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Last updated on September 1st, 2020 at 03:41 pm

What Is a CPU GPU Bottleneck? [Simple Answer]

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Last updated on October 12th, 2020 at 09:26 am

CPU GPU bottlenecks can hurt your gaming performance and experience. But, what is a CPU GPU bottleneck? Here is everything you need to know.

How Does a CPU Bottleneck Happen?

A CPU bottleneck happens when the CPU is not capable of keeping up with the GPU hence the drop in framerates.

You can experience slowdowns or stuttering spoiling your gaming experience. It is something like having water flowing from a pipe. You know the pipe is able to discharge 5 litres of water per second.

If you connect a hose to it that allows it to discharge water at 3 liters per second you are causing a bottleneck because you are limiting the amount of water it can maximally discharge.

An example is having a custom built PC having an Intel Core i3 and a RTX 3070. A CPU bottleneck will happen because the Intel Core i3 won’t be able to keep up with the processing speed of the RTX 3070. How does CPU bottleneck GPU.

A CPU/GPU Bottleneck Happening

In the video, notice how the game is stuttering? This is because the CPU usage is at 100% but the GPU is not.

This is a perfect example of a CPU bottleneck. The GPU has to “wait” for the CPU to process the data before it can send more. That is why the GPU usage rises and falls but the CPU is always at 100%.

What Is A GPU Bottleneck?

Just like there is a CPU bottleneck there is also a GPU bottleneck. A GPU bottleneck is vice versa of a CPU bottleneck.

A GPU that is incapable of keeping up with the processing speed of the CPU.

An example is having an Intel Core i7-8700K paired with a GT 1030 graphics card. The GT 1030 won’t be able to keep up because the i7 can process games much faster.

Other causes of CPU/GPU Bottleneck

Apart from the CPU/GPU components games also contribute to causing bottlenecks. Games are made different we have the CPU dependent games such as Resident Evil 7 and GPU dependent games like Crysis 3. CPU dependent games have high framerates on low settings.

GPU dependent show low frame rates on low settings if the GPU is not strong enough but if played on a more powerful GPU there’s considerable improvement in frame rates.

How to improve a bottleneck

You can’t fix a bottleneck but only reduce its effects. You need to find the right components that will be able to optimize their performance very well. to play your type of games.

Going by this won’t fix or get rid or get rid of it but it will make sure the effects are greatly reduced.

How Do I Know If My CPU is Bottlenecking my GPU?

If your CPU usage is very high – higher than your GPU. Then there is a high chance that your CPU is bottlenecking your GPU. Because in gaming, the GPU usage has to be higher than the CPU. Since its the main component responsible for handling graphics.

Task manager is a great way to monitor CPU and GPU usage. Open Task manager by pressing CTRL + ALT + DELETE. Then head over to the performance tab to take a look at the CPU and GPU usage graphics.

MSI Afterburner is another great software to monitor CPU and GPU usage.

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