10 Best Processors For Gaming In 2021 [Our Best Picks]

Best Processors For Gaming
Best Processors For Gaming

For gamers, the best processors for gaming are central for having a smooth and seamless experience. The processor is responsible for sending information from your computer’s memory out to the graphics card, which then displays it on the screen.

If you have a slow or outdated processor, you will see lag in gameplay and stuttery cutscenes because of how quickly data can be processed by that device. Learn about what makes a good gaming CPU in this blog post! 

What Makes a Good Gaming Processor? 

As with any type of product, there are many different types of processors available for purchase today. It’s easy to get lost when trying to find one that fits your needs perfectly—especially if you’re not an expert on computers. For the average gamer, it’s best to invest in something fairly high-end.

You don’t have to spend more than you can afford on a new processor, but you should aim for at least an Intel i5 or i7 which are about $200 each. If you’re looking for the best possible performance for your money, then investing in one of those CPUs is your best bet.

For those that don’t know: Intel and AMD are the two major computer CPU manufacturers. A few years ago, Intel reigned supreme in this market and for good reason. They were producing better processors than anyone else on the planet—that was until AMD caught up to their standards and then surpassed them over the last few years.

Best CPU For Gaming In 2021

1. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X: The best CPU for gaming right now

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

With the 19% IPC improvement in Zen 3, AMD has finally managed to bring their processor cycles per clock (IOC) up close enough for gamers. While there’s still some ways that Intel can edge out its competitor with better Turbo Boost speeds and other factors like cache sizes.

The gap isn’t one you’ll be able get lost on anymore! So what was once an easy way of picking who would win? Well now it doesn’t really matter because both companies are neck-in-neck at this point.

If you’re looking for a processor that can handle anything, this beast has your back. With its 12 cores and 24 threads of processing power – not to mention the ability to game at high resolutions without breaking frame rates- it won’t be slowing down any time soon! The Pentium G4560 is perfect if 3D rendering or video editing are in need.

Yeah, there’s a bit of an exorbitant price to consider when it comes time for your purchase. That being said though; you do get what you payed and this processor is phenomenal in all aspects that will matter most!

For those looking for power, the Ryzen 9 5950X is worth checking out. It packs 16 cores and 32 threads at a price of $250 more than what’s needed for gaming purposes or even most content creation chores – but it’ll be worth it in this case since absolutely no other processor can match its performance levels!

Pros

  • Best CPU for gaming and content creation purpose
  • Equipped with latest Ryzen technology
  • Delivers great performance, no matter what you do!

Cons

2. Intel Core i5 11600K: Intel’s best gaming CPU

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

The Core i5 11600K is a chip I’m really excited for. It marks the return to old days, when Intel CPUs would launch with their best processor being an outstanding halo product but at higher price points than what you’d find in enthusiast-level builds today.

With this new generation there are six cores and twelve threads available which makes it perfect for gamers who want all of that power without breaking into tears every other day because games can barely run on high graphics settings anymore thanks to quad core processors taking over our world!

The i5 11600K is a great gaming CPU with its affordable price and performance figures that have it trading blows with AMD’s otherwise excellent Zen 3 chip. Famed for being power hungry, Cypress Cove 14nm backport still allows them to offer more processor silicon than other CPUs at this price point!

Pros

  • New-gen CPU that delivers great performance at an affordable price
  • 6 cores and 12 threads, available at a very competitive price!
  • Delivers great performance, no matter what you do!

Cons

  • Once again; needs an external cooler

3. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X: AMD’s Best Affordable CPU Today

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Cores: 6
  • Threads: 12
  • Base clock: 3.7 GHz
  • Turbo clock: 4.3 GHz
  • Overclocking: Yes, 4.2 GHz typical all-core
  • L3 cache: 16 MB
  • TDP: 95 W
  • PCIe 4.0 lanes: 40

The Ryzen 5 5600X is a fantastic processor, one that boasts an affordable price for what you get compared to processors from the same category with similar performance levels – It’s even better when overclocked to boot! Great news indeed!

For me this is one of the best processors that AMD has released in recent years. It’s absolutely great for gaming purposes, but it is even more attractive when you consider how excellent it is at rendering tasks and its overclocking frequencies give it great responsiveness too!

AMD has been offering great value for money since its release and I expect it would stay this way throughout its lifetime too!

If you’re looking for six cores at $250 price range, what are you waiting for? It’s an amazing deal! You can even use it for rendering or video editing if you want too.

Pros

  • A very affordable CPU with 6 cores and 12 threads
  • Delivers great performance, no matter what you do!

Cons

4. Intel Core i7 8700K: A Killer Processors for those who love to Overclock!

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Cores: 6
  • Threads: 12
  • Base clock: 3.7 GHz
  • Turbo clock: 4.7-5.0 GHz (single core)
  • Overclocking: Yes, 5 GHz typical all-core
  • L3 cache: 12 MB
  • TDP: 95 W
  • PCIe 4.0 lanes: 16

The Core i7 8700K is a beast of a processor and one that does not need an external cooler despite being unlocked so you can push it as hard as you want!

For this reason initially I thought the price was high but if you’re looking for a chip that performs well under heavy loads ranging from rendering tasks to heavy gaming, then this is a great option for you!

Another powerful addition to Intel’s 8th gen of processors. The i7 8700K offers unprecedented processor performance and overclocking capabilities along with the ability to add on more cores when it comes time for rendering or other workloads so I think it’s an excellent choice especially if you’re looking for such an all rounder chip that doesn’t need an external cooler!

Pros

  • Great performance, no matter what you do!
  • Phenomenal overclocking potential and has enough meat to go with it too!

Cons

  • None in particular.

5. AMD Ryzen 5 2600X: Best For Those Who Are On A Budget

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Cores: 6
  • Threads: 12
  • Base clock: 3.4 GHz
  • Turbo clock: 4.2 GHz
  • Overclocking: Yes, 4.1 GHz typical all-core
  • L3 cache: 16 MB
  • TDP: 95 W
  • PCIe 4.0 lanes: 20    

The Ryzen 5 2600X is a very capable processor and one that takes an affordable price tag without scrimping on performance either!

This is especially true when overclocked as well so it’s really great value for money overall and another excellent choice for budget-conscious gamers as well as those who are looking to save a little on their new setup.

With six cores and twelve threads, the Ryzen 5 2600X is a very capable processor however it does have one of the most affordable price tags so if you’re looking for a great performer without breaking the bank, this would be a good option for you! The lack of an external cooler might be a concern though so do bear that in mind.

Pros

  • Great performance at an affordable price tag!
  • Good overclocking potential with decent single core responsiveness too.

Cons

  • Can fall behind Intel in gaming at this price

6. Intel Core i7 8700: For Those Who Want The Best Of Both Worlds

SPECIFICATION

  • Threads: 12
  • Base clock: 3.2 GHz (stable up to 4 GHz)
  • Turbo clock: 4.6 GHz (single core)
  • Overclocking: Yes, stable up to 5.3 GHz (single core)
  • L3 cache: 12 MB
  • TDP: 65 W
  • PCIe 4.0 lanes: 16  

The Core i7 8700 is a fantastic processor and one that matches its high performance with a reasonable price tag as well so if you’re looking for a great performer at a reasonable price then this would be an excellent choice for you!

Another thing I liked about it is the fact that you can overclock it quite easily all the way up to 5GHz which isn’t something that can be said of many processors these days!

Of course this will require an external cooler but if you have one from your previous setup or want to invest in one, then this would be a great choice for you!

The Core i7 8700 is another excellent performer from Intel and it has a very reasonable price tag so if you’re looking for a processor that doesn’t have to break the bank but still performs admirably well, this could definitely be a good choice for you.

Another thing I liked about this chip is the fact that it’s easy to overclock as well so if these options are important to you too then this might just be what you’ve been looking for!

Pros

  • Reasonable price tag
  • Can easily achieve 5 GHz overclocking speeds even with an affordable cooler.

Cons

  • Older architecture

7. AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X: Best For Rendering And Other Workstation-Type Tasks

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Cores: 16
  • Threads: 32
  • Base clock: 3.5 GHz
  • Turbo clock: 4.4 GHz
  • Overclocking: Yes, 4.2 GHz typical all-core
  • L3 cache: 32 MB
  • TDP: 180 W
  • PCIe 4.0 lanes: 64      

I have to admit that the Ryzen Threadripper 2950X is an absolute monster of a CPU especially when you take into account the price tag as well so it’s great for those looking for something with plenty of oomph, whether it be gaming or rendering!

This does mean that overclocking will also definitely be however I do recommend investing in a good cooler if you do plan to overclock the Ryzen Threadripper 2950X as any lower end or cheap cooler may not be enough.

Of course this might all change a few months down the line but as it is, I have to say that the Ryzen Threadripper 2950X is an absolute monster of a chip and particularly so if you’re looking for something that can give you great performance either for rendering tasks or simply just gaming!

It’s also really quite affordable too especially given its price tag so if these factors are important to you then you should definitely consider investing in this CPU! Of course overclocking will require some investment too so keep that in mind!

Pros

  • Great performance with 16 cores and 32 threads,
  • Price tag is very reasonable.

Cons

  • Can be a little power-hungry.
  • Can get quite loud if not accompanied by a good cooling solution.

8. Intel Core i9 10900K: The Comet Lake Flagship Is Still A Powerful Option

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Cores: 12
  • Threads: 24
  • Base clock: 3.6 GHz
  • Turbo clock: 5 GHz
  • Overclocking: Yes, stable up to 5.1 GHz with a good cooler
  • L3 cache: 16 MB
  • TDP: 95 W
  • PCIe 4.0 lanes: 48        

The Core i9 10900K isn’t the only new chip Intel has released this year but it is however their flagship offering and as such, it packs some serious power under its hood!

I have to admit that I’m not quite sure whether this will be worth your while if you’re looking for a gaming chip alone but if you’re looking for something that can handle pretty much anything you throw at it, then this is definitely a great choice!

Of course it’s not just gaming where the Core i9 10900K excels as it has also shown itself to be an excellent overclocking chip which is definitely a plus point for those of us who like to push their processors beyond what they’re supposed to do so if these two factors are important to you, then this would definitely be an excellent choice for you!

Pros

  • Excellent performance in both games and other types of tasks.
  • Great overclocking capabilities.

Cons

  • Price tag could put some people off.

9. AMD Ryzen 5 3600X: Best value CPU out there!

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Cores: 6
  • Threads: 12 (24 with SMT)
  • Base clock: 3.6 GHz  
  • Turbo clock: 4.4 GHz       
  • Overclocking: Yes, up to 4.2 GHz all core, or 4.3 GHz overclocking capable cooling solution required
  • L3 cache: 16 MB
  • TDP: 95 W            
  • PCIe 4.0 lanes: No               

The Ryzen 5 3600X is a great overclocking chip as long as you have the right cooling solution and as such, it’s definitely a great option for those who want an effective non-K CPU that they can easily overclock!

If you’re willing to invest some more money on some good cooling solutions then this will definitely be a worthy upgrade from the Ryzen 5 2600X which is still a fantastic gaming chip but just not quite as powerful as its successor!

I’d say that this would be perfect if your budget doesn’t stretch above $200 or so but if you do have access to more cash then you might want to consider looking at the newer Zen 2 Ryzen 7 3700X instead!

Pros

  • Great price tag.
  • Great stock performance with overclocking capabilities when paired with a good cooling solution!

Cons

  • Lacks some high-end features found on more expensive processors.

10. Intel Core i7 9700K : The best gaming CPU out there in our opinion!

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Cores: 8
  • Threads: 8 (16 with Hyper-threading)
  • Base clock: 3.6 GHz  
  • Turbo clock: 4.9 GHz       
  • Overclocking: Yes, up to 5 GHz with good cooling solution
  • L3 cache: 12 MB
  • TDP: 95 W               

 The Core i7 9700K is Intel’s fastest gaming chip and as such it deserves a place on our list! This chip can be overclocked to 5 GHz just like the 10900K if you have a good cooler so you can rest assured that this will deliver some serious power for those who want an extremely high performing gaming PC, even if it means spending a little more money!

Of course, this is a good chip for pretty much any kind of task as well but it especially shines when it comes to gaming and that is why we feel that this deserves our top choice.

There’s also the higher end 9900K which is even faster if you’re willing to pay a bit more but if you’re on a budget then go with the 9700K instead as it has just enough power to satisfy most gamers out there!

Pros

  • Great performance across all tasks.
  • Excellent overclocking capabilities.
  • Affordable pricing tag.

Cons

  • If you’re into benchmarking and other intensive tasks, the Ryzen 7 2700X might be a better option.

Buyer’s Guide For Best Processors for Gaming

Buyer's Guide For Best Processors For Gaming
Buyer’s Guide For Best Processors For Gaming

Caching : The higher, the better. 

CPU Cache is a small and fast memory for your processor which stores commonly used data and functions so that they don’t have to be loaded from the main memory every time you use them!

This means that when it comes to everyday computing tasks such as checking emails or even running multiple apps simultaneously then having a good cache will ensure that everything runs without any lag whatsoever!

Core : The higher, the better. 

CPU core is responsible for carrying out all the necessary calculations when running applications and games!

The more cores you have, the more tasks can be processed simultaneously by your CPU which means that if you want to multitask then it’s an absolute must to invest in a good octa-core processor or even a deca-core chip in some cases!

Overclocking : Yes/No.

Overclocking refers to pushing your CPU beyond its stock speeds so as to get better performance out of it although this process will definitely void your warranty so it’s best to stick with CPUs that are overclocking-capable by default such as many new Ryzen chips or some Intel i9 processors.

Of course, overclocking a CPU will definitely lead to better performance but only if you have a good cooling solution as even a slight increase in voltage can damage your processor if it’s not cooled well enough!

Hyper-threading : Yes/No.

Hyper-threading is a technology that was first introduced by Intel but their Ryzen counterparts also support this feature now although the results are actually pretty limited when it comes to gaming so you’re probably better off just ignoring this option altogether!

Number of cores and threads : The higher, the better. 

When choosing between different processors then having more cores or just more threads will inevitably affect your speed so you’ll need to determine what kind of user you are first before deciding on a certain chip.

Gamers will definitely need more cores while those who only run a few apps at once might go for something cheaper with fewer cores or threads, although more of these aren’t exactly a bad thing if you want your PC to be able to perform well in all tasks!

Type:

Intel has long been the leader when it comes to CPUs but their latest chips have been quite underwhelming so they’re no longer that great when compared with many Ryzen alternatives which offer higher core counts on budget and even the same amount of cores as some high-end Intel chips on sale for much less money!

Of course, if you have a bit more to spend then you might want to check out some i9 or Xeon CPUs which will definitely offer unmatched performance in all tasks but for everyone else, Ryzen is the way to go.

Frequently Asked Question About Best Processors for Gaming

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Processors For Gaming
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Processors For Gaming

Is Intel or AMD better??

Both are equally capable when it comes to gaming but if you want to save some money then AMD Ryzen is definitely the way to go as their CPUs offer similar performance at lower prices which is why they’re often on top of our charts!

AMD or Intel for streaming?

Well, first of all your main priority should be whether or not your graphics card can handle streaming without affecting your FPS so if you have something like a GTX 1070 then go with an i5/i7 CPU while those who have mid-tier GPUs such as the RX 580 or GTX 1060 will benefit more from Ryzen.

Of course, there are some exceptions out there but that’s just about everything you need to know!

Intel vs AMD for Gaming?

First of all, it’s important to note that both companies are on the same level when it comes to gaming performance so you won’t really see any difference between them in terms of FPS which means that choosing one or another is just about picking your preferred brand.

Of course, there are certain differences such as the price/value ratio where Intel CPUs tend to offer better value than AMD chips but that’s not always the case!

Do I need an i7 for Gaming?

Well, if you want top-tier performance then getting an i7 will definitely be worth your money but if money is tight for you then Ryzen CPUs with 8 cores and 16 threads will serve you well enough.

Of course, there are also quad-core i5 chips which are practically the same when it comes to gaming but there are some differences when it comes to mid-range GPUs so make sure you do your research if you don’t want to regret missing out on something later!

Should I overclock my CPU?

Well, overclocking is never 100% safe and even if you increase the clock speed by just 33 MHz then you’ll definitely lose some stability so it’s always better to avoid overclocking than risk damaging your chip.

Of course, there are some people out there who can handle higher frequencies without pushing their CPUs too far but unless you’re experienced at doing this, we suggest not overclocking on your own as it might cause more problems than benefits!

What is hyper-threading?

Basically, hyper-threading allows both logical cores and physical cores to work together which gives them a performance boost in multi-tasking situations although gamers won’t really benefit from using it.

Overall, this isn’t something that will affect your gaming experience but it can help you out when performing other tasks.

How does hyper-threading work?

Basically, hyper-threading allows both logical cores and physical cores to work together which gives them a performance boost in multi-tasking situations although gamers won’t really benefit from using it.

Overall, this isn’t something that will affect your gaming experience but it can help you out when performing other tasks.

Conclusion:

So, there you have it guys! All in all, Ryzen CPUs are a great choice when it comes to gaming and they’re definitely worth your money but if you want something better then go Intel i7 or an even higher tier.

Of course, if you have the money to spend on Xeon chips then go for them as they will perform much better than any other CPU out there but for everyone else, AMD’s Ryzen is the only way to go so check them out!

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