In this article, I will explain what CPU and GPU bottleneck is, how it affects your gaming performance and how to fix CPU & GPU Bottleneck.
It’s Important to ensure that your CPU and GPU are of comparable quality whether you’re building your PC or customizing a new computer’s specs. To function properly, the GPU requires an equally powerful CPU. It does not work in isolation.
The components involved in the process of bottlenecking are our CPU and the GPU. And if they have considerable differences in processing speed, that’s when the bottleneck will happen.
So when we are talking about CPU bottleneck, it happens when the processor isn’t fast enough to process and transfer data from the graphics card. The same concept applies to GPU bottleneck, and only this happens if you pair a fast processor with an entry-level graphics card.
When you upgrade the GPU in your computer, you may experience a CPU bottlenecking issue. This is because the new GPU requires more bandwidth from the CPU than usual. To prevent this from happening, make sure to update both your CPU and GPU at the same time. But what is bottlenecking? And how can you prevent it from happening?
What is Bottlenecking?
One of the annoying aspects of PC gaming is bottlenecks. Your mouse gets crushed beneath your enraged hand as a result of keyboards being hurled against walls. The ultimate joy-killer and destroyer of gaming adventures are failing due to external factors rather than your own mistakes. A CPU or GPU bottleneck is most likely the cause of your experience. A bottleneck in regular traffic has a similar effect.
A bottleneck is a restriction that can’t handle all of the automobiles (or megabytes) that want to pass through it. A bottleneck occurs when your CPU or graphics card isn’t able to handle all of the data that needs to be processed at once. If at all, the data will not be processed in time. The game will not run smoothly and consistently when this happens. A bottleneck might be to blame if you’re experiencing significant FPS decreases.
When one data processing speed is not able to catch up with the other, a bottleneck occurs. If the CPU and GPU are not paired (i.e. If the CPU processing speed of your computer is slower than the GPU processing speeds, then CPU bottleneck can occur. The answer to the question “will my CPU bottleneck GPU” is “Yes”.
A high-speed gaming CPU can be paired with a slower budget CPU to ensure that the CPU continues to complete tasks as expected. The slower GPU will not keep up with the CPU at all times. A GPU bottleneck is when a CPU provides too much information relative to the speed of a GPU processing unit. We will see a drop in FPS when the GPU is unable to process data at the right time.
What Causes Bottleneck?
The bottleneck is caused by incompatible CPU and GPU, but games also contribute to this factor. CPU-dependent games usually have high frames per second rate with low-resolution Graphics.
Some of these games are:
- Grand Theft Auto 5
- Total War: WARHAMMER 2
- Far Cry 5
while games that show higher frame rates when paired with high-end graphics cards are GPU-dependent, such as:
- Battlefield 5
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood
- Forza Horizon 4
- Red Dead Redemption 2
That’s why it’s essential to choose a specific gaming setup and base it in line with what games you usually play will most likely avoid this problem.
Prevalent, Bottlenecks can be caused by a large discrepancy in your processing units or poor game design. They also depend on what game you play. To prevent FPS drops, build your computer according to the games you play. You should choose a more powerful GPU if you are playing GPU-dependent games and vice versa.
How to know if you’re experiencing a bottleneck.
You can download the monitoring software such as MSI Afterburner and open it while gaming. This will allow you to see every load on your CPU and GPU; use it if your CPU reflects high usage with low GPU.
Monitoring Your CPU & GPU
To identify potential bottlenecks, we recommend that you monitor both the CPU and GPU performance. Your CPU may be causing the problem if the CPU load exceeds the video card’s load by a substantial amount. There are many tools available to monitor your GPU and CPU.
After the MSI Afterburner has been opened and set, log your CPU and GPU usage when you are gaming. Or simply open the monitoring window when you are gaming. This will allow you to view every load on your GPU and CPU.
A CPU bottleneck is a CPU that has high CPU usage and low GPU usage. This also means that your game is CPU-dependent.
On the flip side, if your GPU loads spike while your CPU loads remain low, then you may have a GPU bottleneck. This means that the game depends on GPU.
The GPU Comparison tool can be used by GPU Check. The CPU GPU bottleneck calculator lets you input the model number of your CPU and GPU, as well as your preferred graphics settings. Next, select the CPU or GPU you wish to upgrade.
This tool will generate a report that includes more than 12 comparative benchmarks. You should focus on “CPU Impact On FPS,” which should not exceed 10%. This number will indicate if there is a mismatch between GPU and CPU, and if upgrading one component will solve the problem.
Methods To Fix CPU & GPU Bottleneck
You have a CPU bottleneck, and that game is CPU-dependent and vice versa. If you are experiencing this, you’re probably wondering if there is a way to fix it without the need to buy a new CPU or a GPU.
We have a few different methods for you to try.
Method 1: Increase In-Game Resolution
The best way to shift the CPU load to the GPU is to increase the resolution of your game. This can be done within the game’s settings. You can increase the resolution setting to increase the number of pixels rendered by the GPU. This will place more burden on the component.
You should not increase the resolution of the game to a higher resolution than your screen’s resolution. Display Settings has the Display Resolution option. You can check your screen’s resolution. You can increase the resolution of a game beyond what is displayed on your screen. This will cause your frame rate to drop and have the opposite effect.
Method 2: Close Unwanted Background Processess
Solution 1: Reduce the data that is waiting to be processed. This will resolve the bottleneck issue. The bottleneck component doesn’t have to be used at a high-level speed or at a high level to meet the requirement.
You can also address the bottleneck problem using the second method by decreasing the workload of the bottleneck. If the CPU bottleneck is occurring, you can stop unnecessary background processes using Task Manager. You will notice a significant increase in in-game FPS.
Method 3: You can overclock the CPU
Overclocking your CPU will increase your computer’s performance and reduce bottlenecks. However, not all CPUs can overclock.
Check to see if your CPU has an “unlocked multiplier” feature that allows you to overclock. This feature is available on all AMD CPUs and many Intel(r). Intel adds the letter K to any Intel Core(TM), i7-11700K, CPUs that can be overclocked.
Next, perform a CPU temperature test. This can be done with the Core Temp app. This allows you to monitor the temperature of your CPU at all times, across multiple cores. You must ensure that your temperature does not exceed 176Fdeg (80Cdeg) or you risk damaging your CPU and other components of your PC.
You can safely overclock your CPU by monitoring its temperature. These steps can be done within the BIOS:
- Go to Setting
- Select Security
- Navigate to recovery
- Select “Restart Now”
- After your computer has restarted, choose Troubleshoot from the menu
- Click Advanced Options then click UEFI firmware Settings
You will find the Advanced CPU Core Settings setting in the BIOS. This menu allows you to manually adjust the CPU multiplier.
It is a good idea to manually adjust the multiplier to one and reboot your computer to check if it helps with your CPU bottleneck. If it doesn’t, you can go into BIOS to adjust it again until the problem is resolved. During this process, keep an eye on temperature fluctuations.
Method 4: Overclock The Ram
RAM is directly related to the speed at which the CPU can process data. You can see a significant increase in performance and FPS by overclocking RAM.
Method 5: Lower the CPU-intensive game settings
You can adjust the game settings to free up CPU resources and fix CPU bottlenecks. These settings are usually related to AI, object position, and visibility distance.
Method 6: Lowering graphics and resolution
It isn’t much you can do about GPU bottlenecks in the software. You can only change the resolution and graphics settings in the game settings. This usually works, but it can lead to a lower visual quality game. If your GPU is old, you might not notice any improvement.
Method 7: Invest in CPU
If all else fails it might be time to upgrade your CPU. If your graphics card is not performing following your CPU, this is a good idea.
This is often the case when you swap your GPU for better graphics, but without having to change your CPU. This is where upgrading your CPU can help you achieve a greater balance between the components, optimizing game performance, graphics quality, and processing speed.
We recommend that you use the GPU comparison tool before upgrading. This will allow you to compare how your new CPU and your existing GPU. To avoid your GPU from becoming bottlenecked, it is best to have the load split evenly between the GPU and CPU.
Although it may seem difficult to identify and fix CPU bottlenecks, it is not impossible.
You can use the information and tools you have to diagnose and fix the problem. This includes changing the in-game settings, closing unnecessary applications, or overclocking your CPU. You might also find that certain games can cause a bottleneck in your system, regardless of whether they are compatible or not.
When you encounter a CPU bottleneck, the best thing is to change your in-game settings. You may have changed the game’s performance settings, which could cause it to run poorly.
This won’t solve every problem, but most CPU bottlenecks can be attributed to poor optimization. This is often fixed by optimizing your CPU’s performance.