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How Much Does the CPU Affect the FPS?


Everyone wants the best experience when gaming or doing anything on the computer. However, the only way to get the best out of a computer is if it has the right hardware, like the CPU. Several factors can impact how smoothly a computer performs, and one of those factors is the frames per second (FPS). So, does your CPU affect the FPS? 

Quick Answer

To some degree, the CPU on your computer affects FPS only if it is a bottleneck. But the GPU has a greater influence on the FPS. When you pair the right GPU to an appropriate CPU, you will likely experience up to a 40% increase in your FPS

However, the main function of the CPU is to process instructions based on the user’s input. So, installing a more powerful CPU may not improve your FPS by a great deal, but it will improve the PC’s performance. Keep reading to learn more about the effect of CPU on FPS. 

Factors That Determine Whether the CPU Affects the FPS

If you want to improve the FPS on your PC and you are thinking of upgrading your CPU, it’s a great move. However, before you buy that upgraded CPU, several factors determine whether or not a CPU upgrade will increase the FPS on your PC. 

The bottleneck is one of the main factors that detects whether or not a CPU upgrade will be beneficial. The bottleneck is a situation that occurs when some components on your PC perform better than others. As a result, the faster component waits for, the slower component to complete a process. Since CPU and GPU are the main factors that affect FPS, below is how the bottleneck affects these parts. 

Factor #1: GPU Bottleneck 

When you look at the GPU bottleneck in the sense that you have a newer generation CPU and a slower or older generation GPU, the CPU will suffer from the GPU bottleneck. In other words, the CPU will have to wait for the GPU to complete processes before it can send more data. 

When your PC is experiencing a GPU bottleneck, the CPU will not perform efficiently. Hence, your CPU occasionally rises and falls after a certain level. But your GPU will constantly be performing at its peak. In such a situation, a CPU upgrade will not affect the FPS any more than it is already. What you need is a GPU upgrade to boot the FPS. 

Factor #2: CPU Bottleneck 

If the case were reversed and you have a slower and older CPU on your PC and a faster GPU, your PC will suffer from CPU bottleneck. In the case of a CPU bottleneck, the GPU will experience a lot of idle time waiting for data from the CPU.  

In the case of a CPU bottleneck, your CPU usage will constantly be high. Hence, upgrading your CPU will significantly improve the FPS of your PC. Since your GPU is not functioning optimally, a CPU upgrade will help your PC keep up with the GPU. 

How To Improve the FPS

If the FPS of your PC isn’t at the level you want, you can improve it. There are two ways you can go about improving your PC FPS. You can tweak hardware or software on your PC to improve the FPS. 

Tip #1: Hardware Tweak 

As we explained earlier, take note of hardware bottlenecks when upgrading hardware. When you need more FPS from your PC, upgrading specific hardware like your GPU, CPU, and RAM can help to improve it. Also, overclocking your hardware might help you get more out of it. And while you are considering making changes to specific hardware on your PC, consider the cooling system to prevent overheating

Tip #2: Software Tweak 

Another brilliant way to improve the FPS on your PC is by making changes to already existing components. You can consider lowering the resolution as this helps your PC process fewer pixels, improving the frame rates. Updating your drivers can also help boost the frame rate. And finally, consider performing a disk cleanup to remove system junk.  

Keep in Mind

It’s important to note that even with a great PC that produces a high FPS, your monitor can limit the refresh rate if it does not support it. 


Several other factors come to play when considering the amount of FPS a PC produces. While your CPU can affect the FPS of your PC, the degree to which it influences it depends on your PC’s specifications. And if you need more FPS from your PC, remember that apart from making changes to your hardware, you can also make software changes to already existing components. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Does your CPU GHz affect the FPS? 

The clock speed of your PC can influence the FPS of your PC, but there are more factors to consider. For example, a PC with a high clock speed but fewer cores and threads might not have as high an FPS as a PC with a lower clock speed and more cores and threads. Hence, whether the clock speed of your PC affects FPS is marginal, as other critical factors also come into play. 

Does CPU temperature affect the FPS? 

Ideally, the rise and fall in the CPU’s temperature do not directly impact the FPS the PC produces. However, when the temperature gets too high that it affects the normal working of the CPU, then the CPU not working efficiently is what affects the FPS. However, such a situation is uncommon as many CPUs are built with a mechanism that shuts the PC down automatically when the temperature is too high. 

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