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Does CPU Affect FPS in Game? (Explained) 2023

Does CPU Affect FPS in Game? (Explained) 2023

CPU overheating substantially impacts FPS, resulting in lower frame rates during games. The CPU is a critical component that ensures the computer’s proper operation. Because a computer cannot function without a CPU, keeping the CPU in good working order is critical. Providing appropriate CPU cooling is crucial, as it can improve overall system performance. Achieving and keeping a high frame rate is critical for a pleasurable and smooth gaming experience.


FPS stands for “frames per second,” representing the number of images displayed on the screen in one second. For example, 30 FPS indicates thirty images are shown in one second. The benefits of having a higher FPS are obvious; it considerably improves the overall gaming experience. High frame rates result in smoother animations, especially in action-packed games.


The computer’s most important component is the central processing unit (CPU). It acts as the system’s central processing unit, overseeing all actions and inputs. Temperature is one of many aspects that can impact its overall efficiency.

Can CPU Overheating Affect FPS in-Game?

An overheating CPU can affect game FPS. Maintaining a stable CPU is critical in competitive gaming and high-performance scenarios to achieve high FPS and smooth gameplay. To handle CPU overheating, it is essential to guarantee proper cooling, regular cleaning of the cooling system, and optimize your gaming environment to minimize heat accumulation. Furthermore, monitoring your CPU temperatures and checking if they exceed safe levels can help prevent performance difficulties caused by overheating. When a CPU overheats, it can cause several problems that affect gaming performance, including:

Thermal Throttling: Many CPUs are designed to throttle their performance when too hot to prevent further heat production and potential damage. As a result, they reduce their clock speed and, as a result, their processing power. Thermal throttling can cause lower frame rates and less smooth gaming.

Instability: Overheating can cause system instability, resulting in crashes, game shutdowns, or even system-wide failures. These problems can ruin your game experience and, in certain situations, result in data loss.

Reduced CPU Lifespan: Prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures might shorten the lifespan of your CPU. This can eventually lead to a drop in performance and the need for a replacement.

Maintaining a reasonable frame rate is critical because a low frame rate degrades the game experience. Many competent players seek frame rates of 144 frames per second or greater; however, excessive CPU temperatures can make this impossible. Dust, heat, and cold can all impact CPU performance, with overheating being the most severe issue. When the CPU becomes too hot, it immediately limits its processing speed, resulting in an unpleasant gaming experience.

Common causes of CPU overheating during gaming

There are numerous causes of CPU overheating, and it’s critical to fix these concerns to maintain an efficient CPU. By resolving these frequent causes of CPU overheating, you can keep your system cooler and more dependable, which is critical for consistent and maximum performance, especially when performing intensive tasks or gaming.

1. Poor Cooling System:

Inadequate heat dissipation from the CPU might result from damaged or faulty fans. Cleaning or replacing fans, enhancing ventilation in the PC case, and ensuring optimum airflow are all possible solutions.

2. Overheating:

Overclocking a CPU raises its clock speed above the manufacturer’s specifications, causing it to generate extra heat. Overclocked CPUs require effective cooling solutions such as thermal paste, larger heat sinks, or liquid cooling.

3. Malware and viruses:

Malware or viruses can cause an increase in CPU utilization, which can lead to overheating. To keep your system clean, update your antivirus software and run system scans regularly.

4. Outdated Software:

Outdated or poorly optimized software can cause a CPU to work harder, increasing temperatures. Keep your operating system and programs current to avoid excessive CPU load.

5. Dust and dirt:

Dust and grime can jam the CPU cooler and fans, limiting their effectiveness. Clean the inside of your computer regularly to avoid dust accumulation.

6. Inadequate Thermal Paste:

Poorly applied or worn-out thermal paste between the CPU and the heat sink might obstruct heat transfer. Reapply high-quality thermal paste as needed to improve heat dissipation.

7. Inadequate Case Airflow:

Hotspots and greater CPU temperatures might result from an incorrectly constructed or tiny computer chassis with restricted ventilation. Use case fans and cable management to maintain proper airflow within the case. Inadequate or faulty CPU coolers may be unable to disperse heat adequately. Upgrading to a more effective cooling solution can aid in the reduction of CPU temperatures.

8. Outside Ambient Temperature:

CPU temperature can be affected by the room temperature or the environment in which your computer functions. Hotter rooms can cause higher CPU temperatures. Maintain a well-ventilated and air-conditioned environment for your computer.

By tackling these common causes of CPU overheating, you can keep your system cooler and more reliable, which is critical for consistent and optimal performance.

Which has a greater impact on FPS: the CPU or the GPU?

When considering the impact on FPS, it’s important to recognize that both the CPU and GPU play vital roles in gaming performance. The extent to which each component affects FPS can vary depending on the specific demands of the game.

In games that heavily rely on complex physics calculations, the CPU’s performance can have a noticeable impact on FPS. Conversely, in graphically demanding games, the GPU often takes on a more significant role in determining frame rates.

Rather than asserting that one component is universally more influential than the other, it’s more accurate to emphasize the importance of a balanced system. A well-matched CPU and GPU, tailored to the requirements of the games you play, can lead to optimal gaming performance.

When considering upgrades for your gaming setup, it’s advisable to evaluate both the CPU and GPU, ensuring they work harmoniously to deliver the best possible gaming experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I detect if my CPU is overheating while playing?

Various software applications can be used to monitor your CPU temperature. Overheating is likely if your CPU temperature exceeds safe limits (which can vary based on the CPU model). Frequent game crashes and performance decreases might be indicators of CPU overheating.

What are the effects of an overheated CPU on game performance?

Thermal throttling occurs when a CPU overheats and slows its clock speed to cool down, resulting in lower FPS and poorer performance. It can also lead to system instability, crashes, and long-term CPU damage.

Can RAM Increase FPS?

RAM can indirectly affect FPS (Frames Per Second) in certain situations. When a computer runs a game, it moves data from a storage media, such as a hard disc or SSD, into RAM. This transfer allows the CPU and GPU to access data quickly. Inadequate RAM to accommodate all required data can result in frequent operations between RAM and the storage device. These data transfers might cause noticeable performance slowdowns, ultimately lowering FPS.

What is the ideal temperature for the CPU during gaming?

The optimal temperature range for a CPU differs depending on the model. This information usually is available in the CPU’s technical specifications published by the manufacturer. Generally, the recommended gaming CPU temperature should be less than 85 degrees Celsius. If you’re overclocking your CPU and experiencing abnormally high temperatures, significantly above 90 degrees Celsius, you should consider restoring to the CPU’s original settings to avoid overheating damage.

Shahbaz Ahmed


Shahbaz Ahmed serves as the CEO of Gammahed. He studied from Aptech and earned certification of ACCP. As an Aptech Certified Computer Professional, he's armed with a solid foundation in the intricacies of technology. With an impressive gaming journey spanning over 18 years, his passion has led him to become a writer, dedicated to guiding fellow gamers through the realm of gaming hardware. Having personally encountered and conquered numerous gaming-related problems during his early years of gaming, Shahbaz Ahmed now shares his invaluable expertise to help others navigate similar challenges.