Games not using my 7770's full load

Hello everyone, I've recently installed a new copy of windows 7 and bought a Gigabyte 7770OC, but the card just doesn't act right for most games, I started out with Arkham City and it seemed to struggle to run so I switched to DX9 and things got a lot better (not perfect though.) Now I'm Witcher 2 and the GPU seems to run all settings of the game at 60+ framerates, then after a few mins of playing it drops to 15-30FPS, it doesn't matter if I switch to low or ulta settings, my framerate doesn't significantly change. I ran GPU-Z in the background and the game isn't even using 50% of the GPU's load and the temps are barely reaching over 55C. Now I thought my CPU (Q6600 quad core @2.4GHz) might be bottlenecking it so I tried the last game I have which was Prince of Persia, which runs on almost all GPUs out there, I started out with also 60-80 FPS then after a few mins of roaming it dropped to 30-40. It seems like the card is throttling every game I have, I barely reach temps of over 55C and my GPU load spikes up and down like a heartbeat monitor but barely goes over 60%. Is there something wrong with my settings? My GPU drivers are up to date.

A test through Furmark uses 99% of my GPU and takes the card's temperature to over 70C

Here's my specs:
Gigabyte 7770-OC
Q6600 Quad Core @2.4 GHz (Stock clock)
Windows 7 32 bit

Thanks for the help in advance!
18 answers Last reply
More about games 7770 full load
  1. How's your CPU temperature?
  2. Assuming CPU temps are ok, my next guess would be to OC the CPU. Many games don't use more then 2 cores, and two Core 2 cores at 2.4GHz isn't going to be alot. Try to get it to 3.0GHz and try gaming again.
  3. I'm amazed no one asked the most important question.....what is your monitors resolution?
  4. ^ SMART
  5. geekapproved said:
    I'm amazed no one asked the most important question.....what is your monitors resolution?

  6. Sorry for not including that info in the first place, my monitor runs at 1680x1050 and my CPU temps roam in the 80C area when I'm playing The Witcher 2
  7. That is serious overheating for your CPU.

    I'd suggest cleaning dust out of it. If it doesn't help, you'll need to reseat the heatsink and reapply the thermal paste.
  8. Well the fact that I've opened only my case only once in 3 years to replace my 9600Gt with a 7700 might be a major factor in the dust thing. How many degrees should a quad core be running at? And could that be the reason why my GPU is running at half its power?
  9. Yes, the CPU is throttling whole system so it doesn't start a fire.

    It shouldn't get higher than 55°C.
  10. ^Make that 60C.
  11. Fair enough :).
  12. Like they said, that is ridiculously hot for a CPU. I would say 55C to 60C is the limit.
  13. So what you need, if cleaning out doesn't do it on its own, is a third-party heatsink. The $20 Xigmatek Loki SD963 and $35 Hyper 212 EVO are good choices.
  14. Going to buy some thermal paste then post the results, will I need a can of compressed air or will a vaccum/brush be enough for the cleaning process, sorry as I'm not familiar with anything involving cleaning.
  15. Don't use a vacuum or brush as they generate static. Definitely grab a can of compressed air though.
  16. Do you mean you have no thermal paste on your heatsink right now? That would certainly explain your temperatures. If you're getting a new heatsink, though, it'll come with satisfactory thermal paste of its own.
  17. I think he was just going to replace it, but if he doesnt have it it would for sure explain the issue.
  18. No I'm just going to replace it since it hasn't been touched since 2009, would getting a new heatsink be a better idea? It's running at stock clocks and I don't imagine it needs a stronger heatsink than the stock one currently installed, then again I don't know much about CPUs.
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