what is bottleneck pc and how to avoid it?

What is bottleneck pc? you always listen about this scenario that someone recently upgraded their graphics card in his computer in order to run the latest games smoothly, and he bought the latest and most powerful graphics card in the market, but suddenly, after playing some games, he discovered that the computer’s performance is extremely low! This is not what you expected. In this article, we will explore together the bottleneck and how to avoid it so let’s start.

1. What is bottleneck pc?

The bottleneck is a negative term that describes a specific component that affects a computer’s performance degradation. You can look at the image attached below to understand the whole thing, imagine the problem as a work area on a main road that has narrowed the traffic lanes on this road,

What is bottleneck pc

This causes the vehicles to move at a slower speed, so instead of the vehicles traveling in 3 lanes, they are driving in only one lane. In this case, the work area creates a bottleneck in the road. On PCs, this issue occurs when one component for example the processor prevents the graphics card from achieving its full potential to accomplish a task, due to the technical limitations of both.

2. How and when does a computer bottleneck occur?

The decline in your PC performance especially in games is most likely a result of a bottleneck problem that has been caused by the processor. For example, if you have a weak and old CPU and a powerful or modern graphics card the most result that bottleneck problems are caused by the processor When you are playing modern games that require high graphical demands the processor will reduce the number of frames FPS that this powerful graphics card can produce.

bottleneck effect

The frame rate limit is due to the processor’s inability to keep up with the graphics card. When playing a video game, the processor sends frame data to the graphics card, which displays these frames on our screen. Additionally, the processor handles game physics and AI. Consequently, a weak processor requires more time for tasks, leaving a powerful graphics card idle until the next frame’s data is ready.

The user may not receive the expected performance from their newly purchased graphics card, hindering smooth gameplay and causing potential image interruptions. Before discussing how to identify computer bottlenecks let’s consider the opposite scenario. When the graphics card is weaker than the processor, you can fully utilize the graphics card’s capabilities during gaming. A bottleneck arises when the games maximize the graphics card’s resources, allowing for the maximum number of frames without any blockages.

3. How to know that the CPU is causing a bottleneck for graphics cards?

The best way to find out if your computer is suffering from a bottleneck problem is to monitor the consumption of both the CPU and the graphics card while playing a game. To do this, you can use any computer performance monitoring software like MSI Afterburner for example.


It is a very powerful and free tool that will not only help you monitor the performance of your computer’s components while gaming – you can also use it to overclock your graphics card if you want. In any case, if you want to rely on MSI Afterburner to monitor performance, all you have to do after installing and running the program is to click on Settings to open the settings window, from which we head to the Monitoring tab. From there,

you will select CPU usage and check the Show in On-Screen Display option, then do the same for GPU usage as shown in the above image. After finishing, press the OK button below to save the settings.

To keep MSI Afterburner running in the background, minimize its window without closing it. Then, open RivaTuner by double-clicking its miniature icon in the taskbar’s Notification Area. Once opened, activate the Show On-Screen Display option from the main interface and minimize the window.

Once everything is set up, close any unnecessary background programs, including your browser, media playback software, and other tools except MSI Afterburner and RivaTuner. Launch the game without making any modifications to the graphics settings.

msi records

4. How to avoid bottlenecks when assembling a gaming computer

The main key to avoiding a bottleneck is assembling a budget PC, for example, you don’t buy a 1st or 2nd generation Intel i7 processor because it’s cheap, and then you buy an RTX graphics card from Nvidia because it’s more powerful. Try to make the technical specifications of the device balanced, it is not necessary to be 100% accurate, but at least make the incidence of a bottleneck very small.

bottleneck-callculater 2

And to make it easy, there is a simple online tool called Bottleneck Calculator that guides you to choose a processor and graphics card that perform at the same level. All you have to do is select the processor first, then the graphics card second, then the RAM and hard type according to your budget. After that, we click on the Calculate button to see the result.

The Average bottleneck percentage indicates the average occurrence rate of bottlenecks in your computer. It identifies whether the bottleneck is caused by the processor or the graphics card and recommends the best processor to avoid bottlenecks. The tool’s results are based on the average usage of the processor and graphics card in various programs and games, providing a more realistic assessment.



A bottleneck PC occurs when one component of the computer system hinders overall performance. Understanding the causes and effects of bottlenecking is vital for optimizing your PC’s capabilities. By following the tips provided and considering necessary upgrades, you can overcome bottlenecks and enjoy a smooth and efficient computing experience.

Finally, I hope my article added some valuable information to you. If you have some questions? Let me know in the comments below. I’ll try my best to answer them.

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