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GPU usage spikes at idle on a new sapphire 7970 Ghz, what is going on?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just put this computer together a few days ago, this is my first computer with a dedicated graphics card so I'm not sure if this is normal. While idling (no 3D applications running, just chrome and microsoft office are in use) about every 10-30 seconds the GPU usage goes form near 0% to 30-50% for a few seconds and the fan speed increases. The fan noise is annoying and this is causing it to idle at up to 55 C. The video card is a sapphire Vapor-X 7970 Ghz edition. Is this behavior normal? It seems to perform well otherwise playing bioshock infinite just fine. This happens with the default clock and voltage settings. The usage spikes usually occur at a constant rhythm a little more regular than what is seen in the image. what is causing this problem? if it is a bad part I need to figure it out soon so that I can send it back.

Higher quality image where the text can actually be read: http://i.imgur.com/4jBnuma.jpg?1
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i7 3820
Gigabyte UP4 motherboard
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OCZ 850w modular power supply


post #2 of 9
Chrome and Microsoft Office are both heavily GPU-accelerated. The GPU is responding to the workload you're placing on the system; this is entirely normal.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thracks View Post

Chrome and Microsoft Office are both heavily GPU-accelerated. The GPU is responding to the workload you're placing on the system; this is entirely normal.

After reading this I started going through all active programs and closing them one by one. Nothing changed after closing all visible programs other than some monitoring software so I started looking in the task manager for more. I noticed PMB.exe (pando media booster) using some CPU so I killed it. That was it, now with chrome back open with many tabs the gpu usage spikes are much smaller and the the fan no longer has to speed up to keep it cool. I don't know where that program came from, I can't remember installing it but I removed it from startup so I shouldn't get this problem again.
post #4 of 9
Worf

I hear you - I just ran into this last night.

I mean word or chrome usually wont tax these kinds of cards to climb into the 50s; not with some decent air flow and a good fan curve... but I kept seeing temps into the 50's? Watching youtube? Thats got to be it... but really? That dont sound right; 40's maybe...

I noticed every 10 seconds; 2 of my 3 gtx670s jumped to their 1050mhz "boost" clock speeds, from a idle clock of around 300; Memory clock would jump, cant remember how high. During the "spike", power would climb from 980mV to 1080mV.

EVGA and Precision X, you can sync your settings to all three cards; and I hadn't changed them yet; everything was at stock. These spikes concerned me, but not enough to freak me out; not until I monitored the third.

Spiking was less spikey and more plateaued - much more consistent; it'd climb down, but not as blatantly as the 1st & 2nd - problem was; every single monitoring software I had showed the 3rd would jump to 1280mhz clock speed; and over 1190mV

Temperatures did the same as you described, Worf.

Before each spike on the 1st and 2nd (every 10 seconds or so) - you could see a process named "PMB.exe" taxing the CPU for a short period of time (maybe 5-8 seconds at maybe 15%)

Before anyone tries to shrug this off; I only performed one and only ONE action, aside from monitoring; a MD5 and malware scan; and watching my explorer manager -

That one and single action taken was uninstalling Pando Media Browser. These were 10 second cycles so when they completely stopped after removing Pando; I'm about very sure PMB.exe was either the cause or at least (edited: cant say I'm 100% sure; I'm not a programmer) certainly exacerbating the problem.

I have no idea how I got it; it was on my SSD, I usually am careful about what I put on there. I know its facilitates P2P, which I don't do; and everything I've read until now, PMB.exe likes to suck on your bandwidth - not mine your GPUs

I'm not saying it was malware; nor malicious - the bottom line is - I just discovered how to stop the spikes, last night; and my brand new GPU, an Nvidia GPU, was being thrown up 150mhz beyond where I'd even dream about OCing it (Air cooled set up) - I also don't like the idea of bumping the voltage up 180mv's

Not a brand new card at least, certainly not without my consent (thank goodness the temps gave it away; Chrome browsing goes as high as maybe 40 degrees, yeah yeah, but even with air cooled; simple browsing or watching youtube don't tax these cards THAT high with the right fan curve - certainly not 55)

So does anyone have any ideas? Or was this some freak coincidence? Effecting both AMD and NVidia cards? Seemed totally benign to every scan I threw at it.

Either way; just saying, may want to be mindful installing anything calling itself pando right now - I'll post some pics of my saved GPU activity when I get off work - its funny worf, ours look nearly the same

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Edited by Trimdeezy - 5/3/13 at 3:34pm
post #5 of 9
have you guys tried turning Harware Acceleration off? Rightclick Video (You Tube) and go to settings. Uncheck it.

Do not seem to have such issue with my 7970 . . .

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post #6 of 9
Seems odd. Something similar happens to me. I open up Google or load up Heaven, it does it for a couple of seconds and goes back. As long as everything seems fine in Heaven, do not worry too much about it.

However if yours continues to do it every 10-30 seconds something seems wrong. Try opening Chrome and leave it there for a minute and check if it continues to do it.
post #7 of 9
Turning off hardware acceleration in youtube was actually one of the first thing I tried; being that my first thought was, the browser was the culprit; but the temps dont match, not if you try and plan your cooling semi-effectively - at least, it shouldn't get that hot, and stay that hot... even get hotter? When Im done with youtube and go to read municipal codes for concealed carry permits? I mean, not exactly video intensive.

But I should clarify, it was not dependent on web browsing what so ever - my spiking continued, without change in frequency or duration, during idle periods; no browsing, most processes either terminated or stopped, carefully - it was until PMB.exe where I found the correlation.

I want to also clarify, that as far as I know, and correct me if Im wrong, Nvidia cards throttle depending on load. You should see it fluctuate to a certain extent, while in use. I'm sure it's similar with ATI cards;

I just found it alarming that whatever the culprit, it was effectively redlining factory set cards - one of them to dangerous levels.

This was the first post I've seen where someone attributed it to PMB.exe; it was recent, and so I just wanted to share my recent experience with it.

Again, I can assure all anyone who's wondering - I'm by no means an expert lol far from it - but I know for a fact, PMB.exe was related to my spikes, occurring every 10-20 seconds, for as long as the system was turned on; including at idle. At no point, was it effected until PMB.exe was removed from the system.

Anyone else know of this happening, other than pesky bitcoin miners?



I know that dont tell you really what you need to know; but you can see the pattern was fairly constant; this was only a short period of time - it had been doing this ever since monday

Either way; it's fixed now! Still, I'd hate to think somebody else runs into this, and that those levels were real on that 3rd card. Hate to think something like that would be capable of damaging your investment! Especially since it slipped under my bitdefender; and hash check! Just hope nobody else runs into the same "incident" -
Edited by Trimdeezy - 5/3/13 at 3:37pm
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by worf65 View Post

After reading this I started going through all active programs and closing them one by one. Nothing changed after closing all visible programs other than some monitoring software so I started looking in the task manager for more. I noticed PMB.exe (pando media booster) using some CPU so I killed it. That was it, now with chrome back open with many tabs the gpu usage spikes are much smaller and the the fan no longer has to speed up to keep it cool. I don't know where that program came from, I can't remember installing it but I removed it from startup so I shouldn't get this problem again.

I was just going to suggest uninstalling Pando Media Booster. I had the same exact issue on my 7970 and spent hours trying to figure it out. PMB is installed along with a lot of games that require downloading most of the game content. For me it installed with League of Legends but it also happens with any Nexon game. Glad you figured it out. If anyone else has the same issue, be sure to mention PMB!
post #9 of 9
In Chrome (if you use it)
Go to about:flags and copy what's in the image below.



Spikes have completely stopped for me.
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