The 5 Best LGA 1200 CPUs for 2024: Ranked and Reviewed

Intel Core 11-th Gen desktop processor with Rocket Lake architecture for LGA1200 platform

The 5 Best LGA 1200 CPUs for 2024: Ranked and Reviewed

The best LGA 1200 CPUs are still fairly modern for daily use. The socket itself debuted in 2020 and focused on the Comet Lake (10th-gen) and Rocket Lake (11th-gen) architectures from Intel. As such, these processors are still very relevant and on par with more current releases.

They’re great for multi-tasking, gaming, and daily driving of all sorts. If you’re looking to build a killer gaming rig, but want to save a little on the side, then an LGA 1200 processor might be in order. We’ve looked at many options, and here are our top picks:

#1 Best Overall: Intel Core i9-11900K

Intel Core i9-11900K Desktop Processor
  • Base clock speed: 3.5GHz
  • Max clock speed: up to 5.3GHz
  • 14nm design offers great efficiency for computing
  • Intel Smart Cache: 16MB
  • Supports up to 3 monitors
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03/10/2024 01:16 pm GMT

One of the absolute best LGA 1200 CPUs is the Intel Core i9-11900K. This CPU serves as the flagship processor for the Rocket Lake architecture and packs power to spare. You’ve got a base clock frequency of 3.5 GHz and a boost frequency of up to 5.3 GHz.

The i9-11900K processor also comes with 8 cores and 16 threads, making it a great fit for multitasking, gaming, and just about any task you can imagine. The 11900K does come with an integrated graphics processor, so you can build a high-end workstation without having to worry about an additional GPU.

The 11900K is a nimble processor built for speed.It is relatively power-hungry.
The K series processors are capable of overclocking, so you can reach beyond the 5.3 GHz boost clock with good cooling.It might need liquid cooling to reach its full potential.

Check out the Intel Core i9-11900K on Amazon.

Best Runner-Up: Intel Core i7-10700K

Intel Core i7-10700K
  • Clock speed: 3.8 GHz
  • Graphics Base Frequency: 350 MHz
  • 8 Cores/ 16 Threads
  • Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 support
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03/11/2024 02:08 am GMT

If you’re looking to save a little on your build, the Intel Core i7-10700K is a great choice. While it isn’t quite as powerful as the 11900K, it features the same number of cores. You’ve got an identical number of threads, as well, so multitasking shouldn’t be an issue.

The 10700K features a higher base clock frequency, coming in at 3.8 GHz. The boost clock is a bit slower, with the maximum topping out at 5.1 GHz. However, this is a K series CPU, so you’ve got room to overclock and eke out some extra performance as needed.

This processor has great gaming performance.The 10700K doesn’t come bundled with a cooler.
You’ve got plenty of headroom for overclocking.It doesn’t support PCI-E 4.0.

Check out the Intel Core i7-10700K on Amazon.

Best Budget Choice: Intel Core i5-10500

Best Budget Choice
Intel Core i5-10500
  • Processor Base Frequency: 3.1 GHz
  • Max Turbo Frequency: 4.50 GHz
  • 6 Cores / 12 Threads
  • Intel Optane memory support
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03/11/2024 02:08 am GMT

Users looking to build a budget rig should choose the Intel Core i5-10500. What makes this one of the best LGA 1200 CPUs is that it is a solid compromise of performance and affordability. You’ve got fewer cores than the previously mentioned CPUs, with only six in total.

However, you’ve got 12 threads, which is more than enough for multi-threaded applications. The base clock frequency is on the slower end of things, coming in at 3.1 GHz. However, the Turbo Boost shoots this CPU up to 4.5 GHz. It is also a bit more efficient, with a maximum TDP of 65 watts under load.

It is relatively affordable.It is better suited for single-core applications.
It has great performance with minimal power draw.The overall speed doesn’t match up to a K variant.

Check out the Intel Core i5-10500 on Amazon.

Best for Mid-Range Gaming: Intel Core i5-10600K

Best for Mid-Range Gaming
Intel Core i5-10600K
  • Clock speed: 4.1 GHz
  • 6 Cores / 12 Threads
  • Max Turbo Frequency: 4.80 GHz
  • TDP: 125W
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03/11/2024 02:21 am GMT

The Intel Core i5-10600K is built with gaming in mind. What makes this one of the best LGA 1200 CPUs is its price-to-performance ratio. Yes, you’d have a killer gaming rig with the likes of the 11900K, but you’ll be paying considerably more. The 10600K comes with 6 cores and 12 threads, meaning it can handle a slew of applications.

You’ve got a maximum clock speed of 4.8 GHz, which is great for gaming use. It is a K variant Intel processor, so you could ideally overclock for more speed. However, you might want to make sure to use an aftermarket cooler.

Despite the higher power draw, it runs fairly cool.There isn’t any PCI-E 4.0 support.
It comes with an integrated graphics chip, so it can be used as a workstation without an additional GPU.It doesn’t come with a bundled stock cooler.

Check out the Intel Core i5-10600K on Amazon.

Best for Beginners: Intel Core i3-10100

Best for Beginners
Intel Core i3-10100
  • Processor Base Frequency: 3.6 GHz
  • Max Turbo Frequency: 4.30 GHz
  • 4 Cores / 8 Threads
  • TDP: 65W
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03/11/2024 02:21 am GMT

Last, but certainly not least, is the Intel Core i3-10100. The i3 line of CPUs has served as the budget choice for computing for several years. As core counts have increased, the i3 has kept up with the times. You’re getting a capable processor with the 10100, albeit one that will lean on other components to maximize performance.

You’ve got four cores and eight threads, which is plenty for most daily usage. The base clock frequency of 3.6 GHz, which can boost up to 4.3 GHz under load. It is a relatively efficient chip, so you’ve got minimal power draw when gaming or working.

It is a reasonably priced CPU for lower-end builds.It isn’t capable of overclocking.
The 10100 is still relatively easy to find on shelves.The 10100’s integrated graphics chip is its weakest link.

Check out the Intel Core i3-10100 on Amazon.

Picking the Best LGA 1200 CPUs: What to Know

best lga 1200 cpus
Picking the right processor is a matter of figuring out what you want to do with your computer.

Making sure you pick the right sort of CPU for your system can be a bit of an undertaking. However, there are a few key criteria to keep in mind before you commit to a CPU.

Core and Thread Count

There are a few key aspects of any CPU, like the core and thread counts. More and more applications, games, and operating systems are leveraging multiple CPU cores. While it does pay to have a high-end CPU like the 11900K, you also need to look at where your current bottlenecks in performance are.

As such, you need to strike a good balance between base and boost clock frequencies, power efficiency, and core count. More is always better, but it is also a matter of seeing where a CPU fits into your budget for a given build.

Intended Usage

What do you plan on using your computer for? If you’re looking to build a monster of a workstation for high-end rendering, then something like an i9 might be worth the extra cash. However, you don’t need to blow a third of your budget on a processor if you’re building a modest gaming rig.

Before picking out parts, you should really take the time to look at what you use regularly. Often, you’ll find benchmarks and performance data for a plethora of common applications. That way, you can plan your build around what you need, rather than going off of a fear of missing out.

Picking the Right Components

The CPU is just one crucial element of a whole. You need more than a processor, like a reputable motherboard, a good power supply, and other components. Make sure to check your processor’s specs to see what sort of RAM it supports, so you can readily maximize performance.

If you’re building a gaming rig, then the GPU is the more crucial component, so you could easily pick an i5 processor to complement it. As with any modern PC build, the minimum amount of RAM you should be comfortable with is 16 GB. If possible, 32 GB or higher is preferred.

Using the Best LGA 1200 CPUs: What It’s Like

best lga 1200 cpus
A build centered around the LGA 1200 socket is still fully viable.

LGA 1200 CPUs are still highly relevant in today’s market, so with the right build it could be like having a brand-new computer. Components are due for a refresh and there are newer standards like PCI-E 4.0 and DDR5 to be concerned with for future builds. Now, however, you’ve got plenty of space to make a great PC that can handle most things you’ll throw at it when picking an LGA 1200 CPU.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the LGA 1200 still manufactured?

No, it was recently replaced by its successor, the LGA 1700, which was introduced with Intel’s 12th-generation processors.

Do all LGA 1200 CPUs come with a cooler?

No, you might have to set aside some funds to purchase a cooler.

Do all LGA 1200 CPUs have integrated graphics?

Some do, but there are some variants that come with zero video capabilities.

What is the fastest RAM supported by the LGA 1200 socket?

That would be DDR4-3200, which is only supported on the Rocket Lake i5, i7, and i9 series of CPUs.

What is the latest PCI-E standard supported by the LGA 1200?

That would be PCI-E 4.0, however, that is only reserved for the final generation of Rocket Lake processors.

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