How Does CPU Affect Gaming?

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Central Processing Unit, otherwise known as the CPU, is the core structure for gaming. Professional gamers invest the most of their budget for building a pc into the CPU only. It is because gaming performance mostly depends upon the CPU. Therefore, before building a custom PC or buying a new one you must have knowledge about how does CPU affect gaming.

The processing power of the CPU defines how smoothly your game would run. That is why it is imperative to get a good and powerful CPU spending upon the game you want to play. By CPU we generally think of a motherboard assembled with RAMs, storage device, Processor, power supply, etc. But in the case of gaming, the CPU refers to the core processor itself.

There are two major brands of CPU, Intel, and AMD which produce most of the power gaming CPUs. It is better to have a clear concept about the properties of CPUs for gaming purposes.

How Does CPU Affect Gaming? – Everything You Should Know

In modern times two major components of a PC to play high-end games are the GPU and the CPU. Comparing these two the CPU results in the ultimate gameplay. Nowadays, PC games are very heavy and require very high-performance speed. Depending on which the game runs. 

Besides, you cannot even install some games on your PC if it doesn’t require the minimum CPU speed it requires. The CPU of the PC is divided into core numbers. Among these, there is some performance core specially made for doing very high quality and loaded works. 

The processing power of the performance core of the CPU is the highest. Other core acts as the supporting role to the CPU. By combining the clock speeds of every core of a CPU, games run smoothly. If the CPU is not powerful enough then it cannot run the game. 

Even if it does, the game would not run properly. The gameplay would be choppy and laggy. Besides, some physical phenomena such as CPU overheating may also occur which is not good for the PC. That is why it is imperative to get your PC upgraded to the latest CPU in the market. And if you are a full-time professional gamer, then using a powerful CPU is a must.

How does the CPU affect gaming?

The CPU of a PC plays the lead role to run good quality and heavy games. There are several ways a CPU affects smooth and constant gaming without dropping the gameplay performance.

Allowance to install the game

In today’s world, most PC games come with huge system requirements just for installation. You could bypass this requirement and install games in the past but not anymore. If the CPU of your PC can not deliver the required minimum sequential processing speed then the games could not be installed. 

In many cases, you may require overclocking the CPU but that’s a risk and cause permanent damage to your CPU. Alongside that, the CPU must have enough processing power to run the background system software which is mandatory as well. Overall, to remain on the safe side, you should get a quite powerful CPU to run the game without compromising anything.

Reduction of Frame Rate (FPS)

To determine how smooth your game is run by the CPU you can check the FPS. It is the frame rate per second. It highly depends upon the power of the CPU. To run high-end games with maximum FPS, it is imperative to get a powerful CPU as well. 

Otherwise, in lower FPS settings, you cannot enjoy the game. It is because the games lag a lot and stock up in intense situations if you are playing online games. Moreover, in offline games, the movements, Cut scenes, movement of the main character, or the NPCs depend upon the CPU speed as well. 

The higher the CPU speed is the higher FPS you will experience while playing any game. On the contrary, budget or less powerful CPUs will result in delivering you an irritating and annoying gameplay experience by lowering the frame rate.

Overheating and loss of performance

Another way for the CPU to affect gaming is overheating. When a CPU runs with a high load, it consumes more electricity than usual. And, gaming is something that uses most of the power of the CPU to run better. Therefore, a very high amount of current passing through the CPU makes it get overheated. 

Now, with the increase in temperature, the flow of current is disrupted. For this reason, the gaming performance drops drastically when the CPU overheats. For that, the CPU requires cooling constantly. The new generation of CPUs comes with a liquid cooling system. This is lacking in older CPUs. This way gaming experience can be affected highly due to the CPU power.

Affecting the visual graphics and gameplay

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) ensures the high-quality graphics and visuals of the game. But it is also supported by the CPU of the PC. You cannot get a heavy graphical and smooth gameplay at the same time if your CPU is not powerful enough. Some of the graphical units take the power from the CPU.

Besides, rendering of the objects and characters of the game uses the power from the CPU. That is why, even if you have a good GPU but an older CPU, you cannot expect quality gameplay with good graphics at the same time.

Here we added a comparison video between two different clock speeds CPU. Watch that for better understanding:


Professional gaming and esports are trending in modern times. Many of the gamer’s living expenses also come from gaming. Hence, the CPU plays a massive role in building up a PC, especially for gaming purposes. 

Newbies and beginners may not know about the importance of a CPU for gaming. Therefore, they should have a clear concept about how does CPU affect gaming if they are willing to get to the full gaming profession. This way, you can know what type of CPU you need and the cost of the CPU for your gaming career. 

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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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