What Does a CPU Do for Gaming?

The CPU handles the loading of assets, and all of the generated NPCs, draw distances in-game, and will directly impact your FPS (Frames Per Second). To avoid a bottleneck, your CPU and GPU must be within the same performance range.

My name is Ty Robinson. I have worked in the tech field for years but have been the resident IT helper at home since elementary school. I will share some of my techy knowledge with you now!

Throughout this article, I will explain how the CPU is a crucial part of the day-to-day function of your computer as a whole and of your gaming experience as well. 

Key Takeaways

  • The CPU is the brain of your PC.
  • CPU Cores act as individual CPUs, which games with more graphical power take advantage of.
  • Pairing your CPU with a GPU of equal level will avoid bottlenecking your system

What is a CPU?

The CPU or Central Processing Unit is what delegates tasks to all of the parts, and makes sure they are carried out efficiently and effectively. It tells the GPU to generate the smoke of a fire, or the RAM to load a task onto it to free up read and write space on your drive. 

Depending on the type of games you are interested in playing, you will need to purchase your CPU accordingly. A high-level CPU won’t be needed to play smaller indie games, so if that is all you’re interested in, a mid-range to low-range processor should be enough. 

Some CPU-intensive games include total war games or ones where multitudes of NPCs are on screen simultaneously. The CPU handles draw distances during gameplay, loading other assets, and it has a direct impact on the number of frames you will be able to get. 

CPU During Gaming and CPU Cores

Below I will go into detail on how the CPU’s parts are utilized during gameplay.

How Cores Impact Gaming

CPUs all come with a certain number of cores. Each core acts as its processor, allowing a lot of tasks to be processed at once. Just like how the human brain can send multiple messages out to the body at once. 

With the advancements in graphics and gaming in general, triple-A titles will make use of multiple CPU cores at once. Taking that into account, if you have anything running in the background, those will also take up cores. So the higher the core count, the more you can run.

A mid-range CPU like the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 comes with 6 cores.

Clock Speeds on a CPU for Gaming

The clock speeds are essentially how fast the CPU can complete a cycle in a single second. So the higher the clock speed, the faster your CPU will be able to process and execute everything, in turn, increasing gaming performance.

Using the same CPU as before, the Ryzen 5 3600 we can see that it has a base clock speed of 3.6GHz.  Anything between 3.5GHz and 4GHz is considered a very good speed for gaming. So pairing that with the 6 cores you get, this is shaping up to be a good CPU for gaming!

Picking the Right CPU for You

To pick the best CPU for gaming, you need to take into consideration what kind of games you want to play, so that your CPU can do its best job for what you’re looking for. Will you be doing anything like streaming during your gaming sessions?

If you are going to be streaming it is best to go for a CPU that has at least 8 cores.

What is Bottlenecking?

A PC bottleneck refers to when one component severely limits the functionality and capacity of the other components. For example, if you have a speedy and powerful GPU, but purchase a very lackluster and cheap CPU. This will hinder the performance of your system greatly. 

Since we chose the Ryzen 7 5800x above, we need to find a GPU of equal strength. The RX 6700xt would be a great choice to pair with this.

Final Thoughts

The CPU is a vital part of your computer, and delegates tasks to the rest of the parts. During gaming sessions, the CPU is responsible for telling which parts to do what, as well as rendering the NPCs you see and the Draw Distances.

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