Are CPUs Cheaper Than GPUs On Average?

Are CPUs Cheaper Than GPUs On Average?

Today’s world emphasizes computers to complete various tasks, ranging from personal use to complex processes in different industries. 

Which type of processor is more cost-effective, CPUs or GPUs? While CPUs and GPUs integrate closely into any computer, their primary characteristics drastically differ. CPUs can often serve as the processing power for high-speed, core tasks, while GPUs can handle numerous low-complexity tasks in parallel, making them more suitable for tasks such as predictive models and graphics. 

Technology has been a constant talking point for years, and the hot topic has been the cost of CPUs and GPUs. CPUs have been a mainstay for decades, as the backbone of many computers and servers. Here we will discuss all the aspects and give you the best possible answers.

Are CPUs Cheaper Than GPUs On Average?

CPUs are way cheaper than GPUs because of their massive production, consume less power, and are an essential part of the computer system. On the other hand, GPUs are not a compulsory part of computers and are mostly used for gaming, mining, and video editing and are produced in limited amounts.

Central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs) are two of the most important components of modern computers, each responsible for performing key computations. 

CPUs are general-purpose processors employed in various tasks, such as operating systems, applications, and complex mathematical calculations. Conversely, GPUs are specialized processors optimized for carrying out graphics-oriented tasks, such as video and 3D image processing. 

The prices of CPUs and GPUs differ, depending on several factors, including the type of processor and its intended use. Generally speaking, CPUs are more economically accessible to individuals due to the larger market for them, given their range of applications and the fact that they are mass-produced. 

On the contrary, GPUs are comparatively more expensive, stemming from their intricate construction and the smaller market. The recent trend of cryptocurrency mining, where powerful GPUs facilitate complex calculations, has only driven up their prices further. 

Apart from basic models, however, the cost of CPUs and GPUs varies considerably. For example, gaming-oriented CPUs or professional-grade CPUs tend to be considerably costlier than entry-level GPUs. 

Alternatively, high-end GPUs, which are employed in areas such as scientific calculations or machine learning, can, in turn, be pricier than the basic CPU models.

Are CPUs Cheaper Than GPUs On Average? |

Why Are Graphics Cards So Expensive?

Unequivocally, GPUs, or graphics cards, have experienced a remarkable cost rise over the past several years. The influence of supply and demand, technological evolutions, scalping activity, governmental tariffs and taxes, and restricted competition have all factored into this upsurge. 

More Demand Less Production

Demand for GPUs has increased due to the proliferation of cryptocurrency mining, as well as the continuing expansion of the gaming industry, yet supply levels have been hampered by shortages of necessary components, production delays, and the like. 

Latest Technology

Technological progression, requiring ever-more complicated and expensive hardware, has also complicated the picture. All the latest products have the latest components, which may cost more than the previous ones. Old GPUs may have less cost, but with evolving technology and demand, you won’t be able to use them anymore.

Are CPUs Cheaper Than GPUs On Average? |

GPU Scalping 

Scalpers, who acquire large amounts of graphics cards when they are first made available, then go on to sell them at inflated prices on secondary markets; again, this has a deleterious effect on the overall cost. 

High Taxes

Furthermore, taxes and tariffs imposed by governments, such as the hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs on electronic components due to the US-China trade war, have caused another spike in prices. 

Fewer Competitors

The domination of the graphics cards market by merely two major vendors, NVIDIA and AMD, undoubtedly leaves consumers with fewer options, thus amplifying the overall expense. On the other hand, CPUs are made by Intel, AMD, and Apple. Due to high competition, they have low costs. 

Which One Is Better To Increase FPS CPU or GPU?

When it comes to taking gaming performance to the next level and bumping up the Frames Per Second (FPS), the role of both the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) cannot be overstated. But the major factor is GPU, which can increase FPS if used with a compatible CPU.

Role of CPU

Talking about CPUs, they are responsible for processing instructions from the game’s code, allocating system resources, and communicating with other system elements. It makes them indispensable in optimizing the device’s overall performance, although they are not the primary source of graphics processing. 

Upgrading the CPU will result in a modest FPS uplift, most notably in CPU-bound games. Such upgrades also reduce the possibility of frame drops while enhancing the device’s stability.

Are CPUs Cheaper Than GPUs On Average? |

Role of GPU

These GPUs stand out as the principal components for graphics processing, image rendering, and frame generation. Employing an upgrade in this area can yield drastic enhancements in FPS; however, only in games where such improvements are dependent on graphics capabilities. 

It is worth noting that a GPU upgrade will bring about visible benefits only if it is coupled with an appropriate CPU. Otherwise, the system may run into bottlenecks, and there could be a ceiling on the gains.

Are CPUs Cheaper Than GPUs On Average? |

What Matters Most for PC Gaming CPU or GPU?

Regarding PC gaming, both the CPU and GPU are indispensable components; yet, when gaming performance, the GPU is generally acknowledged as the essential element. That is why most gamers prefer to upgrade GPU first when considering upgrading hardware.

The CPU takes care of diverse components of a computer, ranging from game logic, physics, AI, and even background processes, yet it is not the main factor when it comes to graphical rendering. By contrast, the GPU is essentially responsible for rendering 3D graphics, which is imperative for gaming. 

Though a powerful CPU can improve gaming performance under particular circumstances; for instance, by reducing load times or boosting frame rate in CPU-bound games, the GPU is the deciding factor when it comes to delivering smooth and visually spectacular gaming experiences. 

Particularly in modern-day games requiring advanced graphical processing abilities, such as ray tracing and real-time rendering, an up-to-date GPU is paramount.


Aspect CPU GPU
Hardware Cost Generally low cost Generally higher cost
Core Performance  Generally high performance per core Lower performance per core
Cost of power usage Lower cost of power usage Higher cost of power usage
Type of workload General purpose/processing Specialized for gaming, AI, video rendering etc.


The cost-effectiveness of CPUs and GPUs has been hotly debated, with some inferring that CPUs are typically cheaper than GPUs. Mass production and a wide range of applications mean CPUs are generally more affordable to individuals, while GPUs are more specialized and have a limited market reach, making them pricier. 

Unsurprisingly, the recent cryptocurrency mining boom has increased the cost of graphics cards. GPU prices have skyrocketed over the last few years, from increased demand to technological progress, scalping activity, taxation, and limited competition. 

It’s apparent that both the CPU and GPU are key in gaming performance, but the GPU is generally considered the more vital component. Upgrading the GPU can lead to substantial improvements in frames-per-second, yet it must be teamed with the appropriate CPU to eliminate bottlenecks and achieve the desired results.