PC Components

Why Is Your GPU Usage So Low?

Gpu Module

Have you recently installed a new graphics card on your system, but it’s not efficient enough? Is the graphics performance in your games not up to expectations? Then your GPU usage is probably not giving its full potential.

Quick Answer

Your GPU usage can be low because you’re using an integrated graphics card that requires regular driver updates and compatibility with the other system hardware. Incompatibility with the hardware components like process, RAM, or motherboard can cause a bottleneck, limiting GPU usage.

In this article, we will answer your question on why is my GPU usage so low with four significant reasons. We will also discuss step-by-step instructions to optimize your graphics card to its full potential.

Reasons For Low GPU Usage

Nothing is more frustrating than your gaming PC not performing according to its specs. In despair, you wonder why is my GPU usage so low even when it meets the gaming requirements. Here are a few reasons that can contribute to this issue.

Reason #1: Integrated Graphics Card

If your PC has integrated graphics with CPU, it’s probably using the designated CPU memory instead of your graphics card. This issue is commonly faced when upgrading your old graphics card, widespread in laptop processors.

Reason #2: Driver Issue

If you haven’t updated the graphics drivers on your PC since you installed it, it can cause improper functioning of the graphics card. When drivers are not correctly installed or outdated, it stops working with the new-age hardware and games.

Reason #3: CPU Bottleneck

CPU bottleneck is expected even with some of the latest graphics cards; surprisingly, it has nothing much to do with the graphics card. 

This issue is caused when you have a high-end GPU but a low-end process or RAM. A CPU having more than 20% of bottleneck means you should upgrade the processor to support your graphics hardware.

Reason #4: Badly Optimized Games

The sole purpose of a graphics card is to run high-end games at a decent and stable frame rate. But sometimes, it’s not all about the hardware. If the game development is not well optimized to be compatible with your GPU, then the game may not use hardware resources to render correctly.

Fixing Low GPU Usage

Is your favorite game still lagging after installing the expensive GPU, leaving you in doubt about why is my GPU usage so low? Then follow these three effective methods to unlock your GPU’s full potential.

Method #1: Disable Integrated Graphics

This method is only recommended if you have properly installed the new graphics card drivers on your PC, but you want to prevent your system from using integrated graphics.

  1. Right-click on the “Start” menu icon and go to the “Device Manager”.
  2. Now look for the tab by the name of “Display Drivers”, and click on it.
  3. Both integrated and dedicated graphics cards will be revealed below.
  4. Right-click on the integrated graphics having a different name than your new GPU.
  5. Finally, select the “Disable” option to prevent integrated GPU usage.
    Image 156
Warning

Your display screen might go blank after disabling the integrated GPU and may require a restart to use the dedicated GPU.

Method #2: Re-install or Update GPU Drivers

The possible reason for low GPU usage could be insufficient optimization support of the outdated drivers. Follow these steps to uninstall old drivers and update them with the new ones.

  1. Right-click on the “Start” menu icon and go to the “Device Manager”.
  2. Find the “Display Drivers” tab in the devices list and then left-click on it.
  3. A list of graphics adapters will appear. Find the dedicated GPU and right-click on it.
  4. Once you right-click, click on “Uninstall Device” option from the popup menu.
  5. Finally, download and install the latest drivers from the GPU manufacturer’s website.
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Method #3: Increase GPU Performance

This method would surely help increase your GPU’s efficiency if the software is updated and everything is installed correctly. The two significant manufacturers, including Nvidia and AMD, have different methods to increase GPU performance. Follow these steps to improve the performance of your GPU.

For Nvidia

  1. Right-click on the “Desktop” and go to the “Nvidia Control Panel”.
  2. Now go to the “Use advanced 3D image settings” from the first menu.
  3. Click on the option next to it with the label “Take” me there.
  4. Here you will find several options. Set “CUDA” to “All”, and “Turn on Low Latency”.
  5. Finally, set “Power Management” and “Text Filtering” to “High Performance”, and click “Save”.
    Image 158

For AMD

  1. Run the “AMD Radeon Software”, go to “Gaming”> “Global Graphics”, and disable “Radeon Chill”.
  2. Now click on “Advanced”, and disable “Frame rate target control”, and “Morphological Anti-Aliasing”.
  3. The disable “Anisotropic Filtering”, “OpenGL Triple Buffering”, and “10-Bit Pixel Format”.
  4. Then set “Texture Filtering Quality” to “Performance” and set “GPU Workload” to “Graphics”.
  5. Close the program, and settings will be applied automatically.
    Image 178
Note

If the GPU usage is below 80% while running the compatible games, your CPU is facing a bottleneck in sending data. Get the estimated bottleneck before purchasing a new GPU with Bottleneck Calculator.

Summary

In this guide on why is my GPU usage so low, we stated all the reasons causing your GPU to be less efficient. We also discussed tested and approved methods to increase the GPU potential by tweaking its performance with a few software changes. We hope our fixes worked well for you to provide an exceptional gaming experience.

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