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What Does A CPU Do For Gaming?

What Does A CPU Do For Gaming?

A CPU, or Central Processing Unit, is the main component of a computer that executes instructions and performs computations for various activities. It serves as the computer’s “brain,” processing multiple activities, from fundamental arithmetic to complicated calculations.

To maximize the performance of your gaming desktop PC or gaming laptop, you must have a CPU that can satisfy the demands of current gaming. While CPUs are known for longevity and can last many years with proper care, it’s important to remember that PC technology constantly evolves.

When combined with compatible current hardware, modern gaming CPUs benefit from more excellent clock rates, larger cache sizes, and higher thread counts.

For this post, we’ll assume you’re using your PC for gaming, but streaming, video editing, and professional applications can also impact your hardware selections.

The CPU is critical in many elements of gaming:

1. Processing Game Logic:

The CPU is in charge of executing game logic, such as deciding non-player character (NPC) behavior, managing game physics, and performing AI (artificial intelligence) computations. It guarantees that the game environment works appropriately, responding to player actions and providing visual and audio effects.

2. Game Physics:

Complex physics models, such as realistic movement, collisions, and environmental interactions, are standard in modern games. The CPU calculates and updates these physics simulations, contributing to the game’s realism and immersion.

3. AI Computations:

In games, NPCs, foes, and teammates frequently demonstrate various behaviors and decision-making processes. The CPU executes these AI computations, defining how characters respond to in-game circumstances, making them appear more intelligent and entertaining.

4. Game Engine Management:

The CPU manages the game engine, coordinating the execution of game scripts, rendering duties, and audio processing. It ensures that all aspects of the game are in sync and running correctly.

5. Multiplayer & Networking:

The CPU handles network-related duties in online multiplayer games, such as data transmission, synchronization of player actions, and server-client interactions. It is crucial in ensuring a smooth and responsive online gaming experience.

6. Frame Rate and Game Performance:

The CPU’s performance impacts a game’s frame rate. A quicker CPU can process game data, resulting in faster frame rates and better gameplay. A steady frame rate is critical for a fun gaming experience, especially in fast-paced games.

Frame Rate and Game Performance

7. Compatibility and optimization:

Game creators frequently optimize their games to run efficiently with various CPU architectures and performance levels. A powerful CPU can run games more smoothly and efficiently handle resource-intensive titles.

The Impact of the CPU on Your Gaming Experience

Once you’ve decided on the type of system you’ll be gaming on, it’s critical to arm yourself with fundamental knowledge about how the CPU affects the performance of your system. Understanding the responsibilities of clock speed and core count in gaming will allow you to decide when to pick a CPU that meets your needs.

While a faster CPU usually results in more excellent gaming performance, determining the exact impact might be difficult. This variation stems from different games requiring different amounts of CPU processing power. The overall hardware and software setup can influence a computer’s CPU performance. The relationship between CPU and game performance is complex and situational.

1. Number of CPU Cores:

Modern gaming CPUs include many cores, each acting as an extra processor. This design enables the CPU to handle numerous instructions at the same time. While many PC games are built to take advantage of multiple cores, larger core counts become more apparent when performing CPU-intensive tasks other than gaming. Activities such as video encoding and complex programs for advanced content creation might benefit significantly from a CPU with many cores.

Number of CPU Cores

Additional cores might make a considerable difference if your CPU utilization extends beyond gaming, such as streaming gameplay while playing. A CPU with a greater core count excels at managing workloads that a single-core CPU may struggle with, even with a very high clock speed.

2. CPU Clock Speed

A CPU’s clock speed refers to the number of cycles the CPU can perform in one second. When considering CPU performance, this measure is critical. Modern CPUs execute billions of cycles every second in today’s environment, resulting in clock speeds measured in gigahertz (GHz).

In general, a more incredible clock speed per core is better. When shopping for a new CPU, look for the highest clock speeds possible within your price range. However, verifying that the CPU’s core and thread count match your workload requirements is equally crucial.

CPU Clock Speed

Consider Other CPU Features

CPU Picking Aside from basic parameters like clock speed and core count, there are extra features to consider when purchasing a new CPU.

1. Integrated graphics

Most Intel CPUs include integrated graphics, allowing them to show visuals on screen without needing a separate GPU. Integrated graphics can be helpful, especially when diagnosing problems with a discrete GPU.

Integrated graphics

Integrated graphics are also helpful in video editing and broadcasting jobs. For example, new Intel CPUs include technologies like Intel Quick Sync Video, designed to quickly encode and decode video data, freeing up system resources for other activities. The exception to this rule is Intel CPUs with an “F” designation, such as the Intel Core i7-13700KF processor. These are meant for users who plan to use a discrete GPU in their systems.

2. Overclocking

Overclocking can be a helpful way to increase clock speeds, with tools like Intel Speed Optimizer simplifying the process and allowing for consistent overclocking.

If you prefer fine-tuning the performance of your hardware, look for CPUs with the “K” designation at the end of their names, such as the Intel Core i7-13700K processor. This indicates that the CPU has been designed for overclocking. You can benefit from increased clock rates with an unlocked CPU if you have the proper hardware conditions, such as appropriate cooling solutions and motherboards that support overclocking.

Selecting the Perfect CPU for Gaming

This is mainly dependent on the type of setup you want to establish. It will also depend on the other components you want to use in your design. Gaming relies mainly on the processing capability of your CPU and GPU, but the rest of your details should still match the system’s total power. When choosing the perfect CPU for gaming, Intel and AMD are the market leaders. Both companies provide outstanding gaming CPUs; your unique needs determine your pick.

Consider the following crucial points:

A CPU with at least four cores is recommended for a satisfactory gaming experience. This ensures that your system can efficiently handle modern games. Additional cores can help with multitasking and demanding titles. Intel has a solid reputation for delivering top-tier gaming performance. However, AMD gaming processors have made tremendous progress in recent years, narrowing the performance difference. Your priorities and use cases determine your choice between Intel and AMD.

Intel CPUs may have a tiny advantage if gaming is your primary focus and you want the most significant frame rates. However, if your activities include video editing, streaming, 3D animation, or other multi-threaded work in addition to gaming, AMD CPUs shine due to their superior performance. AMD CPUs are frequently used for streaming during gaming. Their powerful multi-core performance makes them ideal for simultaneously handling gaming and streaming tasks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a better cpu do for gaming?

The CPU is an essential component for gaming, from frame rates to configurable gameplay settings.  A stronger gaming CPU can result in more excellent frame rates, fewer bottlenecks, and overall increased gaming performance. It enables the computer to process game data faster, resulting in smoother gameplay, faster load times, and improved responsiveness, particularly in CPU-intensive games and multitasking circumstances.

What does a CPU do for a gaming PC?

A high-quality CPU is an essential component of any gaming PC. It is critical to ensure that the system can match the demands of modern games, allowing gamers to experience their favorite titles smoothly and without performance concerns. In a gaming PC, the CPU (Central Processing Unit) processes game instructions, manages game logic, and handles various tasks such as physics calculations, artificial intelligence, and overall system performance, contributing to the gaming experience by determining performance, frame rates, and responsiveness.


CPU is an essential component for gaming because it regulates many aspects of game execution, logic, physics, AI, and performance. A powerful CPU can improve gaming experiences by ensuring that games run smoothly and respond swiftly to player inputs, resulting in better graphics, faster load times, and enhanced gameplay.

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.