PC BottleNeck Calculator

Is 100% CPU usage a bottleneck?

The primary processor in a computer system, the central processing unit (CPU) is in charge of managing the general computation and execution of instructions from computer programs. A computer’s speed is influenced by the performance of its CPU. A CPU bottleneck may be the cause of a slow server or slow personal PC that you want to troubleshoot.

A CPU bottleneck: What Is It?

When a computer system’s CPU is the component restricting its total performance, this is known as a CPU bottleneck. A CPU bottleneck may be present in a computer system if other parts are able to manage workloads more effectively than the CPU and you aren’t getting the performance you anticipate. A CPU’s performance may be impacted by external factors like heat or airflow, or it may be older than quicker computer components.

Is a bottleneck and 100% CPU usage the same thing?

Being at a bottleneck is not the same as a CPU reaching its maximum capability. When busy servers perform too much processing, they may require a CPU upgrade. They are currently operating at maximum capacity. For instance, if the installed CPU is not designed for intensive workloads, a busy database server may not be able to accommodate high demand. When debugging a sluggish database server, an administrator may observe that the CPU is operating under full load, which reduces performance. When a server is operating at maximum hardware capacity, slow performance could be the result of all or some parts that aren’t able to handle data quickly enough.

Performance problems are not necessarily brought on by a CPU bottleneck. A slower CPU won’t make the computer function as efficiently, but if you have other fast components installed or the server just has to handle a small number of concurrent requests, it might not even be noticed. Even while a computer with a CPU bottleneck may appear to run quickly, it may operate more quickly with further improved setups. The cost of buying new hardware for pricey servers hosting corporate applications makes troubleshooting CPU bottlenecks more economical than adding equipment to speed up a server.

Why Does a CPU Bottleneck Occur?

Certain programs generate CPU-intensive tasks. Others can transfer duties from the CPU to the graphics processing unit (GPU) of a video card. Servers that manage analytics and machine learning, for instance, need a lot of CPU power. Applications for various business requirements should be deployed on different servers, preventing many jobs from “fighting” for CPU resources. A server that handles CPU-intensive processes should only handle these tasks. Optimizing CPU utilization and preventing bottlenecks in an environment can be achieved by using a server workload plan.

Every piece of computer equipment needs to be kept in a dry, cold room. High ambient temperatures have an impact on CPU performance. Heat-induced CPU deterioration may occur in servers housed in closets or with inadequate airflow within their casings.

Make sure the RAM and storage on your servers are adequate. Data related to applications must be sent to storage devices by servers with memory constraints. Applications are processed by an overloaded server, which also transfers data from the storage device to memory and back to the central processing unit. Application data is loaded into memory by an efficient server and then passed back to memory by the CPU as needed. A server that has a high memory utilization may require more random access memory (RAM).

Occasionally, during the installation of an application, administrators install extra processes that aren’t needed. As a result, these extra processes load whenever the server reboots. The more CPU resources required to operate these apps in the background, the more processes load upon startup. If these background processes aren’t needed and aren’t improving server functionality, get rid of them. Additionally, keep in mind that some background-running, hidden apps can be malware, so use antivirus and antimalware tools to check the server.

What Takes Place When There Is a CPU Bottleneck?

In addition to impairing speed, CPU bottlenecks can result in serious computer issues. Applications hosted on a corporate server may experience outages due to critical problems brought on by CPU bottlenecks. Administrators need to keep an eye out for hardware failure-related problems on servers.

The most common observation made during CPU bottlenecks is that computers freeze and crash. The computer may crash if the CPU overworks itself or becomes unable to handle tasks. When processing additionally uses up RAM and storage space, there’s a greater chance of crashes and downtime. A server may crash or reboot without warning if administrators haven’t installed monitoring software on it.

Ways to Avoid CPU Bottlenecks

In cases when CPU bottlenecks cause servers to crash, hardware upgrades may be required. On-premises administrators need to physically install a CPU into a server, however cloud-hosted servers’ administrators can easily add hardware resources using the provider’s administrative interface. To install a new CPU, on-premises servers must be powered down. Care must be taken to prevent static electricity. When working with CPUs, administrators need to ground themselves to prevent static energy from damaging the component.

A load balancer alleviates CPU congestion. When load balancing, many servers are required to distribute workloads evenly. Rather than directing all traffic to one server, the load balancer chooses routes for traffic requesting application services. Workloads are distributed across the multiple servers behind a load balancer according to CPU use and availability.

In order to identify CPU bottlenecks and big spikes in CPU utilization, network environment monitoring software should always be deployed by administrators who are in charge of server uptime. These situations could mean that malware is depleting resources or that a server is overwhelmed with requests. Administrators are notified of high CPU temperatures by server monitoring software, and heat-based performance deterioration may also be a problem.

How a CPU Bottleneck Test Is Performed

You may find out if your computer needs a new CPU or if the hardware needs to be adjusted for improved performance by using one of the many free source bottleneck tests available. Linux includes a package called sysstat for evaluating CPU activity, and Windows Task Manager has built-in monitoring capabilities for CPU consumption. Administrators may require enhanced monitoring and statistics to detect a CPU bottleneck, even in cases when native apps are used.

Here are a few open-source, cost-free bottleneck checkers:

  • Performance Counter Monitor for Intel-based Computers from Intel
  • MSI Afterburner for tracking CPU utilization and other aspects of computer performance
  • AMD uProf for systems based on AMD


While CPU bottlenecks can be annoying, maintaining programs at their best performance also requires server optimization. Keep an eye out for any performance problems with your servers to prevent serious failures before bottlenecks result in unanticipated mistakes on any systems. Upgrade server hardware for better performance and stability if CPU issues continue.

Searching for a strategy to replace your CPUs without incurring expensive downtime? FlashStack ® is a hybrid cloud infrastructure solution that was co-developed by Cisco and Pure Storage. It allows you to upgrade your compute, network, and storage without causing any disruptions and without any downtime, so you can quickly fix bottlenecks.

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