GPU Utilization too high?

Curious as I don’t know much about these things. My GPU utilization is between 80-100% during most flights. I fly around the Caribbean, so not a ton of scenery to render. But are those loads bad for my GPU? I have a GTX1080. Will it lead to aging of the unit? And can high GPU loads like that cause CTDs (which I get a lot of)?

I was testing yesterday and over water it was at 80-85%. Once I approached for landing on an island it would go up to 95%-plus, sometimes hitting 100%. Temps are always 75-80 Celsius.

Thanks for your thoughts!

What’s the current FPS?

The sim will always try to maximize framerate. So 100% GPU is completely normal. If you’re fine with less FPS, you can turn on vsync in the options menu or limit your Max FPS in the nvidia settings.

It shouldn’t be a problem. It’s nice to use the maximum potential of your GPU, isn’t it? :slight_smile:

Having said that, I do limit the fps in the sim to 30. It gives a smoother experience overall and less stress on the GPU, giving it some headroom to smooth out spikes.


Chances are you are CPU bound when more scenery is on screen, so GPU is getting unleashed when less scenery is around you.

Your hardware is designed to run 100% all the time, if your GPU is not running 100% all the time then I would start asking why that is.

Crashing can be caused by an unstable clock, your temps are fine, chances are its down clocking then reaching the higher temps but not an issue.

Basically, don’t worry about — you want it to be 100%.

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Running at 100% is fine but may suggest that you are setting the graphics settings too high (especially if you fly in a built up region) and losing fps as a result i.e. your card can’t meet the demand on it. If you are happy with the fps then all’s good but if it’s too low then drop the settings.

Alternatively you might be rendering more frames than you can display which is a bit pointless e.g. 100 fps with a monitor rate of 60fps. Locking frame rate to that of your monitor will reduce the stress on your GPU (and reduce heat in your pc case which might also help with CTDs if caused by overheating of other components).

As for the CTDs easiest check is to drop the graphics down until you are stressing your GPU much less and see if it’s more stable.

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GPU’s are designed to run at 100%, unlike the CPU. You don’t have to worry.

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@Pieter1982NL @CurriedCat @NBKTHE1 @OldpondGL

Thanks so much for the excellent replies, fellas. I wanted to answer all in general rather than 4 individual answers.

So my CPU is running under 20% the whole time. I’m running 1440P at mostly Ultra (save for certain things like motion blur). I have vsync on at 30 FPS.

So is there something potentially off about the fact that my CPU generally sits at about 16-17% while my GPU is maxed out? I have a 1080 and 8700K, both stock, no OC. I have HAGS enabled.

Many thanks for the knowledge, fellas!

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That is completely normal. Keep in mind you are running a 1080 on 1440p=more gpu bound. Your 1080 will work very hard on 1440p.

Yeah, I have a 1440P monitor but I thought about maybe trying to run the sim at 1080 and see what it looks like. My guess is not good, but maybe it’s worth a shot.

Your cpu won’t really be running at 20% for the sim, currently you will find that one or two cores will be running at or near their limit and in turn that is your limit too. Many cores will probably be a big advantage when the Metaverse is here but not yet unless you do a lot of creative stuff that needs rendering quickly, HD video etc.


Thank you!

You are welcome.

While I 'm here I’ll point out that a system with eight or more cores is very capable of running multiple tasks while you’re cruising across the atlantic, just set MSFS to windowed mode and reduce it to a smaller size on the desktop (although I do wish there was an always on top option).

Everythinh ok with your GPU.

Try “max frame rate” via nvidia control panel.

Exactly this. If you monitor all your cores, there will be a couple that are being rammed. I have just upgraded from a heavily overclocked 8086k (a binned 8700k) to a 12900k at stock, which out of its 24 threads, Flight sim only uses about 4 (which is really sad). But the single core performance has massively boosted the frames (im running a 3090 at 4k too) so im normally GPU bound but over populated areas, always have been CPU bound (but not any more)!

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My system
i7 7700K @ 4.20 GHz
32 Gb memory
GTX1080 and 32" monitor 2560x1440

I have limited fps to 30 in Nvidia panel since alpha testing I have not changed in 2 years.
Settings, as default: High-end but Vsync OFF
GPU temperatures 57-60 ºC with DX12, and 4-5 ºC less with DX11
Activation of Vsync results in a GPU temperature increase of about 5-7 ºC

An awful lot has changed with the sim since launch and I suggest you recalibrate with v-sinc off. You may find e.g. 45fps v-sinc is better or that you can increase graphics quality without any stutters or frame drops. In fact wait until the SU7 hotfix is released (or you can join the beta now), Asobo have clearly found the needle in the haystack that was causing a big performance loss.


Very similar systems, although you have twice the RAM I have. Do you fly DX12 or DX11?

(and @DensestSnail693)

Just flew a test flight, interesting results.

I changed default graphics from Ultra to High End, V-Sync on at 30 FPS. Smooth and steady 30 FPS, GPU temps at about 70-75, GPU utilization dropped to 70%, and 85% in the areas where I was hitting 99-100% yesterday (with stutters). So performance was good, visuals obviously not as good. On the GPU I was using about 5.2 MB rather than the 6.2 that it was using on Ultra.

The really interesting part was that the load on the CPU was steady 15-18% across all cores. Not one or two getting pummeled and the rest chilling. Every core was about the same.

I have a little obsession with low and slow in the Caribbean, so I’m going to leave it at High End and increase Terrain LOD to 150 and Terrain Vector Data and Volumetric Clouds to “Ultra” to try and improve what’s important to me (low level visuals), and see what happens.

I also turned HAGS off and deleted the rolling cache and re-enabled it. No CTDs and no stutters this flight.


For me the best has been to limit fps to 30, and vsync off in all SU’s
The only disturbing problem I have experienced with MSFS has been recent CTD due to Nvidia 497.09.

I’m actually flying with DX12 for testing, I could not test DX12 before because I suffered the CTD caused by the Nvidia driver 497.09 and could not use MSFS for several days.
I don’t see big differences.

I tried DX12 once and it was a stutterfest.