Best CPUs for Gaming

The CPU is the foremost part of the PC. Without it, there is no concept of a computer. The CPU is responsible for receiving a response and giving commands to the computer. Choosing a CPU is not an easy task for your PC, especially for gaming. It would be best to keep in mind certain things while selecting the best CPU for gaming. For having a good gaming experience, it is not necessary to have a massive amount of caches, most cores, and the most advanced build-up.

When you buy a CPU for gaming, your primary concern should be the gaming experience, FPS, and performance. You can find several excellent CPUs at an affordable price in the market. No doubt, the Alder Lake family of 12th-generation Intel core processors are the best for gaming. But the budget is also the other main important part. What if you find the same gaming experience in economical CPUs as expensive ones?

Remember buying a CPU is not enough; you also have to purchase components like a motherboard, memory, SSD, or graphics card. Every processor doesn’t come with a cooler, so you might have to buy it as well. Once you collect all these or needed components, you build a PC in real meaning. As a gamer, you know how good sounds and screen displays fascinate you while gaming. Now or in the future, you have to buy sound or graphics cards. So please keep these things in your mind and prepare your budget according to it.

Quick Shopping Tips:

Clock Speed: Clock speed is a vital feature that every CPU provides to users. You will be provided with a simple base speed and a boost clock speed. The base speed can be used for simple routines; conversely, the boost speed is the maximum clock speed of the CPU. These speeds determine how intense you can go while gaming smoothly. The clock speed you have the most efficiently handled the intense situation. However, in gaming, the 4.7 to 4.9 GHz clock speed is enough.

Cores and Threads: Cores and threads are the essences of the CPU. Every processor has some counts of cores and threads that decide the efficiency and stability of the performance of the CPU. The more cores you have, the more powerful your CPU will be. But for gaming, there is no hard and fast rule of having maximum cores. The minimum six core for gaming can also be considered; please don’t go below this for outstanding gaming.

Cache Memory: Processors have different amounts of cache. Whenever the CPU takes the commands, the cache memory guides it on which file, program, and software are where. Once you open a file, cache memory saves it for easy access if you need it again in the future. The maximum cache memory would make the processor more responsive. But if you are looking gaming-wise, never go below 12 MB L3 cache memory.

Motherboard compatibility: CPUs are determined for their particular chipsets and socket compatibility. You can’t connect any motherboard with a CPU. For instance, if you use Intel’s CPU, you can’t buy a motherboard that supports only AMD sockets. So, it is suggested along with the processor, check the recommended motherboard or motherboard series and then join your CPU and MOBO. Otherwise, the incompatible board and processor won’t work together.

Best CPUs for Gaming at a Glance:

  1. Intel Core i5 12600K
  2. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
  3. Intel Core i9 12900K
  4. AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
  5. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
  6. Intel Core i5-11600K
  7. AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
  8. Intel Core i5 10400F

Intel Core i5 12600K
Intel Core i5 12600K (Image credit: Amazon)

Intel Core i5 12600K

Best Intel Processor for Gaming

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Core i5 | Socket: LGA 1700 | Cores/Threads: 10/16 | Base Clock: 3.70 GHz | Top Boost Clock: 4.90 GHz | TDP: 125 W | Cache: 20 MB

REASONS TO BUY

Fast Intel processor

20 PCIe 5.0 planes

Outstanding performance

The best gaming CPU for 2022

REASONS TO AVOID

Somehow power-hungry than Ryzen

It needs an advanced motherboard and memory

The 12th Generation of Intel, also known as Alder Lake processors, are incredible processors. These units, in actuality, make the intel the supreme in the world of gaming. Undoubtedly, the Intel Core i5 12600K is one of the best examples in this matter. It has ten cores and sixteen threads, tremendous for making the gaming experience wonderful. Also, it doesn’t depend on the efficient cores, but performance and features are also the productive counts.

Unquestionably, the CPU allows you to overclock it effortlessly. The ten cores are further divided into 6P and 4E. While considering this, the base clock for the P-core is 3.7 GHz, and for the E-core, it is 2.8 GHz. The turbo boost clock is up to 4.9 GHz for P-core and 3.6 GHz for E-core. This clocking speed is more than enough for handling high-demanding gaming. Even if you want, you can use it for other light tasks as well.

The total L3 cache you use is up to 16 MB thanks to this, your unit responds to you faster than i9 11900K. It also contains an Intel UHD Graphics handler that shows you high visual quality and splendid graphics. There are almost twenty PCIe 5.0 lanes for offering you the versatility of connections whisk gaming. However, it consumes 125 W, making it more power-hungry than Ryzen. But when it comes to performance, it easily outperforms the Ryzen 9 5950X. Intel Core i5 12600K is the best Intel processor for gaming; you can rely on it. It is a combination of efficient performance and powerful cores. Go for it if it offers you all the things you are looking for in your ideal unit.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X (Image credit: Amazon)

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

Best CPU for Gaming for AMD users

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Ryzen 5 | Socket: AM4 | Cores/Threads: 6/12 | Base Clock: 3.7 GHz | Top Boost Clock: 4.6 GHz | TDP: 65 W | Cache: 35 MB

REASONS TO BUY

Affordable gaming CPU

A Wraith Stealth cooler added

Decent performance and overclocking

Power-efficient

REASONS TO AVOID

Support old PCIe 4.0 lanes

Average for other tasks except gaming

The other gaming processor on our list is AMD Ryzen 5 5600X. However, in the Ryzen 5000 chips series, there are also other expensive options. However, there is very little difference in performance; thus, the 5 5600X is a more practical and affordable choice. It offers you similar frame tastes with this particular chip as others.

Moreover, the unit provides you with six cores and twelve threads. These cores are minor, but the processor justifies it brilliantly when gaming. So, don’t let it go just because of it. Typically, the base clock it allows you is 3.7 GHz. However, you can reach up to 4.6 GHz with the turbo boost clock. The following beauty of this best AMD processor for gaming is the 32 MB L3 Cache. Henceforth, be ready for the fastest performance for mainstream desktops.

Likewise, the other Ryzen 5000 family also comes with the Wraith Stealth Cooler. So, you don’t need to spend extra money on the cooler. If you want, you can use this CPU for an extended time and smooth overclocking. Upon this, the TDP is only 65, which is another plus point of this fantastic gaming processor. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is the best CPU for gaming for AMD users. Nonetheless, you can get it at an affordable price and perform beautifully along with 100+ FPS frames for games. But still, it stands behind the Intel Core i5 12600K.

Intel Core i9 12900K
Intel Core i9 12900K (Image credit: Amazon)

Intel Core i9 12900K

Best Enthusiast CPU for Gaming

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Core i9 | Socket: LGA 1700 | Cores/Threads: 14/24 | Base Clock: 3.20 GHz | Top Boost Clock: 5.20 GHz | TDP: 125 W | Cache: 30 MB

REASONS TO BUY

DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 compatibility

Enhanced multithreaded performance

5.2 GHz clock speed with turbo boost

Fantastic single-threaded performance

REASONS TO AVOID

Power-hungry

Extremely expensive

Do you want a CPU that is all-rounder? If yes, choose the Intel Core i9 12900K, the best enthusiast CPU for gaming and other jobs. It completes your PC build-up if you are someone who needs serious power. The reason to rank it on the third number is its massive price. If you want to deal with only the gaming department, it is much more. You can go with the above two pocket-friendly CPUs. But, if your dream is to have this gem and challenge the limits, choose it without any doubt.

With this unit, you do 4K gaming, 3D rendering, video editing, and many challenging projects single handled. If we call it a powerhouse, then there’s nothing wrong. It shines on your whole PC system due to the OG performance and latest features. Nevertheless, it’s sturdy and stable 16 cores with 24 threads are of great value. It enables you to exceed the limits by reaching up to 5.2 GHz turbo clock speed. It provides you with mind-blowing overclocking strength.

Furthermore, the 30MB L3 cache memory enhances the system’s performance further by providing the best hit rate in minimal time. Likewise, i5 12600K it also gives you 20 advanced PCIe 5.0 lanes. Also, the TDP is the same, which is 125 W that means you need an effective cooler along with it. Anyhow, the decision is yours; that’s all about i9 12900K. Overall, the Intel Core i9 12900K comprises serious PC enthusiasts who have to deal with numerous complex projects. Unquestionably, it stands on all the expectations of the passionate PC builder. But, the thing is that for gaming, it only provides you with a few frames of more than 12600K.

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (Image credit: Amazon)

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

Best High-End CPU for Gaming

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Ryzen 9 | Socket: AM4 | Cores/Threads: 16/32 | Base Clock: 3.4 GHz | Top Boost Clock: 4.9 GHz | TDP: 105 W | Cache: 72 MB

REASONS TO BUY

70 MB most extensive cache memory

16 cores and 32 threads

Power-efficient as compared to i9 12900K

Stable and durable CPU

REASONS TO AVOID

No inclusion of cooler

No integrated graphics

If you want an alternative to the i9 12900K, AMD Ryzen 9 5950X is the best high-end CPU for gaming. This proficient CPU has the strength and ability to stay as long as possible with you, not in terms of performance but also for long-lasting life. But it can only happen if you are willing to spend a hefty amount on it. As the CPU is expensive, you also have to buy an efficient motherboard and four-channel memory controller. 

Besides, the unit is a real workhorse; you can do multiple jobs in a short time. There are sixteen cores and thirty-two threads. You can see it has the most cores and threads than others in the list. Upon this, the processor is fully opened for overclocking. With a boost clock, you can have up to 4.9 GHz, comparatively less than i9 12900K. 

 Along with the giant cores, it extended the cache memory up to 70MB. You can estimate the responsive attitude of this gaming processor. Plus, it supports Windows 10- 64-Bit, Ubuntu x86 64-Bit, Edition RHEL x86 64-Bit. However, the drawback of this processor is that it still does support old PCIe 4.0 and DDR-3200. Anyhow, for choosing a high-enthusiast AMD CPU, it is considerable. Overall, the AMD Ryzen 9 5950  is a proficient creation for managing gaming in the best responsive time. Suppose you are okay with PCIe 4.0 lanes, then good to go with this high-end CPU. It will not only make your gaming outstanding but allow you to do other PC jobs comfortably.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (Image credit: Amazon)

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

Best CPU for Gaming

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Ryzen 9 | Socket: AM4 | Cores/Threads: 12/24 | Base Clock: 3.7 GHz | Top Boost Clock: 4.8 GHz | TDP: 105 W | Cache: 70 MB

REASONS TO BUY

12 cores and 24 threads

Unlocked multiplier

Good single and multi-thread performance

Power-efficient

REASONS TO AVOID

No cooler added

No integrated graphics

If your concern only has the best gaming CPU that manages the basic tasks, Ryzen 5 5600 is okay. But, if you are interested in video editing too, you require some more threads if you have an unbeatable fastest chip for gaming and streaming. For this, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X is a real CPU. It contains 12 cores and 24 threads, enough for exploring different tasks on a PC.

In this process, the standard clock speed is 3.7 GHz, while you can take it up to 4.8 GHz with a boost. In one of the tests, it overclocked up to 5.0 GHz. If all you want is great gaming, then it works well. It builds up with the uncontested gaming chip. However, when it comes to heavy workloads, you might have to compromise on the efficacy of the unit. Otherwise, for video editing, it is pretty nice.

The process comes with PCIe 4.0 support and requires a motherboard compatible with the Socket AM4 platform. Nevertheless, a cache memory of 70 MB Is there to improve the system’s performance. It will quickly provide you with more than 100 FPS for dealing with most high-end games. The TDP is only 65, but still, you will need a cooler with a maximum temperature of 90°C. The cooler you have to purchase by yourself as it is not included in the package. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X is the best CPU for gaming. Along with gaming, it also offers you video editing and online streaming. It takes time to complete the tasks for heavy workloads, so if these things suit you up ahead and take it.

Intel Core i5-11600K
Intel Core i5-11600K (Image credit: Amazon)

Intel Core i5-11600K

Best value CPU for Gaming

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Intel Core i5 | Socket: LGA 1200 | Cores/Threads: 6/12 | Base Clock: 3.90 GHz | Top Boost Clock: 4.90 GHz | TDP: 125 W | Cache: 12MB

REASONS TO BUY

Good value for money

4.9 GHz maximum clock speed

Intel’s optane memory

REASONS TO AVOID

No normal solution added

Power-hungry CPU

The Intel Core i5-11600K is presented to you in our list of best CPUs for gaming. It is a suitable processor for gaming in terms of money, features, and performance. Now, gaming in (1140p) HD in needed frame rates doesn’t require an expensive unit. But I also have to face a few bucks along with this processor. Nonetheless, this i5 model provides you with the same performance as i7 for gaming.

The competitive clock speed of the i5-11600K enables it to give a compelling competition to the alternative Ryzen CPUs. The processor offers you a base clock speed up to 3.90 GHz with a maximum clock speed of 4.9 GHz. It is enough for 4K gaming for an excessive time at this fair price. Further, it has 6-core and 12-thread sufficient for next-level gaming.

Apart from all these, the CPU is fully unlocked and ready to be overclocked whenever needed. The unit is incorporated with Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 and Intel Smart Cache with 12 MB. The motherboards that are compatible with this processor are 400 and 500 series. Unfortunately, it does not have a thermal solution; along with more, it consumes a large amount of power. Intel Core i5-11600K is the best value CPU for gaming. You can take this LGA 1200 supportive CPU at an affordable rate and start gaming right out of the box. Compared to other expensive CPUs, you have to face some flaws.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (Image credit: Amazon)

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

Best Mid-range CPU for Gaming

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: AMD Ryzen 7 | Socket: AM4 | Cores/Threads: 8/16 | Base Clock: 3.8 GHz | Top Boost Clock: 4.7 GHz | TDP: 105 W | Cache: 36 MB

REASONS TO BUY

Eight cores and sixteen threads

32 MB of cache memory

Excellent Zen 3 architecture

Fantastic for gaming and rendering

REASONS TO AVOID

Need a separate graphic card

No heatsink

Now for the people who want the Ryzen 7 processor, we have chosen the subject Ryzen 7 5800X. It is the best mid-range CPU for gaming. It comes with eight cores and sixteen threads that enable you long-lasting pleasant gaming experience for decent gaming. These cores count offers a base clock up to 3.8GHz while the turbo boost reaches 4.7 GHz.

Furthermore, it gives you about 32MB cache memory of L3. Hence, there is no chance of slowing down when issuing your CPU commands. The single-core performance gives you the exactly mentioned turbo boost. In contrast to this, the multi-threaded frequencies vary according to the tasks. Suppose you want to do some rendering to choose it without any problem. The 5800X provides you with 54 FPS compared to 10700K’s that is only 43 FPS, and it is high.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X supports dual memory channels, DDR4 3200 MHz, and PCIe Gen 4. Suppose you want to build a new PC and need a future-proof CPU, then Ryzen 7 5800X. Even though it competes with Intel gaming, it can use it for some intense projects. Anyhow, there is no heatsink and an integrated graphics card. For productive use, you can choose this AMD Ryzen 7 5800X. You can consider this CPU for a decent gaming experience. Besides, the processor offers you good single-thread performance; however, the multi-thread varies depending on the task.

Intel Core i5 10400F
Intel Core i5 10400F (Image credit: Amazon)

Intel Core i5 10400F

Best Budget CPU for Gaming

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Core i5 | Socket: BGA 437 | Cores/Threads: 6/12 | Base Clock: 2.90 GHz | Top Boost Clock: 4.30 GHz | TDP: 65 W | Cache: 12 MB

REASONS TO BUY

Good single thread performance

Budget-friendly gaming CPU

Boost up to 4.3 GHz

REASONS TO AVOID

Locked multiplier

It doesn’t make for high demanding tasks

We also think about the people who couldn’t afford the above processors. For them, we select a compatible Intel Core 10400K. It is the best budget CPU for gaming. The processor offers six cores and twelve threads for gaming; these cores count is enough. Moreover, this great CPU is somehow faster than the i5 9400. No doubt the processor has many valuable features, but you also have to compromise on certain things at this price.

The CPU allows you to have a base clock up to 2.9 GHz, and with the boost, it turns to 4.3 GHz. The 12 MB L3 memory cache is enough for gaming smartly. It provides you with 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes. The cooler is also included in this economical price. However, the TDP is 65W which makes it a super power-efficient CPU for gaming.

As we say, you also have to compromise on some qualities like there is no overclocking support. It is a locked multiplier. Apart from this, the i5 10400F is not as responsive as other processors in multi-threaded performance. The other beneficial fact of this processor is that you can run a variety of boards with it at 3.9 GHz. Hence, you don’t need to think about a low base clock. Intel Core i5 10400F is the most budget-friendly processor on our list. In price, it is more excellent for cooling the system. Where the CPU resolves your economic problem there, it also lacks certain parts. Like you can’t overclock with it. Anyhow, for single-thread performance and gaming, the processor is pretty lovely.

Conclusion

Here we have completed our reviews on the best CPU for gaming. We have mentioned a total of eight products while considering the needs of many people. We bring out some fantastic options for both Intel and AMD’s lovers. When you explore all of them in the post, many things will be apparent to you. Every processor in the list has its significance; you can underestimate anyone.

If you are facing difficulty in making a decision, then we do one thing to make a list of your desired features. Now check your budget, write it on a sheet. Now figure out which one from the list fulfills your most requirements.

If you are still confused, then we can suggest our recommendations. If your primary concern is only the best gaming, take i5 12600K as the best choice for Intel’s lover. If you aim to build a severe PC system that supports your complex multi-task, the i9 12900K can be a reasonable consideration.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the most compatible CPU for gaming?

Intel Core i5 12600K is the most compatible gaming processor. It has ten cores and 16 threads for a stable performance. With his CPU, you can effortlessly perform every type of game from low to high quality. It is embedded with advanced features and functions. Also, the price tag contains much more justification than others.

What is the fastest CPU for gaming?

The clear winner of this fastest gaming tag is none other than Intel i9-12900K. No doubt, the performance and speed both are commendable of this processor. Plus, it has been made for serious people about the PC build-up. It can help you in gaming and video editing and rendering. The problem is only in the price. If you are interested in something more than gaming, it will be a good option for Intel’s lover; otherwise, 12600K is a smart pick.

Which is the best budget gaming CPU?

Intel Core i5 10400F is the best budget gaming CPU. It has six cores and twelve threads. If you can’t afford other options for gaming, then it will be an excellent deal. It enables you to have a decent gaming experience at an affordable price. However, you can overclock here, so if you are not interested in this and want light gaming, then go for it.

Arslan Ashraf
Arslan Ashraf is Computer Expert. He developed his passion for reviewing the latest tech products. He likes to review every single piece of Hardware. If you have any questions related to Tech Products. He'll be happy to answer you.