Low GPU usage in Windows 8 with GTX 680 SLI

Discussion in 'Videocards - NVIDIA GeForce Drivers Section' started by Darren Hodgson, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. Darren Hodgson

    Darren Hodgson Ancient Guru

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    I've just installed Windows 8 and everything seemed to be running fine plus I now have sound. Happy that everything was setup I decided to try some games.

    Alas, they all seem to be suffering from very low GPU usage such that games like Crysis 2 and Guild Wars 2 on maxed out settings at 1920x1200 never heat my GPUs up above 50 C and the GPU usage never exceeds 50% and often is at 10-25%. Demanding games are running at 15-25 fps and less demanding ones, which handled 60 fps with ease, are dipping to 40-50 fps. I even ran the Heaven Benchmark v3.0 and that was stuttering at 17-20 fps on maxed out settings whereas it is usually smoother and running at over double that framerate at least!

    Any suggestions? Everything ran fine on Windows 7. I've reinstalled DirectX. I tried installing the Intel Chipset drivers v9.20.1030 but they stalled during the extraction so I presume they're not compatible with Windows 8. I'm using the v306.97 WHQL drivers that were installed by Windows Update.

    When I ran a 3D program called Real-Time HDR Image-Based Lighting on the desktop though with CPU-Z and GPU-Z open it was running at hundreds of frames per second, the CPU was at 3.8 GHz and the GPU was hitting 83% so there doesn't seem to be anything amiss there. That's a windowed demo though and the games are running fulscreen.

    I'm very puzzled by this and hope that someone can help me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  2. Darren Hodgson

    Darren Hodgson Ancient Guru

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    I've just ran the Windows 8 Experience Index and these are the results:

    Processor: 7.8
    Memory (RAM): 8.2
    Graphics: 6.7
    Gaming Graphics: 6.7
    Primary Hard Disk: 7.8

    The graphics ratings look low as I was scoring 7.9 for both in Windows 7.
     
  3. WhiteLightning

    WhiteLightning Don Illuminati Staff Member

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    have you tried the 310.33 ?
     
  4. Darren Hodgson

    Darren Hodgson Ancient Guru

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    Yes, but it causes a black screen so I'm not going there again!

    I think I know what is causing this problem but I don't know how to fix it. I believe this is a CPU issue, specifically related to core parking. I suspect that my PC isn't using the cores effeciently hence why the GPU usage is low. There are a couple of other reasons why I think this:

    1. I did an Acronis True Image 2013 backup of Windows 8 the night before last and it took almost two hours to backup the same size data on my C: drive as the same software on Windows 7 which took around 40 minutes.

    2. I've noticed some odd stutters and hitches while using Windows 8, specifically when copying a file, it caused some music I was playing to stutter.

    I can see lots of cores parked in the Resource Monitor for example.

    *EDIT*
    I could be barking up the wrong tree as I realised that my processor scored 7.8 in the W.E.I. test, the same as the score I got in Windows 7, so if the CPU was being held by parking issues then it would have affected that score too.
     

  5. Darren Hodgson

    Darren Hodgson Ancient Guru

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    Forgot to add that I've just done a clean install of the v306.97 drivers and the results are the same. Also, I've noticed that when I open the NVIDIA control panel, that it stops responding for 20 seconds when I try to change an option. Note that despite the games running slow, I've not any crashes or anything like that.
     
  6. kakarot

    kakarot Maha Guru

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    Having the same issues with 8. Games are running quite a bit slower and my wei score is a low 7.0 as well -all other scores went up but gfx took a major hit from 7.9 compared to win 7. I notice during the test that only one gpu is really used to 90%+ while other maxes out at 30-40% whereas win7 would max both to 95%.
    I've also noticed all apps that measure latency have gone through the roof, over 1k compared to well under 100 on 7. But the latest intel drivers available here on guru do work on 8 (9.3.0.1021) if you want to try them out
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  7. Darren Hodgson

    Darren Hodgson Ancient Guru

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    I managed to fix it, well, I believe so as I only tested one DX11 games, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, which was running at 19 fps with v-sync off but now runs at 132 fps in the same spot!

    I fixed it by switching the Power control panel profile from High Performance to Balanced, and by enabling the hidden "Processor performance core parking min cores" setting under "Processor power management". Under Windows 7 this value was tweaked by me to 0% to prevent cores from parking but it seems to work the opposite way under Windows 8 and forces cores to park. By setting this to 100% and checking with Resource Monitor I'm not seeing any cores being parked. This, at a guess, is what has increased the performance.

    I'm just to re-run W.E.I. and see what score I get now.
     
  8. Darren Hodgson

    Darren Hodgson Ancient Guru

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    Weird, the graphics scores in W.E.I are still 6.7. I guess that must be a good score for Windows 8 because the handful of games and benchmarks I've just tested are all running fine now. F1 2012's benchmark (1920x1200, 8QxCSAA, Ultra) now runs at an ave. of 92 fps (min. of 74 fps) instead of the 34 fps ave./17 fps min. I was getting earlier. Heaven v3.0 starts the benchmark at 70+ fps and not 20 fps. Windows 8 not only feels faster but also boots up quicker too!
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  9. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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    Darren, hate to make you feel bad but my GTX660 gets 7.8 in Win8 WEI.... Your GTX680's should be 8.0+
     
  10. Spets

    Spets Ancient Guru

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    Don't get into the whole WEI score when it comes to SLI, a lot of people are reporting it's dodgy, disable SLI and you'll see a higher score. At least that's what's happening with a small group.
     

  11. Xphome

    Xphome Active Member

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    Yeah, mine gets 8.1
     
  12. HeavyHemi

    HeavyHemi Ancient Guru

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    WEI doesn't use SLI. It only uses your primary graphics adapter.

    Darren, by default, the high performance power profile should set both minimum and maximum processor state to 100% disabling core parking. Not really sure about your performance issue. Every title I've tried has run identical or slightly better on Win 8. Did you do an upgrade or a clean install? BTW if you'd like to try installing the latest BETA, you'll need to disable driver signing. That's in the advanced boot options in the General section of PC settings. Do a clean install, and uncheck PhysX. Install PhysX from the driver folder after your reboot.
     
  13. Odellot

    Odellot Master Guru

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    Hi Mate..I too have low wei score on gaming graphics and graphics..What I did was I disabled SLI and ran WEI and I got 8.1..These are my scores in Wei:

    Processor: 8.3
    Memory (RAM): 8.3
    Graphics: 8.1
    Gaming Graphics: 8.1
    Primary Hard Disk: 8.1
     
  14. kazama

    kazama Master Guru

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    Same here, 6.5 on graphics, the rest 8.2 :3eyes:
     
  15. Darren Hodgson

    Darren Hodgson Ancient Guru

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    That explains why someone with a single GTX 660 scores higher then. Thanks for the info.

    Looks like W.E.I. (I believe WinSAT) needs a profile to force Single GPU mode so it reports the correct graphics score. Strange that NVIDIA didn't think to do this as it is technically a "bug" IMO.

    I did a upgrade which retained my Windows 7 settings and applications/games. In Windows 7, I had the max/min core options unlocked in Power control panel's Processor performance section even though they were not showing in Windows 8. I had to re-enable them, although only the min one actually shows at the moment, and when I changed the power profile from High Performance to Balanced I noticed the value of min was 100% not the 0% I had set under the High Performance profile. When I left that setting as it was and checked the Resource Monitor I noticed that none of the cores were parking.

    I've checked about half a dozen games and they are now all running the same as they were on Windows 7. I also did an Acronis True Image 2013 backup of my C: drive this morning as well and it took 38 mins compared with almost two hours a couple of days before. My guess is that I was forcing core parking and, thus, crippling the performance on my PC. All seems to be fine now.
     

  16. kakarot

    kakarot Maha Guru

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    Windows 7 and 8 wei tests use both cards in an SLI config. If it bases the score off both is another matter. Also even on 7 you wanted 100% under Power management. 0% enables core parking all the way and the default is even 10%.
     
  17. Dranzerk

    Dranzerk Active Member

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    What Kakarot said. Why nvidia does not enable it %100 by default is beyond me. It causes to much problems otherwise.
     
  18. buddybd

    buddybd Master Guru

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    My 670s score 6.5 as well :/ but my game FPS is fine. What's this hidden option you are talking about? How do I enable it? I don't see it in my Power Options.
     
  19. phatbx133

    phatbx133 Master Guru

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    Try disable SLI then re-run WEI again. :pc1:

    I have old GTX 560 non TI both score 7.9 on 306.97 whql. :nerd:

    Who knows Win 8 with any 6xx series are borked ?:stewpid:
     
  20. jez_uk1

    jez_uk1 Active Member

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    I'm using 310.33 with my 680 SLI in Windows 8. Works good. Gaming graphics gets an 8.0 experience score which I still think is somewhat a joke considering the performance these two cards give.
     

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