A bottleneck is one of the worst things your computer can get affected by if your planning, as well as your intellect, just isn’t good enough regarding parts selection. It holds the overall strength of your computer if in action, and even a single component can cause such havoc inside your PC. Today we are going to shed some light on what graphics card can bottleneck Ryzen 5 5500.

The biggest and most common culprits that always end up causing a bottleneck are the CPU and GPU of a computer. Both parts are genuinely critical to the computer and are accountable for the calculations, be they related to graphics or anything else. 

This is precisely why it’s so essential to strike a balance between their power levels. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your money and time. Also, that’s exactly what we will discuss today by keeping the Ryzen 5 5500 as our base processor.

AMD Ryzen 5 5500

The Ryzen 5 5500 is a budget processor, retaining 6 cores and 12 threads to deal with the new intense software. It offers users a bang for the buck experience and is readily available for as low as $85. 

The processor can handle heavy gaming titles effortlessly at 1440p resolution if paired with the right graphics card too. Despite being the cheapest of the AMD 5000 series lineup, its performance is truly mesmerizing and easily justifiable to its MSRP. 

What Causes Bottleneck

As stated before, a bottleneck is one of the worst things your computer can experience due to poor part choices by the user or its seller. Bottlenecks can exist for many reasons; it’s not limited to just one component. 

However, the main culprits are CPU and GPU; both can cause bottlenecks inside your PC. Applications utilized for rendering 2D/3D animation mostly rely on CPU power. If that component isn’t as competent as the other one (in this case, GPU), it will struggle quite hard to keep up and become the bottleneck. 

When graphics-intensive and high-res work is required, the GPU pushes itself to the limits to finish the job quickly. Therefore, if the GPU isn’t too powerful, it will be the one causing the bottleneck in your computer. And that’s certainly not the situation you would prefer having. These factors can heavily influence your work and gaming negatively. Hence, you better balance your computer’s specs to save yourself from such misfortunes.  

Bottleneck with Ryzen 5 5500

It is always necessary to look for the criteria on which you base your GPU selection; you can’t just pick anything you will see upfront. The PC must be in a balanced state. Otherwise, the consequences won’t be quite favourable. Your use case scenario, your budget, and the rest of the computer specifications are vital factors that one should consider, and it is imperative to select his GPU based on all the aspects mentioned above. 

Moreover, when selecting a GPU for the Ryzen 5 5500, ensure it is balanced and the other way around; therefore, you must select a GPU that aligns with the processor above in the most optimal manner regarding its graphical power. Similarly, you can opt for numerous third-party benchmarking tools such as 3D Mark Time Spy Benchmark or the game’s very own benchmarking tools to better comprehend the level of bottleneck there is between the Ryzen 5 5500 and the chosen graphics card. 

What GPUs Bottleneck Ryzen 5 5500

Although many graphics cards can bottleneck with the Ryzen 5 5500, we will name a few to give you an idea so you can assess the rest yourself. Graphics cards like the RTX 4070, RTX 3080 and higher, RX 6800 XT, and RX 7900 XT are all those graphics cards that are out of the league of a budget chip like the Ryzen 5 5500. These graphics cards offer immense power that can provide you with a buttery-smooth 2K and 4K gaming experience. 

The higher and newer the graphics card is, the more it will bottleneck with chips like the Ryzen 5 5500. This foretells that even though the RTX 4070 comes from the mid-range segment, it’s still very much snappy and power efficient than the RTX 3080 and ultimately has a higher percentage of bottleneck, too, if paired with the Ryzen 5 5500. Since the games tend to lean more on the graphics cards when you go for resolutions higher than 1080p, you get an easy way out to minimize the bottleneck - if not eliminate it. The RTX 3080 and RX 6800 XT would perform significantly better when gaming at 1440p or higher.    

How to Lower Bottleneck

Now that we know the names of those graphics cards that will most likely indulge the whole PC in bottleneck if paired with the Ryzen 5 5500. For example, let’s say, you have already purchased something that wasn’t the best choice to begin with, for the Ryzen 5 5500 - the RX 6800 XT to be precise. What choice do we have now, to minimize the bottleneck effect and try to get a little more out of this unbalanced pair? 

You can try a few shortcuts that do not require any alternations on the hardware level, one of them being the CPU overclock. As we are all aware of the fact that Ryzen chips are unlocked by default, you can push the Ryzen 5 5500 to its limits. This will undoubtedly vary depending on the individual’s circumstances, as not every Ryzen 5 5500 CPU encloses the proper amount of silicon lottery. Those with a higher count will achieve higher clocks through overclocking. The other way out is messing around with the in-game graphics settings to get the best possible results in terms of performance. 

The tweaks will take a little bit of your time and will be required for each game you play, as every game requires a different set of hardware. Choosing the optimal settings that tax both the GPU and CPU fairly is quite significant if you ask me, because, otherwise, the inconsistency in performance will be off the charts. It would be more reasonable to downgrade the graphics card to something like the RX 6700 XT or RTX 3070 if it’s feasible in your situation. 

Real-world Scenarios

Many applications and gaming titles can serve as benchmarking tools to assess the bottleneck between both the CPU and the GPU. Games such as Cyberpunk 2077, Battlefield 2042, and Red Dead Redemption 2 are fairly challenging to run and qualify to be called hardware taxers. In our testing, we chose the RTX 3080 to be run along with the Ryzen 5 5500 and picked 4K as our testing resolution. 

During our testing of Battlefield 2042, we were able to capture the GPU struggling to utilize itself to the max despite being on such a GPU-demanding resolution; the performance was being held back because of the weaker CPU. This implies that even at the 4K resolution, you can only partially eliminate the bottleneck. However, it will be significantly less than at lower resolutions. 

Future Proofing Hardware

Things won’t go too well, and certainly not in favour of you if you plan to keep using the unbalanced combo. The productivity and media software tools have greatly excelled in offering top-of-the-line features. However, that has also made them hardware-hungry, which begs for powerful specifications to work without lag and stutter. 

This is where the Ryzen 5 5500 will start to show its limits, and your system would need an immediate CPU upgrade to overcome the bottleneck that it was previously experiencing and to withstand the taxing new features and workload of those demanding applications. Do note, though, that this is also possible in the case of games because they now offer RT reflections, RT Global Illumination, and RT shadows, which brings the majority of the PCs to their knees. 


Now that we’re done with the reading, I hope the information above will help you better apprehend the bottleneck concept and how it can affect your daily use. Let me reiterate it for you: Only a well-balanced PC should be your priority. Despite having a much stronger graphics card, you can’t squeeze its full power since you’re still using a weaker CPU that can’t transfer the mandated instructions on time. 

This is why only a well-balanced build can yield promising results regardless of your use-case scenario, whether gaming or media and productivity. Lastly, don’t pair anything above the RTX 3070, RX 6700 XT, or RTX 4060 Ti with the Ryzen 5 5500 for unhindered performance, and if the performance isn’t up to your standards, opt for an upgrade of both key components instead of just one.

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Zain Ali
Zain Ali

Zain is a gamer who turned into a tech enthusiast the day he got his first PC. He loves to play with whatever components he can get his hands on. His love for custom PC hardware is unfathomable, and he keeps it alive by writing about it as well as doing practicals in real life along with the continuation of his degree in business administration.

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