These are the best CPU for gaming to buy in 2021:
Processor being the central part and brain of your gaming rig plays vital role in bringing up the best gaming experience. It is indeed one of the most important hardware component inside your laptop or PC, the CPU speed ultimately radiates how quickly the system will be able to manipulate from system memory to SSDs (Solid-state drive) holding the games. Many people prioritizes GPU over CPU for quality gaming, for graphics intensive games to play – no doubt- you would need a high end gaming graphical processor to have better display quality with high resolutions and optimal frame rates. That’s where the GPU play its key part, but you cannot skimp the role of a CPU spending all your pennies on getting an expensive GPU. The said GPU won’t be able to bring pleasant and smooth experience if ever introduced to handy calculations. In a nutshell, you must opt for better GPU along with a best CPU for Gaming 2021 to have seamless gaming sessions.
Buying a best CPU for gaming and streaming will urge you to first clear your mind about several terms like threads, cores, Overclocking, Bottlenecking, and whether to go for a best intel CPU for gaming or AMD gaming CPU 2021. AMD and Intel are the best known for providing quality gaming CPUs for decades. Here we have included top 8 best CPU for gaming 2021 with briefly discussed important CPU factors that can surely lead you to pick the best in accordance with your budget and need.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Base Clock: 3.8GHz
- Boost Clock: 5.1GHz
- PCIe lanes: 16
- Base Clock:3.8 GHz
- Boost Clock:4.6GHz
- PCIe lanes:16
- Base Clock: 3.60GHz
- Boost Clock: 5.0GHz
- PCIe lanes: 16
Best Gaming CPU Buyer’s Guide
No doubt, the first thing that comes in professional gaming geek’s mind is that what is the Best CPU for Gaming available right now that can help in bringing a lag-free and smooth gaming experience. For a laymen with no knowledge regarding processors, its slightly hard to directly opt for one. For a purpose, after a long hours research we have come up with some important best gaming CPU factors, each discussed with enough details to resolve the issue.
AMD or Intel?
The first and foremost query that might bother you is that, which one to choose among the only two famed and quality CPU manufactures. The Intel or AMD, Intel for so long was leading the CPU ecosystem with introducing some top-class gaming processor truly outclassing competitors until 2017 when AMD backed with its Ryzen lineup making it slightly harder for the Intel to dominate as previously was dominating with ease. The AMD Ryzen gaming CPUs were equipped with greater thread and core counts providing exceptional multi-threading and consistent gaming. The Intel has now has introduced a Comet Lake-S 10th generation model that offers hyper threading and the same thread and core count as previously were offered by the dominant AMD Ryzen models. Coming towards CPU speed clocking and overclocking, the best Intel processor for gaming are dominating here as well offering extremely great performance. Best AMD CPU for gaming are more compatible with a usage of AM4 sockets, than that of Intel gaming CPUs. Look also for a compatible CPU with your motherboard because a cross can work in terms of SSDs etc. but an AMD CPU don’t works with that of Intel’s motherboard. Intel gaming CPUs are considered to be little more pricier with indeed worthy performance, buying separately a CPU cooler in order to keep things cool under intensive processing, surely costs even more. While AMD Models on other side, are considered to be cheaper and equipped with AMD wraith coolers paying perfectly for its price.
Thread & Core Count
CPU thread simply refers to the total number of engagements a CPU can conduct at a time. The higher thread and core count of a gaming CPU 2021 surely makes the processor be able to handle multitasking easily but costs more comparatively to that of CPUs with low thread and core counts. AMD and Intel both CPU manufacturers in this department as on same level offering equal thread and cores. As per the research, it is observed that for un-interrupted gaming experience single core performance is important. The multi-core performance of a CPU is useful when dealing with some power consumptive programs – like engineering simulations, professional photo and video editing, media content creating related powerful software etc. – all in parallel. Having your gaming rig equipped with a CPU that has 12-thread and 6-core will be optimal to handle any gaming scenario.
As previously discussed in thread & cores section, that a high-end single-core performance of a CPU is more preferable than that of going for greater number of threads count. A greater single-core performance enhances the FPS count too when playing professional video games bringing smoothness and lag-free gaming experience. If a CPU has great clocking speed means its able to process much data at a time with greater processing power. Not all the best Intel Gaming CPUs are equipped with overclocking feature but only those with a “K” at the end of their models number can be made overclocked. While on other side, all AMD Ryzen model possesses overclocking capabilities. The Intel Comet lake-S 10th generation processor can be squeezed greatly to get a perfect gaming performance out of them. Overclocking makes the CPU more a future proof but for average gamers, it is not much worthier because they are just fine with an average clock speed provided by their gaming CPU 2021.
As Integrated Graphics are not much observed to handle demanding video gaming because of the limited power they possesses. For high-end video games, the professional gaming geeks prefers to have dedicated graphics card equipped in their gaming rigs to witness greater display quality, higher resolutions, and exceptional frame rates. AMD has introduced few budget models in its Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5’s lineup to help those that are tight on budget and still looking for better graphical performance. These gaming CPUs are supposed to work efficiently when dealing with less demanding video games. On other side, Intel Gaming CPUs with their Integrated UHD Graphics 630 equipped in Comet Lake-S 10th generation models works perfectly fine but cannot overtake the AMD’s Vega APUs by any mean.
The Bottlenecking is a next important factor to consider while buying best CPU for gaming 2021. You might get confused about what really a bottleneck means, bottlenecking inside a gaming CPU refers to when a powerful graphics card is fitted in not much robust Gaming CPU and where the CPU seems to be unable to provide fast instructions. The phenomenon of not using the power potential of a GPU with a low-end gaming CPU can be in simple terms termed as bottlenecking. Similarly, pairing a powerful CPU with a low-end budget graphics card would result in bottlenecking. We surely cannot eliminate the bottlenecking fully, but can try hard to at least minimize that. There is a simple rule of thumb considered working perfectly to tackle the scenario, it is to pair low end GPU with Low end CPU, mid ranger CPU with mid ranger CPU, and high end GPU with high end CPU.
Thermal Design Profile
TDP that stands for Thermal Design Power/Profile of a gaming CPU refers to the quantity of heat a processor uses to generate when encounters intensive processing. Thermal design power is measured in watts. A gaming CPU is so obvious to generate heat, to tackle such situation AMD and Intel’s leading chipsets are equipped with coolers to have better heat dissipations reducing the risk of other components to get damaged by the said heat. It is recommended to known the TDP figure in advance to later on bring suitable coolers and witness faster performance.
Best CPU For Gaming 2021
1. AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
- Base Clock:3.8 GHz
- Boost Clock:4.6GHz
- PCIe lanes:16
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X coming right at the top of the list of best processor for gaming 2021, is a worthy contender dominating the field for almost 15 years. It is one of the best CPU that might appear slightly slower in playing high end gaming but apart from gaming, the CPU can do wonders with its speed and efficiency. It is comparatively eight times slower than the last generation AMD Ryzen Core i9-9900K, but this shouldn’t be an issue overall because it still provides great resolutions and setting to professional gamers. The third generation AMD Ryzen 9 3900X works extra-ordinary well when dealing with other intensive programs related to video rendering, 3D simulations, and other engineering etc. related programs.
It packs 24 thread and 12 cores that enables the CPU to provides powerful performance when it comes to multithreading. The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X tends to provide 3.8 Gigahertz base clock which is massive but still offers overclocking to 4.6 Gigahertz. This top gaming CPU is highly capable to offer the professional gamers a smooth gaming experience in high-end gaming with its 100+ FPS in most of the top-class video games of the time. For a purpose to keep the system temperature low under demanding workloads, it is equipped with wrath prism coolers that work perfectly, providing speed and efficiency. With this much cores, threads, base clock, boost clock, and out of the box cooling mechanism, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X indeed seeks much attention while looking up for Best AMD CPU for Gaming.
2. Intel Core i9-9900K
- Base Clock:3.60GHz
- Boost Clock:5.0GHz
- PCIe lanes:16
Intel Core i9-9900K coming up next on the list of Best CPU for Gaming 2021, comes unlocked providing overclocking up to 5.0 Gigahertz with its Intel turbo boost technology 2.0. This amazing Intel gaming processor provides great performance to the professional gaming geeks keeping itself extremely low with temperature when introduced to some intensive processing. The 9th generation Intel Core i9-9900K holds 8 cores and 16 threads that helps the processor to provide great multithreading performance apart from gaming as well. Intel coming with interesting modifications regarding boost performance, introducing higher frequencies and cores count, enable the Intel Core i9-9900K to remain dominant when it comes to efficient mainstream processors.
Being fastest CPU in the field, the processor provides 3.60 Gigahertz base clock speed and a turbo boost providing boost clocking speed up to 5.0 Gigahertz. It comes with an integrated Intel UHD 630 graphics card which is indeed a plus to have equipped in your gaming system in advance. The Intel Core i9-9900K comes with a bit of limitation, it can be only set operational only with Intel 300 chipset based motherboards because of its compatibility. The processor holds 16MB of cache, 95W of TDP (Thermal Design Profile), and built with Solid thermal interface material keeping itself low temperature-wise when encountered with intensive programs.
3. AMD Ryzen 5 2600
- Base Clock:3.9GHz
- Boost Clock:N/A
- PCIe lanes:16
Intel has a great collection of gaming processors targeting different user categories, from premium users to gaming geeks who are slightly tight on budget. The AMD Ryzen 5 2600 is introduced by Intel keeping its budget users in perspective and falling short to provide them with great gaming experience with a help of an efficient Processor. When compared to the Ryzen 5 3600 gaming processor, it comes with almost the same core and threads count but offers a bit of low clocking speeds. The same as all other AMD Ryzen processors, the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 is compatible and runs perfectly fine with AM4 socket based motherboards.
It comes with 6 core and 12 thread that provides more than enough multithreading performance for what it costs. The low budget don’t directly effects its speed, you may witness slow performance when it is set operational with any high-end graphical processor like 2080Ti etc. which is the case that often happens with all AMD Ryzen gaming processor. AMD Ryzen 5 2600 along with a mid-range graphics card surely won’t bother you with slow performance. It is equipped with an AMD Wrath stealth cooler to remain cool under demanding processing and offer great efficiency. The processor provides 3.9 Gigahertz base clock, 20 PCIe lanes (16 for Integrated Graphics, four for storage), and lacks overclocking. Don’t look further if you want to take your gaming to next level with a best budget gaming CPU.
4. Intel Core i7-10700K
- Base Clock:3.8GHz
- Boost Clock:5.1GHz
- PCIe lanes:16
No matter how far the AMD goes with its Ryzen gaming processors, Intel is not hanging back offering extremely tough competition to AMD with its latest generation processors that offers good array of threads and cores, with a fast base clocking and boost clocking speeds, and great multi-threading performance. Intel has introduced its good gaming CPU, unlocked 10th generation Core i7-10700K processor with 8 cores and 16 threads. The processor provides a base clocking speed of 3.8 Gigahertz and a boost clocking speed up to 5.1 Gigahertz with help of a 3.0 Intel Maximum Turbo Boost technology.
The Intel Core i7-10700K holds up to 40 PCIe express lanes, 125W TDP (Thermal Design Profile), and 16MB of smart Intel Cache. Intel Core i7-10700K is equipped with Intel Hyper threading technology that comfortably handles power consumptive multi-tasking. The processor is built unlocked to offer the professional gamers a seamless gaming experience. Intel Core i7-10700K lacks up to the heat dissipation mechanism and can be set operational with motherboards that are only 400 series chipset based. This processor indeed one of the best CPU for 4K gaming perfectly made for gaming enthusiasts.
5. AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
- Base Clock:3.6GHz
- Boost Clock:4.4GHz
- PCIe lanes:24 Gen4
AMD Ryzen lineup holds one of the most premium level gaming processor, among those, AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is a great processor that comes with an affordable price tag providing enough powerful performance and amazing cooling mechanisms. The processor when compared to AMD Ryzen 7 3900X, costs fairly less but comes with low thread and core count. The professional gaming geeks can take their gaming experience to some next level by getting an FPS of 100+ in almost all the high-end video gaming. The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X provides extremely good looking LED controlled lightning alongside an AMD Wrath Stealth Cooler that greatly helps the processor to remain cool under demanding tasks and deliver stable performance.
It comes with 8 cores and 16 thread along with a 36MB of game cache memory. AMD Ryzen 7 3900X provides a base clocking speed of 3.6 Gigahertz and can be overclocked with Precision boost overdrive technology to 4.4 Gigahertz. This best AMD CPU for gaming comes with 65W TDP (Thermal design profile) stay perfectly stable when introduced to intensive programs. AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is built with AM4 socket type and possesses AMD Wrath Stealth Cooler the same as other best CPU for gaming from AMD, the cooler help to dissipate heat creating room for processor to deliver fast performance to professional gaming geeks.
6. AMD Ryzen 5 3400G
- Base Clock:3.7GHz
- Boost Clock:4.2GHz
- PCIe lanes:20
Ryzen 5 3400G is another best gaming CPU introduced by AMD to keep up the pro-gamers with seamless gaming performance. Unlike all other gaming CPUs, the Ryzen 5 3400G holds an efficient gaming processor that you won’t need to spend extra pennies on getting a GPU in order to play your favorite video games. This best gaming CPU includes an AMD Radeon RX Vega 11, the most power graphics cards available on market by AMD that bring a smooth, lag-free, and interesting gaming experience. With this price you surely won’t get any better gaming CPU that can dominate performance of what offers the AMD Ryzen 5 3400G.
This amazing gaming CPU comes with 8 processing thread and 4 cores that brings a great multithreading performance. The AMD Ryzen 5 3400G provides a base clocking speed of up to 3.7 Gigahertz and can be made overclocked with an AMD Precision Boost Overdrive technology to 4.2 Gigahertz. It holds 20 PCIe 3.0 lanes (16 for discrete graphics and 4 for memory storage.) and 65W of TDP (Thermal Design profile). While to keep the system stable from temperature’s perspective, it holds AMD wrath spire cooler box that helps the processor to deliver smooth performance. Further, it is equipped with 3hMB of Cache memory and built with AM4 socket type.
7. Intel Core i5-9400F
- Base Clock:2.9GHz
- Boost Clock:4.1GHz
- PCIe lanes:40
Take your gaming skillset to next level with this amazing and best budget gaming CPU option from Intel. Intel gaming processors lineup does contains one of the most premium level CPUs costing a lot, but they never disappointed their users who seems to slightly tight on budget. Intel has introduced its 9th generation Core i5-9400F budget gaming processor that provides a base clocking speed of 2.9 Gigahertz and can be made overclocking with the help of 2.0 Intel’s Turbo boost technology to up to 4.1 Gigahertz. Budget gaming users shouldn’t look further for their best gaming CPU, this is indeed a perfect pick for them.
The Intel Core i5-9400F comes with 6 cores and 6 processing threads perfectly designed to help the professional gamers with seamless and smooth gaming performance. The processor comes with slight limitations as well, it only works with motherboards that are Intel 300 series chipset based. Similarly, there is no in-built graphics card included in it, so you will be required spend some extra on getting a competitive discrete graphics card to keep yourself your with demanding video games. It comes with 9MB smart cache memory, supports up to 40 PCIe lanes, and has TDP (thermal Design Profile) of 65W. Intel Core i5-9400F is a best budget CPU for gaming that can do wonders for you.
8. AMD Ryzen 5 3600
- Base Clock:3.8GHz
- Boost Clock:4.4GHz
- PCIe lanes:24
Last but not the least is AMD Ryzen 5 3600, another worthy contender on the list of best CPU for gaming 2021. Another best value CPU for gaming that provides good number of cores and thread count along with enough fire power to take your gaming experience far beyond your expectations. AMD Ryzen 5 3600 the processor is able to deliver great single-core performance. AMD Ryzen 5 3600 delivers great FPS almost 100+ in all demanding games of the time. It is equipped with AMD Wraith stealth cooler to remain cool even when introduced to intensive processing.
The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 comes with 6 cores and 12 processing threads with a great individual core power. It provides a base clocking speed of 3.8 Gigahertz and can be overclocked to 4.4 Giga hertz with the help of Precision boost overdrive technology. Must be a dream of every professional gaming geek to equip their gaming rig with this best CPU for gaming 2021. AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is a AM4 socket based gaming processor that possesses 36MB of gaming cache memory. It also holds 24 PCIe lanes of version 4.0 and has a 65 Watt thermal profile design.
9. Intel Core i7-9700K
- Base Clock:3.60 GHz
- Boost Clock:4.9 GHz
- PCIe lanes:16
Intel Core i7-9700K coming up next on the list of best CPUs for gaming 2021, claims to be the most price efficient CPU offering you almost the same performance as previously was offered by the Intel Core i7-10th generation expensive processor. This top rated Intel processor comes with an affordable price tag and don’t compromise any key specification to help the professional gaming geeks. For a high end CPU for gaming, its equally important to stay cool and calm under intensive workloads with help of latest and useful heat dissipation techniques.
Intel Core i7-9700K is a best CPU for gaming and streaming with its 8 cores and 8 threads, each core carrying greater power potential. You are not getting hyper-threading this time but the CPU still is able to handle easily everything you throw at it. Intel Core i7-9700K comes with a base clocking frequency of 3.60 Gigahertz and can be made overclocked to get immense power with 4.9 Gigahertz overclocking speed. It possesses a TDP (Thermal design profile) of 95 watts, stay quite reliable and cool whenever introduced to powerful video gaming. Furthermore, it is equipped with a 12MB smart cache and 300 series chipset. Intel Core i7-9700K holds 16 PCIe lanes and LGA 1151 processor socket type. You can’t ignore this amazing CPU for gaming if you want to keep perfect balance between price and performance.
AMD and Intel are two of the most famous gaming CPU manufacturers dominating market for years with their best processors. We have gathered some relevant data about processors to help you understand the basics along with a list of Top rated CPU for gaming 2021.