These are the best gaming CPUs available on the market today for low, mid and high budgets.
UPDATED 11 April 2023
Gaming will always be important, at least for the average home PC user. Although consoles like PS5 and Xbox Series X cost less than a strong gaming PC, offering great graphics and up to 4K gaming, many users still go for the ultimate experience, building potent gaming PCs which can also play other roles (e.g., video editing).
If you are planning your next PC gaming system, an important factor you should always keep in mind is that strong graphics cards require an equally strong CPU, at low resolutions mostly, to offer full performance. A strong CPU is also required for mid and high resolutions, but in most cases, the performance bottleneck will be by the GPU and not the CPU.
This article reveals the best market offers for your buck (or euro). You can rest assured that our suggestion objectively offers the best possible offer. At least for the time this article was written. When newer products are available, we will update this list. So, stay tuned!
The Budget Choice
Intel Core i3-12100F
This CPU is an excellent option for those who seek the best possible performance on a tight budget. If you are on a low budget, this CPU is the right choice.
Best Budget standalone Gaming CPU
AMD Ryzen 5600G
With adequate integrated graphics power and a dead low street price, this CPU is a hard-to-resist choice for those who can’t afford a graphics card but still want a playable build.
The wise choice for gaming
Intel Core i5-13400
Considering the DDR4 support and the price difference for an overall solid build of its main competitor AMD Ryzen 5 7600, this CPU is still a go-for choice. No wonder why it is so popular among gamers.
The balanced choice for gaming – Intel
Intel Core i5-13600K
13600K, as its predecessor, 12600K, is a balanced choice between gaming performance, price, and users who still need a capable chip for workloads. If you are a user who needs solid gaming experience and adequate workload performance, this chip is more than just worth considering.
The balanced choice for gaming – AMD
AMD Ryzen 5 7600
The AMD Ryzen 5 7600 is affordable, costing less than the Intel Core i5-13600K, but it has fewer threads (12 vs. 20). Its TDP is notably lower at 65W, so it doesn’t require strong cooling to achieve optimal performance. Unfortunately, the CPU comes with a weak cooler, so temperatures will be high in stressful conditions. AMD should ship it with the capable Wraith Spire instead of the Wraith Stealth cooler.
The value Gaming King
AMD Ryzen 7 5800x3D
Although the Red team performance-wisely offers newer and better options, 5800X3D is still a gaming beast at a street price. If gaming matters to you and you don’t plan to upgrade to newer platforms, this chip is a no-brainer choice.
The performance King – Intel
Intel Core i9-13900K(S)
If you have a strong power supply, able to cope with >400W power spikes, and strong cooling, the Intel Core i9-13900KS or its less expensive 13900K variant is a beast of a CPU. This is the ideal CPU for strong graphics cards like the NVIDIA RTX 4090 or the AMD RX 7900 XTX.
The multi-core beast
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D
If you are looking for the ultimate gaming experience, adequate productivity performance, and pricing isn’t a problem for you; then this titan is way more than what you are looking for. Its primary Intel antagonist offers the same performance levels but at much higher power levels. Still, you can’t go wrong with either choice.
You can read its full review here.
The Fastest Gaming CPU
AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D
Its single CCX is ideal for gaming usage, and the use of a 3D V-cache greatly boosts performance. Compared to the 5800X3D, the new 7800X3D has a 500MHz higher max boost clock. It is also highly efficient, not requiring a strong cooling solution to deliver good performance. It is a great shame that it isn’t bundled with AMD’s Wraith PRISM cooler, which could easily handle its low heat load.
You can read its full review here.
This is our objective list of the best gaming CPUs you can currently buy in each category. Feel free to write your thoughts in the comment section. You can also check our latest Build suggestions if you would like to. We intend to update the list frequently, so stay tuned.