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GTX 560 low GPU Usage

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 10, 2012 9:50:50 AM

Hi i recently tried to figure out why specificly BF3 was running poorly and i noticed that my GPU load never goes over 50%. At best it's at 47% and avrage is at about 38%.
I started doing tests in other games also. Shogun 2, Dawn of War 2, Serious Sam 3 and so on. All those games use a little more power than BF3 (avg 45%). I did various tests configs and even tried reinstalling my computer but im still getting the same results.

I used GPU-Z with it's loging function while conducting these tests, while also monitoring my memory and CPU usage to make sure that it's not bottlenecking. I found no evidence of them bottlenecking though. CPU never goes over 90% usage (60% for Dawn of War 2: Retribution)

All the games were running silky smooth during fall with no stutter. I could run Shogun 2 without any kinds of stutter or slowdowns Now Shogun stutters and animations are tearing.


My system specs:
Core 2 Quad Q8400 2.66 Ghz
4GB DDR2 1066 MHZ
Gigabyte GTX 560 SOC

I belive it's driver problems but i can't really prove it. I also tried fiddeling with the settings in the Nvidia Controlpanel setting them to maximum performance with no result.

Any idees on what it could be?

More about : gtx 560 low gpu usage

a b Î Nvidia
February 10, 2012 10:08:45 AM

What did you do exactly when the GPU turns low? Have you do test such as furmark or MSI kombustor?
February 10, 2012 10:16:03 AM

Benchmarks and playing the game for a few mintues. Also to add. I've only see 90-99% spikes when loading.
To clarify. It's not turning low. It's using max clock but only running at or less than 50% capacity.
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a b Î Nvidia
February 10, 2012 10:45:48 AM

Have you like update drivers, change something, change hardware or something such before this issue happens?
February 10, 2012 10:54:50 AM

I reinstalled windows today. But that was after doing the first batch of tests and swaping drivers etc. I needed a reinstall badly. But either way the problem persists.
a b Î Nvidia
February 10, 2012 10:57:40 AM

No I mean, what did you do BEFORE you have this issue? Do you have the latest driver? If you reinstall windows and still have that issue, seems it's not software related. But, still I need to know what because you have a fine system before.
February 10, 2012 11:28:06 AM

Honestly i dont really know what i did. I only recently noticed it. I havent played Shogun 2 since Septemer when it worked flawlesslie. Then BF3 came out and i guess i updated my Nvidia Drivers.
a b Î Nvidia
February 10, 2012 11:29:16 AM

Umm, what version is that?
February 10, 2012 11:34:24 AM

285.62 Latest non beta drivers released Oct 24th
a b Î Nvidia
February 10, 2012 11:40:56 AM

Have you tried 290.51 or 280.26 and the drivers that you don't have the issue with? Honestly so sad nVidia hasn't released any WHQL Drivers till now, for more than three months.
February 10, 2012 11:47:28 AM

The newer one yes the older no. I'll give the older one a try.
I just ran PCMark 7 and i never go over 40% GPU usage while also never passing 60% CPU usage.
a b Î Nvidia
February 10, 2012 12:03:39 PM

Well that's strange, if you still has issues you can use MSI afterburner to overclock it and see the temperatures and usage. If you still has the problem you can try overclocking your CPU from your BIOS. If you still have the issue can you show me the specs of your whole system?
February 10, 2012 12:13:30 PM

Already OCed my CPU but i downclocked it to deffauly thinking that the problem was there. But as said it's not a bottleneck. I'll give it a try with some older drivers.
February 10, 2012 1:59:00 PM

Ok so i tried the older drivers and it's the same. MSI Kombustor on the other hand manages to use 99-100% of the GPU with no problems what so ever. While games are still around 40-50%
February 10, 2012 2:06:53 PM

Hey OP, what resolution are you running games at?
February 10, 2012 2:09:53 PM

1680x1050.

Just notice something. MSI Kombustor is using OpenGL 4.1 while all testing i've done is in DirectX driven software. Any other testing software that uses OpenGL so i can test it out?
February 10, 2012 2:58:16 PM

This is how the GPU usage looks when i play Battlefield. It's really sporadic. FPS dips down to 23 fps when the GPU usage is at it's lowest.

February 10, 2012 3:11:01 PM

idono said:
Ok so i tried the older drivers and it's the same. MSI Kombustor on the other hand manages to use 99-100% of the GPU with no problems what so ever. While games are still around 40-50%


If those games only run 2 treads (like most newer games still do) then a 50% load on a quad core would indicate that 2 cores are maxed out.

My bet, that 560 is bottlenecked by your cpu.
February 10, 2012 3:21:37 PM

justme1977 said:
If those games only run 2 treads (like most newer games still do) then a 50% load on a quad core would indicate that 2 cores are maxed out.

My bet, that 560 is bottlenecked by your cpu.



Already checked the core load. All of them are being used. Either way DoW2 is a 3 year old game and shouldn't have any problems running
February 10, 2012 3:31:41 PM

if vsync is off and you arent getting 99% gpu usage then you have a cpu bottleneck.
If your cpu is at 90% usage and your gpu is at 35% then either vsync is cutting it low or your cpu cant process fast enough becoming a bottleneck for your gpu. thats is typically how a cpu bottleneck is displayed is by high cpu usage and low gpu usage.
February 10, 2012 7:06:02 PM

FlintIronStagg said:
if vsync is off and you arent getting 99% gpu usage then you have a cpu bottleneck.
If your cpu is at 90% usage and your gpu is at 35% then either vsync is cutting it low or your cpu cant process fast enough becoming a bottleneck for your gpu. thats is typically how a cpu bottleneck is displayed is by high cpu usage and low gpu usage.



dont think that's the case. I've seen posts with people using i5s, i7s having GTX 560s and Titanium versions having the same problems.

I went ahead and clocked my system now and i'm honestly not seeing an increase in performance at all.
February 11, 2012 12:26:39 AM

Do you have another system available to test the card out on to prove your theory that its the card?
That would be the best way in determining the card is faulty or not
February 11, 2012 9:43:32 PM

FlintIronStagg said:
Do you have another system available to test the card out on to prove your theory that its the card?
That would be the best way in determining the card is faulty or not



Nope. I crunched away and i decided that it's not worth the hassel in time since i can't aford spending 2-3 days figureing out whats wrong. So instead i'm going to invest on some cheap hardware untill the Haswell release next year.
February 11, 2012 9:49:24 PM

FlintIronStagg said:
if vsync is off and you arent getting 99% gpu usage then you have a cpu bottleneck.
If your cpu is at 90% usage and your gpu is at 35% then either vsync is cutting it low or your cpu cant process fast enough becoming a bottleneck for your gpu. thats is typically how a cpu bottleneck is displayed is by high cpu usage and low gpu usage.

Not exactly. If the GPU Memory Bandwidth is too low then the GPU can't get fed and ends up sitting idle. Heck when I game on my old DDR2 based HD 4350 playing COD1 the CPU will chug away at 40% (Core 2 Quad) and the GPU will be at 60% with Vsync off. The slow memory (8 GB/s bandwidth) can't feed the GPU. Overclocking memory helps this. But this doesn't sound like his problem.
March 5, 2012 3:32:59 PM

I recently purchased a rosewill 630w psu and evga 560 ti fpb to upgrade my stock HP m9402f desktop. The desktop is all stock components, including an AMD 9650 2.3ghz stock quad and 7gig ddr2. After the upgrade I was excited, thinking I'd finally be able to play Final Fantasy XIV.

I ran the benchmark for FFXIV right after installing the hardware and received a terribly low score. Nothing like what I was imagining. I then tried the game itself, and was met with terrible performance considering my components. While monitoring cpu and gpu activity throughout this time, I noticed neither was going above 40-50%. I researched all night long, reading and trying virtually everything I could find about low cpu/gpu usage on games and nothing seemed to work.

One of the options I looked into this night was power and energy settings. I set it for high performance and also started a default sleep time instead of shutting my computer down at the end of the night before bed. When I woke up the next day and woke the computer from sleep instead of a full boot up, the problem completely stopped.

I'm getting the 60 capped fps now in FFXIV outside of towns, not to mention the computer in general is faster at performing it's regular tasks. Next, I restarted the computer, and the problem came back. I then forced the machine into sleep from start menu, let it sit for a few seconds, powered back on, and now everything is performing great again.

On the FFXIV benchmark I would get a 1500 in performance after a fresh restart or bootup. After resuming from sleep, the score went to 2700 low res. GPU and CPU usage both skyrocket.

I have no idea what is happening when the computer wakes from sleep that allows for full performance, but I'm finally able to enjoy games with near full gpu/cpu usage. I normally don't ever write or reply to these threads, but the low gpu/cpu usage was absolutely driving me crazy and I really wanted to offer my solution incase it works for even one of you.

Also, if anyone is able to actually say what is happening that is causing this, I would love to know.
March 5, 2012 4:21:03 PM

Create your own thread for your topic if you wish to be helped
March 5, 2012 5:52:07 PM

FlintIronStagg said:
Create your own thread for your topic if you wish to be helped


I wasn't looking to be helped per se. I was letting the people in this thread know of a possible solution to their problem. I'm not going to create an entirely new thread just to ask a simple question that was only expanding off my original post.
March 6, 2012 1:09:28 AM

Hijacking a thread for your own question is against the.toms hw rules just fyi
March 6, 2012 6:54:41 AM

Have you tryed in a lower resolution?
Always happened with BF3 or just started to happen?

I have the theory it could be you run out of VRam and the game have to swap
March 6, 2012 9:48:09 AM

Guys, you are missing the entire point. The entirety of my reply is aimed solely at informing this thread of a possible solution to their problem. The last sentance in my post was merely a segue thought/question that expands off my solution and help to the participants of this thread.

Hijacking a thread? Really. Please learn to discern.
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