What is the biggest bottleneck in the PC

Pc bottleneck: what is it and how to fix it

Surely you've all seen what creates a bottleneck in an unbalanced team. The consequences of this are usually suffered in Video games These are the applications that demand the most resources from various components at the same time. We always try for you to enjoy your teams as much as possible. That is why we explain to you what this phenomenon is and what solutions are available.

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What is a bottleneck on the PC?

First of all, you may be wondering where the term “bottleneck” comes from and how it came about. Oddly enough, it is a concept that is extrapolated into different areas of life, e.g. B. in a production process, a data transmission or in the demographics of a population. For example, in a company, the bottleneck means that the activity or production phase is slower than normal, resulting in higher costs. However, we're here to explain what a bottleneck is on a PC.

With our PC, the bottleneck occurs when there is one Component that slows overall performance of the system because its specifications are out of whack. As a rule, bottlenecks are caused by the CPU Providing significantly lower performance than that GPU , or the other way around. To give you an idea, we would see this phenomenon of this type in an i3 combined with an RTX 2070, for example.

The GPU alone can handle a huge graphics load, but the CPU can't keep up because it's low-end and doesn't have the right specs. That is how we stand before one unbalancedteam . Bottlenecks are not just created between the CPU and GPU, though they are the two main components and decompensation of one of them has the greatest impact on the system.

The other two components that will have the greatest impact on final performance are: R.A.M. and hard disk . Starting with the first, there are very demanding video games that require 16GB of RAM in their recommended specs. If we have a good CPU and GPU, but our RAM is 8 GB, we will experience a lot of "jerks" when playing because the RAM is insufficient.

We see that hard disk are really important when it comes to reading a lot of data. Over time, video games get harder and harder and achieve more Almost 100 GB per installation . Of course, all this data needs to be read while playing, so we need high speed. Therefore, Hard drives can lead to anomalies in certain games due to a bottleneck as their reading speed is not exceeded 140 MB / s . This forces us to have to buy a high capacity SSD because: we need 400-500 MB / s Reading and video games are becoming more and more demanding.

Finally, a special mention inferior heat sinks how badly ventilated PC cases. The impact is much less than that of other components, but poor power dissipation leads to it Thermal throttling . This causes the CPU to slow down and cool down. It also limits your overclocking options. In short, we will not be able to get the maximum performance from our processor, so it will work under its maximum performance

How to tell if the pc is running into a bottleneck

There are several ways to find out if our PC is experiencing a bottleneck. We will recognize this fact through symptoms or otherwise that we will observe below.

Calculator

First off, I usually recommend a very interesting calculator, the shows a bottleneck percentage related to our CPU and GPU . This calculator is called the “bottleneck calculator” and it gives us an idea of ​​how well our team is being compensated.

We just have to choose the processor and graphics card that we have. In case you overclocked any of these components, you can record them by clicking. " Advanced settings ". You can also specify that you have multiple GPUs. When you have entered the data, click on " To calculate ".

In my case, I have one Ryzen 5 1600 and a NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super A bit of an unbalanced configuration as my processor is from 2017 and the GPU is from 2019. Likewise, it's not a crazy configuration, and I don't notice any bottleneck preventing me from playing smoothly.

The calculator gives us that episode of the bottleneck in 1080p, 1440p (2K) and2160p (4K). In addition, they give us the various options that we can use to update our components, such as: B. the performance our team offers in the most played video games.

We only recommend using it as it generally helps us verify that the bottleneck is important or does not affect our performance.

Game experience issues

Video games are a great test for determining if our PC is experiencing a bottleneck. Most often, if you are wondering how to tell if you are running into a bottleneck while gaming, it is most often Symptoms are usually the following:

  • Micro jerks when playing . They usually last 1 second but are very noticeable because they are usually constant. You greatly impoverish the experience.
  • Texture loading delay . If you find that your PC is taking some time to load certain textures, then you have a bottleneck. Beware of hard drives here, which are usually responsible for the most, although the CPU is also responsible. In any case, it could be a video game bug that has been fixed with an update. Take this as an example if it happens to you in different games.

  • Strange noises in the game . Personally, this was the case in Borderlands 3 and The Division 2. The reason was that my 8 GB of RAM wasn't enough to play with ULTRA graphics settings. Therefore, very unpleasant noises (such as errors) were reproduced in the video game, accompanied by the micro-idiots we talked about earlier. You can see one immediate green screen of this type that lasts 1 second.

  • Less FPS than other settings. In theory, if we have a great graphics card, we should have access to a good gaming experience. On the other hand, the processor plays a very important role. So, if you find that your FPS are low, take a look at the video game's graphics settings, as well as the technical specifications of the devices in relation to those recommended by the developer.

Task manager

This check is much more useful when the bottleneck is caused by the hard drive or memory. With the task manager we can see the load taken by the components (CPU, GPU, RAM and hard drives) to see what is failing.

Our advice is that you open the game or program that is giving you performance problems and use it as normal. After spending Play or work for 5-10 minutes open Task Manager by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + ESC or CTRL + ALT + DEL .

Go to " Processes " tab and take a look " CPU "," Storage "or" GPU "Columns. If it shows 90% CPU, worry and try to figure out why this is happening. If that is it." R.A.M. that's over 90% (displayed in red) Take a look at the processes that are consuming the most RAM to kill them.

If it is the hard drive, find out what makes it 90%. Typically, the hard drive is temporarily 90% busy. This is not a situation that you see all the time.

Benchmarks

Another way to find out the existence of a bottleneck in our PC is through benchmarks. The key is that we can usually record the result obtained in the test to compare it to other similar configurations. It is true that you have to find one Benchmark that uses CPU and GPU .

However, if we compare each component, we can gather information about individual performance. This way we get an idea of ​​which component is making our PC the bottleneck. On a Ryzen platform, for example, it is important that the RAM memory is clocked with at least 3200 MHz. Simply swapping out 2.666 MHz memory for 3.200 MHz memory can have a huge impact on overall performance.

How to fix the bottleneck

Unfortunately, you will not like some of these solutions due to the need to invest money. However, you may just need to make one adjustment to address this bottleneck. Depending on the component causing the bottleneck, the solution is of course different.

CPU

As you may have guessed, the CPU can be causing a bottleneck for a number of reasons. Hence, it makes sense to give you a solution for every reason. It could be summarized as follows:

  • Lower performance due to thermal throttling . The solution would be to clean the inside of the case (including the components) well and change the CPU thermal paste. Monitor temperatures to see if the problem has been resolved. If it's still warmer than normal, reprogram the case fans and heat sink. The CPU can overheat because the fans are not spinning fast enough.

  • Graphics settings that load the CPU . There are graphics options with which the CPU is loaded. We therefore recommend going into video game settings and lowering the quality of shadows, reflections, particles, distance, NVIDIA PhysX, vegetation, population density, viewing distance or environmental conditions.

  • Processes that load the CPU . Open Task Manager and make sure that no process (other than the video game) is using work on the CPU. If so, exit to free the processor.

  • Increase the resolution in the game . While it may seem crazy to you, there is an option to balance the load between the GPU and CPU. If we increase the resolution of the game, the GPU will have more load, which can free the processor from work. There have been cases where this solution has helped, but it doesn't always have to be that way.
  • overclock . This solution is not as general as not all processors can be compressed this way. In fact, many motherboard chipsets do not support this approach. If you find that your processor is unlocked and your motherboard is compatible with overclocking, give it a try.

  • Update the processor . The last solution we can offer you is to buy a processor that will not affect the graphics card. These usually come with a large investment as you may have to change the motherboard as well.

GPU

On the other hand, we have the graphics card as another of the great components that cause this phenomenon. As with the CPU, there is different solutions paired with different cases.

  • Lower performance due to thermal throttling . With graphics cards, it is more complicated for this situation to occur. However, monitor temperatures to make sure of this. The solution is to clean the heat sink well and program the fans to spin at a specific speed (revolutions per minute) when the GPU reaches a certain temperature. You can do it with MSI Afterburner, for example.

  • Download graphic options . Graphics cards support rendering tasks. We therefore recommend lowering the resolution, the quality of the textures, the shadows, the anisotropic filter, the antialiasing, the smoothing on FXAA, the SSAO ambient occlusion (if disabled), the motion effect or the tessellation, among others.
  • overclock . Be careful about overclocking graphics cards as certain instabilities may arise that will prevent you from enjoying your games. If you want to do it, do it knowingly.
  • To update . Unfortunately, it's something that none of us want to achieve because it's a very expensive component. However, it is usually considered the best solution as long as our GPU has a major bottleneck.

R.A.M.

RAM memory can have a huge impact on our gaming experience. Usually, the most important thing about RAM memory is frequency, capacity, and latency. If we have balanced memories, we won't have any problems. However, we can see ourselves in the event that memory is the bottleneck. The solutions are these:

  • Terminate background processes . I assume you already know the amount of RAM that web browsers consume. If the problem is that you are low on RAM, then you need to kill the processes that are consuming certain MB. While it may seem silly, it is more common than it seems.

  • Download the graphic configuration of the video game . You may be at a crossroads because your GPU and CPU are very good, but your RAM is preventing you from enjoying the video game the way you want. The solution we propose is for you to decrease the quality of the graphics options as the consumption of RAM memory increases when we play in Ultra quality.
  • overclock . It's one more solution for you to consider, but I don't expect the results to be groundbreaking. For example, if you overclock from 2800 MHz to 3,000 MHz, you won't notice the difference.
  • Update RAM memory . This solution is the most recommended, especially when we have 8GB or less. Remember that frequency, capacity, and latency are important. Check if the motherboard supports a higher frequency.

Hard drives

After all, hard drives tend to pose fewer problems, which means fewer solutions. Mainly the most practical solutions are 2:

  • End processes that are using the device . You can do this via the Task Manager in the "Disk" column. It's worth noting that this column represents the hard drive on which we installed Windows. If you are installing the games on a secondary hard drive, you will need to go to the Performance tab to see a breakdown of the load on each hard drive.

  • Change hard disk , or install the game on the SSD . Personally, I don't know anyone who had to buy an SSD because, in good condition, they couldn't play normally on a hard drive. It is true, however, that the difference in load times is miserable.

In most cases, our PC's bottleneck will be resolved after updating the components that are causing this phenomenon.