The Most CPU-Intensive Games of All Time

Want to check the capabilities of your new PC? Try benchmarking the most CPU-intensive games of all time to test your rig’s capabilities.

The glorious PC master race is always up for being competitive with the consoles in terms of performance. Achieving more frame rates at higher resolution is the ultimate goal. Most games utilize RAM, GPU, and CPU to deliver the best performance, but it’s not true for many AAA titles that are hungry for CPU only.

A CPU-intensive game can cause a bottleneck with the rest of the hardware, affecting the overall performance. Even if you have a high-end GPU installed, it won’t deliver full output if the processor is not powerful enough. In a nutshell, it all depends on the game’s optimization or the number of back-end processes to assist the gameplay mechanics.

Here we have compiled a list of the most CPU-intensive games of all time in 2023. Each game consumes around 90% or more CPU usage, even with their recommended system requirements.

1. Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege

If we talk about the most intensive tactical action games, then Rainbox Six Siege would probably top the list there too. Ubisoft launched the game in 2015, and ever since, it has been climbing the ranks against titles like Call of Duty. In the present times, Rainbow Six Siege is undoubtedly the best online game, with thousands of online players. Yet the graphics and gameplay intensity made the game more CPU intensive than the usual shooting action games.

Why is it CPU Intensive?

Rainbow Six Siege is pretty old-fashioned when it comes to design design and function, which makes it a more CPU intensive game rather than the GPU-hungry titles. So, for those of us who want to play this game on PC, we suggest you invest more in the processor rather than the GPU.

Rainbow Six Siege Recommended System Requirements

ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K (or) AMD FX-8120
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 (or) AMD Radeon HD 7970
RAM8 GB RAM
Storage61 GB

2. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC

Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the best creations of Rockstar Games that raised the bar for high-end graphics and immersive gameplay with tons of hidden easter eggs and locations. RDR2 is known for accurately adapting events of Wild Western movies in high-resolution textures and shaders. Without a doubt, the game delivers high-quality graphics for being GPU intensive. But at the same time, it consumes serious processing power too.

Why is it CPU Intensive?

Red Dead Redemption 2 is CPU intensive because of the content and detail it offers simultaneously. The processor must render high poly count models, textures, and shaders to display immersive and detailed gameplay. All this can be observed while walking around the big cities, NPCs with unique clothing and dialogues. RDR2 on max settings is the perfect game to test a high-end gaming PC’s performance.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Recommended System Requirements

ProcessorIntel Core i7-4770K (or) AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
GPUNvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB (or) AMD Radeon RX 480 4GB
RAM12 GB
Storage150 GB

3. Far Cry 6

Far Cry 6 PC

Far Cry 6 is another victim of criticism from fans for offering poor performance on PC. The graphics are promising, and the game is undoubtedly well-optimized for GPU. The rebellious storyline and action-packed gameplay gained a lot of recognition. Even with Direct 12, the game offered underwhelming ray tracing effects and heavily relied on the CPU for most processes.

Why is it CPU Intensive?

Ubisoft has a poor reputation for making not-so-well-optimized games, as with Far Cry 6. This game is CPU intensive for not properly utilize the graphics with gameplay. The game goes brutal on cores and threads, causing a bottleneck on the rest of the hardware, like GPU and RAM.

Far Cry 6 Recommended System Requirements

ProcessorIntel Core i7-7700 (or) AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
GPUNVIDIA GTX 1080 8 GB (or) AMD RX VEGA64 8 GB
RAM16 GB
Storage60 GB

4. Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5 PC

Far Cry 5 is another vivid game that brings a beautiful combination of graphics and gameplay in an action-adventure first-person shooter. The level of detail is worth appreciating in Far Cry 5, and it seems to perform well on a mid-range GPU. However, it might surprise some players that Far Cry 5 consumes more CPU than GPU.

Why is it CPU Intensive?

Far Cry 5 is more CPU intensive because of the open-world environment, objects, graphics rendering, and, most importantly, its combat with AI. A noticeable CPU consumption can be observed when you’re liberating an outpost while shooting at Joseph Seed’s soldiers. We believe the AI’s decision-making takes processing power to decide what should be done next.

Far Cry 5 Recommended System Requirements

ProcessorIntel Core i7-4770 (or) AMD Ryzen 5 1600
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 (or) AMD R9 290X
RAM8 GB RAM
Storage40 GB

5. Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 PC

Cyberpunk 2077 spent a while in the development phase and took the internet by storm on its major reveal by Keanu Reeves. It’s a fantastic open-world RPG set in a futuristic era with great attention to detail, adding it to the GPU-intensive category. However, if we talk about the environment, surroundings, and open world full of NPC, there is much responsibility on the CPU end too.

Why is it CPU Intensive?

Cyberpunk 2077 can be labeled as the most CPU intensive game of all time. This game renders so many graphics and models, especially on high graphics. Secondly, the game does not seem well-optimized and experiences severe bottleneck if the processor is not good enough. Therefore, we suggest attaching a faster processor to get the most out of your GPU while playing Cyberpunk.

Cyberpunk 2077 Recommended System Requirements

ProcessorIntel Core i7-4790 (or) AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
GPUNvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB (or) AMD Radeon RX 590
RAM12 GB
Storage70 GB

6. Battlefield 5

image 46

Battlefield 5 accurately portrayed the series of events from World War II in a first-person shooter. There is much to explore from the campaign and war stories based on the lives of different heroes. Besides offering reality in the storyline, the game also delivers high-end reality-touched graphics. The gameplay and visuals are so realistic that it feels like you’re inside the game, and that’s where things become stressful for your PC.

Why is it CPU Intensive?

From the graphics aspect, the game does seem GPU intensive. However, Battlefield 5 is another CPU-intensive game that takes over 90% of CPU usage. BFV is so CPU intensive because of the resources it requires for rendering details of shooting and environment interaction. On the other hand, many mid-range gaming setup players believe that the game itself cannot utilize the hardware resources properly due to poor optimization.

Recommended System Requirements

ProcessorIntel Core i7 4790 (or) AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
GPUAMD Radeon RX 580 (or) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
RAM12 GB
Storage50 GB

7. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Assassin's Creed Odyssey PC

Almost every Assassin’s Creed released in recent years has faced some backlash for being too CPU intensive. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is among the series’ latest and most CPU+GPU demanding games. The game pays serious attention to detail, with grass dangling around, blood splattering, and wind creasing across the player’s skin.

Why is it CPU Intensive?

It’s a heavenly experience to play this game but at the cost of your processor. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey consumes up to 99% of your CPU due to the minor and significant rendering of the objects you see worldwide. It’s like medieval Far Cry mixed with RDR2’s third-person environment and gameplay. Even with the high-end system requirements, the game fails to utilize the hardware for a smooth experience.

Recommended System Requirements

ProcessorIntel Core i7 7700 (or) AMD Ryzen 7 1700X
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (or) AMD Vega 64
RAM16 GB
Storage46 GB

8. Call of Duty Warzone

Call of Duty Warzone PC

Another first-person shooter that became famous for offering new multiplayer gaming is the Call of Duty Warzone. The game became famous for many reasons, including the processor resources it consumes during online gameplay. Compared to the campaign mode, the online gameplay requires more resources and is observed to be more CPU intensive, which may crash Call of Duty Warzone on startup.

Why is it CPU Intensive?

Call of Duty Warzone is CPU intensive in online multiplayer due to all the network code processing your system has to calculate and exchange information with servers. The game supports up to 150 players on a vast, incredibly detailed map. All of the rendering and data exchanged between servers and clients increases the load on the processor on the back end.

Recommended System Requirements

ProcessorIntel Core i7-4770 (or) AMD Ryzen 5 1400
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (or) AMD Radeon RX 580
RAM12 GB
Storage125 GB

9. Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator PC

Simulators are among the most CPU intensive games, including the famous Microsoft Flight Simulator. Much like giving a real-life experience, Microsoft Flight Simulator offers an immersive experience that is incredibly detailed. The gameplay mechanics are on-point, too, and players feel like flying a plane.

Why is it CPU Intensive?

Microsoft Flight Simulator will squeeze every power from your CPU and GPU resources. The simulation of actual physics, controls, and graphics in a complete flying plane takes serious rendering and background processing. So, if you have a decent cooling fan setup, you might feel like your gaming rig is about to take off with all the air intake it needs to maintain CPU temps.

Recommended System Requirements

ProcessorIntel i5-8400 (or) AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
GPUNVIDIA GTX 970 (or) AMD Radeon RX 590
RAM16 GB
Storage150 GB

10. Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V PC

Last but not least on our list is GTA V, which has been around since 2013 and is the latest GTA supporting ray tracing on the latest-gen consoles. The game was released way before RDR2 but has been competing with the title in gameplay and graphics ever since. The graphics are amazing, the gameplay is immersive, and there is much to explore, especially in GTA Online. But if you don’t have the right CPU, you may experience random crashes with GTA V.

Why is it CPU Intensive?

GTA V would put your CPU and GPU to the test due to the rendering of hundreds of NPCs walking around Los Santos, with incredibly detailed interactions. From the protagonist’s house to a single paper cup, the game pays attention to every detail, which makes things highly CPU intensive. To take the stress to another level, switch to GTA Online mode, which involves more processing of networks and hundreds of actual players roaming around on a server like NPCs.

Recommended System Requirements

ProcessorIntel Core i5 3470 (or) AMD X8 FX-8350
GPUNVIDIA GTX 660 2GB (or) AMD HD 7870 2GB
RAM8 GB
Storage72 GB

How to Check CPU Usage for Gaming?

To check how much CPU a game uses, open the Task Manager and go to the ‘Processes’ tab. Check the ‘CPU’ column right next to the game you’re running. You can also check CPU and GPU consumption from the Windows game bar. Press’ Windows Key’ + ’G’ and go to the ‘Widgets Menu.’ Select the ‘Performance’ option, and a new widget will display real-time GPU and CPU consumption in percentage.

How to Make the Best Gaming Rig for Your Favorite Games

If you can’t find the right hardware components for your gaming PC, you can say goodbye to the hassle of searching for the hardware with the help of an online PC Builder. In three simple steps, this online tool recommends the best gaming hardware for your favorite games.

  1. First, you must choose the game by searching for your favorite titles.
Selecting Game with PC Builder

2. Click on the arrow icon to proceed to recommended suggestions.

Selecting Recommended Build for Gaming

3. Select a build and click the arrow icon to purchase the hardware. You can instantly click the ‘Buy All’ option to purchase via suggested resources.

Buying the Recommended Build by PC Builder

That’s about it, and you can purchase the right inventory for your gaming rig all at once from a single source.

Final Words

When it comes to poorly optimized games, you can never blame your computer hardware. In contrast, 100% CPU usage is good for optimized gaming if you get the most out of gameplay. In any case, it can cause serious damage to your CPU unless you have a very good cooling setup. We suggest keeping track of CPU temps and the consumption percentage. In this way, you can maintain the longevity of your processor without causing any permanent damage.

Eiswan
Eiswan

Hi there! I’m a passionate content creator and gamer. Being devoted to making a difference through my publications, I chose to blog for a career to share my knowledge and expertise in gaming technology. Compiling my tech knowledge and gaming experience, I am here to bring you the latest updates and news from the gaming world. Follow me on Twitter .

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