11 Best CPU For Gaming (Cheapest, Affordable, Intel, AMD)

Let’s take a look at the cheap and budget options for the best cpu for gaming 2022.

If computers certainly allow you to perform routine and office tasks, they can also reveal monster capacities for much more demanding activities, such as gaming. From this perspective, both the GPU (the graphics card) and the CPU (processor) count, so it is crucial to choose hardware that is powerful enough to achieve good performance in the game. We therefore invite you to discover the comparison of the best gaming processors before turning to the buying guide for more information.

Let us first proceed to the detail of the methodology. To establish our selection, we looked for the best quality-price ratios within several ranges. By using technical characteristics as well as consumer opinions and feedback from players, we were able to sort and prioritize the different models in an impartial manner.

Also See: – Best CPU For AMD RX 6400

  1. Intel Core i9-12900k, (Best Intel CPU For Gaming)
  2. AMD Ryzen 5950X (Best AMD CPU For Gaming)
  3. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (Best Budget CPU For Gaming)
  4. Intel Core i5-12600k (Best For Gaming and Streaming)
  5. AMD Ryzen 5800X (Best Ryzen CPU For Gaming)
  6. AMD Ryzen 5600X (Best for Programming)
  7. Intel Core i7-11700K (Fastest CPU For gaming)
  8. Intel Core i9-10900KF: Intel’s former king
  9. Intel Core i5-10600KF: Intel’s perfect CPU for gaming
  10. Intel Core i5-11400F, Rocket Lake S best value for money
  11. AMD Ryzen 5 5600G, the entry level for gaming

1. Intel Core i9-12900k, (Best Intel CPU For Gaming)

Intel Core i9-12900k

The 12900k signals the arrival of 10 nm at Intel. With 8 high-power dual-threaded cores and 8 low-power cores , it’s no less than 24 threads for maximum power, finally, it’s especially to shine in society with crazy FPS. It’s perfectly handy for workstation, mining and many more complicated tasks.it has also supported by Radeon RX 6950 Xt CPU.

With the Intel i9-12900k, we go to the 12th generation called “Alder Lake”. It is capable of supporting PCI-express 5, thunderbolt 4 and DDR5. The frequency can go up to 5.2 GHz provided you have a substantial cooling solution and an exceptional CM, with the LGA1700 socket. Sort of “equivalent” to AMD’s Ryzen 5950X but which goes up to 241 W of TDP pushed to the limit, the 12900k is Intel’s demonstration showcase.

2. AMD Ryzen 5950X (Best AMD CPU For Gaming)

AMD Ryzen 5950X

At the top of the processor food chain, we unsurprisingly find a monster of power: the Ryzen 5950X from AMD . No need to jump through the hoops, whatever you want to do on your computer with it, you’ll have no problem achieving it. With its 16 cores and 32 threads , whether for video games, video editing or 3D modeling, deep learning, its insane power is guaranteed in all areas.

Not even need to speak about its frequency, which is basic with 3.4 GHz, and which can go up to 4.9 GHz, without counting the possible overclocking (although complicated). Despite all this power, the 5950X keeps a very decent power consumption, around 105 watts .

Finally, we can salute that in addition to obvious compatibility with the X570 and B550 chipsets from AMD, the CPU is also compatible with the older versions, namely the X470 and the B450. All that can make you want to, but you have to realize the budget you need for such a processor, and especially that it is not made for everyone, in the sense that its interest lies in the carrying out extremely heavy tasks such as 3D modeling or 4K editing.

3. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (Best Budget CPU For Gaming)

AMD Ryzen 5900X

At the top of the processor basket is the AMD Ryzen 5900X . It is one of those CPUs that are excellent in absolutely all areas, be it gaming, graphics, multitasking, and this also compatible with Radeon RX 6750 XT, RTX 3090 Ti, RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti After all, it’s no wonder with its 12 cores and 24 threads, all clocked at 3.7 GHz base, and 4.8 GHz boosted. And as if there were not enough power, the overclocking capacity of this processor is really considerable, being able to give remarkable results to those who know how to exploit it correctly.

Even if all this can be scary in terms of the consumption that this Ryzen 5900X can have, don’t worry, since it is very well controlled, with 105 watts on average. If you’re doing heavy-duty or multi-tasking it’s absolutely perfect, but if all you care about is being able to play on gaming PC, it’s a bit overpriced in that case.

Also See: – Best CPU for AMD RX 6500 XT

4. Intel Core i5-12600k (Best For Gaming and Streaming)

Intel Core i5-12600k

For half the price of its elder, this i5-12600k version, an equivalent of AMD’s 5600x , offers performance barely below, or almost similar to, the 12900K for gaming. It is also the optimal solution for creative or videographers, the export and encoding times also being extremely short.

Finally, this 12600k, although it requires a motherboard equipped with the  LGA1700 socket, is undoubtedly the future best seller of the brand: for a more affordable price, it allows you to switch to this new generation of Alder lake architecture. very promising.

5. AMD Ryzen 5800X (Best Ryzen CPU For Gaming)

AMD Ryzen 5800X

The Ryzen 7 5800X is one of the best value for money on the side of the latest AMD processors for multitasking requiring at least 8 cores. So yes, some will say that it remains expensive, but in this complicated period of supply in terms of CPU, the price remains within the norm. This processor is the perfect in-between, between gaming and application.

The 8 cores and 16 threads of the processor are more than enough to be able to play as comfortably as possible on PC. And on the application side, they also provide surprising performance with a very solid frequency of 3.8 GHz which can easily go up to 4.7 GHz in boost. Whether in gaming or in the application (apart from those requiring the most cores possible), the Ryzen 5800X is almost on par with the Ryzen 5900X and 5950X and exceeds them for the gaming part.

To add to this, we also salute its controlled power consumption , with a TDP of 105 watts , as well as its compatibility still available via the AM4 socket, but also via the 400 and 500 chipsets. It is extremely difficult to find a real default to this processor , but if we had to report one, it would be the lack of an iGPU, which is not a problem at all from the moment a graphics card is integrated into the config. It remains to be seen if a 5700 version will emerge to put the 5800X in this category in terms of price.

6. AMD Ryzen 5600X (Best for Programming)

AMD Ryzen 5600X

In the range of processors with a very good quality ratio, we find at AMD the Ryzen 5600X . This AM4 CPU is perfect for people on a tighter budget, or just those who only focus on gaming. Because the 5600X is undoubtedly THE perfect processor for pure gaming consumption. With its 6 cores and 12 onboard threads, which are clocked at 3.7 GHz at the base and 4.6 GHz in boost, it has everything it takes to offer gaming performance that gives nothing to envy to higher end CPUs.

In terms of temperatures, they are very well controlled, because whether in charge or at rest, the Ryzen 5600X offers the lowest temperatures among the large processors of recent years. We will also not fail to notify the presence of a cooler, still as effective at AMD. If we had to quibble to find a fault, it would be overclocking which is slightly more limited than on other references (but which allows it to be above an Intel 12600).

7. Intel Core i7-11700K (Fastest CPU For gaming)

Intel Core i7-11700K

Still in 14 nm and from the 11th generation Rocket Lake, the Intel 11700K has a frequency of 3.6 to 5 GHz with 16 threads . Despite this drop in the number of cores, consumption remains high. However, its price is quite correct in view of its very large capacities, especially for the player who wishes to keep his motherboard, he saves money.

Finally, it’s a bit the ultimate solution to boost your config , while keeping your motherboard in LGA1200 socket. In addition, it is Z490 compatible.

8. Intel Core i9-10900KF: Intel’s former king

Intel Core i9-10900KF

On the Intel side, we are not letting ourselves be fooled either by AMD, which is catching up with them more and more, especially with the Intel Core i9-10900KF . With an LGA 1200 socket , integrating 10 cores and 20 threads , all clocked at 3.7 GHz at the base and up to 5.3 GHz in boost , this CPU shows excellent performance in gaming.

However, it is mainly designed to meet the needs of demanding people on more complex tasks, where it knows how to do it too. And not to end with the power, the 10900KF has very interesting capabilities in terms of overclocking. Unfortunately, there are defects in relation to the competition, such as an engraving always of 14 nm, or the absence of support for PCI express 4.0.

9. Intel Core i5-10600KF: Intel’s perfect CPU for gaming

Intel Core i5-10600KF

On pure gaming processors, Intel has specialized in this area, especially with the i5-10600KF. 6 cores, 12 threads , a base clock of 4.1 GHz, and a boost of 4.8 GHz, make this a CPU that has everything it needs to be optimal for gaming.

This processor is particularly attractive for its excellent quality / price ratio , allowing you to build a PC gamer config with a modest budget. Behind it, the workable overclocking capabilities are worth it, and even overclocking, CPU temperatures are more than decent .

However, Intel obliges, the 10600KF still struggles with the same faults, such as an aging 14 nm engraving, as well as a lack of PCI express 4.0 support.

10. Intel Core i5-11400F, Rocket Lake S best value for money

Intel Core i5-11400F

The Intel i5-11400F , with its 12 threads and its frequency capable of going up to 4.4 GHz, is part of what could be called the mid-range. It is its extremely competitive price that places it in this category. Still, the 11400f offers some of the best performance for gamers , especially at FullHD. Far from average, it is squarely at the top of the basket! Its performance is comparable to the i9-11900K and 11700K.

This i5-11400F is frankly the processor that represents the best performance / price ratio for gamers , seeing this modest expense, the failure to stay on a 14 nm engraving seems anecdotal.

11. AMD Ryzen 5 5600G, the entry level for gaming

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

Many advantages for this Ryzen 5 5600G : already, it is powerful with its 12 threads and its base frequency of 3.9 GHz, then, the 7 nm engraving gives it a big advantage over the Intel competition in terms of consumption electric. Always compatible with AM4 and with a TDP of 65 W , you will all have a battery of advantages: it is not complicated to cool, suitable for compact and silent configs as long as you stay out of recent games.

To conclude, the 5600g is very versatile (and economical) with its integrated graphics chip , perfect for office automation and powerful to run all applications as well as possible, for recent games, it will be imperative to add a graphics card, unless you like to play in low quality between 20 and 30 fps.

Best Gaming CPU Buying Guide

The 11 models that have been presented to you are certainly the most popular on the market, due to their certain value for money and their performance. But as well to choose among these models as among all the other existing products, it is important to know the material and to estimate its needs and its budget. Also we invite you to discover our advice, recommendations and other selection criteria so that you can choose the most suitable equipment.

Which processor for gaming? The features, benefits and prices of dedicated hardware

The processor is a crucial component of the computer, but its power and capabilities will determine how you can use it. For resource-intensive gaming, there’s no secret: you have to go high-end, towards high-performance chips. These have the merit of displaying flow rates and calculation speeds that are far more impressive than the models dedicated to office automation.

They therefore offer better fluidity, and also come with useful technologies, such as Overclocking (to boost the performance of the gaming CPU beyond the standard formula) or HyperThreading (increasing the efficiency of simultaneous processing of cores ).

Obviously, who says superior performance also says higher price. That said, as you will have seen in the CPU comparison, several price ranges are revealed. It is therefore up to you to estimate your needs and choose the most suitable model, in particular according to the selection criteria.

CPUs, APUs, SoCs

You may have already read these designations of CPU , APU or SoC . Although these three more or less designate the function of a processor, it is not for nothing that they have different names.

  • CPU  : The Central Processing Unit is the processor you are probably already familiar with. This is the one present on desktop and laptop PCs, with cores, threads, frequency, etc. It may or may not also include a graphic part, but which is still quite limited, and it is on this aspect that the other two stand out.
  • APU  : The Accelerated Processing Unit is a circuit that aims to be a processor with the addition of a much more advanced graphics part than a simple iGPU. AMD’s specialty is what’s integrated into PlayStation and Xbox consoles , with custom APUs.
  • SoC  : The System on a Chip is a particular chip, which can almost represent an entire PC on its own, with the equivalent of a CPU, a GPU, a graphics RAM, etc., while being a example of low consumption. The most well-known SoC chips are the SnapDragon , which you may have heard of already, since they are the ones found mainly on smartphones. The Nintendo Switch is also equipped with a SoC, with the Tegra chip from NVIDIA.

How many CPU cores for which activities?

Unsurprisingly, the number of cores included in each processor is not there to look pretty, but it does help to define the power provided, and therefore for which activities the processors are the most optimized.

  • 6 cores  : Usually on Intel Core i5 and AMD Ryzen 5, hexa core CPUs are very good value for money parts, being perfect for gaming , an area that very rarely needs more than 4 cores . They’re good at multitasking, but they’re not really meant for that.
  • 8 cores  : There are mainly Intel Core i7 and AMD Ryzen 7 in octo core. The quality / price ratio of these processors remains rather good for what they offer. If you’re more focused on heavy-duty tasks , like encoding, video editing, or graphics, as well as multi-tasking, they’re a good fit, while delivering very nice gaming performance, although you don’t have to. take such a powerful CPU just for this area.
  • 12 to 16 cores  : CPUs ranging from 12 to 16 cores are found in the Intel Core i9 and AMD Ryzen 9 ranges. In case you want to perform very heavy tasks , such as 4K video editing or modeling advanced in 3D, they fit perfectly. On the other hand, the power given is not properly usable in gaming, but above all, the price of these CPUs is far from affordable.

What are threads?

Threads , also called logical cores , define the number of processes (or tasks) that can be executed at the same time, and the number of which is defined according to the number of physical cores, often multiplied by two thanks to multi-threading. To simplify with an example, imagine that a processor is a factory, that a core is an employee of this factory, and that a thread is one of the tasks to be done. The more employees there are, the faster the work will go, and if they can each manage two tasks at the same time ( multithreading ), that’s even better.

Hyper-Threading and SMT

Hyper-threading and SMT (Simultaneous MultiThreading) have different names, but both refer to the same type of technology: that of using the physical cores of a processor to double them into threads (or logical cores). Threads therefore make it possible to make the processor much faster in its calculations, especially on multitasking software .

If there are two different names, it’s because hyper-threading is a technology from Intel , while SMT comes from AMD . On the other hand, be careful, because they are not present on all the processor references of their respective manufacturers, and also because they do not necessarily result in a performance gain on all applications (even if this is mostly the case).

The base frequency and boost of the processors

You may have noticed, but processors today report a base frequency and a boost frequency. The base frequency defines the one that can be reached on average with all the cores, like a kind of cruising speed. The boost frequency announces up to which frequency a single core can increase, like a burst of speed.

What is Turbo for on CPUs?

On the product sheets of processors, you may have noticed that next to the so-called “base” frequency, there may be an inscription about a “turbo” or “boost” frequency . It designates the maximum that can be reached on a single heart. When the PC has to perform heavy calculations, especially on its CPU, the latter crosses its basic limits to provide greater power, by increasing the frequency on the different cores, including one more than the others, all in exchange for higher consumption.

This automatic technology is basic included with your AMD or Intel processor, but it should not be confused with overclocking , which is a more free and precise modification to provide to exceed the limits of the CPU, and above all which remains constant.

Why overclock your processor?

The overclock serves a specific purpose: to gain performance by exploiting its processor as much as possible . Basically, a processor is never really used at 100%, since it is limited to achieving a good balance between power, consumption or even the temperature emitted. Overclocking your CPU means wanting to go above this balance, to define a new one at a higher power. OC its processor is especially useful when it can no longer keep pace with user requests.

What is Smart Access Memory used for?

Basically, the VRAM (or video memory) present on the graphics cards is limited in its exchanges with the processor. To solve this problem, AMD has developed SAM (Smart Access Memory), allowing the CPU to have direct access to all of the VRAM, thus improving performance. Technology for the moment compatible only with AMD Ryzen 5000 , it could be democratized, even going as far as CPUs from Intel.

On the Nvidia side, we find the same technology with the BAR (Base-Adress Register). These technologies are not exclusive, they are the normal evolution of the link between CPU, motherboard and GPU within the framework of PCI Express 4.0.

Temperature and cooling

You have to be careful with the temperatures of your PC, and especially of your processor. A poorly cooled CPU is a component that degrades quickly, and can even hamper performance . In simple office use, the ideal temperature should be between 30 and 50 degrees . On a game or heavy task, make sure it doesn’t go above 70 degrees . Above, the temperature begins to become dangerous, especially around 90 degrees, where the processor itself can limit its performance so as not to overheat, such as simply turning off the PC in the most extreme cases.

To cope with the heating, there are two types of cooling: the ventirad and the watercooling . Sometimes a cooler comes standard with your processor, and if you don’t plan to overclock it, it may do just fine (especially those from AMD). Otherwise, for small or medium use, a cooler around 30 euros can be more than enough. You can aim a little higher if you plan to overclock your CPU, and if you want to have the best cooler, you have to go up to around 90 euros (obviously it’s not the most useful on a small processor) . The leaders in this market are Be Quiet!, Cooler Master and Noctua .

Otherwise, AIO water cooling presents itself as a more complex and more expensive solution, but also more stylish, even more efficient. If you do not want to invest more than 50 euros in cooling, choose a cooler. Otherwise, be aware that water cooling with a minimum of quality (with one or two fans) is between 50 and 100 euros. Between 100 and 150 euros, we arrive on rather high-end models with between two and three fans. The leaders in this market are Corsair, NZXT NZ B550 , and Cooler Master .

Intel processors

Fineness of engraving

Intel doesn’t have the best reputation for fine engraving. Indeed, while the competition is reducing it more and more at breakneck speed, Intel is madly attached to its thinness of 14 nm , making its processors heat up more easily, while not making them less energy-intensive compared to others.

Socket

Again, Intel has a reputation to envy, since the firm has a bad habit of changing socket very regularly. As proof, there have been 4 different ones in recent years, namely:

the LGA 1151 in 2015,

the LGA 2066 in 2017,

the LGA 1200 in 2020,

THE LGA 1700 in 2021.

CPU versions

  • Basic versions : No possibility of overclocking.
  • K versions : Possibility of overclocking.
  • F versions : no integrated graphics.
  • KF versions : Possibility of overclocking, but without integrated graphics.

AMD processors

Fineness of engraving

In the field of CPU engraving finesse, AMD is the champion firm. The Zen architecture of Ryzen processors first started with 14 nm engraving, before moving to 12 nm with Zen +, then to 7 nm with Zen 2, before moving to 5 nm in engraving fineness with the Zen 4 architecture planned for 2022.

Socket

AMD has conquered the hearts (and the wallets) of many people around the world, by announcing as soon as the Ryzen processors were released, that support for the AM4 socket would be guaranteed until 2020 , without requiring a change of motherboard with a new processor. It should most certainly change with the Zen 4 architecture scheduled for 2022.

CPU versions

  • Basic versions : Possibility of overclocking.
  • G versions : With integrated graphic part.
  • X versions : Basic overclocking, possibility of overclocking.
  • XT versions : Higher boost frequency, possibility of overclocking.

How to choose your gaming processor? In 9 selection criteria

The criteria you will find below are those we used to set up the comparison and selection. We invite you to use it in turn to find the equipment that will best meet your expectations.

  • What use? For low-resource games and streaming or for gaming, animation and virtual reality?
  • The manufacturer: Intel for all ranges and very high ranges, AMD for entry-level, intermediate ranges and good value for money
  • sockets
  • Operating temperature and cooling
  • Energy consumption
  • The number of cores and threads
  • Technologies: Overclocking, HyperThreading, Turbo…
  • Compatibility with other computer components and with operating systems
  • The price

Which processors for the different types of games?

Above all, it is important to know that the vast majority of games only use 4 cores of a processor for gaming . Above, the utility is going to be about optimizing performance on those 4 cores, about preparing for games that in the future will end up using more and more cores, but also about other tasks besides gaming. . We can only speak here of heavy tasks such as video editing, modeling, graphics, or even multitasking, with for example live streaming on broadcasting platforms.

To help you, here is a table that allows you to better identify the type of processor to take according to your needs:

AMDIntel
CPURyzen 3Ryzen 5Ryzen 7Ryzen 9Core i3Core i5Core i7Core i9
Light Games++++++++++++++++++++++++
Average games++++++++++++++++++++++
Gourmet games++++++++++++++++++
Games in 4K++++++++++++
Streaming / Recording++++++++++++

Obviously, your PC’s performance on games, or even other applications, also depends a lot on the rest of your setup. In itself, the CPU is not the most important element for gaming, although it is still vital. And in cases where streaming, recording your games, or simply multitasking interests you, strongly favor an AMD Ryzen processor which is specialized in this. However, if you are aiming for purely gaming use, or with a few other light tasks, Intel CPUs still have a small edge over gaming , which can be interesting in this case.

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