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Another low FPS problem


Drezor
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Hi there everyone! 

 

I've got well known problem with framerate and run out of  ideas what direction to go.

 

My setup is the following:

 

Inter core-i7 7700K 4.2Ghz

16GB DDR4 2400

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti 11GB 

 

First, I tried to max out every setting (except for resolution scaling. I have FHD screen and don't want to waste time pretending I have 4K) and have FPS no higher than 75-80. It wouldn't have been a problem at all IF I hadn't been suffer constant drops under 60 and to 35 FPS at some point.

 

I use MSI Afterburner to track my hardware performance:

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/WkBdV76DhZQAtQUg9 - screenshot #1

https://photos.app.goo.gl/6PE7kecwWdXF5XLt5 - screenshot #2

https://photos.app.goo.gl/aDcnemscZN8YG9ow8 - screenshot #3

https://photos.app.goo.gl/8izhqwEsgTtcDZyq7 - screenshot #4

https://photos.app.goo.gl/MN1TxpxJwozhEASDA - screenshot #5

https://photos.app.goo.gl/w5AsqwYdpKWgzcZV9 - screenshot #6

https://photos.app.goo.gl/GRVNStivcU4HktLc6 - screenshot #7

 

As you can see, average temperate of my hardware:

 

CPU: 70-77 degrees 

GPU 60-70 degrees 

 

And if we're talking about hardware capacity used:

 

CPU: 40-70% 

GPU: 50-90%

 

Meaning that I have neither overheating (77 degrees is not exactly great temperature, but that's not overheating and given that we have here +30 in shaded areas outside it could be much much worse), nor settings that are too high for my setup to handle and still I have that low FPS including drops.

 

Especially low FPS was encountered when game gave me Trevor to play. From there I started having under 50FPS (around 45-48FPS) and scene on the last screenshot was at 35 FPS (not to mention it's a cutscene).

 

I don't think that my CPU is bottlenecking my GPU and given that it's only half busy while GPU may be up to 100% is the evidence. I tried using GeForce experience, but it actually gives me almost the same settings except for 3 things:

 

FXAA: on -> off

MSAA: x8 -> x4

NVIDIA TXAA: off -> on (in excange to lower MSAA value)

 

And it doesn't make much difference as far as I can tell.

 

This is where I'm stuck and run out of ideas and need all help I can get to understand what can be done about it. Thanks!

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Your temperatures are just fine, thermal throttling generally only starts at 80-90 degrees.

One issue I notice here: on none of those screenshots am I seeing 100% GPU utilization, so you probably have some sort of CPU bottleneck.

The 7700k is probably maxing out on one core only (the game's main thread) but that won't show up in your current stats unless you monitor CPU load core for core instead of total. A total CPU load of 50% doesn't mean a lot, it could be one core maxed out and the rest half or idle.

If you want higher framerates, reduce Extended Distance Scaling in Advanced Graphics, that setting is responsible for loading more objects, like traffic and NPCs at larger distances and puts a lot of load on the CPU. Lowering this will allow for a higher framerate with more GPU and less CPU usage, and probably end the stuttering.

If your framerate drops in grassy areas and you have 100% GPU load at the same time, you might want to lower Grass Quality to (Very) High.

Please set your monitoring program to display CPU load (not temperature) for every single core, and maybe the framerate too, then reproduce these screens.

If you have 5 minutes, maybe run the in-game benchmark with extended distance scaling 0% and 100% and notice the difference.

Edited by AirWolf359
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1 hour ago, AirWolf359 said:

Your temperatures are just fine, thermal throttling generally only starts at 80-90 degrees.

One issue I notice here: on none of those screenshots am I seeing 100% GPU utilization, so you probably have some sort of CPU bottleneck.

The 7700k is probably maxing out on one core only (the game's main thread) but that won't show up in your current stats unless you monitor CPU load core for core instead of total. A total CPU load of 50% doesn't mean a lot, it could be one core maxed out and the rest half or idle.

If you want higher framerates, reduce Extended Distance Scaling in Advanced Graphics, that setting is responsible for loading more objects, like traffic and NPCs at larger distances and puts a lot of load on the CPU. Lowering this will allow for a higher framerate with more GPU and less CPU usage, and probably end the stuttering.

If your framerate drops in grassy areas and you have 100% GPU load at the same time, you might want to lower Grass Quality to (Very) High.

Please set your monitoring program to display CPU load (not temperature) for every single core, and maybe the framerate too, then reproduce these screens.

If you have 5 minutes, maybe run the in-game benchmark with extended distance scaling 0% and 100% and notice the difference.

Yeah, I should have included usage per CPU earlier and I tried it in the morning. MSI Afterburn (attached desktop app, not in-game OSD) showed that CPU usage was jumping up and down, but at least half CPU's threads managed to hit 100% usage at least once and the rest saw 98% as the highest number (and I set PC power settings to maximum performance). I'm going to test game more to get more reading in coming days. If CPU isn't used at full capacity, then it's bottleneck and I need to find a way to make game use all 4 cores and 8 threads as if its life depends on it... Otherwise I have no idea why GeForce experience says to use maxed out settings except those 3 above.

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2 hours ago, Drezor said:

Yeah, I should have included usage per CPU earlier and I tried it in the morning. MSI Afterburn (attached desktop app, not in-game OSD) showed that CPU usage was jumping up and down, but at least half CPU's threads managed to hit 100% usage at least once and the rest saw 98% as the highest number (and I set PC power settings to maximum performance). I'm going to test game more to get more reading in coming days. If CPU isn't used at full capacity, then it's bottleneck and I need to find a way to make game use all 4 cores and 8 threads as if its life depends on it... Otherwise I have no idea why GeForce experience says to use maxed out settings except those 3 above.

GPUs and CPUs don't work the same. A GPU is used as a single unit, but a CPU is treated as multiple units, in your case 8 "cores" (by "core" I mean logical, not physical cores). The game's main thread uses a single CPU "core" and offloads some tasks onto the other CPU "cores". You don't have to reach high usage on all 8 CPU "cores" to have a CPU bottleneck, just on one. If the game's main thread is using 100% of one CPU "core", then it can't go any faster and there is your bottleneck. Not every task can be offloaded to other CPU "cores" until all 8 "cores" are at 100%. In short, the game won't use all 4 cores and 8 threads for the full 100%.

Edited by AirWolf359
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4 hours ago, AirWolf359 said:

GPUs and CPUs don't work the same. A GPU is used as a single unit, but a CPU is treated as multiple units, in your case 8 "cores" (by "core" I mean logical, not physical cores). The game's main thread uses a single CPU "core" and offloads some tasks onto the other CPU "cores". You don't have to reach high usage on all 8 CPU "cores" to have a CPU bottleneck, just on one. If the game's main thread is using 100% of one CPU "core", then it can't go any faster and there is your bottleneck. Not every task can be offloaded to other CPU "cores" until all 8 "cores" are at 100%. In short, the game won't use all 4 cores and 8 threads for the full 100%.

I see...

 

I tried to do some kind of research. Would be great if and someone else could take a look

 

=====================================================================

 

Disclaimer: what I tried is based on what I read on the internet - I'm not good at overclocking and everything - never did it before actually - so whatever you do after reading this you do at your own risk if you're as skilled as me in overclocking.

First, I found the opinion that in order to make GTA5 utilize 100% of GPU or so, I had to switch "AI overclock tuner" in my BIOS (Asus motherboard) to XMP mode what makes RAM work at its limit frequency (2400 for me). It actually did the trick and I started seeing FPS in range of 50-90 (drops under 60 was as occasional as in other modern game). 

In addition to mentioned change to BIOS I set MSI Afterburner settings to this: https://photos.app.goo.gl/JNDctBmTnqGcfTYP7 (again, I'm not skilled overclocker, so just moved everything to the right) + advice to turn down grass and particles quality

And here's the result (link are to albums with lots of screenshot each)

Almost everything maxed out: https://photos.app.goo.gl/vntfiPJ7TQMEXSuAA (settings screenshots at the very bottom)


FXAA off + grass quality (very high): https://photos.app.goo.gl/PtuYfdBrXkURneKP9


FXAA off + grass quality (very high) + particles (high): https://photos.app.goo.gl/cZoSTDesK74CvZy97


GeForce Experience settings: https://photos.app.goo.gl/jj2qEbseyqWfo9hk6


Story Mode (GeForce Experience): https://photos.app.goo.gl/8q3YNrjTSZAvXk999 - FPS was in range 50-80 FPS (got a few seconds freeze once when drove on the highway)

Neither CPU threads nor GPU reached 100% usage consistently as far as I can tell. It looks like that something prevents system (or game) to use all available CPU\GPU power what results in that unstable or low FPS.

Would be great if someone skillful in these things correct me if I'm wrong

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Don't overclock your GPU like that, it might be unstable and mess with your results, just leave it on stock for this testing. Overclocking isn't needed anyway if it isn't being used 100%.

 

One thing you should check: is your memory installed and running in dual channel mode? If you have 2 sticks in a motherboard with 4 slots, you usually need a free slot in between (like A1 and B1, not A1 and A2) or if the slots are color coded, have the sticks in 2 slots of the same color.

If all memory slots are occupied, you can safely assume it is running in dual channel mode.

 

I still believe Extended Distance Scaling is the culprit here. That setting was not meant for high framerates but maximum view distance. It usually drops your framerate like a tank. Source: https://www.geforce.com/whats-new/guides/grand-theft-auto-v-pc-graphics-and-performance-guide#grand-theft-auto-v-extended-distance-scaling

What happens if you turn it to 0% and keep everything else the same?

Edited by AirWolf359
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