Best CPUs for Competitive Level Gaming – Review & Buyer’s Guide (2022)

Best CPU for Gaming

It is a dream of gamers to play their favorite games in the maximum settings possible without any lag. As AMD and Intel’s processors are ruling the market, selecting among them becomes more difficult. The best CPU for gaming is meant to last longer and includes clock speeds, thread counts, and overclocking features for performance but you need to make an informed decision while buying it. 

There are plenty of gaming CPUs available in the market claiming to be the best. But, it can be decided only through benchmarking and every possible testing. Trying each and every CPU might be hard for you but as professionals, we take pleasure in testing CPUs and presenting an unbiased review of them to you. Here we’ll provide you with our review of the best gaming CPUs and give you some tips that are crucial for your purchase. Let’s begin.

Our Picks for Best Gaming CPU in 2022

Best Overall
AMD Ryzen 9 5900x

  • 4.8GHz Speed
  • Zen 3 Architecture
  • High Performance
Value For Money
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

  • 4.4 GHz Speed
  • LED Prism Cooler
  • Increased Bandwidth
Premium Pick
Intel Core i9-9900K

  • 5GHz Speed
  • Intel Optane Memory
  • Faster Boot Time

In-Depth Review of 5 Best CPUs for Gaming 

Testing plenty of CPUs and providing only five to you was quite challenging. However, we made sure to present the best among all in terms of performance, durability, and value for money.

1: AMD Ryzen 9 5900x

AMD Ryzen 9 5900x - Best CPU for Gaming

The Ryzen 9 5900x is our first pick as the best CPU for gaming due to its “Zen 3” architecture which makes it 20 percent more powerful than before and gives it an edge over Intel’s processor. It feels thick and offers 12-core and 24 threads for giving you the ultimate performance while gaming.

As compared to AMD Ryzen 5 5600x, this model has 4.8Ghz of CPU speed and we tested games like Fortnite and GTA V in which it delivered 100+ fps with ease. The boot time is very quick and whatever resolution you play games at, this processor won’t disappoint. 

However, with AMD excluding the Wraith cooler, you’ll need to buy a separate cooler for maintaining the temperature and getting the high performance. Overall, in this price range, you get exactly how much you pay. If budget is no concern for you, check the AMD Ryzen 5950x with similar features but more performance otherwise this is the best budget gaming CPU available right now.

Specifications:

  • Brand: AMD
  • Clocked Speed: 4.8 GHz
  • Socket: Socket AM4
  • Processor Count: ‎12
  • Weight: ‎2.8 ounces
  • Dimensions: ‎1.57 x 1.57 x 0.24 in

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2: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

AMD Ryzen 7 3700x - Best Value CPU for Gaming

Now comes the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X which we consider the value for money processor. AMD has not only boosted its power but it takes low power consumption at a reasonable price.  With over 23k ratings on Amazon, we pushed its limits for testing performance. 

It has 8 processor counts and 4.4Ghz max CPU speed which may sound low to you but thanks to its wraith prism cooler, it maintained the temperature really well and we didn’t get any throttling issues. The best part is that you can also optimize its LED lighting as per your liking.

The increased bandwidth of this processor helps you compete in online games without worrying about any network issues. Moreover, when paired with AMD graphics cards, the gaming experience goes to a whole new level. Overall, if you’re a gaming enthusiast and looking for a processor providing value for money, this is your chance.

Specifications:

  • Brand: AMD
  • Clocked Speed: 4.4 GHz
  • Socket: Socket AM4
  • Processor Count:
  • Weight: 1.40lbs
  • Dimensions: 1.57 x 1.57 x 0.24 in

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3: Intel Core i9-9900K

Intel Core I9-9900K - Best Premium CPU for Gaming

The best CPU for gaming is incomplete without having an Intel processor. The i9-9900K processor is our most expensive pick in this review but the features and performance make it worth your time. This processor has not made any architecture change from its predecessors but still, you’ll see a jump in performance due to improved 8 cores and 16 threads.

It features a clock speed of 5Ghz which is faster than the other CPUs that we’ve tested but you need to consider that this is compatible with Intel’s 300 series-based chipsets. With AMD getting the first two spots on our list, Intel did really well with this processor. You get Intel Optane memory support which accelerates the performance by loading files 1.6 times faster than others and making your daily tasks 2x more responsive.

The processor has definitely improved the boot time and its temp stays around 75 to 85F when idle. While gaming for more than 5 hours, the temperature do rise a lot but it didn’t show any throttling sign. If you’re a dedicated gamer or perform multitasking on your PC, we consider it the best Intel CPU for gaming.

Specifications:

  • Brand: Intel
  • Clocked Speed: 5 GHz
  • Socket: LGA 1151
  • Processor Count: 8
  • Weight: 0.02 ounces
  • Dimensions: 2.91 x 4.41 x 4.61 in

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4: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

AMD Ryzen 5 5600x

The next spot in best CPU for gaming is taken by AMD Ryzen 5 5600X due to its solid performance that far exceeds Intel’s processor in its range. To our surprise, the 4.6 GHz overclocked speed performs really well and didn’t even throttle. 

It has 6 core counts and 12 processing threads that can easily deliver 100+ stable frames. Moreover, the Zen 3 architecture gives a 19% increase in multitasking and gives you stunning performance while consuming less power than its previous model.

The wraith cooler is quiet and works well but the RGB lighting should’ve been included. However, for this price, it can be settled. Overall, if you’re an existing AMD owner with a 400 or 500-series motherboard, this is the best AMD CPU for gaming.

Specifications:

  • Brand: AMD
  • Clocked Speed: 4.6 GHz
  • Socket: AM4
  • Processor Count: 6
  • Weight: ‎2.8 ounces
  • Dimensions: ‎1.57 x 1.57 x 0.24 in

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5: Intel Core i5-9600K

Intel Core I5-9600K

The Intel i5-9600K processor is our final choice that deserves your attention. In our benchmarking test, it managed to compete with the Ryzen 5 5600x. It gives your PC high performance, good power consumption, and efficiency to run demanding games without any throttling issues.

It has a base clock of 3.7 GHz and 4.40 GHz when overclocked. We continuously played Valorant for 5 hours to check its capabilities and it reached the temperature of 176F. As compared to Intel’s i5 4460, the gaming segment is improved a lot. However, it is best that you invest in a GPU as well, or else you might face issues in running demanding games.

If you are an Intel enthusiast and looking for a budget-friendly processor that can manage your day-to-day work and average gaming sessions with 80-120fps, the i5-9600K is the best gaming CPU for you.

Specifications:

  • Brand: Intel
  • Clocked Speed: 4.40 GHz
  • Socket: LGA 1151
  • Processor Count: 6
  • Weight: 2.40 ounces
  • Dimensions: 4.57 x 3.98 x 2.76 in

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How to choose the Best CPU for Gaming? (Buyer’s Guide)

Now that we presented you with the best CPU for gaming, you must make an informed decision. Of course, the budget is crucial but we’ve prepared a buying guide with many considerations that’ll make your purchase an investment.

1. Decide the uses of your PC

We know gaming is your primary choice but you need to consider if you’re going to stream your content, edit videos for uploading, and do many other CPU-intensive tasks. In such cases, you need to consider core threads and processor counts for maximum performance.

2. Overclocking and Clock Speed for Extra Frames

If you’re a gamer, you must’ve knowledge of how important frame rates are. They can affect the winning outcome by providing you with faster reflexes, smoother gameplay, and giving you an advantage over others. Most esports games support more than 60fps so, make sure to grab the overclocking feature to be on the safer side.

3. Understand the need for cores

You need to understand that the latest AMD and Intel CPUs provide multiple cores ranging from 4 to 16. If you’re a normal gamer who plays for fun, 4 cores will be enough for you but if you perform many tasks like video editing, competitive level gaming, and looking for a future-proof processor, go with the 16 cores.

4. Are Integrated Graphics worth it?

If you see integrated graphics with a processor for an extra price, should you consider it? It depends. Most of the processors exclude graphics cards because there are various gamers. Some prefer medium-graphics games while others prefer hardcore games that require a dedicated GPU. We recommend you if you’re a hardcore gamer, you can avoid integrated graphics and invest in GPUs. 

5. Compare Benchmarks and go through Reviews

As you decide on purchasing a processor, you must consider the benchmarking score. It allows easy comparison of multiple CPUs and helps you understand their performance as per your needs. Moreover, always go with reviews as it’ll help you get the overall idea of the product and how far they’ve pushed for testing their limit.

Final Verdict

As we conclude our review, we hope you are well-informed to make a decision. We made our testing based on benchmark results using multiple categories. The game we mostly played on these CPUs are Valorant, and GTA V, and used an FPS monitor for recording frames while using the best gaming chairs for comfort.

Do not get confused between AMD and Intel, you should choose the one that meets your requirements and is able to run your favorite game smoothly. We recommend you AMD Ryzen 9 5900x for gaming and if you’re looking for a future-proof investment, go with the Intel i9-9900K processor

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Which is the best CPU for Gaming 2022?

There are only a few CPUs for gaming in 2022 which stood up to our expectations. They’ve been tested for quality, performance, optimal cooling, and value for money.

  1. AMD Ryzen 9 5900x for overall gaming performance.
  2. AMD Ryzen 7 3700x for a cost-effective purchase.
  3. Intel Core I9-9900K for a future-proof investment.

Q2. What is the Best CPU for Gaming and Streaming?

If you need a CPU for gaming and streaming simultaneously, you should consider the Intel Core I9-9900K processor. It is a bit expensive but you’ll face no issues in streaming your content on Youtube or Twitch.

Q3. Is Intel or Ryzen better for Gaming?

When it comes to gaming, Intel and Ryzen both are well-known. However, it is the core counts and threads that make all the difference. If you consider the pricing, AMD has an advantage, whereas if you go for value and performance, Intel takes the lead.

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