GPU vs. CPU for Gaming: Everything You Need to Know

CPU vs GPU

Whenever we talk about GPU and CPU, most people have one question in their mind, between GPU and CPU, which is more important for gaming; later in this article, we will talk about further details.

Still, for now, in my opinion, both play significant roles. According to tech-savvy, the CPU is the brain, and GPU is the soul of the PC. There are different types, such as Integrated dedicated GPU. Read this article to know more details; which one is more powerful?

What is GPU?

The graphics processing unit, also known as Video Card, is an important tech part for computers in this era. CPU can handle all types of tasks, but it is designed for 3D image processing, video editing, and playing games. All those small tasks like image processing calculations send to GPU instead of CPU. It can handle a wide range of tasks at a time.

With time developers made some improvements in the GPU; it has also become more flexible and programable; now, creators can create more interesting visual effects and realistic scenes with advanced technology.

Types of GPU

1. Dedicated Graphics Card

Dedicated graphics cards are expensive, you have to purchase and mount this card on your own. If you are planning to spend a few dollars on this then it’s worth it, because dedicated graphics cards can handle complicated tasks such as 4K video editing, programming, and playing high-end games. It is faster than integrated graphics cards and this is the best performance graphics card in the market.     

2. Integrated Graphics Card

Integrated graphics cards are cheaper than dedicated graphics cards, and it also comes with the CPU. It can handle essential tasks like streaming, playing mid-range games, and watching 4K videos.

Compared to dedicated graphics cards, it also has a few benefits like better power efficiency, and it allows to share space with the CPU.

GPU of Laptop or PC

What is CPU?

The central processing unit is one of computers’ most important tech parts. CPU can function with hardware, and it has a separate memory that can store information temporarily.

It handles different tasks such as running programs and making calculations—a few smart devices run by CPU such as desktop, laptop, smartphone, etc.

It has different types: Single Core CPU, Dual Core CPU, Quad-Core CPU, Hexa Core CPU, Octa-Core CPU, and Deca Core CPU. Speed, efficiency, and performance depend on how many cores you have in the processor.

Intel

On a performance basis, Intel is the best processor for computers. If you are looking for a processor that can handle intense tasks like rendering video editing, I recommend going with Intel.

Recently, Intel launched a 12th Gen processor, compare to previous chips, it is more stable; it has a performance core and efficiency core for the first time. Now the battery will last longer than previous chips.

AMD

AMD chips are not the best on the market, but it is a well-balanced processor which can handle essential tasks like playing mid-range games, basic video editing tasks in 1080P, etc. Anybody can afford this chip. Recently AMD launched Ryzen 9 5900X hybrid processor chip, and it has a performance core and efficiency core.

CPU Architecture
Image Credit: Wikimedia

CPU vs. GPU for Gaming

CPUGPU
CPU is designed to control the different operations.GPU is designed to render high-quality 3D images, games and videos
It provides instructions to GPU and other components of your computerIt also performs different types of tasks such as machine learning and scientific calculations
Some processors like single or dual cores cannot offer enough power to run properly and your game will lagGPU can accelerate the data. It also gives you a seamless gaming experience

As I mentioned before, both GPU and CPU play an essential role for computers. CPU has small dedicated cores, and they work in a sequential process. GPU is built for multitasking, and it has thousands of cores that can handle thousands of instructions at a time.

A few processors have a hyper-threading process that is beneficial while playing games because it improves your PC performance and gives you a seamless gaming experience.

For the latest games, GPU is more important than CPU. Without GPU, you can’t run games like Far Cry 6, Call of Duty, etc. Only GPU can render high-quality 3D scenes or animations of the games. These games are built to take advantage of all cores.

Role of GPU in Gaming

Most graphics cards are built in the CPU to handle mid-range games. If you want to play high-end games or the latest games, you need advanced graphics cards because each game has minimum graphics requirements like Far Cry 6 has Ryzen 5 series GPU is the minimum requirement to play.

Role of CPU in Gaming

CPU is the brain of your computer. You might not know this, but the CPU gives GPU instructions to complete different tasks. CPU also handles audio and video files and graphics in your system.

Let me give you an example so you can understand better; let’s assume that you are playing counterstrike; whatever visuals you are watching in that game world, it’s because of GPU.

CPU controls the machine’s input then processes them. For example, if you are firing your enemy at someone or moving around during your gameplay, machine cycling happens.

Also, the CPU calculates each movement, like how many bullets you used and how much remaining ammo you have, where you pointed your mouse while firing your ammo at someone, etc.

Which GPU Specs are needed for Gaming?

If you play a video on your system, then each second, GPU will calculate lots of data because it is responsible for rendering any video or images. Previously I mentioned integrated and dedicated GPU, so let’s not go there.

Which Graphics card’s features needs for gaming, Mostly depends on what kind of games you are playing. For mid-range games like Call of Duty, a minimum of 4GB graphics card is enough, but if you are playing high-end games with 1080P or 4K resolution, you will need 6GB to 8GB graphics cards.

Which CPU Specs are needed for Gaming?

While playing games, GPU is responsible for visuals, and the CPU is responsible for better performance. Mostly it depends on what kind of games you are playing.

If you are looking for a CPU that can handle mid-range games, the minimum requirement is Intel i5 and i7 generation chips with 4 cores or Ryzen series 5. Intel i5 and i7 generations chip with 6 to 8 cores or Ryzen series 7 & 9 is recommended for high-end games.

Which is the most Important for Gaming: CPU or GPU?

Simply, Both a Powerful Processor and Smooth Dedicated Graphics Card are needed for Gaming.

CPU and GPU are the essential components for PC gaming because the processor controls everything like it provides instruction to graphics cards and controls overall performance while playing games. Graphics cards handle the game visuals like scenes, images, and animation.

How do GPU and CPU work together?

GPU is designed to work as a support system for CPU; if you think that it can replace the CPU, then, for now, that is not possible. The processor controls your entire system. The graphics processing unit performs some specific tasks which the processor instructs.

It is not a difficult thing to understand. Let’s assume you open a file, and that data will be stored in the RAM for a temporary period; from there, the CPU will read and calculate the data then send it to graphics or other components in a single-thread system.

Why Do I Need CPU and GPU on Computer?

Without GPU, you can run the PC, but if you don’t have a CPU, you can’t, because everything like if you press the power-on button to move your mouse point controlled by the processor and for intense tasks like gaming, streaming and programming will you need a graphics card.

How To Choose CPUs & GPUs For Gaming?

Selecting a graphics card or central processing unit isn’t difficult; it mainly depends on what type of game you are playing. Remember that you can upgrade other components, but CPU is challenging to do so; choose carefully.

First, you need to check out how many cores your CPU has; the more cores you have, the better performance you will get.

Next, you should look for clock speed, which means in a second how many instructions processors can execute; the higher the clock speed, the better result you will get. Then look for overclocking; it will maximize the PC performance.

After completing these steps, look for a hybrid CPU such as Ryzen 7 or 9 series, and the Intel 12 generation is the best processor for gaming.

If you plan to play high-end games, you should look for a 6GB or 8GB graphics card; it can also handle 1080P or 4K videos.

It would be best if you also looked for the size of the graphics cards such as single slot, dual slots graphics cards, and three or more slots graphics cards for gaming two or more slots graphics cards are preferred.

Thermal design power or you can say the cooling system is essential I will suggest RTX 3080 or RTX 6800 is the best. Most graphics cards have a lower clock speed. A faster memory card is also important, and I will recommend GTX 1650 GDDR6 because it is 15% faster than the previous version.

Should I upgrade my GPU or CPU?

If you are looking for a PC that can handle basic needs like Microsoft office, internet surfing, or playing basic games, you don’t need to upgrade your PC.

CPU controls the entire system, so if you upgrade it, then you will get a better performance and gaming experience. If you plan to upgrade your graphics card, you will get more detailed scenes during your gameplay.

Things to consider when choosing and upgrading your GPU & CPU

Know your gaming requirements

Gaming requirements depend on your need. As I mentioned before, if you are looking for high-end games or mid-range games, you will need powerful graphics cards and a hybrid processor.

For GPU

  • Monitor resolution: if you are looking for a gaming monitor, 1080P or 1440P is the minimum requirement. You also have other options like 4K pixel and 8K pixel, and quality is impressive and more detailed video quality.  
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz and 240Hz is the recommended refresh rate for playing games.
  • Memory: 6GB or 8GB RAM is the minimum requirement for playing games.
  • Form factor: There are different sizes, and cooling options of graphics cards like SSF graphics cards, low profile graphics cards, single & dual-slot graphics cards, passively cooled graphics cards, water-cooled graphics cards, etc.
  • AMD FreeSync or NVIDIA G-Sync: While selecting a PC or laptop pixel quality is essential, FreeSync and G-Sync are the two standards for tearing or lag. If you are ok with low input lag, then FreeSync is fit for you; if you are looking for standard input lag, then G-Sync is suitable for you.
  • VR support: if you want to play VR mode games, the minimum GPU requirement is 8GB or 11GB. Because gaming will generate more heat, you should install a better cooling system to prevent that.
  • AI: Graphics processing unit is an artificial intelligence system specially developed for deep learning. GPU can handle any type of intense task in the future; GPU can easily handle machine learning tasks because it has thousands of cores.

For CPU

  • Generation: Intel each new version known as a generation. You may be heard of 9th Gen, 10th Gen, or 11Th Gen. Each generation upgrades its connectivity, more extended battery efficiency, faster clock speed, image process quality, etc. Intel 12th gen is the latest and most powerful processor in the market.
  • Core: There are different types of cores available such as Intel has 4 cores, 6 cores, 8 cores, 11 cores, etc. You can choose how many you want for your PC according to your need.
  • Thread: I already mentioned before, it is similar to a chain system that connects one component to another; for example, in a single thread CPU will transfer the data to GPU through the thread. There are two types of threads single thread and multi-thread (two or more threads).
  • Frequency: processor running billions of operations each second, so the more operation it will complete is better. For gaming minimum of 3.5GHz to 4.0GHz is the minimum clock speed. 

Which types of game require more labor from the CPU?

There are a lot of games designed in a way to utilize each core and thread. All the latest games need a better CPU, first-person gunfight game Call of Duty minimum requirement is Quad-cores processor to run smoothly, like Intel i5 with quad cores and four threads, AMD Ryzen series 5 with 12 cores and 6 threads.

Recently famous multiplayer game World of Warcraft, the minimum requirement is Intel i7 Generation with 4 core and 8 threads, AMD FX-8310 with 8 cores and 8 threads.

In another popular game, Grand thief Auto 5, the minimum requirement is Intel i5 3470 with quad cores and 4 threads, AMD FX-8350 with octa cores and 8 threads.

Which types of game require more labor from the GPU?

Most of the games depend on the GPU; the more graphics card storage you have, the better details and smoother experience.

Call of Duty is one of the amazing games; for this, you need NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 with 4GB, GTX 1060 with 6GB, Radeon R9 390, or AMD RX 580. These are the mid-range graphics cards.

World of Warcraft is a fun game to play; for this, you need NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 with 4GB, AMD Radeon 280, GTX 960 is a hybrid graphics card, you can run both cards at higher resolution.

Grand Thief Auto 5 and Fortnite Battle Royal games can run at low-end graphics; NVIDIA GTX 660 2GB and AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB are the minimum requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Can GPU be used as a CPU?

GPU can not replace CPU, and I know that the graphics processing unit is faster than the central processing unit.

Graphics cards can also handle two or more tasks when the processor can handle one task at a time, but you should remember the processor tells graphics cards to do that tasks after the graphics card is taking action.

It’s like your brain tells you to go and take that pen and write; the same theory applies to the CPU (brain). Did you get it?

Q2. Are GPUs More Important Than CPUs

Definitely not, because CPU and GPU play an essential role in the PC. Processors handle different types of tasks like instructing other components on what they should do and graphics cards used for rendering images and videos.

Q3. Why is the GPU faster than the CPU?

The GPU has a higher number of SM/CU units; it is much faster than the CPU because of the parallel processing capability. It also depends on core size; the bigger the performance, the quicker you will get. 

Q4. Is GPU a graphics card?

GPU is the unit of graphics cards that are actually processing the images and videos, and the graphics card is just an expansion card in the device which generates images.


Final Words

The conclusion is that if you want to play a modern game with a higher refresh rate, you have to take a powerful graphic card and an advanced processor for a PC or laptop.

If you do not want to play heavy games, you can also take a light graphics card with a powerful CPU; it does most office work.

Graphics Card works for rendering and CPU managing the process and all components like RAM Storage, so what should you do? According to the graphics card or take, the type of game should be played, decided, and selected.

GPU vs. CPU for Gaming: Everything You Need to Know
GPU vs. CPU for Gaming: Everything You Need to Know

Ali

Ali

I am Ali, a Software Engineer. I love the latest technology as well as Digital Marketing. Also, I Love to Write about the latest and upcoming technologies and Gadgets. I Love to travel around the world and learn new things.

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