Bottleneck on PC: Explaining what is and what is not

Bottleneck on PC

The bottleneck is a problem that occurs when the capacity of one or more computer components is limited due to the difference in performance of another, the severity of this problem is especially focused on the processor and the graphics card of the computer. 

When you are playing a certain game, it consumes resources of the components of your computer, if one of the components is consuming 100% of the resources and another that is not needed, that means that the component that is reaching the 100% is generating a bottleneck.

For example, if you have a computer with a Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor with a GTX 980 graphics card, there could be a bottleneck because the range and performance of that processor is not up to that graphic card. The same can happen if you have a Core i7-5960X processor with an R7 360 graphics card you could also generate bottlenecks because the graphics card is not up to that processor.

If you look at the previous paragraph written in bold the phrase “there could be a bottleneck ” and ” you could also generate bottlenecks, ” because this does not always happen even if you have the components of your computer unbalanced, because the bottlenecks does not always happen, depends on the game that you are playing and that depends on the consumption that is making, that said game to your graphics card and your processor.

For example, there are games that consume few resources of the processor and many of the graphics card and vice versa, if you have a Phenom II X6 1100 processor with a Titan Z graph, theoretically there would say that could generate bottleneck because the processor range is well below of the GPU range, however if you are running a game with only those two components that will only consume 50% of the resources of your processor and 80% of the consumption of your graphics card there would not be happening A bottleneck case because the capacity of the graphics card was not limited by the processor although the processor is of a lower range.

How to know if you have a bottleneck

That you can know by monitoring the consumption of resources that is made to the components while you are playing. There are many programs to do it, I recommend the MSI AfterBurner and the RivaTuner Statistic Server. With these two programs if you know how to configure you can see in real time the resource consumption that a game is making a certain game to your team and thus realise the moments in which bottlenecks are generated. You would see something like this:

Bottleneck on PCIn that example image you are seeing that 97% of the graph resources are being consumed and 63% of CPU consumption. The design of the statistics and data to display is customizable by the same MSI Afterburner and RivaTuner problem to display the data you want to see and how you want to see it.

Too easy. Download the MSI AfterBurner from this link (Download MSI Afterburner) and RivaTuner from this other link (Download RivaTuner). Download and install both programs and open the MSI Afterburner.

When you run the MSI Afterburner click on the button that says “Setting” or “Configuration” depending on the language you have it. Then in the window that opens click on the tab that says “Monitoring“:

Bottleneck on PC

In the option that says “Hardware Information Refresh Period“, choose 400 to prevent the data from being updated too fast and below check the boxes of the variables you want to see. To verify if your case is a bottleneck you must mark “GPU Load” and those that say “CPU Usage“. There may be several for each processor core such as CPU1, CPU2, CPU3, ect. Now finally make sure that the box below that says “Display information on screen” is checked and click “Ok” to save the changes.

Now enter the game you want to play and in the upper left will appear numbers where you can observe the consumption of your resources and see if you have a bottleneck.

Bottleneck on PC

Normally the letters come out purple, but you can customize the color in the Riva Tuner in the icon that appears in the bottom right.

If you did not understand something about the subject or have any doubts do not hesitate to ask it in the comments.