What is bottlenecking and how to fix this on your gaming computer?

What is bottlenecking and how to fix this on your gaming PC?

When playing games, it is essential to have a powerful and sustainable power flow to ensure the most successful, satisfying gameplay. 

Unfortunately, in some instances, our devices are just unable to keep up with the amount they are being used, leading to a slow and sluggish computer that is struggling to function. This problem that you may have experienced from time to time is in fact, called bottlenecking. 

What is bottlenecking

Bottlenecking is the name given to describe the point where the computer’s production system has meet a point of congestion. The build-up (congestion) takes place within the production systems known as the CPU and GPU and occurs when workloads are arriving too quickly that the computer is unable to handle. 

The term bottlenecking essentially resembles the typical shape of a bottle-neck. 

With the thinnest section of the bottleneck, being the point where congestion will take place the most. 


As stated earlier, the two components that are involved in the process of bottlenecking are the CPU, which is a processor and the GPU, the graphics card. 

The difference between CPU bottlenecking and GPU

First focusing on the CPU, this is the most common area in which bottlenecking will happen within a PC. 

Weaker than the GPU, the CPU processor works together with the graphics card to process and digest information. 

Due to the CPU being of lower power, the GPU can easily override it and outpower the processor, causing it to run faster with a higher success rate. 

Because of this, the GPU will be sending the CPU, so much information at a faster rate- more than it can handle. This will in turn cause bottlenecking as the information will begin to pile up quite quickly and become too much for the CPU to work its way through. This congestion will constantly grow all the time the GPU is sending information. 

The GPU graphics card

A GPU bottleneck, surprisingly, can be a great benefit for both the PC and the gamer using it. 

This is because, if it happens, it will ultimately cause the GPU to work a lot slower. The slower processing speed will work perfectly alongside the CPU as it will allow the processor to have more time to process the information it is being given. By slowing the speed that the graphics card sends information, this can reduce the chance of a bottleneck in the CPU, for smoother and fast gameplay. 

Other reasons why bottlenecking occurs

Not only does bottlenecking occur within a system that is being overworked, typically whilst gaming, but it can also, in fact, be caused by a selection of other issues, whether minor or more serious. 

Dust in the hardware

Accumulated dust works just the same as the build-up of information within a PC. The dust makes it hard for components to be able to work properly due to lack of room, as well as, dirt clogging up vital areas and affecting the overall performance. 

Defective hardware

The performance of computers can change rather drastically, quicker than many might realize. In some cases, the device may have been working fine one day, but then performing to a lower speed the following day. This is usually the case when a component within the PC is no longer working as it should or has developed a fault.

Some issues can be noticeable such as slowing in the booting process or even an odd distribution of the images across the screen.

Imbalanced hardware

Up to 99% of the time, bottlenecking is caused by the PC’s hardware no longer balancing correctly. This imbalance can simply be caused by an old CPU with a new GPU. By pairing a new graphics card with an old processor, you can see a large effect on how the two parts work together and can lead to a higher chance of bottlenecking. 

Simple ways to avoid bottlenecking 

First and foremost (even though simple), it will be very beneficial to ensure all unnecessary apps and the ones that aren’t being used are removed and uninstalled from your PC. This will reduce the load speed of the CPU and allow it to process information and run the application you are trying to use faster. 

Overclocking the CPU will also help, as it will allow you to process the game data a lot faster and can lead to higher GPU vitalization.

An additional way to avoid and reduce your chances of bottlenecking and that is to purchase upgraded components, as well as replacing faulty parts. By removing old and wearing parts and by finding the fault of the issue, you can reduce your chances of bottlenecking for an improved experience. 

It should be said, however, that there is no reason to go out and purchase a new component of high strength and power, unless the CPU or graphics card is at a similar level, able to compliment and work together. If running too high of a graphic card alongside a processor, you can create bottlenecking from occurring. 

By evaluating your intended use of your PC and by choosing which is the best graphic card and processor for you and your needs, you can eliminate the amount of bottlenecking that you experience. 


There are many factors that have to be taken into account when finding the culprit of the bottlenecking and solving the issue.

However, by knowing how bottlenecking is caused and by being alert, you can take simple steps to reduce the amount of bottlenecking that you encounter.

By keeping your PC clean of dust and free from unused apps, avid gamers keen on improving the quality of gaming experience should consider overclocking the CPU.

A common occurrence, reduce your chances of bottlenecking and game with confidence with a healthy, fault free PC

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