The gaming world has been changing at an unprecedented rate since the incorporation of modern technology. Over the years, technology transformed this sector, leading to innovations such as consoles and computer games that have kept people busy and entertained right in their homes.
The games have been improving continuously as developers keep releasing newer versions with better graphics and features. However, playing these latest games requires upgraded processors.
CPU manufacturers haven’t let gamers down, as they have also enhanced the capabilities of their machines. Right now, the market is flooded with several brands providing dedicated processors for gaming. These gaming CPUs have additional core counts, higher clock speeds, as well as power and heat management systems.
They have been designed to give gamers the most exciting and satisfying gaming experience. However, finding the perfect gaming processor has become a challenge for gamers because of the many options available on the market today. To help make the decision easier, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the best gaming processors on the market in 2023.
- Best Overall: Intel Core i5 13600K
- Best Budget Option: Intel Core i5 13400F
- Best for Power: Intel Core i9 13900K
- Best Deal: AMD Ryzen 7 7700X
- Best for Performance: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X
- Best Upgrade: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D
- Best Power Saving: AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
Best Overall: Intel Core i5 13600K
- 14 cores (6 P-cores + 8 E-cores) and 20 threads
- Performance hybrid architecture
- Up to 5.1 GHz
- Compatible with Intel 600 series and 700 series chipset-based motherboards
- Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0
The Intel Core i5 13600K is a top-notch mid-range chip professionally tuned by Intel to provide the best gaming experience. It is one of Intel’s chips that are economically viable, yet they have sufficient power for a breathtaking gaming experience.
This processor features higher frames and additional core counts for better performance. Overall, it is the best CPU on this list in terms of performance, reliability, and affordability.
This processor has 14 cores and 20 threads. The extra cores give it the much-needed additional power for running CPU-intensive tasks and heavy-duty games. Additionally, the extra 4 cores significantly improve the Intel Core i5 13600K processor’s multithreaded performance.
This CPU is great for editing, content creation, and streaming. Its base clock is 3.5 GHz P-core and 2.6 GHz E-core, and a boost clock of 5.1 GHz P-core and 3.9 GHz E-core. Its thermal design power is also 125/181 watts.
Check out the Intel Core i5 13600K on Amazon.
Best Budget Option: Intel Core i5 13400F
The Intel Core i5 13400F is the most budget-friendly gaming CPU in the tech market. Besides its affordability, this processor comes with adequate power to run advanced games seamlessly. This processor has a total of 10 cores, 4 Efficient-cores, and 6 Performance-cores with 16 threads.
The top speed for this CPU is 4.6 GHz. When compared to AMD Ryzen 7600 in terms of price, you will discover the Intel Core i5 13400F costs $33 less.
The Intel Core i5 13400F has fewer frame rates than the Core i9 13900K in games such as Total War: Three Kingdoms, F1 2021, and Metro Exodus. Unfortunately, it experiences lags when running CPU-intensive games such as Far Cry 6.
This is the only limitation that makes high-end CPUs preferable to Intel Core i5 13400F. However, this processor is still faster than the Core i5 12600K, the best gaming CPU last year.
Intel Core i5 13400F has a Base Clock of 2.5 GHz P-core and 1.8 GHz E-core and a Boost Clock of 4.6 GHz P-core and 3.3 GHz E-core, a 20MB L3 cache, and 65/148-watt thermal design power.
Check out the Intel Core i5 13400F on Amazon.
Best for Power: Intel Core i9 13900K
- Designed with compatibility for both DDR4 and DDR5, ensuring flexibility in your memory configuration
- Boasts up to 5.8 GHz Max Clock Speed, optimized for intense gaming and multitasking
- Features Thunderbolt 4 technology and Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6/6E (Gig+)
- Combines performance cores for optimized gaming with efficient cores
- Unlocked and overclockable, allowing gamers to fine-tune performance
The Intel Core i9 13900K is the best power processor for heavy users such as enthusiastic gamers. This CPU has the resources to operate optimally while multitasking and running highly demanding creative tasks and heavy-duty games.
Its power is generated by its 24 cores. If you’re a vivid gamer interested in taking your gaming experience to the next level, consider acquiring this processor. The Intel Core i9 13900K is considered to be fairly faster than Alder Lake Chip and the ex-HEDT chips.
It is still faster than the Core i5 12600K, the best gaming CPU last year. Intel Core i9 13900K falls in the same price range as Core i9 12900K, despite having 8 extra cores that make it more powerful.
Besides the 24 cores, this processor has 32 threads, an L3 cache of 36 MB, clock speeds of 2.2 GHz to 3.0 GHz, and a thermal design power of 125/253 watts.
Check out the Intel Core i9 13900K on Amazon.
Best Deal: AMD Ryzen 7 7700X
- 8 Cores and 16 processing threads
- Based on AMD "Zen 4" architecture
- Can support PCIe 5.0 on select 600 Series motherboards
- 5.4 GHz Max Boost, 100+ FPS
Our selection as the best deal is the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X. This CPU is perfect for multi-core and single-core performance. The AMD 7 7700X’s gaming performance and results almost match the high-end processors. That is why it is a gaming processor that offers the best deal on the market. This CPU also supports PCle 5.0 and DDR5.
The AMD 7 7700X can run heavy-duty tasks like pro-level content creation and gaming with its power-packed 8 cores and 16 threads. It can be difficult for you to notice the difference in its performance compared to the faster Intel alternative.
AMD Ryzen 7 7700X has a base clock of 4.5 GHz, a boost clock of 5.4 GHz, an impressive 32 MB Level 3 cache, and 105 watts of thermal design power. These specs are adequate for immersive gaming.
Check out the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X on Amazon.
Best for Performance: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X
The option that puts up the best performance is the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X. This CPU’s design comprises an AM5 motherboard and a shiny heat spreader design. It outperforms the Ryzen 9 5950 16 Core processor in terms of speed, responsiveness, as well as running demanding PC tasks and games. This processor maximizes its resources to deliver an incredible performance while retaining its elegance.
Additionally, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X has a unique feature that makes it impressive for gaming. It has a power management system that controls the heat to prevent internal damage. Although it can get hot during gaming, users can keep it running for hours without exceeding the CPU’s performance limit.
This processor has a 16-core and 32-thread chip. It has a base clock of 4.5 GHz, a boost clock of 5.7 GHz, a Level 3 cache of 64 MB, and a total thermal design power of 170 watts.
Check out the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X on Amazon.
Best Upgrade Processor for Gaming: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D
- 3D stacking technology
- 8 Cores and 16 processing threads
- 4.5 GHz Max Boost, 100 MB cache, DDR4-3200 support
- Can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards
The best upgrade that you can purchase is the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D. This processor was developed using AMD’s latest TSMC packaging processes. It became the fastest CPU created by AMD once it was launched due to its higher computing power. Immediately, it became a darling for most gaming enthusiasts and heavy users.
This year, it still retains the spot as the best gaming processor for AM4 motherboard users. This processor runs heavy-duty games and CPU-intensive tasks smoothly without major issues. However, while a better upgrade, it’s not the best gaming CPU available.
This processor allows for the squeezing of higher frequencies from its architecture. AMD upgraded it by adding more cache memory, significantly improving its performance.
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D is also similar to Ryzen 7 5800X because the design of their Zen 3 processor is comparable. This amazing gaming processor has 8 cores, 16 threads, 4.5GHz max boost, 100MB Level 3 cache, and 105 watts TDP.
Check out the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D on Amazon.
Best Power Saving: AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
- 8 Cores and 16 processing threads
- Bundled with the AMD Wraith Stealth cooler
- 4.6 GHz Max Boost (unlocked for overclocking)
- 20 MB cache, DDR4-3200 support
The best power-saving option is the AMD Ryzen 7 5700G. The AMD Ryzen 7 5700G is famously known as the jack-of-all-trades for its unique ability to perform a broad range of tasks. It is the best CPU among the Zen 3 chips. This processor has an exemplary power-saving ability compared to the previous AMD processor versions.
Another unique aspect of this processor is its ability to function optimally without a graphics card. It also features 8 cores and is fully backed with a powerful GPU. Users can upgrade their gaming performance by integrating a DDR4-3600 RAM for extra frame rates and standard DDR4-3200 memory support for enhanced gameplay.
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G has an 8-core and 16-thread chip. It also comprises a base clock of 3.8 GHz, a turbo clock of 4.6 GHZ, a 16MB Level 3 cache, and a 65-watt TDP.
Check out the AMD Ryzen 7 5700G on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best Processor for Gaming: Step by Step
The continued growth of the gaming sector placed a demand on the evolution of CPU technology, which has been going on for ages. Gamers are now expecting realistic games with highly advanced features. We can attest to the innumerable transformations of these games.
However, not every CPU can run modern games. As a gamer that won’t tolerate interferences or limitations in your gameplay, it’s essential to buy a gaming processor with superior specs. Here is a step-by-step process for selecting the best CPU for your gaming needs.
Consider What You Need
The first step of this process involves figuring out your gaming needs. The existing games have different features requiring CPUs with different specs. For instance, some games are GPU-intensive, while others are CPU-intensive.
Therefore, your favorite games will guide you in establishing the most suitable processor for your gaming needs. Additionally, you must choose between a stationed desktop or a portable gaming laptop. These considerations should also cover the CPU’s clock speed and core count.
Check How the Processor Works
The functions of every feature in the processors will affect your gaming experience directly. Most gamers know the processor’s clock speed and core count features, yet don’t know how they affect the CPU’s performance.
A better understanding of why extra core counts and a higher clock speed deliver more power and resources for immersive gaming will guide you in picking the best CPU. Therefore, it is essential to know how the CPUs work.
Check Additional Features
Besides the basic specs required in a gaming CPU, consider checking if it has any extra features. These features aren’t cosmetics, as their presence boosts the processor’s performance.
Some gaming processors have integrated graphics, overclocking, and unique laptop-specific features. Although CPUs with many features are costlier, their performance and reliability are top-notch.
Consider the Benchmarks
High-end CPUs are the best for gaming, yet they are extremely costly. Not every gamer can afford them. However, you can still get a budget-friendly option that will serve your gaming needs adequately by considering the basic benchmark: the performance metrics of the CPU and your typical games.
This evaluation will determine the best processor for your gaming needs and budget. Additionally, consider the system’s RAM and GPU.
What to Know Before Buying the Best Processor for Gaming
Many modern games have high-speed action and realistic graphics. Running such programs with cutting-edge tech features requires a high-end gaming CPU with increased processing power and advanced graphics.
Such capabilities enable the processor to run any game without lags, limitations, or issues that are likely to ruin your gameplay. Here are some of the things you must know before buying a CPU for gaming.
The best gaming CPUs are very expensive. However, their effectiveness in executing demanding tasks and heavy-duty games makes every penny spent on these processors worth it. Additionally, these processors will seamlessly run your favorite games for years, regardless of future updates.
If you cannot afford the high-end processors, opt for the more affordable options with the recommended specs for gaming. The economically viable CPUs also deliver an impressive gaming experience.
Whether you have settled for a laptop or desktop, it is necessary to invest in gaming accessories. To enhance focus and concentration, you will need a gaming headset. For better control, purchase a mouse, gaming controllers, and other peripherals.
Reviews shared by tech experts and users can give you a clear glimpse of the reliability of gaming processors. Keep in mind every review reveals the experience of the users. So, before buying the gaming CPU, read several reviews about it.
By doing so, you will be able to know what to expect while using it. Processors with positive reviews from customers and experts are always the best choice, and you can count on them for immersive gaming.
Besides buying the best processor and other gaming peripherals, consider creating the perfect gaming ambiance. You can spice up your gaming hardware by adding appealing aesthetics.
Additionally, cool windows can spice up your gaming room. With a broad range of gaming decor retailing online, you can find various options that suit your style and personality.
Using the Best Processors for Gaming: What it’s Like
The gaming experience for most players improved considerably with the introduction of gaming processors. These CPUs solved innumerable issues faced by gamers in the past. They have additional cores that increase their computing power and higher clock speeds that improve the games’ responsiveness.
Dedicated gaming processors allow you to play any interesting game without limitations. Whether the games are GPU- or CPU-intensive, the processors can run them seamlessly. Additionally, unlike with basic processors, heating issues cannot limit their performance, and they are able to operate for many hours to your satisfaction.
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