After the graphics card, which internal desktop PC component has the greatest impact on overall gaming performance?

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Punchy71

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#1 Punchy71
Member since 2015 • 64 Posts

After the graphics card, which internal desktop PC component has the greatest impact on overall gaming performance? Thanks

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pyro1245

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#2  Edited By pyro1245
Member since 2003 • 5754 Posts

Desktop CPUs are rarely the bottleneck before the GPU unless you are trying to push really high frame rates. Any mid-tier, desktop CPU from the last 5 years would probably be fine unless you have a very fast GPU.

I'd say an SSD probably has the most impact. Especially in newer games that want to stream lots of data into memory to avoid loading screens - like open world games. Most modern games expect you to have an SSD, and will run poorly on an HDD.

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PfizersaurusRex

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#3 PfizersaurusRex
Member since 2012 • 1281 Posts

I'd say CPU, but maybe that's just my frustration from the time I had AMD FX :). They don't scale like GPU's, tho, so as long as the CPU is good enough you won't notice any difference between a "recommended" CPU and a $1000 one. They do scale down on the low end, from occasionally dippy fps to really frustrating unplayable fps.

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Punchy71

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#4 Punchy71
Member since 2015 • 64 Posts

The CPU ? I'm surprised. I thought surely it might be the memory.

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npiet1

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#5 npiet1
Member since 2018 • 2951 Posts

@punchy71 said:

The CPU ? I'm surprised. I thought surely it might be the memory.

Why? Memory is cheap and just holds data there for quick access. The CPU process's things like simulations and AI.

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Byshop

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#6  Edited By Byshop  Moderator
Member since 2002 • 19672 Posts

@punchy71 said:

The CPU ? I'm surprised. I thought surely it might be the memory.

CPU is the primary contributor, while the mobo/RAM sort of come along for the ride. The CPU determines what motherboard and RAM type you require, so upgrading to a newer generation or faster CPU may also mean replacing the other two. But while the clock speed of the CPU literally determines how fast the computer can operate, the RAM speed has to be enough to keep up with the CPU. Here's an article where they explain the relationship a bit and play with RAM speeds to see if there's a difference in gaming performance (the difference ends up being negligible).

https://www.wepc.com/tips/ram-speed/

That said, GPU will almost always make the biggest difference in terms of game performance if the game is even remotely modern. CPU will be second to that pretty much always, but it's not a close second. Each new generation of CPU tends to bring pretty meager performance increases in gaming which is why most gamers don't swap to the latest CPU every time one comes out as that would get expensive for little gain. However, after a few generations go by, prices drop, the performance gap between that older generation what whichever is current widens, then it's not a bad idea.

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Punchy71

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#7 Punchy71
Member since 2015 • 64 Posts

I was doing some initial research and discovered that some newer CPU's have integrated graphics processors built into the chip. This seems like something new to me, as I don't recall any such thing from even as little as several years ago. They're called APU's, I guess. Why would I opt to get one of these over a separate dedicated CPU and separate dedicated GPU card combination (which is what I was thinking about doing originally)?

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BassMan

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#8 BassMan
Member since 2002 • 11261 Posts

@punchy71: CPUs have had integrated graphics for many years. This is nothing new and they have always been shit. You always want a dedicated GPU for gaming.

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#9 GeryGo  Moderator
Member since 2006 • 12494 Posts

The CPU is the 2nd major thing after the GPU

@punchy71 said:

I was doing some initial research and discovered that some newer CPU's have integrated graphics processors built into the chip. This seems like something new to me, as I don't recall any such thing from even as little as several years ago. They're called APU's, I guess. Why would I opt to get one of these over a separate dedicated CPU and separate dedicated GPU card combination (which is what I was thinking about doing originally)?

APUs is a good solution if you're into really slim box PC like Intel's NUC.

They lack the power of dedicated GPU.

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Punchy71

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#10 Punchy71
Member since 2015 • 64 Posts

What’s the most graphics resource demanding, intense, limit-pushing, brutally complex, extremely difficult game and flight simulator in 2020 that I can try to run on my new PC (when I get it built) as a benchmark test to see if it can run it smoothly and at an acceptable frame rate or not?

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BassMan

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#11 BassMan
Member since 2002 • 11261 Posts

@punchy71: The new MS Flight Simulator 2020 will be releasing this year and it looks stunning....

Loading Video...

You'll want a beefy system with a good GPU to take full advantage of it. I would wait a bit for the 2020 GPUs from Nvidia and AMD to release.

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Punchy71

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#12 Punchy71
Member since 2015 • 64 Posts

@BassMan: Wow, thanks for showing me this. It looks really good.

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#13 Punchy71
Member since 2015 • 64 Posts
@BassMan said:

@punchy71: I would wait a bit for the 2020 GPUs from Nvidia and AMD to release.

What GPUs from Nvidia and AMD are going to be releasing in 2020?

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#14 BassMan
Member since 2002 • 11261 Posts

@punchy71 said:
@BassMan said:

@punchy71: I would wait a bit for the 2020 GPUs from Nvidia and AMD to release.

What GPUs from Nvidia and AMD are going to be releasing in 2020?

They will most likely be announcing them in March or later. They will be worth waiting for. Especially if you do not upgrade often.

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#15 Duntastar88
Member since 2019 • 24 Posts

@npiet1 said:
@punchy71 said:

The CPU ? I'm surprised. I thought surely it might be the memory.

Why? Memory is cheap and just holds data there for quick access. The CPU process's things like simulations and AI.

Memory is one of those where you either have enough or you don't. If you have enough then it won't even be an issue where as if you don't, you really notice it. However providing you have enough memory, I'd say the CPU

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#16 Duntastar88
Member since 2019 • 24 Posts
@PfizersaurusRex said:

I'd say CPU, but maybe that's just my frustration from the time I had AMD FX :). They don't scale like GPU's, tho, so as long as the CPU is good enough you won't notice any difference between a "recommended" CPU and a $1000 one. They do scale down on the low end, from occasionally dippy fps to really frustrating unplayable fps.

I had a Phenom X4 955 pared with a GTX570 in 2011 and I felt that CPU held me back a lot in a lot of games