Does CPU Really Affect Internet Speed?
At the moment, the internet is an indistinguishable part of your lives. However, one of the biggest complaints with regard to the internet has always been speed.
Most people tend to blame their PC hardware components, including the CPU (central processing unit) and GPU, when they experience slow speeds.
But is this actually true? Does CPU affect internet speed? Yes, and no. A processor will only affect your internet speeds if it’s already lagging on normal tasks.
So if it’s executing most common tasks such as opening productivity apps including Excel, PowerPoint, and Word and playing videos, it should be fine.
However, if you’re multitasking as you surf the web, you might notice a lag in internet speeds. The issue could also be a poor connection which you can fix by rebooting your router, upping your internet speeds, or changing your ISP.
Does the Internet Use CPU?
Internet activities such as browsing use CPU power, but the internet isn’t highly dependent on your CPU.
Why? Because your CPU doesn’t determine the speeds you get, this is determined by several factors such as link speed, number of connected devices, router type, etc.
As a result, even if you have a faster processor on your computer, it doesn’t necessarily mean you get better internet speeds.
But having a CPU with a faster processor will help applications such as your browser function better, which might give you a sense that you have better speeds.
But this isn’t true; even if the processor is fast and the internet link speed is low, the overall speeds will still be poor.
Your internet connection is a combination of a couple of components, so it can be difficult to know exactly where the slow speed problem lies.
How Do You Know Your CPU Can Handle the Internet?
In this section, we’ll look at some specs of decent computers. If your computer features these specs or higher, you won’t come across internet speed problems. These specs include:
- CPU (processor): AMD Ryzen 3/Intel Core i3 or higher
- GPU: Not required
- RAM: 4GB or higher
- Storage: At least 20GB in each partition
Different CPU Speeds and What They Mean
- No Lag: if you don’t experience any lag on your computer, your CPU is okay and won’t cause your internet speed to waver.
- A Bit of Lag: If you’re experiencing some lag on your computer, it won’t affect your internet speeds as much because the resources are there.
- A lot of lag: Your CPU might affect the internet speed in such an instance. Why? Because your CPU can’t handle the internet load it’s receiving from your router.
So What Actually Affects Internet Speeds?
While your CPU speed can have an impact on internet speed, there are other factors that most definitely affect the internet speeds you’re getting on your PC. They include:
Network Interface Card
The network interface card allows the CPU to communicate with your internet network, and without it, you can’t connect your computer to the internet or WiFi.
A NIC (network interface card) can either be internal or external, with speeds ranging from 10Mbps to 1Gbps.
If your network interface card is not top-spec or is outdated, your PC might encounter slow internet speeds.
RAM (Random Access Memory)
The RAM on your desktop or laptop can also affect your internet speeds. The higher the RAM, the better your computer executes tasks and moves between applications.
Anything over 2GB should be good for most people unless you’re a content creator dealing with editing clips or a gamer who needs a sophisticated graphics card. Also, your RAM should be one of the newer versions, preferably DDR3 or higher.
Your router might be the source of your connectivity problems. How can you establish this? By conducting several speed tests.
Conduct speed tests using a hard connection via your modem and wireless via your router.
If you find a discrepancy between the modem and router speeds tests, your router most likely has a problem that you can fix by resetting it.
Keep in mind that the newest routers feature dual-band WiFi up to 5Ghz and a whopping 9.6Gbps, so if you’ve had your router for over five years, it might be time to get a new one.
As you can see, the answer to whether or not CPU affects internet speeds is a bit inconclusive, to say the least.
However, what we can recommend is that when you’re buying a desktop or laptop, google the best PC specs or discuss your usage habits with the sales representative to ensure you are set up with a machine featuring specifications that match your needs.