Best CPUs for Gaming – Updated List for 2022

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Best CPUs for Gaming – Updated List for 2022

The best CPUs for gaming do not require the most cores, fastest clocks, the largest caches, or even advanced design. The most efficient gaming CPU only needs to deliver the best gaming experience for an affordable price. Simple.

If you’re someone who’s looking to get maximum gaming output out of your LGA775, this article can help you to choose between Best LGA775 Motherboards.

The positive side is that there’s a lot of excellent processors on the market with reasonable prices at the moment. While the Cyber Monday sales are over, several great deals on processors are hanging around. With the announcement of Intel’s 12th generation Alder Lake family, the most powerful gaming processor isn’t the all-dancing, all-singing shimmering halo at the top of Intel’s range; however, it’s a bit further from the bottom of the pile. The Intel Core i5 12600K is newly installed at the top of our list, and it’s not without reason. It delivers amazing gaming performance for an affordable price.

AMD-Ryzen-9-5900X-12-core-24

 Intel Core i5 12600K

  • A brand new and better platform
Intel-Core-i5-12600K-Desktop-Processor

 Intel Core i9 12900K 

  • The top desktop platform, with DDR5 as well as PCIe 5.0 support
Intel-Core-i9-12900K-Desktop-Processor

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 

  • Potential for decent overclocking

The value for money aspect is essential for various reasons, not least because it allows you to spend more on other things such as SSDs and higher-end motherboards, more memory, or perhaps even an upgraded graphics card in the future if the shortage of silicon ever ceases. A few dollars here and there on most essential components could result in an overall better gaming PC. This is something we support.

Every single chip listed was tested using our extensive benchmarking suite for CPUs using our computer Gamer test equipment. It includes many of the most recent games and 3D and rendering video tasks, simply because we’re all streamers and creators of content nowadays. Gaming is still one of the most crucial tests for us. However, I hope for the obvious reasons.

A good CPU is as essential as a great GPU for a balanced gaming system. The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X CPU is an excellent choice for those who have managed to acquire a powerful graphics card. Read our article on Best Motherboards for Ryzen 9 5900x to get the perfect combination for a gaming PC build.

Be sure to check out our list of the best gaming motherboards if you plan to build a new build.

Top Pick

Our current top choice for the top gaming CPU is the Intel Core i9 12900K. If you’re planning to build a premium PC that is not only for high-end gaming in 4K but also for more important tasks such as 3D rendering and editing video and video editing, this is the perfect processor. It’s a beast, there’s absolutely, and it requires a system that is built around it to help it shine. You’ll need a powerful PSU to get the most efficient performance from it, and a powerful cooler would be a good idea too. The fact that there’s plenty of headroom to overclock allows you to take the system to a new height.

If you’re looking for gaming performance, this is the best device available by a substantial margin. The issue is that you can only achieve a couple of frames per second more than our top choice, and you’ll need to pay a fee to get the privilege. If you’re purchasing an “enthusiast”-class CPU, you need to keep an eye on the value of your money.

The Intel 12 series CPU are Intel’s flagships as of now. These can deliver high refresh rates with astonishingly low 1% and 0.1% framerates, which result in smooth gameplay while multitasking. For a seamless gaming experience, you need a top-end graphics card to go with Intel 12900K; read our article on Best Graphics Cards for i9 12900K to get your hands on if not best then one of the best GPUs for i9 12900K.

Tips to Consider when Buying a Gaming CPU

Selecting the most efficient CPU is crucial, whether you’re upgrading your computer or building a brand new one. The higher clock speeds and core numbers can significantly impact performance, giving a faster performance, more smooth gameplay, and faster performance for tasks that require a lot of effort, like video editing or transcoding. Furthermore, the processor you select will determine the motherboard you can use since each processor is compatible with an appropriate motherboard socket and a specific set of CPU chipsets.

As with all aspects of the consumer tech market, it is up to you to purchase the most powerful processor available today or wait and find out what new chips will bring into the mix. AMD’s Ryzen 5500 CPUs are impressive in that they have a chance to surpass rival Intel CPUs for single-core and multi-core performance. However, because of a combination of the high demand, the small capacity at TSMC’s chips manufacturing facilities, and the ongoing outbreak of the virus, AMD’s most recent CPUs have proved difficult to come close to their MSRP since their launch.

Intel is also about to move away from Skylake-based architectures and eventually launch Rocket Lake-S. Intel’s new chips are expected to deliver substantial single-core performance gains on their own, and the ability to sift through the platform that finally will support PCI 4.0 -an option AMD released with its Ryzen chips a couple of years ago.

Cache-A small segment of high-speed memory dedicated to storing and executing frequently used commands/instructions to speed up software execution. CPUs are equipped with caches labeled as Level 1,2, and 3. L1 is the most efficient and smallest, and L3 is the slowest and biggest. There are some things you need to consider when buying gaming CPUs.

Core-based CPUs: The latest CPUs comprise anywhere from two to seventy-nine cores (in supercomputers); however, CPUs housed in most consumer computers typically have up to eight cores. AMD’s most recent CPUs boast as many as 16 cores.

Clock Speed: Clock speed is how a CPU can perform instructions, expressed in hertz. A CPU with a 3.7 clock speed of GHz can handle 3.7 billion instructions in a second. The clock’s speed is among the most important factors in making a difference in performance during games and other workload-related functions.

Heating sinks A cooling device for PCs that use liquid cooling (active) and aluminum radiators (passive) that depend on convection to regulate the temperature of a component.

Hyper-Threading (SMT): SMT is an Intel term for the technology that lets a processor simultaneously take on two instructions or ‘threads. AMD and other processor makers refer to this as Simultaneous Multi-Threading.

Type of Socket: LGA (Land Grid Array), PGA (Pin Grid Array) as well as BGA (Ball Grid Array) is how the CPU connects to the motherboard’s socket. LGA is available on Intel sockets, which have pins part of the socket. AMD’s AM4 solution, PGA, has the processor’s pins that can be inserted into holes on the socket. AMD’s Thread Ripper CPUs are also using LGA sockets. A BGA socket occurs as a processor being soldered permanently on the motherboard, usually on laptops.

TDP: Thermal design power is the most heat that a system or chip can generate that the associated cooling system is designed to handle under the load. This could be used to describe PCs in general and CPUs, GPUs, or any other component that produces heat. It is largely an indicator of the amount of power a component draws.

Thread: A thread refers to a sequence of CPU instructions to run an individual program. Older CPUs with SMT disabled only run only one thread per core. However, the newest AMD and Intel CPUs can use two threads and share certain resources (e.g. cache).

Turbo Boost: Turbo Boost is Intel technology that allows processors to operate at higher clock speeds under high loads. AMD can also support boost or turbo clocks, and we’ll use these terms interchangeably, regardless of the processor vendor.

Intel-Core-i5-12600K-Desktop-Processor

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Intel-Core-i9-12900K-Desktop-Processor

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AMD-Ryzen-5-5600X-6-core-12

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List of Best CPUs for Gaming

1. Intel Core i5 12600K – Best CPU for Gaming Right Now

2. Intel Core i9 12900K – Best Gaming CPU for Serious Power

3. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X – Best Budget Gaming AMD CPU

4. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X – Best Overall AMD Gaming CPU

1. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X – Best Overall AMD Gaming CPU

AMD-Ryzen-9-5900X-12-core-24

AMD’s Zen architecture has been improved every generation, but the actuality that AMD has delivered 19 % IPC improvement in Zen 3 is staggering. The main takeaway for us players is that this increase implies that AMD has pushed Intel to improve it in the case of Alder Lake.

Whatever resolution you’re gaming with, the processor will manage it and ensure that your preferred graphics card is filled with plenty of juicy frames. The fact that this processor is a 24-thread, 12-core beast implies that it can cope with whatever else you put in its path. If you’re thinking of 3D rendering and video editing or any other major task, then you’ll know you’ve got the raw horsepower to tackle it. It won’t stop you from playing and can make it more fun.

The only issue is the cost and the demise of the Wraith cooler. Be sure to factor this into your purchase. You indeed get the value you pay for, however, and this is an excellent device for gaming or everything else you may want to accomplish.

If you’re looking for the ultimate power, you can upgrade towards the Ryzen 9 5950X, which offers 16 cores and 32 threads. But it’s an additional $250, and for gaming as well as for the majority of tasks related to content creation, the 5900X is plenty.

Specifications

Cores: 12

Threads: 24

Base Clock: 3.7 GHz

Boost Clock: 4.8 GHz

Overclocking: Yes

L3 Cache: 64

MB TDP: 105

PCIe 4.0 lanes: 20

Features

Fantastic gaming performance

Rapid and efficient architecture

Affordable platform

Pros

  • A brand new and better platform

Cons

  • Still more energy-hungry than Ryzen

2. Intel Core i5 12600K – Best CPU for Gaming Right Now

Intel-Core-i5-12600K-Desktop-Processor

The 12th Gen Alder Lake processors are an important revival for Intel. Its hybrid-based design was considered a gamble when it first came out in the beginning, with its mix of high performance and powerful cores not announcing much for the experience on the desktop. It’s a risk that has paid off. However, the game performance offered by Intel’s most recent CPUs is remarkable.

Its Core i5 12600K is the most popular processor for gamers because it is not just a great gaming performance. However, it also does it at a cost that won’t bring your gaming experience to tears. It is not just superior to the similar 5600X in nearly any game but also outperforms the Ryzen 9 5950X, which costs $750 in a variety of tests as well. It beats even the Core i9 11900K is just the top layer of cake. This is a great price for a mid-range processor.

Since this is a brand new operating system, you’ll have to purchase an entirely new motherboard and perhaps some new memory along with it. It is compatible with DDR5 and DDR4. This means that the initial cost might be more than you anticipated; however, the performance is worth it. It isn’t an energy-draining beast, and you don’t require an extravagant cooler to get the best out of it. With the addition of future-looking support for PCIe 5.0, we’ve got an updated gaming CPU that is the king. Long live the King.

Specifications

Cores: 6+4Threads: 16

Base Clock: 3.7 GHz P-core, 2.8 GHz E-core

Boost Clock: 4.9 GHz P-core, 3.6 GHz E-core

Overclocking: Yes

L3 Cache: 20 MB

Processor Base

Power: 125

PCIe 5.0 lanes: 20

Features

The most powerful gaming CPU in 2022.

Much faster than Core i9 11900K

More powerful and efficient Alder Lake chip

Pros

  • The top desktop platform, with DDR5 as well as PCIe 5.0 support

Cons

  • Consumption of power is high.

3. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X – Best Budget Gaming AMD CPU

Intel-Core-i9-12900K-Desktop-Processor

There’s not much difference between the Ryzen 5500 chips when it comes to gaming, and that means you’ll be able to achieve the same frame rate with this processor as with the higher-end Ryzen 9 5900X. Considering the top-of-the-line performance with the cheapest Zen 3 CPU, it’s amazing! We’ll bet on this every day.

It’s got half the core count of 5900X, and it runs the same way, with 12 threads and six cores. But, this is only an issue for more demanding workloads and is plenty for more normal tasks. One could say that gaming can surpass the 12-threads that we’re talking about. However, there’s no evidence that this is the case thus far, even when the next-gen consoles are sporting 16-threads and 8-cores.

Ryzen 5 5600X also defies the Ryzen 5000 series’ style by being equipped with the Wraith Stealth cooler, which means you don’t need to spend more money on a third-party chiller. It’s unnecessary; however, if you choose to, it will allow you to run higher speeds for a longer time and let you explore the world of overclocking that could be worth it. It’s a great small-sized overclocker. Although it won’t significantly affect gaming, it will aid in other areas.

Specifications

Cores: 6

Threads: 12

Base Clock: 3.7 GHz

Boost Clock: 4.6 GHz

Overclocking: Yes

L3 Cache: 32

MB TDP: 65

PCIe 4.0 lanes: 20

Features

Amazing gaming performance

Strong value for money Wraith Stealth is also included

Pros

  • Potential for decent overclocking

Cons

  • It is lagging behind the Core i5 12600K

4. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X – Best Overall AMD Gaming CPU

AMD-Ryzen-5-5600X-6-core-12

AMD’s Zen architecture has been improved every generation, but the actuality that AMD has delivered 19 % IPC improvement in Zen 3 is staggering. The main takeaway for us players is that this increase implies that AMD has pushed Intel to improve it in the case of Alder Lake.

Whatever resolution you’re gaming with, the processor will manage it and ensure that your preferred graphics card is filled with plenty of juicy frames. The fact that this processor is a 24-thread, 12-core beast implies that it can cope with whatever else you put in its path. If you’re thinking of 3D rendering and video editing or any other major task, then you’ll know you’ve got the raw horsepower to tackle it. It won’t stop you from playing and can make it more fun.

The only issue is the cost and the demise of the Wraith cooler. Be sure to factor this into your purchase. You indeed get the value you pay for, however, and this is an excellent device for gaming or everything else you may want to accomplish.

If you’re looking for the ultimate power, you can upgrade towards the Ryzen 9 5950X, which offers 16 cores and 32 threads. But it’s an additional $250, and for gaming as well as for the majority of tasks related to content creation, the 5900X is plenty.

Specifications

Cores: 12

Threads: 24

Base Clock: 3.7 GHz

Boost Clock: 4.8 GHz

Overclocking: Yes

L3 Cache: 64

MB TDP: 105

PCIe 4.0 lanes: 20

Features

Fantastic gaming performance

Rapid and efficient architecture

Affordable platform

Pros

  • Best Overall AMD Gaming CPU

Cons

  • You need a 3rd party cooler that is dependable.

FAQs

Which motherboard is best for my processor?

Alder Lake is the most recent platform that has been released in the last few months, and at present, we have a handful of Z690 motherboards that appear to be on the expensive side. The motherboards are compatible with DDR5 (new) as well as DDR4. So, choose the right one.

The most recent AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs still utilize the AM4 socket and only work with B550, X570 and A520 motherboards (oh and also B450, X470 and other motherboards).

In contrast to the Intel Comet Lake chips that use the LGA 1200 socket, Rocket Lake has released new 500-series motherboards. If you’re not looking to use the uncomfortable Intel PCIe 4.0 solution that the latest Intel chips have, you can go either with a Z490 motherboard or a B460, which is a cheaper motherboard for Intel.

Which is better? Intel or AMD superior?

This is a very complex issue. AMD has been the leader for quite a while due to its Zen architecture providing remarkable leaps in performance. However, Intel has taken over the top spot by introducing the launch of its Alder Lake family, specifically the Core i5 12600K. The fact that it’s an entirely new type of Hybrid CPU is not in itself, but it’s a highly efficient processor.

It is important to remember that the majority of games are not GPU-enabled. That is to say, the graphic card is the most important performance. You will likely get the same frame rates for any manufacturer of CPU using a discrete graphics card. This is particularly true when you increase the resolution 4K being the least expensive of the best chips.

Do I need to overclock my computer?

The truth is not really. It’s not always the risky thing it used to be; however, the benefits of doing it have dramatically diminished in recent times. When it comes to the gaming experience, having a more powerful CPU could make a slight difference, but your graphics card is the one that will limit the performance of your system.

Also, there is the fact that overclocked CPUs generate greater heat, require higher-end and costly cooling solutions, and require coolers to perform more efficiently and, consequently, generally louder.

We think that increasing the speed of your CPU to achieve the performance you need isn’t something we’d suggest that most PC gamers do.

Conclusion

This is all for our current article about Best CPUs for Gaming. Be sure to check out our top gaming motherboards list if you plan to build a new build. Follow us for incredible product reviews

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