Is Starfield CPU or GPU intensive?

Is Starfield CPU or GPU intensive?
Rory Greig Updated on by

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Bethesda’s latest open world RPG isn’t the easiest game in the world to get running on humble hardware, but is Starfield CPU or GPU intensive? Let’s get into it.

Starfield released back in September and made initial waves for Bethesda’s partnership with AMD optimization. The hardware manufacturer recommended the likes of AMD Radeon RX 7000 series GPUs and AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs.

So is it more intensive for your CPU or GPU? These are the two components that have the most direct impact on in-gam performance and frame rate. Essentially, it is possible for one to bottleneck the other, so you don’t want to spend money upgrading your GPU, just for your CPU to block that extra power.

Is Starfield CPU intensive?

Starfield is, overall, a more CPU intensive game. This is thanks to its engine and use of AI. These are tasks that rely more on the CPU. This is not to say that the amount of GPU power needed is exactly a walk in the park. Let’s have a look at the exact minimum PC system requirements.

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 2600X, Intel Core i7-6800K
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 5700, NVIDIA GeForce 1070 Ti
  • Storage: 125 GB available space

Remember that these are just the minimum requirements. If you want to get the best performance, you’ll want even more advanced components. Essentially if you don’t have a 10th gen i5 or 9th gen i7 CPU, or a chip with equivalent power, you should be focusing on upgrading that before you worry about splashing out for a new GPU.

If you are satisfied that your CPU will be able to handle the game, however, upgrading your GPU could offer a performance boost, check out our prediction for the best GPU for Starfield. We don’t yet know for sure whether Starfield will have ray tracing, but if it does, you’ll want one of the best GPUs for ray tracing.

If you’re worried about the 125GB of storage you’ll need as a minimum for the game, check out our recommendations for the best SSD for Starfield.