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GPU usage spikes
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driedupfish
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Default GPU usage spikes - 07-27-2013, 16:14 | posts: 57

Hi all,

I've noticed that when playing some games like New Vegas and Torchlight 2, the GPU usage would be very erratic. GPU usage is low for these two games, jumping from 0 to 30ish %.

OC is stable at 1100 / 1300 MHz but the clocks would alternate between base clock and overclock. (Meaning from 1100 MHz core clock down to 900 MHz then back up again). However, temperature rarely goes above 60c and I don't notice much stuttering when playing these games.

This does not happen in other games I am also playing / have played.

My question is: Is this GPU usage and clocks going all wonky bad for the GPU? I actually don't have any trouble playing New Vegas, game is pretty smooth and temp stays in the mid 50c. But I am afraid playing under these conditions would somehow damage my GPU.

I've installed mods for both of these games. Upon disabling the mods for Torchlight 2, the GPU usage seems to be more normal. Clocks have also become stable. Enabling in game Vsync causes the GPU usage to spike even more.

My specs:

HD 7950 1100/1300 Mhz
i5-3570k
8 GB RAM
WIN 8
   
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CPC_RedDawn
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Default 07-27-2013, 16:24 | posts: 5,765 | Location: Wolverhampton/United Kingdom

What is your voltage on the overclock and what did you use to overclock it?

Also what is your usage at idle? Do the spikes still happen when the GPU is idle. I would check processes running in the background you might have a bitcoin miner running that is using the GPU.
   
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driedupfish
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Default 07-27-2013, 16:31 | posts: 57

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPC_RedDawn View Post
What is your voltage on the overclock and what did you use to overclock it?

Also what is your usage at idle? Do the spikes still happen when the GPU is idle. I would check processes running in the background you might have a bitcoin miner running that is using the GPU.
I am not running anything like that in the background. However, from time to time, the usage does spike to 48% even at idle. As a matter of fact, it is doing it right now. I do have HWinfo64 and Afterburner both monitoring at the same time, maybe they conflict? However, as I've stated this has not happen in other games.
   
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CPC_RedDawn
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Default 07-27-2013, 16:36 | posts: 5,765 | Location: Wolverhampton/United Kingdom

Quote:
Originally Posted by driedupfish View Post
I am not running anything like that in the background. However, from time to time, the usage does spike to 48% even at idle. As a matter of fact, it is doing it right now. I do have HWinfo64 and Afterburner both monitoring at the same time, maybe they conflict? However, as I've stated this has not happen in other games.
Try and disable ULPS and reboot and see what happens?
   
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yasamoka
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Default 07-27-2013, 16:55 | posts: 3,201 | Location: Lebanon

Have you raised the power limiter to +20%?
   
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driedupfish
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Default 07-27-2013, 16:55 | posts: 57

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPC_RedDawn View Post
Try and disable ULPS and reboot and see what happens?
Upon doing some research, it seems that I have to disable it via registry? Nah, don't wanna mess with my system registry.
   
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driedupfish
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Default 07-27-2013, 16:56 | posts: 57

Quote:
Originally Posted by yasamoka View Post
Have you raised the power limiter to +20%?
Yes did that.
   
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Pill Monster
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Default 07-27-2013, 17:26 | posts: 23,950 | Location: NZ

GPU load is always erratic in Fallout 3 & FNV, it's the crappy engine.

Idle spikes could be due to HW acceleration turned on in browser.....
   
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driedupfish
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Default 07-27-2013, 17:47 | posts: 57

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pill Monster View Post
GPU load is always erratic in Fallout 3 & FNV, it's the crappy engine.

Idle spikes could be due to HW acceleration turned on in browser.....
Good to know. Thanks!

But what I want to know is if there is any harm in playing a game when the GPU load is erratic.
   
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Pill Monster
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Default 07-27-2013, 18:49 | posts: 23,950 | Location: NZ

Quote:
Originally Posted by driedupfish View Post
Good to know. Thanks!

But what I want to know is if there is any harm in playing a game when the GPU load is erratic.
Well if it's overclocked it should stay at 1100mhz and not drop unless the vrm's overheat or it hits TDP limit.


Your card doesn't happen to have 1.25v vcore does it?
   
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driedupfish
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Default 07-27-2013, 19:59 | posts: 57

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pill Monster View Post
Well if it's overclocked it should stay at 1100mhz and not drop unless the vrm's overheat or it hits TDP limit.


Your card doesn't happen to have 1.25v vcore does it?
Nope, vcore at 1.15v. When playing New Vegas gpu core temp stays around mid 50s and VRM temp at about 62c.
   
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Pill Monster
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Default 07-27-2013, 22:49 | posts: 23,950 | Location: NZ

It won't do any harm btw.
   
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driedupfish
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Default 07-27-2013, 23:50 | posts: 57

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pill Monster View Post
It won't do any harm btw.
Thanks.

I also want to ask what are somethings I should be aware of that may do harm to the graphics card? Besides high temp and voltage?
   
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Pill Monster
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Default 07-27-2013, 23:59 | posts: 23,950 | Location: NZ

^A hammer?
   
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yasamoka
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Default 07-28-2013, 00:24 | posts: 3,201 | Location: Lebanon

The Fixer (ironically named)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eH6XayaLTw8

But you have an AMD card anyways so I wouldn't worry much about him ever getting near that card.
   
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Fox2232
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Default 07-28-2013, 08:55 | posts: 1,363 | Location: EU, CZ, Brno

@driedupfish: it's understandable that GPU clocks drops down because game places very small load on GPU.
Then due to lower clocks utilization percentage is high enough to bump up.
I would not worry unless you get microstutter from that.

One of solutions would be give such game change to place more load on GPU (maximum antialiasing, aniso, ...)

Use RadeonPro where you can get some additional load.
Your issue gets worse with VSync because it limits number of rendered frames per second therefore decreasing GPU load.
   
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driedupfish
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Default 07-28-2013, 19:47 | posts: 57

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox2232 View Post
@driedupfish: it's understandable that GPU clocks drops down because game places very small load on GPU.
Then due to lower clocks utilization percentage is high enough to bump up.
I would not worry unless you get microstutter from that.

One of solutions would be give such game change to place more load on GPU (maximum antialiasing, aniso, ...)

Use RadeonPro where you can get some additional load.
Your issue gets worse with VSync because it limits number of rendered frames per second therefore decreasing GPU load.
I am playing New Vegas at the highest graphical setting possible already, and with high res. texture pack.

I've read somewhere that if the GPU usage / clock becomes too erratic, prolong use may damage your card because the voltage delivered to your card is not consistent. For example, clocks spike up and down while you are playing a game. The voltage being delivered also goes up and down accordingly, this inconsistency may screw up your card. That's what I heard, not sure how legitimate it is.
   
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