Are you looking for the Best CPU for Gaming to improve the performance of your PC? Here is the ranking of Intel and AMD processors, with technical characteristics and prices, to help you choose the right processor for your needs.
The processor is the fundamental part of a computer, as it determines the performance of the PC, especially in the gaming field. Generally speaking, it can be said that a powerful and fast CPU will be able to improve the performance of your PC.
Speaking of video games, most games prefer the Best CPU for Gaming with a high clock frequency, but it is good to always check the type of game you want to dedicate to, as some games prefer CPUs made up of multiple cores.
Best CPU For Gaming Our Top Picks
Here are the Best CPU for Gaming on the market today, selected on the basis of technical characteristics and budget.
1. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X – Best CPU for Gaming
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X is the Best CPU for Gaming of 2023 for those who want to build a high-end PC based on AMD Ryzen. It is a chip equipped with 12 cores and 28 threads, capable of dealing with 4K gaming without problems and managing the streaming of games on Twitch or Youtube.
The base clock frequency is 3.7GHz, while the boost frequency reaches 4.8GHz. The single-core performances, particularly interesting in pure gaming, are excellent and significantly higher than the previous generation, with perceptible results in most triple-A games.
Furthermore, the size and management of the cache, which now amounts to 64MB, also contribute to significantly reducing latency times in the game.
The support for PCIe 4.0 will allow, by inserting an excellent SSD in the configuration, to obtain reduced loading times, as well as greater fluidity and reactivity in general of the system.
Excellent news for those who want to upgrade from the previous generation of AMD CPUs, compatibility with the same AM4 socket. It will therefore not be necessary to replace the motherboard, but possibly only to carry out a BIOS update.
2. Intel Core i9-11900K – Best Budget CPU for Gaming
The Intel Core i9 11900K is the best Intel home Best CPU for Gaming, also suitable for professional use, and proves to be the ideal choice for those with no budget limits and who want to create a professional gaming PC or workstation.
This model is considered the top of the range of the eleventh generation Intel Rocket Lake and offers a configuration with 8 Cores and 16 Threads, which allows it to manage numerous multitasking operations. The maximum achievable frequencies are 5.3 GHz in single or dual-core (and 4.8GHz when all cores operate simultaneously) with Turbo Boost. The base frequency is 3.5GHz.
The CPU also supports Thermal Velocity Boost technology, capable of increasing the clock frequency for a variable time (even beyond the maximum obtainable in Turbo Boost) depending on how much the CPU is operating below its maximum temperature and based on to the available Turbo Power budget.
The socket present is an LGA1200 (the same as the previous generation), while the new chipset is the Z590.
The CPU is unlockable with new overclocking controls to further optimize performance. The TDP is equal to 125W, while the Cache is 20MB with Intel Smart Cache architecture.
3. AMD Ryzen 9 3900X – Best Ultra Cheap CPU for Gaming
The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X processor is the best AMD home gaming PC processor in the 3000 series , and is still a viable choice for setting up a good gaming setup. It features the AMD Ryzen Master Utility unit that allows you to customize a performance to suit your needs. The processor is in fact unlocked by the factory multiplier, and also includes a dynamic local mode that allows you to automatically improve performance in certain applications.
The AMD Core Zen 2 x86 architecture guarantees high performance in both single-thread and multi-thread and easily adapts to meet the needs of gamers and creators. The processor speed is 3 GHz, while the Socket is an AM4. It has 12 Cores and 24 Threads, while the TDP is equal to 65W.
The frequencies are 3.8 GHz for the Base Clock and 4.6 GHz in Boost Clock. AMD StoreMI technology optimizes load times, boot times, file management and system responsiveness. This is possible by automatically matching the most used files to a 36 MB cache which guarantees maximum performance.
The AMD StoreMI configuration makes a copy of the files used on the SSD without affecting the original files, so you can speed up applications on Windows using a faster mirror copy.
The updated AMD StoreMI interface allows you to view all units on your system, to configure and monitor settings from the control panel.
4. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X – Best High-End CPU for Gaming
The Ryzen 5 5600X is one of the best gaming CPUs of 2023 in terms of performance/price for those who are choosing the components for a high-end PC to be dedicated exclusively to 1080p gaming.
In fact, if the computer will be used only (or mainly) to play, thus excluding tasks such as 3D rendering, video encoding, etc., we can safely say that the performance of this chip is comparable to that of higher-end models. With the difference that, in this case, the price only reaches 300 €.
Ryzen 5 5600X is a hex-core (12 threads) featuring a base clock frequency of 3.7GHz, with 4.6GHz in boost.
The 65W TDP is incredibly low when compared to the power that the processor is capable of unleashing. Included in the package we already find a Wraith Stealth heatsink, more than enough to cool the system.
However, those who plan to overclock this CPU (and can do it: the chip has the multiplier unlocked) will have to get a more efficient cooling system. However, as far as gaming is concerned, overclocking will not lead to significant improvements in the already excellent performance.
5. Intel Core i7 9700K – Best Midrange CPU for Gaming
The 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9700K gaming PC CPU is equipped with 8 Cores and 8 Threads, which allow it to satisfy even the most demanding users thanks to the clock speed in Turbo Boost at 4.9 GHz, and a base frequency of 3.6 GHz. The cache is 12MB with Intel Smart Cache architecture.
This processor allows you to manage several simultaneous gaming, recording and streaming activities, proposing itself as the ideal processor for those who want an excellent gaming experience but need to operate in multitasking, such as streamers or those who want to record gameplay to be published later.
The chipset present is the Z390 and belongs to the 300 series, while the TDP value is equal to 95W. It supports Solder Thermal Interface Material technology which optimizes heat transfer from the processor to the cooling system. L ‘ overclocking has led to a more advanced level while the temperatures are kept low even during the most intense gaming sessions.
The Intel Extreme Tuning Utility also allows you to fine-tune overclocking to further optimize processor performance.
6. Intel Core i5-11600K – Best APU for Gaming
Intel Core i5-11600K is the Best CPU for Gaming in the mid-range. It is characterized by excellent performance, which will not make those who use the PC mainly for gaming regret those of a top-of-the-range model.
For example, those who do not know if it is better to choose an i5 or an i7 for their gaming PC can easily orient themselves on this model, investing what has been saved in the graphics card. Moreover, compared to the AMD competitor of the same level, this processor offers a very attractive price.
6 cores and 12 threads, a base frequency of 3.9GHz, which rises to 4.9GHz thanks to Turbo Boost, excellent single-core performance, which is what a gamer looks most in a CPU: coupled to a good VGA, this processor is the perfect Intel base for a respectable gaming setup, to be able to fully enjoy all the latest generation titles at 1080p.
To tell the truth this i5 already includes one, the Intel UHD Graphics 750, which however will only suffice for very simple or dating games.
The CPU does not have very low consumption, but it does not tend to heat up excessively; it will be sufficient to add a good quality heatsink, not excessively expensive since the package does not include one.
7. AMD Ryzen 7 3700X – Best CPU for Gaming Video Editing
The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X processor is among the best gaming CPUs on the market, and is proposed as the AMD alternative (compared to Intel) for gamers who need to use the PC also for video editing , for example to create gameplay videos to be published online.
Equipped with 8 Cores and 16 Threads, the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X belongs to the AMD Core Zen 2 architecture, characterized by high performance in both single thread and multi thread . The TDP is 65W at 4.4 GHz of boost frequency.
The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X also includes a Wraith Prism heatsink which guarantees low noise even with the processor under load.
For maximum performance from your PC, you can configure all settings from the AMD StoreMI control panel, a technology that allows you to improve system responsiveness by automatically matching the most used files to an SSD cache.
AMD StoreMI technology will create a copy of your most used files while leaving the original files intact, so that if you remove or disable the SSD cache, you can still access the original data without problems. This file copy is used to speed up applications on the PC.
8. AMD Ryzen 5 3600 – Best High-End Desktop Processor for Gaming
The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor is characterized by 6 Cores and 12 Threads, and is proposed as the AMD CPU with the best value for money for those on a limited budget and who want to spend around 200 Euros for their processor.
The base frequency is 3.8 GHz which becomes 4.4 GHz in Turbo Boost mode. The total cache, called GameCache, is 35MB, of which 32MB of L3 and 3MB of L2. This results in excellent gaming performance even in older titles running at 1080p.
The architecture of the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is the Zen 2, which guarantees an increase in performance and a higher clock speed. The TDP is 65W, much lower than the previous model, and allows you to keep temperatures low while performance will be higher thanks to the support of AMD Precision Boost 2.0 technology.
The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor also comes with PCIe 4.0 support which increases the bandwidth for compatible graphics cards and SSDs, improving speed by up to 51% compared to counterparts that do not support this technology.
9. Intel Core i5-9600K – Best Streaming Gaming Processor
The Intel Core i5-9600K is one of the Best CPU for Gaming for price quality, ideal for those looking for good power, without spending a lot. The Intel Core i5-9600K indeed integrates an Intel UHD Graphics 630 graphics card suitable to run all the latest titles without problems. The base speed of the UHD 360 is 350Mhz, which can reach up to 1200Mhz with Turbo Boost mode.
It is equipped with 6 Cores and 6 Threads, features the Intel 300 series chipset and features a 3.7 GHz base clock speed, while the frequency in Turbo Boost mode is 4.6 GHz. The TDP value is equal to 95 W.
The Intel Core i5-9600K processor belongs to the 9th generation of Intel processors and has been designed to optimize the performance of your gaming PC through the Solder Thermal Interface Material technology that optimizes heat transfer, to take overclocking to an even more advanced level. The heat is transferred from the processor to the cooling system, and allows you to keep the temperatures lower during gaming sessions.
The Coffee Lake architecture offers 14-nanometer processor optimization and supports the LGA1151 socket and Z390 chipset.
10. Intel Core i5 8400 – Best Fastest CPU for Gaming
Among the i5 gaming CPUs, the Intel Core i5-8400 processor of Coffee Lake architecture is in the mid-range with 6 Cores and 6 Threads capable of improving the performance of 1.6 despite the multiplier not being unlocked and overclocking. limited.
Compatible with 300 Series chipsets, including the Z370 chipset, it integrates Intel UHD Graphics 630, which allows it to support 4K up to 60Hz, and a heatsink. The TDP value is 65W.
The base frequency is 2.8 GHz but can reach up to 4 GHz in Boost Clock mode which takes advantage of the thermal advantage to make the processor even more powerful. Thanks to this speed in Boost Clock, the single thread performance is in fact improved compared to the old models. The cache is 9MB with Intel Smart Cache architecture.
The excellent value for money performance makes it ideal for those on a budget but still want a good i5 suitable for gaming for their PC. The Intel Core i5-8400 processor is in fact among the best budget 6 Core processors in the Coffee Lake range, which, when combined with a dedicated graphics card, is able to greatly improve gaming performance.
11. AMD Ryzen 5 3400G – Best CPU for Overclocking
The AMD Ryzen 5 3400G processor is part of the third generation CPUs with Zen + architecture and integrated Vega 11 GPU. It is recommended for building a gaming PC for home entertainment or a low-cost office PC.
It has 4 Cores and 8 Threads, and a total cache of 6 MB, of which 2MB of L2 Cache and 4MB of L3 Cache. It supports Socket AM4, and includes a Wraith Stealth heatsink, while the TDP is equal to 65W. The base frequency is 3.7 GHz and can go up to 4.2 GHz in Boost mode. The processor architecture is Zen +, with integrated Vega 11 GPU.
As for gaming, the processor is well suited for RTS, MOBA, MMORPG and Battle Royale games., but struggles to handle triple A games at max settings. For the latter it is necessary to play at a resolution of 720p and with the details set to a minimum. To further improve performance, it is recommended to combine a dedicated low-mid-range video card.
The value for money is still cheaper than the old models with Zen2 architecture, also thanks to the improvement in performance due to the Zen + architecture, which guarantees a 22% increase in performance.
12. AMD Ryzen 5 2600 – Best CPU for Productivity
The AMD Ryzen 5 2600 processor is a processor with 6 Cores and 12 Threads with AM4 socket and 16MB L3 Cache. The base frequency is 3.4 GHz which can go up to 3.9 GHz in Boost mode, and TDP equal to 65W. The chipset supplied is the AMD X470.
The AMD Ryzen 5 2600 also includes the compact version of the Wraith Stealth heatsink. If you are interested in overclocking, however, it is recommended to add an external heatsink. This CPU model has in fact the unlocked multiplier , which makes it very interesting for those looking for a processor at a good price, less than 200 Euros.
The technical characteristics and the price make it the ideal processor to create a small gaming PCand low cost. The possibility of exploiting frequencies higher than the previous version guarantees better performance visible especially in the most demanding gaming sessions.
This Zen + architecture CPU compatible with AM4 motherboards . The AMD Ryzen 5 2600 processor allows for better frequency management, allowing the cores to remain at a higher frequency even when used simultaneously.
13. Intel Core i5 11400 – Best Budget CPU
The Intel Core i5-11400 processor is one of the best PC processors to fit into a balanced gaming setup. It belongs to the 11th generation Intel with Rocket Lake architecture. It is ideal for those who own a motherboard with LGA1200 socket coupled to a last generation processor and want to improve the performance of their gaming PC without spending very high figures.
It has 6 Cores and 12 Threads and has a static frequency of 2.6GHz and is equipped with Turbo Boost mode, which allows it to go up to 4.4GHz.
It has a UHD 750 integrated graphics; obviously those who are assembling a gaming configuration will have to take into account a dedicated GPU, but in any case the card allows you to use the PC even in its absence, playing some dated or undemanding title.
The Intel Core i5-11400 processor package integrates a heatsink to manage the heat produced. The TDP is 65W. Its technical characteristics make it an excellent gaming CPU to create a configuration with a low budget, if purchased paying attention to (frequent, for this product) price variations.
14. Intel Core i5-9400F – Best CPU for high-end gaming
The Intel Core i5-9400F processor is the ninth generation processor that features 6 Cores and 6 Threads, and supports 300 Series Chipsets, including the Z390. This is an inexpensive Best CPU for Gaming that works best when paired with a powerful video card.
In this processor there is no graphics, and for this reason it can be particularly interesting for players who already have additional GPUs and are looking for an excellent processor to better manage the games.
Despite the absence of Hyper threading, this CPU guarantees excellent performance even in the most intense gaming sessions, also thanks to the RAM speed that starts at 2666 Mhz.
The base clock speed is 2.9 GHz which goes up to 4.1 GHz in Turbo Boost mode, while the LGA1151 socket is the same as the 8th generation CPUs, making it compatible with all previous generation motherboards .
The Intel Core i5-9400F includes a slim-type heatsink capable of handling the heat emitted by this CPU, whose TDP value is only 65W. The temperature that remains between 35 ° C and 40 ° C. The cache is 9MB with Intel Smart Cache architecture.
15. AMD Athlon 3000G – Best Current-gen AMD Processor for Gaming
The best budget processor is the AMD Athlon 3000G , it is based on a 12 nanometer Zen + architecture and features 2 Cores, 4 Threads and a clock speed of 3.5 GHz. It is the first Athlon processor with an unlocked multiplier. and overclock support to further improve performance, to reach a clock frequency of up to 3.8 GHz.
It is recommended to pair it with a Mini-ITX motherboard to build a very cheap and small gaming PC.
The CPU integrates Radeon Vega 3 graphics, equipped with 3 processing units , capable of running older games without problemsat 720p resolution, but it also does well with games like Fortnite. If you want to further enhance performance, however, it is advisable to use a dedicated video card.
The maximum operating temperature is 95 ° C while the TDP value is 35W. The AMD Athlon 3000G processor integrates a heatsink capable of handling 65W thermal loads, and is therefore sufficient even when increasing the clock frequency.
The AMD Athlon 3000G processor is compatible with mid-range AMD AM4 motherboards.
Things to Consider
1. Socket Compatibility
Socket compatibility is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a CPU for gaming. A CPU with a socket that is not compatible with your motherboard may not be able to provide the performance you are looking for. Make sure to research each CPU before making a purchase so you can be sure it will work with your motherboard.
AMD processors are generally compatible with all modern motherboards, while Intel processors require specific motherboards from their respective brand. It is important to research which socket type your motherboard supports in order to avoid any problems down the road.
2. Core Clock
When buying a CPU for gaming, it is important to consider the core clock speed. A high-speed core clock will provide a smoother gaming experience, while a lower core clock will help to reduce the time it takes for your computer to respond to input. Some of the most popular CPUs for gaming have high core clock speeds, so it is important to research which one is best for your needs.
When it comes to choosing the right processor for gaming, it’s important to consider the thread count. A higher thread count will allow more simultaneous operations per core, meaning faster performance in multi-threaded games. However, not all processors with a high thread count are created equal.
Some processors with a high thread count have eight cores and 16 threads. These processors are great for gamers who want the best possible performance. However, they may be too powerful for some applications, such as video editing or data processing, and they may also be too expensive.
4. Thermal Design Power
If you are looking to buy a CPU for gaming, it is important to consider the thermal design power (TDP) of the chip. The TDP is the maximum heat output that the chip can produce. It is important to choose a CPU with a low TDP if you are planning on using your computer for gaming.
A low TDP means that the chip will be able to produce less heat and will run cooler. This will also mean that your computer will be more responsive when playing games because the processor won’t be struggling to cope with high levels of heat.
Some of the best CPUs for gaming include processors from Intel, AMD, and Nvidia. Make sure to research each company’s individual offerings so that you can find the right one for your needs.
5. CPU Cache
CPUs today have multiple cores and caches. Often, the more cores a CPU has, the more cache it has. Cache is important for gaming because it can speed up execution of certain tasks by reducing the amount of time needed to access data from memory. In addition, a high-speed cache often helps reduce the load on the main memory, which can improve performance in games.
When choosing a CPU for gaming, you should consider how much cache the CPU has and whether or not it is fast enough for your needs. If you are concerned about frame rates and want to maximize your gaming experience, make sure to look for a CPU with at least 4GB of cache. However, if you just need an affordable option that will work well in most games, go with an 8GB or 16GB model instead.
Which CPU For Gaming To Choose
The characteristics to consider when choosing are clock speed, or frequency, the number of cores, the amount of cache memory, the value of TDP, i.e. the amount of heat generated by the CPU, the presence of a heatsink, and the type of socket to ensure compatibility with the motherboard.
Frequency, or clock speed, indicates the speed at which the processor operates, and is measured in GigaHertz (GHz). The higher the value, the higher the speed. This value can vary according to the temperature of the CPU itself; moreover, many best CPU for gaming are equipped with a boost mode capable of increasing the clock speed, and consequently, the productivity of the CPU.
In this case, there are two clock speed values: a base frequency, corresponding to the minimum speed, and a turbo, which is the maximum speed that that particular CPU can reach.
Number of cores
Another fundamental characteristic is the number of Cores present and the value of Threads available; modern processors can have from 4 to 12 cores, and each core can handle one or more threads, effectively doubling the performance of the CPU itself and improving multitasking.
Intel or AMD
The desktop PC processors on the market belong to one of these two manufacturers, Intel or AMD: for gaming, there is no brand that is absolutely preferred, but you must always consider the specifications of the individual models.
In fact, there are different categories of CPUs; from the most expensive and powerful, to the cheapest but less performing, we find: Intel Core i9 and AMD Ryzen 9 (top of the range), Core i7 and Ryzen 7 (for high-end configurations to be used not only for gaming but also for tasks demanding as video editing and rendering), Core i5 and Ryzen 5 (mid-range, characterized by an excellent performance/price ratio) and finally Core i3, Pentium, Ryzen 3 and Athlon (which represent the economic segment).
For more information on choosing between an AMD vs Intel processor, here is the link to the dedicated guide.
1. Should I overclock my CPU?
Overclocking will help your CPU run faster, but be aware that this can also damage your hardware. Overclocking should only be done if you are sure you know what you’re doing and understand the risks. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and use reliable overclock software.
2. How much does CPU matter for gaming?
CPU is one of the most important factors for gaming. Increasing its performance will result in a better gaming experience. Additionally, choosing a better CPU can boost your computer’s overall performance.
3. What CPU do pro gamers use?
Professional gamers usually use CPUs that are specifically designed for gaming. CPUs that are popular with pro gamers include the Intel Core i7-8700K and AMD Ryzen 5 2600X.
4. Does a faster CPU mean more FPS?
When it comes to gaming, you want the best possible performance possible. That means a powerful CPU. Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of what to look for in a CPU, it’s time to take these important factors into account and choose the best CPU for your needs.