200 that would be hard on that processor.

You might also want to try disabling some of the taskbar items too. You can check in the task manager to see if you are using more than your 1Gb of memory. And if there are utilities running you could try and reduce those to the bare minimum.
November 13, 2006 4:05:12 PM

I doubt he's using more than 1 gig, his task manager seems fairly lean, however, disabling paging file might cause a problem. I wouldn't recommend doing that because you only have 1 gig... which would be enough for most things, but 2 gig's is fast becoming the standard...

What kind of framerates are you getting, are you sure your being limited in anyway? If your getting 60+ FPS, then no need to worry about your CPU anyways...
November 13, 2006 4:06:15 PM

I wanna say its incorporated with the ram and the GFX card u have, and it also depends on what rezolutions you have it set to, and If you max out all the settings too. Check your bios if its set to Cool'n'Quiet mode, that usually can stir up problems with your rig. :wink:
November 13, 2006 4:08:47 PM

i get drops in source down too 20-30...
and cpu is 100% with any resolution
dont notice fps boost now that i disable virtual memory
and whats incorporated blunt?
November 13, 2006 4:41:37 PM

This graph shows your problem, you are more than maxing out your system ram. The virtual drive is set probably by windows to 1.5 G. You should see a huge improvement by going to 2G of system ram. With only 1G ram I would not recommend disabling the swap file, it will just crash you system.
November 13, 2006 4:44:19 PM

Quote:
i get drops in source down too 20-30...
and cpu is 100% with any resolution
dont notice fps boost now that i disable virtual memory
and whats incorporated blunt?
\

Since you only have 1 gig of memory, I wouldn't disable the virtual memory. You should go up to 2 gig of memory, preferably using two 1 gig sticks, but using 2 gig will help speed up the computer since it isn't using swap files so much.

As Bluntside said, disable Cool'n'Quiet if you're using it. That has caused problems for many people, myself included. Also, when playing games, you might use the Task Manager to end processes that take lots of memory, for instance, steam, firefox, and anything else that isn't necessary. At the same time, intense games do use the cpu to the max, so I'm not so sure that's a problem per se'.

The next thing I can suggest would be to buy a better cpu. The 3500+ is a little overworked on many modern games. Something in the X2 class would be better, starting with a X2 3800+ or X2 4200+. One of those processors would help balance the load.

Just some ideas.
November 13, 2006 4:48:39 PM

Quote:
i get drops in source down too 20-30...
and cpu is 100% with any resolution
dont notice fps boost now that i disable virtual memory
and whats incorporated blunt?
\

Since you only have 1 gig of memory, I wouldn't disable the virtual memory. You should go up to 2 gig of memory, preferably using two 1 gig sticks, but using 2 gig will help speed up the computer since it isn't using swap files so much.

As Bluntside said, disable Cool'n'Quiet if you're using it. That has caused problems for many people, myself included. Also, when playing games, you might use the Task Manager to end processes that take lots of memory, for instance, steam, firefox, and anything else that isn't necessary. At the same time, intense games do use the cpu to the max, so I'm not so sure that's a problem per se'.

The next thing I can suggest would be to buy a better cpu. The 3500+ is a little overworked on many modern games. Something in the X2 class would be better, starting with a X2 3800+ or X2 4200+. One of those processors would help balance the load.

Just some ideas.

iam not going to buy a dual core, and i could prolly overclock my 3500 to atleast 2.4 ghz if that makes any difference=/
anyway i disabled virtual cant be arsed to restart again, just looking if its gonna crash now.. i dont think 2 gig will make a big change to be honest. atleast not for now.
pretty fed up with this shit, as the pc is pretty new :<
November 13, 2006 4:55:45 PM

Quote:
Doesn't 100% CPU usage sound about right while playing an intense game. I mean firstly there's the game and then you add in a few background processes (especially real time virus scanning) and perhaps even a little system caching to hard drive. I mean this isn't a high end dual core rig.... it's easy to get to 100%.

Yep I think you could easily expect to see that kind of utilization, which means it's probably time to upgrade :roll:


Whether or not you have vsynch enabled (through the game code or through your video driver) will affect your game's CPU utilization. Without vsynch, your CPU will almost certainly always be maxed at 100% if you have a single core CPU. With vsynch, if your game can run much faster than your synch rate, the game process will have some idle time whenever it is waiting for the screen to refresh.
November 13, 2006 5:04:15 PM

Quote:
Doesn't 100% CPU usage sound about right while playing an intense game. I mean firstly there's the game and then you add in a few background processes (especially real time virus scanning) and perhaps even a little system caching to hard drive. I mean this isn't a high end dual core rig.... it's easy to get to 100%.

Yep I think you could easily expect to see that kind of utilization, which means it's probably time to upgrade :roll:


Whether or not you have vsynch enabled (through the game code or through your video driver) will affect your game's CPU utilization. Without vsynch, your CPU will almost certainly always be maxed at 100% if you have a single core CPU. With vsynch, if your game can run much faster than your synch rate, the game process will have some idle time whenever it is waiting for the screen to refresh.

even with vsync on its on 100% cpu load when playing source
November 13, 2006 5:19:47 PM

Um... the CPU is supposed to be at 100% during gaming, unless you have dual core (since most games are not multi-threaded). That is how they are designed.
November 13, 2006 5:25:15 PM

I think the only games that wouldn't take 100 percent, would be games like window card games (solitarie) or minesweeper or pinball. :lol: 
November 13, 2006 5:34:37 PM

Quote:
Um... the CPU is supposed to be at 100% during gaming, unless you have dual core (since most games are not multi-threaded). That is how they are designed.


hmm ok thnx for clearing that up and thnx for all the replies guys!

anyway do u might know why i have low fps in cs source?? its annoying cause my 1.6 clan plays source sometimes now and its pretty cool to play matches with em but low fps obviously always ruins the game a bit, if your trying to play competive
November 13, 2006 5:39:50 PM

Here is the fix to your 100% CPU usage problem.

This took me ages to discover. I mainly had the problem during games and mainly using teamspeak.

First I will explain what causes it.

You have downloaded and installed one of the drivers off nvidia's website and installed the nvidia nforce 4 audio driver contained in the driver pak.

This is the wrong audio driver for the Asus A8N-*** (Nforce4)Motherboards. If you are installing the latest drivers from nvidia's website you have to deselect the audio driver. Then install the motherboard drivers. Download the latest audio driver from Asus website and install.

Problem fixed.

Good luck
November 13, 2006 5:46:27 PM

Quote:

even with vsync on its on 100% cpu load when playing source


So you are saying that "source" (Half Life 2, I guess?) runs at greater than your monitor's refresh rate when vsynch is turned off? If it does not, then vsynch may have no affect on your CPU utilization.

Also, my statement assumes the developer is not doing anything clever with free cycles (typically, games of the past did not). If his renderer is threaded, he may choose to use the extra cycles for better physics simulation, shadow generation, AI, execute smaller steps in the game loop, etc.

Unless you are playing solitaire or something similar, I think you should be unconcerned about 100% CPU utilization in immersive 3D games--this is why others thought your thread was flame-bait. Of greater concern would be low CPU utilization (such as 50% when run on a dual core--especially when the game is advertized as making good use of multiple processor cores).
November 13, 2006 6:19:19 PM

Quote:
Um... the CPU is supposed to be at 100% during gaming, unless you have dual core (since most games are not multi-threaded). That is how they are designed.



Yeah, if you have a (single core) CPU running at 10% you wouldn't be getting the full potential of your proc during a game. If it ran 100%, you would be. The more you use your processor, the higher your frame rates can be because it can pump out instructions to the graphics card faster.


Don't fret over it, it's more likely you have a RAM bottleneck in particularly intense games. Like Battlefield 2, you'll probably get a higher frame rate when running with 2 GB then 1 GB. Other then that, the only thing that could be a problem is you might be asking for you system to run at high graphics settings and it can't provide it. a GF 7900 GT/O, or Radeon X1900 would provide better game play then what you're getting if you're asking for particularly intense graphics.

If it aint broke, don't fix it. That is, if your game play is comfortable then don't worry. As long as it's around ~30 or so in any non-FPS game, and at least 40-50 in a fps, you should be getting fairly smooth game play. High FPS is overrated, so don't fret if you're not getting high frame rates unless it's a first person shooter game, where you do need that.


;) 
November 13, 2006 8:25:51 PM

thanks guys,
btw i overclocked my CPU 10% its now running a little over 2,42 GHz and i get nice temps! http://img455.imageshack.us/img455/4333/cpuza9.jpg

cpu at load never goes over 40 dregees GPU never over 55
it kinda amazes me that the GPU is getting hotter when iam overclocking the CPU.
i could get like 2.8 GHz if the GPU wouldnt get warmer when i OC the CPU

and my fps in source never drops down 80 now its great.

sorry for being dumb :<
a c 125 à CPUs
November 13, 2006 8:52:06 PM

On a single core system.....this is normal...the game tries to grab as much as it can....there are very few games that do not do this....
a c 125 à CPUs
November 13, 2006 9:15:13 PM

Quote:
I think the only games that wouldn't take 100 percent, would be games like window card games (solitarie) or minesweeper or pinball. :lol: 

ultima :) 

Hell Zsnes take 100% :) 
November 13, 2006 11:04:39 PM

Quote:
Um... the CPU is supposed to be at 100% during gaming, unless you have dual core (since most games are not multi-threaded). That is how they are designed.


yep since your using i single core CPU that doesnt have thread optimzation your core will be at 100% when you play games... the only way you can get it to not be at 100% when your playing games is if you have a thread optimzation in your CPU. if you wanna test this out.. open CPU-z in your computer at the bottom o the main page it will probably say that is 1 logical core and 1 thread.

intel cores like the one that you have have hyperthreading. even the really stinking old ones. so cpu-z will show 1 logical core and 2 threads possible.

updating to a dual core system will remedy that so called "issue" if you can call it one... though i'm not sure why you dont wanna upgrade to a dual core cpu since its quite affordable.

also turning off your page filing is VERY VERY BAD! since you only have 1gb of ram you need to have the page filing on so because you dont have enough ram to hold all the data. upgrading to 2 gb of ram is suggested because as stated before it pretty much keeps all the data on the ram which is alot faster than page filing...

if you have 1gb of ram you should probably have a page file around 3-4gb
if you have 2gb of ram you should probably have a page file around 2-3gb
turning off your page filing is highly not recommended because if you just happen to fill up all your ram by like maybe playing bf2142 and torrenting your system will most likely crash hard... having the page filing there is like a cushion so that if you do happen to run out of ram theres an extra place to store the data.
November 13, 2006 11:37:09 PM

Been awhile since I've read up on Paging/Swap files.

Though, I thought the general rule for window OS's was basically taking your total ram x 1.5.

So 512 x 1.5 = 768MB page file

or

1024 x 1.5 = 1536MB or 1.536 GB page file

I know letting windows manage the swap file will hurt its perfomance (and take up HD space), but it provide stablity to run more, with less amount of ram.

I've ran my XP without a paging file (1GB Ram), even games, though I knew the things I was running didn't require more then what I had physically on my system, and didn't run into problems.

I've read that having 1 GB, and running something like BF2 will all eye candy on, will cause like a yo yo effect in FPS, since the paging file is trying to keep up.

Though, I think its just over kill to have a paging file of 3GB. :lol: 

Edit:

I guess what it boils down to, is how much your running all at one time that matters the most.
a b à CPUs
November 13, 2006 11:53:57 PM

I just made sure that I had approx. 2gb total system memory (page file + RAM) with less than 2gb RAM so I set my PF to 1gb (min and max) in my old system coz I have 1gb RAM.

EDIT: That system has an a64 3000 thats always maxed out in any game.
November 14, 2006 12:22:38 AM

Someone suggested that you may be seeing 100% as a result of using Alt-Tab to switch from the game back to the Windows desktop... if you feel that's what is happening, why not load the task manager before loading the game... it has a CPU usage history graph that'll show what your CPU is doing while gaming. Also, check to make sure the process consuming the most processor time is in fact the game you're playing.
a b à CPUs
November 14, 2006 12:23:38 AM

He already did that.

EDIT: Look:

Quote:
to make things clear, its not when i alt tab its while iam playing the game .
i just do ctrl alt del then start the game

then end the game and this is what i see on my screen

http://img122.imageshack.us/img122/9943/aagdgslz2.jpg
November 14, 2006 2:03:00 PM

Some people started talking about drivers. Make sure you have the latests ones for your video and audio. Drivers can make a HUGE difference.

The game I play for hours each week is CounterStrike:Source. What are your advanced settings? Tell me ALL the video settings and I can make a few recommendation on how to adjust them.

I agree with the others, unless you have 2 gigs of RAM, you'll need a page file. But if you do get 2 gigs I HIGHLY recommend disabling it. Windows LOVES to put stuff in swapfile even when you have 1.5 gigs of unused RAM. Disabling the swapfile forces everything into RAM and increases system speed, so long as you don't use more RAM than what you have.

Just so everyone is clear on what we're talking about here:

Swapfile aka Pagefile aka Virtual Memory is: Hard drive space that is used in place of "physical memory" aka RAM. Sooo the whole idea is that your system might not have enough RAM to do what you want it to do, but it can use space on the hard drive in place of RAM. However, the hard drive is EXTREMLY SLOW compared to real RAM.
November 14, 2006 2:43:17 PM

Since you suggested disabling the page file for users with 2GB (which accounts for a lot of us) ... what will happen the moment some application requests 1 byte over that? Does it fail to load or can we expect a blue screen? I'm just curious because I have 2 GB, but rarely come close to utilizing it all... highest I've seen is maybe 1.3 GB utilization... I'm just not sure what to expect from disabling the page file and I'm not sure if Windows will just use more RAM at that point.
November 14, 2006 2:51:01 PM

I don't know, but I can find out when I get home. I constantly use over 2GB of RAM with Lineage 2. Of course I am running 3 instances of a MMORPG on one computer so that isn't unexpected. I have disabled the pagefile in the past but I have never run over on RAM utilization, but now I do, so I honestly don't know what will happen. This requires investigation! lol.
November 14, 2006 3:26:45 PM

I think your computer explodes! Just kidding of course. I believe you get a message from Windows comlpaining that "Your system is low on virtual memory". And then some of your application will stop working. I don't believe you'll get blue screens, those typically are hardware related issues. It's not like your system will crash and never boot up again, you'll just have to reboot and adjust the virtual memory settings.

Don't forget that you need to reboot before virtual memory settings take affect.

Superfly, also test to see if you noticed increased performance with no page file when working within your 2 gigs of memory. That's one thing I noticed HUGE time, especially when alt-tabbing between Counter-Strike and my email (when I'm dead, which happens, a lot).
November 14, 2006 3:43:54 PM

I just can't comprehend why Windows would resort to using the page file over the much faster RAM that is still available. I understand keeping a small pool of RAM free... but when I've got just my OS loaded and only around 200-300 MB of RAM is in use, I expect ZERO paging to be taking place as I has nearly 2 GB of memory free at that point.
November 14, 2006 4:20:16 PM

Your CPU will pretty much always be at 100% usage when gaming, if you upgrade your CPU with a 4200+ X2 your usage will drop to 50%.

You have the same mobo that I have which is a great overclocker.

Although many many people will say that you dont need dual core for gaming, I would disagree. Whilst games are generally single threaded applications, Windows XP is not. Any background processes will affect your games on a single core CPU.
November 14, 2006 5:05:24 PM

I had a problem with my computer that was quite similar in nature. It was getting quite hot (it's a notebook computer) and sluggish, even when nothing was going on. Fans would go on high every once in a while to keep things stable. So I started researching within the task manager to understand what was consuming so much processing power. Looking at the task manager, I was getting the System Idle Process with a 99 as well, but that's not 99% usage of the processor. That's how much of the processor's CURRENT LOAD it's taking. So, if your processor is doing 2% workload, your System Idle Process can still be 99. The problem is when a process has a problem with another one and starts using system resources.
So, I found out that the driver for my wifi card was the issue and deleted it. Then re-installed again and my pc was running perfectly as before.

It has also happened to my sister's computer. MSN started going funny and taking a lot of resources from the system. I just deleted it and installed another version. Problem solved. Computer runs perfectly and cool.

Just my .02c

Cheers
November 14, 2006 5:10:19 PM

Quote:
I just can't comprehend why Windows would resort to using the page file over the much faster RAM that is still available. I understand keeping a small pool of RAM free... but when I've got just my OS loaded and only around 200-300 MB of RAM is in use, I expect ZERO paging to be taking place as I has nearly 2 GB of memory free at that point.


I couple of reasons I can think of:

1) What is the definition of "small"? If you have a high performance application that sudenly requires 1 Gig of RAM to be allocated (none too common, I agree--except, I suspect, for Outlook...), it would be pretty painful to wait for Windows to finish paging memory from several little-used OS applications before it could allocate the memory.

2) Opening, closing, and resizing disk files could be a painful process. Perhaps it is desired to open and allocate a certain amount of swap space--whether or not it is actually ever used? This would also reduce the amount of fragmentation on the disk.
September 14, 2013 3:47:20 AM

I have the same issue, and in my case i have Intel® Core™2 Extreme Processor QX6700
(8M Cache, 2.66 GHz, 8 GB ram, 240gb SSD and GPU ASUS GTX 760 and my CPU goes 90+ while playing battlefield 3, and i have nothing running in the backround and i have even razer game booster on, i just cant figure out whats taking so much load from my CPU while running BF3, my average CPU load is about 88%-97% which is crazy...

can some tell me how the hell i can fix this issue cause 90%+ cpu load start affecting my fps and thats *ucking annoying.

also i should mention my cpu load on idle not gaming about 0%-4% i also own after market Zalman CPU cooler and it seems to be working just fine.
a b à CPUs
September 14, 2013 5:27:29 AM

Wow! Solid thread bump to a necro post!
a c 93 à CPUs
September 14, 2013 1:24:53 PM

GodforSaken said:
I have the same issue, and in my case i have Intel® Core™2 Extreme Processor QX6700
(8M Cache, 2.66 GHz, 8 GB ram, 240gb SSD and GPU ASUS GTX 760 and my CPU goes 90+ while playing battlefield 3, and i have nothing running in the backround and i have even razer game booster on, i just cant figure out whats taking so much load from my CPU while running BF3, my average CPU load is about 88%-97% which is crazy...

can some tell me how the hell i can fix this issue cause 90%+ cpu load start affecting my fps and thats *ucking annoying.

also i should mention my cpu load on idle not gaming about 0%-4% i also own after market Zalman CPU cooler and it seems to be working just fine.


Nice work resurrecting a 7 year old thread! Anyway, if you want an answer to your question, you have a CPU bottleneck, and your only options to alleviate the problem are to try overclocking your old CPU, or to upgrade to a newer CPU/motherboard/RAM. The QX6700 was hot stuff back in 2007, today it isn't exactly high end, especially at stock speeds, and might not handle Battlefield 3 all that well.

September 16, 2013 2:11:26 AM

CooLWoLF said:
Wow! Solid thread bump to a necro post!


Why would i open a new thread when one already existed no matter how old :) 
!