What Should I Upgrade First GPU Or CPU?

If you want to take your gaming experience to the next level, upgrading your graphics card (GPU) is a great way to do it. However, if you’re looking for faster game loading times and better performance on your computer as a whole, upgrading your processor (CPU) should be more of a priority.

Building your gaming computer can be a very fulfilling experience. But deciding what components to upgrade and in what order can be difficult for anyone new to PC building. 

Choosing whether to upgrade the central processing unit (CPU) or graphics processing unit (GPU) will have significant effects on your overall system performance, so it’s important to pick wisely from the start. 

This guide explains everything you need to know about upgrading your CPU and GPU, and tells you which one should be upgraded first based on your personal needs.

Background – What Do You Need?

In the world of computers, two main components affect how fast your computer is. The first is your graphics card (or GPU), and the second is your central processing unit (or CPU). 

If you’re looking to upgrade one of these components, it might be hard to decide which one should come first. 

Generally speaking, if your PC is feeling sluggish due to a lack of power, upgrading your CPU will help. Upgrading your GPU will help if your PC feels slow because it can’t display enough frames per second on-screen. 

There are also a few things you should keep in mind when deciding which component to upgrade first. For example, CPUs typically last longer than GPUs do, but they don’t make as big of an impact on performance. 

Likewise, while more expensive CPUs have higher clock speeds and can do more work in a given time frame, they often have fewer cores than cheaper ones. 

If you’re primarily concerned with multithreaded applications like video encoding and photo editing, then this could be a concern for you. 

On the other hand, CPUs with lower clock speed but more cores are better for single-threaded applications such as web browsing, so this would not be an issue for someone using their PC primarily for those tasks.

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If You’re A Gamer, Upgrade Your GPU First

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A lot of gamers are wondering when they should upgrade their PC. The answer is simple. If you’re a gamer, then it’s best to spend your money on a better graphics card. 

Your graphics card is the most important part of a gaming computer. Because it determines how well the game will run and how many frames per second (fps) it can display. 

Higher-quality graphics cards have more cores that make up their processing power. So the faster a core is the higher its performance.

Related Reading: How To Tell If Your Graphics Card Is Dying?

If You’re A Power User, Upgrade Your CPU First

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If you’re a power user, it makes the most sense to upgrade your CPU first. This is because the CPU is responsible for interpreting and executing instructions.

If you don’t play games on your PC but use it mostly for browsing the internet and watching videos, then upgrading your CPU is going to be more beneficial than adding an expensive GPU into the mix. 

Laptops generally only come with integrated graphics cards which are made to be as small and efficient as possible, so any high-end gaming hardware isn’t necessary. 

Most laptops also come with limited RAM and SSD storage space; upgrading these parts could give your computer the boost it needs without spending a fortune on a new GPU. 

It all depends on what you need the machine for!

If You’re A Casual User, Upgrade To Whichever Is Cheaper

If you’re a casual user, it depends on which component is cheaper. If the CPU is cheaper than the GPU, then it’s likely that you’ll get better performance out of a more powerful CPU. 

However, if the GPU is cheaper than the CPU, then it will be worth investing in a better graphics card for gaming purposes. 

And if they’re relatively close in price, it might be worth asking around and figuring out which component would benefit you more. 

For example, if you don’t have a video card at all but want one because of the latest games on the market, go for the GPU. 

But if you’re looking for something to run programs more quickly that can’t necessarily take advantage of newer hardware like VR games or 3D modelling software, then get a new CPU instead.

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Reasons To Upgrade Your CPU

CPUs, short for Central Processing Units, are the brains of your computer. This is where your data gets processed and where all the calculations happen. 

Computer power (sometimes measured in gigahertz or GHz) typically refers to how fast a processor can work. Depending on what you use your computer for, it’s possible that upgrading your CPU may be more important than upgrading your graphics card. 

For example, if you’re using Photoshop CS6 as your primary editing software, then you would probably want to upgrade your CPU before any other component because Photoshop will not run as well with a slow processor. 

On the other hand, if you’re playing modern games at high settings then an upgrade to your GPU would likely yield better results than an upgrade to your CPU. 

If you’re still unsure which one to invest in first, try benchmarking both options. That way you’ll know which upgrade will offer the most bang for your buck!

Reasons To Upgrade Your GPU

If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, upgrading your graphics card is the way to go. Graphics cards are expensive, but they can significantly improve performance and make games look better. 

Plus, many people only need an upgrade when a new game comes out that’s more graphically demanding than what they’re playing now. So, if you play lots of newer games, and most of them run well on your current graphics card, then upgrading it will be worth the cost. 

Sometimes, your CPU may be bottlenecking your graphics card. In this case, upgrading the GPU would give you some noticeable improvements in speed because there would no longer be a bottleneck limiting its potential performance.

Upgrading Both (GPU & CPU) At The Same Time Is Ideal

When it comes to upgrading a computer, two main components need to be looked at. The graphics card and the central processing unit (CPU). 

If you’re looking to increase performance in both areas, then we recommend investing in a new graphics card (GPU) and CPU at the same time if you have budget. 

This way, all of the other components on your computer won’t become obsolete because of these upgrades.

If you’re not sure which will have the most noticeable difference, there are some tools online to help you estimate what kind of performance boost each type of upgrade would give you. 

You could also ask friends who play a lot of different games what their experience has been like before deciding which one would work best for you.