GPU vs CPU: What Matters Most for PC Gaming

GPU vs CPU: What Matters Most for PC Gaming

Some gaming PC decisions are straightforward. For example, the answer to whether you should upgrade the storage space on your hard disc drive or solid-state drive is most likely a resounding “Yes!”

Other decisions, on the other hand, are far more difficult. Knowing whether to upgrade your CPU or GPU, for example, is much more difficult. We’re here to assist you with that decision.

CPU and GPU overview

What is the CPU

The central processing unit (CPU), also known as the “processor,” executes and controls the instructions of a computer program by performing input/output (I/O) operations, basic arithmetic, and logic. The CPU is an important component of any computer because it receives, directs, and processes data.

Because it is usually the most critical component, it is frequently referred to as the “brain” or “heart” of the desktop or laptop PC, depending on which body part you consider being the most important. And when it comes to gaming, it’s a critical component of the system.

A CPU The term “core” also refers to the CPU’s processor; they are all synonyms. Traditionally, processors had only one core that focused on a single task. Today’s CPUs, on the other hand, have between 2 and 28 cores, each of which focuses on a specific task. A multi-core processor, then, is a single chip with two or more CPU cores.

Furthermore, CPUs with more cores are more efficient than those with fewer cores. Dual-core (or 2-core) processors are common, but quad-core processors (for example, 8th Generation Intel® CoreTM processors) are becoming more popular.

What is the GPU

A graphics processing unit (GPU), also known as a graphics card or video card, is a specialized electronic circuit that speeds up the creation and rendering of images, videos, and animations. It performs quick math calculations while freeing up the CPU to do other things.

There are two types of GPUs: integrated (or embedded) GPUs that live directly on the CPU and share memory with it. The other is a separate GPU with its own card and memory.

When it comes to playing certain types of games, the GPU is an extremely important component of a gaming system, and in many cases, even more, important than the CPU.

Simple explanation: A GPU is a single-chip processor that is primarily used to manage and improve video and graphics performance.

What’s the “core” difference between CPU and GPU

While a CPU has several cores dedicated to sequential processing, a GPU is designed for multitasking; it has hundreds to thousands of smaller cores that can handle thousands of threads (or instructions) at the same time.

Some CPUs employ Hyper-Threading technology, which allows a single CPU core to function as two distinct virtual (or “logical”) cores or threads. The idea is that they can share the workload and increase the number of instructions acting on separate data while running concurrently, resulting in faster performance.

What is more important for PC gaming: CPU or GPU

Many consider the GPU to be the most important component for PC gaming. This is because the GPU is responsible for rendering the images, scenes, and animations that you see. The majority of today’s fast-paced games are extremely demanding for the type of rendering power provided by the GPU. Simultaneously, these games are designed to take advantage of the multiple cores and threads offered by newer CPUs.

Both the CPU and the GPU are crucial in their own right. Demanding games necessitate both an intelligent CPU and a powerful GPU. However, the question of how significant they are for PC gaming is dependent on what they will be used for first and foremost, and which games in particular.

During a game, CPUs are assigned tasks that the GPU isn’t particularly good at, such as the artificial intelligence (AI) functionality of non-player characters (NPC). Many tasks, however, are better suited to the GPU.

Some games perform better with more cores because they make use of them. Others may not be able to because they are only programmed to use one core and the game runs faster with a faster CPU. Otherwise, it will not be able to run and will be sluggish.

Minecraft, for example, only uses one core and thus does not require additional power. In this case, the only factor influencing frames per second (FPS) during the game is the CPU’s speed.

Which game types require more labor from the CPU

Today’s fast-paced games, such as first-person shooters (FPS), multiplayer games, open sandbox games, and others, are designed to take advantage of the latest CPUs and their multi-cores and threads. In fact, they expect them to perform well.

For example, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 recommends at least a quad-core processor: either the Intel i5-2500K, which has four cores and four threads, or the AMD Ryzen R5 1600X, which has six cores and twelve threads.

However, the game recommends an AMD Ryzen 1800X (an 8-core processor with 16 threads) or an Intel i7-8700K for competitive players using high refresh-rate monitors (1080p) (which has 6 cores and 12 threads). The 8th Generation Intel i7-8700K is one of the fastest processors available from Intel, with some of the highest clock speeds (boost speed at 4.7 GHz).

Similarly, quad-core processors are recommended by the acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft: Intel i7-4770 (4 cores, 8 threads) or AMD FX-8310 (8 cores, 8 threads) or better.

Which game types require more labor from the GPU

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 recommends GeForce GTX 1080 or Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics cards for more competitive players. These are high-end cards suitable for gaming at 1440p Quad HD (QHD) or higher-refresh rate monitors, as well as VR headsets.

However, you must ensure that you have a monitor that meets these specifications (for example, one with 144 Hz refresh rates), or the higher-end, and more expensive, the graphics card will be useless. The opposite is also true: if your monitor only supports 60 Hz refresh rates, it won’t be able to keep up with a more powerful, pixel-pushing card.

Most modern games demand a lot of the GPU, perhaps even more than the CPU. Processing 2D and 3D graphics, rendering polygons, mapping textures, and other tasks necessitate the use of powerful, fast GPUs. The more frames you get per second, the faster your graphics/video card (GPU) can process information.

For Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, for example, the recommended graphics are an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4GB, GTX 1060 6GB, or Radeon R9 390/AMD RX 580. All of these cards are considered mid-range and are suitable for 1080p gaming as well as running games at medium or even high settings at higher resolutions. The 1080p designation refers to a resolution (Full HD) of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Should I upgrade my GPU or CPU

In an ideal world, you would simply purchase the best of both. Unfortunately, budget constraints may force you to choose between the two, at least for the time being.

Many games now use more cores as a matter of course (the quad-core CPU appears to be the most common), resulting in faster and higher FPS rates. So, if they aren’t prohibitively expensive, you should probably go with the slightly higher-priced quad-core processors.

Unless your GPU is also an older and less powerful version, current dual-core processors can bottleneck your graphics card and cause your gaming performance to suffer.

Quad-core CPUs are also less expensive, more powerful, and less sluggish than previous generations. More cores in your system make sense as newer and newer games rely on multiple cores rather than just CPU speed.

In fact, if you’re a die-hard gamer looking ahead and want to ensure that you’ll be able to run the most power-hungry triple-A (AAA) games in the future – and, more importantly, that you can afford the exorbitant prices – it may make even more sense to go with the premium options in either CPU or GPU.

The Intel Core i9 series is one of the most powerful Intel processors on the market today. With 8 cores and 16 threads, both the i9-8950HK and the i9-9900K offer insanely fast gameplay processing power and speed.

If you own or plan to purchase a 4K/Ultra High Definition (UHD) monitor with more than 8 million pixels, you should consider upgrading your GPU to a card like the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. However, this costs more than $1,000.

Things to consider when upgrading your GPU

If you are thinking of upgrading your GPU, here are a few things to consider:

1. Monitor resolution: 

Most graphics cards today meet the 1080p resolution gaming requirements. However, a high-end card is required to match any monitor with a resolution of 1440 pixels or higher, including QHD, WQHD, UHD, or 4K.

2. Refresh rate:

If your monitor has a refresh rate of 144 Hz or higher, you’ll also need a card that can keep up with it. At the same time, a monitor with a refresh rate of 60 Hz does not require a powerful and expensive graphics card.

3. Memory: 

Memory is important outside of the CPU. Your GPU should have at least 4GB of RAM for intense 1080p gaming, and at least 8GB for 4K mega-gaming.

4. Form factor:

Heck, the graphics card specs are important because the height, length, and girth are all important measurements to consider for your GPU. It must fit into your gaming system or case.

Graphics cards are available in half-height, full-height, single-slot, dual-slot, and other configurations. Do your homework to avoid extra costs and disappointment when it comes time to install it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *