Hardware is king when it comes to gaming. In other words, the type of games a computer can run is a function of its hardware.
The hardware in question includes the CPU, RAM, graphics card (GPU), and storage. But for the sake of this post, we’ll focus only on the CPU.
The CPU is likened to the brain in humans. Without it, the computer can’t function smoothly. As a gamer, the primary focus when buying a computer is the capacity of the hardware.
Now the question is, what does a CPU do for gaming?
In addition to answering the question on the contribution of CPU for gaming, we’ll look at the meaning of CPU, role CPU plays in a computer, and then things to consider when choosing CPU for a game you’re building.
What is A CPU?
In today’s gaming world with increased computer builders, ability to put the right components together determines the rebuild’s success.
As we said earlier, the CPU is the computer’s brain. Now think for a second. Without the brain, what would become of humans? One wouldn’t have been able to process information or tell other organs what to do.
That is why when the brain stops working, a human being’s entire organ and bodily function stops.
So, what’s a CPU? The full meaning of CPU is central processing unit. The CPU helps execute instructions from other programs.
The CPU boasts billions of transistors that run several calculations with an incredible speed. Its calculations help to run the software that allows the computer to perform various tasks.
What Role Does A CPU Play In A Computer?
The CPU plays a crucial role in the computer system. But how does it help to improve the gaming experience for gamers? We’ll revisit this later in this post.
The CPU interprets binary signals, a move that allows it to complete multiple actions and calculations, including running applications in the computer in three ways.
Here are the three ways CPUs run applications in a computer system:
Fetch: This process involves pulling information from the computer. The CPU travels to the computer’s memory and draws data from it, which it stores in a specific area of its control unit known as the instruction register (IR).
Decode: Here, the central process unit moves the instruction from the IR to the instruction decoder. When the instruction gets to the decoder, the combinatorial circuit helps to decode the instruction into signals.
Execution: Signals decoded travel to the portion of the CPU for execution.
The CPU plays other crucial roles in the computer. It works with other components to ensure the computer functions smoothly. An example of such a component is the graphics card.
Another function the CPU performs that makes it relevant is moving data from the hard drive into its memory for easy and quick access.
So, you can see the numerous functions of the CPU. All these functions make the central processing unit important to a computer, and they’re the reason it’s the computer’s brain.
When the computer is in use, the CPU is always busy doing complex calculations, logic, arithmetic, running tasks, etc.
The CPU tells the GPU what to do. It also collects information from the RAM and executes it.
Now the question is, how crucial is the CPU for gaming? What exactly does it do for gaming? Let’s discuss it.
What Does A CPU Do For Gaming?
Let’s start by saying your GPU (graphics card) cannot function without the CPU. Of course, if your computer’s GPU doesn’t work, you can’t use it for gaming.
So what role does the CPU perform?
The CPU takes data sent from the video game and moves it to the graphics card for processing.
The GPU (graphics card) is the driving force of your computer’s display, and it remains the primary power source for gaming performance.
Unfortunately, the GPU is nothing without the CPU. It needs the CPU to tell it what to display on your monitor. So, if the CPU doesn’t help your GPU, it won’t know what to display on your screen.
So, the GPU is responsible for generating the graphics on your screen. But note that having a powerful GPU and a weak CPU will have a negative impact on your gaming experience.
A weak CPU will affect your game’s framerate, and you know what that would translate into – a poor gaming experience.
Is the GPU more important than the CPU for gaming? The answer is yes, but balancing both pieces of hardware’s capabilities is essential.
Mounting a powerful GPU and a weak CPU in a computer will cause the system to underperform. You won’t like the outcome.
Tips On Choosing CPU For Gaming Computer Build
If you’re considering building a gaming computer, it is essential to consider the quality of the components used in the computer.
As you deliberate on the hardware to mount in your computer, ensure the GPU and CPU appears high on your list. Make them the first two items on your list of components, as both are crucial to the success of your build.
Knowing the type of CPU and GPU you want to buy will help you determine your overall budget. If you’re on a tight budget, it will help ensure you plan effectively and get all the necessary components for the process.
Furthermore, when you know the GPU and CPU your computer will have, you’ll have an idea of the games you can play.
For instance, if you’re thinking of playing games with settings 1080p, then a budget processor will be just fine.
Best, Budget-friendly and Terrible CPU For Gaming
Buying the best CPU for the computer you’re building should be a priority. The CPU and other hardware will help you picture the type of games you can play on the computer.
So, here is a table showing the best, budget-friendly and terrible CPU for gaming.
|Best CPU For Gaming||Budget-friendly CPU For Gaming||Terrible CPU For Gaming|
|Intel Core i9 12900K||AMD Athlon 240GE||AMD FX-8370E|
|Intel Core i5 12600K||AMD Athlon 200GE||AMD FX-9590|
|Intel Core i5 11600K||AMD Ryzen 3 2200G||Intel Core i3-7350K|
|AMD Ryzen 9 5900X||AMD Ryzen 3 3300X||Intel Core i7-7740X/Core-i5 7640X|
|AMD Ryzen 5 5600X||Intel Core i7-6950X|
CPU Vs GPU For Gaming: Which Is The Most Important?
The straightforward answer is the GPU, but this doesn’t mean the CPU isn’t essential. Besides, the GPU can’t display images on the screen without the CPU.
The GPU is more important for gaming because it handles diverse gaming processes. The CPU tells the GPU what it should do, but it doesn’t do the work for the GPU.
Once the GPU gets the instruction from the CPU, it swings into action and gets the heavy processing tasks done. These include video rendering, animation, geometry calculations and other processes.
The rating of a GPU will determine its capacity to run most games. The thing is, some top games require high-end GPUs. You can only run them on a computer that has a higher GPU.
Note: The GPU is more important than the CPU for gaming. But that shouldn’t be your reason for mounting a low-end CPU, and a high-end GPU in your computer.
You have to balance both components for optimal performance. Mounting a low-end CPU in a computer will affect your game’s framerate. And this can happen even when you have a high-grade GPU.
Can CPU Upgrade Improve A Computer’s Performance For Gaming?
Yes, it can improve your computer’s performance. If your CPU boasts a higher core count, it will increase the computer’s ability to multitask.
In other words, you’ll be able to run your games, stream videos and perform other functions without losing performance. A higher clock speed will also boost in-game features such as FPS, draw distance and AI.
A Handy Tip: You should consider clock speed and core count when buying a CPU. The clock speed is measured in Gigahertz (GHz), which refers to how fast a computer can handle tasks. A higher clock speed will offer you better FPS while playing video games.
Next is the core count. The core count refers to the number of cores the CPU has. Note that CPUs that boast more cores will have the capacity to perform more calculations simultaneously, enhancing their multitasking ability.
In other words, higher core count CPUs can multitask without compromising the quality of their performances.
What does a CPU do for gaming? The CPU is the computer’s brain. Its role in gaming includes instructing the GPU what to do.
In other words, the CPU tells the GPU what to display on the screen. So without it, your GPU cannot function. However, remember that the graphics card is more important than the CPU for gaming.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t need a better CPU in a gaming computer. Installing a high-end graphics card and a low-end CPU on a computer will affect its performance, especially its framerate.
So the best thing to do is balance both pieces of hardware. Choose a high-end GPU and CPU.