DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBLEM
I am experiencing a problem of low GPU utilization with low FPS in games, that seems to be somewhat intermittent. Been struggling with this issue since upgrading from a Vega 56 to my reference RX 6800 a few months ago. The basic outline of the problem:
- GPU benchmark results show 100% utilization and the expected FPS performance
- Playing a game, sometimes performance is high and I see 70% - 80% GPU utilization
- Playing the same game, different session, performance is roughly half of expected, and GPU utilization is ~50%
My test suite of games is Battlefield V (DX11), COD Warzone, and Overwatch. For example in Overwatch at medium settings running 1440p, I can hit the 300 fps cap without issue. Then, next time I play the game at the same settings (and having confirmed the settings didn't magically change or something) I will barely be able to keep up 160 fps. The kicker here again is GPU utilization. I can see the GPU is not being fully utilized, or even mostly utilized. In addition to this, the FPS also wildly fluctuates (eg more than normal variation for this game) and you can see visual stuttering. This kind of behavior is mimicked in both Battlefield V and COD Warzone as well. Again, if I go try to run benchmarks, the issue does not appear. Oddly enough too, sometimes one game mode (of the same game) will perform much better than another game mode, despite both rendering essentially the exact same graphical environment.
GPU clocks seem consistent, temperatures are normal and well managed, memory performance seems fine. Additionally, I believe it is NOT a CPU bottleneck. I have graphed CPU usage thread by thread, and don't see it hitting a CPU wall. Also, the problem would appear more consistently if it was. Honestly this feels like some kind of driver issue that is failing to load up the GPU properly. Is anyone else experiencing this?
How have you tried to resolve the issue?
The following steps have been taken to find a fix:
- DDU the AMD drivers and tried every iteration from November 2020 up to latest (21.6.2 at time of writing)
- Enabling/Disabling Smart Access Memory/Resizable BAR (SAM)
- Changing overclocking settings from Default, Automatic, ect to setting min frequency to 100 MHz less than max
- Changing CPU from default settings, to using PBO, to manual overclock
- Reinstalling Windows 10, and trying out Windows 11
- Reinstalling games onto a different drive
- Changing game settings
Computer Type: Desktop
GPU: AMD RX 6800 Reference Model
CPU: Ryzen 5 3600 6c/12t at 4.2 GHz Manual Overclock
Motherboard: ASRock Fatality ITX B450
BIOS Version: 4.40 (AGESA ComboAM4v2 188.8.131.52)
RAM: 32GB G.Skill Trident Z 3200 MHz (1:1 Infinity Fabric 1600 MHz)
PSU: Seasonic FOCUS SGX 650W 80+ Gold
Storage: Samsung 860 EVO 250Gb SATA SSD (Boot Drive) + Intel 660p NVMe M.2 SSD (Game Drive)
Case: NZXT H200
Operating System & Version: Windows 10 Pro 20H2 + Windows 11 Insider Dev Track
GPU Drivers: Radeon 21.6.2
Chipset Drivers: AMD B450 Chipset Driver 184.108.40.2066
Background Applications: None
As an option, check the bios of the video card, a new one has been released with a solution to this problem, play games on vulcan or direct x12(doom, rage 2). Reset the settings of amd adrenaline, and the shader cache too. Alternatively, turn off the PC with the Shift key held down, it is shutdown, not reboot. Configuring the power supply circuit (high performance) Monitor through the msi afterburner how the central processor behaves and when performance drops.
I have now installed the windows 10ltsc system (originally it was 1909) now it is already 20h2 (optimized manually, disabling many services and deleting programs), I decided to roll a fresh one, put windows 10 pro, and only drivers, steam uplay, without configuring anything in the system, checked how the games work, there were terrible staters, as a result, I remained on ltsc (configured) no staters or problems. Try disabling antivirus software, if there is one. There is also a rumor that if a low voltage is applied to amd processors, they work a little worse ( the frequencies will remain the same, but the performance will drop)
Thanks for the suggestions Geforcikus, I did focus on some of those optimizations. For the record, there was no updated vBIOS or firmware that I could find for the RX 6800 at the time of writing.
Playing with things further, I found if I set my settings to Ultra (completely maxed out on every graphic setting) I do end up with consistent high GPU utilization, with only a minor drop in FPS, which matches to all the benchmarks showing consistent high usage as well. I still can't explain why I see such large variation in FPS and GPU utilization run-to-run at lower settings, but I feel at this point I may need to look at something other than the GPU to explain this. It might be more of a CPU bottleneck than I initially gave credit, but that still doesn't explain the variations in performance.
TL;DR The issue doesn't seem to be a fault of the GPU. I will look at other components for the source of the issue.