GPU And Memory Clock Spikes | Reasons And How To Fix It?

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Maximum GPU usage becomes a concern when it leads to GPU overheating or when you cannot explain GPU And Memory Clock Spikes that indicate a problem.

GPU And Memory Clock Spikes

You can access a support page specifically for your laptop by entering your laptop’s serial number into Lenovo’s support page. See if there are any pending BIOS updates. Opt out of the insider program (you’re essentially a test subject for their bugs), back up your mission-critical data off the laptop, create a bootable USB installer using Windows Media Creation Tools, and then try reinstalling the OS if you have any suspicions that it’s an OS issue.

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Common Causes Of Spikes In GPU Usage

Sort these justifications and their justifications in this order.

  • Malware
  • Background applications hogging the GPU
  • Old or troublesome drivers
  • Graphics-intensive applications
  • Background update activity
  • Games with high frame rates
  • Instant replay capabilities and GPU overlays
  • Internet browser usage
  • Power-efficiency strategies
Common Causes Of Spikes In GPU Usage

I’ll go into more detail about the motives above in this essay. I recommend identifying your GPU use spikes and reducing them to normal levels.


GPU consumption spikes may occur for no apparent reason if your machine is infected with malware. Your GPU may be impacted by malware in many ways. For instance, it can evade detection by typical antivirus software by hiding in GPU memory.

It can then continue running and cause a spike in your GPU use. Keyloggers, rootkits, and trojans designed explicitly for GPU execution are examples of malware. Certain malware can perform demanding, illegal processes using your GPU. For instance, bad actors may mine bitcoin using your GPU in the background, significantly increasing use.

Dealing With GPU Malware

Malware is less likely to be discovered by antivirus software when it utilizes the GPU rather than the CPU of your machine. But, to function, GPU-based malware needs access to your CPU. Thankfully, host security systems can recognize the signs of accessing the CPU.

You can find and remove GPU malware with good security software. You may eliminate the infection on Windows by scanning your computer with the pre-installed Virus & Threat Protection feature. By consistently turning on the following Windows Security security settings, you can lessen the possibility that your machine will become infected with GPU malware.

  • Tamper protection
  • Real-time protection.

Analyzing system resource utilization in Windows Task Management may also help you spot fraudulent apps. You may immediately disable any unusual applications that consume many GPU resources from Task Management. The Startup Apps page can be used to find odd programs that start up with your computer when you turn it on.

Some of those programs might be malware in disguise. You can solve your high GPU utilization issue by disabling them. Of course, you should be careful not to disable system functions or processes you use, like those that are a component of your gaming software.

Background Apps Using Too Much GPU

Even though they’re not supposed to, regular programs occasionally consume a significant amount of GPU. The GPU is only designed to be used by programs that process graphics. The GPU is a specialized processor that speeds up graphics-intensive software, including games.

Regular apps using the dedicated GPU slow down graphics processing software by consuming resources meant to improve it. You might find the following applications using your GPU:

  • Applock.exe
  • Yourphone.exe

You can stop an application from accessing the GPU via the app’s settings. Use the Nvidia Control Panel in its place if that’s not possible. The technique described below may assist in preventing non-graphics processing programs from using the GPU if you face issues with high GPU utilization:

  • Access the Nvidia Control Panel.
  • Find Manage 3D Settings.
  • Click Global Settings.
  • Go to Auto-select under Preferred Graphics Processor.
  • Click Apply before exiting the Control Panel and restarting your machine.

Using Safe Mode To Diagnose High GPU Usage

Your device’s safe mode startup may assist you in identifying the root of your GPU use issue. Fundamental drivers and fewer files can be accessed in safe mode. You can be confident a non-essential app is to blame if the GPU use issue goes away when you start your computer in safe mode.

Then, after starting your computer in normal mode, you can try to find the offending software or driver. Here is a Microsoft article describing how to start your computer safely if you are using Windows 11 or 10.

Resolving High GPU Usage Caused By Windows Apps

Windows Stock Applications may be to blame if your GPU use is more than it should be when your computer is idle. These applications shouldn’t use the GPU because they don’t perform graphics processing.

They consist of the following:

  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Clocks and alarms
  • Mail
  • Settings
  • Skype
  • The VLC media player

Your GPU use may increase as a result of specific background-running applications. With the Task Management app, you can check if stock programs are consuming GPU resources. If so, terminating them from the Task Manager should lower GPU usage.

When you restart your computer, the same programs will still use GPU resources in the background. Disabling background programs on your mobile would be a more long-lasting fix. For this:

  • Activate the Settings app.
  • Access Privacy.
  • Choose Background Applications.
  • Turn off the option to let programs run in the background.

The preceding may not be a workable solution for you if you depend on specific Windows apps operating in the background. In such a scenario, your only option is to make do with Task Manager’s ability to disable undesired apps once your GPU utilization exceeds the standard.

Graphics-Intensive Software

Your GPU utilization will reach its maximum when using graphically demanding apps. Using a graphics-intensive program until your GPU reaches its maximum performance level indicates that you are making the most of your available resources. Also, it signifies that the application will operate at its best.

You should be concerned about reaching maximum GPU utilization only if it results in overheating. As I’ve already said, your GPU’s lifespan might be shortened by overheating. The ideal GPU temperature is no more than 185°F (85°C). A cooling system compatible with your particular computer can be an excellent option if you notice that your computer overheats when using graphics-intensive software.

Updates Running In The Background

Your inexplicable GPU utilization jumps could result from a current system or software update. Upgrades to security software or driver versions are frequently downloaded first, then gradually installed in the background. This installation procedure could take a while and require a lot of resources.

The upgrades may result in increased GPU usage once they begin executing in the background. Buying a cooler for your PC may be a good idea, like resource-intensive software, if your machine frequently overheats following updates.

High FPS Settings In Games

Certain video games require a lot of graphics. With these games, GPU usage will always be at its highest level. Lowering the game’s quality is preferable if you need to lower GPU utilization while playing resource-demanding games.

The visual experience when playing a game is more fluid with higher frames per second (FPS) setting. In addition, a higher FPS setting results in more GPU consumption. GPU utilization can be decreased in games by reducing the displayed special effects.

The same result can be obtained with lower Framerate settings. Vsync could also be enabled. The frame rate is constrained by vsync so as not to surpass your screen’s refresh rate. Lowering the frame rate will reduce GPU usage.

GPU Overlay And Instant Replay Features

Your GPU use may be increased by turning on GPU overlay and instant replay in Nvidia and AMD. While playing a game, you may monitor performance indicators thanks to the GPU overlay feature. You may see metrics like CPU and GPU consumption without exiting the game.

The function shows a window covering your game. You may continuously record and save gameplay with instant replay. It is convenient if you want to look over and distribute your game film. The overlay and auto-replay capabilities could cause issues with heavy GPU usage.

By checking Windows Task Manager, you may verify that overlay and autoplay are increasing GPU consumption. If they are, you will notice that Radeon Settings Host Service or Nvidia Container account for a sizable portion of the GPU consumption in the Processes tab’s GPU column. By turning off the GPUs, you can lower GPU consumption.

To turn off Nvidia’s instant replay:

  • Start the GeForce Experience application.
  • Click the Settings button on the General tab.
  • Click the icon labeled Disable Immediate Replay.
  • Open the Radeon Software Management to turn off instant replay and overlay on AMD.
  • Disable the autoplay and in-game replay settings under the General tab.

You can disable some overlay-related features to lower GPU usage, such as:

  • Screenshot capture.
  • GIF (instant).
  • Immediate replay.
  • Capture desktop.
  • Provide an indicator.
  • A region without borders captured.

Web Browser Activity

Web browsers can occasionally cause high GPU consumption. Hardware acceleration is a function included in contemporary web browsers. The GPU speeds up the browser when this functionality is activated. By default, this function is activated.

Your GPU is partially relieved of workload by disabling hardware acceleration. Nonetheless, browsers still utilize the GPU without hardware acceleration, particularly when handling graphics-intensive tasks. However, disabling hardware acceleration reduces GPU usage.

High-Performance Power Plans

Your power plans also impact GPU use. Better performance is obtained by setting your power plan to High performance but at the expense of more GPU usage. You can lower GPU usage by choosing the Power Saving or Balanced power plans. How to modify your power plan:

  • Open the Control Panel application.
  • Open the Power Options menu.
  • Choose Modify Plan Settings.
  • Choose the power plan of your choice and save your modifications.


Spikes in GPU usage might make your computer perform slowly or even crash. I gave you a few options for diagnosing your GPU utilization spikes and bringing them back down to normal levels; perhaps, you were able to find one that worked for you. I also hope you now have a more precise knowledge of the reasons behind GPU And Memory Clock Spikes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it typical for GPU clock speed to spike?

It is entirely typical. When not in use, graphics cards operate in low-power modes. Manufacturers of graphics software do this to conserve energy. Similar to modern CPUs, newer GPUs also offer turbo boost.

Does the memory clock affect GPU?

Similar to core clock speed, the memory clock speed can significantly impact how well a GPU performs, especially when it comes to jobs that need a lot of data access from the GPU. The GPU can access its memory more quickly with a higher memory clock speed, which improves performance.

Is GPU memory or clock speed?

The GPU’s components operate at two different rates or clocks. The memory clock determines the speed of the VRAM on the graphics card. The graphics card’s core clock determines the GPU chip’s actual speed. It can be compared to the system’s CPU and Memory clocks.

How do you fix memory spikes?

Closing the applications and processes using the most memory will help Windows to stop leaking memory. To open Task Manager, press the CTRL, Shift, and Esc keys simultaneously. Locate the program consuming the most RAM from the list by clicking on Processes.

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