How to Check GPU & CPU Usage in Game?

how to check gpu & cpu usage in game

How to Monitor GPU Usage in Game While Playing Your Favorite Title?

Do you often see those gaming videos on YouTube where there’s an FPS counter running at the top corner of the screen and wonder, is the counter built within the game, or does the gamer have to add one to the screen separately?

Monitoring CPU and GPU performance is something that each of us wants to perform, especially when playing AAA titles. We want to keep track of our gaming temps, check on our FPS drops and see how much load our CPU & GPU can handle.

This, in turn, helps us in identifying whether our machine bottlenecks or not.

For those new to CPU and GPU monitoring, allow me to provide you an initial insight into how it works. There’s no in-game tool or software that enables you to monitor your PC’s temps or the FPS. To do so, you need to use separate software like NZXT or MSI Afterburner. These are the two most commonly used tools for monitoring the CPU & GPU temps and clocks.

Today, I am going to walk you through how to monitor GPU usage in-game using MSI Afterburner. So without further ado, let’s begin.

How to Check GPU & CPU Usage in Game?

Follow these 3 simple steps to learn how to check CPU and GPU usage while gaming.

Step # 1: Download & Install the MSI Afterburner

So, to begin with, you need to download the MSI Afterburner software utility on your computer. In order to do so, all you need to do is click on the following link, and it will take you to the official website of MSI Afterburner. From there, just download the latest version of the utility.

Once you’ve successfully downloaded the MSI Afterburner software utility on your desktop, next up is the installation process. Extract the zip folder which you’ve recently downloaded to any desired location on your PC. Keep following the instructions of the installation screen and choose MSI Afterburner.

It will automatically install on your system & the software utility will launch on its own.

Step # 2: Configure the MSI Afterburner 

Once the MSI Afterburner software is launched, you will see a “gear icon” appear on the MSI afterburner. Click on the gear icon, and it will take you to the Properties screen.

Configure the MSI Afterburner

In the MSI Afterburner properties, navigate to the Monitoring tab.

Now scroll down to the Graph section in the monitoring tab and simply choose the options which you want to monitor. You will find plenty of options relevant to CPU & GPU performance.

To activate, just click on the check mark sign appearing beside the metric you want to see in game. Once you’ve checked the options, now check mark the “Show in On Screen Display.”

MSI Afterburner properties

If it’s your first time using the MSI Afterburner and you are not quite sure which options to choose, then here’s a list of options that you need to turn on.

  • GPU Usage
  • Memory Usage
  • GPU Temperature
  • CPU Usage
  • CPU Clock
  • CPU Temperature
  • RAM Usage
  • Framerate

Simply, uncheck the remaining options and you’re all good to go.

Step # 3: Rearrange the Options to Your Preference 

All the metrics shown in the MSI Afterburner can be rearranged according to your preferences. You can bring a few up top, while moving the others down depending on what you want to monitor first. To move them, just hold the metric and use the mouse scroll button. Once organized, click on the Apply. Here’s an image that will indicate what it may look like.

GPU Usage

Step # 4: Run a Game to Make Sure the MSI Afterburner is Working 

Now choose the game which you want to run and track using the MSI Afterburner. And you will see the metrics appear in the upper left corner of the screen so you can track in real time.

run and track using the msi afterburner

You can also change the color of different metrics as per your particular requirements.

To do so, select on screen display layouts.

on screen display layouts

Now find the option, group color and find out which properties you want to designate specific colors. Double click on the color code appearing adjacent to the property and it will open a drop down menu as shown in the image below. Now choose your specific color code and designate.

Active Layout Properties

Follow the same steps for all the metrics and choose the options that suit you best.

Note: When installing MSI Afterburner, the software utility will prompt you whether you want to install Rivatuner Statistics Server or not. If you select the option, then you can also change the font size of the metric values appearing on screen while playing your favorite game titles.

To change the font size, simply navigate to the on screen display zoom option.

On Screen Display Zoom

Move the slider to adjust how large or small you want to see the value of the metrics.

Picture Credits:

Summary: How to Check GPU & CPU Usage in Game?

To sum things up, here are the action steps to take:

  1. Download and install MSI Afterburner, it’s an amazing tool to check GPU & CPU usage when in a game.
  2. Configure the MSI Afterburner settings to show CPU and GPU usage in game.
  3. Now, rearrange the options according to your priorities.
  4. Finally, run the game and enjoy monitoring the CPU and GPU usage when gaming.

With that said, I hope this guide helped you find the most convenient way of monitoring the usage of your computer hardware when gaming. Until next time, cheers!

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Check GPU & CPU Usage in Game?

Following are the answers to frequent queries on how to check CPU and GPU usage during your gameplay.

Is 100% CPU usage bad?

While it feels freaked out when seeing the CPU to reach 100% usage during gaming or some other hardcore work, it’s completely normal. It’s because the processor is designed to be under hardcore operations all the time and can be completely occupied by a power-hungry task.

Is 100% GPU usage bad?

A GPU usage of 100% during gaming or creative work isn’t bad at all. In fact, it’s pretty normal because the graphic workloads generally occupy the graphics card’s memory and power and the GPUs are actually designed for this.

How do I stop 100% GPU usage?

If you’ve noticed a 100% GPU usage even when you’re not gaming or the GPU is not in use, consider updating the graphics driver. It will fix the problem. This is because the crashed and corrupted drivers often cause the graphics card to go to 100% usage.

Is it okay to run a GPU fan at 100?

Running a GPU fan at its maximum speed is fine as long as you’re having the overheating problem. Otherwise, consider slowing down the fan speed to avoid the irritating noise and unnecessary power consumption, but not slow enough to make your GPU overheat.

How do I see CPU usage?

Using task manager by right clicking on the taskbar is a great way to see CPU usage. But if you want to track the CPU usage when gaming or inside an application, consider using MSI afterburner or an alternative, it will give you a complete breakdown of your CPU usage when in game.

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