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Low GPU/CPU usage and low FPS... help?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I wasn't sure where else to categorize this but I have been having an issue in multiple games... an example would be Starcraft. I play this game at 1920x1200 on Extreme settings and most times I do get at the very least 60 fps (my comfort zone). However at some points (when there are lots of units on screen) my FPS will literally drop to below 10. At that very moment the GPU usage is only about 10-20% and the CPU never maxes out any individual core. Hopefully these pictures will explain better:

*Edit: Specs are below in my system information/signature.

Even just moderate amount of units on the screen as seen here results in "capped" FPS (usage is below maximum):


When just adding slightly more units on screen and action going on it results in this (even lower usage on both CPU and GPU):


There are even a few small programs open in the background consuming a few % of the CPU cycles in those screenshots so SC2 isn't even using the full amount shown. I have tried just closing everything in the background and it makes absolutely 0 difference. What am I missing here? This happens in other games as well, I get high FPS on maximum settings when not much is going on, but when a ton of **** is going on I get almost no FPS and almost no usage.
Edited by Milkolate - 10/27/11 at 6:40am
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post #2 of 17
You most probably hit the vRam roof. How much ram does your GPU have? Does the problem go away if you lower the res to 1024x768?
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post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
As you can see in the screenshot it is using 747-764MB of VRAM memory which is much less than the 1280MB that my 570 has. When I get this issue I usually check my usage just so I can rage at how low it is and not understand *** is going on and I have never seen it rise past 1100MB (in any game) so I can rule that out as the cause.
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post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
I just ran the same game in the same reproducible situation as above but this time I was on 1024x768 and every setting set to the lowest possible. The CPU usage was about the same (no individual core past 75%) and GPU usage was at 5%. FPS was still sitting at around 10 with all the units on the screen, when I look away into a corner of the map or when there are few units my FPS goes up past 100.
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post #5 of 17
I thought this was normal. My sig rig FPS will drop incredibly when there are a ton of units on screen (e.g. sudden death in Desert Strike, with >300 vs >300 units). FPS will be between 1-15 until the units die off and the screen starts clearing up from all the effects.

Could just be how the game handles massive amounts of units? Lowers performance artificially to reduce the incredible heat output from components otherwise?
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mingqi53 View Post
I thought this was normal. My sig rig FPS will drop incredibly when there are a ton of units on screen (e.g. sudden death in Desert Strike, with >300 vs >300 units). FPS will be between 1-15 until the units die off and the screen starts clearing up from all the effects.

Could just be how the game handles massive amounts of units? Lowers performance artificially to reduce the incredible heat output from components otherwise?
I thought so too until I realized that it happens in many of the games I play once a lot of stuff starts happening at the same time. In other games that are more visually demanding I will be pushing out like 50-70 frames with 100% GPU load and no individual core going above 60-70% then during intense action hit a wall where the GPU throttles down to like 10% usage, CPU cores all still the same or even lower and FPS drops to 5-10.

Also I have posted on quite a few tech support forums for various games and they have no idea what's going on. According to them it should max out my hardware.

AFAIK there is some bottleneck here that I am missing.
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post #7 of 17
No, it is not normal. GTX 570 should Never ever under any conditions drop to 10Fps in SC2, *especially* on 1024x768.

I'd driver sweep, reinstall. If not fixed, reinstall Windows. I've had phandom FPS drops before, never solved it (actually my first thread on OCN was about phantom FPS drops )
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post #8 of 17
Sorry for double post.
OP, do you pass Prime? Also what are you heat levels? Maybe the CPU throttles or runs unstable.
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post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnin426850 View Post
No, it is not normal. GTX 570 should Never ever under any conditions drop to 10Fps in SC2, *especially* on 1024x768.

I'd driver sweep, reinstall. If not fixed, reinstall Windows. I've had phandom FPS drops before, never solved it (actually my first thread on OCN was about phantom FPS drops )
Have you tried playing SC2 with a TON of units on screen at a custom viewing angle? I'm pretty sure it's not a limitation of the graphics card or drivers, it's the game itself. Even my friend with a 580 has a substantial FPS drop during the same situations the OP and I are in.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mingqi53 View Post
Have you tried playing SC2 with a TON of units on screen at a custom viewing angle? I'm pretty sure it's not a limitation of the graphics card or drivers, it's the game itself. Even my friend with a 580 has a substantial FPS drop during the same situations the OP and I are in.
Yes, I happen to be a casual SC2 player and even my 4.0 x3 + 8800GTS keep it above 30FPS minimum.

game is well optimized and does not drop to 10FPS @1024x768 unless you play it on an ancient PC, or have an issue
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Fujitsu Siemens A17-2A Logitech K280e SuperFlower SF-550K12XP Thermaltake Versa H25 
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Logitech G402 Sony MDR XD150 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 750K 4.0Ghz AsRock FM2A75 Pro4+ Sapphire R9 270X Dual-X Kingston 2x4Gb 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 850 EVO 120  Western Digital 320Gb LiteON DVD-RW CoolerMaster Hyper Z600 
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My Rig
(14 items)
 
Ex-wife's Rig
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 4460 AsRock H81M-DG4 Sapphire Rx470 Platinum KVR 1600 16Gb 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
2x Seagate 3Tb Samsung 850 EVO 120 Scythe Ninja 3 Rev.B Windows 10 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Fujitsu Siemens A17-2A Logitech K280e SuperFlower SF-550K12XP Thermaltake Versa H25 
MouseAudio
Logitech G402 Sony MDR XD150 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 750K 4.0Ghz AsRock FM2A75 Pro4+ Sapphire R9 270X Dual-X Kingston 2x4Gb 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 850 EVO 120  Western Digital 320Gb LiteON DVD-RW CoolerMaster Hyper Z600 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Pro x64 Toshiba 32" FullHD TV Logitech FSP Hexa 550 
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