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Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Windows 11 CPU usage reporting is apparently buggy, including in Task Manager

While not every user is actively monitoring hardware resource usage while gaming, enthusiasts and reviewers often turn to statistics to see how certain games and other applications are being handled by the hardware.

During such testing, CapFrameX, which developed a useful frametime analysis tool, noticed a strange discrepancy when assessing the performance of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D on Lara Croft. shadow of the tomb raider (SOTR).

Reported processor usage on Windows 11 is unusually low in a scene of a game that is generally considered to be fairly intense on the CPU. It seems that only one thread out of 16 is reporting correct usage while all other threads are using less than 10%.

CapFrameX notes the issue, though not sure what could be causing it:

Key usage reporting is completely broken on Window 11. SotTR+ should be >80% for this particular scene and settings.

What happened? Has a recent update changed the behavior of the timer?

Here is a screenshot of the scene in question. The statistics are shown on the screen with the same CapFrameX’s own tool and attached to a snapshot of the HWiNFO which shows the same data.

Low Cpu Usage Bug On Windows 11 In Shadow Of The Tomb Raider

While it is possible that the bug seen here is an application specific problem, CapFrameX insists that it is persistent across all games tested:

It is worth mentioning here that CapFrameX and possibly even HWiNFO are based on the Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) tracing mechanism. So it is possible that there is some kind of bug in ETW which is causing this incorrect reading.

A quick Google search led us to a thread on the Microsoft forums where a user “AndreasRes” reported a problem that is somewhat similar. In this case, it is seen that Task Manager usage is very high or at 100% while Xbox Game Bar and MSI Dragon Center are showing very low usage.

Cpu Usage Bug Windows 11
Task Manager and Xbox Game Bar CPU usage together

While the thread opened last year, more users have chimed in as recently as 2022, too.

Source and images: CapFrameX (Twitter) via AndreasRes (Microsoft Forum)


update: We previously contacted CapFrameX to inquire about a Windows 11 build that displayed a low CPU usage report. We have received the following feedback that confirms that Windows 11 Beta Channel build 22621 was recently used for testing:

Windows 11 Build That Displayed Low Cpu Usage Error

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