Can Motherboard Bottleneck GPU? Answered.

The short answer will be yes, but in most cases not directly. Why such an uncertain answer? As we know, bottleneck is usually associated with performance.

So if your old motherboard only supports an old generation CPU, that means that old CPU will bottleneck the newer generation GPU.

Example of Motherboard Bottlenecking GPU

PCIE2 bottleneck

Imagine that you have an old, once powerful computer, probably it has specifications like – MSI GD65 Z77 (motherboard) and i7-2600k (CPU).

In this case, you can run GTX 970 or RX 580 but not more powerful GPU like GTX 2080 or GTX 3080.

If you want to upgrade your GPU, you will need to change your CPU to a newer one, more powerful, but you can’t do it without changing the motherboard (your motherboard only supports the old generation CPU).

Motherboard PCIe slot for GPU

A lot of people still have an old PC builds at their home. In this case, an older PC can have an older generation motherboard that only supports PCI-E 2×16, which is little slower than PCIe 3×16 slot. PCIe’s slots are very fast, and even PCIe 2×16 can work with the newest GPU (theoretically).

Does PCIe 2×16 will bottleneck newer GPU?

You’re probably wondering if it will Bottleneck the GPU with PCI-E 3×16. The short answer will be – probably NO. The differences in speed are so small that they are unlikely to be felt.

In the worst scenario, you will lose from 2 to 5 FPS. You can run GTX 1080 ti on PCIe 2×16, but chances are pretty good you’ve got a CPU that’ll bottleneck it.

If you want to know more about PCIe slot, you can read our other article about it.

What is Bottlenecking?

GPU CPU draw bottleneck

Bottleneck occurs when there is some restrictive element holding back the performance that would otherwise be achieved.

This term is widely used in the computer and business world. In computer world, when GPU does not work as it should, mostly it is because CPU bottleneck it. You can easily check it on online bottleneck calculator – Bottleneck Calculator.

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The motherboard may not bottleneck the GPU, but weak components on MB such as CPU, RAM, STORAGE can cause a Bottleneck problem.

We you fins your searched answer, if not, please leave a comment below, and we try to answer as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a motherboard bottleneck?

As we mention earlier, it’s motherboard that can be a problem to upgrade CPU, RAM.

How to check if your CPU is Bottlenecking your GPU?

There is plenty of online bottleneck calculator, where you can write down your hardware specifications and get results immediately. For example, – Bottleneck Calculator.

Can I use PCIe 3×16 GPU on PCIe 2×16?

Yes, you can use it, it will work without problem.

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