Although Epic Games gives away games for Christmas, not everything works for free. Whether by lousy design, hidden data collection or a combination of the two, Epic Games Launcher seems to run continuously with a kind of relatively demanding process in the background. This problem is so pronounced that a Reddit user by name Neoncarbon noticed that the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X free temps dropped from 50C to 37C when he shut down the app. We have actually proven this for ourselves as well, as you will see in the screenshots below. The strange thing is that other game store apps, such as GOG and Steam, do not display this behavior at all. What can Epic Games Launcher do in the background that raises CPU temps even when inactive, when other launchers do not have this problem?
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7;s Reddit post has evolved into people sharing similar experiences after shutting down the Epic Games Launcher. It seems that everyone who has the Epic Games launch in the background has higher CPU temps and usage, even when they are inactive on the desktop. However, it seems particularly pronounced on Ryzen processors such as Neoncarbon’s Ryzen 7 5800X. Again, we were also able to confirm this abnormal activity on one of our test beds, by driving a liquid-cooled AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080. In the first image below you will notice CPU temps on this well-cooled rig sits around 53C when the Epic Games launch is underway, and with about 2% CPU utilization from the app itself on a 16-core Zen 3 chip.
Using the same rig and looking at the task leader, we noticed that the Epic Games launcher lights up cores and keeps some of them lit even when they are apparently doing nothing and not even updating a game in the background.
Finally, these CPU temperatures and usage spikes are not typical of game starters. When experimenting with Steam and GOG launchers, CPU-free temps and usage remained nominal and much lower, after an initial brief increase in loading. So what’s really going on with the Epic Games Launcher that idle speeds are increasing and CPU usage is unnecessarily engaged?
Through testing on another personal machine, we noticed that Epic Games Launcher has five different processes open at once. Out of curiosity, we opened up Glasswire, which is a free network traffic monitor. We could see that the Epic Games Launcher and associated processes fired data on a regular basis to over 22 different servers. This happened whether we had the launcher open, minimized or in the background. The larger spikes shown in the Glasswire graph below are from when we opened the Epic Games launcher after closing it.
Another interesting discovery is that “EpicWebHelper” sent some data to the following URL:
In about an hour, Epic Games sent more data than 514 KB of data to any server (s) somewhere. This is more than 14 times what Steam and NVIDIA GeForce Experience sent in the background during the same time frame. While it remains to be seen if data collection is the cause of the problem with CPU usage, it smells a bit fishy here. In fact, it may be advisable to kill the Epic Games launch for now, when you are not actively using it.
That said, what do you make of these Epic Games launch screens? What do you see on your computer? Let us know in the comments below.