Why Is My GPU Usage So High? The Debate Of Why and How In 2023

High GPU utilization can become a point of serious concern as it will lead to poor performance. At times, your GPU usage can be high even when your PC is in idle mode. When your PC’s GPU is high, it will lead to overheating the PC and enable the cooling fans to spin at full speed, thus utilizing resources. 

Consequently, you might face problems while running graphics-intensive games as the resources are already unnecessarily used. GPUs are designed to be used only when graphic-intensive applications run, so high GPU all the time can degrade the lifespan of the GPU unit. It will also lead to high electricity usage. 

So if you are after decreasing your GPU usage or temperature then you should read this blog post. This is specially crafted for you.

5 Reasons for High GPU Usage

It is not obvious that the listed reasons are the only ones that cause high GPU usage on your PC, but these are the most common ones that cause the problem. Let us dive deep into different aspects of high GPU usage. 

High Graphics Software

Running graphics-intensive software or games will max out the GPU usage. This is because you are using the maximum possible resources and the application will perform at its peak. It is perfectly fine to have high GPU usage while gaming but you have to keep the temperature of the GPU unit in mind. 

The ideal temperature for GPU is ~185 °C. It is not worrisome that you find high GPU usage while gaming but in case of overheating, it is recommended to invest in a fancy cooling system.

High FPS Games Settings

Some games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Cyberpunk 2077, and Metro Exodus are quite graphics-intensive. While playing these on your PC, your GPU usage will be at its peak. If you want your GPU to be a little lower even while playing such a high graphics game, it is recommended to lower the quality of your game. 

The higher the FPS rate, the smoother and better will be the gaming experience. The same goes for GPU, the higher the FPS, the higher will be the GPU usage. You can either reduce the special effects on your game or enable the Vsync

Problematic Drivers

To run hardware on your PC, it requires software called drivers. The same is the case for GPU, to run GPU in its optimal way, you need to install the required drivers. If your drivers are outdated or not installed properly, it can cause high GPU utilization spikes. If you are facing high GPU Utilization issues, you should update your monitor drivers and all other relevant drivers. 

The main culprit of GPU spikes is the graphics card driver. To update or reinstall the graphic card driver, follow the below-mentioned steps.

  • In the search bar, type Device Manager. 
  • Go to the Display Adaptors section
  • Choose either AMD or Nvidia if you have dedicated, else Intel UHD or any available.
  • Right-click on it and select Uninstall
  • Restart your PC and install the required drivers from the relevant website.

System Updates in the Background

If you have enabled automatic updates on your PC, then it is highly possible that your GPU usage is high due to updates being installed in the background. The updates installation process in lengthy and quite resource-intensive. Keep on checking your OS updates or other software updates, if any. If updates are in process, then don’t run any other high graphics games or software until updates are installed. 

Potential GPU Malware

Your antivirus software may not detect malware if it attacks your GPU instead of your CPU. But nothing to worry about, as GPU-based malware needs to access your CPU in order to access GPU, leaving behind traces that your security system might detect. This is the reason why using a high-quality antivirus application is recommended.

Generally, the pre-installed Virus and Threat protection system on Windows can detect such types of malware. 

You should enable the two features of your Windows Security system to increase the protection of your GPU from potential malware. The first one is Real-Time Protection and the other one is Tamper Protection. 

If somehow, your security system doesn’t detect the malware, you can find it using Windows Task Manager. If you find any unfamiliar application that is using too much of your resources, then it is most probably malware. 

3 Hacks to Lower GPU Usage

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Thanks to HUNTER roger. He has explained everything in detail within just a few steps.

Change Game FPS

If you lower your game’s resolution, it can help you decrease the GPU load and enhance performance. You can change the FPS of your game by following the steps. 

  • In your game, go to Settings and then head to Video settings.
  • Locate Graphics Quality and click on it. You can change it to High, Medium, or Low. 
  • To minimize load on your GPU, select the Low option.
  • Also, turn on V-sync as it will synchronize your game’s framerate to your monitor’s refresh rate giving you a seamless experience. 

Reinstall GPU Drivers

As said earlier, if drivers are not properly installed or are outdated, it can cause spikes in GPU utilization. You can update the drivers automatically and it will detect any updates if available, download them and install them. If you opt to reinstall, you will first need to uninstall the drivers and install them all over again. 

You can either use Windows Device Manager to uninstall drivers or use a dedicated application called Display Driver Uninstaller

Disable High GPU Apps

The best way you can reduce your GPU usage is to disable the applications that require high GPU because if you play high graphics games continuously, your PC’s overall performance will be compromised. Using the Windows Task Manager, you can figure out applications that require high GPU.

Follow the below-mentioned steps to reduce system utilization and enhance performance. 

  • Open the Windows Task Manager
  • On the top menu, access the “Process” tab
  • If you don’t see GPU in the top bar, right-click on the bar and tick the GPU
  • Find the application with high GPU usage
  • Simply right-click on the application and click on End Task. 

Conclusion

High GPU utilization can cause you to lower your PC’s performance or at times may crash it. It is always recommended to analyze your GPU utilization and take remedial actions to reduce it. These fixes are subject to the manufacturer and may have slighter different options.

Hopefully, you have got the complete answer to your question Why Is My GPU Usage So High? And hopefully, my article wasn’t bearing as always.