The CPU: How it Affects Frame Rates and Game Performance

As avid gamers, we know that having a top-of-the-line computer is crucial to achieve optimal gaming performance. But do you really know how the Central Processing Unit (CPU) affects frame rates and overall game performance? 

In this article, we will delve into the details of the CPU and its role in PC Games and gaming in general.

What is a CPU?

Before we dive into the specifics of how the CPU affects gaming, let’s first define what it is. The CPU is the brain of your computer. It is responsible for executing instructions and performing calculations for all of the tasks your computer carries out, including gaming.

The Importance of CPU in Gaming

Now that we have a basic understanding of what the CPU is, let’s take a closer look at its role in gaming. In simple terms, the CPU is responsible for handling all the game’s background tasks, including artificial intelligence, physics engines, and background processes. These background tasks are critical to a game’s overall performance, as they can significantly impact the frame rate, which ultimately affects the gaming experience.

CPU Speed

One of the most crucial factors that affect gaming performance is CPU speed. A CPU’s speed is measured in GHz (gigahertz), and a higher GHz number equates to faster processing power. When it comes to gaming, a faster CPU is essential for achieving higher frame rates and smoother gameplay. However, it’s important to note that CPU speed is not the only factor that impacts gaming performance.

Number of Cores

Another important factor to consider when it comes to CPU performance in gaming is the number of cores. A CPU’s core is a processing unit that can carry out independent calculations. A CPU with more cores can handle more tasks simultaneously, which can significantly improve gaming performance. This is particularly important for games that require a lot of multitasking, such as open-world games, which require the CPU to handle multiple processes at once.

CPU Cache

The CPU cache is a small amount of memory built into the CPU, which the CPU uses to store frequently accessed data. The cache is designed to help speed up access to the most commonly used data, which can help to improve gaming performance. Generally, a larger cache can improve CPU performance and, in turn, improve gaming performance.


Overclocking is a popular method used by gamers to increase CPU performance. Overclocking involves adjusting the CPU clock speed to run at a higher speed than the manufacturer’s specifications. While this can lead to improved gaming performance, it’s important to note that overclocking can also cause damage to the CPU if not done correctly.

Tips for choosing the right CPU for gaming

When selecting a CPU for gaming, there are several factors to consider. The first factor is the budget. CPUs come in a wide range of prices, so it’s important to determine how much you can afford to spend.

The second factor is the intended use. If you plan to use your gaming PC for other tasks such as video editing, streaming, or running virtual machines, then you may need a CPU with higher core counts and threads.

The third factor is compatibility. You need to ensure that the CPU is compatible with your motherboard and other components, such as the RAM and GPU.

Finally, you need to consider the performance benchmarks and reviews. You can check online reviews and benchmarks to see how the CPU performs in various games and applications. Some popular websites that provide CPU benchmarks are Tom’s Hardware, AnandTech, and TechSpot.


In summary, the CPU is a critical component when it comes to gaming performance. A faster CPU, with more cores and a larger cache, can significantly improve gaming performance. However, it’s important to note that CPU speed is not the only factor that affects gaming performance. Other factors, such as graphics cards and RAM, also play a role in achieving optimal gaming performance.

If you’re looking to build a gaming PC, it’s important to consider all components and how they work together to achieve optimal performance. By understanding how the CPU affects gaming, you can make more informed decisions when selecting the best components for your gaming PC setup.

For The Hardcore Computer Gamers

But what about the latest advancements in CPU technology that have been released recently? One of the most significant developments in recent years has been the introduction of multi-threaded CPUs. Multi-threaded CPUs are capable of running multiple processes simultaneously, and this has a significant impact on gaming performance.

For example, the latest CPUs from Intel and AMD, such as the Intel Core i9-11900K and the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, feature high core counts and clock speeds that enable them to handle the most demanding games and applications with ease. These CPUs also come with advanced technologies such as Intel Turbo Boost and AMD Precision Boost that automatically adjust the CPU frequency to provide extra performance when needed.

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