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R9 280x Low GPU Usage in Battlefield 4

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey Guys.

This is my very first post on this side. Please don't judge my "odd" english. I'm from germany and still practising.

I wanted to share my experience on a very odd phenomena with Battlefield 4. Maybe some of you can relate or even help with this matter. It seems that my GPU isn't living up to its' full potential.

System Spec
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z87X-D3H
CPU: Intel i5 4670k @4,5ghz
GPU: Amd R9 280x Sapphire Vapor-X (I've ordered another one to test Crossfire performance.
Ram: 8 GB 1333mhz
PSU: Thermaltake Smart 850
My config: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
GameTime.MaxVariableFps 145.000000
PerfOverlay.DrawFps 1
PerfOverlay.DrawGraph 0
PerfOverlay.Enable 1
PostProcess.DynamicAOEnable 0
Render.DrawScreenInfo 0
RenderDevice.Dx11Dot1Enable 1
RenderDevice.Dx11Dot1RuntimeEnable 1
RenderDevice.Dx11Enable 1
RenderDevice.ForceRenderAheadLimit 0
RenderDevice.TripleBufferingEnable 0
Screenshot.Format png
UI.DrawEnable 1
WorldRender.DxDeferredCsPathEnable 1
WorldRender.LightTileCsPathEnable 0
WorldRender.MotionBlurEnable 0
WorldRender.MotionBlurFixedShutterTime 0
WorldRender.MotionBlurForceOn 0
WorldRender.MotionBlurMax 0
WorldRender.MotionBlurMaxSampleCount 0
WorldRender.MotionBlurQuality 0
WorldRender.SpotLightShadowmapEnable 0
WorldRender.SpotLightShadowmapResolution 256
WorldRender.TransparencyShadowmapsEnable 0

In most situations while playing Battlefield 4 my GPU Usage doesn't exceed ~ 68%.

I recently bought a 144hz display (Benq XL2411T) for my gaming rig. And I was tweaking my config to get an even 145 fps so I can really take advantage of the 1ms g2g reactiontime for Battlefield to run the smoothest (it really feels a lot smoother running at a stable 145 fps). After some tweaking and trying out certain config settings I came to realize that on most maps I can run the game with a stable 145 fps like a charm. Yet on some maps I can't. I seemed like certain areas of the game were just to demanding for my rig to handle properly (got probably ~ 100-120fps).

The next step for me was to try to get some more performance out of my rig >> Overclocking. Got my i5 4670k up to 4,5ghz, slightly overclocked my R9 280x to 1120mhz GPU Clock (vram: 1600mhz) and my Ram to 1400mhz. But it really didn't change much. To be honest, in Battlefield 4 it changed simply nothing.

Then I took a look at GPU and CPU Usage. My CPU was fine. Most of the time my CPU was at a stable 90-99% usage. But the GPU didn't seem to run at its' full potential.
GPU usage didn't exceed 68%. YET in some cases when I changed certain graphic settings the GPU usage would go up and peak at a solid 90% (and fps improved). But after like 20 seconds the GPU usage dropped back to about 70%. And there was a clear gap between my CPU and the GPU usage to see in the ingame graph (Perfoverlay.DrawGraph 1). The CPU curve was higher then the GPU curve (in an ideal case the GPU and the CPU curves almost match each other). So there shouldn't be any bottlenecking from the CPU side cause there was still room for my GPU to fill. And like I said in some cases it did.

According to some forums a driver and bios overhaul fixed performance issues in some cases. So I downloaded all the latest drivers for my motherboard and I got the latest bios. I also looked into GPU drivers. I am using Catalyst 13.12 and I tried the latest beta driver (without actually doing anything to performance). But the driver overhaul didn't fix the problem.

I also looked into disabling any powersaving features of my GPU. But I couldn't find how.

Also temps are no problem. CPU doesn't exceed 55°C and GPU stays below 70°C.

TL;DR Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
GPU usage varies quite irrational. No CPU bottleneck. Driver update didn't do anything. Overclock didn't to much.

In the end I came to the very unsatisfying conclusion, that it must be either some power saving features of my GPU or Battlefield 4 Engine relates issues.
My very last hope is the second R9 280x that should be arriving soon.


I would be very glad to see some input from you guys, cause I'm all out of bullets here.

Thank you for your time.

Yak.


EDIT: In other Games it seems to be running fine. I get 99% GPU usage in skyrim (with ~70% CPU usage)
Edited by kaYak - 1/6/14 at 10:51pm
post #2 of 12
just from the headline i'm will to bet you're CPU bound, but ok.
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post #3 of 12
With 99% of cpu usage you are bottlenecked by cpu in that game
post #4 of 12
I get about 35% CPU usage if i let the GPU run at 100% load.

Playing with a 270x Toxic now, so your 280x would ask a bit more from your CPU.

Still a 100% CPU usage seems high though compared to my 35% CPU usage (2600K @ 4,6ghz)

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CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Lamptron FC5 V2 fan-controller AlphaCool VP655 Pump + Plexi Top EK Spin Bay resevoir 3x Scythe Gentle Typhoon's 1450rpm 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
6x Enermax Cluster White 1200rpm Windows 10 Iiyama Prolite E2773HDS 27inch - 47inch LG TV Corsair K60 - Razor BlackWidow Stealth - Logite... 
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AudioAudioAudioAudio
Musical Fidelity V-Dac II Reloop Direct Drive Turntable with Ortofon Conc... 2x Adam A5X Studio Monitors BeyerDynamic DT990 Pro 250ohm 
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post #5 of 12
This is frustrating. I have experienced this many times with different games and it really hard to pin point.

Honestly, knowing that your CPU is in the top 90% or GPU is in the top 90% I think your good. at least that is what I have reserved myself to thinking.

There is no real silver bullet and it's up to you how much time you want to spend playing with settings, different drivers, and software. I was at a point where I would have a machine that I would wipe the OS on very often thinking that some software was causing the issue. Then pull the newest drives and then go.
post #6 of 12
I am sorry that I cannot be of any real assistance to your current problem with BF4. But I felt compelled to tell you that you do not need to apologize for your English. I live in the Southern United States, and your English is better than a sold 50% of the students my wife teaches...to take the Law School Acceptance Test. thumb.gif
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post #7 of 12
if oc'ing the gpu did not help, then might as well lower its oc or put it back to stock. oc'ing it might just be causing some instability. oc'ing the cpu, in your case, to 4.8 - 5GHz might help but has to be tested for stability as well with Prime95.

edit: i've experienced a similar scenario in BF3 MP 64 with my i7 SB HT on and off at 4.5GHz together with crossfired 7950/7970. cpu was pegged to 99% with HT off. SP, though, was no problem. Huge explosions were not pretty.

here was BF4 with a 7970 at stock and i7 4.5 HT on and off . . .





Edited by rdr09 - 1/7/14 at 8:13am
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
First of all thanks for all of your input and your experiences with this phenomena.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farih View Post

I get about 35% CPU usage if i let the GPU run at 100% load.

Playing with a 270x Toxic now, so your 280x would ask a bit more from your CPU.

Still a 100% CPU usage seems high though compared to my 35% CPU usage (2600K @ 4,6ghz)

>> I've reached 100% CPU usage with a little tweak. When Battlefield started and the task appeared in the taskmanager, I set the task priority to low. I read in some forum that in some cases it helped during Bf4 Beta. I tried it and it seemed to work. But still before I did that I already had like 90% CPU usage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scaz View Post

This is frustrating. I have experienced this many times with different games and it really hard to pin point.

Honestly, knowing that your CPU is in the top 90% or GPU is in the top 90% I think your good. at least that is what I have reserved myself to thinking.

There is no real silver bullet and it's up to you how much time you want to spend playing with settings, different drivers, and software. I was at a point where I would have a machine that I would wipe the OS on very often thinking that some software was causing the issue. Then pull the newest drives and then go.

>> Yes. That is what I am becoming to think too. I don't really think that my hardware setup is blocking or restraining itself in some way. I had a small performance bump when I switched to Windows 8.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdr09 View Post

if oc'ing the gpu did not help, then might as well lower its oc or put it back to stock. oc'ing it might just be causing some instability. oc'ing the cpu, in your case, to 4.8 - 5GHz might help but has to be tested for stability as well with Prime95.

edit: i've experienced a similar scenario in BF3 MP 64 with my i7 SB HT on and off at 4.5GHz together with crossfired 7950/7970. cpu was pegged to 99% with HT off. SP, though, was no problem. Huge explosions were not pretty.

>> Yeah that's what I did. I reset the OC on my GPU cause it really didn't do anything.


Reading all of your responses, I feel just confirmed in my suspicion that it is rather a software and engine related issue than any restraint in my hardware setup and settings.
But one can only hope for AMD Mantle to fix some of those issues. Tomorrow my second r9 280x will arrive so I can crossfire them and I'm really hoping for some nice results in fps.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by inedenimadam View Post

I am sorry that I cannot be of any real assistance to your current problem with BF4. But I felt compelled to tell you that you do not need to apologize for your English. I live in the Southern United States, and your English is better than a sold 50% of the students my wife teaches...to take the Law School Acceptance Test. thumb.gif

Why thank you. I just noticed that every here and then I twist sentences and words around in a way that could seem to look weird for a native speaker. I just wanted to make sure people don't assume I have some kind of brainlag tongue.gif
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey guys. A little update here:

I got my second r9 280x today. After installing and setting up crossfire I've done some intense performance testing, to see if I could finally get a stable 144fps.

>> Not even on all low, underscaled resolution and config tweaks was I able to reach my goal. That being said, this occurs only in some specific part on some maps.

>> I almost got the same FPS results on ultra.

>> Now I'm playing on all ultra with AA 4x and HBAO on a native 1920x1080 >> almost everytime more then 120fps.


I really think this is a engine problem in BF4. I really hope that the mantle update sorts a lot of that weird behavior out. I guess we just need to hang in there and wait for the update (should be released in January)

So don't get stressed out over weird performance drops and a bad GPU usage. If tried out all the drivers and different settings (core unparking, config tweaks, disabling ULPS and powerplay, OCing and so on..)
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