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Baldur's Gate 2 keeps eating 100% out of one of my 4 cores when the game shouldn't even be taking 10%. I'm playing the game fresh off the gog.com install with no mods.

My settings are as follow:
1280x960 Windowed
32bit
And every slider on max.

My computer is:
Intel Core i5-760, 3.4ghz overclock.
4GB RAM
Geforce GTX260
Windows 7, 64bit.

What's wrong with it? Thanks in advance.
Post edited June 30, 2011 by Firkraag8
Try turning your internet connection off when you play. The game was meant to be played offline.

Also, I hope you have a quality firewall installed. And try running Ad-aware or Crap Cleaner juss to be fully sure.
I'm not sure wrong is the proper wording, as it is normal behaviour for BG on a i-core machine. I just checked on my core i3 laptop, one core is indeed 100%.

You should know that Baldur's Gate is a game made to run on single-core machines and will always only access one core.The other cores will be doing nothing for the game, as the game won't know how to access them and there is no way to fix that.

I have no idea if there's a way to make it use up less than 100% of the core it uses.

*edit: it's not even specific for i-core machines. I never bothered to check, but my Athlon 64 dual-core machine running on Windows XP x64 shows the same behaviour. I have been playing BG for years on this processor and never had problems with an overheated processor. So don't worry about it, I'd say.
Post edited July 03, 2011 by DubConqueror
DubConqueror is right, and a program using 100% of one core isn't something to worry about. Your cpu is trying to run the game as fast as possible, thus using the single core 100%.
Necroing the thread, as I am currently playing Baldur's Gate 2 on my older laptop... I recall asking or discussing about this here before too, but couldn't find my earlier message on this subject.

Anyway, on my older laptop I started getting a bit of overheating problems specifically with BG2 due to this. As soon as I run BG2 (and I think this happened also with BG1), one core shoots up to 100%, and the CPU core temperature also starts rising. After awhile, it is already at about 92 Celsius degrees (198 F), which is more than I'd like it to run at for such an old game. It is with at 800x600 resolution and all options (also 3D acceleration) maxxed out though.

I still feel this is quite abnormal, especially considering that it happens also on game menus and such, not only during gameplay. I forced vsync on from my graphics driver, but it didn't affect this I think. Occasionally the laptop could heat even so much that CPU throttling kicked in, making the game and the whole computer very choppy for some time.

Eventually I found a rather odd workaround. I went to my laptop's power/performance settings, and changed the "Maximum CPU speed" from "Highest" to "Low". So in practice, I am allocating much less CPU cycles to Windows (and any Windows applications and games) than before, as if I had swapped a slower CPU to my laptop.

The game still runs as good as as before, but now the CPU core temperature stays all the time at about 55 Celsius (131 F). Much nicer this way. Core Temp application still stays that the CPU core #1 usage is at 100%, but the temperature stays at 55 C. Apparently that percentage is referring to the amount of CPU cycles I have allocated for the system. So it still uses 100% of them, but that is much less than before.

Seems to me there is some kind of bug in these Infinity Engine RPGs that makes them use 100% of the CPU all the time. I don't feel it is normal, as it happens also on menus.

I also tried some other games (e.g. Wheel of Time FPS), and they seem to use the CPU in a much more sensible way, ie. the CPU usage % varies during the game, and doesn't stay at full 100% all the time like .
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Firkraag8: What's wrong with it? Thanks in advance.
Post edited September 15, 2013 by timppu
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timppu: Seems to me there is some kind of bug in these Infinity Engine RPGs that makes them use 100% of the CPU all the time. I don't feel it is normal, as it happens also on menus.
No there isn't. It's your graphics driver settings at fault. Turn off any FXAA (not needed), any supersampling (not needed), Ambient Occlusion (not supported), Triple Buffering and VSync On for modern machines.
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timppu: Seems to me there is some kind of bug in these Infinity Engine RPGs that makes them use 100% of the CPU all the time. I don't feel it is normal, as it happens also on menus.
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Hickory: No there isn't. It's your graphics driver settings at fault. Turn off any FXAA (not needed), any supersampling (not needed), Ambient Occlusion (not supported), Triple Buffering and VSync On for modern machines.
Wouldn't that explain GPU "overusage", not CPU?

Anyway, I already have vsync forced, antialiasing is switched off as much as it can (Antialiasing = Application Managed (it can't be fully disabled from the driver options) and "Adaptive Antialising" is disabled). But those didn't help, CPU usage was still 100%, causing potential overheating.

Enabling OpenGL triple buffering didn't help either, and in the end I had to disable it anyway as it causes serious menu flickering in IE games for me. "Ambient Occlusion", I don't even seem to have such an option in ThinkPad T400.

At the moment it appears to me that Infinity Engine games will always use 100% CPU on one core, no matter what you do (menu, or in-game). Maybe they have set it to use NOP instructions to use up any free CPU cycles it can find? :)

As said, with some other games like Wheel of Time (an Unreal engine FPS game), the CPU usage percentage varies during the game, as one would expect it to do. It is not nailed at constant 100% like in IE games.
Post edited September 15, 2013 by timppu
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Hickory: No there isn't. It's your graphics driver settings at fault. Turn off any FXAA (not needed), any supersampling (not needed), Ambient Occlusion (not supported), Triple Buffering and VSync On for modern machines.
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timppu: Wouldn't that explain GPU "overusage", not CPU?

Anyway, I already have vsync forced, antialiasing is switched off as much as it can (Antialiasing = Application Managed (it can't be fully disabled from the driver options) and "Adaptive Antialising" is disabled). But those didn't help, CPU usage was still 100%, causing potential overheating.

Enabling OpenGL triple buffering didn't help either, and in the end I had to disable it anyway as it causes serious menu flickering in IE games for me. "Ambient Occlusion", I don't even seem to have such an option in ThinkPad T400.

At the moment it appears to me that Infinity Engine games will always use 100% CPU on one core, no matter what you do (menu, or in-game). Maybe they have set it to use NOP instructions to use up any free CPU cycles it can find? :)

As said, with some other games like Wheel of Time (an Unreal engine FPS game), the CPU usage percentage varies during the game, as one would expect it to do. It is not nailed at constant 100% like in IE games.
It would only explain GPU vs CPU if you have no shared VRAM. If you have shared VRAM, then it will certainly explain CPU.

If you are having issues with OpenGL, then switch Use 3D Acceleration off in your BGConfing.exe tool. In the 2D and 3D options tab, make sure that only 3D Animations is checked, with the possible exception of Disable Vertex Padding.

In the same tool, make sure you have Automatic Speed Adjustment set (do not set manually). Use a large cache size like 768MB. And in the Hardware section, set all sliders to 'Max'

No matter what you think, or say, about IE games, they do not use 100% cycles on modern systems if configured correctly -- I have 3 rigs, and no IE game does what you say on any of them... none.
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Hickory: No matter what you think, or say, about IE games, they do not use 100% cycles on modern systems if configured correctly -- I have 3 rigs, and no IE game does what you say on any of them... none.
I tried your further suggestions, and they were just as worthless as your earlier guessing. Core #0 is still firmly locked to 100% all the time (core #1 near zero), even in menus.

Your suggestion doesn't make much sense anyway, because

a) As said, it doesn't change between gameplay and menu screens, which it should if it really was dependent on the ingame graphics HW settings. Displaying a static menu screen shouldn't be too taxing for an OpenGL graphics card. Vsync disabled has been known to cause that kind of problems in some games (as in, static screen is being refreshed as many times per second as possible without any limit, overheating the GPU (not CPU)), but as said, graphics drivers' "force vsync" option didn't have any effect in this case, so it wasn't about that either.

b) If you keep the graphics settings untouched (3D acceleration on etc.) but simply throttle the CPU yourself, it doesn't affect the game performance at all. The game runs just as well as before, but it simply heats up the CPU much less than before. That clearly suggests the game does not need all the CPU cycles that it reserves (after all, BG2 config program itself considers 600Mhz CPUs as the very highest end, and obviously even this old 2400MHz dual-core laptop is way beyond that). If it was about graphics settings being too heavy for this PC, then obviously throttling the CPU manually would have had severe effect on the game's performance, but it didn't have any effect at all.

This is a pretty widely reported issue anyway, and usually it seems to be dismissed with "Who cares if it uses 100% CPU? That's quite normal, so just don't think about it.".

http://www.google.fi/#q=baldur%27s+gate+cpu+usage
Post edited September 15, 2013 by timppu
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timppu: At the moment it appears to me that Infinity Engine games will always use 100% CPU on one core, no matter what you do (menu, or in-game).
This is fairly common in a number of old games. Hoyle Word Games will sit there & eat a core and that needs next to no CPU. Some part of the code sits there spinning and spins a lot faster at 2 - 3 Ghz.
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Hickory: No matter what you think, or say, about IE games, they do not use 100% cycles on modern systems if configured correctly -- I have 3 rigs, and no IE game does what you say on any of them... none.
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timppu: I tried your further suggestions, and they were just as worthless as your earlier guessing.
So you're an intransigent soul, ploughing on, blaming a game engine that runs perfectly fine on countless thousands of machines all over the world? That's fine by me; you asked the question, now get on with it.
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timppu: At the moment it appears to me that Infinity Engine games will always use 100% CPU on one core, no matter what you do (menu, or in-game).
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Gydion: This is fairly common in a number of old games. Hoyle Word Games will sit there & eat a core and that needs next to no CPU. Some part of the code sits there spinning and spins a lot faster at 2 - 3 Ghz.
Sounds like something like that. There have been some similar cases where e.g. a static menu causes at least GPU working overtime because there is no limit how many times per sec the (static) screen is refreshed. I think in some cases forcing vsync on from graphics driver settings may fix that.

However, in this case the CPU core stays at 100% as soon as you launch the game, no matter whether you are watching the BG2 intro videos, or the menu screen, or actually are playing the game. The only time the CPU core usage percentage seems to go down for a second or two is when you are loading e.g. a saved game (ie. the game apparently concentrates on HDD activity).

Forcing vsync on in the driver settings didn't fix it at least for me, and the CPU usage stays at 100% even if you run BG2 in a window (in which case it obviously uses the same vsync settings and such as rest of the system, as I don't think a single window can have a different video card refresh rate than the desktop and other windows).

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Hickory: So you're an intransigent soul, ploughing on, blaming a game engine that runs perfectly fine on countless thousands of machines all over the world? That's fine by me; you asked the question, now get on with it.
Define "perfectly fine". I presume that 99% people are not watching Core Temp or some other similar utility while they are playing BG2. In fact, neither did I realize that BG2 is using 100% all the time (for one core) until I checked it with Core Temp application while running the game (in a window, as how else can I watch the core temp output simultaneously?).

So yes, BG2 runs "fine" for me too, even though it uses 100% CPU (core) for no good reason. I just happened to notice that my older laptop runs hotter than normally when playing BG2, and Core Temp confirmed why that is (BG2 is doing its own CPU burn testing while I am playing the game). The slightly more severe symptom was that _occasionally_ it got even so hot that Windows or the CPU controller started throttling the system all the way down due to overheating, which I'd see as jerky game for some time (until the CPU cooled down).

Whether it is due to Windows, the game itself, or video drivers, or some GOG wrapper, or the combination of them all, I don't know, obviously. I can already tell that other games I've tried don't constantly eat 100% of CPU core (e.g. Wheel Of Time), maybe I need to check more Windows 2D games like Diablo 2 etc.
Post edited September 16, 2013 by timppu
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timppu: Define "perfectly fine". I presume that 99% people are not watching Core Temp or some other similar utility while they are playing BG2. In fact, neither did I realize that BG2 is using 100% all the time (for one core) until I checked it with Core Temp application while running the game (in a window, as how else can I watch the core temp output simultaneously?).

So yes, BG2 runs "fine" for me too, even though it uses 100% CPU (core) for no good reason. I just happened to notice that my older laptop runs hotter than normally when playing BG2, and Core Temp confirmed why that is (BG2 is doing its own CPU burn testing while I am playing the game). The slightly more severe symptom was that _occasionally_ it got even so hot that Windows or the CPU controller started throttling the system all the way down due to overheating, which I'd see as jerky game for some time (until the CPU cooled down).

Whether it is due to Windows, the game itself, or video drivers, or some GOG wrapper, or the combination of them all, I don't know, obviously. I can already tell that other games I've tried don't constantly eat 100% of CPU core (e.g. Wheel Of Time), maybe I need to check more Windows 2D games like Diablo 2 etc.
I don't know why I'm even bothering to reply, but...

You must have an issue with Core Temp or a something connected with it -- those tools are not perfect or foolproof -- because, as this image of my Core Temp shows, during the fighting of Firkraag (a dragon being the most graphic intensive part of a BG2 game), my single core CPU usage is at 49%. Do not blame the game. I repeat, it is NOT the game.
100% usage on your CPU shouldn't be causing overheating (same applies to GPUs) - is there any dust built up in/around your laptop's fans/vents? Maybe the cooling isn't adequate for the system, something that seems to be common with laptops.

I've seen quite a lot of older games/programs running a core at 100%, I think they were probably intended to do so - as you said, it's just grabbing any free cycles it can find.

EDIT: Running Arcanum in the background at the moment (don't have any IE games installed at the moment), it seems to be using most of a core and my CPU has reached a maximum temperature of 59°C.

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Hickory: my single core CPU usage is at 49%.
Does your CPU use HyperThreading? Sometimes load levels are reported incorrectly (as half of what they should be) when it's enabled.
Post edited September 16, 2013 by DreadMoth
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DreadMoth: Does your CPU use HyperThreading? Sometimes load levels are reported incorrectly (as half of what they should be) when it's enabled.
Yes, but that is the whole point of hardware threading. They are not reported incorrectly, they are misunderstood. Which software thread runs on which hardware thread is entirely up to the operating system, not the application (read game for this purpose). In theory, (and practice), you can have 2 games running on the same core. That's the whole point. Granted, developers are not always up to scratch when optimising their code for hyperthreading, but the implementation of hyperthreading means that one core should *never* be starved... ever.