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CPU 100% usage after GPU upgrade

Hello all,

I'm hoping that someone could explain why my system is acting weird after a GPU upgrade.

System
GPU: MSI 1060 6GB Gaming X (replaced MSI 280x 3GB)
CPU: Intel I5-4570 3.2 (3.5T) (Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO)
Mem: 8GB 1600
PSU: Coolermaster 650W 90 Plus
Gold
MoBo: MSI Z97-G43
OS: Windows 10 Home Edition (Latest Build)

I was starting to experience the dread of lowering settings in games down to Low to keep my good frame rates so decided on a small upgrade to a 1060. This upgrade was to last simply a year or so until I saved enough money for my next build since I have to change Mobo, CPU and RAM.

Since I have done the upgrade my CPU has been hitting 100% in all 4 cores during gameplay, unless I have VSync or frames limited. Is this normal?

I would like to point out that the Graphical upgrade has been fantastic, The Witcher 3 for example runs at Ultra with Hairworks at a good solid 60-80 FPS with dips In major areas like Novigrad so I'm extremely excited with that, however in Novigrad I also get the 100% across all 4 cores but it's more of temporary thing with that.

Games that encounter the 100% Core usage:
Mass Effect Andromeda (Low or Ultra Settings)
Rainbow Six Siege (Ultra with some Bloom effects disabled etc)
The Witcher 3 (Cities etc) (Ultra Settings)
Arma 3 (Mainly Medium/High for smoothness)

Games that run fine or I have never seen the 100% core usage:
The Witcher 3 (Outside Cities) (Ultra Settings)
Verdun (Ultra Settings)
GTA5 (High with several Ultras Settings)
Rome 2 Total War (Ultra Settings)
Dirt4 (Ultra Settings)

As you can see I'd deem my upgrade a good one and I wasn't quite expecting to encounter a CPU issue. You Lads and Ladies at Toms have always provided me brilliant support before and some insight into what's happening would be fantastic.

Temps
GPU Idle: 28.c to 35.c
GPU Gaming: Max so far 64.c
CPU Idle: 25.c to 30.c
CPU Gaming: Max so far about 63.c
CPU during all 4 cores 100%: mid 50.c's

Many Thanks
Reply to marcd89
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about cpu 100 usage gpu upgrade
  1. Best answer
    Without VSync, then your game will go as fast as it can, using all the resources it has available. In your old system, this may have meant it was limited by the GPU. With your upgrade, the GPU now has so much power that it finishes before the CPU can finish, so the CPU is always at 100% trying to get things ready for the next frame. The solution is VSync, unless you want the CPU to think about frames that never get shown.
    And of course it depends on the game, as not all games are multithreaded, so some use one core at a time, and others will use all the cores available.
    Reply to Brian28
  2. I agree with Brian. Unless you have a monitor with higher an 60hz refresh rate, vsync is the solution to your problem, until you decide to upgrade the cpu/motherboard/memory. However if you like the performance with vsync disabled, keep it. Just keep in mind no matter what the hardware, there will ALWAYS be a bottleneck.
    Reply to SgtScream
  3. It has to do with your system "bottleneck". The CPU used to be more powerful than your GPU, so it wasn't used fully as its power was limited by the GPU. Now that the roles are reversed the CPU resources are used up first. Think about chemistry and the limiting reagents if you know anything about that. It's the same idea. Was your old GPU 100% used before you got the new one?
    Reply to SlayZombi
  4. Brian28 said:
    Without VSync, then your game will go as fast as it can, using all the resources it has available. In your old system, this may have meant it was limited by the GPU. With your upgrade, the GPU now has so much power that it finishes before the CPU can finish, so the CPU is always at 100% trying to get things ready for the next frame. The solution is VSync, unless you want the CPU to think about frames that never get shown.
    And of course it depends on the game, as not all games are multithreaded, so some use one core at a time, and others will use all the cores available.

    That makes a lot of sense and I had imagined that might be the case when Vsync did get the CPU to settle down but I'd never want to risk the CPU running 100% at all times unless as you described there was a reason and your reason makes 100% sense.

    I thank you for your answer and will mark as solution as SgtScream is also in agreement with you.
    Reply to marcd89
  5. SgtScream said:
    I agree with Brian. Unless you have a monitor with higher an 60hz refresh rate, vsync is the solution to your problem, until you decide to upgrade the cpu/motherboard/memory. However if you like the performance with vsync disabled, keep it. Just keep in mind no matter what the hardware, there will ALWAYS be a bottleneck.


    Thank you very much for your reply and input, it's appreciated mate.
    Reply to marcd89
  6. SlayZombi said:
    It has to do with your system "bottleneck". The CPU used to be more powerful than your GPU, so it wasn't used fully as its power was limited by the GPU. Now that the roles are reversed the CPU resources are used up first. Think about chemistry and the limiting reagents if you know anything about that. It's the same idea. Was your old GPU 100% used before you got the new one?


    Hi mate, thanks for replying.

    Yes my old GPU was pretty much always at a very high usage while my CPU usually sat around 50s/60s etc.
    Reply to marcd89
  7. marcd89 said:
    Brian28 said:
    Without VSync, then your game will go as fast as it can, using all the resources it has available. In your old system, this may have meant it was limited by the GPU. With your upgrade, the GPU now has so much power that it finishes before the CPU can finish, so the CPU is always at 100% trying to get things ready for the next frame. The solution is VSync, unless you want the CPU to think about frames that never get shown.
    And of course it depends on the game, as not all games are multithreaded, so some use one core at a time, and others will use all the cores available.

    That makes a lot of sense and I had imagined that might be the case when Vsync did get the CPU to settle down but I'd never want to risk the CPU running 100% at all times unless as you described there was a reason and your reason makes 100% sense.

    I thank you for your answer and will mark as solution as SgtScream is also in agreement with you.


    Unless your temps are high you don't need to worry about your CPU running at 99-100%, they are designed for it.
    Reply to burdenbound
  8. burdenbound said:
    marcd89 said:
    Brian28 said:
    Without VSync, then your game will go as fast as it can, using all the resources it has available. In your old system, this may have meant it was limited by the GPU. With your upgrade, the GPU now has so much power that it finishes before the CPU can finish, so the CPU is always at 100% trying to get things ready for the next frame. The solution is VSync, unless you want the CPU to think about frames that never get shown.
    And of course it depends on the game, as not all games are multithreaded, so some use one core at a time, and others will use all the cores available.

    That makes a lot of sense and I had imagined that might be the case when Vsync did get the CPU to settle down but I'd never want to risk the CPU running 100% at all times unless as you described there was a reason and your reason makes 100% sense.

    I thank you for your answer and will mark as solution as SgtScream is also in agreement with you.


    Unless your temps are high you don't need to worry about your CPU running at 99-100%, they are designed for it.


    Thank you for your reply mate, the confirmation is appreciated.
    Reply to marcd89
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