The Best CPU for Gaming recommended in 2021 – Complete List

The best CPU for gaming is something that you can call the “Powerful silicon heart of your gaming PC. It is something that will make the new expensive Graphics Card that you purchased, worth the money invested. It is your setup to juice out the maximum performance from your GPU and CPU at once to deliver you a remarkable output while gaming, streaming, editing, or any processing-related activities that you are doing on your PC. The best means something with a decent price, which can deliver up to your demands of cores for optimal performance. 

Since the 11th Gen chipset of Intel is out in the market now you have plenty of Intel options on your plate. Though the Core i9 11900K, looks like a bit of a mess for Intel standard, the i5 11600k from them is a total value for money. On the other hand, AMD is Winn all the battles and has emerged as the kind of surveys conducted about it. Moreover, since they now have the Zen 3 chips, their Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 9 6900X are one of the best choices for us today.

All this is fine, but there is a slight issue going on with the CPU market currently. This issue is related to stocks. Yes, it is surprisingly very hard to get your hands on one of the good processors in the market. The situation is quite similar to the vanishing of Nvidia and AMD graphics cards from the market within seconds. In fact, the AMD Ryzen 5000 series processor was also sold out in seconds. No doubt that these chips are amazing and the finest processor that is available in the market. But the struggle of getting your hand on one is like a battle to win in the market. There is a very rare chance of you getting the Ryzen 9 5900x or 6900x. However, the Ryzen 5 5600x and Ryzen 7 5800x are still in decent condition in terms of stocks available. Although the 12-core 5900 will juice out you will while trying to find one. Yeah! We just said that and trust us it is true. It will take more than just an effort to find one of these.

However, gamers never give up hope on the best equipment that they need for their perfect gaming rig. You never know when you will get a hand on the stock that you have been waiting for. 

Also, from the latest update that we have on the manufacturing segment of AMD, there are words about them looking to expand their manufacturing. This is in regards to the new B2 stepping chips. However, there is no official confirmation about when these would be available in the market.

Now, when building a gaming PC, it is not only the CPU that matters. But also the motherboard that you have decided to pair your CPU with dies matter.  So, you need to find the perfect balance between these two components to get the best gaming PC with optimal performance as desired by you.  So, once you have decided the CPU that you want it to build your gaming machine around, next comes the motherboard you want to pair it with. The AMD Ryzen 5000 series processor utilizes the new and advanced AM4 sockets. You can find these sockets in the X570, B550, A520 motherboards that are the best options that you have for these boards. However, the X470 and B450 are also other options that can be a good find for a budget-friendly build.  On the other hand, the 11th Gen Intel processor, which is the comet lake chip, utilizes the LGA1200 sockets and has introduced the new 500-boards. Until you don’t want it to go for a fully high-end option that features things like ultimate PCIe 4.0 slots and another top-end tech, you can still go on with the Z490 and B460 chipset for your brand new Intel friend. 

So, let’s now get into the details of the composition of a gaming PC and it is a never-ending discussion. Here are the best suggestions for beat CPU Gaming or the best computer processor for gaming that you must consider wisely. To make the take easier for you we have picked out the best CPU for gaming in 2020, the best Intel CPU for gaming, the best AMD CPU for gaming the best Ryzen CPU for gaming among all the options that we have

Let’s have a look at our list of best CPUs for gaming that we choose after going through proper research.

Best CPU for Gaming | At a Glance

  1. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
  2. Intel Core i5 11600K
  3. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
  4. AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
  5. Intel Core i9 10900K
  6. Intel Core i5 10400F
  7. AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  8. AMD Ryzen 5 3400G

Best CPU for Gaming | Brief description 

Now you know the best ones that we have included in our list. It is time to know a little more about them that will give you a better insight on why we picked these chips out of all that are available in the market in 2021. In this section of the article we will give you a brief information about each one of these processors and will also tell you a little about its features and specifications. Let’s look at each of these processors.

1. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

TOP SPECIFICATIONS:

Cores: 12

Threads: 24

Base Clock: 3.7 GHz

Boost Clock: 4.8 GHz

Overclocking: Yes

L3 Cache: 64 MB

TDP: 105 W

PCIe 4.0 lanes: 20

It is a notable fact that with each generation of advancement, AMD’s Zen architecture has improved. But the fact that AMD achieved a staggering 19 percent improvement in IPC with Zen 3 is mind-boggling. As gamers, the most important takeaway for us is that AMD can now match up with Intel on gaming with this improvement. Honestly, there’s so little between the two now that anyone who says otherwise is delusional.

No matter what resolution you are gaming at on your PC using this CPU, it can pretty much handle it without a squeak and supply the graphics card of your choice with lots of high-quality frames. In addition, the fact that this remarkable processor features a 12-core, 24-thread processing system means it can handle whatever else you fetch it. So, if you wish to complete a 3D rendering, video editing, or any other serious job you know, be assured, you’ve got the right set of tech-beast to handle it. On top of all this, the fact that the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X won’t put bars on your gaming requirements makes it even more perfect.

PROS:

  • The best and balanced Gaming CPUs in the market
  • Excellent performance all the way through
  • Efficient and fast architecture

CONS:

  • Mostly not available in stock

The price and missing Wraith cooler are the only grave concerns about this processor that you should note before considering it for final purchase. It is suggested that you better check the onboard cooling system and its efficiency before buying this one here. Because if you don’t consider the heating part at the time of purchase, you might end up having trouble later. However, you don’t have to worry much about the performance part. You are simply getting the best of what you are paying to buy. This one here is undoubtedly an excellent chip for gaming and anything else you want it to handle. 

Moreover, other than the 5900x, if you desire more power, you can have a look at the Ryzen 9 5950X. It has 16-cores and 32-threads. It can serve you to any perforce need that you require. Although, the 5950x will cost you another 250 USD.  In our consideration, the 5900x is more than enough to handle any gaming and productivity requirements.

2. Intel Core i5 11600K | Best Intel Budget CPU for Gaming

SPECIFICATIONS

Cores: 6

Threads: 12

Base clock: 3.9 GHz

Turbo clock: 4.9 GHz (single core)

Overclocking: Yes, 4.9 GHz typical all-core

L3 cache: 12 MB

TDP: 125 W

PCIe 4.0 lanes: 20

Yes, the popular intelligence processor, obviously this one had to be among the top CPUs on our list. No doubt, the Core i5 11600K is my favorite new generation chip from Intel. This Rocket Lake generation processor marks a nostalgic return to the old golden days of Intel CPU launches when they were at the help and no one to compete. The top processors of Intel have always been a decent Halo product, and all will agree to this, keeping in view the popularity and performance that i7s and the recent i9s have given. 

But still, there is no processor that matches the demand, popularity that the i5s have delivered over time. The price and performance metrics of the i5s must have really sold a new generation. Okay, since from what the experts say, the 11900K is a frustrating chip. And this means that it still might not be a total throwback to the old days for Intel, but with the 11600K, they still have something nice and good with an excellent six-core, 12-thread gaming processor in the market. 

PROS

  • Comparatively, Undercuts 5600X on price
  • Considerable High-end gaming performance
  • Solid multithreading chops

CONS:

  • The iGPU is still quite weak

The i5 11600K from Intel is also highly affordable and is priced considerably below the Ryzen 5 5600X. Moreover, it has the performance numbers that make it the perfect rival for AMD’s excellent Zen 3 chip. However, the 14nm Cypress Cove backport might have made this intel’s beauty quite power-hungry, but that doesn’t stop it from being a great CPU. Also, it is a great processor that delivers loads of silicon at a considerable price. 

Moreover, when combined with a PCIe 4.0 supported- Intel 500 Series motherboards, it can deliver optimal performance in terms of data transfer. Although, it may be a dubious advantage at the moment, as our tests with compatible PCIe 4.0 SSD didn’t do so well. These issues might change over time with new updates. But despite all this, it is still one of the best budget gaming CPUs out there.

3. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

SPECIFICATIONS

Cores: 6

Threads: 12

Base Clock: 3.7 GHz

Boost Clock: 4.6 GHz

Overclocking: Yes

L3 Cache: 32 MB

TDP: 65 W

PCIe 4.0 lanes: 20

When it comes to gaming, all the best on the 5900X also applies to this cheaper Zen 3 chip. There’s nothing between the Ryzen 5000 chips in games, which means that this chip will get you the same frame rates that make you our number one. So what is impressive when you think about it? The cheapest Zen 3 CPU top tier performance? We’ll say yes every day. 

This has half as many cores as this top chip and rolls like 6-cores and 12-threads. However, this is only a problem with these more severe workloads, and for more sensible things, this is more than enough. Of course, one could argue that the games could go beyond the 12 threads we have here, but there is no evidence so far to suggest that it is, despite the next-gen 8-core, 16-thread consoles. 

PROS:

  • Awesome gaming performance
  • Great value for money
  • Decent overclocking potential
  • Wraith Stealth included

CONS:

  • 50 USD more than 3600X
  • The cooler in the 3600X was better

The Ryzen 5 5600X also costs money the Ryzen 5000 family trend by shipping with a Wraith Stealth cooler, so you don’t have to spend extra money on a third-party Arty cooler well worth it all. This is a decent little overclocker that, while winning, doesn’t detract from gaming much but will be of great help in other areas.

4. AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

SPECIFICATIONS

Cores: 8

Threads: 16

Base Clock: 3.8 GHz

Boost Clock: 4.7 GHz

Overclocking: Yes

L3 Cache: 32 MB

TDP: 105 W

PCIe 4.0 lanes: 20

In a world where the Intel Core i7 doesn’t exist, this would be a fantastic processor and would have made it one of our top three picks, without a doubt. It is excellent for gaming, and it delivers the same stats as that of the 5900X and 5600X. Moreover, when it comes to the configuration, it seems to reserve the sweet spot, with its 8- cores and 16-threads specs. You will undoubtedly see it well for the future because this is the thing that drives the Xbox Series X and the Playstation 5 in the first place. 

For AMD, Intel is non-existent, and this is something that hurts them badly at times. The blue company’s Core i7 10700K matches this board from AMD on many significant metrics, giving it a neck-to-neck challenge. But the one point where Intel beats this AMD chip is the affordability. So the pricing factor of Intel outperforms this chip. And value for money is one of the most critical factors that many buyers consider before buying any equipment. 

PROS

  • Amazing Zen 3 architecture
  • Remarkable gaming performance
  • Supports PCIe 4.0

CONS

  • At this price, Intel delivers more in gaming  

Setting the rivalry aside, you must know that this AMD processor is faster on serious tasks, and that is probably the most desirable thing for you or any buyer. If a buyer gets the desired speed and performance from a processor, they most likely won’t be thinking twice before buying it. This is the thing this processor is known for among gaming PC builders. However, if you are focusing mainly on gaming and it is what interests you most, then you must know that Intel does more or less the same thing while costing comparatively less. This is a fact that is hard to digest for AMD, and they cannot avoid it.

Again, telling you that this machine is costlier than t Intel ones doesn’t mean it is priced higher meaninglessly. This chip is still a Ryzen Zen 3, and you cannot deny its remarkable performance. It also comes with Support for PCIe 4.0 modules and slots, and this certainly is a trendsetting chip that will stay by your side in the long run over the years.

5. Intel Core i9 10900K

SPECIFICATIONS

Cores: 10

Threads: 20

Base Clock: 3.7 GHz

Turbo Clock: 5.3 GHz

Overclocking: Yes, 5.0-5.3 GHz typical

L3 Cache: 20 MB

TDP: 95 W

PCIe 3.0 lanes: 16

The Core i9 10900K, considered as Intel’s best Comet Lake gaming chip, lost a lot of what made it special with the introduction of Zen 3 by AMD. When the 10900K was first introduced, it was the fastest gaming processor in the world. However, this no longer claims that it can own any longer. This is because lately a lot of games have awarded AMD’s Ryzen 5900X as winner of processing when it comes to gaming. It’s still an excellent gaming chip and by the aforementioned comparison we did not mean to let it down. But, as a matter of fact, once it was knowns as the most powerful processor in the world and in a span of only a few years its title lost all its shine. 

What hasn’t been overshadowed is the latest version from Intel. The Rocket Lake i9 11900K is almost as powerful overall, but more expensive and still gets lost on the multithreaded side.

PROS

  • Fastest gaming performance in this range
  • Notable overclocking potential

CONS

  • Older Intel Comet Lake architecture

The 10900k is still overkill in most cases putting aside the very, very high-end and serious workloads. The AMD chips make the most sense for such work but, there is still an odd appeal attached to this CPU. You probably don’t need it, but if you really need to build a machine around it, you know that chip is not the wrong choice and it won’t disappoint you. 

Intel’s i9 10900K is the first time when they managed to squeeze 10 processor cores into a  mainline product, and with the ability to reach 5.3 GHz (even for a short time), it definitely represents an impressive departure for the 14- nm technology that Intel has been associated with for so long. Games still benefit from a high clock-speed, and this is something that is still delivering for Intel. However,  the tech doesn’t matter in the competition till the time you are delivering. However, if you are planning on buying this one, you will have to invest on getting a Z490 chipset based motherboard to support it. And not only that, you will also have to look out for some serious cooling (a decent PSU wouldn’t hurt, either). Don’t let this reasonable TDP of 95W fool you as it goes way beyond that, especially if you are thinking of exploring its overclocking capabilities.

Also Find, Glorious model O Review 2021: A mouse made for gamers 

6. Intel Core i5 10400F

SPECIFICATIONS

Cores: 6

Threads: 12

Base Clock: 2.9 GHz

Turbo Clock: 4.3 GHz

Overclocking: No

L3 Cache: 12 MB

TDP: 65 W

PCIe 3.0 lanes: 16

The Intel Core i5 10400F is really an amazing option if you are looking for a decent gaming CPU. This one here is a bit faster than the previous generation Core i5 9400, but the F suffix means it completely abandons Intel’s built-in graphics. This isn’t a problem for gamers unless they want to use QuickSync, although Nvidia’s NVENC is arguably better anyway. Overall, it’s a great budget option that doesn’t cost much more than a Core i3 unit. 

There are other trade offs like a locked multiplier, which means no overclocking here. But, alternatively, you can save money and get an H470 motherboard to get rid of this issue. After all, you have a cooler in the box, which we would like to see as an option for all CPUs. In addition, most boards will run fine on the 10400F at 3.9 GHz, implying that you don’t have to worry about the low base clock. 

PROS

  • Affordable mid-range performance
  • Cooler included in box

CONS

  • Overclocking is not supported directly

The i5 10400F may not be as fast as other CPUs in multithreaded benchmarks, but when compared for performance with next-gen AMD’s 3900X in our gaming suite, it delivered a similar performance at a lower cost. On the other hand, when we talk about future games, it is possible that they could start to go beyond their 6 core capabilities. However, there are higher chances that we will not see this before you are ready for a complete system upgrade. Therefore, the Intel i5 10400F is a pretty fast and extremely affordable CPU for you to consider as an option for the best intel gaming CPU.

7. AMD Ryzen 5 3600

SPECIFICATIONS

Cores: 6

Threads: 12

Base Clock: 3.6 GHz

Turbo Clock: 4.2 GHz

Overclocking: Yes, 4.2 GHz typical

L3 Cache: 32 MB

TDP: 65 W

PCIe 4.0 lanes: 20

We are in a phase where the technology has moved on to next-generation hardware. HOWEVER, AMD’s Zen 2 CPUs with solid performance and efficiency are still solid arguments when talking about the best gaming CPUs. When we talk about the Ryzen 5 3600, in terms of performance and features, it is just a little behind the 3900X, especially when you are speaking of gaming, among many other tasks that it can perform smoothly. However, in the case of this chip, the emphasis is on the phrase “just a little,” and this has a reason. This CPU here is typically 5 percent or less behind the successor 3900X.

Moreover, since it is a mid-range CPU, we seriously doubt that anyone plans to pair it with a top-end GPU like the RTX 3080. For a product that falls in the mid-range category, the peripherals and complimentary tech should also be in the same tech and value range. Putting an extremely bleeding-edge tech with a mid-range motherboard or CPU will not allow it to function at its best, and thus it is certainly a waste of money. Here, a better option would be to get mid-range Graphics for your CPU. The Graphics processing units or GPUs like the AMD RX 5700 or even the older generation RX 590 would serve the purpose. Choose what you may; the 3600 in both cases won’t stop you from making the most of these GPUs. 

PROS

  • Considerable performance in terms of gaming for a mid-range CPU
  • Comes with cooler in the box

CONS

  • Slow for high-end GPUs

With this AMD Ryzen chip, don’t think that you are compromising much. With the 3600, you still get a 6-core, 12-thread processor. This specification, outside of gaming, is comparatively faster than that of the Intel 10400F chips in the same range. However, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600, on the other hand, does cost much more. But, you get your hands-on other benefits of the AMD Zen 2 architecture for the price you are paying. For example, you get to leverage tech like PCIe Gen4. Moreover, AMD CPUs lately have been posing a lot fewer problems with side-channel attacks like Meltdown, Foreshadow, Specter, and MDS. So, This also gives you peace of mind when it comes to the security part of a chip. 

You can also take a look at the Ryzen 5 3600X. The X here will cost you an extra 40 USD, but you will get a small boost in the performance, which is worth the money.  Although, the only thing that you might not like is the Vanilla 3600 overclocking a little better than its X, all thanks to a lower starting point. This difference in the overclocking is notable, and you might like to consider, because the better the overclocking number, the more you get in the performance. Also, faster memory and tight things are the factors that help in enhancing system performance with Ryzen CPUs.

8. AMD Ryzen 5 3400G

SPECIFICATIONS:

Cores: 4

Threads: 8

Base Clock: 3.7GHz

Turbo Clock: 4.2GHz

Overclocking: Yes, 4.1–4.2GHz typical

L3 Cache: 4MB

TDP: 65W

PCIe 3.0 lanes: 8

When you are talking of the best CPU for gaming, you simply cannot ignore the products that are considered to be the best-budget ones. There are plenty of good options on the budget end of the CPU market. Although, as the best pick for this slot, we desired to put AMD Ryzen 3 3300X here. However, since it has been sold out since launch, it does not make a lot of sense to include it here. Nevertheless, if you get to have your hand on one, it is a great processor to look out for for the price that you invest in it. 

The Ryzen 5 3400G is the proper budget gaming solution if you are looking for one. However, gaming and budget gaming are two different things that you must be clear about. If you are going for a budget gaming PC, you cannot expect bleeding-edge tech and flawless, uncontrolled FPS. So you will have to compromise somewhat if you are paying less. Although we don’t mean to discourage you, you will find excellent and competitive gaming options in the budget range too, the catch here is that you will have to hunt for it just like we did with this chip. 

This chip contains fairly powerful built-in graphics. For a mere 10 USD more than the 3300X, you get the equivalent of a graphics card worth 80 USD. Although, if you are planning to use a dedicated GPU, we suggest sticking with the 3300X as it limits PCIe lanes to your discrete graphics card, giving you high performance in terms of graphics and hence a better gaming experience.

PROS

Affordable CPU for gaming in mid rage

Cooler in the box

CONS

Tough to get hands on one, low stock

Has only 8 PCIe lanes

The 3400G Vega graphics are pretty fast in comparison to the Intel UHD Graphics that are embedded in the 8th and 9th gen Intel processors. While Intel’s UHD 630 often faces difficulty breaking the 30 fps benchmark even at 720 p resolution and minimal quality, the AMD’s Vega 11 gives you much more. The Vega can manage and legitimately process at 1080p resolution and low to medium quality and deliver playable frame rates considerably for most of the games. 

You need to ensure one thing about this processor, the motherboard that you buy for this processor should have the required HDMI or Display Port outputs. As you will note, many of the X470/X570 chipset-based mainboards skip these ports because the other Ryzen CPUs do not lack integrated graphics. So, the best bet you have is a cheap B450 board that mostly has everything your processor needs.

Basic terminologies related to a Computer Processor or CPU (Core Processing Unit)

What is a Cache? How is Cache memory relevant for CPU?

Cache or Cache Memory: A system in which a small segment of high-speed memory is dedicated to store and execute commonly-used commands/instructions. This small memory helps to boost the software execution and makes specific processes fast. CPUs/processors are part of the computer with this type of small memory. The cache memory inside the CPU is defined as Level 1, 2, and 3 caches. The L1 cache being the fastest and smallest, and L3 being the slowest and largest type. In general, companies give you processors that have an L3 cache. But if you are looking for a processor that delivers your gaming needs try looking for an L2 or an L1 cache memory type.

What is a Core in CPU? How is core important in a processor? What does the core numbers imply?

Core: When we talk of modern computer technology, you can find anywhere between 2-cores to 70-cores (used in supercomputers). A core is a smaller processor that combines to make a bigger Core processing Unit. So you can call it the building block of a CPU. In general, the CPUs used in most consumer machines have between four to eight cores, and the latest AMD CPUs have up to 16-cores. The higher the number of cores, the faster your CPU will work.

What is a Clock Speed? What does the Clock speed of a processor indicate?

Clock-Speed: Many of us have heard about this term when we are researching or discussing a computer’s processor. In reality, it is still a question of how people understand this. To clock something means to spike or raise it or its numbers. Similarly, the Clock Speed of a processor tells us about how fast a CPU can execute commands. The clock speed is measured in Hertz (Hz). In simple terms, If you have a processor that has mentioned its Clock Speed to be 3.7 GHz, it means that your processor can process as many as  3.7 billion commands in just 1 second. The clock of a processor is among the most important terms that you should keep in mind while researching the best gaming CPU. It will help you in figuring out the overall performance of the processor. Moreover, with the help of clock speed, you can also identify a processor’s capacity to check out its ability to manage the workload functions of gaming.

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