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3x 680 4GB low usage BF3

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hello people!

Lately i am experiencing low GPU usage in BF3.

When playing BF3 MP the usage starts off good with 80/90% usage on all three cards. Ater about 15/20 mins the usage starts to drop to 60% which gives me just enough power to stay above 60 fps. But then it just drops all the way to 30 % which gives me a very blurry and choppy 40 fps and stays like that for a while.. and then the usage suddenly goes up again to normal giving me good fps again but the drops still continue randomly.

The odd thing is that this only happens on big maps with vehicles for example caspian border or kharg island.

When the GPU usage drops to 30's i usually ALT-TAB back and forth because that seems to get the usage and fps back to normal but its still just a temporary fix.

Another thing i notice when the GPU usage drops is that the power usage is around 70% and my GPU clocks go back to 1006MHZ from boostclock.


In Nvidia config i have prefer maximum performance and single display performance applied.

Using driver 310.90


Can anyone help me out?
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post #2 of 17
What temps are you getting? I heard that the 680/670 start to throttle @ 70c. Could be an overheating/airflow issue since your case has no side fan.
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post #3 of 17
The CPU will hold you back in BF3 in some maps. I have not played BF3 in some time but i have dropped to 50-60% GPU usage with my GPUs. Add one more and the usage will go down even more. What is you CPU usage like?
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post #4 of 17
Definitely sounds like a heat problem, 70 degrees causes clocks and volts to drop until the card cools down, hence the issue repeating after a while as they heat up again
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post #5 of 17
The cards only drop 15 MHz at 70C and another 15MHz at 80C, so I doubt that is going to account for the large drops you are seeing. You using Afterburner or Precision? you could try enabling K-Boost in Precision, jsut to see if that makes a difference. I'm inclined to think it is a software issue though, not a problem with the hardware. The fact that it only happens on large maps also lends credence to the CPU bottleneck theory.
post #6 of 17
Having read everyone's feedback, I would recommend watching the CPU usage in those moments when the GPU usage starts to drop.

I would suggest two things:

1. If it is indeed a heat issue as others suggested, try setting a custom fan profile. you'll have a louder experience, but nonetheless cooler. This might help with the throttling they are mentioning.

2. CPU bottleneck but probably unlikely at your speeds. Battlefield 3 indeed needs a lot of power but it is not an excuse for the GPU usage to go down in such weird ways. Watch the CPU temps as if it rises a lot the CPU does tend to underclock itself quite a lot. Put your cooler in the sig rig because I can't see it there. You may have too high voltages for the cooler to handle tongue.gif
     
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post #7 of 17
Thats quite odd, I've got the three of the 2 gb 680s sandwiched and I'm averaging 80+ at all times on all maps. I have mapped a pretty aggressive fan profile using EVGA precision X, have you ramped up the fan profile? It could also be those drivers as lots of people have been having issues with them myself not included they run buttery smooth. I'm inclined to agree with jdc about it being a thermal issue, what are your ambient temps? three of those cards on air together do generate some heat if you don't manage it right they will throttle. Failing all that I would roll back drivers because there is currently millions of people having issues with the 310.90s.
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post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
My 3930K is clocked at 4.8Ghz at 1.35v cooled by a H100 P/P and the gaming temps never pass 70c

My 680's max temp in BF3 is 71c on the top card and 66c on the other two and yes it clocks down 15 Mhz when it hits 70's but that should not be a reason for the GPU usage to drop to 30's. I also already have a custom fan curve running which make my cards run at max rpm when hitting 65c.

I'm having this issue since the 306 series of drivers. A while back i was still running Nvidia surround on 3x 27 inch monitors at 5960x1080, even then i was getting horrible performance in BF3 and even made my GPU usage drop to 0% at some times which caused some freezing at some frames.

Back then i even did a complete clean windows install but no help either..

Back then i contacted Nvidia about my problem and they suggested me 304.79 for BF3 and that totally fixed the low usage/ framedrops.

But now its still not fixed, and i could use 304.79 but its just too old as its missing the extra performance in the latest games + SLI profiles since im also currently playing Far cry 3.

In far cry 3 and hitman absolution i am also suffering low GPU usage causing choppy frames but in those games its diffirent than in BF3 because its only happening in some areas of the game.

A few months ago i made a video as example when i was still running nvidia surround. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DOPYcfjPbY

At that time i thought it was a Nvidia surround issue, so i just sold my monitors and got myself a 30 inch 2560x1600 but its just still the same..

For now these 600 series are giving me alot of trouble with low usage. Back in July when i first bought two of my 680's and played BF3 i noticed the GPU usage was pretty low at about 50/60%, even at the moments where i really need the extra fps... I NEVER had these issues on my previous GTX 570's SLI setup.

Not all games are running bad though, Max payne 3 for example has great GPU usage also does Sleeping Dogs. Running Unigine Heaven is also no problem and at 2560x1600 8xAA MAX settings í get 88 Fps avg.
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Armor III
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post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
I was also wondering if it would make a change if i connect the auxillery 6pin.

http://img805.imageshack.us/img805/4637/rampageivextremeunboxin.jpg
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post #10 of 17
Try and revert back to 310.6x beta drivers. I was having the same issue but with 670 in sli and these drives seem to have fix the problem.
    
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