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A CPU bottleneck is a situation wherein too many demands on a physical CPU degrade system performance or make the system run slower.
The term "CPU bottleneck" is often used in different kinds of IT setups. For example, in gaming, CPU bottleneck refers to a CPU-related problem that affects the rendering of screen graphics, resulting in the drop in the number of frames per second.
In virtualization systems, a CPU bottleneck may affect how the different components of a virtual hardware setup work together.
Virtualization systems involve many different virtual machines (VMs) that need to compete for processing access. When these systems are set up inefficiently, or too many demands are placed on a central processor, a CPU bottleneck occurs.
There are many different ways to avoid CPU bottlenecks. They have to do with how different hardware or software components access physical processing resources. They also have to do with making a system strong enough to handle the demands placed on them. In general, administrators and other personnel maintaining IT systems watch out for a CPU bottleneck and fix the problem as it occurs.