Why does GPU usage go up dramatically when alt-tabbed?

When in game I see about 50-70% GPU usage, usually closer to 50, especially while standing around not doing much. But as soon as I tab out, the usage shoots way up to maximum before settling at about 90%.

Are you crypto mining or something? Is it a limitation in the engine? Is it just poorly optomised, and nobody set ‘out-of-focus’ options?

And as long as we’re on alt-tab issues, can we at least get an option to continue playing sound while out of focus please?

What video card do you use? I alt tab a lot, because I play music from Utube while playing the game and I never have this issue.

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This never happens to me, my GPU and CPU are mostly around 90% (CPU only active cores) while playing (full screen 3440x1440).

Maybe you have a bottleneck, outdated drivers or something else that requires a lot of GPU performance while you are alt-tabbed. “Utube” (lol) sometimes hit the GPU hard and Facebook as well… kinda weird.

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You FKing Tube. . . . happy now?

2021-06-13 06_47_43-Window

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Never had this issue since 2017. Regularly run the game alt tabbed, along with the dev kit, 20 chrome tabs, Maya, Photoshop, and a server all running.

You need to be looking harder at your own PC and it’s symptoms. Rather then finger pointing.


When I say Conan Exiles utilization is going up, I do mean Conan Exiles. Nothing else that’s currently running changes.

I have 2 monitors, so I can put the task manager on the second screen and watch it change when I tab in and out. Other programs are not changing their utilization as I tab around, so they shouldn’t be affecting it, let alone by making Conan ramp up like that.

I have noticed some more odd behaviour for the spikes though, which could help:
If my character is in a player building with lots of things going on (eg, lights, performers, etc), where it’s going up to 70%+ on the regular: it will be much more erratic spikes. It’ll get right up to max at times, but will spend a lot of time bouncing back down to the 70% or whatever it was when focused.

If my character is in an open area with no buildings: it’s gonna spike exactly as previously stated. Full utilization followed by stabilising at ~90%.

I should probably also note: CPU utilization stays pretty stable, and only spikes when actually doing things in game - which is exactly expected behaviour.

Additional Info:
Running Windows 10 on AMD 5900X, GPU is RTX 3080 ti, with latest drivers. (Hence why max GPU utilization is making me raise my eyebrows). Loading game from nvme SSD.

Ok, I just tested this myself. I have steam, chrome with 6 tabs, and Conan Exiles running alt-tabbed, and GPU usage is 100% @ 2560x1440 in full-screen mode
I have a GTX1070 GPU, i7 6700k CPU, and 32GB ram…
This happens at the character creation, the game shouldn’t have to load in tons of assets or anything like that, so 100% GPU usage when alt-tabbed is kinda unexpected :sweat_smile:

Open up System Properties. Windows Key + Pause/Break.
Click Advanced.
Click Advanced again.
If “Adjust for best performance of” is ticked for Programs, then there’s your answer.

When you Alt + Tab you’re taking the focus off the foreground app and moving it to the background. This is expected behavior with some systems.

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