Does CPU Affect FPS?

Yes, a computer’s CPU can affect FPS. However, there are other aspects that will affect FPS as well.

I’m Anthony, and I have been working on computers for 8+ years. This time has given me experience building computers for gaming, and seeing what components affect the framerate of different games.

Today we will discuss whether CPU affects FPS, as well as other factors that may go into the framerate of games.

Key Takeaways

  • Yes, CPU can affect FPS.
  • Other aspects can affect FPS as well.
  • You can check if your CPU is slowing things down using software.

Does CPU Affect FPS?

CPU has a large impact on the framerate of your games. This is because the CPU processes the logical data for games. In other words, the physics and other aspects of games are processed by the CPU. The graphics can be as well, with integrated graphics on some CPUs.

This also means that there are various factors in what allows a CPU to process at faster speeds. Generally, the faster the speed, the faster the framerate. This makes sense, since a faster processing time would allow for more to be done in the same amount of time.

Below we will discuss some of the factors that may affect a CPUs ability to process quickly, such as the number of cores, the speed of each core and the temperature of the CPU itself.


The number of cores in a processor is an important consideration. This is because the number of cores allows your computer to run multiple calculations at the same time, or split up a calculation between multiple cores. 

This would allow your speed to get higher than it would as a single core. Most games today require processors that use four cores, and the games being created now are becoming more efficient with using multiple cores. This means higher core count will increase FPS.


The speed of each core will make a difference as well. The speed of a core refers to how many times its transistors can be turned on and off per second. The more it can be turned on and off, the faster it can process instructions each second.

The higher the speed, the better the FPS will be while playing games. The speed is often measured in GHz and modern CPUs are reaching speeds of up to 5 GHz per second.


The CPUs temperature can matter, but usually only in extreme circumstances. Modern CPUs are built to withstand some high temperatures, but have safeguards in place for when the temperature reaches too high of a level.

When this happens, the CPU will be throttled down to a lower level or speed, and will be unable to perform the same. In order to combat this, make sure the CPU has adequate thermal paste, a good heat sink and proper cooling through either water or fans.

Other Aspects That Affect FPS

Besides CPU, there are a few other factors that affect FPS as well.

Graphics Card

A graphics card will help take some load off of a CPU. This is important for FPS since integrated graphics rely on processors doing both the visual aspect and the logical aspect. Taking the visual aspect out of the equation for a CPU will provide higher FPS and smoother play.


The RAM is also important, although some games may need more RAM than others. Games require some aspects to be stored in a way that requires quick access. This means that you want larger RAM amounts so you can store more for quicker access, achieving higher FPS.


The monitor can make a difference as well. If your monitor’s refresh rate is too low, you will not be able to reach certain FPS. However, most modern monitors are built with 60 Hz refresh rate at a minimum, allowing you to get 60 FPS assuming your computer can handle that.


Here are a few other questions you might have about CPU and FPS.

Are Games CPU Intensive?

Some games are more CPU-intensive than others. These tend to be strategy games where the processor has to compute more logic than graphics. This would be a reason to get a stronger processor than a graphics card if you prefer these kinds of games.

How Do I Know If My CPU Is Slowing Things Down?

You can download a benchmark program, such as MSI Afterburner. It will run your computer to its limits, and report back on how each component performed. This is useful for giving you a place to start when upgrading aspects of your computer.

Is There a Way of Cooling Down My CPU More?

The best way of cooling down a CPU the most is using water cooling. This is an efficient way of cooling, as the water absorbs the heat quickly and is recycled through a water cooler which allows it to absorb more heat.

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