Is CPU or GPU More Important For Gaming? – Know the right thing

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CPU and GPU- both are processors but have individual purposes and building architecture. Even their clock speed isn’t similar because of their difference in cores. While talking about gaming, the vital role of both CPU and GPU is questioned. A common question is roaming around us- “is CPU or GPU more important for gaming?“. 

Specifically, if the talk is about gaming, then GPU is more important than the CPU. Gaming isn’t all about processing game data that’s done by the CPU. There are graphics activities and many more algebraic operations. The GPU is much more reliable in the case of gaming operations. 

However,  the GPU is nothing if the CPU is dead. The CPU is the brain of a computer system. And, the CPU sends necessary commands to the GPU. Though GPU is almost everything for gaming, it’s immobile without the CPU. 

What does the CPU do for gaming? 

Most of us think that only the GPU plays a big role while gaming. Now, you’ll understand the CPU’s contribution to gaming

Process gaming data

Without processing data, it’s difficult to continue the smooth gameplay. Suppose, you’re playing a warfare game on your PC. When you get a kill, the CPU calculates it and helps to update the screen. 

The CPU takes the decision of which character in the game has to kill. Your input is mandatory to make the right decision, but the CPU does the real execution. 

Controls input section

Inputs are fully controlled as well as processed by the CPU. When you move your mouse to aim and click the fire button, the CPU understands this. 

The CPU calculates how much movement needs to happen during the gameplay. It performs necessary processes in a short time to show you the desired output. 

Instructs the GPU

The GPU is a processing unit but it listens to the CPU instructions. More clearly, the CPU tells the GPU what data has to render at a specific time. The CPU’s responsibility is to describe various objects to the GPU. Their location and other information are passed to the GPU by the CPU. 

It’s impossible for the GPU to render graphics of a game without the command of the CPU. Though the GPU’s task is much more demanding, we can’t neglect the CPU’s vital role here.  

What does the GPU do for gaming? 

We all know that the GPU helps in graphics rendering while gaming. But, the CPU’s contributions are much bigger and we’ve tried to picturise them here. 

Helps in graphics rendering

Graphics rendering is possible with the help of a graphics card. The GPU helps to render graphics data efficiently. GPUs are primarily designed so that they can render images quickly. There are some games that require 3D rendering. The most powerful CPU can’t even cope with a medium-range GPU in 3D rendering. 

Efficient calculating

GPU helps to run algebra calculations much more efficiently and in parallel. You’ll find the use of GPUs for physics calculations in the game. Also, GPU has a vast use in lighting evaluations. Basically, the GPU computes most of what you see in a game.

Is CPU or GPU More Important For Gaming? – Informative Comparison

So, the argument on CPU vs GPU continues. Let’s check a comparison chart between them before starting the main discussion. 

CPU is designed to handle a wide range of tasks rapidly. GPU is designed to render high-resolution images as well as videos quickly. 
More memory is required for the CPU as it processes various kinds of data. GPU consumes less memory than the CPU.
The speed of the CPU is slightly less than the GPU.The speed of the GPU is higher than the CPU. 
In the case of serial instruction processing, the CPU is an expert. GPU isn’t pro in serial instruction processing like the GPU. 

From the table above, you’ve understood some basic differences between the CPU and GPU. Their field of application isn’t similar though. CPU is the brain of a computer system. The arithmetic logic unit and the control unit are inherited by the CPU. So, processing any kind of game data is a headache for the CPU. 

On the flip side, GPU especially renders the graphics of the game. It receives instruction from the CPU and works according to the direction. The GPU has more arithmetic logic units than the CPU and so, it’s powerful in logical operations. 

However, GPU is essential for smooth gameplay and nice graphics. But, the GPU is useless without the CPU’s instruction. We can’t postpone any of their role in the case of gaming. 

Frequently Asked Question

This part reveals some popular questions related to the CPU and GPU in gaming. 

Should I spend more on CPU or GPU?

If your purpose is playing games without lagging and frame drops, go for GPU investment. GPU is the primary driver for most of the games. The performance of a mid-range CPU is enough to operate a game with high graphics. So, we prefer investing in GPU over CPU.

Does the CPU matter if you have a good GPU?

A good GPU helps render the graphics of the game precisely. That’s why you need to focus on the GPU more than the CPU. If the CPU isn’t from the very old generation, then it won’t matter. You’ll get smooth gameplay along with the ultimate performance.

Do you need a good processor if you have a good GPU?

A good processor helps in improving the overall performance of your PC. On the other hand, the contribution of GPUs is in graphics rendering. You need to perform many more activities on your PC unless you play games all day long. Therefore, a good processor also matters a lot. 

Here we attached a tutorial video about – how do CPU and GPU affect video games:


The controversy between the CPU and GPU won’t ever end. Since we have to finalize our selection, we recommend going for the GPU. So, is CPU or GPU more important for gaming? Yes, smooth, lag-free gaming is unimaginable without a good GPU. 

That doesn’t mean we encourage you to play high-end games with a top GPU, but the old CPU. The CPU can handle a wide range of tasks while gaming. Most importantly, it receives your output commands and takes measures accordingly. 

What if you try to run a high graphics game without the GPU but on a top-rated CPU? The game can’t be played smoothly and the frame drops will be extreme. So, the importance of GPU is inevitable in the case of gaming. 

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Gary Scott

Hi There, I am Gary Scott, a Computer Engineer, and owner of this website. My friend and I created this website to share our knowledge, expertise, and experience with our fellow Computer community and pc enthusiast. I am a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). I have been writing for Motherboard, CPU, GPU, RAM, Power Supply, Intel/AMD comparisons, CPU/GPU benchmarking, Gaming performance, Xbox, Play Station, and How to build your own PC. I will be regularly updating this website with new resources, If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

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