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(SOLVED) Why your GPU Usage is Too High (at 100%)

Why is My GPU Usage So High?

A high GPU usage of 90% to 100% is very common while playing games. It just means there is no limit on your FPS, or V-Sync has been turned off allowing rendering to happen at the maximum speed allowed by your graphics card.

You should be happy about the high GPU usage since it means you are utilizing the card to its maximum, giving you seamless gaming experience with a very high FPS.

If you love playing games like PUBG, Watch Dogs 2, Witcher 3 or Rocket League, be prepared to see consistently high GPU usage because that is how these games are designed.

Is a High GPU Usage Bad?

No, high GPU usage is normally not a bad thing. A High GPU usage indicates that you’re using your graphics card to its maximum ability.

You should be happy that your GPU card is performing at its best without any hindrance. These cards are designed to give you the maximum frame rate and best gaming views.

Sometimes, if the CPU is slow or there is a limit enable on the FPS your GPU usage is blocked and it may not be performing at its best. That is when you should be worried.

How to Decrease GPU Usage

While a high GPU does not harm your computer, if you still want to reduce it, try these suggestions:

  1. Enable V-Sync or any other frame limiting mechanism on your computer. This may have a slight impact on the gaming video but will still do the trick.
  2. Tweaking the game settings is another way to optimize your GPU usage. These will be game-specific changes like a higher resolution or enabling Future Frame Rendering etc.
  3. Blocking unwanted traffic: if your GPU is showing extreme usage due to external traffic, then you may want to analyze and block these external links.
  4. Killing the background apps or unnecessary processes: Another reason for the spike in GPU could be the apps running in the background. This may be a hindrance to your gaming experience. Kills these unnecessary apps to reduce your GPU usage and enjoy your game.

Why your GPU Usage is at 100%

Your GPU usage usually hits 100% while playing a game that requires the maximum power of your graphics card.

Your GPU usage is at 100% because your game demands it and it is supported by your CPU too. Most high graphics games with a high FPS would make your graphics card work hard resulting in high GPU unless you have some sort of a cap in place for the FPS.

To sum up, here are the reasons for high GPU usage

  1. Demands of the game: some games need a high FPS to render seamless video for the best gaming experience. If you are playing these games, then your GPU is likely to peak. PubG is one such popular game.
  2. No cap of the frame rate: disabling V-Sync and any other setting that puts a cap on your frame rate also results in high GPU in some high graphics games. No limit on your frame rate means, your system can render the maximum number of frames per second. Your GPU is being fully utilized and you will get the best gaming experience as well.
  3. High FPS settings in the game: Some games have an in-built setting to push for high FPS, it is like a pre-requisite for the perfect gaming exposure.
  4. Some external apps or processes spiking the GPU usage (rarely though): In some cases, the spike in the GPU usage may be due to external and unwanted load as well. This can be due to some apps running in the background as well.

Why Does my GPU Usage Spike from 0 to 100%?

The spike in your GPU usage from 0 to 100% is most likely related to the graphic intense game you’re playing. You may have noticed that the GPU usage also varies from one game to another.

Here are the main culprits for the spike in GPU usage:

  1. Recent system upgrade: If you have done a system upgrade recently, then that could be one of the reasons for the spike if the updates are still running in the background. This is especially true if the version being upgraded to is far ahead of your current system version.
  2. Your choice of the game: The spikes in the GPU usage may be attributed to your game. Some games are designed to use more GPU than the others. There may even be some settings in your game that ask for high GPU usage. Check that out.
  3. Your system configuration: is another culprit to look out for. A small size RAM can become a burden for your GPU while playing games. A cap on the frame rate could also have a similar effect.
  4. An issue with your monitor driver: Unwanted spikes and drops in the GPU usage while playing games can be related to your monitor driver too. You may want to reinstall the existing driver or download the latest one from an authentic company website to see if things are better.
  5. Malware: if your system security is breached and there is any malware in it, then that could also be a reason for the GPU spike.

How to Fix High GPU Usage of 100%

Once we know the reason for the high GPU usage it is just a matter of time before we can fix it too. Here is what you can try:

  1. Run an anti-virus scan: a thorough scanning of the system and running regular scans is a good practice to keep malware at bay. Removing any malware in the system could just solve for GPU issues magically.
  2. Killing unwanted apps in the background: Check to see if there are some applications running in the background that are eating up your GPU. To find these apps, the best solution would be to uninstall all the unnecessary or unused apps. Another way is to meticulously analyze one-by-one the apps that are impacting your GPU usage and take corrective actions.
  3. Use Process Explorer: This is one of the best options from Microsoft to help find and remove unwanted apps eating up your GPU. While you are at it, please be careful not to remove the software and application you need.
  4. Upgrade to the latest driver version: it is time to dump your old graphical driver if you are still running it. Upgrade to the latest version or invest in a new driver to get the best results.
  5. Reinstall the game: If nothing else works, this is the last one to try. Uninstall the game, clear the cache, restart the machine and then do a fresh install. Many times, this works well too.

How to Lower GPU Usage in Windows 10?

Let us now talk a bit regarding the high GPU usage specific to the windows machine and what you can do to lower it.

  1. If you are seeing spikes in the GPU usage, then it could be related to some exe files running in the background or also due to the app upgrades or patches that are rolled out every now and then. Try to run a repair upgrade to fix the issue. It worked wonders for my machine.
  2. Another common problem reported with Windows-based machines is some background apps like calculator, calendar, alarm clock, etc. eating up the GPU even when it is not used. A possible solution would be to disable these apps from running in the background. You may also try to set the power management mode for these apps as Adaptive.
  3. A common solution for most of the problems on the windows machine is to boot it in Safe Mode. This evokes only the necessary drivers and helps to figure out which external or third-party app is causing the issue. Once you zero down on the problematic app you can just uninstall it to save your GPU.
  4. Sometimes, reinstalling the GPU driver is the easiest solution. Give it a try.

What Should My GPU Usage be when Gaming?

If you are looking for maximum output from your GPU, then the usage should be anywhere between 98% and 100%. If your usage is less, then it means something is blocking your GPU from being used fully.

So, the next time when you see the GPU usage hitting 100% while playing your favorite game don’t panic be happy that nothing is stopping you from getting the best gaming experience. Enjoy the game.


windows computer with high GPU usage


How to Lower GPU Usage in Games?

As long the temperature is normal you should not be worried about the high GPU usage. But if that is something bothering you, please go ahead and try the below options to lower your GPU usage in games:

  1. Enable V-Sync and cap the frame rate: by capping the frame rate you will slow down the rendering and thus the load on your GPU is also reduced. But be prepared to see a decreased fluidity in the games.
  2. Tweak the game settings: if the GPU usage is peaking in any particular game then you could try to tweak some game settings like reducing the resolution or reducing the special effects to reduce your GPU usage. This may again reduce the performance, but you will need to find a balance.
  3. Disable third-party app: sometimes it could be some app running in the background that is eating up your GPU. Disabling third-party apps and closing all extra applications running in the background can help bring down the GPU usage too.

GPU Usage is Too High while Playing Fortnite

For all the FortNite lovers out there, if you have been seeing a near 100% on your GPU usage while enjoying your favorite game then don’t worry. Your game is designed to utilize your GPU to the maximum giving you great gaming experience.

The main culprits for the high GPU value are the uncapped frame rates, high-resolution settings, and maybe some third-party apps running the background too.

What you can do about it is:

  1. The first thing would be to check the temperature to make sure it is not heating up your system. If the temperature is normal, then you are good.
  2. The best solution for high GPU usage is capping the frame rate. With a lesser number of frames being rendered per second, your GPU needs to work less. You will see the GPU usage coming down the moment you set a cap on the frame rate.
  3. The next thing to check is your driver version. Sometimes an older version would make your GPU to work harder than needed. So, updating to the latest version would be a good idea.

GPU Usage is Maxed Out while Playing Minecraft

Minecraft is another very common game enjoyed by millions across the globe. Let us discuss some issues faced by the people and the solutions. I hope it will be helpful for you too.

  1. The most common concern among users is extremely high GPU usage. While this is not necessarily an issue unless the system temperature is high, you can try to fix it rate by capping the frame or enabling V-Sync
  2. If you are seeing a reduced GPU usage or a delay between frames, then you should first go and check ifV-Sync is enabled. If yes, please disable it. This needs to be done for all the settings that are limiting your frame rate.
  3. If things aren’t working the way you expect them to, consider upgrading or changing your graphical driver. If your driver is obsolete, any changes to the frame rate or the game settings will be in vain.
  4. Those using AMD based CPUs, you may need to disable some optimization as the “foam fix” isn’t compatible with AMD.


If you see high GPU usage during gaming with normal temperature, then you should be happy and not worried. It just means that your GPU is being utilized fully and that your other system configurations like the RAM are supporting your graphics card well.

But in case, the spike is not related to games you play or if the temperature is high you must try out the options mentioned above.

While in most cases, one of the solutions provided above would work, if that is not the case with you, please get in touch with a qualified technician to have the problem analyzed and fixed.

I hope this information was useful to you.

Ernie Lo

Ernie Lo is a qualified web designer and web developer. He works as an IT support technician and website manager at Benleigh Vending, and he also fixes vending machines.

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