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100% CPU Utilization in BF3

Last response: in Systems
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June 12, 2012 3:36:40 PM

Hey guys,

I purchased BF3 a little while back and been having issues with my playing it. Every time I play my CPU maxes out at 100% across all four cores and slows my computer down to a crawl. the game will also only play at approximately 20 fps with major amounts of lag. I've updated all my drivers and such. I'm not entirely sure how to diagnosis this issue and Customer Support at EA has been less than helpful. Please let me know what your suggestions would be.

My computer build:

i5-2400
Gigabyte GA-P67A-D3-B3
Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR3 1333
XFX XFX HD-687A-ZHFC Radeon HD 6870 1 GB
Samsung 830 Series 64 gb
Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W Continuous Power
Coolmaster HAF 922

I'm not currently home so I can't post an updated DxDiag but I'll do it when I get home. If you guys need anything else to help diagnosis the issue let me know. Thank you guys.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 12, 2012 3:51:09 PM

Do you have Windows 32 bit or 64 bit ? At what game settings are you trying to play at and have you tried adjusting them lower? At what monitor resolution are you playing at? Further troublshooting may reveal the cause of your issue but at the moment it almost seems to me that the cpu is trying to make up for a lack of video power?
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June 12, 2012 4:02:32 PM

I am running windows 64 bit, and I am trying to play the game at the lowest graphical settings currently. my monitor resolution is 1920x1080 but the max resolution is 720p. I would usually agree with you, but I know a lot of people who specifically use this graphics card to play bf3. I hope this helps.
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Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
June 12, 2012 4:04:39 PM

The minimum recomended power supply for the video card that you have is 500w and with the 520w psu that you have you are right at the minimum so any defect in the power supply is going to be bad for the video card. When looking at what people are posting for what they want to build I will always tell them to get more power supply then they need for just that reason. It's better to have too much than not enough.

If you have Windows 64 bit then I would recomend adding another 4gb of the same model , BF3 will use more ram then most games.

I would also suggest a 600w or 650w psu so that you would then compensate for any discrepencies in the rated power of the psu.

The motherboard that you have has two full size Pci-e slots for a video card however one is a x16 and the other is a x4 , do you have your video card in the Pci-e slot that is closest to the cpu socket?
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June 12, 2012 4:05:33 PM

Are you able to check your running processes while the game is running to see if it's the game that's taking 100% of the CPU? Also how much RAM is available before the game starts and while the game is running?
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June 12, 2012 7:07:02 PM

@inzone

When I built this computer, I used several power supply calculators to determine how much power I needed. The consensus i was told via these sites was 430 watts. I'll look into the possibility of needing more power. If I got what you are saying though, its that because there isn't enough power for the graphics card its forcing the cpu to make up the gap. Also, the Graphics card is as close to the cpu socket as I can get it.

@neieus

I have checked, when I run the game in windowed mode. And its the game taking 100% of the CPU power. usually I have anywhere between 2.5-3.5 gb of RAM available before starting up the game. From what I've seen this should be enough to run the game.

I appreciate your responses and thank you for your assistance thus far.
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June 12, 2012 7:35:55 PM

BF3 from what ive read, and dont hold me to this, is one game that takes advantage of having more than 4 gbs of memory. Your PSU is fine, recommended wattage by AMD is overkill really. Says it needs a 550w PSU but the card itself is like what? under 100w under full load? The rest of your PC wont even come close to running that PSU at max load.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 12, 2012 7:55:25 PM

I'd fully expect your CPU (3.2GHz turbo?) to stay at or near 100% in BF3. I had to go to 3.8GHz to stay below 100%. It still pegs out during map load then drops to around 90%.

Not sure that's the entire problem tho. Have you always had this issue with BF3? New driver actually give you worse performance maybe?

Did read in a BF3 GPU roundup that the AMD cards exhibited slowdowns during intense explosions that the nVidia cards did not.

If your monitor is 1920x1080, it's 1080p not 720p as far as I know (since 720p is 1280x720).
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June 12, 2012 7:59:57 PM

Slowdowns during intense explosions? Would love to see where you gleaned that little nugget of info from. Have 2 7970s in xfire and they work flawlessly. But its probably the same place that says AMD drivers are the only drivers with issues. *rolls eyes*
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 12, 2012 8:14:35 PM

Not throwing stones at AMD (I'd have a 7950 if the 670s hadn't dropped when they did) and I don't make this stuff up. I really only read Toms and Anand. It was a minor note but the author said they couldn't explain why the two architectures behaved differently. It was also single cards.

Trying to say it may be a small part of a larger systemic problem that's adding up to slow the whole thing down.
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June 12, 2012 8:50:35 PM

what is your GPU utilization during all this?
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June 12, 2012 9:26:01 PM

inzone said:
The minimum recomended power supply for the video card that you have is 500w and with the 520w psu that you have you are right at the minimum so any defect in the power supply is going to be bad for the video card. When looking at what people are posting for what they want to build I will always tell them to get more power supply then they need for just that reason. It's better to have too much than not enough.

If you have Windows 64 bit then I would recomend adding another 4gb of the same model , BF3 will use more ram then most games.

I would also suggest a 600w or 650w psu so that you would then compensate for any discrepencies in the rated power of the psu.

The motherboard that you have has two full size Pci-e slots for a video card however one is a x16 and the other is a x4 , do you have your video card in the Pci-e slot that is closest to the cpu socket?


i cant agree with the psu recommendation less. i have a 6950 with three fans factory overclocked with a overclocked 2600k, 6 case fans, 4 hard drives and a dvd drive on a 500 watt psu for over 6 months. the psu can produce enough juice. it may be faulty but not insufficient.
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June 12, 2012 9:58:41 PM

When, I run bf3 the game would be very choppy and skip. The audio would be out of synch with the video and would drop out entirely. The game would also become completely unresponsive and my character would spin around and shoot without user input. This would all happen on the first tutorial level of the campaign and multiplayer was 100% unplayable. This is an issue that I've had every time I've started the game up. I've re-installed the game 3 separate times.

My CPU would max out at 100% and I had issues seeing what my GPU utilization was, but I would hear the GPU fan kick in as the the game would load up and 'play'. I don't think its a RAM issue cause that is basically the only thing that wasn't maxed out when playing. Usually would be around 3.5 gb when the game was running.
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
June 12, 2012 11:24:18 PM

Have you recently updated the motherboards bios? When did you update it last? Depending on what the answer is you can either roll back to the previous driver or update to the latest bios.
I recently had an issue that drove me crazy and I thought it was the video card then I thought it was the power supply and I was even thinking it was the cpu. In the end I was able to determine that it was the motherboard so I sent it in for either a repair or replacement depending on what they found. When I got it back they said it was a defective bios chip which was replaced and it's been fine since. The issue was it was crashing whatever game I tried to play but yet I could go online and do everything else with the Pc except play games. So see what you can do with your MB bios and see if that helps.
Share
June 12, 2012 11:48:45 PM

adding 4gb+ ram will help on bf3 mp lags/stutter, don't know if it reduces the cpu usage.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 1:26:53 AM

Hey all, just gonna chime in here since I know Tigerfries personally and was trying to help debug this a few weeks ago, but we are no longern the same location.

We updated Catalyst to the latest editions, and motherboard is running the latest BIOS (F8 I believe). We tried uninstalling Origin and the game separately, but that didn't fix anything. RAM utilization seems fine and the GPU isn't working too hard (though we didn't officially check with Afterburner or Precision). It's that CPU spike that is really killing the game - its instantaneous and peaks immediately when the game starts up.

The issue shouldn't be the CPU type, since my even my i3-560Ti combo would still crush the game. The PSU is more than capable, since the 6870 isn't really a power hungry card.

Just as a note, other games play fine (ME3 was what he was playing before I left) and it seems to run smoothly. It's something about BF3 that doesn't seem to be treating his system well.
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June 13, 2012 1:56:56 AM

Hey, I am running F7 on the bios. And I did a bios debug and update and the game is running a lot more smoothly and is actually playable. The game crashed in the end, but its definitely a start in the right direction. I'm gonna keep tinkering to see what is going on.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 2:59:55 AM

You may have a bad or defective bios chip like I had and we have the same brand of motherboard , Gigabyte so with the board still under warranty it may be worth a shot at sending it in to see if you do have a defective bios chip.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 9:43:01 AM

Interesting. Never knew that small chip could cause so many problems...
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June 13, 2012 12:36:01 PM

Yeah, that seems to be the best course of action. @Boiler1990, neither did I. but tis is life. I'll start an RMA and see how this goes.
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June 13, 2012 12:36:38 PM

Best answer selected by tigerfries.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 1:21:09 PM

I was thinking about that this morning, and was wondering if your board has the dual bios setup. I believe they are on separate chips, so maybe you could possibly force the other chip to run and hopefully fix the issue without having to slave through an RMA.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 3:57:46 PM

boiler1990 said:
Interesting. Never knew that small chip could cause so many problems...



Even after getting the board back I was sure that it was something else that was wrong and I still can't believe it was a defective bios chip , but the board and computer are now working without issue so I guess I have to believe them. I also checked the serial number and they did send me back the same board.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 4:25:47 PM

NVM about the dual BIOS idea. Look on Gigabyte's page and it's not that cut and dry.
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June 21, 2012 2:41:32 AM

Well the RMA request is in. Boiler1990 can you link the Gigabyte page with the information?
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