Can a weak CPU bottleneck a GPU when playing video?

I know that for gaming, a weak cpu can bottleneck a fast GPU. But how about for just playing video?

I want to pair a cheap CPU with a good GPU to play 4K60 HDR videos.

Does the CPU I choose matter as long as the video card can display 4K60?

3 Answers

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  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    The CPU and GPU work together, so either can bottleneck the other if the demand is high enough. In terms of playing 4K60 HDR videos, while the demand is greater than 1080p video, it would take an extremely weak CPU to bottleneck. Video games at that resolution can be much more demanding because not only is there usually more motion, but there are user inputs to consider as well.

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  • YKhan
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Video playback is a relatively simple task, it doesn't even require an expensive CPU most of the time, let alone a GPU. Gaming at these higher resolutions does require a good GPU and CPU though. But video playback is just a type of decompression work, and this decompression can be dedicated into a relatively simple section of hardware very cheaply, called a video hardware accelerator. Gaming is an interactive activity so it requires a good CPU and GPU, but video playback is non-interactive.

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  • 2 months ago

    Yes, a cpu can bottleneck a gpu, even when you're only playing a video. But it would have to be a fairly weak cpu for this to happen. Even a ryzen 3 1200 ($60) can fully support 4k video, and even light 4k gaming. Any cpu that doesn't bottleneck a gtx 1050 will be fine. But besides that, buying a cheap cpu, and an expensive gpu is not a good idea though. You should always avoid any bottleneck, regardless of what your using it for.

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