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CPU and GPU usage

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December 6, 2011 1:32:09 PM

hello everyone,

I was wondering, if my cpu usage is like 60% and gpu 30% while playing a game that means that the game isnt that demanding right ? well then why doesnt it run with high fps then ? :)  for example i lauched a starcraft2 replay on an intensive battle, i was having like 20fps on high settings, while checking msi afterburner and realtemp, they were showing that my gpu wos working on 32% and cpu 50-60% usage, is that normal ? it's strange to me that i aint getting playable frames per second but my system isnt trying to give me them. i tried benchmarks like unigine heaven and intel burn test hey get my cpu and gpu up to 100%, but in real life scenario i dont get that, why is it so ? :) 


My system :
CPU : Intel core2duo e6550 2.33ghz @ 3.15ghz
MB : Gigabyte ga-g31m-s2l
GPU : Asus CuCore HD 5770
RAM : A-data premier 2x2gb ddr2 800mhz @ 900mhz
PSU : Modecom 500w
HDD : Seagate baracuda 360gb 7200rpm

More about : cpu gpu usage

December 6, 2011 1:51:17 PM

Are you looking at CPU/GPU usage at the time the game was played, or are you minimizing the game to check this? The latter will allow modern games to free the CPU/GPU. What do the graphs on Task Manager and GPU-Z (with the continue to log checkbox ticked) show at the point the game was played?
December 6, 2011 2:16:45 PM

I was "playing" it on windowed mode thats how i was able to see everything at once.
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December 6, 2011 2:24:39 PM

How's the hard disk activity? Is it getting pummelled? You can check via Windows' Resource Monitor... specifically the queue length.
December 6, 2011 2:30:28 PM

No, not really, its working normally, with some spikes to the top but then it gets down and sits normally
December 6, 2011 2:36:02 PM

Damn i cant even edit my own message, at first it was normal, but later it started getting pummeled like you say, all the que readings were hitting the top
December 6, 2011 4:29:18 PM

OK, don't worry about the graph too much in Resource Monitor, its scale can be wonky. In the bottom-most table on the Disk tab, what is the value in the Queue Length column for your hard disk? Values less than 1 are good - indicating that multiple requests are not queued up. Values greater than 1 indicate that multiple requests have lined up for your HDD, so it will have to clear it, which might manifest itself as slowness.

Then its a matter of looking at the second table on that tab to see which process is issuing the most reads/writes.
December 6, 2011 5:42:19 PM

It varies between 0.5 and 1. so its all good :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
December 6, 2011 6:22:01 PM

I don't put much stock in numbers like those. Just look at it---thirty percent of what? The graphics card is one of most insanely complicated objects ever created. Its performance can't be boiled down to a two-digit number. Same goes for the CPU. I use those numbers as rough guidelines, at best. You could be seeing 30% of what's being measured, while another part of the chip is quietly choking to death.
December 6, 2011 7:49:15 PM

Two more things that jump to mind:

* What are your CPU and GPU temperatures hitting while playing SC2? If the system is getting too hot, the components may be downclocking themselves or leaving cores idle to reduce heat output.

* If you turn up graphics settings and play the same replay, do framerates get even worse or stay about the same? If changing the settings doesn't seem to affect framerate, then it's almost certainly not your CPU or GPU bottlenecking the game. I would try a few test runs each of the same replay on higher and lower settings and compare results.

If changing graphics settings *does* change framerate a lot, but it's lower than expected on any settings, then it may be a driver or software issue. If your performance in other games is fine, then it's probably not hardware. If changing settings makes little to no difference, I'd bet good money that it's the hard drive slowing you down. Make sure you're using an appropriate texture quality from the in-game settings based on your GPU's total VRAM, and that your RAM isn't getting maxed out; using textures that don't fit in VRAM or not having enough RAM to give SC2 what it wants could both result in unnecessarily loading stuff from the hard drive during gameplay.
December 6, 2011 9:22:54 PM

Temperatures are fine, dont go above 60 on the cpu and 70 on the gpu, while with the settings, the higher they are the less framerates i have. Drivers... hmm.. all of my drivers are of the latest version the RAM are ok, there are like 1gb of free ram while playing sc2. I guess everything is fine with my pc, i was just wondering if my CPU and GPU usages should be something like 90-100% while not producing enough frames, oh well guess its more complicated than that. thanks for trying to help me, really appreciate it! :) 
December 7, 2011 12:42:50 AM

How about resource usage and frame rate in another game (not a benchmark tool)? Just trying to see if this is StarCraft related.
December 7, 2011 7:28:59 AM

Ok. sure. Tried MW3 CPU goes varies from 70 to 80% usage and the gpu sits @ 80% gpu usage playing at maxed settings at 1080p w/o anti aliasing
December 7, 2011 2:43:13 PM

OK - MW3 is not the most intensive of games on CPU/GPU, so 80% usage seems normal and acceptable. I'd wager that this is more StarCraft related. Not being familiar with the game, or its settings... can you try resetting the graphics options in the game to "recommended" or "default" if there are options like that? Then bump up the resolution to your LCD's native resolution, and see if that helps?
!