What are CPU or GPU Bottlenecks?

Are you getting sudden frame drops? you might have a bottleneck.

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What are CPU or GPU Bottlenecks?

As a player have you come across a situation, where the speed of your game suddenly drops? This can be caused by a CPU or GPU bottleneck. The term bottleneck can be simply explained as a clogging mechanism. This can affect the performance of your hardware to a great extent. Besides, can even hinder your gaming experience by reducing the refresh rate. If you are new to the term “Bottlenecks”, then this article is a must-read for you. Here we will explain the two main types of bottleneck components. Moreover, we will even highlight the factors that cause them, and how it can be improved.

CPU Bottlenecks

1. What is it?

The CPU is one of the main components of your hardware. It is used to process and transfer data, in order to have a good gaming experience. However, when a CPU is not able to do either of the tasks quick enough, it may result in a lagging situation. This is known as a CPU bottleneck. Some of the games that can take a hit due to a CPU bottleneck are:-
  • Cities Skylines
  • Civilization V
  • Assassins Creed

2. What causes a CPU Bottleneck?

Apart from the above mentioned reason, there are numerous others as well. One of them is the configuration of your CPU in comparison to the GPU. If the CPU is not able to keep up with the speed of the GPU, it will lag behind and cause a bottleneck. An example is paring a GTX 1080 Ti graphics card with an AMD A6 5th generation processor. Thus, we say, the make, model, as well as the specification of the CPU, is a critical element to consider.

3. How can it be improved?

  • By matching the specifications of the CPU to the GPU.
  • Balancing the processing load put on the CPU.

GPU Bottlenecks?

1. What is it?

A graphics card of the computer is another component, that can cause a bottleneck or clogging. Only this time, it is solely based on the GPU of the system. This situation can affect the resolution of the game and can also reduce the FPS rate drastically. The overall concept is the same as a CPU bottleneck, which also creates a lagging effect. Here is a list of a few games that can be affected by a GPU bottleneck:-
  • The Witcher 3
  • Dying Light
  • Borderlands 2

2. What causes a GPU Bottleneck?

The most common reason why a GPU bottleneck would appear is due to the higher configuration of a CPU. Here is an example to explain the same. Imagine you are using the latest Intel Core i7 8700 K processor. However, you have paired it with a GT 1030 GPU. Since the processor is powerful enough to transfer data quickly. The outdated GPU will not be able to keep up with its speed. Hence, it will result in a GPU bottleneck.

3. How can it be improved?

  • By matching the specifications of the GPU to the CPU.
  • Balancing the processing load put on the GPU.
So, the next time you come face to face with a similar situation. Remember to keep these simple facts in mind to improve your gaming experience.

Discussion and Comments

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Swack! 11 months ago
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Impostor 1 year ago
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Alex 2 years ago
This article is too superficial. It basically says if the CPU is much weaker than the GPU, it will cause a bottleneck and vice-versa.
I was hoping to find out how to identify a CPU bottleneck from a GPU one and what game settings to change to address either.
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