I have known about the concept of hardware bottlenecks for a while but I want to be able to clear up a question on cpu's effect on performance. I get my cpu gaming benchmarks from this website. On this list it shows the processors and their performance from lowest to highest. Does this mean that a high end processor will improve performance on any graphics card than low end one? Or is it that the gpu on the setup has so much rendering capability that the processores bottleneck their test gpu? If the latter is true doesn't this mean that the cpu not the gpu is the bottleneck of systems, or do they just have some insane multigpu setup which makes any cpu a bottleneck?
As a general guideline, the higher the resolution, especially at 1920x1200 and above, the more impact (75%) the GPU has...; at lower resolutions such as 1280x1024, the CPU has more impact (about 60% weight). Naturally, some games are exceptions, many requiring relatively powerful cpus and gpus to deliver decent performance at even modest resolutions. (Crysis, Metro 2033)
Also, you mileage will vary depending on the game. Some games are more CPU dependant than others, with RTS being a notable example due to the number of complex AI calculations that have to be made in real-time.