Best cpu for gaming

best cpu for gaming

There are some DIY PC enthusiasts who believe that a graphics card is the most important component of their build, but in reality, your CPU is the brain. Without a CPU, your computer would be a very expensive box. 

If you want your gaming PC to run efficiently, you need the right CPU. The AMD 7000 series processor uses an AM5 socket instead of the AM4 socket of the previous 5000 series, so you need to ensure that you don’t mix Intel and AMD components as well as incompatible generations.  The following list of gaming CPUs is intended to help you find the best fit for your budget and build, including their top features such as base and boosted clock speeds and core counts. 

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Intel Core i5-12600K~ Best gaming CPU overall

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Intel Core i5-12600K Desktop Processor 10

    Cache is decent
    Pricing that is fair
    Overclocking ceiling is excellent

    It does not include a CPU cooler
    Speeds should be lower
    Some games may not be compatible

More Details

Tech specs: Launched:  2021 | Product collection: 12th Generation | CPU type: Desktop | Total cores: 10 | Total threads: 16 | Performance-core max turbo frequency: 4.90 GHz | Efficient-core max turbo frequency: 3.60 GHz | Performance-core bass frequency: 3.70 GHz | Efficient-core base frequency: 2.80 GHz | Cache: 20 MB Intel Smart Cache | Total L2 Cache: 9.5 MB | Processor base power: 125 W | Maximum turbo power: 150 W | Maximum memory size: 128 GB | Processor graphics:  Intel UHD Graphics 770 | Warranty:  Intel offers a three-year limited warranty with the Core i5-12600K

With speeds of around 3.70 GHz, the 12th Generation Intel Core i5-12600K is a great mid-range CPU, but it is the slowest CPU on our list. It costs around $300. With six performance cores and four efficiency cores, the 10-core processor offers solid speed and fast processing. The processor uses an LGA 1700 socket and is a three-speed processor. A signature turbo boost with re-designed Intel UHD graphics makes this system ideal for demanding, power-hungry programs since it incorporates hyper-threading architecture. It also features a signature turbo boost. With exclusive Intel 7 Architecture and incorporated microarchitecture for power efficiency, the L3 cache can hold up to 16 MB of data for improved performance. 

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Intel Core i9-12900K~ Best high-end CPU

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best cpu for gaming
Intel Core i9-12900KF Desktop Processor 16 (8P+8E) Cores

    Performs well
    There are most threads
    Cache that works well

    The Windows 10 operating system is finicky

More Details

Tech specs: Launched: 2021 | Product collection: 12th Generation | CPU type: Desktop | Total cores: 16 | Total threads: 24 | Max turbo frequency: 5.20 GHz | Efficient-core max turbo frequency: 3.90 GHz | Performance-core bass frequency: 5.10 GHz | Performance-core base frequency: 3.90 GHz | Efficient-core base frequency: 3.90 GHz | Cache: 30 MB Intel Smart Cache | Total L2 Cache: 14 MB | Processor base power: 125 W | Maximum turbo power: 241 W | Maximum memory size: 128 GB | Processor graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 770

Our list of the best gaming processors for 2022 feature the Intel Core i9-12900K with an LGA 1700 socket. The L3 cache has 30 MG of memory, which is on par with our list of the best gaming CPUs of 2022. With a maximum clock speed(1) of 5.2 GHz, this model features a 12th Generation Intel Core i9-12900K desktop processor. Thanks to integrated micro-architecture, you get improved performance per watt at 10 nm and increased power efficiency. Using Intel Thread Director, your system will not be bogged down by internal minutiae because multiple workloads can be sorted and coordinated. There are 16 performance cores and eight efficient cores for a total of 24 threads. In addition to an unlocked and overclockable CPU, the Intel Smart Cache enables 30 MB of storage with a 600 series(3) motherboard and 1700 socket.  

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AMD Ryzen 5 5600G ~Best budget gaming CPU

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best cpu for gaming
AMD Ryzen 5 5600G 6-Core 12-Thread

    Our cheapest option
    This is a great graphic
    Compatible with Radeon

    Speed restriction
    Cache of small size
    Connectivity is low

More Details

Tech specs: Launched: 2020 | Product collection: AMD Ryzen Processors | CPU type: Desktop | CPU socket: AM4 | Total cores: 6 | Total threads: 12 | Maximum boost clock: 4.6 GHz | Base clock: 3.7 GHz | Default TDP: 65 W | Processor CPU Technology: TSMC 7nm FinFET | Total L2 Cache: 3 MB | Total L3 Cache: 32 B | Warranty: The AMD Ryzen 5 5600G includes a warranty for parts that lasts three years

Our pick for the best cheap gaming CPU is the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G. Since the CPU is cheaper, you’ll get slower speeds with 4.4 GHz and only a 6 core processor, the Zen 3. It supports 1080P graphics with 12 threads, as well as 19 MB of cache. Like the Ryzen 5 5600X, this CPU comes unlocked, with Precious Boost Overdrive to boost clock speeds and power limits. DDR4-3200 is also supported. It is a neat addition that lets you customize CPU performance for a fully customized experience, but it lacks the power, speed, and memory of other CPUs in every aspect. If you do not have a lot of money to spend, it is a great option.  

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AMD Ryzen 9 5950X~ Best performance

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best cpu for gaming

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16-core, 32-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor

    Processor with large memory
    Cache is huge
    Increased speed

    We ranked this as the most expensive
    It does not include a stock cooler

More Details

Tech specs: Launched: 2020 | Product collection: AMD Ryzen Processors | CPU type: Desktop | CPU socket: AM4 | Total cores: 16 | Total threads: 32 | Maximum boost clock: 4.9 GHz | Base clock: 3.4 GHz | Default TDP: 105 W | Processor CPU Technology: TSMC 7nm FinFET | Total L2 Cache: 8 MB | Total L3 Cache: 64 MB | Warranty: A three-year warranty is included with the purchase of the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. 

In addition to being the most expensive processor on our list, the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X also boasts a 16 core processor with an 4.9 GHz Max Boost and a Socket AM4 socket. Because of this, it is compatible with PCIe 4.0 and compatible with motherboards such as the X570 and the B550. AMD’s elite performance 100+ frames per second is delivered with 16 cores and 32 processing threads, the most of our picks. There is 72 MB of cache and support for DDR-3200 overclocking. Despite its pricey price tag, the CPU is not supplied with a cooler, so you will need to purchase one separately.  

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AMD Ryzen 9 7950X ~ Best gaming CPU for overclocking

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best cpu for gaming

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16-core, 32-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor

    Clock speed max of 5.7GHz
    Radeon graphics integrated into the processor
    Support for Ubuntu

    An extremely high price
    A motherboard with AM5 support is required

More Details

Tech specs: Launched: 2022| Product collection: AMD Ryzen Processors | CPU type: Desktop | CPU socket: AM5 | Total cores: 16 | Total threads: 32 | Maximum boost clock: 5.7 GHz | Base clock: 4.5 GHz | Default TDP: 170 W | Processor CPU Technology: TSMC 7nm FinFET |Total L3 Cache: 64 MB | Warranty: 3 years

PC gamers who are more advanced know how important it is to overclock their processors in order to get the most performance from them. With its base clock speed of 4.5GHz and its ability to boost it up to 5.7GHz, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X is among the fastest processors available outside of high-end workstations. In addition to offering blazing fast speeds and tons of power, the 7950X has 16 cores and 32 threads, so you can launch and run graphically intense games as well as just about any video and photo editing software you need, as well as 3D modeling. With its AMD Radeon graphics, it is capable of playing basic games without a dedicated GPU, but if you want to maximize its performance, you should pair it with an RTX 3050 graphics card. Even if you don’t have a Windows-based computer, you can use this CPU with the Linux Ubuntu operating system.

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What is the best gaming CPU?

Currently, the Intel Core i5-12600K CPU is the best gaming CPU on the market. A 3.6GHz base clock speed can be boosted to 4.9GHz to increase performance. Integrated graphics allow you to play games with less graphically intensive graphics without having to purchase a dedicated GPU.

Which gaming CPU is right for you?

Besides budget, you also need to make sure your CPU matches the rest of your gaming PC build, since AMD and Intel components don’t work together. In addition, if you intend to unlock and overclock your CPU, it is important to keep an eye on its base and boosted clock speeds.

How did we choose these CPUs?

CPUs have their own language, which can often be confusing to new users. If you do not know the language, shopping for a gaming CPU can be overwhelming.

To find the best CPU model for your gaming needs, you should consider these factors when choosing a new CPU.

    AMD and Intel are the two largest manufacturers of CPUs, and both dominate our list. For better reliability, consider who makes your processor. 

    Newer models may offer better features due to technology’s rapid and constant evolution. Of course, you’ll pay a higher price for it.

    It is possible to tell what type of processor and programming the CPU uses by its generation.

    Today’s CPUs typically have multiple cores to increase performance by processing several instructions simultaneously. The number of CPU cores determines how fast a CPU can operate.

    An important attribute of a processor is its clock speed, which is also known as its clock rate or frequency. A clock speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz), which indicates how many cycles per second the processor can operate.  

    Increasing your CPU’s clock speed is known as overclocking. You can do this using programs like Intel® Performance Maximizer, which offers considerable performance benefits when overclocked.

    Consider integrated graphics if you intend to edit or stream videos. This is especially important if your CPU has integrated graphics.

If you are planning on playing PC games in 2022, you can also look at the specifications of the games to find out which CPU will be best for you. 

What is a CPU?

CPUs are the brains of computers. They provide the basic structure and power that the rest of your system needs to perform tasks and run programs.

Should I upgrade my CPU or GPU first?

In some cases, it’s time to upgrade your graphics card because that’s what controls the loading of in-game assets. If you’re experiencing problems starting your games or having trouble launching them, you might want to upgrade your graphics card. It’s probably best to get a new CPU if, however, your whole PC is running slow or you have trouble performing basic tasks.

What’s the difference between AMD and Intel CPUs?

There are a number of differences between AMD and Intel components. Both use proprietary programming languages and architectures to accomplish their goals. Therefore, you can’t buy a cheap Intel motherboard with an AMD CPU and expect them to run your PC, since they don’t work together. AMD CPUs simply won’t fit on the motherboard, and they don’t have the programming required to communicate with Intel devices. 

You can use PC Part Picker to make sure the new gaming CPU is compatible with your build, as well as hammer out a budget for new components, so you can make sure it will work with your build. The website lets you choose what components you want to buy, and it checks to see if everything is compatible. And if there are any problems, it flags them so you know exactly what you need to do to make everything work.

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What temp should my CPU be while gaming?

It is recommended that a CPU run between 142 and 164 degrees Fahrenheit (61 to 73 degrees Celsius) while playing games. Depending on the graphical load and ambient temperature, your CPU might run a bit hotter from time to time, but nothing should harm it. You may need a better cooling fan, thermal paste to help dissipate excess heat, or even liquid cooling if your CPU is running at a much higher temperature. My recommendation is to monitor your CPU temperature using one of the many programs available so that you can catch problems before they cause damage.