|1. AMD Ryzen 7 3800X||2. Intel Core-i9 9900k||3. AMD Ryzen 5 3600|
While playing, does your game lag? Are you a video game junkie who wants to own the best CPU for gaming? Do you wish not to lose just because your competitors, who have the best CPUs, have an unfair advantage over you when you are playing internationally acclaimed online games. Do you want that winners should have talent, not just resources (Viva la Revolution!)?
If your answer to all of these questions is yes, then you have come to the right place. Today, we will brief you on the top 15 processors in 2020 that you can buy to put your gaming experience in top gear.
We will also tell you the factors you have to keep in mind while buying the best CPU for gaming. But Gaming is not all about owning a high end CPU. You should consider other components, such as those explained at the end of this guide, to have a wholesome gaming experience.
So let’s start with the factors.
Factors To Keep In Mind While Buying The Best CPU For Gaming
The higher the price, the better the product. But this is not always true. Because of the cutthroat competition, all the companies are pressurized to give more features at a reasonable price. We will see today how you can buy the CPU of your dreams at a price which doesn’t drain your pocket.
2. Clock Speed
Even if you are a novice, you can always compare the clock speed of two CPUs as it puts a number on the overall performance of a CPU. Clock speed or clock rate is the speed at which your microprocessor executes an instruction. The clock rate is generally set at a default value in the CPU, but you can increase it through a process called overclocking.However, the processor should be unlocked to let you overclock. (Discussed below)
The number of cores indicates the number of separate processing units your CPU has. Gone are the days of dual-core and quad-core, now CPUs suitable for gaming generally have 6 or 8 cores. This means these processors are six or eight times faster than the standard processor.
Multi-core processors also allow higher performance at lower energy. This is beneficial if your device operates on batteries.
Fun fact:- Intel has produced a 48 core processor for cloud computing.
A thread is a virtual version of a CPU core; therefore, their number depends on the number of cores. To create a thread, Intel uses hyper-threading and AMD uses simultaneous multithreading. Generally, the number of threads is higher than the number of cores.
Go for the latest generation as with so much development in the semiconductor industry, your processor can quickly become palaeolithic. The most recent and developed generation of intel processors is the 9th, and for AMD it is Zen 2 series which was launched in 2020.
6. Overall Computer Specifications
What is the use of a great superhero if he doesn’t have an awesome sidekick? If you couple your super fast CPU with lesser RAM, storage or GPU, you can’t unleash its full potential. So keep in mind that you should atleast have 8 gigabytes of RAM and 1 TB of internal storage before you make your computer wreak havoc. It will be better if you choose a solid-state drive (SSD) for your internal storage as it is better and faster than traditional HDD hard drives
You have to choose between two giants competing to be the best: Intel and AMD. We will try to settle this debate after going through the whole list.
8. Locked or Unlocked?
If you want your CPU to amp up its speed, you can overclock it. Overclocking is running your processor at a higher clock rate than the original predefined clock rate set by the manufacturer. For overclocking your processor must be unlocked to perform the required modifications. So while buying, make sure that your processor is unlocked. (WARNING: – Overclocking may produce extra heat so have a working cooling system in the CPU).
9. Cache Memory
Cache memory is your CPU’s closest friend. So whenever your CPU needs to perform an action, it first goes to cache memory before the main memory. CPU stores frequently accessed data in Cache memory so that it can retrieve it faster. Your CPU should have more than 10 Mb of cache memory so that you can play your games without experiencing any lag.
10. What Type of Games Do You Play?
- Massively multiplayer online (MMO): – These games are played via a LAN or Internet. You get into an international competition having the best machines in the world. These games are updated frequently and give you the best gaming experience ever.
- Simulation:- These games have their own universe, and you are the lord of that universe. Grand Theft Auto is a simulation game. These games also demand a CPU with a rigour which can handle their high-resolution graphics.
- Adventure: – Adventure games are set in a fantasy land, and most of them are single-player games. They provide you with a scripted back story. Adventure games like God of War are bulky and also demand graphics.
- Real-time strategy (RTS): – These games happen in real-time over a network, and you have to gather inventories of weapons, army etc. Games like Age of Empires fall under this category. These games have a top-down perspective (also called God view), so you should have a CPU with high resolution so that you can get the minute details right.
- Puzzle: – Such games are for nerds(in a good way). They don’t generally require motor skills but mental skills. You can play them on the PC you use every day.
- Action: – As the name suggests, these games have a lot of action and require high graphics. Games like WWE come under this category where two fighters fight to win the title.
- Stealth: – These are games which involve spies. So you have to activate your stealth mode to claim victory. They also need the best processors for gaming.
- Combat: – Fighting one on one with your nemesis to death is the idea behind these games. You have to have excellent command over your controller, and your CPU needs to have excellent speed.
- First-person shooter(FPS): – These games do not need sophisticated animation for the avatar but the surroundings. Counter strike comes under this and requires high FPS( Frames per second. Confusing, right?) and therefore a good processor.
- Sports: – These games update every year with new players and better graphics. So your processor needs to push its limits to catch up.
- Role-playing (RPG): – We all want to be somebody else in our life, and these games provide us with the opportunity. Second life is a role-playing game in which you start fresh as a kid. These games need your CPU’s absolute attention.
- Educational: – Just like puzzles, these games don’t have sophisticated graphics and can be played on a regular personal computer.
11. Cooler (CPU Fan)
This is a very important factor as it prevents your CPU from blowing up. When you are playing a game like God of War, temperatures soar in the game as well as in the CPU. Even the best cpu for gaming won’t perform the best if it overheats.
This is where the fan comes to rescue so that your processor can work properly in such adverse conditions. Certain PC enthusiasts also use LED lights on the fan to enhance the appearance of their CPU.
AMD provides ample choices to choose your cooler. AMD wraith prism cooler comes with per-RGB LED control around the illuminated ring and has transparent fan blades. It also supports Razor Chroma which reacts dynamically to every action and event happening in the universe of the game. AMD Wraith max cooler supports the user-controlled RGB illumination on socket AM4 motherboards like the ASRock RGB LED, ASUS Aura Sync, Biostar vivid LED DJ, Gigabyte RGB Fusion and MSI Mystic Light.
So a cooler can improve the looks as well as the performance of the CPU.
12. Thermal Design Power
Thermal Design Power or TDP is the amount of heat that can be dissipated by the cooling system of a CPU under any load. If the cooling system of a CPU is designed for 25W TDP, it means that it can dissipate up to 25W of heat without exceeding the maximum junction temperature of the CPU
So keeping these factors in mind let’s start ranking the best CPU for gaming in the world
Top 15 Best CPU For Gaming 2020
1. AMD Ryzen 7 3800X
You can see your favourite video game characters come alive on the screen as this processor can deliver 100+ frames per second performance with most of the world’s popular games. The clock rate is very high standing at 4.5 GHz max boost and has 8 cores, 16 threads and an AM4 socket which is enough to support the most demanding games. It has the highest cache memory, 36 Mb, in our line up. So there is no chance that you will fall behind your competitors in the game of processing.
If we get into some technical jargon, then it has DDR 3200 support. It can also support PCle 4.0 on x570 motherboards and is unlocked for overclocking. It comes with a wraith prism in box cooler with colour controlled LED which gives you the choice of picking your favourite colour. The TDP of this cooling system is 105 watts which also happens to be the highest in this list.
So, the AMD Ryzen 7 3800X is an amazing combo, it’s faster and also looks aesthetically pleasing.
In a special offer, you can also get 3 months of Xbox game pass for free. So now, you can test your processor to its very limits and decide whether it is worth the money or not.
It is a whole package and cheaper than Intel’s latest processor, so you can bet your money on this. This is definitely the best AMD processor for gaming.
2. Intel Core-i9 9900k
The average clock speed of 3.6 GHz can be increased exponentially up to 5 GHz in extreme conditions through the use of Intel’s trademark Turbo Boost technology 2.0. This CPU comes unlocked and can be overclocked. The number of cores and threads are 8 and 16, respectively. This CPU has a TDP of 95 watts which is less than the AMD Ryzen 7.
This CPU provides 78% more in-game FPS than an average 3-year-old computer and has a UHD Intel graphics 630 so that you can experience an ultra-high-definition view on your screen. The processor has 16 Mb of cache memory which is less than half of our list topper. The CPU is compatible only with Motherboards based on Intel series 300 chipsets, so this limits its market.
It is also Intel Optane memory supported. Optane memory is Intel’s trademarked term for new class hyper-fast memory modules. It uses 3D fabrication techniques to achieve super-low latency –as fast as 10 microseconds.
This processor has the brand name of Intel, so you have the trust of Intel, but you have to buy that trust, and this makes this processor very costly. And if you are adamant on buying intel, this is the best intel CPU for gaming.
3. AMD Ryzen 5 3600
It has 6 cores, 12 threads and a quiet AMD Wraith stealth cooler which keeps your CPU cool even when you are at the end of your mission, and the pressure is high on both you and your CPU. The cooling system has a TDP of 65 watts.
The clock rate of this processor is 4.2 MHz which is sufficient for 6 cores, but you can also increase it by overclocking as this processor comes unlocked from the manufacturer. If we get into some technicalities then it has DDR 3200 support and it can support PCle 4.0 on x570 motherboards. It also has a whopping 35 Mb of cache memory which will make your processor faster and more efficient.
So if you are a college student and paying your student debt, this is a smart buy for you. The low cost and features comparable with the top two processors in our list make it the best processor for gaming.
4. Intel Core i7 9700K
This 399.99$ processor is of the 9th generation of Intel Core i7 processors. It has an average clock rate of 3.6GHz which can be increased to 4.9GHz with the help of Intel’s trademark Turbo Boost Technology 2.0. It has 8 cores and an equal number of threads.
It comes unlocked, but you will rarely need it as the clock speed is great and has a 12 Mb cache. It provides 69% more FPS than an average three-year-old computer, so be ready to experience your game heroes in excellent resolution.
The cooling device is not included in the package so you may need to buy it on your own which will add on to the cost. This processor has a TDP of 95 watts. It also covers a limited market as it is only compatible with Motherboards based on Intel series 300 chipsets.
For the features it provides, it is a bit on the expensive side. So buy it only if your favourite microprocessor brand is Intel. Afterall, this is the best i7 processor for gaming from Intel.
5. AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
This CPU provides all the latest features as its successor. The only difference is that it has a lesser clock rate which plays a major role in the speed of the CPU. It has a clock frequency of 4.4 GHz after Max Boost.
It has 8 cores, and the number of threads is exactly double the number of cores which are more than sufficient. It comes with an AMD Wraith Prism cooler with colour controlled LED support which can keep your CPU cool even after hours of playing. The cooler comes with the TDP rating of 65 watts.
It can support PCle 4.0 on x570 motherboards and has DDR 3200 support
It also has a great game cache memory of 36 Mb and it is also unlocked so that you can increase its speed when needed by overlocking.
Overall it is a good processor with commendable specifications in this price range. Definitely one of the best budget CPU for gaming.
6. Intel Core i5 9600k
This 263$ CPU should be your choice if you play Triple-A games. It has 6 cores and an equal number of threads. The average clock rate is 3.7GHz but can be increased up to 4.6 GHz by using Turbo Boost Max Technology 2.0 which is sufficient for 6 cores. It has a TDP rating of 95 watts.
It provides 72% more in-game FPS than an average 3-year-old computer, which improves your overall gaming experience. It is unlocked and has a 9 Mb Intel Smart cache. It has Intel UHD graphics 630 which brings the game alive with Ultra-high definition.
It is also Intel Optane memory supported. This allows you to utilize this high-speed memory if you have an Intel motherboard (Motherboards based on Intel series 300 chipsets).This makes it the best i5 processor for gaming from Intel.
So if you are a AAA gaming enthusiast you should definitely consider this CPU.
7. Intel Core i5 9400F
This processor is the 9th generation of Intel core i5 processors. It is almost two times better than a 5-year-old PC in overall performance. This CPU gives you an average clock rate of 2.90 GHz which can be boosted to 4.1GHz after using Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology. It has 6 cores and an equal number of threads.
It is also Intel Optane Memory supported and has a 9 Mb cache. Intel has decreased the TDP rating on i5 processors to 65 watts.
The package does not include integrated graphics, so you have to buy it out of your pocket. This almost doubles the cost. Without integrated graphics, this CPU is suitable for entertainment and multitasking. However, if you play games religiously, we suggest you buy a good graphics card that can match with this CPU.
8. AMD Ryzen 7 2700x
This processor of the second generation of AMD Ryzen, gives you top-notch features at a reasonable price. With a clock rate standing at 4.3 GHz after max boost technology, it gives you enough room to multitask and play games. The processor has 8 cores and 16 threads and comes unlocked for overclocking when you need to upgrade.
This CPU has AMD StoreMI technology which enhances load times, boot times, file management and system responsiveness. The AMD SenseMI technology uses machine intelligence to give you accelerated system performance.
To keep your CPU cool, it has AMD Wraith Spire with colour controlled LED that gives your processor panache. It supports almost all famous operating systems like Windows 10 64 Bit Edition, RHEL x86 64 Bit and Ubuntu x86 64 Bit. It also has an AM4 socket.
It has a cache memory of 20Mb. While this is less than its successors, it is suitable considering its clock rate. If you are looking for an upgrade from your first generation Ryzen processor, then you should go for this as its performance to price ratio is super high.
9. AMD Ryzen 7 2700
The only difference between this CPU and Ryzen 2700X is the clock rate. The clock rate of 2700 is 4.1 GHz which is 0.2 less than 2700x, and that justifies the price difference of 30 dollars. The processor has 8 cores and 16 threads, and comes unlocked. Further, it has more overclocking space than the 2700x.
This CPU has AMD StoreMI technology which decrease loading and booting time. It strengthen file management and increases system responsiveness. For high speed system performance the processor also has AMDSenseMI technology.
To keep your CPU under the threshold it has AMD Wraith Spire with colour controlled LED that gives your processor a stylish look
It supports almost all famous operating systems like Windows 10 64 Bit Edition, RHEL x86 64 Bit and Ubuntu x86 64 Bit. It has an AM4 socket.
20 Mb cache memory is suitable for its clock rate of 4.1GHz. So if you don’t mind the minute decrease in speed (clock speed), you can buy Ryzen 7 2700 instead of 2700x.
10. AMD Ryzen 5 2600
This CPU is for all those enthusiasts who want a processor for entry-level gaming. It is cheap and has above average specifications. This CPU runs on the clock rate of 3.9 GHz after a maximum boost, which is enough for 6 cores and 12 threads. It supports almost all famous operating systems like Windows 10 64 Bit Edition, RHEL x86 64 Bit and Ubuntu x86 64 Bit. It also has an AM4 socket.
It has an AMD wraith stealth cooler to keep your CPU’s temperature well below 95-degree centigrade as it is the highest temperature that this CPU can work on. This CPU supports AMD’s premium technologies like AMD StoreMI technology, AMD SenseMI Technology, AMD Ryzen master utility and AMD Ryzen VR Ready Premium.
It has a 12 Mb cache which is enough for preliminary gaming and comes unlocked. You can use the AMD Ryzen level Master if you want to move to an expert level.
So if you are just beginning in the gaming world and don’t want to invest much, this might be the processor for you. It is one of the best cheap CPU for gaming.
11. Intel Core i3 9100F
This 89.99 dollar processor gives you an amazingly high clock rate at a low price, but it is slightly behind where all the other features are concerned. The processor is the 9th generation of Intel core i3 processors. The base clock rate is 3.6 GHz and can be increased up to 4.2 GHz by Intel Turbo boost technology 2.0.
It has 4 cores and 4 threads and has a cache memory of 6 Mb. The TDP rating of this processor is 65 watts. It is locked, so you cannot overclock the processor to increase its speed, and it is compatible only with Motherboards based on Intel series 300 chipsets.
The processor does not have integrated graphics, so you have to buy one out of your pocket. This severely limits the gaming prospects of this processor, although you can use it for entertainment and multitasking.
So buy this processor if you are not an avid gamer and need this for daily usage. If you are prepared to spend some bucks to buy a graphics card, then this processor will work fine.
12. AMD Ryzen 5 2600x
This CPU is has a higher clock rate than its predecessor by 0.3 GHz. It runs on the clock rate of 4.2 GHz after max boost. This processor comes unlocked so that you can use the AMD Ryzen Master Utility to overclock and help your processor to reach its true potential. It has 6 cores and 12 threads.
The cooler of this processor is AMD Wraith spire which is better than Wraith stealth as it delivers a near-silent performance. The maximum temperature that this CPU can endure is 95-degree centigrade, and the cooler keeps it in the allowed range.
This CPU supports AMD’s premium technologies like AMD StoreMI technology, AMD SenseMI Technology, AMD Ryzen master utility and AMD Ryzen VR Ready Premium. It has AMD StoreMI technology which enhances load times, boot times and in other words, good times. The AMD SenseMI technology uses machine intelligence to assign the processes to cores in such a way that the efficiency doesn’t decrease.
It has the new X470 and B430 chipsets and AMD Ryzen AM4 socket. So if you are looking for value for money, this is a great buy.
13. AMD Ryzen 5 1500x
This CPU has a clock rate of 3.7 GHz precision boost, which is sufficient for 4 cores and 8 threads.
The maximum temperature allowance is 95-degree centigrade which is maintained by AMD Wraith Spire Cooler which gives you a near-silent operation. Even when the cooler is working at its full speed, it doesn’t sound like a jet engine like many other processors do.
The socket used in the CPU is the AMD AM4, and the PCI (payment card industry) version is PCle 3.0.
It has a total cache memory of 18 Mb with L2(Level 2) which is faster having 2 Mb and L3(Level 3) – the slowest of all, having 16 Mb of memory.
It supports the most common operating systems like windows 10 64 bit edition, Rhel x86 64 bit and ubuntu x86 64 bits.
This is the best budget CPU for gaming and has great value for money.
14. AMD Ryzen 3 2200G
Now coming to the lower end of the market, let’s talk about the AMD Ryzen 3. This CPU comes with built-in Radeon Vega 8 graphics. It has a clock speed of 3.7 GHz after max boost, and the maximum system memory speed is 2667 MHz.
It is a multithreaded 4 core processor, which is unlocked so that you can overclock using AMD Ryzen Master Utility. The TDP rating on this one is 65 watts, which is enough for a clock rate of 3.7 GHz.
AMD SenseMI technology gives you accelerated system performance using machine intelligence. The processor is VR ready, which means that you can trust it with heavy VR workloads.
All these factors for 100$ is a lottery, and that is the reason this CPU reigns at number one on Amazon’s bestseller list in computer processing category. This makes it the best CPU for gaming and streaming online.
It is a must buy if you want to play competitive games without investing much.
15. AMD Athlon 200GE
This 56$ processor is meant for everyday users. It runs at a clock rate of 3.2 GHz and has 2 cores and 4 threads. It comes with built-in Radeon Vega 3 graphics which have dedicated 3 cores to give you a good gaming experience.
It has a total of 5 Mb cache with L1, L2 and L3 having 192 Kb, 1 Mb and 4Mb memory respectively.
You are also given the choice of upgrading the Athlon platform into the Ryzen platform and enjoy the latest technologies of AMD.
The processor can go to the maximum speed without heating much as it has a near-silent cooler. This processor has the least TDP rating in our list, which is 35 watts.
If you want a processor for daily use which can handle games and multitasking you should go for this.
Role Of Various Components (Other Than CPU) Of Your Pc In Gaming
Random Access Memory
RAM is a component that your computer uses to store the data of the programs you are currently using. So when you open a game, the loading time of the game depends on the RAM. The frequency of a RAM denotes how fast the RAM can read and write data, so this determines the speed of your game. Thus, make sure your RAM has low latency.
Graphics Processing Unit
Your whole gaming experience is enhanced by two components, a smart CPU and a powerful GPU. One cannot function without the other in gaming. CPU gives you the speed while the GPU handles your graphics.
Graphics processing unit or GPU helps in rendering animations, images and videos you see on the screen while playing a game. It is an indispensable part of a gaming system, even more important than the CPU when playing a certain game which has high-resolution graphics.
There are two kinds of GPUs: One that is integrated or embedded in your CPU and the other is discrete having its own card and memory.
While selecting a GPU, you should consider the following factors:
- Resolution of your gaming monitor: – If it is 1080p or 4k, you might need a high-end GPU.
- Refresh rate of your monitor: – If it is higher than 144 Hz then you might need to invest more in your GPU.
- Memory: – You will need at least 4 GB if you play games at 1080p and 8 GB if you have a 4k gaming monitor.
- Form Factor: – The dimensions of the GPU, height width and length, are also important as you have to fit it in your gaming system. So check how much space is given in the case and decide accordingly.
- Supported technologies: – AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync are the two technologies that synchronize the refresh rate of your screen and your GPU to admonish tearing.
- VR support: – If you are interested in virtual reality games, check your platform (HTC Vive or Oculus Rift). If your platform is one of these two, you will need mid range graphics cards to meet your needs.
If you want your game to run effortlessly on your screen, the monitor should coordinate with the GPU and the CPU.
So, if smoothness is your top priority, then you should consider the factors in the following order:
- Refresh Rate – The refresh rate is the number of times a monitor refreshes the image. Generally, this rate should be higher than 144 Hz if you want your game to run smoothly
- Response Time – It shouldn’t be more than 3 milliseconds.
- G-Sync or FreeSync – G-sync is only compatible with Nvidia GPUs, and FreeSync is only compatible with AMD GPUs
- HDR and deep colour gamut – HDR or high dynamic range makes your game look more dynamic and smooth. Deep colour gamut increases the depth in your game.
- IPS – IPS or In-panel switching gives you a lower viewing angle dependence and better colour reproduction.
If you want your game to look detailed and beautiful on the monitor, then this is the order of specifications that you should follow:
- IPS – Better colour reproduction presents more contrasting images on the screen. A decreased viewing angle dependency will allow you to change positions while playing with no change in the picture from your point of view.
- HDR and deep colour gamut – As explained above, these features are rare and will cost you a fortune. So choose wisely.
- 4K- 4K will give you amazing clarity so that you can see every possible detail
- Response Time – This will increase smoothness and your overall gaming experience
- G-Sync or FreeSync – This will decrease the tearing of the image.
The Best CPU for Gaming – What’s your choice?
Now let’s settle the most controversial debate: – Which is better Intel or AMD?
Intel tops in some specific niches like power conservation, graphics performance, processing speed and processing time.
But in recent years AMD has really stepped up their game, and they are neck to neck with Intel on the competition. They provide you with the same features at half the cost. So you can see AMD as Xiaomi and Intel as an established giant like Samsung. All of the AMD processors give you the facility of overclocking so that you can increase the speed of your CPU as per your needs.
So if you are a student, a budget gamer or you just need it for daily use, you can go with AMD.
But if you want to use the state of the art processors and want to go to the higher end of the market and play hardcore games that demands processing power, go for the best Intel processor for gaming.
If you are interested in highly demanding games that need high FPS or resolution and don’t mind spending, you should think about Intel or upgrading your graphic card.
We hope we have helped you in choosing the best CPU for gaming that suits you the best.
Now just buy your CPU, put up your headphones, put fingers on your controller and get lost in the world of your favourite video game.