Strange low gpu usage and framerate, I could use some help.

I just bought a 3gb 1060, and on a few of my games, I get severely cut performance. In dark souls 3, my framerate is in the mid-low 30's no matter what settings I use. In Borderlands 2 it's around 25 if I'm looking at anything other than the skybox. I did the whole "pre-rendered VR frames" thing in the nvidia control panel, and I told it to use "maximum performance" on top of that, but no dice.

Worst part of it is when I press ctr+alt+del and click task manager, performance is instantly what you'd expect with no change to GPU usage. Even at max settings (only while task manager is open) I can't make dark souls 3 give me less than 60fps. When I close task manager, it's back down to the mid-30's. Normally I don't mind playing at around 30fps, but I'd like to get my money's worth of performance out of my new gpu.

I'd like to note that in the Unigine Heaven benchmark, GPU usage goes right to the mid 90's and core frequency is around 1800mhz, with expected framerate in the realm of 70-160 depending on the scene. This is at "Ultra" with "Extreme" tessellation.

My relevant specs are:
Ryzen 5 1600 at 3.7ghz
8gb ddr4 2933mhz cl16
Gigabyte GTX 1060 3gb OC
Reply to escanthon
17 answers Last reply
More about strange low gpu usage framerate
  1. Trying to pick the easiest apple here...
    Are you sure the monitor's output cable is connect directly to the GPU instead of the MOBO? Pretty easy mistake to be made...


    If that's not your case, did you make a fresh installation of NVIDIA drivers? Uninstall any other with DDU? What's your PSU model? Which Resolution is monitor?
    Reply to manddy123
  2. manddy123 said:
    Trying to pick the easiest apple here...
    Are you sure the monitor's output cable is connect directly to the GPU instead of the MOBO? Pretty easy mistake to be made...


    It's Ryzen so that doesn't apply as far as I know since there is not an iGPU.

    OP how many sticks of ram are you running? I assume 2 but if not that could be an issue.
    Reply to atomicWAR
  3. manddy123 said:
    Trying to pick the easiest apple here...
    Are you sure the monitor's output cable is connect directly to the GPU instead of the MOBO? Pretty easy mistake to be made...


    If that's not your case, did you make a fresh installation of NVIDIA drivers? Uninstall any other with DDU? What's your PSU model? Which Resolution is monitor?


    Yeah, it's connected to the gpu. Ryzen doesn't have onboard or integrated graphics. I actually tried a fresh install of a couple older nvidia drivers, as I was on the latest at first. Neither the latest, or the last beta, or the last game ready driver before that beta one gave any improvement. Monitor is 1280x1024, PSU is a 450w model rated 80+ bronze, though I can't remember the brand. Evga, I think
    Reply to escanthon
  4. Did you run DDU though?
    Reply to atomicWAR
  5. atomicWAR said:
    manddy123 said:
    Trying to pick the easiest apple here...
    Are you sure the monitor's output cable is connect directly to the GPU instead of the MOBO? Pretty easy mistake to be made...


    It's Ryzen so that doesn't apply as far as I know since there is not an iGPU.

    OP how many sticks of ram are you running? I assume 2 but if not that could be an issue.


    It is only one stick, but that doesn't feel like the issue. If it were, why would I suddenly get expected framerate from opening task manager? I appreciate the response though.
    Reply to escanthon
  6. atomicWAR said:
    Did you run DDU though?


    I didn't have to in the past upgrading from an old nvidia card to an AMD r9 series a couple years ago, so I assumed it didn't apply. I'll go do that now.
    Reply to escanthon
  7. Yes DDU is different then a simple driver uninstall so doing it now is the way to go. It makes changes no other program does to the display drivers and registry. It is an essential tool for any troubleshooter in the graphics department. As for the ram it is a bigger issue then you realize, especially with Ryzen. Ryzen's Infinity fabric scales with ram speed/bandwidth. This fabric is what the 2 quad core modules use to speak. The faster the ram the faster the cores speak. Ryzen is well known for scaling better with ram speed/bandwidth because of this. Running one stick is a mistake with that CPU. I urge you to get another identical stick as soon as you can afford it.
    Reply to atomicWAR
  8. atomicWAR said:
    Yes DDU is different then a simple driver uninstall so doing it now is the way to go. It makes changes no other program does to the display drivers and registry. It is an essential tool for any troubleshooter in the graphics department. As for the ram it is a bigger issue then you realize, especially with Ryzen. Ryzen's Infinity fabric scales with ram speed/bandwidth. This fabric is what the 2 quad core modules use to speak. The faster the ram the faster the cores speak. Ryzen is well known for scaling better with ram speed/bandwidth because of this. Running one stick is a mistake with that CPU. I urge you to get another identical stick as soon as you can afford it.


    I plan to, but I'm positive now that this has nothing to do with the ram. Like I said, I get full speed when Task manager is open. A solid 60fps in dark souls 3 and over 200 in borderlands 2, where it was 35 and 25 before, respectively. DDU is done by the way, and I've tried the second to latest game-ready driver as well as the latest one with no changes or difference. If you still think the limited ram could be the reason why I get low framerates and gpu usage when task manager isn't open, I'll entertain the thought and buy more ram as soon as I can, but I imagine a problem like this wouldn't be fixed by having a single program open.

    But what do I know? I'm no expert. Maybe this is just how Ryzen and the GTX 1060 is, and they need windows task manager open to function properly. I appreciate, more than anything else, that you responded so quickly and were willing to help
    Reply to escanthon
  9. escanthon said:
    atomicWAR said:
    Yes DDU is different then a simple driver uninstall so doing it now is the way to go. It makes changes no other program does to the display drivers and registry. It is an essential tool for any troubleshooter in the graphics department. As for the ram it is a bigger issue then you realize, especially with Ryzen. Ryzen's Infinity fabric scales with ram speed/bandwidth. This fabric is what the 2 quad core modules use to speak. The faster the ram the faster the cores speak. Ryzen is well known for scaling better with ram speed/bandwidth because of this. Running one stick is a mistake with that CPU. I urge you to get another identical stick as soon as you can afford it.


    I plan to, but I'm positive now that this has nothing to do with the ram. Like I said, I get full speed when Task manager is open. A solid 60fps in dark souls 3 and over 200 in borderlands 2, where it was 35 and 25 before, respectively. DDU is done by the way, and I've tried the second to latest game-ready driver as well as the latest one with no changes or difference. If you still think the limited ram could be the reason why I get low framerates and gpu usage when task manager isn't open, I'll entertain the thought and buy more ram as soon as I can, but I imagine a problem like this wouldn't be fixed by having a single program open.

    But what do I know? I'm no expert. Maybe this is just how Ryzen and the GTX 1060 is, and they need windows task manager open to function properly. I appreciate, more than anything else, that you responded so quickly and were willing to help


    NP don't know how i missed the task manager bit, yet I did...twice lol. So your right if it is fine with task manager open it should be fine closed. My baaad. That's what i get for staying up to 3am troubleshooting. But yeah your frame rate is defiantly an issue that should be fixable. Hate to say it but have you tried a fresh install of windows? Shy of a software issue were not seeing I am at a loss. DDU didn't fix a thing, when usually it does. What is your CPU usage when task manger is not up? Also what power profile are you using?
    Reply to atomicWAR
  10. atomicWAR said:
    escanthon said:
    atomicWAR said:
    Yes DDU is different then a simple driver uninstall so doing it now is the way to go. It makes changes no other program does to the display drivers and registry. It is an essential tool for any troubleshooter in the graphics department. As for the ram it is a bigger issue then you realize, especially with Ryzen. Ryzen's Infinity fabric scales with ram speed/bandwidth. This fabric is what the 2 quad core modules use to speak. The faster the ram the faster the cores speak. Ryzen is well known for scaling better with ram speed/bandwidth because of this. Running one stick is a mistake with that CPU. I urge you to get another identical stick as soon as you can afford it.


    I plan to, but I'm positive now that this has nothing to do with the ram. Like I said, I get full speed when Task manager is open. A solid 60fps in dark souls 3 and over 200 in borderlands 2, where it was 35 and 25 before, respectively. DDU is done by the way, and I've tried the second to latest game-ready driver as well as the latest one with no changes or difference. If you still think the limited ram could be the reason why I get low framerates and gpu usage when task manager isn't open, I'll entertain the thought and buy more ram as soon as I can, but I imagine a problem like this wouldn't be fixed by having a single program open.

    But what do I know? I'm no expert. Maybe this is just how Ryzen and the GTX 1060 is, and they need windows task manager open to function properly. I appreciate, more than anything else, that you responded so quickly and were willing to help


    NP don't know how i missed the task manager bit, yet I did...twice lol. So your right if it is fine with task manager open it should be fine closed. My baaad. That's what i get for staying up to 3am troubleshooting. But yeah your frame rate is defiantly an issue that should be fixable. Hate to say it but have you tried a fresh install of windows? Shy of a software issue were not seeing I am at a loss. DDU didn't fix a thing, when usually it does. What is your CPU usage when task manger is not up? Also what power profile are you using?


    I'm actually glad you told me to check cpu usage while task manager isn't running. All 12 threads were pegged at 95%+! As soon as I open task manager, GPU usage only goes up by about 5%, but CPU usage falls to 15-30% on every single core, and framerate shoots up. So this is apparently a cpu problem.

    Edit: Checking Ryzen Master, my core speed is at a solid 3.7ghz with or without task manager, deepening the mystery. Also, power profile is on high performance.
    Reply to escanthon
  11. escanthon said:
    atomicWAR said:
    escanthon said:
    atomicWAR said:
    Yes DDU is different then a simple driver uninstall so doing it now is the way to go. It makes changes no other program does to the display drivers and registry. It is an essential tool for any troubleshooter in the graphics department. As for the ram it is a bigger issue then you realize, especially with Ryzen. Ryzen's Infinity fabric scales with ram speed/bandwidth. This fabric is what the 2 quad core modules use to speak. The faster the ram the faster the cores speak. Ryzen is well known for scaling better with ram speed/bandwidth because of this. Running one stick is a mistake with that CPU. I urge you to get another identical stick as soon as you can afford it.


    I plan to, but I'm positive now that this has nothing to do with the ram. Like I said, I get full speed when Task manager is open. A solid 60fps in dark souls 3 and over 200 in borderlands 2, where it was 35 and 25 before, respectively. DDU is done by the way, and I've tried the second to latest game-ready driver as well as the latest one with no changes or difference. If you still think the limited ram could be the reason why I get low framerates and gpu usage when task manager isn't open, I'll entertain the thought and buy more ram as soon as I can, but I imagine a problem like this wouldn't be fixed by having a single program open.

    But what do I know? I'm no expert. Maybe this is just how Ryzen and the GTX 1060 is, and they need windows task manager open to function properly. I appreciate, more than anything else, that you responded so quickly and were willing to help


    NP don't know how i missed the task manager bit, yet I did...twice lol. So your right if it is fine with task manager open it should be fine closed. My baaad. That's what i get for staying up to 3am troubleshooting. But yeah your frame rate is defiantly an issue that should be fixable. Hate to say it but have you tried a fresh install of windows? Shy of a software issue were not seeing I am at a loss. DDU didn't fix a thing, when usually it does. What is your CPU usage when task manger is not up? Also what power profile are you using?


    I'm actually glad you told me to check cpu usage while task manager isn't running. All 12 threads were pegged at 95%+! As soon as I open task manager, GPU usage only goes up by about 5%, but CPU usage falls to 15-30% on every single core, and framerate shoots up. So this is apparently a cpu problem.

    Edit: Checking Ryzen Master, my core speed is at a solid 3.7ghz with or without task manager, deepening the mystery. Also, power profile is on high performance.


    Well this is anything but following a straight line but we are getting there I believe. LMK what else you come up with!
    Reply to atomicWAR
  12. atomicWAR said:
    escanthon said:
    atomicWAR said:
    escanthon said:
    atomicWAR said:
    Yes DDU is different then a simple driver uninstall so doing it now is the way to go. It makes changes no other program does to the display drivers and registry. It is an essential tool for any troubleshooter in the graphics department. As for the ram it is a bigger issue then you realize, especially with Ryzen. Ryzen's Infinity fabric scales with ram speed/bandwidth. This fabric is what the 2 quad core modules use to speak. The faster the ram the faster the cores speak. Ryzen is well known for scaling better with ram speed/bandwidth because of this. Running one stick is a mistake with that CPU. I urge you to get another identical stick as soon as you can afford it.


    I plan to, but I'm positive now that this has nothing to do with the ram. Like I said, I get full speed when Task manager is open. A solid 60fps in dark souls 3 and over 200 in borderlands 2, where it was 35 and 25 before, respectively. DDU is done by the way, and I've tried the second to latest game-ready driver as well as the latest one with no changes or difference. If you still think the limited ram could be the reason why I get low framerates and gpu usage when task manager isn't open, I'll entertain the thought and buy more ram as soon as I can, but I imagine a problem like this wouldn't be fixed by having a single program open.

    But what do I know? I'm no expert. Maybe this is just how Ryzen and the GTX 1060 is, and they need windows task manager open to function properly. I appreciate, more than anything else, that you responded so quickly and were willing to help


    NP don't know how i missed the task manager bit, yet I did...twice lol. So your right if it is fine with task manager open it should be fine closed. My baaad. That's what i get for staying up to 3am troubleshooting. But yeah your frame rate is defiantly an issue that should be fixable. Hate to say it but have you tried a fresh install of windows? Shy of a software issue were not seeing I am at a loss. DDU didn't fix a thing, when usually it does. What is your CPU usage when task manger is not up? Also what power profile are you using?


    I'm actually glad you told me to check cpu usage while task manager isn't running. All 12 threads were pegged at 95%+! As soon as I open task manager, GPU usage only goes up by about 5%, but CPU usage falls to 15-30% on every single core, and framerate shoots up. So this is apparently a cpu problem.

    Edit: Checking Ryzen Master, my core speed is at a solid 3.7ghz with or without task manager, deepening the mystery. Also, power profile is on high performance.


    Well this is anything but following a straight line but we are getting there I believe. LMK what else you come up with!


    I'll keep you posted man, honestly it's kind of fun troubleshooting this since I found out about the task manager thing. Next thing I'm gonna try are some bios settings, afterwards I'll try updating chipset drivers, and failing that, I'll reinstall Windows. Thanks for sticking with me through this, friend.
    Reply to escanthon
  13. Anytime. I'll chime in if i think of something new or you give me new info to troubleshoot with. Best of luck til then!
    Reply to atomicWAR
  14. atomicWAR said:
    Anytime. I'll chime in if i think of something new or you give me new info to troubleshoot with. Best of luck til then!


    None of the cpu configuration settings, resetting/reapplying my overclock, undoing my ram overclock, none helped, but I've found out how to make task manager open on boot, minimized, which will mitigate the issue in the meantime. I pulled the trigger on a 256gb toshiba rd400 for $60, so when that shows up I'll reinstall windows.
    Reply to escanthon
  15. I'll keep following the tread. GL.
    Reply to atomicWAR
  16. Also any idea what processes are using up your CPU resources yet? could try process explorer to see if you can find which are.
    Reply to atomicWAR
  17. atomicWAR said:
    Also any idea what processes are using up your CPU resources yet? could try process explorer to see if you can find which are.


    A reinstall of windows fixed it! I isolated the software responsible. It's an illegal windows activation software a buddy of mine used to activate windows on my pc. I went ahead and got my money back from him, but that's another story. The program is called "kmspico", so that's something to look out for when I see someone having similar problems.

    Framerate is almost doubled now, even over when Task manager was open before. I only tested with Rocket league so far, but I went from 44fps without task manager, to 120fps with task manager, to now having 250. Went ahead and bought Windows, and everything's good. It's kind of funny that it turned out to be pretty much malware. Just goes to show no matter how careful you are on the internet you can still get malware.
    Reply to escanthon
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