Bottleneck is a term that is highly feared by demanding PC users. This expression is used to indicate that one component is limiting the performance of the others. It may be that the processor limits the graphics card or vice versa, or that the system runs out of RAM. In this post we explain how you can know if your PC suffers from a bottleneck when playing.
What is the bottleneck on a gaming PC?
In an ideal situation when we are playing games, the graphics card will work with a load level higher than 95% . This means that the other components are not limiting its performance, and the GPU offers us all the images per second that it can give.
However, there are cases where the processor is not powerful enough to allow the graphics card to perform at its best. It may also be that the RAM is not enough, and at times when it is saturated, reducing the performance of the PC in general.
How to know if your PC suffers from a bottleneck
It is quite easy to see if our PC suffers a processor or RAM bottleneck . In these cases, we will see how the GPU load level is well below 95%. I've even seen extreme cases where the processor was at 100% and the graphics card was barely reaching 20%.
In order to view this data, we will use the free MSI Afterburner program . It is a very complete tool that you can download from its official website. The download option is at the bottom of the page. Once it's downloaded, you just have to install the program.
After installing MSI Afterburner, we will configure it properly to see if our PC suffers a processor or RAM bottleneck when playing. To do this, the first thing to do will be to start the program.
Once MSI Afterburner is open, we enter the configuration options from the gear that is presented in its user interface.
This will open a window with all the MSI Afterburner configuration options. We enter the " Monitoring " tab to access all the options that interest us. Once inside we will have to look for the following options and check the box "Show on screen information".
- GPU1 load
- CPU usage (we mark all the cores there are)
- RAM usage
After that we click on " Accept ". MSI Afterburner is now ready to show us all the information that interests us on the screen.
The next step is to start a game and analyze the information that MSI Afterburner shows us on the screen. In this case we will use Forza Motorsport 6: Apex as an example, although you can use any of your favorite games.
After launching the game, MSI Afterburner will show us a lot of valuable information . With this we can know the load level of all the components of our PC, and see if it suffers a bottleneck.
In this specific case, it can be seen that the GPU load level is around 40% , while there are two processor cores that are 100% loaded. This is a very clear example of a processor bottlenecking the graphics card.
How can I fix my PC bottleneck?
In this case that I show you, the solution would be to change the processor for a more powerful one . My processor is 5 years old and was a low-end chip at the time, so it has become very outdated for modern games. I hardly play with the PC, and for the rest of the tasks it is more than enough, this is the reason why I have not updated it to a more powerful one, I simply do not need it.