It only takes one poor component to undermine the whole computer…

You might have an incredible processor under the hood, but with an on-board graphics card your computer is going nowhere very quickly. Unfortunately, when you purchased this computer you paid for the expensive processor that is never able to perform to it’s potential. The money that was spent on your processor could have been more wisely invested in a cheaper processor and and a more expensive discrete graphics card.

A graph revealing that the CPU is bottlenecked by the GPU.

A Bottlenecked CPU

What is a bottleneck?

Imagine your computer is a team of about 6 people working diligently to read, write, process, and render information.  Each person works at a station in what is similar to an assembly line.  A bottleneck occurs when one of these people (or computer components) is unable to keep up with the others and slows down the whole process.  Just recently, I had a customer request a custom computer.  He gave me a list of the components he wanted and a price one of our competitors quoted him.  I responded by beating the competitors price by 10%, and suggested an HPPC computer that is 35% cheaper and performs 60% faster.  I also directed him to performance benchmarks that illustrate the differences in performance.  Bottlenecks are a big problem in the computer industry.

How do you know if your gaming PC has a bottleneck?

Determining whether your computer is bottlenecked is not easy.  To complicate matters this also depends on what your computer is used for.  One way to get a rough idea is to check the ‘Windows Experience Index’ on your computer.

Left click the Start menu globe  in the lower right corner. > Type  wei  into the search box. > Left click  Check the windows experience index.
The best way to determine if your computer is bottlenecked is to contact us for a free consultation.

A graph showing a GPU that is bottlenecked by a CPU.

A Bottlenecked GPU

How to Avoid Gaming PC Bottlenecks

As a rule of thumb your GPU should cost about 20% more than your CPU. In other words, spend $260 on an Intel i5 CPU and $320 for a GTX 1060 GPU. This is a general concept and works most of the time. Motherboards don’t bottleneck gaming PCs, but for your own sake, don’t grab the cheapest one you can find. Expect to pay $150 for quality and longevity.

Is there a remedy for bottlenecks?

Yes, you don’t need to buy a new computer to improve gaming performance. It’s often times cheaper to have your computer upgraded with your specific needs in mind.  Call Assai Tech, and we can dramatically improve the performance of your computer.

How do custom gaming PCs avoid bottlenecks?

There are two main advantages to owning a custom computer.  First, having a computer designed for your specific use is the only way to avoid bottlenecks completely.  Avoiding bottlenecks saves you money and increases performance.  Second, custom computers do not have proprietary components and are therefore fully upgradeable.  And if a custom computer needs repair,  just the faulty component can be replaced.  That sure beats buying a whole new computer.

Is it common for computers to have bottlenecks?

It’s very common, in fact, it’s been the norm for years now.  One reason for this is that the growth in technology has not been uniform over the past 6 years.  For example, a computer sold 6 years ago had a quarter the amount of RAM compared a computer selling for the same price today.  Today’s RAM operates at more than twice the speed of yesterday’s RAM.  This is an incredible improvement in capacity and performance.  Meanwhile, hard drive performance, dollar for dollar, has not improved at all.  Another reason bottlenecked computers are so common is quite simply ‘marketing’.  Hardware manufacturers are great at marketing their products, while computer manufacturers are great at cutting costs.  You end up with an exciting processor without the components to tap its potential.