Why doesn't my CPU get used in the 90-99% range while gaming?

My CPU is not bottlenecking the GPU that’s for certain since my CPU usage is about as much as it should be.

When i'm playing shadow of the tomb raider (or any game for that matter) my GPU acts weird as it drops to 50-60% usage in areas that are more demanding(like crowds) and other areas that arent that demanding the GPU reaches 90-97% usage even though it should be the opposite.

I used throttlestop to keep my CPU temps in the 60-70C range, but doing that turns off the turbo boost and the GPU usage further goes down to 60% from 70%, and CPU usage goes up from 50% to 60%. 

I am really fed up of this since there is no GPU overheating and my frame drops to like 20fps where I should be getting 35–40fps. I get the same FPS even on low settings, around 20 fps, the GPU usage further goes down, I checked for FPS caps but there is no upper limit to the FPS in any games I play.

Also im playing on a laptop (Acer nitro 5) with a gtx 1060 6GB and i5 processor


Why doesn't my GPU get used in the 90-99% range while gaming?

Update 2:

Guys in the question I meant GPU not CPU (Why doesn't my "GPU" get used in the 90-99% range while gaming?)

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4 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    its caused by a bottleneck.

    either CPU, ram, disk usage or some random software limit built into the game.

    since you are using throttlestop to keep your temps lower it means your heat-sink is not good. which is likely causing micro throttling when playing games

    The cpu is CLEARLY bottlenecking the gpu. You set throttlestop to slow the CPU down and the gpu usage dropped (because the cpu can not keep up with what the gpu can handle)

    games very rarely take advantage of all the cores on a computer, generally they only use 4-6

    if you have 8 core that means a game will max at around 50% CPU usage

    since you are using a laptop there is nothing you can do about this.

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  • 1 month ago

    Have you done anything at all to mess with the video drivers?

    That appears to be a dual GPU machine, using the integrated GPU in the CPU for 2D / desktop and basic programs, while auto switching to the nvidia GPU for 3D accelerated gaming etc.

    That type of system is very easily messed up by having something other than the computer makers video drivers installed - generic drivers do not have the facility to control the hardware switching circuits on the motherboard, so you usually end up locked to the basic Intel GPU rather than the full hardware accelerated one.

    It's probably the single commonest graphics problem with dual GPU laptops.

    Regardless, I'd try installing the latest graphics drivers for that exact machine version from the Acer site, then reboot, uninstall them, reboot, install them again and reboot again. Note that there are several different "Acer Nitro 5" machines with different hardware.

    That should fix any corruption and eliminate any mismatched driver file versions.

    Re. CPU usage, high CPU can be a result of RAM bandwidth limitations as well as genuine CPU load; a CPU core is still "busy" if it is waiting for data from RAM.

    If the machine has two RAM slots, do they have identical modules fitted and is the BIOS configured to allow dual channel access? That may improve things slightly.

    • Aditya1 month agoReport

      I tried installing the latest nvidia drivers, even reverted back to the original drivers and back again to the latest one. Nothing seems to be solving the problem I guess it's the laptop, that's just how they are built for some reason.

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  • Dave
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Are you playing with AC plugged in, or on just the battery? If just the battery, that's your problem. You cannot game without AC.

    • ...Show all comments
    • Dave
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Still coming back for more? Sorry kid, but you lost. Anything you post now is just entertainment for the rest of us. You clearly weren't smart enough to plug in the AC and it triggered your pathetic snowflake @ss. 

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  • 1 month ago

    stop limiting your cpu and performance should improve. gpu usage in crowds drops because it is waiting for the cpu to pass it the many images required -- it is possible this reflects your storage system [is the game on an SSD?] rather than the cpu

    Source(s): homebuilder
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