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Graphics Cards

Adept II

RX Vega 56 Low GPU Usage in some games

Hello, im new here and im dying for some solid advice since i've tried everything i could..

last week i purchaced an RX vega 56 OC edition (air boost), and started playing my games. i have a 144Hz monitor with freesync enabled in both Catalyst and my monitor, and i noticed my fps is terrible at some points and my game stutters all  over the place. i started monitoring my performance, and ive see that in almost ALL  my games (for example, BO4, BF 5,Witcher 3, Farcry 5) my gpu usage can drop all the way down to 50-60% causing a HUGE  fps drop leading to terrible stutter.

my CPU is not the weak point, i have an i7 7700 (which never reaches 100% and stays cool), 16 GB of 2400 speed ram and a 850W PSU.

all i want is for my new card to work at  its maximum potential REGARDLESS of what graphic setting i choose. im reaching for 144 fps in all my games, and these low usages are not helpping me what so ever.

please,im dying for some solid advice!

*i have the most recent bios and GPU drivers aswell

Message was edited by: Matt B

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75 Replies

Many Users with the RX Vegas needed to configure the GPU cards using AMD Wattman to prevent crashes or very poor perfomance.

Other Users will need to show you how to properly configure Wattman with your Vega GPU Card.


I know how to play around wattman, but my gpu works great WHEN it is fully utilizing. the problem isnt performance  the problem is that it simply wont stay at 90-100% utilization at all the games stated above.

nothing in wattman changed this, sure when the utilization was 99-100% i had more frames and much better performance, but it did not change anything regarding the over-time utilization of the gpu.


Hopefully a User(s) here with the same GPU can offer better advice. I don't have a RX Vega but was just stating the problems other Users here have posted concerning the RX Vega GPUs.

Sounds like it is throttling. This is likely a power ceiling issue, very common on many flavors of AMD cards. In Wattman slide the " Power Limit " slider all the way to it's maximum. See if that doesn't help your issue.

I tried all sort of options, it seems that in some games i simply cannot hold as stable utilization. and what could be throttling? i belive my temps are fine on everything since i monitor them non stop. again, some games use near 100% at all times, but MANY games simply dont utilize the card constantly causing my fps my stutter all of the place...

Community Manager

Can you provide a bit more information? For example, what temperature is the GPU reaching under load?

What frequency is the GPU clock speed running at?

What temperature is your CPU hitting?

What OS are you using? Is it up to date?

What AMD driver are you using?

what in game image quality settings are you using?

Have you setup an application profiles or FPS caps in Radeon Settings or using other software?

Have you enabl;ed Vsync in game?

In the meantime i would suggest setting the GPU Power Limit to +50% in Wattman and then click Apply.

gpu under load (after puttin 50% and undervolting a bit) 74 celcius, CPU hitting max 60 , windwos 10 pro 64 bit with latest AMD drivers. Vsync is always off.

it doesnt matter what i do in wattman, i have achieved an incredibly efficient wattman profile where i get huge performance increase and lower temps than turbo mode.

in some games where i have cosntant near 100% utilization its working amazingly smooth with insane FPS, but in MOST  games my GPU simply drops usage with the frames im gettin. i dont know what to do. (again, games like black ops 4, battlefield 5, farcry 5, destiny 2).

my CPU  usage never reaches 100% so i doubt its a bottleneck ( i7 7700)



I have the same problem with RX 580 8Go, I try all the thing here and voltage are good, they don't move during gaming but GPU usage drop from 90%-100% to 60% in many game. I don't know what to do

Ryzen 7 1700 3.7Ghz
16 Go ram
RX 580 8Go
Win 10 64 bit

i tried everything man spent a ton of money on this card and a proper PSU for it.. ending up only using about half of it most the time since this problem.. i hope somebody can help us


Stick with amdmatt​ . I know he himself has a Vega and will hopefully get you figured out.

ill take any help i can get at this point. been nolifing this issue for a week now with no success...


As an RX 580 owner myself I know exactly what you are describe. The OP's Vega issue is different, the Vega really is a much different card than the Polaris chips.  That is good for you though.

Your issue absolutely sounds like a power ceiling / throttling issues. Do the following:

Raise the  Red Power Limit Sider to it's maximum. Slide the slider all the way to the right to 50. This is still well withing normal range and is not over volting in any way. It is dynamic and doesn't even mean your card is constantly using more power. Only that it can use more when needed.

This setting is in Radeon Setings / Gaming / Global Settings / Global Wattman : down below the fan settings.

If this alone does not help there are several other things you can do to get it stable.Then try the following,

To begin with if your are using anything like Afterburner, Trixx or other graphics tweakers, don't and uninstall them.

Next to the following:

1. Disable Fast Startup (google it)

2. Disable Hibernation (google it)

3. Make sure your Computer is set to "High Performance" in the power profile.

4. Turn off all Windows 10 game functions. In settings Gaming disable anything on, DVR, Game Bar ETC....

5. If your anti-virus software has a game mode, use it.

Now I want you to re-install the driver again doing the following:

Download the driver you want.

Run DDU from safe mode.  Get it from WagnardSoft_com.

Disconnect from the internet. ( this is the key as it is Windows update screwing up the reinstall)

Restart, and install the driver.

Restart with internet back on and you should be good to go.

After the driver re-install set the Power Limit Slider back to +50, to it's maximum.

If that doesn't get it. Let me know. I use custom fan and temp settings with my RX 580 and can post a screen shot of my settings for you to duplicate. I am work right now and don't have it here. I have done all these things and it has made my RX 580 rock solid stable, and it is anything but without what I have done.

I know this sounds like a lot, but unfortunately some of these cards are really a PITA to get working. I get that, and am just a user like you, I had no hand in making them.

I can tell you that when you find the settings that work, they are usually rock solid from there. Just sucks that they take a lot of tinkering.

were you reffering to me with these tips?


No, Trollsbeserk with the RX 580.

However all the changes to Windows I suggested, I find makes gaming HIGHLY MORE STABLE regardless of card.

1. Disable Fast Startup (google it)

2. Disable Hibernation (google it)

3. Make sure your Computer is set to "High Performance" in the power profile.

4. Turn off all Windows 10 game functions. In settings Gaming disable anything on, DVR, Game Bar ETC....

5. If your anti-virus software has a game mode, use it.


Now with Wattman you may need to mess with voltage and PStates based on other help I have seen with Vega. You can search the forums there is lots of advise on those settings. I would think Matt will give you some good help so you may wait for his advice before changing more stuff.

Sorry the late answer^^' I'm French so when you answer me I was sleeping

So, I do all what you wrote and that doesn't work My GPU usage stuck at 60% usage! I really don't understand why


I am using a Vega GPU myself, albeit with a slower CPU than yours for gaming, and i do not see the issues you describe. I am using out of the box default Wattman settings. Unfortunately you still have not answered all of my questions, or provided any details about your system specifications so it is difficult to offer many suggestions. Please click this this > INFORMATION REQUIRED WHEN POSTING A QUESTION

One thing you can try in the meantime is to open up Wattman and right click the P7 GPU clock state circle and set P7 as the minimum state and see if that improves your performance in those games.

Perhaps a video and some screenshots showing your issue would be helpful too.


MSI RX vega 56 airboost OC edition 8gb. windows 10 pro 64 bit, latest drivers of 18.11.2. c24fg70 144hz freesync monitor connected with DP.                                GIGABYTE B250M-DS3H with latest F9 bios. i7 7700 CPU with h60 watercooling system.850W thermaltek PSU.

now for what you've suggested, when i lowered P7 to the minimum, my GPU was working near costant 100% on all the games i've mentiond previously which is a step forward, but the frames were much much lower since the clock speeds were very low. what do you think this means that P7 at minimum forces GPU to work 100%?


@daniel91, I think you misunderstand...... you're not "lowering" P7"...... you're setting it as the minimum state..... P7 being the highest state means that you'll more or less be locking the clock at it's highest state...... set P7 back to it's default speed and right click it, this will give you a popup menu with two options "set as minimum state" is the one you want to choose.


Please post a video showing what you mean and have the GPU clock speeds, usage etc showing on screen. I would like to see a video showing the default behaviour and a video showing the behaviour you see after my suggestion. Please also provide a screenshot of your Wattman settings.


Ok, here is the defult behavior :Defult - Streamable  a video after setting P7 to Min:P7 Min - Streamable  and another video where i just tested if i put P7 all the way to the lowest frequency (852MHz): P7 lowered - Streamable

An image of my Wattman: Imgur: The magic of the Internet , and i have to mention again that i've tested all possible wattman settings, with power saving balanced and turbo, and the GPU usage still drops in all of them. hope this is enough


Thanks, that was helpful.

I could not see any stuttering in any of the videos, but i did observe various differences in GPU clock speed.

One thing i did notice, you appear to only have 4 CPU cores? I thought you had a 7700K and that should have 8 threads as far as i know.

I am going to download Far Cry 5 and do some testing myself to what behaviour i see using my Vega 64 Liquid reference edition.

Are you running at 1080P max settings?

By the way, how are you finding gaming on that display? Just curious.

oh silly me lol.. i forgot to tag the rest of the on screen display cores, ya the i7 7700 does have 8 threads its just my bad. ya im runnin all my games at 1080p and i have ultra preset on farcry 5 and most my games. and im loving this monitor its amazing, games that utilize my gpu and the freesync are butter smooth and with this wattman preset frames are incredibly high and temps are low. i thank you for you interest in this thread man, i do hope we can resolve this..

one thing though, why was my GPU utilized 100% when i lowered my P7 all the way down? could that be a clue?

Also, when P7 was on min, the clocks stayed high, but cpu usage was around 50-60%, which is strange.

Well, Far Cry 5, along with some of the other games you mentioned, can be fairly taxing on the CPU. This is most commonly seen at lower resolutions, such as 1080P where the GPU can render all those pixels easily. What happens is the CPU is working flat out, driving as many FPS as it can, but the GPU is being held back and is waiting on the CPU so, it never reaches full utilisation. As you increase the resolution, or increase the multi sample anti aliasing or image quality settings, this limitation is moved away from the CPU and back towards the GPU. As you do this, the GPU utilisation increases.

You can test this yourself. Enable VSR in Radeon Settings, start Far Cry 5 and set the in game resolution to 3840x2160P. Start playing, and watch your GPU utilisation get pinned to 99%, regardless of what you do with your clock settings.

yah, i've tried that a few days ago runnin 1440p, gpu was runnin all the way, but not enough frames for my 144Hz monitor sadly.. its strange though since the CPU usage doesnt even come close to 100%, i would imagine the GPU would have enough to work with. isnt there a setting that allows you to push the GPU into using more of its resources?


CPU usage does not accuraetly reflect this unfortunately, it doesn't quite work the same way. You can be CPU limited at a resolution, even if your CPU usage is not pegged at 100% over all cores.

The GPU will only render frames as fast as the CPU can deliver them. You're already using one of the fastest gaming CPUs out there, I'm not sure there is much else you can do unfortunately. As you see, if you increase the resolution, the GPU has more work to do with more pixels to render and can fully utilise itself. The higher you go in resolution, the less impact the CPU has on things.

The game engine/API plays a part too. That's why some games you can chug out higher FPS at 1080P than in other games without the CPU holding things up. Games with a lot of AI, or units/calculations requred in game, or even multi player heavy games (ala Battlefield) with lots of other human players, tend to be more demanding on the CPU, especially at lower resolutions.


This video explains it in more detail than i have.

How to Identify a CPU/GPU Bottleneck - YouTube

great video! the basically im CPU bound, which sucks alot because this is a great cpu and i never expected it to make my GPU underperform.. that being said, i have seen run farcy for example with much higher gpu usages with a cpu on par with mine and even sometimes weaker. kinda makes you think maybe there could be something i can do to reduce the strain of the CPU.


That seems unsual, as I run a Vega 64 as well and don't see the issue you describe either.

Have you You can set the "frame rate target control" in the adrenaline driver to 144fps, any fps above that will just cause tearing anyway and generate excess heat in the GPU.  Not sure I would raise the power limit, if your issue is thermally related that will only help throttle you faster.


isnt framerate contol targeted towards limiting the FPS to a chosen number? i dont know if it drives in ito the wanted number..


You are correct.  The issue is, if you have a 144 Hz display, additional fps beyond 144 will only result in image tearing and aren't really useful.  By setting the frame rate target control at the maximum value your monitor can display, the GPU won't render those additional frames, which leads to less power consumption from the wall, and less heat for the GPU.


Raising the Power Limit will  never be a factor like that. It only raised the potential ceiling at peak. Either the card needs or it doesn't. It is completely dynamic. If he is throttling, then he may need to look at lowering potentially clock rate, voltage and adusting the PStates, apparently this is common on Vegas. There are many threads on this about the Vegas plus google is your friend. Don't know why the drivers after a year and a half of Wattman still can't get it right, but that is a separate story.


I also don't see the i7-7700 as being the bottleneck. More likely you don't have enough card to feed your monitor. I have a 7700k and a RX 580 and my setup flies though anything I throw at it 1440p @ up to 75hz Freesync. No I don't pull a constant 75 in all games. Some games do drop to the high 40's at times but still in my freesync range for my monitor. Mine has a 44-76 range. It is very important to pair your graphics card properly with your monitor. 

To me the big issue is getting the Vega working at it's most stable settings. Then realizing you don't have a card that really is specked for 144hz. At 1080p that is pushing at least as hard as 4k 60. That card is aimed at 1440p 60hz gaming or 1080p 100-120. Honestly even the Vega 64 would be rough too. AMD just doesn't have a good card for running at super high refresh rates or 4K IMHO.


So ultimately when you finally get the Vega dialed in, and if it still isn't operating as you believe it should. I would definitely try reducing the refresh downward and see what affect that has.


With the power supply he has I wouldn't think it to be an issue, but have seen many news ones be not right out of the box too. OCCT  from ocbase_com would be a good utility to run an rule that out.


So the card is dynamically shifting between different limits.  Clock speed and, wattage, and temperature.  Say for example, you raise the power limit 50%, allowing the card to use 330W as opposed to 220W.  If a workload comes in that requires a 100% GPU load, the card will boost as high as it can from idle.  Lets say the maximum allowed clock speed, and voltage to maintain it requires 300W.  So, at the default power limit you don't have 300W available, and the clock speed would have to be throttled accordingly.  But, with the 50% increase, up the clock speed goes, which leads to more heat.

Often times, the card will already thermally throttle even at the normal power limit.  In that circumstance, raising the power limit will cause the card to thermally throttle faster, as more power is available to raise the clocks and the GPU hits the thermal cutoff.  Now it has to cut the clockspeed and power to keep the thermals in, rendering the increase in power completely moot.  So if a GPU is already hovering near the temp limits at the base power limit, raising that limit only makes the throttling more jarring. 


Increasing power limit is not needed usually in CPU bound scenarios. I see almost identical performance whether i have the power limit at 0% or 50%, due to the application being CPU bound at 1080P. However, if you try this same scenario at 4K, you see a noticeable difference in performance and GPU utilisation/temperature vs what you see at 1080P.

I saw virtually no improvement in GPU bound scenarios as well on my Vega 64 air, with the reference air blower.  Regardless of the power available, the GPU would thermally throttle and wind up at about the same average clock speed.  Remove temperature as a restriction via  a water block, and then the power ceiling becomes the limiter.

watched some benchmarks online, it seems in all of them the vega 56 has a 99% usage in farcry 5 lol, maybe something is wrong with my RAM, CPU?


I'll let you know the outcome of my testing. I'm wary of trusting benchmarks online as its not always clear what settings or system specs they are using.


Your performance is right where it should be, i see similar, albeit lower GPU utilisation than you inh this game at 1080P. It's simply CPU bound, and increasing the resolution moves it to GPU bound at 4K. Note, even at 1440P i am somewhat CPU bound in this application.

Tested using the HD Texture pack, maximum settings. 1950X and Vega 64 using the balanced profile and 18.11.2.


Video> Streamable

It is strange that the utilization drops.  usually when a GPU throttles for either heat or power reasons, it stays at 100% utilization.  There may be a power delivery issue at play here.  Try removing the card from the motherboard and reseating it in the PC slot, also unplug and reseat:  CPU power on motherboard/24-pin on motherboard, and 8-pin power cables on the GPU.

Make sure the power cables on the GPU are coming from two different PSU ports, not daisy chained on the same cable.