Which ryzen to buy

Which ryzen to buy DEFAULT

How to Buy the Right CPU: A Guide for

Choosing the best CPU matters a lot, whether you’re upgrading your existing system or building a new PC. Higher clock speeds and core counts can make a major difference in performance, providing a snappier system, smoother gameplay and faster completion of intensive tasks such as video editing and transcoding. Plus, the CPU you choose will also dictate your motherboard options, as each processor only works with a specific CPU socket and set of chipsets.

Also, like most aspects of consumer tech, you'll have to decide to buy the best processor that's available right now, or wait to see what next-generation chips bring to the table. AMD's Ryzen CPUs are impressive, finally generally overtaking competing Intel CPUs in single- and multi-core performance. But due to a combination of high demand, limited capacity at TSMC's chip fabs and the ongoing pandemic, AMD's latest CPUs have been very hard to find in stock at or near their MSRPs since launch. 

Meanwhile, Intel is about to finally move away from a Skylake-based architecture, with Rocket Lake-S. Intel's new chips promise solid single-core performance gains of their own, as well as a sift to a platform that finally supports PCI -- a feature AMD rolled out in its Ryzen chips nearly two years ago.

If you already know a lot about CPU specs and want recommendations, check out our picks for best CPUs for gaming and best CPUs for workstations and the best cheap CPUs of , tested and ranked. We also have a list of the best chips on the market according to their CPU Benchmarks. But no matter which desktop processor you get, here are some things to keep in mind.

TLDR:

  • AMD has overtaken Intel (for now): These days, you'll often get more for less with an AMD processor, including a nice in-box cooler (although not with the highest-end Ryzen 7 and 9 Ryzen models) and more cores/threads. Gaming performance has also shifted in favor of AMD for the most part, with the Ryzen 5 X overtaking even higher-end Intel CPUs at p and stock settings. And AMD has long handled tasks like video editing faster. But the p gaming performance edge may shift back to Intel once Rocket Lake-S arrives.
  • For many tasks, clock speed is more important than core count: Higher clock speeds translate to snappier performance in simple, common tasks such as gaming, while more cores will help you get through time-consuming workloads faster.

AMD or Intel: Which Should You Get?

Up until , AMD was the clear underdog. But with its Ryzen / Threadripper series chips, the company has moved steadily toward performance parity with Intel. And with Ryzen and chips like the Ryzen 5 X in particular, AMD has in most respects moved past Intel's current offerings, often delivering better performance in both light and heavy workloads that tax many cores. The matchup may change substantially though, once Intel's latest Rocket Lake-S CPUs arrive later in

All that said, both companies may very capable CPUs. Some fans will have strong opinions, but if you don't have your heart set on one brand or the other, you should be open to either. For much more on this, see our Intel vs AMD: Who Makes the Best CPUs? feature.

What do you want to do with your CPU?

It's tempting to just spend as much as you can afford for a CPU, but you might be better off saving some of your cash for other components. Determine your processor type and max budget based on what you need your computer to do.

  • Basic tasks: $$ range. If you’re only after a chip that will let you watch video, browse the Web, and do basic productivity tasks like word processing and light spreadsheet work, then an entry-level chip with two or four cores might be just what you need. But if you often find yourself doing more than one of those basic tasks at once, it would be better to step up a model or two. Consider a Ryzen 3, like the AMD Ryzen 3 X or AMD Ryzen 3 G, or Intel Pentium on the high end of this price range and an Intel Celeron or chips like AMD's Athlon GE on the low end.
  • Gaming: $$ range. If you’re primarily interested in high-end gaming performance, you should opt for a mid-range Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 CPU with high clock speeds. Considering that the graphics card is more important for gaming than the processor, you can save money by not getting a more powerful Core i7 or Ryzen 7 chip.
  • Creative media work or overclocking: $$ range. If you want more cores or speed for things like video editing—or you just want a fast, capable system with extra overhead for future computing tasks, splurge on a Ryzen 7 chip.
  • Workstation muscle: $+. If you often find yourself waiting minutes or hours for your current system to render your 3D animation or 4K video, or you’re dealing with massive databases and complex math, consider an Intel Core X or AMD Threadripper CPU. These beasts offer massive amounts of physical cores (up to 64 as of this writing) for extreme multitasking (ex: gaming at high settings while streaming and editing) or time-consuming compute tasks. Business users can consider an Intel Xeon (like the recent Xeon WX) or AMD EPYC processor, but those aren't consumer friendly--or reasonably affordable. For those not quite willing to step up to multi-thousand-dollar CPUs and platforms, AMD's core Ryzen 9 X or core Ryzen 9 X are both excellent alternatives that basically bring workstation-class performance to a mainstream platform.

What generation CPU do you need?

Each year or so, Intel and AMD upgrade their processor lines with a new architecture. Intel is about to launch its "11th Gen Core Series," with the Core i9 K at the top end. AMD's latest chips are part of its Ryzen line, like the AMD Ryzen 5 X, Ryzen 7 X, and Ryzen 9 X. When looking at the model number, you can see the generation as the first digit of the four number (ex: the 8 in Core i or the 3 in Ryzen 7 X). Note, though, that AMD skipped branding on its desktop CPUs.

How do you read the model names and numbers?

The jumble of brands and numbers that make up a CPU product name can be confusing. Intel and AMD both break down most of their chips into “good, better, best” categories, starting with Core i3/Ryzen 3, stepping up to Core i5/Ryzen 5, Core i7/Ryzen 7, and Core i9/Ryzen 9. Intel has the Core iK at the top of its mainstream product stack, as well as extreme/premium tier like the Core iXE, priced at around $1,, just as AMD has Threadripper. But for the vast majority of users, these chips are unnecessary and well out of most people’s price ranges.

For users on a tight budget, Intel offers its Celeron and Pentium chips (Pentium is slightly faster) while AMD has its Athlon line. On the extreme high-end, you'll find AMD's Threadripper and Intel's Core X series, along with the Core X/i9 and Xeon W (both mentioned above).

Now, what about the model numbers that come after the 3, 5, or 7? The first digit designates the product generation (Intel’s Core i is an 8th Generation Core processor, and AMD’s Ryzen 5 is a 2nd Generation Ryzen processor). The rest of the numbers just mark various models in the line, with higher generally being better (with more cores and/or higher clocks), while a “K” at the end of an Intel chip means it’s unlocked for overclocking. Only a handful of mainstream Intel chips are “K” skus, while nearly all of AMD’s Ryzen processors are unlocked for overclocking (no “K” designation required). An X at the end of AMD model numbers means higher stock clock speeds.

Should you overclock?

Overclocking, the practice of pushing a CPU to its limits by getting it to run at higher-than-specced clock speeds, is an artform that many enthusiasts enjoy practicing. But, if you're not in it for the challenge of seeing just how fast you can get your chip to go without crashing, overclocking may not be worth the time or money for the average user.

In order to make your CPU achieve significantly higher clock speeds than it is rated for out of the box, you'll likely spend extra on an enhanced cooling system and an overclocking-friendly motherboard. While nearly all recent AMD chips are overclockable to some extent, if you want to dial up an Intel chip, you'll have to pay extra for one of its K-series processors (which don't come with coolers). By the time you factor in all these extra costs, if you're not shopping near the top of the CPU stack already, you'd be better off budgeting another $$ (££70) for a CPU that comes with higher clock speeds out of the box. And remember, even if you do get all the right equipment, you could still get a chip that doesn't overclock well. Or worse if you don't know what you're doing, you could damage your CPU or shorten its lifespan by pushing too much voltage through it.

What are the key CPU specs and which should I care about?

If you're looking at a spec sheet for a given CPU, you'll see a lot of numbers. Here's what to look out for.

  • Clock speeds: Measured in gigahertz (GHz), this is the speed at which the chip operates, so higher is faster. Most modern CPUs adjust their clock speeds up or down based on the task and their temperature, so you'll see a base (minimum) clock speed and a turbo (maximum) speed listed.
  • Cores: These are the processors within the processor. Modern CPUs have between two and 64 cores, with most processors containing four to eight. Each one is capable of handling its own tasks. In most cases these days, you'll want at least four cores--or at least four threads (see below).
  • Threads: This is the number of independent processes a chip can handle at once, which in theory would be the same as the number of cores. However, many processors have multithreading capability, which allows a single core to create two threads. Intel calls this Hyper-Threading and AMD calls it SMT (Simultaneous Multithreading). More threads means better multitasking and enhanced performance on heavily-threaded apps such as video editors and transcoders.
  • TDP: The Thermal Design Profile/Power (TDP) is the maximum amount of heat that a chip generates (or should generate) at stock speeds, as measured in watts. By knowing that--for example--the Intel Core iK has a TDP of 95 watts, you can make sure you have a CPU cooler that can handle that amount of heat dissipation and also that your PSU can provide enough juice. But note that CPUs put out significantly more heat when overclocked. It's good to know what your TDP is so you can get the right cooling and power equipment to support your CPU. Also, a higher TDP usually coincides with faster performance, although things like process node size and general architecture efficiency come into play there as well.
  • Cache: A processor's on-board cache is used to speed up access to data and instructions between your CPU and RAM. There are three types of cache: L1 is the fastest, but cramped, L2 is roomier but slower, and L3 is spacious, but comparatively sluggish. When the data a CPU needs isn’t available in any of these places, it reaches for the RAM, which is much slower--in part because it's physically farther away than a CPU's on-chip cache.

You shouldn't pay too much attention to cache size, because it's hard to equate to real-world performance, and there are more important factors to consider.

  • IPC: Even if you have two CPUs that have the same clock speed and number of threads, if they’re from different companies, or built on different architectures from the same company, they will will deliver different levels of IPC (instructions per clock cycle). IPC is heavily dependent on the CPU's architecture, so chips from newer generations (ex: a Ryzen 5 X with Zen 3versus a Ryzen 7 X with Zen+) will be better than older ones.

IPC is not usually listed as a spec and is usually measured through benchmark testing, so the best way to learn about it is to read our CPU reviews.

What do you need more: clock speed, cores or threads?

The answer to this question really depends on your regular computing tasks. Higher clocks translate to quicker responsiveness and program load times (though RAM and storage speed is key here as well). Higher clock speeds also mean single-threaded tasks (like audio editing and certain older applications) can happen faster. Many popular games are still lightly threaded.

But many modern programs can take advantage of lots of cores and threads. If you do lots of multitasking or edit high-res videos, or do other complex, time-consuming CPU-heavy tasks, you should prioritize the number of cores. But for the vast majority of gamers and general-purpose computer users, a clock speed ranging from GHz with four to eight cores is plenty.

What socket does my motherboard need for this CPU?

Different processors require different socket types. If you already own a motherboard and don't want to replace it, you'll need to purchase a CPU that matches your board's socket. Alternatively, you need to make sure that the motherboard you buy is compatible with your new processor.

For help choosing a motherboard, see our motherboard buying guide.

With its current-generation Ryzen and Athlon parts (barring Threadripper), AMD has adopted a single socket—AM4. That means you should, with a BIOS update, be able to put a current-generation Ryzen chip into prvious-generation Ryzen motherboard, and vice versa. But due to limitations to the size of available data stored inside BIOS chips and the vast numbers of CPUs AMD has released on AM4, this issue has gotten much morecomplicated lately.

Intel, on the other hand, has a tendency in recent years not to support backward compatibility with its new chips and older motherboards, even if the socket is effectively the same. For instance, Intel’s socket LGA and differ by a single pin, and the version of designed specifically for 8th Generation Core chips is physically the same as that made for previous 6th and 7th Generation Core processors. But those older socket motherboards don’t work with newer socket CPUs, because (Intel says) the newer chips (which have more cores) have different power delivery subsystem needs. Note that Intel has bucked this trend with socket LGA , which will accept both 10th Gen Intel and upcoming 11th Gen intel CPUs.

Here's a list of all the recent mainstream sockets and their respective chipsets for reference.

Socket and Chipset Table

Intel MainstreamIntel MainstreamAMD MainstreamIntel HEDTAMD HEDT (Threadripper)
Current CPU SocketsLGA LGA AM4LGA TR4
Compatible ChipsetsZ/Z, H/H, B/B, H/HZ, Z, Z, Q, H, B, B, HX, X, X, B, B, B, B, A, X, AXX

Bottom Line

When choosing a CPU, first ask what you're going to do with it, then see how much you can budget for it after you've figured out how much you're spending on other components. Check our Best SSDs, Best RAM, Best Graphics Cards and Best Power Supplies guides for more details. While processors are important, there's no point in pairing a high-speed chip with weak graphics (unless you aren’t a gamer) or a slow, spinning mechanical hard drive. While reading about specs like clock speed and thread count is helpful, the best measure of a processor's performance comes from objective reviews, like those we write here on Tom's Hardware.

MORE: CPU Benchmarks Hierarchy

MORE: All CPU Reviews

MORE: How to Choose a Motherboard

MORE: How to Sell Your Used PC Components

Matt began piling up computer experience as a child with his Mattel Aquarius. He built his first PC in the late s and ventured into mild PC modding in the early s. He’s spent the last decade covering emerging technology for Smithsonian, Popular Science, and Consumer Reports, while testing components and PCs for Computer Shopper and Digital Trends. When not writing about tech, he’s often walking—through the streets of New York, over the sheep-dotted hills of Scotland, or just at his treadmill desk at home in front of the inch 4K HDR TV that serves as his PC monitor.
Sours: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cpu-buying-guide,html
best value

AMD Ryzen 5 X

AMD Ryzen 5 X
  • Improved single-core performance
  • Good in-game performance
  • Fairly future-proof

See Price

premium pick

AMD Ryzen 9 X

AMD Ryzen 9 X
  • Unmatched core and thread count
  • Superb multithreaded performance
  • Great pick for workstations

See Price

budget pick

AMD Ryzen 3

AMD Ryzen 3
  • Has multithreading
  • Highly affordable
  • Cooler included

See Price

Ever since AMD made its big comeback with Ryzen in , the company has begun selling some of the best CPUs for gaming that offered not only great performance but also great value for your money.

In , this still holds true, as the Ryzen series processors are nothing to scoff at. Intel may have caught up in terms of core and thread count but AMD has also closed the gap when it comes to single-core performance, so the playing field is more even now than it has been in years.

Now, though the newest models might seem like they don’t offer value as good as their predecessors did, they are still more appealing than Intel is at the moment.

So, if you are looking to buy a new CPU right now, read on, as we’ll be listing the best AMD processors available right now.

Best Budget AMD CPU

Over the years, AMD came to be known primarily for its cost-effective budget solutions, both in the CPU and the GPU markets. And while competition is tighter now, with Intel also offering some highly viable budget solutions, AMD is more than holding its ground.

In the first section, we’ll be bringing you some of the best budget CPUs for gaming, so if you’re pinching pennies and trying to put together a gaming PC with a relatively small budget, one of these is certain to pique your interest!

AMD Ryzen 3

Best Budget CPU

Cores: 4
Threads: 8
Bundled Cooler: Wraith Stealth

See Price

The Pros:

  • Features multithreading
  • Highly affordable
  • Cooler included

The Cons:

  • Not very future-proof
  • Can bottleneck more powerful GPUs

Starting off, we have the most affordable CPU in AMD’s Zen 2 lineup: the Ryzen 3 And while it may seem pretty unimpressive in comparison to some of the other processors that Team Red has on offer, it is a remarkably good budget pick for those who can’t afford to spend too much on a CPU.

Now, as cheap as it may seem, it’s worth noting that this CPU still features multithreading and comes with a total of four cores and eight threads. The overall performance, while obviously not on the level of some of the pricier alternatives that you can get today, is more than adequate for a CPU in this price range, so you’d definitely be getting good value for your money.

However, this doesn’t change the fact that the Ryzen 3 just isn’t that powerful a CPU overall, meaning that it’s not likely to stand the test of time all that well and that it can very easily bottleneck a more powerful GPU.

That said, while there’s no doubt that this is a solid CPU overall and also the best budget gaming CPU in AMD’s corner at the moment, we’d definitely advise going with something a bit more powerful if you want to plan for the long run and if you can afford it. If not, then the Ryzen 3 will definitely fit the bill.

Best Mid-Range AMD CPUs

In the second category, we have some mid-range solutions that are bound to be the ideal pick for most gaming builds.

These CPUs pack more than enough power for gaming, they offer great value for your money, and they strike a great overall balance between performance and affordability.

AMD Ryzen 5

Most Popular AMD Ryzen CPU

Cores: 6
Threads: 12
Bundled Cooler: Wraith Stealth

See Price

The Pros:

  • Solid performance for gaming
  • Good value for the money
  • Cooler included

The Cons:

  • Not as powerful as Zen 3
  • Limited overclocking performance

The first entry in this category is ’s excellent Ryzen 5 , a highly affordable mid-range CPU that will definitely catch the attention of those who are leaning more towards affordability than overall performance.

Like all mainstream Ryzen 5 models, the comes with six cores and twelve threads, and at only $ (if not less), it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular pick for many gamers. Granted, it did have a lot of time to build said popularity, and its age is probably also its main drawback.

Namely, the Ryzen 5 really fades in comparison to the latest Ryzen 5 X (that we’ll take a look at below) in terms of performance, both when it comes to in-game performance and general desktop tasks.

In addition to that, it’s really not a CPU meant for overclocking, which is also the only reason why we don’t mind the fact that it comes with a Wraith Stealth cooler instead of the Wraith Spire that most Ryzen 5 models used to ship with.

In any case, the Ryzen 5 is definitely a step up in performance compared to the more affordable Ryzen 3 models and, as we’ve mentioned above, it offers great value for the money. As such, it will prove to be a very appealing processor for those who can’t afford to spend too much even in  

AMD Ryzen 5 X

Best AMD CPU Overall

Cores: 6
Threads: 12
Bundled Cooler: Wraith Stealth

See Price

The Pros:

  • Improved single-core performance
  • Excellent overall gaming performance
  • Overclocks well

The Cons:

  • Not the best cooler
  • Price increase

For our next pick, we have what is probably the best new Ryzen CPU so far: the Ryzen 5 X. It is a part of AMD’s latest Zen 3 lineup that fixes one of the Ryzen series’ main shortcomings when it comes to gaming, but it also somewhat undermines one of their key strengths.

We’ve mentioned that, since the first Ryzen models rolled out, Intel still had the lead as far as single-core performance was concerned. However, with Zen 3, AMD finally closed that gap. That is to say, the Ryzen 5 X can easily go toe to toe with the likes of the Intel Core iK in this department all the while outperforming it in others, making it the best mid-range gaming CPU available right now.

One area where Intel still has the advantage, though, is overclocking. The Ryzen 5 X fares reasonably well in that respect, although you definitely won’t hit any high clock speeds with the bundled Wraith Stealth cooler, as it is a gross mismatch for this kind of CPU.

This brings us back to the aforementioned key strengths – not only were Ryzen CPUs cheaper than the competition, but they also came with great stock coolers. This meant that users did not have to buy an aftermarket cooler separately, thus saving even more money in the process. Most Ryzen 5 models shipped with Wraith Spire coolers, but that’s not the case with the latest Ryzen models.

Add to that the fact that AMD has bumped up the pricing of the new Zen 3-based CPUs, and it becomes apparent that they just don’t fare as well as last-gen models did when it comes to value. However, considering the boost to single-core performance and the fact that AMD CPUs are just more future-proof than Intel’s are at the moment, Ryzen manages to make up for these shortcomings.

So, for those who are after a more future-proof CPU that ostensibly offers better overall value for your money, there isn’t a better pick than the Ryzen 5 X at the moment.

Best High-End AMD CPUs

Finally, in the third category, we have some high-end solutions. These CPUs are more expensive, but they are also more powerful and even more future-proof than the more modestly-priced mid-range processors.

Moreover, these CPUs are great for those who also intend on using their PCs to run certain CPU-intensive professional software instead of just games.

AMD Ryzen 7 X

Best Entry-Level High-End CPU

Cores: 8
Threads: 16
Bundled Cooler: No

See Price

The Pros:

  • High core and thread count
  • Improved single-core performance
  • Good power-efficiency

The Cons:

  • No cooler
  • Price increase compared to its predecessor
  • Pricey overall

If you’re looking to get a high-end CPU but money is still an issue, then you might want to take a look at the Ryzen 7 X. As you can probably guess, it is based on the same Zen 3 architecture as the Ryzen 5 X and the rest of the Ryzen lineup, meaning that it shares a lot of the same pros and cons.

First and foremost, it should be noted that the Ryzen 7 X packs a serious punch. With the previously mentioned improvements to single-core performance and a total of sixteen threads, this is a CPU that is more than powerful enough to run the latest games when paired up even with the most powerful GPUs currently on the market, not to mention that it will be right at home in most workstations.

Sadly, though, it is more expensive than its predecessor and AMD has excluded the cooler entirely this time around. The Ryzen 7 X shipped with the excellent Wraith Prism cooler that not only offered great cooling efficiency but also had you covered in the aesthetics department, as it came complete with programmable RGB lighting.

This is where we come to the aforementioned issues with perceived value where the Ryzen models are lacking compared to those that preceded them. Considering that it is more expensive than the Ryzen 7 X and that it doesn’t come with an overclocking-ready cooler included, the X definitely doesn’t seem as appealing at first glance.

In spite of this, though, the Ryzen 7 X still offers good value for the money and holds its ground against the competition, both in terms of performance and power-efficiency, so it’s still a good pick for those whose performance requirements aren’t met by any of the mid-range options and who can’t afford to go with anything more powerful.

AMD Ryzen 9 X

Best High-Performance Ryzen CPU For The Money

Cores: 12
Threads: 24
Bundled Cooler: No

See Price

The Pros:

  • Very high core and thread count
  • Amazing multi-threaded performance
  • Power-efficient

The Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No bundled cooler
  • Dubious value for gaming

The next CPU on the list is the Ryzen 9 X, and it is easily the best value pick in the high-end. It constitutes a clear step up in terms of multi-threaded performance with a whopping twenty-four threads, making it all the more appealing for those who are building a workstation PC.

However, the single-core performance is pretty much on the same level as the Ryzen 7 X, which makes this CPU a dubious investment if you’re primarily after a gaming CPU. That is to say, there isn’t really a noticeable difference in in-game performance, but the X performs significantly better when it comes to CPU-intensive software that utilizes a high number of threads.

As before, the Ryzen 9 X is also more expensive than the CPU that preceded it and it also comes without a cooler in the box, but this shouldn’t be as big of an issue for those who need this kind of performance and can afford it.

So, while we definitely don’t recommend the Ryzen 9 X to anyone who’s building a gaming PC, it is a great pick for workstations or PCs that will serve as workstations first and as gaming PCs second.

AMD Ryzen 9 X

Fastest AMD Processor

Cores: 16
Threads: 32
Bundled Cooler: No

See Price

The Pros:

  • Unmatched core and thread count
  • Top-notch multithreaded performance
  • Great power efficiency

The Cons:

  • Extremely expensive
  • Poor value for gaming

Last but definitely not least, we have the most powerful mainstream desktop Ryzen CPU released to date: the Ryzen 9 X.

Equipped with a staggering thirty-two threads, this Ryzen 9 model is second only to the Ryzen Threadripper models in terms of thread count and multi-threaded performance, although it’s nowhere near as expensive. Although, it is quite a bit pricier than even the Ryzen 9 X, as it costs a whopping $ With that in mind, it’s obvious that this CPU is definitely not meant for your everyday consumer or gamer.

We’ve touched upon value a number of times throughout the article, and the Ryzen 9 X is undoubtedly the model that fares the worst in that respect, at least when it comes to gaming. Since its strength lies mainly in multi-threaded performance, it really packs more overall processing power than is necessary for running the latest games, even if you pair it up with the most powerful high-end GPU.

As such, much like the X, the Ryzen 9 X will only be appealing for those who need a workstation CPU first and a gaming CPU second.

Conclusion – The Best AMD CPU For Gaming

So, when all is said and done, which of these CPUs is the best one when it comes to gaming?

Well, as usual, preferences and budget constraints differ from person to person, and so we have highlighted several picks.

If you’re on a budget and are looking for the absolute cheapest gaming CPU that you can find, then the Ryzen 3 is the clear winner. It is remarkably affordable and it will be able to handle budget GPUs, although keep in mind that you will likely need to upgrade relatively quickly, especially if you intend on getting a more powerful GPU further down the line.

NOTE: If you’re on a very tight budget, you might consider getting an AMD APU instead. These are AMD processors that come with remarkably powerful integrated graphics (at least relative to what Intel has to offer), and while they can’t really compete with dedicated graphics cards, they can help you save a good amount of money if they satisfy your graphics performance requirements.

As far as value is concerned, the Ryzen 5 X wins in that respect, despite the price increase relative to the Ryzen series. The improvements to single-core performance alone make it worth the extra cash, especially if you’re going for a CPU that would last you a long time.

Finally, for those with deeper pockets who actually need the kind of performance that it offers, the Ryzen 9 X is the obvious pick. Of course, as mentioned above, it is most definitely not a gaming CPU and is only worth getting for those who regularly use professional software that can fully take advantage of the massive thread count.

And so, those would be the best AMD processors as far as we’re concerned! Keep in mind that we’ll be updating the article as new CPUs are released, so if you don’t get your new processor now, be sure to check back later in case there are some new additions to Team Red’s roster!

ShareTweetPinEmailPDF

Best Gaming Desk

The Best Gaming Desks ( Reviews)

Samuel Stewart
Samuel Stewart

Samuel is GamingScan's editor-in-chief. He describes himself as a dedicated gamer and programmer. He enjoys helping others discover the joys of gaming. Samuel closely follows the latest trends in the gaming industry in order to keep the visitors in the flow.

More About Samuel Stewart
Sours: https://www.gamingscan.com/best-amd-ryzen-cpu/
  1. English cocker spaniel puppies
  2. Netgear nighthawk x6 wps button
  3. Mack tri axles for sale
  4. Lawn chair with umbrella walmart

The best CPU for gaming in

The best CPU for gaming doesn't need to be a wildly expensive one. And today you can find a CPU for cheap. Yes, even in this economy. After an extended period where you couldn't buy the processor you might want, it's generally possible to get your pick of the bunch. There have even been actual deals on some of the top CPUs too. Shocking, I know.

Every chip on this list has been tested through our intense CPU benchmarking suite on our PC Gamer test rig. This includes 3D and video rendering workloads as well and, most importantly, gaming performance.  

Right now, our favorite CPU is the Ryzen 9 X, along with much of AMD's current impressive Zen 3 chips, which give you the best performance and pricing combined. The release of Intel's Rocket Lake chips means we've got a bunch of CPUs of varying quality, with its flagship Core i9 K being a bit of an expensive let-down whereas the less powerful Core i5 K is the best value we've seen for Intel CPUs. But we've got another new generation of Intel chips on the way, with Alder Lake potentially capable of shaking off AMD's grip on the high end of the best CPU list.

Make sure you check ourbest gaming motherboard list if you are planning to do a brand new build.

The best CPU for gaming

1. AMD Ryzen 9 X

The best CPU for gaming right now

Specifications

Cores: 12

Threads: 24

Base Clock: GHz

Boost Clock: GHz

Overclocking: Yes

L3 Cache: 64 MB

TDP: W

PCIe lanes: 20

Reasons to buy

+The best CPU for gaming+Awesome performance throughout+Fast and efficient architecture

Reasons to avoid

-Needs a proper 3rd-party cooler

AMD's Zen architecture has improved with each generation, but the fact that AMD managed to knock out a 19 percent IPC improvement with Zen 3 is nothing short of staggering. The key takeaway for us as gamers is that this improvement means that AMD can now stand toe to toe with Intel when it comes to gaming. Honestly, there's so little between these two now that anyone claiming otherwise is delusional. 

Whatever resolution you are gaming at, this processor can handle it and keep your graphics card of choice fed with many juicy frames. The fact that this is a core, thread monster means that it can cope with anything else you throw at it as well. So if you have dreams of 3D rendering, video editing, or any other serious tasks, you'll know that you have the raw grunt to handle it. The fact that it won't hold you back when gaming makes it even sweeter. 

The only real downside is the pricing and the dropping of the Wraith cooler—don't forget to factor in when you buy. You do get what you pay for, though, and this is a phenomenal chip for gaming and anything else you might want to do. 

If you're in the market for absolute power, you could step up to the Ryzen 9 X, which gives you 16 cores and 32 threads. However, it costs $ more, and for gaming purposes and even most content creation chores, the X is more than sufficient.

Read our full AMD Ryzen 9 X review.

2. Intel Core i5 K

Intel's best gaming CPU is a great value proposition

Specifications

Cores: 6

Threads: 12

Base clock: GHz

Turbo clock: GHz (single core)

Overclocking: Yes, GHz typical all-core

L3 cache: 12 MB

TDP: W

PCIe lanes: 20

Reasons to buy

+Undercuts X on price+High-end gaming performance+Solid multithreading chops

Reasons to avoid

-iGPU is still quite weak

The Core i5 K is my favorite chip of the new Rocket Lake generation, which marks a nostalgic return to the old days of Intel CPU launches. The top processor was always a decent halo product, but the i5 was where the price/performance metrics really sold a new generation. Okay, with the K being a frustrating chip, maybe it's not a total return to the old days, but the K is still an outstanding six-core, thread gaming processor.

It's also incredibly affordable too, with a price tag well underneath the Ryzen 5 X and performance figures that have it trading blows with AMD's otherwise excellent Zen 3 chip. The Cypress Cove 14nm backport may have made it relatively power-hungry, but that doesn't stop it from being a great gaming CPU and one that delivers a lot of processor silicon for not a lot of cash.

And PCIe support on Intel series motherboards. Though that is of dubious benefit at the moment as our testing has not so far gone well with supported PCIe SSDs. That will hopefully change, but even so, this is still one of the best cheap gaming CPUs around.

Read our full Intel Core i5 K review.

3. AMD Ryzen 5 X

AMD's top affordable, and available, Zen 3 CPU today

Specifications

Cores: 6

Threads: 12

Base Clock: GHz

Boost Clock: GHz

Overclocking: Yes

L3 Cache: 32 MB

TDP: 65 W

PCIe lanes: 20

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

-$50 more than X X came with a better cooler

When it comes to gaming, everything that's great about the X rings true for this more affordable Zen 3 chip as well. There's nothing between any of the Ryzen chips in games, which means you'll hit the same frame rates with this chip as you will our number one pick. Which is incredible when you think about it—top-tier performance from the most affordable Zen 3 CPU? We'll say yes to that every single day.

This does have half the core count of that top chip, rolling in as it does with six cores and 12 threads. However, this is only an issue with those more serious workloads, which is more than sufficient for more reasonable stuff. You could argue that gaming could go beyond the threads we have here, but there's no evidence that is the case so far, and that's even though the next-gen consoles are rocking 8-cores and threads. 

The Ryzen 5 X also bucks the Ryzen family's trend by shipping with a Wraith Stealth cooler, so you don't have to drop extra money on a third-party chiller. You don't need to, but if you do, you'll hit higher clocks for longer and also open up the wonderful world of overclocking, which could make it worthwhile. This is a decent little overclocker, and while it won't affect gaming much, it'll help in other areas nicely.

Read our full AMD Ryzen 5 X review.

4. Intel Core i5 F

A great budget-friendly option for Intel builds

Specifications

Cores: 6

Threads: 12

Base Clock: GHz

Turbo Clock: GHz

Overclocking: No

L3 Cache: 12 MB

TDP: 65 W

PCIe lanes: 16

Reasons to buy

+Affordable mid-range performance+Cooler included in box

Reasons to avoid

-Doesn't support overclocking

The Core i5 F is a surprisingly exciting option. It's slightly faster than the previous-gen Core i5 , but that F-suffix means it ditches the Intel integrated graphics completely. That's not a problem for gamers unless you want to use QuickSync, although Nvidia's NVENC is arguably better anyway. Overall, it's an excellent budget-friendly choice that doesn't cost much more than a Core i3 part.

There are other compromises, like the locked multiplier—no overclocking here. But you can save money and grab an H motherboard. At least you get a cooler in the box, something we'd like to see as an option with every CPU. Most boards will happily run the F at GHz, so don't worry about the low base clock.

While the i5 F may not be as fast as other CPUs in multithreaded tests, in our gaming suite, it's tied with AMD's last-gen X. Future games may start to push beyond its 6-core capabilities, but probably not before you're ready for an upgrade. Right now, the i5 F is plenty fast and extremely affordable.

5. AMD Ryzen 7 X

A great mid-range chip for serious work and gaming

Specifications

Cores: 8

Threads: 16

Base Clock: GHz

Boost Clock: GHz

Overclocking: Yes

L3 Cache: 32 MB

TDP: W

PCIe lanes: 20

Reasons to buy

+The same great Zen 3 architecture+Awesome gaming performance+PCIe support

Reasons to avoid

-Can fall behind Intel in gaming at this price

If the Intel Core i7 doesn't exist in a world, this would be an incredible chip and would have made it into our top three recommendations, no sweat. It's excellent for gaming, producing the exact figures that can be seen for the X and X. Still, it also appears to hit the sweet spot in configuration terms, with its eight cores and 16 threads surely seeing it right for the future, seeing as that is what the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 are rocking. 

Unfortunately for AMD, Intel does exist, and the blue company's Core i7 K matches this in plenty of the more critical metrics but has this chip beat in one significant way—value for money. This is faster in serious tasks, and if that's what you've got an eye on, then buy this and don't give it a second thought. But if you're mainly looking at gaming, Intel does pretty much the same but costs less. And that's hard for AMD to get away from. 

Competition aside, this is still Zen 3 strutting its stuff, and it does that impressively well. Throw in the support for PCIe as well, and this is a forward-looking chip that will last you for years. 

Read our full AMD Ryzen 5 X review.

6. Intel Core i9 K

The Comet Lake flagship is still a powerful option

Specifications

Cores: 10

Threads: 20

Base Clock: GHz

Turbo Clock: GHz

Overclocking: Yes, GHz typical

L3 Cache: 20 MB

TDP: 95 W

PCIe lanes: 16

Reasons to buy

+High performance gaming+Overclocking potential

Reasons to avoid

-Older Comet Lake architecture

Intel's top Comet Lake gaming chip, the Core i9 K, lost a lot of what made it special with the release of Zen 3. When the K was unveiled, it came with the reassurance that it was the world's fastest gaming processor, but that's not a claim it can hold on to anymore, with plenty of games handing wins to AMD's Ryzen X. It's still a cracking gaming chip, don't get us wrong, but it traded on being the very best, and once that went, it lost a lot of its shine.

What hasn't overshadowed it is Intel's latest release. The Rocket Lake i9 K is almost as powerful overall, but it's more expensive and still misses out on the multi-threaded side.

The K is still overkilled for most cases, apart from possibly at the very high-end and for serious workloads; AMD chips make more sense, but there's still a bizarre charm to this CPU. You probably don't need it, but if you build a machine around it, you know it won't be this chip that's holding you back.

The Core i9 K is the first time Intel has squeezed ten processing cores into its mainstream lineup. Given it's capable of hitting GHz (however briefly), it represents an impressive outing for the 14nm technology Intel has been tied to for so long. Gaming still benefits from high clock speeds, which still delivers; it doesn't make much sense given the competition.

You'll need to invest in a Z motherboard to go along with this chip and some serious cooling (a decent PSU wouldn't go amiss either). Don't be fooled by that reasonable 95W TDP, as it'll push way beyond that, especially if you're thinking of exploring its overclocking chops. 

Read our full Intel Core i9 K review.

7. AMD Ryzen 7 G

The best chip with integrated graphics

Specifications

Cores: 8

Threads: 16

Base Clock: GHz

Turbo Clock: GHz

Overclocking: Yes, GHz typical

L3 Cache: 16 MB

TDP: 65 W

PCIe lanes: 16

Reasons to buy

+The best Integrated GPU+Excellent thermals and power consumption+Strong all round performance

Reasons to avoid

-Lacks PCIe Needs fast memory to be at its best-Expensive for an APU

AMD's APUs are the best processors to drop into your rig if you're not going to use a discrete graphics card, but still want a modicum of gaming performance out of your system. And the AMD Ryzen 7 G is the best of the latest Zen 3 based chips to deliver that.

Unlike previous APU offerings from AMD, the Ryzen 7 G is far more of a jack-of-all-trades chip because we are talking about an eight-core Zen 3 CPU component with 16 threads and a powerful Vega-based GPU to back it up. That makes this a chip that's almost up there with the best of the Ryzen series CPUs in processing power, but with the graphical grunt to deliver p gaming on low settings in some seriously demanding titles.

In a GPU drought, that makes the G a tantalizing APU as it will get your new gaming PC up and running. At the same time, you wait for discrete graphics cards to be available and without compromising too heavily on your system performance in the meantime.

The issue is that, as the G is a monolithic design rather than chiplet, there are some performance differences compared to the standard Ryzen 7 X, a straight eight-core, thread CPU without graphics. It also lacks PCIe support to run the fastest SSDs and demands high-speed memory to make the most of its GPU power. But it's still an excellent all-around AMD processor and a handy option when graphics cards are still so rare.

Read our AMD Ryzen 7 G review.

Best gaming PC | Best gaming keyboard | Best gaming mouse
Best gaming chair | Best VR headset | Best graphics cards 

The best CPU for gaming FAQ

How do you test CPUs?

While gaming resolutions run from p to 4K, we largely test at p. This will show the most significant difference in gaming performance you're likely to see and pushes the CPU into the spotlight instead of the GPU—an Nvidia GeForce RTX Ti, in our case.

We've also used high-end G.Skill Trident Z and Flare X DDR CL14 memory on all modern platforms, in either 2x 8GB or 4x 8GB configurations. Again, this is to eliminate any potential bottlenecks and let the CPUs reach their maximum performance. Liquid cooling was used on all CPUs, though for stock performance, we saw zero difference between that and the box coolers on those parts that included cooling.

The motherboards used in testing include the MSI MEG Z Godlike for Intel LGA, MSI MEG X Godlike, and Gigabyte X Aorus Master for third-gen Ryzen and MSI X Gaming M7 for first and second-gen Ryzen CPUs. AMD's APUs were tested on an MSI BI Pro AC motherboard, as we needed something with video ports. For the HEDT platforms (not that we recommend those any longer for gaming purposes—or most other tasks), we used an Asus X Extreme Encore for Intel LGA, Asus ROG Zenith Extreme for TR4, and Zenith II Extreme for TRX

AMD CPU reviews:

Intel CPU reviews:

What motherboard is right for my CPU?

The latest AMD Ryzen CPUs still use the AM4 socket and are only compatible with X, B, and A motherboards (oh, and B and X motherboards). 

Whereas Intel's Comet Lake chips use the LGA socket, Rocket Lake has introduced new series boards. Unless you're desperate for the still slightly awkward Intel PCIe solution which the latest Intel chips offer, go with either a Z or cheaper B motherboard at this point for Intel. 

Is Intel or AMD better?

This is a rather loaded question. Right now, the consensus is that AMD has superior CPU technology, with its chiplet design allowing it to produce processors with far higher core counts at prices and thermal levels that Intel cannot match.

However, Intel has historically been better for gaming workloads, with an all-important advantage in single-core performance and instructions-per-clock (IPC). That has slowly been eroded by AMD's subsequent Zen architectures, to the point where there is little difference between them in gaming terms.

The other point to make is that most games are GPU-limited, which means the graphics card is the limiting factor in terms of performance, and you would likely see the same essential frame rates with either CPU manufacturer when a discrete graphics card is used.

Should I overclock my CPU?

The honest answer is: no. Overclocking your processor is not necessarily the risky move it once was, but equally, the benefits of doing so have drastically dropped in recent times. When we're talking about gaming performance, having a slightly higher clocked CPU can make a bit of a difference, but arguably your graphics card will be the part that limits the speed of your system.

There is also the point that overclocked CPUs create more heat, require more intensive and expensive cooling solutions, need those coolers to work harder, and are, therefore, often louder.

For us, overclocking your CPU to gain real-world performance benefits is not something we'd recommend most PC gamers do.

Jargon buster

Caching - A small segment of high-speed memory dedicated to storing and executing frequently used commands/instructions to speed up software execution. CPUs contain caches designated as Level 1, 2, and 3, with L1 being the fastest and smallest and L3 being the slowest and largest.

Core - Modern CPUs can contain anywhere from two to 70+ cores (in supercomputers), though CPUs housed in most consumer machines will generally carry between four and eight, with AMD's latest CPUs sporting up to 16 cores.

Clock speed - The speed at which a CPU can execute instructions, measured in hertz. A processor with a GHz clock speed can process billion instructions a second. Clock speed is one of the most critical factors for determining performance in games and workload functions.

Heat sink - A cooling solution for PCs that utilize fans or liquid cooling (active) or aluminum radiators (passive) that rely on convection to regulate a component's temperature.

Hyper-Threading (SMT) - Intel terminology for a tech that allows a processor to handle two sets of instructions 'threads' simultaneously. AMD and other CPU vendors call this SMT, Simultaneous Multi-Threading.

Socket type LGA (Land Grid Array), PGA (Pin Grid Array), or BGA (Ball Grid Array) - The way a CPU interfaces with the socket on a motherboard. LGA is used on Intel sockets with pins as part of the socket. AMD's AM4 solution, PGA, has the processors' pins, which fit into holes on the socket. AMD's Threadripper CPUs also use LGA sockets. A BGA socket is when the processor is permanently soldered to the motherboard, typically on a laptop.

TDP - Thermal design power, the maximum amount of heat a system or chip can produce that the attendant cooling system is designed to deal with under workload. This term can apply to PCs as a whole, GPUs, CPUs, or nearly any other performance component that generates heat and is in large part an indicator of how much power a part draws.

Thread - A thread refers to a series of CPU instructions for a specific program. Older CPUs and SMT disabled run one thread per core, but most modern AMD and Intel CPUs can simultaneously run two threads, sharing some resources (e.g., cache). 

Turbo Boost - Intel technology that allows processors to run at higher clock speeds under demanding loads. AMD also supports turbo or boost clocks, and we use the terms interchangeably regardless of CPU vendor.

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.

Sours: https://www.pcgamer.com/best-cpu-for-gaming/
What's The Best GAMING Processor In 2021?

The best Ryzen CPU: Which Ryzen processor should you buy?

AMD is dominating the desktop market in The best Ryzen CPUs represent excellent value for their money, offering high core counts and blistering clock speeds at reasonable prices. The most recent Ryzen range includes processors that can go toe to toe with the best from rival Intel. The question is: Which CPU should you pick up?

The Ryzen family is broken down into four distinct branches, targeting the entry-level, mainstream, performance, and high-end enthusiast sectors of the market &#; otherwise known as Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7, and Ryzen 9. They&#;re all great chips in their own ways, but some certainly offer more value than others, and for many, the most powerful chips will be complete overkill.

For most people, we recommend the Ryzen 5 X thanks to the excellent value for money it presents.

The best Ryzen CPUs

AMD Ryzen 3 G

AMD has always offered great value for money at the lower end of the CPU spectrum, and that old adage is just as true with its Ryzen CPUs. AMD offered a wide range of budget-conscious chips with its first Ryzen CPUs, including great standouts like the Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 3 X. When we paired them up with an MSI Gaming X RX and the beefy Zotac GTX Ti AMP! Edition, we found them to be very capable.

The 3DMark synthetic results delivered what we would expect: Better CPUs provided higher scores. But in gaming tests, the and X showed themselves able to deliver solid frame rates that were, in many cases, pretty close to much more expensive Ryzen CPUs.

While we wouldn&#;t recommend those CPUs today, these are important results because they are roughly comparable to the general compute performance of AMD&#;s more recent APUs, the G, G, and G. Those chips are not only fantastically affordable at between $80 and $, but they come with reasonably capable onboard graphics, too.

If you have a graphics card or plan to buy one, The Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 are both reasonable alternatives, if you can find them in stock. They&#;re better CPUs than their APU cousins, so opt for that if you have other GPU plans in mind. But if you want an all-in-one, affordable package for budget gaming, the Ryzen 3 G is our favorite at this price.

AMD Ryzen 5 X

AMD comes into its own in the midrange price bracket, where the Ryzen 5 X is situated. It&#;s more expensive than our previous recommendation &#; the Ryzen 5 &#; though it comes with the &#;X&#; tag, translating to higher clock speeds. This six-core, thread part is rated for GHz on its base clock and able to boost up to GHz, so it has plenty of juice for gaming, video and photo editing, and even light 3D modeling.

Price is the biggest limiting factor right now, with AMD releasing the X at $50 higher than the X. You can save $50 to $ (depending on sales) by going with AMD&#;s last-gen part, and you&#;ll get most of the performance of the X. The two processors are equal in core and thread counts, and the base clock is even a little higher on the X. However, the X uses AMD&#;s new Zen 3 architecture, which features memory and IPC improvements over the series CPUs.

We wouldn&#;t recommend going further back than the series, however. The third generation of Ryzen processors brought Zen 2, vastly improving the performance and stability of AMD&#;s platform. If price is a concern, you can save with a X, or you can buy a higher-end CPU from the previous generation. The Ryzen 7 X &#; our previous pick for the next section &#; is in stock at most retailers for at or around $

Not that you need to shop too much. At $, the Ryzen 5 X is an absolute powerhouse, able to handle gaming and productivity workloads without breaking a sweat. Note, however, that the X is out of stock as of late , as are all series processors. If you need a CPU now, we recommend the Ryzen 5 X or Ryzen 7 X for this price bracket.

AMD Ryzen 7 X

The Ryzen 5 X is great for gaming with some productivity on the side. If productivity is closer to your main course, you&#;ll want a Ryzen 7 X. The 7-series part comes with eight cores and 16 threads while featuring the same IPC and memory improvements as the more affordable CPU. It also requires a lot more power &#; watts to 65 watts &#; and boosts higher, with a base clock of GHz and a max boost clock of GHz.

It&#;s easy to see why the X requires so much power, too. In gaming, the X handily beats Intel&#;s best while matching the more expensive Ryzen 9-series parts. If you&#;re using a last-gen GPU like the XT or RTX &#; a likely case, given Nvidia&#;s persistent series stock issues &#; you won&#;t notice much of a difference between a X and, say, a X in gaming. CPU-bound games like Civilization VI show a slight advantage to the X, though most games are GPU-bound, and without Nvidia or AMD&#;s latest, you won&#;t see a notable difference between the two processors.

There are quite a few differences when it comes to other tasks, however. In certain multi-threaded workloads, last-gen&#;s Ryzen 9 X can outperform the X (and you can find the X for around the same price). However, the X, along with all series chips, wipes the floor with Ryzen when it comes to single-core performance.

If you need a processor right now, the Ryzen 9 X is a great choice with its recent price drop to $ If you don&#;t mind waiting a bit, however, the X shows some significant improvements in single-core performance while matching or slightly trailing the X in non-gaming workloads.

AMD Ryzen 9 X

AMD didn&#;t pull too many punches with its series processors, and the Ryzen 9 X showcases that. It matches last-gen&#;s X in core and thread count, clocking in at 12 cores and 24 threads, though with a slightly reduced clock speed. The X starts at GHz and can boost up to GHz. Although the two processors look identical on paper, the X has AMD&#;s aforementioned Zen 3 improvements.

In gaming, the X beats Intel&#;s iK &#; probably the best gaming CPU on the market &#; in most titles, and often surpasses the X, if only by a hair. With a little overclocking, Intel&#;s current i9 offering still wins the day. Gaming benchmarks don&#;t say much about the X, however. At most, they tell us that AMD is finally catching up to Intel. If you&#;re only concerned with gaming, the X is overkill, and benchmarks showcase that. Where there is a difference between last-gen&#;s X and K to the X, it&#;s minor.

When you switch up your workloads, that’s when you’ll really get a glimpse at the X’s power capabilities. In everything from 3D rendering in Blender to Cinebench to file decompression, the X maintains a sizable lead over the X. Which, we know, is a bold statement to make, considering that the X stacks up against every other device in Intel’s catalog. If you’re operating from a single-core workload, you’ll notice the differences even more starkly. AMD’s IPC improvements show in single-core benchmarks, with the X taking down Intel’s top CPUs in almost every test.

For AMD’s latest Ryzen 9 processor, you should be prepared to drop an extra $50 at checkout. The price rose from $ to $ That said, even at that price, you’ll find the X is an excellent tool. And if you have a bit more wiggle room in your budget, consider buying the X. If you’re able to take advantage of the 24 threads with the X fully, you’ll definitely appreciate the X’s 32 threads. 

Finding these processors on stock shelves, though, is still an issue. If you want a processor now, you’ll find that the X and XT perform pretty close to the X, and they clock in at about $ (which is $ less than the alternative option). The good news about the Ryzen 9 X processor is that it sells for under $ more often these days. So, while it can cost you a bit more than the other processors in this particular series, its performance is at least on par with that of the X.

Editors&#; Recommendations

Sours: https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/best-ryzen-cpu/

Ryzen buy which to

Best CPU for Gaming in

When shopping for the best gaming CPU, you'll want to balance performance and features with your PC budget. Our tips and picks below will help you choose the best CPU for gaming. You can also see how all of these processors stack up in our CPU Benchmarks Hierarchy. But for detailed help on picking the best processor for your gaming rig, you can check out our CPU Buying Guide. And if you're on the fence about which CPU company to go with, our AMD vs. Intel feature dives deep and comes up with a winner.

AMD's Ryzen 7 G and Ryzen 5 G APUs came to market recently, shaking up the entry-level graphics scene. We found that the duo has the fastest integrated GPU on the market, offering nearly twice the performance of Intel's integrated graphics. The Ryzen G series is now the uncontested champ for extreme budget gaming, small form factor, and HTPC rigs. The G could also slot in as a temporary solution for enthusiasts that can't find a graphics card at reasonable pricing during these times of severe graphics cards shortages.

However, the Ryzen 5 G, which now joins our list of Best CPUs for Gaming, is the best pick for that task. The $ Ryzen 5 G's iGPU performance lands within 4% of the $ Ryzen 7 G but for 30% less cash, making it the best value APU for gaming on the market. We also recently tested the Ryzen 3 G, but that chip remains OEM-exclusive, meaning that you can't buy it at retail. 

At launch, AMD's Zen 3-powered Ryzen processors took the lead as the fastest gaming CPUs on the market, but Intel's Rocket Lake chips tightened the race and actually took the lead in the mid-range, as you can see with the Core i

Our AMD Zen 3 Ryzen article has all the details on AMD's new CPUs, but you can check our full lineup of detailed reviews of each model, like the Ryzen 9 X and Ryzen 9 X, Ryzen 7 X, and Ryzen 5 X for the detailed rundown.

Intel's Rocket Lake processors have arrived, too, as you can see in our Core iK and Core iK, Core i and Core iK reviews. Rocket Lake comes with Intel's first new architecture in the last six years, albeit with the caveat that the company still uses the 14nm process, and the chips top out at eight cores. 

Intel has its Alder Lake processors waiting in the wings for later this year, portending even bigger shakeups to our list of best CPUs for gaming, especially given the extremely promising early test results we've seen crop up.

AMD also has its new CPUs with 3D V-Cache headed to production later this year. Those chips will bring up to 15% more gaming performance courtesy of up to an almost-unthinkable MB of L3 cache bolted onto a souped-up Zen 3 processor. So as you can imagine, it won't be long before we have the full scoop on performance.  

Best CPUs for Gaming at a glance (more info below):

Overall Best CPU for Gaming:
AMD Ryzen 5 X
Alternate: Intel Core iK

High Performance Value Best CPU for Gaming:
AMD Ryzen 9 X
Alternate: AMD Ryzen 7 X

Overall Value Best CPU for Gaming:
AMD Ryzen 9 X

Mid-Range Best CPU for Gaming:
Intel Core i

Budget Best CPU for Gaming:
AMD Ryzen 3 X

Entry-Level Best CPU for Gaming:

AMD Ryzen 5 G

Choosing the Best Gaming CPU for You

For a list of all processors by performance, check out our CPU Benchmarks Hierarchy for CPU comparisons backed by processor benchmarks. We also maintain a list of best CPUs for workstations, for those who frequently tackle high-end content creation, or other tasks that benefit from high core counts. Higher-end chips benefit the most from the best thermal paste, so check out our guide if you're shopping for a new processor. But if you're after the best gaming CPU, you're in the right place.

If your main goal is gaming, you of course can't forget about the graphics card. Getting the best possible gaming CPU won't help you much if your GPU is under-powered and/or out of date. So be sure to check out Best Graphics Cards page, as well as our GPU Benchmarks Hierarchy to make sure you have the right card for the level of gaming you're looking to achieve.      

CPU Gaming Benchmarks

Image 1 of 8
Image 2 of 8
Image 3 of 8
Image 4 of 8
Image 5 of 8
Image 6 of 8
Image 7 of 8
Image 8 of 8

We rank all the Intel and AMD processors based on our in-depth CPU benchmarks. You can see some of those numbers in the charts above, including overclocked performance results (marked as PBO for AMD processors). 

This group of results comprises only the chips that have passed through our newest test suite, while the tables in our CPU benchmark hierarchy include rankings based on past CPU benchmarks, and also include breakdowns of single- and multi-threaded performance across a broad spate of processors. Finally, the pricing in the charts above represents MSRPs. Given the current state of chip shortages, you likely won't find many of these chips at these prices at retail.

Quick Shopping Tips

When choosing a CPU in , consider the following:

  • You can't lose with AMD or Intel: We recently pointed out that AMD makes better CPUs overall these days in our AMD vs. Intel feature. But so long as you’re considering current-generation parts, the performance debate is basically a wash, particularly when it comes to gaming. Some of the most-expensive mainstream Intel processors do slightly better on gaming, and AMD handles tasks like video editing quicker (thanks largely to extra cores and threads). 
  • For gaming, clock speed is more important than the number of cores: Higher CPU clock speeds translate to snappier performance in simple, common tasks such as gaming, while more cores will help you get through time-consuming workloads faster. In the end, the fastest CPUs of any family of processors have the highest clock speeds. 
  • Budget for a full system: Don't pair a strong CPU with weak storage, RAM and graphics.
  • Overclocking isn’t for everyone: If you want to just get to gaming, it might make more sense to spend $$60 more and buy a higher-end chip, rather than spending money on a higher-end cooler.

Best Gaming CPUs for

1. AMD Ryzen 5 X

Overall Best CPU for Gaming

Specifications

Architecture: Zen 3

Socket: AM4

Cores/Threads: 6 / 12

Base Frequency: GHz

Top Boost Frequency: GHz

TDP: 65W

Reasons to buy

+Strong gaming performance+Strong in single- and multi-threaded workloads+Relatively easy to cool+PCIe +Bundled cooler+Power efficiency+Works with existing series motherboards

Reasons to avoid

-Higher gen-on-gen pricing

The AMD Ryzen 5 X takes the top spot in the gaming PC market with a solid blend of Intel-beating performance in both gaming and application workloads. The six-core thread chip lands at $, a $50 price hike over its previous-gen counterpart, but brings more than enough extra gaming and application performance to justify the premium. The Ryzen 5 X even beats the Intel Core iK at gaming, which is an incredible feat given its price point. Not to mention that it's the most power-efficient desktop PC processor we've ever tested. 

AMD's Zen 3 microarchitecture results in a stunning 19% increase in IPC, which floats all boats in terms of performance in gaming, single-threaded, and multi-threaded applications. In fact, the chip generally matches the gaming performance of its more expensive sibling, the $ Ryzen 7 X. That makes the X an incredibly well-rounded chip that can handle any type of gaming, from competitive-class performance with high refresh rate monitors to streaming, while also serving up more than enough performance for day-to-day application workloads.    

The Ryzen 5 X has a GHz base and GHz boost clock, but with the right cooling and motherboard, you can expect higher short-term boosts. The chip also has a 65W TDP rating, meaning it runs exceptionally cool and quiet given its capabilities (the previous-gen model was 95W). Existing AMD owners with a series motherboard will breathe a sigh of relief as the X drops right into existing series motherboards. You can also drop the chips right into series motherboards. If you need a new motherboard to support the chip, both and series motherboards are plentiful and relatively affordable, with the B lineup offering the best overall value for this class of chip. 

Read: AMD Ryzen 5 X Review

Intel Core iK

Overall Best CPU for Gaming - Alternate Pick

Specifications

Architecture: Rocket Lake

Socket: LGA

Cores/Threads: 6 / 12

Base Frequency: GHz

Top Boost Frequency: GHz

TDP: W

Reasons to buy

+Competitive price-to-performance ratio+Solid gaming performance+Excellent performance in threaded applications+Snappy single-threaded performance+Overclockable

Reasons to avoid

-No bundled cooler-Comparatively high power consumption

At $, Intel's speedy Core iK doesn't claim outright benchmark supremacy over the Ryzen 5 X. Still, you probably won't notice the relatively slight differences in gaming when you pair the chip with a mid-range GPU or play at heightened fidelity settings.

The Core iK is incredibly competitive in both gaming and multi-threaded work and comes with a friendly price tag. Also, keep your eye out for the $ version, the Core iKF, which comes without integrated graphics. If you plan to use a discrete GPU, the KF model is your chip, as it is functionally the same as the standard model but comes at an absolute steal at $ That is if you can't find a Ryzen 5 X in stock, of course.

The K boosts to a peak of GHz on two cores and can maintain a GHz all-core frequency. The chip drops readily into either Z or series motherboards and comes with an unlocked multiplier, meaning you are free to overclock. In fact, after tuning, the K matches the Ryzen 5 X in gaming. It also supports PCIe for the graphics card and a single M.2 slot.

The catch? The K comes with a W PL1 (power Limit 1) rating, the same as the previous-gen K, but has a W PL2, a whopping 69W increase compared to the previous W limit. That means you'll need a capable cooler to deal with the extra heat. Intel's K-series chips don't come with a cooler, so you'll have to budget one in if you pick the K and also be willing to overlook its comparatively high power consumption.

Read: Intel Core iK Review

2. AMD Ryzen 9 X

High Performance Value Best CPU for Gaming

Specifications

Architecture: Zen 3

Socket: AM4

Cores/Threads: 16/32

Base Frequency: GHz

Top Boost Frequency: GHz

TDP: W

Reasons to buy

+Class-leading 16 cores & 32 threads+Overclockable+Higher boost frequencies+Reasonable price-per-core+Power efficiency+PCIe Gen

Reasons to avoid

-Requires beefy cooling-No bundled cooler-Higher gen-on-gen pricing-No integrated graphics

High end desktop processors have long offered the ultimate in performance, as long as you were willing to pay the price. Aside from high MSRPs, the chips also require expensive accommodations, like beefy motherboards and the added cost of fully populating quad-channel memory controllers. Add in the inevitable trade-offs, like reduced performance in lightly-threaded applications and games, and any cost-conscious users who could benefit from the threaded horsepower of a HEDT chip just settle for mainstream offerings.

AMD's Ryzen 9 X, with 16 cores and 32 threads, expands on its predecessors' mission of bringing HEDT-class performance to mainstream motherboards, lowering the bar for entry. The X carries a $ price tag, but that’s downright affordable compared to competing HEDT processors that don't offer the same class of performance.

We generally don't recommend HEDT processors for enthusiasts that are only interested in gaming. Gamers are best served by mainstream processors (with fewer cores and higher clocks) that are often faster in games; the Ryzen 9 X also falls into the same category - AMD's lesser series models are a better value for gamers. However, if you're after a chip and platform that can do serious work seriously fast, but still be nimble enough to deliver high-refresh gameplay at the end of the day, the Ryzen 9 X fits the bill like no other CPU before it.

Read: AMD Ryzen 9 X Review

AMD Ryzen 7 X

High Performance Value Best CPU for Gaming - Alternate Pick

Specifications

Architecture: Zen 3

Socket: AM4

Cores/Threads: 8 / 16

Base Frequency: GHz

Top Boost Frequency: GHz

TDP: W

Reasons to buy

+Strong gaming performance+Solid single- and multi-threaded performance+IPC gain, boost frequencies+Power efficiency+Overclockable+PCIe Gen4 support+/series compatible

Reasons to avoid

-Price-No bundled cooler-No integrated graphics

The Ryzen 7 X provides a great blend of both gaming and application performance, but our initial concerns with the chip centered around shortage-induced pricing concerns. The Ryzen 7 X has been reliably in stock for nearly a month now and retails for $25 less than the official $ suggested pricing. That reduction goes a long way to addressing our pricing concerns.

The Ryzen 7 X offers the same level of gaming performance as the Ryzen 5 X. If gaming is your primary intention, the Ryzen 5 X is a much better value and remains our top pick for gaming. However, if you're looking for more of an all-rounder that offers a bit more grunt power for applications, the Ryzen 7 X is your chip.

The Ryzen 5 X's suggested pricing lands at a $50 premium over the competing K, but it has sold for ~$25 below that mark for the last month, and it's available now. This chip consumes much less power than the K, resulting in more forgiving cooling requirements and the ability to run the chip on less expensive motherboards that don't require the full-fledged power circuitry needed to extract the best performance from the K. Both of these factors reduce the X's overall platform costs. Additionally, you can step up to or core Ryzen models in the future with and series motherboards.

Read: AMD Ryzen 7 X Review

3. AMD Ryzen 9 X

Overall Value Best CPU for Gaming

Specifications

Architecture: Zen 3

Socket: AM4

Cores/Threads: 12/24

Base Frequency: GHz

Top Boost Frequency: GHz

TDP: 65W

Reasons to buy

+Support for PCIe +Unlocked multiplier+Compatible with series motherboards+Excellent gaming performance +Excellent single- and multi-threaded performance

Reasons to avoid

-No bundled cooler-Higher gen-on-gen pricing-No integrated graphics

If you’re truly only concerned about the best gaming CPU and basic productivity tasks, you should go with the Ryzen 5 X and save yourself some money. But if you’re looking for the uncontested fastest gaming chip on the market, or thinking of getting into game streaming, occasionally edit video, or just like the idea of having more threads available when you need them, AMD’s Ryzen 9 X is an incredible value.

The core thread Ryzen 9 X is rated for a GHz base and GHz boost, but we clocked it in at GHz during our own testing. The X offers the ultimate in gaming performance - it is the uncontested gaming chip on the market, but it is a bit overkill if gaming is all you do. However, if you feel the need for speed in productivity workloads, this chip's 12 cores will chew through those workloads with aplomb. 

There’s also support for PCIe and overclockability to consider. The Ryzen 9 X drops into existing series and series motherboards. You'll need to bring your own cooler, and the bigger the better - cooling definitely has an impact on performance with the higher-end Ryzen processors. However, if you're looking at the no-compromise chip for gaming, this is your chip.

Read:AMD Ryzen 9 X Review

4. Intel Core i

Mid-Range Best CPU for Gaming

Specifications

Architecture: Rocket Lake

Socket: LGA

Cores/Threads: 6/12

Base Frequency: GHz

Top Boost Frequency: GHz

TDP: 65W

Reasons to buy

+Solid gaming and application performance+PCIe +Bundled cooler+Memory overclocking

Reasons to avoid

-Power consumption

The Core i is the best budget chip on the market, largely because AMD's only competing chip comes in the form of the two-year-old Ryzen 5 that can't compete with the more modern In gaming, the $ Core i delivers a blowout victory over the Ryzen 5 that often retails for $ or more. In fact, you can pick up the graphics-less Core iF for $, which is a steal given this level of gaming performance. (Remember, the F will perform the same as the non-F model, but you lose QuickSync.) 

Taken as a whole, the Core i has a better blend of performance throughout our full suite of application tests, too. The 's large lead in single-threaded work is impressive, and its only deficiencies in threaded work come when it is topped with its stock cooler. The roughly matches the in threaded work with a better cooler, even with the power limits strictly enforced, while removing those limits gives the uncontested lead.

The Core i supports the PCIe interface. Additionally, B-series motherboards, which make the best pairing with this chip, support both memory overclocking and lifting the power limits, both of which yield huge dividends with this chip while also giving enthusiasts room to tinker.  You'll have to overlook the higher power consumption if you go with the Core i, especially if you remove the power limits. Intel's stock cooler is also largely worthless for enthusiasts, so you should budget for a better cooler. 

 Read: Intel Core i Review

5. AMD Ryzen 3 X

Budget Best CPU for Gaming

Specifications

Architecture: Zen 2

Socket: AM4

Cores/Threads: 4/8

Base Frequency: GHz

Top Boost Frequency: GHz

TDP: 65W

Reasons to buy

+Low pricing+Great gaming performance+Solder TIM+Overclocking ceiling+PCIe interface+Power efficient

Reasons to avoid

-Lackluster bundle cooler

The Ryzen 3 X is a hard chip to find because it is simply such a great deal. But if you do manage to nab one anywhere near its $ MSRP, it's impossible to beat at its price point. The chip unlocks a new level of performance for budget gamers with four cores and eight threads that can push low- to mid-range graphics cards to their fullest. This new processor wields the Zen 2 architecture paired with the 7nm process to push performance to new heights while enabling new features for low-end processors, like access to the speedy PCIe interface. The X's four cores tick at a GHz clock rate and boost to GHz, providing snappy performance in lightly threaded applications, like games.

AMD includes a bundled Wraith Spire cooler with the processor. Still, you might consider budgeting in a better low-end cooler to unlock the full performance, particularly if you are overclocking. Speaking of which, the Ryzen 3 X can overclock to the highest all-core frequencies we've seen with a Ryzen series processor, making it a great chip for enthusiasts. Unlike AMD's other current-gen Ryzen 3 processors, you'll need to pair this processor with a discrete GPU, but the low price point leaves extra room in the budget for a more capable graphics card.

You can stick with the value theme and drop this capable chip into existing X of B motherboards, but you'll lose access to the PCIe interface in exchange for a lower price point. Better yet, AMD has its new B motherboards on offer. These new motherboards support the PCIe interface but provide lower entry-level pricing that's a better fit for this class of processor.

Read: AMD Ryzen 3 X Review

6. AMD Ryzen 5 G

Entry-Level Best CPU for Gaming

Specifications

Architecture: Zen 3

Socket: AM4

Cores/Threads: 6/12

Base Frequency: GHz

Top Boost Frequency: GHz

TDP: 65W

Reasons to buy

+Stellar price-to-performance ratio+Faster Zen 3 CPU cores+Passable p, solid p+Excellent power consumption and efficiency+Great overclocking headroom+Bundled cooler+Compatible with some AM4 motherboards

Reasons to avoid

-PCIe connectivity

The Ryzen 5 G comes to market during the worst GPU shortage in history, so many users will upgrade to this chip and use its potent integrated graphics for gaming until GPU pricing improves. The Ryzen 5 G lives up to that bill, too, stepping into the arena as the new value champ for APUs, which are chips that come with strong enough integrated graphics that they don't require a discrete GPU for light gaming, albeit at lowered quality settings.

At $, the Ryzen 5 G gives you 96% of the gaming performance on integrated graphics than its more expensive sibling, the $ Ryzen 7 G, but for 30% less cash. That makes it the best value  APU on the market. As long as you're willing to sacrifice fidelity and resolution, and keep your expectations in check, the Ryzen 5 G's Vega graphics have surprisingly good performance in gaming. The G's Vega graphics served up comparatively great x gaming across numerous titles, but options become more restricted at p. Of course, you can get away with p gaming, but you'll need to severely limit the fidelity settings with most titles.

With eight cores and 16 threads that operate at a GHz base and boost up to GHz, the Ryzen 5 G also offers solid performance for its price point in standard desktop PC applications. The chip also comes with a bundled Wraith Stealth cooler, sweetening the value prop, and drops into existing series and some series motherboards, though support on the latter will vary by vendor.

Read: AMD Ryzen 5 G Review

If your budget is tight and you're looking to build a system for modest gaming, you should check out our Best Cheap CPUs feature. Some of those chips can deliver passable gaming performance without a graphics card, and their prices start at just $55 (£40).

Deals on the Best CPUs

Whether you're buying one of the best CPUs we listed above or one that didn't quite make the cut, you may find some savings by checking our list of coupon codes, especially our lists of Newegg promo codes and Micro Center coupons.

Sours: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-cpus,html
AMD vs Intel! - What’s The Best CPU For Your Gaming PC Build in 2021? (Ryzen vs 11th Gen Processor)

Best processors the best CPUs for your PC from Intel and AMD

RSS

TechRadar is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Included in this guide:

Let one of the best processors of do the heavy lifting whether for gaming, video editing, or multi-tasking at work. Sure, lesser chips might see you through the most basic tasks, but it’s only their most powerful and efficient counterparts that can really handle your more demanding computing needs (and stay cool under pressure).

As your computer’s brain, a CPU is responsible for executing all its commands, tasks and processes. So, going for a mediocre one and hoping for the best, especially if you expect it to perform intensive tasks, isn’t going to cut it – no matter if you’re building a new PC or upgrading your current one. And, thanks to Intel and AMD still battling it out in the CPU arena, we have a lot more excellent options at more affordable prices.

With chips like the Comet Lake-S and the Ryzen more powerful and more affordable than ever before, you no longer have to settle for less or the second best if you’re on a budget. To make it easier for you to choose, we found the best processors on the market for playing the best PC games, getting through your creative workloads, and more.

What's the best processor for gaming?

One of the best processors on the market today, the AMD Ryzen 7 X, combines excellent single-core performance and a massively improved multi-core one with its low power consumption and a fairly approachable price. And, it’s a strong option for gaming.

Scratch that: it’s arguably the best processor for gaming. It even beats out the Intel Core iK in Total War: Three Kingdoms, a game optimized for Intel hardware, by 7%. Based on AMD’s 7nm manufacturing process, its Core Die (CCD) design allows for one Core Complex per die. That means every Ryzen 7 X’s CCX has 8 cores, each of which direct access to 32MB of L3 cache, resulting in a breathtaking gaming performance.

Best CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 X

Best CPU for high-end gaming

Specifications

Cores: 12

Threads: 24

Base clock: GHz

Boost clock: GHz

L3 cache: 64MB

TDP: W

Reasons to buy

+Amazing performance+A new single-core champion+Same power consumption

Reasons to avoid

-Price went up-No included cooler

The AMD Ryzen 9 X brings the biggest gen-on-gen jump in a single performance in years, making it a terrific upgrade. This latest release from AMD is not just a stronger processor across the board. It’s also an incredibly powerful processor for gaming and creative work full stop. The fact that you won’t need a new motherboard is just a nice perk.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 9 X

Best high-end CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 X

A mainstream CPU moonlights as an HEDT processor

Specifications

Cores: 16

Threads: 32

Base clock: GHz

Boost clock: GHz

L3 cache: 64MB

TDP: W

Reasons to buy

+Performance powerhouse+Cheaper than HEDT+PCIe

Reasons to avoid

-Needs extra cooling-Limited gaming advantage

The highest tier in the Ryzen series is the performance powerhouse you’re looking for, if you want something for heavily threaded computer work. Besides high-end gaming, the Ryzen 9 also blasts through processing tasks. It’s expensive, but for a mainstream processor that can go toe-to-toe with HEDT processors, that’s hardly a surprise. And, it’s also well worth the price, if you need its level of performance. Just remember that it may take a bit to keep cool so be sure to follow AMD’s guidance.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 9 X

Best mid-range CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 X

Top performance on a budget

Specifications

Cores: 6

Threads: 12

Base clock: GHz

Boost clock: GHz

L3 cache: 32MB

TDP: 95W

Reasons to buy

+Excellent performance+Affordable+Includes a cooler

Reasons to avoid

-Still 6-cores

With more threads than the Intel Core iK, this mid-range graphics card delivers impressive multi-threading performance. However, the AMD Ryzen 5 X doesn’t just stop there: it takes that budget-minded stage of performance to a new level, with its increased IPC (instructions per clock) performance and a higher clock speed while staying at the same price point. It also stays competitive in even the most intense single-threaded applications.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 5 X

Best entry-level CPU: AMD Ryzen 3

PC gaming just got cheaper

Specifications

Cores: 4

Threads: 8

Base clock: GHz

Boost clock: GHz

L3 cache: 16MB

TDP: 65W

Sours: https://www.techradar.com/news/best-processors

Now discussing:

It is necessary to somehow unobtrusively help him to open up. And he will be fine, and I will enjoy it. Ksenia and I went for a walk in the evening Moscow.



1239 1240 1241 1242 1243