When it comes to gaming, the CPU is one of the most important components of your computer. That’s why, I recommend you buy the best CPU for gaming you can afford to get the highest performance possible. We tested each product on many different games and ranked them based on their performance, price, quality and more. Let’s not waste any more time and jump straight into it:
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Which Is The Best CPU For Gaming?
5. AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
Best CPU For Streaming
The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X was the first in the line of the AMD’s second generation Ryzen processors. AMD returned to prominence in the CPU market with the introduction of its first generation of Ryzen series and pressured Intel to adjust for the first time in 10 years. AMD Ryzen 7 2700X is a huge step forward, with its enhanced boost algorithms is adding performance advantage in heavily-threaded applications.
The Ryzen 7 2700X uses the Precision Boost 2 technology. A technology which that alters the running speed of each core of the chip based on the workload. When a task is given to a core, it will jump from 2.2GHz of power-saving speed to the 3.6GHz which is minimum base clock speed. The Precision Boost 2 will increase the clock speed continually by 25MHz, depending on the workload, maxing at the base clock speed of 4.3GHz. The technology basically saves power when performance is not needed, and getting the max of the processor when the need comes.
The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X is built on a 12nm process. The low power usage and less heat production, is the result of the smaller transistor size. Also it reduces the production cost of the chip by allowing more chips to be made of each wafer of silicon. The 2700X has a TDP of 105W, which is very impressive compared to its clock speed. The chip ships together with the Wraith Prism cooler. It uses a total of four heat pipes to draw heat to the metal radiator. On top of it is a 90mm fan with RGB lighting, there is also a switch on the side of the fan for alternating between high and low speeds.
The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X is also backwards compatible with all its motherboards. However, some motherboards do not have the necessary power requirements so they run at lower base clock speeds. The processor is fairly overclockable and has a competitive price, compared to its Intel counterparts, but of course, it has some disadvantages against it. Overall with its eight-core performance with a max base clock speed of 4.3GHz and Performance Boost 2, it is a great option for do-it-yourself builders. Definitely deserves its spot as the #5 best cpu for gaming.
4. Intel Core i5-8400
Best Mid-Range Option
AMD has really challenged Intel’s processors with its new Ryzen CPUs. In response to AMD, Intel released the all-new Coffee Lake-based I7 and i5 CPUs, with six cores each. The Core i5 offers the best performance for your money’s worth. It is faster than the Core i7-7700K in most games, and through various applications. The mid-range options have never been clearer than with the Intel Core i5-8400.
The Intel Core i5-8400 is a six-core CPU, it has a base clock speed of 2.8GHz. However, it is capable of reaching a maximum of 4GHz Turbo speed, on a single core unfortunately. The CPU mostly hangs on to a 3.8GHz frequency during every day normal use. It may not look much but, with its six cores and an all-core turbo of 4.3GHz, 4,6GHz if you use an Asus motherboard that enhances Intel’s Turbo, the CPU is capable of overclocking up to a massive 5.1GHz with ease.
The Coffee Lake design gives some great advantages, but it does not allow backwards compatibility. In the Kaby Lake generation architecture days of Intel processors, it was fairly easy to recommend the i5 7600K with HyperThreaded chip, instead of the Core i7 7700K or the i5 7400 in that matter. It was also the same configuration with a lower base clock speed. It is the same recurring case. It isn’t as exciting as its HyperThreaded cousins. However, when it comes to question about a mid-range CPU, with the Intel Core i5-8400 will get you the most bang for your buck. It is cheaper than the six-core Ryzen 5, and performs better than last generations high-end CPUs of Intel. It produces amazing framerates in gaming.
The second generation Ryzen CPUs have come closer in the deparment of gaming performance, but for its price range there is no competition for the Intel Core i5-8400. In the gaming department its up there with the very best, however, outside of it, it is kinda lacking.
With the capability of being overclocked to 5.1GHz without any issue of overheating and such. The new generation Coffee Lake build and its massive value make this a go-to processor for starter gaming builds, one of the best CPUs on the market.
3. Ryzen 3 2200G
Best Budget Gaming CPU
The Ryzen 3 2200G is your best budget choice for a CPU. It is cheaper than its competition the Intel Core i3-8100. It also has a built-in graphics processor that will offer better gaming performance than you would have expected. If you are building a budget desktop PC than the Ryzen 3 2200G is your best bet. It offers light gaming with its integrated graphics processing unit and decent everyday productivity.
The Ryzen 3 2200G has four cores and four threads. Its base clock speed is 3.5GHz, enough for tasks that do not demand a heavy CPU usage. Simple photoshop touch-ups to your pictures or unzipping archive folders, will be done without putting much strain to the CPU. However, if you open a dozen tabs in chrome and try to stream a video in any of them you will see that the CPU struggles to hang on.
It is a very close match with its main competitor the Intel Core i3-8100. They both have a 14-nanometer production process and have a thermal design power of 65 watts under normal circumstances. Both of the processors are not capable of multithreading. The main advantage of the Ryzen 3 2200G over the Intel Core i3-8100 is the ability to be overclocked. All RYzen chips support overclocking, but to overclock a Core i3 you have to upgrade to a HyperThreading capable Core i3-8350K which is double the price of the Ryzen 3 2200G with very close performance.
The Ryzen 3 2200G also features AMD’s main performance improving feature, the Precision Boost algorithm. It is the same technology used in the aforementioned AMD Ryzen 7. The AMD has also added the Extended Frequency Range, a technology that supervises the CPU temperatures and can boost base clock speeds if it detects that it won’t cause overheating or that your cooling system can deal with the overload.
The built-in GPU is also able to handle gaming to some extent. It is not the same AMD Radeon Vega experience you get from a discrete GPU, but the built-in Vega carries on some of its bigger brothers traits. This CPU is definitely the best option if you are a little short on finances but want to build yourself a decent machine.
2. Intel Core i9-9900K
The Most Versatile
Intel Core i9-9900K is the most powerful chip in the Coffee Lake Refresh generation of the Intel Core lineup. It is versatile and multi-purpose, however, it may be a tad too powerful if you do not need heavy computing performance from your PC. If you are an avid gamer, creative or an engineer, this Intel processor is the best you can get. However, if you need raw gaming unit, you can find units that provide more value than the Intel Core i9-9900K.
It doesn’t feature big changes in its architecture from its predecessors, but all the processors have seen improvements. This is mostly the result of more cores and threads. The Intel Core i9-9900K is an octa-core CPU, compared to only six cores in the previous generation. It has a boosted clock speed of 5GHz, the best boosted clocked speed on any commercial CPU. Also it is overclockable, so if the 5GHz is not enough you can squeeze some more processing power from the CPU.
The new i9 features solder thermal interface materials instead of the thermal paste. The advantages of the STIMs is the enhanced heat dissipation, to intercept shutdowns of the system due to high temperatures. There is also Intel Optane memory supported and Gigabit Wi-Fi speeds as well.
In every benchmarking test it has prevailed as the best in its category. For gaming frame rates it was mostly equal with the i7-8700K. Making the i7-8700K a better CPU for gaming only. As for raw computing power the Intel Core i9-9900K is a beast. It records a power consumption of 204W at its peak. Despite the introduction of the STIM the sheer amount of power overwhelms most of the cooling systems. Because of its power the Intel Core i9-9900K needs an equally powerful cooling system to function properly.
You can overclock this CPU up to 7.6GHz, but it is not recommended to do so if you are not an expert on this craft. Things get rather unstable past the 5.2GHz mark, and requires caution and expertise to overclock it more, as well as a cooling system that can cool it down at those high voltages.
If you are a media professional that needs heavy computing power, you won’t find a better alternative.
1. Ryzen 5 2600
We arrived at our top pick for the best CPU for gaming in 2019. The Ryzen 5 2600 is the best because it offers six cores with twelve threads, amazing gaming performance and excellent price. It is a nice package for everyone that researches and wants to get its money’s worth.
Between the more expensive 2600X and 2600 there is not a big difference. They both have the advanced 12nm FinFET Zen+ design and the 4.8bn transistors. Both have six core and 12 thread build that puts them among the most powerful. The difference is at base and boost clock speed, 2600 has a 3.4GHz base and 3.9GHz boost, the 2600X has 3.7GHz and 4.2GHz respectively. So based on this, 2600 gets a lower TDP of 65W and automatically a weaker cooler than the 2600X’s Wraith Spire. The Wraith stealth is a good cooler as well.
Performance-wise it was pretty decent. Not lagging behind any task and trying its best to keep up with more expensive designs. It lacks behind its bigger brother but not by a large margin. In gaming it was really good and performed very well, it lacks only in very CPU reliant games like Civilization VI. It is a decent normal chipset. But once you start tweaking and messing with the BIOS and the chip’s clocks you will notice that this CPU is massively overclockable.
It overcomes even the 2600X, it achieves a very stable 4.2GHz and the 2600X just a 4.25GHz before giving up. With a more powerful cooling system you can get even higher numbers. It takes some effort but it becomes better than its more expensive sibling. That’s when you reap its best fruits. The gaming experience is simply amazing, nobody can expect such a performance from a CPU that looks a little weaker on the numbers and has a very low price.
It is also backwards compatible with older motherboards, and with the in package included cooler, the Wraith Stealth makes this a nice choice for a do-it-yourself build. Decent performance all-around the Ryzen 5 2600 will be an awesome productivity package out of the box, but with slight tweaking, you will look at one of the best gaming CPUs in the market.