Up For Debate – What gaming PC hardware is causing your bottleneck?


At some point, every gamer wonders about how optimised their PC hardware configuration is. About where their performance bottleneck is. You have a bundle of PC components all singing along nicely, but somewhere in every system there lies a specific point of slow down. That weak-point where more performance power is happening on one side and all that potential performance is not carried through due to encountering weaker components within the PC?

Perhaps its the graphics card or my 4 year old processor? Maybe its the power supply unit not releasing enough juice to my CPU? Or maybe its system memory or even the  motherboard.

Obviously the answer can change on a case by case, depending on what you want to use your PC for. For example, your performance bottleneck could be the CPU if you are hoping to increase the speed of turns being processed during a game like Total War 3 Kingdoms. Or maybe a future concern is that there isnt enough graphics card VRAM to power all the graphical fidelity in a game like, Cyberpunk 2077.

The key hardware components that can be responsible for computer system bottlenecks are normally the CPU, GPU or RAM. But you could also find that your system is actually being held back by one of the lesser regarded components, like the motherboard, PSU, hard drive or even RAM type. But these are harder to diagnose as the performance dampening culprits and normally if one of these are your problem then your system is pretty well optimised already. But one of the experts around GD might be able to suggest ways to tweak for better performance again. But, as always it really depends on what you want your PC to be good at. Gaming, video editing, audio processing, game development, these are a couple of ways we specialise our PCs, but perhaps you are still thinking of coin mining or just hoping to find a bargain when looking to get the best PC for some good old fashioned word processing and web browsing?

As there are so many variations and possibilities for bottlenecks in todays gaming and hardware, I wanted to put this article together so we have a place where fellow Game-Debaters can come and share tech knowledge. To help one another out around what can be quite a comprehensive question and answer. Somewhere for us to be able to post up system specs, and ask our community if we think the particular modern PC hardware setup would be good for a particular task or if there is an obvious weak point that could cause the PC bottleneck.

So in the comments post up a spec and try to follow the following format and then other GD’ers can head along and share their thoughts on the set up. Here is an example of how the spec should look.


PC Purpose:  Total War: 3 Kingdoms 1440p Ultra

CPU: Intel i5 2500K

GPU: GTX 1060


Budget: $200


You can add as many system components as you wish, just try and keep it succinct. For example, you could put in MOBO, for motherboard, HD for Hard Drive, PSU for Power Supply Unit. You can also add much more data as well for each component to give people even more insight into your situation.


PC Purpose: What’s the bottleneck and what could I do to improve when running Total War 3 Kingdoms on Ultra @1440p, with in battle unit numbers at max plus improving the end campaign turn speed.

CPU: Intel i5 2500K


RAM: 1x8GB 1666MHz DDR3 CL10

MOBO: Aorus Z370 Gaming 3 Motherboard

Budget: £300


Heres a blank one to copy and paste in the comments below

PC Purpose:






If this article captures our collective interest then I will elevate it further across the site. Perhaps someone is looking for a new build and they want to post up their PC upgrade suggestion and be advised where the bottleneck might be. Or maybe a hardware suggestion upgrade that would remove the bottleneck, or maybe they are looking for a powerhouse PC for video editing and are not sure which components make the most difference, or perhaps you are just looking for a single GPU upgrade suggestion for your current setup and want to avoid any system performance wastage.

Once someone has posted up their bottleneck enquiry I invite everyone to the comments section to help each other out with suggested bottlenecks, solutions, upgrades, links to stores or even somewhere that there is background reading about a particular tech issue their rig could encounter.

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