High CPU Usage Problem

I noticed last night in the task manager that the system process, or ntoskrnl.exe, is taking up an extreme amount of my CPU up to 30-50% constantly spiking up and down. I’ve basically tried everything I know to fix the issue, I’ve factory reset my pc and installed all of the latest drivers. What’s interesting that I noticed though is that this is only happening on games with easy anti-cheat, it happens on Lost Ark and also BDO which uses EAC. However when I go to play a game like CSGO it doesn’t happen or any other game that doesn’t use EAC for that matter. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated as this basically makes the game unplayable from the insane amounts of stuttering caused by the CPU usage.


I had opened a thread with some details on this issue here: Perf impact of 3/23 EAC update is unacceptable

cc @Roxx

Oh nice, thanks for letting me know. Glad to see that I’m not the only one with this issue, will definitely check the thread out.

i have a similar problem, my game started to underperform from nowhere since like 3 days ago when i was playing it just fine, right now the game is being played on lower fps and i don’t know why or how can i fix it

Hello @benson,

I apologise to you for the experience you are having with Lost Ark. I would like to ask you to try disabling area chat once to see if it reduces the high cpu usage and any micro stuttering that’s resulting because of it. You can right click the chat tab in chat area and there you will find the option to disable area chat.

Im recommending the above as its a step I tried personally to reduce lag spikes and micro stuttering and it seemed to be beneficial for me. However if this step is not per your preference please look into the ones below, unless you have already given them a try:

  1. Ensure your video drivers are up to date.

  2. Set Windows power settings to High Performance. If your computer power profile isn’t set to High performance, it could be throttling performance.

    To access Power Options in Windows:

    a) Press Windows + R, type "powercfg.cpl" into the Run window, and then press Enter.
    b) Select the radio button next to the High performance power plan. You may need to click Show additional plans first.
  3. Clean boot Windows to reduce startup applications/Check for Malware. Follow the instructions at How to perform a clean boot in Windows. Clean booting into Windows prevents any unnecessary programs or services from starting up, and can help narrow down the cause of your issues. If you continue to have trouble after performing a clean boot, it’s safe to assume that background programs and services aren’t the root cause, and you can go back to your normal startup.

If none of the above steps work to resolve your concern then please reach out to our live support team:

Please share the link of this post with the connecting agent as it can help then in providing a resolution better and if your issue is not resolved by then a ticket will be created for you if necessary. I wish you a wonderful day ahead and great adventures in Lost Ark :smiley:

Shit I just noticed this thread and made a new one before seeing this one.

I think its the same issue that I noticed. System process Erraticlly going up and down since (Today?)

The system process going up and down in a repeated pattern?For me it goes from 1%-8% (have a 9900k)
This wasn’t a thing a week ago as I check the task manager alot as a habit.

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Hello @wiseolddude,

I hope you are doing well. You could try the steps I’ve mentioned above once to see if it is alleviating your issue. Additionally if its not too much trouble I would also like to advise to reinstall the game once, just in case. :slight_smile:

None of those suggestions work.Even my friends have noticed the system/ntoskrnel acting on a repeated pattern going up and down. (I straight up asked them to look up their task manager and if the process is doing something wierd)

Something changed with the game very recently.

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Hi @Nimbus94,

The issue still the same. I always set my PC performance to “High Performance”.

I did test several way and check whether it is my computer issue, and below is my result:

  1. If I running other game or program, the Window process “System” will NOT made the CPU % usage high. Not even raising.

  2. If I running Lost Ark, “System” CPU usage is high and cause lag/frame rate drop.

  3. I confirm that this issue did not happen before this recent patch,.

My opinion:

  1. Lost Ark should not cause other process high usage in CPU especially Windows Process.
  2. Problem with recent patch.

Kindly Check and duplicate in your end.

@wiseolddude @Monies Thank you for sharing your feedback regarding the troubleshooting steps provided. I would like to advise you to reach out to our live support so they can assess the situation once and create a ticket if needed as that is the fastest way to get this bug escalated to the appropriate team. I will be escalating this from my end as well.

Unfortunately, these troubleshooting steps are not related to this issue.

Please refer to the linked threads detailing the System (kernel) process CPU spiking on a regular interval since yesterday’s EAC update.

This behavior occurs independent of environment variance and is easily reproduced on both Win10 and 11 systems on a clean install.

true it rly happens, checked it myself, but idk if its a problem

@wintermoot Thank you, I’ll make sure to check that out.

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Sorry, I guess this thread was not linked yet. Here is the link! Perf impact of 3/23 EAC update is unacceptable

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Same problem here, until yesterday it worked normally, after the patch it hangs in the dg or raid every 10~15 seconds, impossible to play.

clean booting worked for a while but then it turned into the same pattern of fps dropping, 10-15 min low fps then 5 minutes of high fps, over and over

Same problem since last patch, low fps, high CPU usage, random freezing everywhere

mesmo problema aqui, e acabei de criar um topico!

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Me and some of my friends have the same problem. I got freeze of 4-5 second, in guardian raid and chaos dungeon is a very big problem. No such thing happened before the 24-3 patch

Get a stutter anytime you open a menu screen for the first time. Stutters like crazy when loading into any city for a good 10 seconds. Get a stutter anytime you see a chatbox pop up for the first time, whether it be an NPC or an emote.

The performance of this game is far and away the worst I’ve seen of any game in the last 10 years.