When you’re building a new gaming computer or looking to upgrade your current one, the CPU is one of the most important components to consider. A processor is a computer’s brain, whether a laptop, desktop, tablet, or game console. Every task your computer performs is handled by its central processing unit. From simple tasks like loading websites to more complex processes like recording video and audio simultaneously while making real-time adjustments based on user feedback, CPUs are essential for all computing activities.
The performance of your computer’s CPU can significantly impact how smoothly your games run and how much graphical detail you can see. Whether you’re on a tight budget or have lots of cash to spare, this article will help you find the best CPU for gaming and computing in general.
What to Look for When Shopping for a New Gaming CPU
When shopping for a new gaming CPU, you can use two main specifications to compare different processors. The first is the core count, the number of processing cores included in the CPU. The second is the CPU’s clock speed, measured in gigahertz (GHz).
- Core Count: The number of cores in a CPU determines its processing power. While a high-core-count CPU won’t necessarily outperform a lower-core-count processor in all situations, it will be better at handling multiple tasks simultaneously.
- CPU Speed: A processor’s speed determines how quickly it can execute computations. Generally, the higher the clock speed, the faster the CPU.
Core Basics: How Core Count and Speed Affect Performance
An example of how core count and speed affect performance can be seen with two CPUs: a $100 processor with a core count of 8 and a $300 processor with a core count of 16. Both processors have the same clock speed of 3 GHz. In this example, the $100 processor will be slower than the $300 processor because its core count is half that of the more expensive processor. However, if the two processors were instead tasked with different computations, the $100 processor would finish first because its single-core design is easier to complete than the two-core design used by the $300 processor.
Best CPU for Gaming in 2022
For gamers on a budget, Intel‘s 8th-generation Core i3, i5, and i7 CPUs are the way to go. These processors are very good at handling everyday tasks like surfing the web, streaming videos, and editing images, while also providing a decent amount of graphics power for gaming. For those who want to get the most out of their gaming rigs, Intel’s 9th-generation Core i9 CPUs are currently the best CPUs for gaming.
These high-end CPUs offer excellent single-core performance, which is important for gaming, and have a high core count. Intel’s 9th-gen i9 CPUs are perfect for those looking to build a high-end, super-smooth gaming PC, but they come with a steep price tag. If you’re on a budget, the best CPUs for gaming in 2022 are Intel’s 8th-gen Core i7 processors.
AMD’s Exciting Ryzen CPUs
AMD’s long-awaited Ryzen CPUs have finally hit the market, and they’re already proving to be a worthy competitor to Intel. AMD’s Ryzen 7 processors are the company’s top chips, and they boast a higher core count than Intel’s Core i7 CPUs, making them the best CPUs for gaming if you’re looking for performance. AMD’s cheaper Ryzen 5 CPUs also perform similarly to Intel’s 8th-generation Core i5 CPUs, making them a solid choice for budget-minded gamers. While AMD has only released a few Ryzen CPUs, they prove that the company is ready to shine in the CPU market again, competing head-to-head with the reigning champion Intel.
Intel’s High-End, High-Performance CPUs
Intel’s best CPUs for gaming are in the company’s Extreme Edition lineup. These processors are designed for gamers and professional users who want as much power as possible. Extreme Edition CPUs are available with core counts of 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, and 18 and come with high clock speeds of 4.5 GHz to 5 GHz. The top-end i9 18-core CPU is currently the most powerful consumer CPU available, and it’s the best CPU for gaming on the market. Since Extreme Edition CPUs are extremely expensive, most gamers will be better off with Intel’s mid-range, high-performance CPUs, like the i9 9900K, i9 9920X, and i9 9940X. If you can save a couple of hundred bucks by going with one of these CPUs instead of the i9 18-core, you’ll still get plenty of performance for gaming and other tasks.
Intel’s More Affordable, Mid-Range CPUs
Intel’s mid-range CPUs are the best CPUs for gaming if you want an excellent computer that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. There are many different models in Intel’s mid-range lineup, but the 9900K, 9700K, 9700, and 9600 are the best ones to go with if you’re on a budget. Intel’s 9th-generation CPUs are based on the company’s new architecture called Ice Lake. These CPUs have smaller cores than Intel’s previous chips, making them more efficient. The new 9th-generation CPUs are also more powerful than their predecessor, thanks to a higher core count and slightly higher clock speeds. If you’re looking for the best CPUs for gaming without breaking the bank, Intel’s 9th-generation CPUs are your best bet.
While the CPU is important, it’s important not to overspend. The best CPUs for gaming will offer fast performance, but they shouldn’t cost as much as an entire gaming computer. Fortunately, most mid-range CPUs provide excellent performance at a reasonable price. If you’re building a new gaming computer, it’s ideal to have a balanced setup where all the components are powerful enough to handle their tasks without being overly expensive. If you’re on a budget, Intel’s latest 9th-generation CPUs are the best CPUs for gaming. If you have a bigger budget, AMD’s Ryzen CPUs are a good choice.