Figuring Out Performance Issues in Windows 10

Yeah, I know there’s other dead threads related to this, it might not be the OS and what not. But, that’s not really the point I’m looking at. I figured, since one of my friends got me back into playing Borderlands 2, I might as well get my performance back to where it used to be in my previous OS, Windows 7. Now, the story is pretty common of course, “The game’s running perfectly fine on Windows 7, not on 10”. A few things to note: I run with Vsync, so my game is capped to my refresh rate of 75hz. I run at 1440x900, which is pathetically easy for a modern GPU, even at 75FPS. And my game stuck to that in Windows 7, dropping only when combat became incredibly tolling (Particle effects everywhere, basically).

For reference, the important pieces of my hardware are:

CPU: AMD Phenom II x6 1045t, overclocked to 3.38GHz (Which is stable for the CPU. Performance used to be bad at its normal 2.7GHz)
GPU: AMD R9 270 (Mildly overclocked, I’m sure it’s stable, through countless hours of use. It’s been at these clocks for years, with absolutely 0 issues in other games)
RAM: 14GB
HDD: WD Black 2TB (I constantly make sure I’m not fragmented, so that isn’t the issue)

Anyways, I upgraded from 7 to 10, which some people have noted issues with. Others have noted issues on clean installs. In any case, there’s a trend that either Windows 10 kept performance the same, or worsened it by a very noticeable amount. In my case, my new lowest FPS I’ve seen is 27FPS, instead of the occasional spikes from 75FPS to 68FPS that I had in Windows 7. Combat now does not affect my performance at all, but the dead bodies do.

Altering WillowGame.ini to remove the dead bodies considerably earlier has made the framerate at least stay consistent in longer battles with lots of enemies.

Relevant INI settings in bold:

So, that helped me, but the real problem is still there. The environments themselves are now what’s causing the game to lag. So, I decided to monitor my CPU usage (Per core. The game only uses 4 cores if I recall correctly), and my GPU usage. I went to the Badass Crater of Badassitude, as that has plenty of areas that run extremely well, and areas that run down to the 40s. My GPU usage was terrible, I barely saw it more than 56% utilized on average, the highest spike was up to 73%. So, that’s one reason the framerate was terrible.

But, checking the CPU usage revealed something a bit more interesting. None of my cores were more than about 40% utilized at any given time, particularly the first 2 out of my 6 cores. My overall CPU usage was at about 33% overall at the highest. So, both my CPU and GPU were barely being used at all, and my game was running pretty terribly overall for the kind of hardware I have, especially since I stress tested the game on Windows 7 with no highly noticeable framerate issues on the same hardware.

I can’t test the old OS again, but Bloodshot Stronghold regularly ran into the 40s on the GPU I had before this one, but ran perfectly on this one, along with all of my other laggy locations.

I heard this could be caused by CPU parking, which I heard cannot be turned off in Windows 10, and I completely disabled it in Windows 7, which is the biggest change I personally know of in my system. But, can that actually cause such terrible utilization across the board?

Of note, I could try searching for an old AMD driver from back before I got Windows 10, and see if putting that in there fixes the issues. But I doubt it will.