Question Will a new GPU be bottlenecked by CPU?


Oct 9, 2014
Relevant system specs
I7 4790k
16gb ddr3 ram

I'm looking to upgrade from my gtx 970 and move to a 144hz qhd monitor and was wondering if my 4790k would be a bottleneck if I went to a 1660ti or a 2070 or even a 2080ti
Would I be able to use the 144hz to the fullest potential if I did upgrade my gpu and would the qhd be too much for it to handle, I'm not too knowledgeable on bottlenecking.
Should I abandon the 4790k? I don't have to money to do that now and was hoping to only upgrade the gpu as the monitor is a gift. I play Arma 3, wargame and star citizen so I will be pushing the gpu hard.
Weird question but would overclocking the 4790k make any real difference, I have a NZXT Kraken x62 so heat isn't an issue for that but I don't know how much of a boost I'd get.
Thanks for responses in advance
Your I7 4790k is still a very relevant gaming CPU. There will be one or two games with a bottleneck. But not a huge one.

OC'ing the 4790k will definitely help push more FPS and alleviate a potential bottleneck in CPU demanding games. I'd suggest going with the 1660ti which would be quite balanced with your system. Getting anything stronger may show up more of a bottleneck, and this can often lead to underwhelming performance of a new GPU.

An OC'ed 4790k can yield up to 10-20% performance increase, task dependent. Its not that hard to do, and is actually fun.

Here's a good guide to get you started:

edit: Just to be clear though, even with a GTX2070/80 you may not hit 144hz/FPS steady at 1440p. Some games yes, but most new games no. This is where you will see a bottleneck At 1080p, you have a decent chance in most games. Not so much at 1440p.
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it's proper etiquette
Hmmm, that's a bit strong Lutfij! I don't see any mention of 'proper etiquette' in the forum rules. Maybe the OP hasn't seen the 'etiquette' guidelines section yet. Maybe they haven't even seen the forum rules! They are not exactly that easy to find. There is this though: 'Provide details on what is going wrong, and how. Share your hardware specs and OS, when applicable. ' Maybe that's what you mean? Provide the specs when applicable, rather than being demanded up front!?
The value of including all specs up front is that one can get to proper answers without a lot of back and forth questions.
In regard to power supplies, make/model is more important than simple wattage.
I might add budget up front is helpful too.

As to the post:

There is no such thing as "bottlenecking"
If, by that, you mean that upgrading a cpu or graphics card can
somehow lower your performance or FPS.
A better term might be limiting factor.
That is where adding more cpu or gpu becomes increasingly
less effective.

4790K is still a very effective processor, particularly if overclocked.
You can get perhaps 30% better performance if you can overclock.

Some games are graphics limited like fast action shooters.
Others are cpu core speed limited like strategy, sims, and mmo.
Multiplayer tends to like many threads.

You need to find out which.
To help clarify your CPU/GPU options, run these two tests:

a) Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.
Conversely what a 30% improvement in core speed might do.

You could also experiment with removing one or more cores/threads. You can do this in the windows msconfig boot advanced options option.
You will need to reboot for the change to take effect. Set the number of threads to less than you have.
This will tell you how sensitive your games are to the benefits of many threads.
If you see little difference, your game does not need all the threads you have.


Oct 9, 2014
Apologies for not including full specs, I thought they were in my signature but they've been removed.
CPU: I7 4790k
GPU: Gtx 970
MOBO: Asrock z97 extreme6
Ram: 2x8gb ddr3 g.skill sniper 1600mhz
PSU: EVGA Supernova P2 1000w
Chassis: NZXT H440
Water cooling: NZXT kraken x62
Storage: 2tb seagate barracuda HDD
128gb samsung 850 pro ssd for OS
OS: windows 10

I was wondering if there would be any negative effects if I wasn't achieveing the full 144fps for a 144hz monitor. Would it be better off going for a 75hz 2k monitor or simply a 144hz 1080p monitor instead then?
Also would it be worth keeping the 970 as a physx card or would it not give enough of a performance boost to be worth it?
You will get $75-$100 for a GTX970 on ebay; I would dispose of it.

Consider carefully your monitor purchase.
They last a very long time.
Bust your budget for the very best you can afford.
I might look for a larger/wider monitor first, they are more immersive.
If you are primarily a fast action gamer, then perhaps >60hz would be important.
Look for a IPS panel, the faster units often have lesser quality tn panels.
Your gpu upgrade will likely not last as long as your monitor upgrade.