Can CPU Cause Packet Loss? [Verify PC Networking Facts 2023]

Written By Farhan Max

As 5G becomes widely available nationwide, your internet speed shouldn’t be an issue, right?

Well, you can still experience delays, hitches, or rubberbanding in any battle royale or MMO game despite having a high-speed network for packet loss. Usually, packet loss happens for faulty Ethernet ports or cables.can-cpu-cause-packet-loss

However, can your CPU cause it too? You need to read the article to know for sure.

So without further ado, let’s jump in.

Can High CPU Usage Cause Packet Loss?

Yes, your CPU usage can indirectly create packet loss on a computer or network device. When your CPU has heavy loads, it can not keep up with the OS and other running applications. It can delay your network processing, and you may lose some internet packets.

For example, When a network device like a router, switch, or Optical Network Unit (ONU) is under high CPU load, it can’t process incoming packets quickly, causing packet drops.

If the device handles huge network traffic, the effects are more severe.

Therefore, while high CPU usage can create packet loss, it’s not always the primary cause.

However, other factors are also equally responsible for internet packet loss. Read the following section to know more.

What Else Can Cause Packet Loss Issues While Gaming?

what-else-can-cause-packet-loss-issues-while-gamingUsually, factors like network congestion, faulty hardware, misconfigured network devices, and software bugs, are the main reasons behind internet packet loss. Also, faulty Ethernet ports or cables can cause this error. You should keep track of internet packet loss to play online games.

In this portion, I will show you the factors other than CPU usage that can cause packet loss. You must pinpoint what’s causing packet loss in your system to ensure hassle-free gaming.

Here are some potential causes of internet packet loss:

  • Network overcrowding.
  • Faulty network hardware such as Wi-Fi routers, or modems.
  • Wireless interference.
  • Outdated network drivers.
  • Software bugs.
  • ISP throttling or limitations on network traffic.
  • Defective Ethernet cable/point.

Identifying the specific packet loss issue is the key to improving your gaming experience. Because when your packet loss exceeds 5%, all MMO/battle royale games become unplayable.

If the ethernet is slower than your Wi-Fi connection, there may have a problem in the wired connection. You can fix the issue to resolve the packet loss problem.

What Packet Loss Level is Acceptable for Gaming?

Usually, any amount of packet loss can harm gaming performance, but you can’t make it zero. That’s why a low amount of packet loss is acceptable, depending on the gaming situation and the level of competition involved. But it must stay within the 8% threshold.

Typically, for casual gamers’ 5% packet loss doesn’t impact the gameplay experience. But, for competitive gameplay, exceeding  1% to 2% packet loss will cause a delayed response.

It will defeat your team in the game.

Also, packet loss can blend with other network performance issues, like high latency or jitter, making your gaming experience frustrating and unsatisfying.

So you must maintain the lowest possible packet loss rate for the best gaming experience.

What’s Worse: High Ping or Packet Loss?

In short, Data packet loss is worse than high ping because it can make any online game unplayable. High ping can cause delay, but data packet loss can cause glitches and freeze frames, impacting gameplay.  It stops the data transmission for good.

Meaning, when you lose data packets, the game servers can’t receive input from your end. And you will face issues like frozen frames or players moving erratically for packet loss.

That’s why packet loss is more severe than high ping in online gaming.

How to Reduce Packet Loss

You can not completely get rid of the packet loss. But you can reduce it below the 1% range. You can use fatter pipe, Quality of Service (QoS) features, upgrade your network driver or increase your current speed to reduce packet loss. Also, remove any faulty Ethernet ports or cables.

In this portion, I will show you some tips and tricks to reduce packet loss. It will make your gaming experience more smooth.

You should check out if your CPU affects ping in online games. It will make your concept more clear. 

Follow the tips to reduce packet loss:

  • Faulty or outdated hardware modules are the main reason for packet loss. So you must ensure that your network hardware, such as routers or modems is up-to-date and working properly.
  • Wireless connections get more network interference, which causes packet loss. That’s why you must use a wired connection whenever possible.
  • Outdated network drivers or software bugs can also generate packet loss. So update your network drivers and software regularly.
  • Too much network traffic can cause packet loss. For this reason, reduce the devices on your network, and prioritize your network traffic for gaming.

These are the DIY solutions to reduce data packet loss at your end. In addition, you can try fixing the high CPU usage to eradicate the packet loss problem.

But when you tried all the methods but still experienced packet loss, your ISP is throttling your connection or limiting your network traffic.

In that case, you should contact your ISP for the solutions. But if you are a Counter Strike player, you must check the guide to fix high ping & packet loss in CS:GO.


What PC hardware can cause packet loss?

Mainly, A faulty Ethernet port or cable causes internet packet loss in your device. Also, Outdated router firmware is equally responsible for packet loss.

Why do I suddenly have packet loss?

You’re suddenly facing packet loss because there’s an overload in your network devices. You should reduce devices number on your network to solve this issue.

Can DNS cause packet loss?

Yes, DNS causes packet loss. When a DNS server becomes unstable, DNS packets start losing. It will also trigger problems with applications.


Long story short, your CPU can cause packet loss in certain circumstances. When the CPU is overloaded, It can’t handle the demands of a particular application or task. That time, your processor struggles to process network traffic in time. It can create network packet loss.

After reading this article, I’m sure you got your answer. Comment if you have any other quarry regarding any PC components. Peace!

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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