Can a Bad CPU Cause Low FPS? [Answer & Explanation 2024]

Written By Farhan Max

What’s the biggest enemy of a gamer? It’s not the difficulty level, characters, or opponents. The main obstacle for the gamer is the low frame rate, lags, and stuttering.

Not just the gamers, the low FPS can create problems for every user in their application, programs, editing, or rendering. And if you guess the problem is for the CPU, you are not wrong.can-a-bad-cpu-cause-low-fps

In this article, I’ll describe the connection between a bad CPU & low FPS, and clear up all your queries.

So, let’s begin.

Can a Bad CPU Cause Low FPS?

Yes, a bad CPU can result in a low frame per second (FPS) for a program or game on your computer. A bad or faulty processor is unable to provide the maximum output or frequency and causes lag, stuttering, and additional issues, resulting in a significant FPS reduction.

FPS or frame per second is a unit that is used to measure the performance of a device or computer. It refers to the consecutive images that are displayed every second in a video playback or game.

If you have a good CPU, the computer is supposed to get a decent frame per second. But, a defective CPU can affect the FPS, and give a lower frame rate compared to the normal condition.

There are various reasons behind a processor being considered bad. Inadequate power, damage, temperature, and many others can create a low FPS on your computer.

The following passage will describe the reasons for the low frame rate due to a bad CPU.

Why Does a Bad CPU Affect FPS?

A bad processor can cause low frames per second because of insufficient processing ability, physical damage, abnormal temperature, inadequate cooling facility, and bottleneck. Users can face stuttering, lag, and overall poor performance in an application or game.

The FPS is mostly used in games, and both the CPU and GPU are responsible for the frame rate.

The CPU executes an operation and provides an immersive user experience. But, due to various difficulties, the processor may fail to accomplish the task and thus affect the FPS. I’ve provided the reasons behind the issue and explained them below.why-does-a-bad-cpu-affect-fps

Here are the reasons behind a low FPS due to a bad CPU:

Insufficient Processing Power

Most modern games and applications require a good number of CPU cores and frequencies to operate swimmingly.

If you are using an old or outdated processor for a relatively newer or more powerful program, you’ll get a lower FPS.

Physical Damage

Physical damage is a major reason behind the low FPS problem. External damage can harm the chip inside the processor and reduce CPU performance.

A processor consists of hundreds or even thousands of metal pins as the contact point. It helps to transfer the data between the CPU and the motherboard. They are very crucial, and any bent CPU pin is bad news for your computer.

In most cases, the computer doesn’t turn on with serious physical damage. However, if it manages to open somehow, you won’t receive the full potential and get a low frame per second.


CPU overheating is a common reason behind the FPS reduction. The CPU may get hot due to geographic location or insufficient cooling facility.

When a CPU gains the temperature, it automatically lowers the frequency. In that situation, the PC starts underperforming, and the hot CPU causes a low FPS to your games.

Thermal Throttling

Every CPU has an optimal temperature level for each condition. The normal temperature is different when idle or working at a full load.

But when the temperature rises more than the limit, the CPU enters the thermal protection mode, also known as thermal throttling. It reduces the power of the processor to keep itself safe from any physical damage or burning.

The thermal throttling will lower the CPU speed, and if you are in a game or program, you will encounter a massive lag, stuttering, and FPS drop.

Single-threaded Performance

Most entry-level or older processors have lower numbers of threads. They rely on the single-threaded ability to run a game or application.

If the clock speed is very low or insufficient for the program, you’ll face a low FPS issue.


It’s vital to use balanced PC components to get the best performance from your computer. If you are using a very powerful CPU/ GPU with a low-powerful graphics card/ processor, you will face a bottleneck.

When pairing your low-capable CPU with a top-tier graphics card, the CPU will be unable to provide enough FPS in certain game settings.

On the other hand, a powerful CPU can limit the FPS when using a less powerful or older GPU.

Either way, the bottleneck will cause massive FPS differences in your game and computer performance.

The above reason will help you to pinpoint your problem with the bad CPU and lower frame rate. Consider reading the following passage to overcome the difficulties.

How to Overcome Low FPS Problem Due to Bad CPU

To overcome the low frame rate problem because of a bad processor, you need to upgrade or change your old or damaged CPU, improve the cooling system to stabilize temperature, overclock the processor to extract more power, and upgrade PC components to discard the bottleneck.

I’ve described the necessary steps below to fix the low FPS issue because of the bad

Here are the ways to resolve the low FPS issue:

1. Change CPU

An old or outdated CPU isn’t compatible with running all the new generation programs. You must change the current processor to get a better FPS, or else you’ll face a stuttering problem because of the old CPU.

However, if you see any physical damage to your CPU, you need to contact an expert and replace the faulty processor. Luckily, if you can get a warranty, you must claim it right away.

2. Improve Cooling

A sufficient cooling facility is crucial to keep your PC running at the maximum output and provide a better frame rate.

If you already have a decent CPU cooler but not getting proper cooling results, the CPU cooling system may have a dust problem, or the thermal paste is worn out.

3. Overclock

Overclocking is a great way to improve CPU performance, especially for old and outdated processors. A good number of Intel and Ryzen series support overclocking.

4. Upgrade PC Components

Ensuring a balanced computer component is necessary to get maximum output from the CPU and GPU. Without the balanced combination, you’ll face bottleneck and get low FPS.

You need to look at your PC specification and upgrade the CPU or GPU to improve the frame rate.

By following the above methods, will help you overcome the low FPS issue in games and applications due to the bad CPU.

Does a Better CPU Give You More FPS?

A better processor doesn’t always give more frame rates in your games or programs. You won’t get an FPS boost if the GPU runs at its full potential. In contrast, a better CPU can increase the FPS when the graphics card fails to run at maximum output.

For example, if the GPU usage is around 95-99%, changing a processor won’t give you an advantage in frame rates.

Upgrading the processor will give a minimal FPS boost when the GPU is at 80-90%. However, if the GPU stays at around 50%, a better CPU can potentially give double the FPS.

In general, a 4 to 6-core processor is enough for gaming, and beyond that doesn’t give additional FPS in your game. But editing and rendering may require a better processor to provide more FPS in highly intensive tasks.

Depending on your usage, you should upgrade your CPU to get better frame rates in a program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is responsible for FPS?

Both the CPU and GPU are responsible for the FPS. The graphics card and CPU work together to create the program environment that makes one of the frames.

Can CPU affect FPS?

Yes, the CPU can impact the FPS in games, applications, and other programs due to insufficient power, physical damage, overheating, and bottleneck.

Does a better CPU improve FPS?

A better CPU can improve the frame rate if you don’t have a dedicated GPU or the graphics card is incapable of running at maximum output.

Final Thoughts

A decent FPS is important to work in a program and is highly required when playing competitive games. A bad CPU can hinder your user experience and result in a low frame rate.

This article has provided all the information and necessary procedures to avoid the issue and increase your FPS.

If you find this article helpful, don’t forget to leave a comment below.


About The Author
Farhan Max is a tech geek with a particular interest in computer hardware. He's been fascinated by gaming since childhood and is now completing his undergraduate studies while researching and testing the latest tech innovations. Alongside his love for all things geeky, Farhan is also a skilled photographer.

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