Processor and Graphics Card Compatibility Test: Get it Right

Component compatibility is a fundamental factor in any computer upgrade.  Particularly acute is the question of Processor And Graphics Card Compatibility Test for gamers.  In this article you will learn what roles are assigned to the CPU and GPU, how to check the compatibility of the processor and the video card in order to find the best balance between them based on benchmark statistics and acquired knowledge.

Processor And Graphics Card Compatibility Test

Processor and graphics card compatibility Test basic information

To check compatibility in the wilds of the components do not need to climb. It is important to understand the logic of the operation of individual components and the entire system as a whole. Who is responsible for what:

  • Central processing unit (CPU) – is responsible for physics and geometry. The CPU creates the whole picture that the video card subsequently draws.
  • Video card (GPU) – is responsible for rendering the picture (grid, landscape) and all the beauties that are perceived by our eyes.
  • The motherboard is the connecting link of all elements of the computer, including the CPU and GPU. In order for both components to successfully coexist in the same computer, their connectors must be supported by the motherboard. For example, the same socket version for the processor and the same (preferably) PCI Express system bus for a discrete graphics card.

Let’s get back to processor and video card compatibility. When the CPU does not have time to render the required number of frames (FPS) that the graphics card needs, the bottleneck starts. That is, one of the components of the system does not allow the other (or other) components to reveal their full potential. The narrow neck (bottleneck translation) provides a good example of this phenomenon.

During CPU botneting, loading a video card may constantly beckon from 0 to 100%, it may not reach 100%. Such behavioral factors indicate that the processor does not keep up with the graphics card.

Or vice versa – the processor is quite powerful, but the video card does not have time for it. This is more difficult to notice, because there will be no explicit friezes, and there will simply be low FPS. To somehow stabilize the situation, you should lower the game settings.

Checking the compatibility of the processor and the video card will eliminate this phenomenon.

Checking processor and video card compatibility

There are three ways to select a video card for the processor:

  • View characteristics and correspondence between components. This is necessary in order to determine whether the CPU and GPU can even coexist in a single system.
  • Checking the processor and video card through the banished benchmark. Comparison of bare numbers to reveal the “green zone” for the best balance.
  • Own experience in determining the games that you run.

According to characteristics

Modern discrete graphics cards are connected to the motherboard through a PCIe slot version 3.0. At the same time, PCIe support should not only be on the motherboard, but also on the CPU, otherwise there may be problems with the standard functioning of the entire PC.

In 2019, the era of support for the PCIe 4.0 version was marked with the release of Gigabite’s X570 Aorus motherboards. Now in the 2020 market you can find all the components (motherboard, CPU, discrete card) with support for the new version of the slot, with better bandwidth. But prices bite.

If the video card together with the motherboard supports PCIe 4.0, and the processor only PCIe 3.0, the entire system will work with PCIe 3.0. That is, botneking returns to you.

In general, now motherboards are created for various models and various manufacturers, so it will not work to make a mistake in the default characteristics:

1. The socket is responsible for the compatibility of the motherboard and the CPU. Popular are Socket 1050, 1151, 2011, 2066, AM3 +, AM4, FM2 +.

Checking Processor And Video Card Compatibility

2. The PCIe x slot is responsible for GPU compatibility.

According To Characteristics

This compatibility is enough to run the system.

Processor and video card compatibility – benchmark tests

If you are asking, or if you already have a CPU and a discrete card on hand, PassMark Software will help you to check for the “perfect pair”. Using it is pretty easy. The source data can be found in the table:

The instruction for use is as follows:

1. In the search bar of the first table, enter the model of the graphics card (for example, GTX 1070).

Processor And Video Card Compatibility - Benchmark Tests

2. Enter the processor model (for example, Intel Core i5 6600K) in the search box of the second table.

3. Compare both Passmark ratings. An ideal balance is achieved with indicators equal to or different from each other by no more than 10%.

4. In this example, it is seen that the Intel Core i5 6600K processor does not reveal the full potential of the Geforce GTX graphics card

5. In the green zone, along with the GeForce GTX 1070 there will be CPUs Core i7 6900K, AMD Ryzen 5 2600, Core i9 9900T.

GeForce GTX 1070 there will be CPUs Core i7 6900K

6. In the green zone, along with the Intel Core i5 6600K will be the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, Radeon RX 570.

Intel Core i5 6600K will be the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, Radeon RX 570.

7. The second criterion is the price. Compare them before your final choice.

Monitoring of the processor and the video card using a simple table with numbers showed the incompatibility of the initially selected components and helped to choose the most correct pairs than it got rid of botnking.

But is it right to rely on bare numbers? Not really, if you have some experience with the dependence of some indicators on others. At the same time, in games or resource-demanding programs, very insignificant geometry tasks may fall on the processor’s shoulders, but the video card has a hard time to draw a picture that is visually perceived very, very colorful.

Under such circumstances, it is better to test yourself.

You May Also Like: how to check if graphics card is dead

Processor and Video Card Compatibility – DIY Testing

If you have one element of the system (for example, CPU), and you need to choose the right second component (for example, GPU), you should run one of the most demanding AAA class games.

You can trace what the processor is capable of by lowering the settings in the game for everything that the video card is responsible for. This removes the load from the graphics core so that it is not 100% loaded. After that, you will see how many frames your processor is ready to draw in a particular game. Each game will have its own rendering. By and large, it depends on the game engine and the technologies that are used for it.

After determining the FPS with minimal graphics settings, you need to select a video card for it, which can also provide the same level of FPS in the game. For example, if in The Witcher 3 the CPU shows 30 FPS, then the video card needs to be selected with 30 FPS. If the GPU can accelerate to 60 frames, the processor simply can not keep up with it and botneting will appear.

On the example of two games, experimentally, find out whether the processor and video card in games correspond to the same frame rate.

For Battlefield One:

1. Go to the Graphics Settings and lower them. Responsible for the graphics – screen resolution, graphics quality, grass, post-processing, effects. For physics and geometry in the CPU – the landscape and the grid.

For Battlefield One:

2. Almost removing the entire schedule, it was raised to a good frame rate of 115-150 FPS.

For Battlefield One:

3. Therefore, for the Intel Core i5 6600K processor in this game, the GeForce GTX will go quite well.

For The Witcher 3:

1. Go to the graphics settings and set low graphics performance (HD resolution and post-processing).

For The Witcher 3:

2. The processor is responsible for the number of characters on the screen and the quality of the terrain, so leave these figures at maximum.

3. In Novigrad, with many NPCs, it also shows a rather large frame rate.

For The Witcher 3:

4. With this indicator, we can also conclude that the CPU will look great paired with the GeForce GTX.

The number of FPS issued by various video cards can be viewed in benchmarks for popular games.

Processor and graphics card compatibility – additional information

It is important to remember that CPUs and GPUs under load are hot ovens that need to be properly cooled. If this is not done, the frame rate will drop and it will not be possible to properly detect the compatibility of the processor and the video card.

The temperature of the CPU and GPU can be found using the program AIDA64.

During downtime:

  • CPU temperature should be within 40 degrees;
  • The temperature of the video card is 30-50 degrees.

Under load temperature indicator:

  • for the CPU is 70-85 degrees;
  • graphics card 72-84 degrees.

It is advisable to adhere to these limits, because exceeding this temperature regime leads to:

  • to trotting;
  • to the lags and friezes;
  • to wear and premature failure of iron.

You can determine the compatibility of the processor and the video card at the hardware compatibility level, cold calculation using benchmarks or your own practice in a point-oriented game or a resource-dependent program. Also, when conducting tests, one should not forget about cooling and always try to maintain the optimum temperature in the PC system unit.

Hi, fellow tech enthusiasts! I’m Syed Kashif Shah, and I’m proud to be your go-to expert for all things like problems, suggestions, recommendations related to graphics cards. As a seasoned Technology Consultant and Hardware Enthusiast, I’ve spent years in the graphics card troubleshooting and repair field.

Leave a Comment