Can Motherboard Bottleneck GPU? [Beginners Guide 2021]

Written By Steven Arends

Both your CPU and GPU are either mid-range or high end so now you are hoping to get a budget-friendly motherboard.

You’re probably wondering whether you need a high-end motherboard or will a budget motherboard cause bottlenecks.

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Can motherboard bottleneck GPU?

No, motherboards do not affect the performance of the GPU as long as your CPU is fully compatible with the system. Also, with a budget-friendly motherboard, GPU overclocking is usually not possible, unlike a high-end motherboard.

Well, I’ve written this detailed article for people like you so there’s nothing to worry about. Before I became a tech expert, I was a beginner just like you with these same questions so I know exactly what you need to know.

So, just grab your reading glasses and make sure to not skip any part in this article. This will make sure that you won’t have any doubts after reading this.

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What Can Bottleneck a GPU?

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You typically only get a GPU bottleneck when you pair an entry-level graphics card with a fast processor. Furthermore, you must also keep in mind that the games themselves are also contributing factors for a bottleneck. So, you should choose games that work with your GPU.

Let me show you an example where I pair the GT 1030 graphics card with an Intel Core i7 8700K processor.

You can obviously see here that the Core i7 processor will process the games extremely fast. In fact, it processes it so quickly that the GT 1030 can’t manage to send the processed data back.

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So, how do games factor into the bottleneck?

Well, there are two types of games: CPU-dependent games and GPU-dependent games.

The games which pack in low-resolution graphics with a higher frame rate are typically CPU-dependent games. Some CPU dependent games include:

  1. Minecraft
  2. Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag
  3. Cities: Skylines

On the other hand, there are some games that come with ultra-high graphics with slower FPS rates. These are the GPU-dependent games. Examples include:

  1. The Witcher 3
  2. Borderlands 2
  3. Metro: Last Light

So, what you need to take away from this is that you should take your time and carefully choose your gaming setup based on what sort of games you usually play.

Can Bottleneck Damage GPU?

No, there is absolutely no possibility of your GPU getting damaged specifically from a bottleneck. The only thing bottlenecks can damage is your gameplay experience. This is a common misconception mainly because people don’t understand what bottleneck actually means.

When you are experiencing a bottleneck, it just means that one of the components in your setup is performing much better than another component like a GPU.

This results in slowdowns so that your system can maintain proper balance.

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As a result, bottlenecks would theoretically not damage any component. However, it’s worth noting that, in the real world, constantly pushing your hardware faster than what it was designed for can definitely reduce that component’s lifespan.

So, if you leave the bottleneck issue unchecked, you could end up with a system that has much lower performance than the performance it was built for.

Is Something Bottlenecking My PC?

There is no fixed method to check if there is something bottlenecking your computer. However, there are some that work like if you check and see that your GPU is working at 99 percent utilization, you don’t have to worry about bottlenecks.

During one of your gaming sessions, if you find that your CPU utilization is between 99 and 100 percent or that it’s higher than GPU and your GPU utilization is lower or between 50 to 80 percent, then your CPU is bottlenecking your system.

Make sure to do this with a graphically demanding game like The Witcher, otherwise, you will find that both your CPU and GPU utilization is very low.

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Moreover, if your monitor is at a higher resolution like 1440p, then you have a higher chance of getting a bottleneck on your GPU.

You should also make sure you have sufficient RAM if you want to avoid bottlenecks. 16 GB is the perfect amount since 8 GB is not enough for games nowadays.

The best way to view the GPU and CPU utilization is with a third-party software named Afterburner. Alternatively, you can also get the basic information with the task manager built into Windows.

How Do You Stop Bottlenecks

There is no universal method for this but generally, the best way to prevent bottlenecks is to build a PC with parts that are highly compatible with each other. All it takes is one poor component to undermine your whole system.

If you are looking to buy a new computer, you should follow this rule that your CPU should have around 20 percent less cost than your GPU.

This works most of the time and while motherboards don’t bottleneck PCs, you should still not grab the cheapest one if you want quality or longevity.

If you already have a computer that’s bottlenecking, don’t worry. You don’t have to go and buy a new computer just for this. All you need to do is just upgrade your computer according to your needs.

The best way to avoid bottlenecks completely is to have your computer designed specifically by owning a custom computer. Additionally, custom PCs have fully upgradeable components.

FAQ

Question: Does CPU bottleneck affect FPS?

Answer: CPU bottlenecking essentially means that your GPU would push out more FPS. Let’s take an example, if your GPU is at 60 percent while your CPU is at 100 percent, then you would have a 40 percent bottleneck because the CPU can’t feed it more data.

Question: Can a cheap motherboard bottleneck?

Answer: Short answer is no. A motherboard is absolutely unimportant when you are thinking about the raw gaming experience. People usually think that the motherboard is important when it comes to FPS or game loading times but that’s not true.

Question: Is 100% GPU usage normal?

Answer: You don’t have to worry about anything. It’s perfectly fine if your GPU is running at a full hundred percent but you should definitely make sure that the temperatures are not going crazy.

Question: Is the PC build bottleneck calculator accurate?

Answer: While bottleneck calculators are incredibly easy-to-use tools that can be used to verify whether the hardware components you picked are a good match or not but you should keep in mind that they are by no means accurate.

Question: Is an 11% bottleneck bad?

Answer: Nope, that is not a bad bottleneck by any means. Keep in mind that the bottleneck would also depend on your game and resolution.

Final Thoughts

Bottlenecks sound like something that would have negative impacts on your system to many people, especially beginners. However, bottlenecks are perfectly normal and you can never get rid of bottlenecks completely.

At least 80 percent of the computers are bottlenecked by the GPU so your PC will probably always have a bottleneck.

I hope you are finally free of all confusion about bottlenecks. Follow us for more articles like these related to tech.

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