GPU And CPU Not At 100 But Low FPS – Causes And How To Fix

CPUs and GPUs are incredibly powerful, but even with high-end hardware, some users find themselves facing a perplexing issue: their GPU and CPU need to be running at full capacity, yet they’re experiencing low FPS in their games or applications.

To fix low FPS when GPU and CPU aren’t at 100%, address potential causes: optimize in-game settings, update drivers, check for bottlenecks, manage RAM, prevent overheating, and close background programs.

In this article, we will delve into the common causes behind this problem and provide practical solutions to help you achieve the optimal gaming experience you desire.

Causes Of GPU And CPU Not At 100 But Low FPS:

Before we dive into potential solutions, it’s essential to understand why your CPU and GPU need to be fully utilized while still delivering low FPS. There can be several reasons for this discrepancy:

1. Bottlenecking: 

Source: youtube

One of the most common issues is a bottleneck in your system. A bottleneck occurs when one component, often the CPU, cannot keep up with the GPU’s processing power, causing the GPU to idle while waiting for instructions. This can lead to lower FPS, even if your GPU is not at 100% utilization.

2. Software and Drivers: 

Outdated or incompatible drivers, as well as poorly optimized software, can also cause this problem. It’s essential to keep your drivers up-to-date and make sure the software you’re using is well-optimized for your hardware.

3. Overheating: 

Overheating can lead to throttling of both the CPU and GPU, reducing their performance to prevent damage. If your hardware is running too hot, it might not reach its maximum potential.

4. Background Tasks: 

Background processes, such as system updates, antivirus scans, or other applications running in the background, can consume CPU and RAM resources, leaving less power for your game or application.

5. Resolution and Graphics Settings: 

Running games or applications at high resolutions or with extremely high graphics settings can strain the GPU more than the CPU, causing a mismatch between usage and performance.

6. Game Optimization:

One frequent cause of low FPS is poorly optimized games. Many factors can affect game performance, such as coding inefficiencies, poor resource management, and unoptimized graphical effects.

Check if others are experiencing similar issues with the game by searching for online discussions and official patches or updates that may improve performance.

How To Fix GPU And CPU Not At 100 But Low FPS?

1. Drivers And BIOS Updates: 

Drivers update
Source: thewindowsclub

Make sure you have the latest drivers for your GPU installed. Sometimes, outdated or incompatible drivers can cause performance issues.

Visit the MSI website to download the latest drivers for your GTX 1080 Ti. Ensure that your motherboard’s BIOS is up to date. An outdated BIOS can lead to compatibility issues and reduced performance.

2. Memory Speed And Configuration: 

Your DDR3 RAM might be running at 1600MHz. Upgrading to faster DDR4 RAM can make a difference in gaming performance, as modern systems are optimized for DDR4. Additionally, confirm that your RAM is running in dual-channel mode and the correct slots.

3. Background Applications: 

Close any unnecessary background applications, especially those using CPU and RAM resources. This will ensure that your system can dedicate more resources to your game, potentially improving performance.

4. Graphics Settings: 

Adjust in-game graphics settings to ensure that your GPU is being adequately utilized. High graphics settings can shift the workload towards the GPU, resulting in a more balanced utilization of CPU and GPU.

Use a utility like Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) to perform a clean installation of your GPU drivers. This can help eliminate any lingering issues from previous driver installations.

5. Monitor Your Temperatures: 

Ensure that your CPU and GPU are not overheating. Overheating can lead to thermal throttling, which reduces performance. Clean your system of dust and ensure proper cooling.

6. Display Cable And Monitor: 

Check your display cable and monitor. Sometimes, issues with the cable or the monitor’s capabilities can impact the display and performance.

7. System Resources: 

When experiencing frame rate drops, it’s essential to check your system resources like RAM and disk usage. Inadequate RAM, slow hard drives, or high disk usage can lead to performance issues. Ensure that you have enough free RAM when running games.

8. Monitor And Resolution: 

Monitor And Resolution
Source: technewstoday

Your monitor’s resolution plays a significant role in performance. If you have a powerful GPU like the RTX 4080, a 1080p monitor can limit its potential. Consider upgrading to a 1440p or 4K monitor to take full advantage of your GPU.

9. Overclocking: 

Overclocking your CPU can provide a performance boost, but it’s crucial to monitor temperatures and stability. Be cautious while overclocking and ensure your system can handle it.

10. Power Options: 

Make sure your Windows power options are set to high performance. This can affect your PC’s performance significantly. : If your monitor is running at a high refresh rate (e.g., 144Hz), it can consume additional resources, so consider lowering the refresh rate if necessary. 

11. RAM Speed: 

Your RAM is running at 2666MHz. Faster RAM can provide a performance boost, especially on systems with integrated graphics. If your motherboard supports faster RAM, consider upgrading. However, there may be other causes of your performance issues.

12. Nvidia Control Panel Settings:

In the Nvidia Control Panel, make sure that your GPU is set to “Prefer Maximum Performance” in the power management mode. This setting can help maintain higher GPU usage in games.


1. Why Is My FPS So Low When I Have A Good GPU?

When a single component within your computer system becomes a bottleneck, it can significantly reduce the number of frames per second your PC can generate. This is often caused by graphics settings that place a heavier workload on your hardware than it can effectively manage.

2. Why Is My GPU And CPU Usage Low While Gaming?

When you observe low GPU usage, it often suggests that the game is not making full use of your graphics card. Examine the in-game settings. Decreasing the game’s resolution or disabling resource-intensive graphical options can alleviate the strain on your CPU. Ensure your GPU drivers are current. Outdated or corrupted drivers can impede your GPU’s efficiency.

3. How Do I Know If My CPU Is Bottlenecking?

A CPU bottleneck becomes evident when your GPU isn’t operating at total capacity. The actual CPU utilization doesn’t matter; what’s critical is whether your processor can keep up with the demands of your game. When the CPU lags, it restricts the graphics card’s potential, resulting in a CPU bottleneck.

4. How Much CPU Bottleneck Is OK?

General benchmarks propose that utilization below 50% is low, 50% to 70% is standard, and beyond 70% is high. Remember that these are approximate values and not definitive proof of a bottleneck.

5. Can Too Much RAM Bottleneck A CPU?

No, a memory bottleneck occurs when the RAM is inefficient in processing and swiftly transferring data to the CPU. This bottleneck has a detrimental impact on your system’s performance, mainly by increasing CPU usage and preventing processes from running at their optimal efficiency.


Experiencing low FPS when your CPU and GPU aren’t at 100% capacity can be a frustrating issue, but it’s not insurmountable.

By identifying potential bottlenecks, keeping your drivers up-to-date, optimizing in-game settings, monitoring temperatures, and managing background tasks, you can improve your system’s performance and enjoy a smoother gaming or computing experience.

If necessary, consider upgrading your hardware to meet the demands of the latest software and games.