CPU&GPU Under-Utilized; ~85% usage

April 26, 2013 at 10:17:01
Specs: Wind 7 home premium 64-bit, q8400 c2q@2.66
hello all..!
i recently purchased a new video card for my system - a 660ti - that was basically my GPU for the 'next' upgrade, if you know what i mean... i knew that it was more card than my current system would fully use, in other words... however, whats happening is that my CPU isnt performing in the 90%+ on any cores, while the GPU itself is still uber-hungry for more, and i dont get it...
my 'basic' specs are as follows, in case it isnt in my sig [its been a while!]:
MSI p43 neo3-f, socket 775
core2quad q8400 - stock@ 2.66ghz
6gb ddr2-800 [mushkin enhanced silverline;2x1,2x2]
MSI N660TI PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 660 Ti
i know theres got to be a way to get my full cpu performance - someone out there probably has experience with this exact thing, so please hit me up... thanks all!!!

See More: CPU&GPU Under-Utilized; ~85% usage

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#1
April 26, 2013 at 13:30:10
You just may not be loading it enough yet to tell.
What are you running? How many programs?
Overclocked or stock settings?
Have you tried a stress testing program like Prime95?
Is your power supply up to everything that is drawing power?
What is the make and model of your power supply? More important than overall wattage is how many 12volt rails and what are the individual and total amperage for these (sometimes the total is less than the sum of the individual ratings)?

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#2
April 26, 2013 at 14:41:18
i ought to be! battlefield 3, far cry 3, bioshock infinite, moh warfighter, civ v, AC[s], etc... the cpu topping out ~60-85%, depending on which thread at any given moment, while the GPU is only at ~80% 'power' @>95% usage
stock settings all around... well, the GPU has its factory boost and all that 600 stuff, but the cpu is stock... antec earthwatts ea650 - 650w; 3 +12v rails @22a,22a,24a
should be plenty of power... i suspect its the adaptive power aspects of the 660ti, but im not sure how to set minimum power % settings or stuff like that to try!
like i said - i kinda figured maybe someone had experienced the same thing, more or less, and would know exactly what to do! i will check out prime95 - will it [theoretically] max-out the combined CPU+GPU performance?

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#3
April 27, 2013 at 06:25:03
"whats happening is that my CPU isnt performing in the 90%+ on any cores, while the GPU itself is still uber-hungry for more, and i dont get it..."

How do you know this? And why would you want your CPU to be maxed out? That's NOT was you should be hoping for.

"stock settings all around..."

Your CPU is highly overclockable, you have a board that can run at 1600MHz FSB (at least), & you have DDR2-800 RAM. If you want to get the most out of your system, you'll have to manually configure the BIOS settings. Right now, the CPU & RAM are out of sync & you're taking a performance hit. Here's what you need to do:

- if you haven't already done so, remove the jumpers from JB1 & JB2. They're just below the video card slot, to the right of the PCIe x1 slot.
- enter the BIOS, go to Cell Menu & try these settings:
- OC Booster = disabled
- DOT Control = disabled
- Intel EIST = disabled
- Intel C-State = disabled
- Adjust CPU FSB = 400MHz
- Adjust CPU Ratio = 7.5
- FSB/DRAM Ratio = 1:1.0
- Spread Spectrum = disabled

This will increase the CPU clock to 3.0GHz @ 1600MHz FSB with the RAM running in sync at 800MHz.


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Related Solutions

#4
April 27, 2013 at 07:05:22
i will look into the overclocking, but what would be the point of overclocking a CPU that isnt working to its full potential already!?
i want high performance from my CPU for obvious reasons - my question is why WOULDNT i want 90%+ across all cores!?
my cpu is my hardware bottleneck... as such, it should be processing its ass off to give the GPU everything it can!
its one thing when the GPU is getting all it can, ie 95%+ usage, for the CPU to be @~80%... but when the GPU is hungry for so much more, my CPU should be working pretty much as hard as it can! overclocking gets that little extra out of it, but its not maxing out, so adding extra would be a pointless OC and exposure to more heat, etc...

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#5
April 27, 2013 at 07:46:55
Your current settings are wrong. You have a 1333MHz FSB CPU with DDR2-800 RAM. If you don't want to overclock the CPU, underclock the RAM to 667MHz so that they run in sync.

"why WOULDNT i want 90%+ across all cores!?"

You're not going to have all cores being used unless you're running software that's optimized to use multiple cores. And I don't understand why you would want your CPU fully loaded? Would you want the engine in your car to run at 9000RPMs all the time if it redlines at 10,000RPMs?

"its one thing when the GPU is getting all it can, ie 95%+ usage, for the CPU to be @~80%"

Are you going to explain how you're coming up with these figures? Are you doing real world testing, loading testing, or are you just pulling numbers out of the air? What software are you using?

http://www.ocbase.com/index.php/sof...


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#6
April 27, 2013 at 08:17:42
i find the question regarding "number out of air" insulting... why would i come to these forums for input on something like this if i just had a feeling that my CPU was under-performing..? silliness!
this is real time testing, and real numbers to go along with it! presently i am gaming far cry 3, battlefield 3, bioshock infinite, civ v, and other graphics heavy games optimized for multi-core/quad-core cpus...
the numbers are pulled from real time monitoring by msi afterburner [for gpu usage, power, etc], and process explorer [for cpu - one graph per core - and ram usage]
my cpu is not a car engine, but if it was i believe a better metaphor might be: if you had a four cylinder engine, would you be okay with only three of them working?
before i changed gpus, from a evga SC gtx560 2gb to an msi gtx660ti oc, my multi-core games were using the cpu very well: the gpu would be working @~95% [give or take of course], with the cpu using all four cores @90%+...
so in that configuration the gpu was a slight bottleneck: ~90% of the CPUs power gave the GPU everything it could handle.
now the new GPU uses the 600 stuff - in particular the adaptive power where the gpu adjusts the power to keep the 'usage' maximized...
with the GPU only @~80% power, the cpu is underutilized across all cores @~75%...
i am not saying that i want, or expect, my cpu to be running at 100% constantly. what i do want is better resource management - which i know these games and hardware is capable of...
there is no [apparent] reason that both the cpu and gpu should be at or below 80% usage unless i had a clamp on the gpu or something... fps are unlocked in all of these games, btw, so either the gpu or the cpu should be operating up the 90s in percentage of utilization...
the board doesnt mind the fsb specs between the ram and cpu - it has all ratios available to get everybody jiving just fine... no stability or memory problems at all. this change is completely about the gpu - its the only piece of hardware that has changed, and what this thread is about...
someone out there with a 600 card that knows about this - is there a way to manually set the minimum "power" settings?

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#7
April 27, 2013 at 08:42:09
I'm not here to argue with you. You threw numbers at us without backing up where they came from. And Prime95 load tests the CPU & RAM, not the GPU. Did you check the link at the bottom of my last response?

The 1st thing you should do is properly configure the BIOS settings. Either overclock the FSB (1600MHz aka 400MHz frequency) to match the RAM (800MHz DDR aka 400MHz frequency), or underclock the RAM (667MHz DDR aka 333MHz frequency) to match the FSB (1333MHz aka 333MHz frequency), it's up to you which way to go.

If you have a fear of overclocking the CPU, you can always lower the CPU ratio to 7, that way it will only be mildly overclocked (2.8GHz) but you'll have the performance advantage of the faster FSB plus the CPU/RAM running in sync. Personally, I'd be running it at 3.2GHz (8 x 400MHz).


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#8
April 27, 2013 at 16:33:16
What Riider is telling you is that unless you have the CPU and RAM in sync (1:1 Ratio) then the CPU is waiting for memory response or having to repeat for confirmation (simplistic but approximate). To get the most you of your CPU at all times you need to run the CPU/RAM Ratio in sync at 1:1.
Also if you run the FSB at 1600MHz (400MHZ Frequency) then the information can move at a better rate of speed.
On your CPU, there is nothing wrong with a little careful overclocking as long as you monitor your temperatures and test for stability. I am running a Dual Core E8200 OC 8x400 MHz= 3.2GHz full time and it idles in the low 30 degrees C, runs daily in the mid 40 degrees C and has never been over 52 degrees C on a stock Intel heat sink and has been 100% stable on these settings for over 3 years. The system is much snappier in everything on these settings than it was on stock settings, which is why I have not yet built a new system yet (well, that and the money at the moment).
Riider is telling you the truth.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#9
May 3, 2013 at 11:39:21
okay...i wasnt trying to start a discussion on the merits of synced fsb, mem settings, oc cpus or any of that... bu thanks anyways! its not that i disagree, its just not what i came to the forums for help with.
also, oc a dual core e8200, and oc a quad core are totally different beasts! these quads are 95w b---tards! i have an aftermarket cooler [nothing special] with copper contact and all that, and the mild oc of 400x7 resulted in voltages outside of recommendations and 100 degrees + under significant load!

i was more intrigued by the adaptive nature of the new gtx 600s, and was looking for info on that particular aspect...
i cannot pick a favorite answer, since none of them actually address the question!


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#10
May 3, 2013 at 14:28:58
I suspect that you may need to clean and reapply your thermal compound correctly (too hot), too much is as bad as too little and spreading it around leaves air bubbles that actually insulate:
http://www.arcticsilver.com/intel_a...
Some more research for you on OC Q8400, volts, & temps/cooling:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/2...
http://forums.overclockersclub.com/...

Sorry, not running GTX600 series yet, but I suspect that any P43 motherboard (PCIe 2.0) will offer some limitations to the higher GTX600's. You might be surprised how much you can find through Google if you word your search carefully though.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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