Best CPU for Gaming and Streaming in 2021 (1080p, 1440p, 4k)

Greatest CPU for Gaming and Streaming in 2022 (1080p, 1440p, 4K)

Whereas graphics playing cards have usually been seen as a very powerful piece of {hardware} for gaming, a pc’s processor additionally closely weighs into how nicely video games will carry out on a gaming PC — particularly if one plans to run a number of packages within the background concurrently, equivalent to video recording or reside streaming software program.

Right now, we’ll be having a look at a few of the finest CPUs for gaming and streaming, starting from high-end fashions to extra low-budget choices. No matter which one you go for, you have to be getting one of the best CPU for the cash..offered you’ve chosen in accordance to your wants. (If all you’re doing is enjoying video games, don’t purchase a Threadripper, okay?)

Methods to Select a CPU for Gaming

Analysis Earlier than You Purchase

It’s crucial to do your analysis earlier than buying your processor, to make sure that it will likely be suitable with the remainder of your PC construct.

Motherboards are essentially the most difficult — many more recent CPUs received’t be suitable with older motherboards and vice versa. Each CPU has particular sockets and kind components that they will connect to, so that you’ll want to ensure your motherboard helps your CPU earlier than shopping for one.

Variety of Cores/Threads

The variety of cores and threads instantly correlates with what number of packages you possibly can run without delay or how highly effective the pc might be.

So, extra cores/threads = higher, proper? Sure and no. For gaming particularly, you usually received’t see efficiency advantages previous the quad-core or quad-thread mark. Additional threads turn out to be useful for multitasking and different duties, like video rendering, streaming, and extra.

There are additionally just a few video games which can be optimized to make the most of greater than 4 cores- whereas these are on the cutting-edge and don’t often make a large distinction, these situations do exist.

Usually, nevertheless, in case you’re in search of extra threads…you shouldn’t be working a gaming-only system. Try to be streaming or rendering semi-frequently to make the funding value it. 

Clock Pace

A part of the rationale that Intel CPUs have a bonus in single-core efficiency is that Intel CPUs are in a position to push increased clock speeds than AMD’s, even earlier than overclocking. Out-of-the-box turbo frequencies on trendy Intel CPUs are going as excessive as 5 GHz, whereas AMD doesn’t appear to have the ability to push too far previous 4 GHz but.

Overclocking can push these numbers even increased, however the development doesn’t change. That being mentioned, clock velocity usually doesn’t work as an efficient measure of velocity throughout totally different architectures. 3 GHz on 4 Ryzen cores will carry out very in a different way from 3 GHz on 4 Espresso Lake cores, as an illustration. When working clock velocity head-to-head, it’s finest to do it between the identical or comparable architectures: trendy Intel CPU vs trendy Intel CPU, versus Intel CPU vs AMD CPU.

Conserving Your System Cool

Undoubtedly guarantee that the CPU you buy is ready to deal with the cooling answer you need it to run with — if not, you may find yourself frying your model new CPU earlier than it even has an opportunity to overclock.

Bear in mind to ensure your motherboard/case can match this CPU as nicely — many producers don’t permit coolers thicker than a sure millimeter.

Efficiency Vs Value

What number of cores and threads do you want? What’s your funds like? Attempt contemplating all these variables when in search of a CPU that may suit your wants; we advocate our prime decide (the Ryzen 5 3600), however be at liberty to take a look at different choices in our listing above, or use PCPartPicker that will help you discover what you’re in search of!

In search of Offers

Oftentimes, reductions and offers pop up in many various locations — on-line, brick-and-mortar shops, producer web sites, and so on. We advocate trying out Newegg for offers on CPUs in addition to trying out the person producers’ web sites for gross sales and different promotional gives.

Maintain an Eye Out Bear in mind to maintain your eyes peeled for gross sales! Additionally, verify the pricing historical past of the CPU you’re looking at shopping for so you recognize when was its finest value level and the place it is likely to be discounted subsequent.

Analysis + Evaluate

Look into critiques about what folks say a couple of CPU earlier than buying it, particularly if that CPU has obtained blended or common critiques general. It may possibly additionally assist to check totally different CPUs towards one another by wanting up benchmarks and different posts to see how two or extra CPUs stack up towards one another.

Look Out for Bundles

In case you’re buying round, hold a watch out for CPU bundles that is likely to be happening sale! These embrace bundled graphics playing cards in addition to different elements that would prevent a big sum of money if bought collectively.

Greatest CPU for gaming and Streaming in a nutshell

  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600l
  • AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Intel Core i5 10400F
  • Intel Core i9 12900K
  • Intel Core i5 12600K

Greatest CPUs for Gaming and Streaming to Purchase in 2022

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 – Greatest GeneralAMD-Ryzen-5-3600

Key Specs

  • Cores: 6
  • Threads Supported: 12
  • Base Clock: 3.2 GHz
  • Enhance Clock: 4.2 GHz
  • TDP Score: 65 Watts

The Ryzen 5 3600 is a well-balanced CPU that provides glorious efficiency at its value level. It runs very nicely at inventory speeds and solely will get sooner because it’s overclocked, that means you will get stable efficiency out of this CPU proper now in addition to down the road as your funds permits for additional upgrades.

This mid-ranged chip gives glorious efficiency for the value, simply able to competing with costlier processors available on the market. And whereas it has extra lately been surpassed in efficiency by the Ryzen 5000-series, this card’s low price-to-performance ratio remains to be one of the best available on the market.

With 6 cores, 12 threads, and a base clock velocity of three.6GHz which might turbo as much as 4.2GHz when essential — it gives very good worth for cash for any gamer who needs to improve their PC with out breaking the financial institution or needing to improve their motherboard both.


  • Low value
  • Glorious gaming efficiency
  • Low energy consumption
  • Bundled cooler

  • Restricted overclocking potential
  • No built-in graphics

Backside Line: As a result of it strikes the right stability between affordability and glorious gaming efficiency, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is our decide for finest general finest CPU for gaming in 2022.

Examine Costs

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X – Greatest Excessive-end CPUryzen9-5900X cpu

Key Specs

  • Cores: 12
  • Threads Supported: 24
  • Base Clock: 3.7 GHz
  • Enhance Clock: 4.8 GHz
  • TDP Score: 105 Watts

AMD’s Ryzen 9 line of processors is at the moment the top-of-the-line, with the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X being one in all their flagship fashions. It may also be thought of among the finest CPUs for gaming in 2022 as a result of it gives nice efficiency at its value level, costing round $500 USD.

The Ryzen 9 sequence makes use of AMD’s Zen 2 structure to offer customers entry to higher IPC (Directions per clock) charges than their earlier technology CPUs have been able to attaining. The Ryzen 7 2700X, for instance, is roughly 40% sooner than its predecessor — an older 14nm chip that ran on Zen+ structure and price $100 much less when launched.

These new chips run a lot cooler and are additionally rather more highly effective than their predecessor, making them splendid for gaming and different power-intensive makes use of, and is the best CPU for 4K gaming.

Efficiency-wise, the Ryzen 9 5900X completely kills it; in comparison with final gen’s 3900XT, this CPU is a giant step up in multithreading efficiency, by a whopping 16 p.c.

video games particularly, there’s an general efficiency increase seen; in comparison with 3900XT, there’s a couple of 20 p.c increase in frames per second for a lot of video games general, with this mannequin performing kind of the identical as competing Intel playing cards, however is cheaper than the competitors. General, the Ryzen 9 5900X is well our decide for one of the best high-end CPU for gaming.


  • Nice Efficiency
  • Identical energy consumption as earlier fashions
  • Excellent for Easy 4K Gaming

  • No cooler included

Backside Line:
The Ryzen 9 5900X is likely one of the easiest high-end CPUs on the market, and is ideal for any players in search of clean 4K gaming alongside a high-end GPU.

Examine Costs

Intel Core i5 10400F – Greatest Funds CPUIntel-Core-i5-10400F

Key Specs

  • Cores: 6
  • Threads Supported: 12
  • Base Clock: 2.9 GHz
  • Enhance Clock: 4.3 GHz
  • TDP Score: 65 Watts

If you’re in search of a extra reasonably priced processor that may nonetheless supply some spectacular efficiency capabilities, then we advocate trying out the Intel Core i5 — most notably the i5 10400F.

Whereas it isn’t as highly effective as a few of the high-end fashions available on the market, it nonetheless packs a good punch and is ready to run most video games at 1080p 60fps with ease. And it’s able to outperforming earlier technology CPUs (like Kaby Lake Refresh) for a fraction of their value.

This mannequin specifically has six cores, every working at 3GHz capability with a most turbo frequency of 4GHz. The built-in graphics card can be utilized to run video games at decrease settings on older computer systems, however it could battle with increased graphics necessities as a result of its older structure.

If funds is a priority, Intel’s Espresso Lake sequence does include motherboards that help DDR4 RAM, which has sooner learn/write speeds than the older DDR3 format that older processors have been restricted to.


  • Strong gaming efficiency for a mid-range CPU
  • Very Reasonably priced
  • Low TDP
  • Excellent for Easy 1080p Gaming ​

  • Missing in Energy​
  • Built-in Graphics are Sub-par ​

Backside Line: For these trying to recreation on a funds, the Intel i5 10400F does a greater than a serviceable job, able to working just about all video games on excessive settings with 1080p decision alongside a stable graphics card.

Examine Costs

Intel Core i9 12900K – Quickest CPUIntel-Core-i9-12900K

Key Specs

  • Cores: 8+8
  • Threads Supported: 24
  • Base Clock: 3.2 GHz
  • Enhance Clock: 5.2 GHz
  • TDP Score: 125 (Base Energy), 241 Watts (Most Turbo Energy)

If you’re in search of pure, unadulterated efficiency, then the Intel Core i9 12900K is well one of many strongest processors available on the market proper now. Nevertheless, uncooked energy alone doesn’t make this CPU worthwhile — it’s additionally very costly in addition to comparatively arduous to get your palms on.

Whereas this CPU is undoubtedly some of the highly effective choices obtainable, it additionally comes with a hefty price ticket — over $600 USD — and requires a particularly high-end motherboard to run.

Due to that, it’s not often really useful for gaming wants, however in case you wished to strive your hand at streaming or recording gameplay whereas working one other course of, then this is likely one of the finest CPUs for it.

On the subject of gaming efficiency, the i9 12900K simply barely outperforms its competitors, the Ryzen 9 5950X. This CPU can be a giant enchancment over the eleventh Gen 11900K, when it comes to each gaming and productiveness instruments.

Whereas it beats out its competitors in practically all instances, it’s value noting that it additionally attracts a ton of energy — working at full capability, the 12900K might draw greater than 240 watts, in comparison with the Ryzen 9 5950X’s 120 watts. Relying in your funds, this may occasionally or will not be a worthy tradeoff.


  • Unmatched gaming efficiency
  • Nice overclock potential
  • Unbelievable single-threaded efficiency
  • Tremendously improved over previous Intel Core CPUs ​

  • Excessive energy consumption
  • Costly ​

Backside Line: For these with huge budgets which can be merely in search of the quickest CPU available on the market that may easily carry out duties outdoors of gaming, the Intel Core i9 12900K is arguably the best choice.

Examine Costs

Intel Core i5 12600K – Greatest CPU for OverclockingIntel-Core-i5-12600K

Key Specs

  • Cores: 6+4
  • Threads Supported: 16
  • Base Clock: 3.7 GHz
  • Enhance Clock: 4.9 GHz
  • TDP Score: 125 Watts (Base Energy), 150 Watts (Most Turbo Energy)

Whereas many individuals affiliate overclocking with those that have a extremely excessive funds, that isn’t truly true in any respect! For these on a decrease funds that also want to overclock their CPUs, the Intel Core i5 12600K is the right selection. 

It’s very low cost, gives glorious uncooked efficiency at inventory speeds, and could be overclocked with no need one thing costlier like a motherboard with “Z-series chipset”.

The Intel Core i5 12600K has six cores, 12 threads, and a base clock velocity of three.3GHz with a most turbo frequency of 4.4GHz — making it marginally sooner than the Core i5 9600K in uncooked efficiency benchmarks.

This processor can deal with modest overclocks from easy cooling options equivalent to air coolers or liquid coolers with out breaking a sweat, permitting you to take a position your funds into upgrading different facets of your PC (such because the motherboard or graphics card) down the road.


  • Greatest CPU for overclocking for video games
  • Nice value

  • Extra power-hungry than Ryzen playing cards

Backside Line: For these primarily trying to recreation, the Intel i5 12600K is likely one of the finest choices on the market; cheaper than Core i7 and Core i9 playing cards, that is one of the best overclockable CPU on the market for the cash.

Examine Costs

Are extra cores higher for gaming?

Sure and no.

What issues most when it comes to uncooked gaming efficiency is what’s known as single-core efficiency. Single-core efficiency refers to how nicely single cores in a CPU function, and Intel has lengthy held the benefit on this area: for that motive, Intel processors throughout the board all the time carry out just a bit bit higher in most video games than AMD’s do.

On the subject of multi-core, it depends upon what the sport is provided to deal with. Most video games will solely make the most of two cores to their fullest, with true quad-core and better optimizations being a lot rarer. For gaming functions, which means that all you actually want is about 4 cores for many situations…although if you wish to stream and recreation, you’ll positively need extra.

Core rely, general, is way from essentially the most correct method of gauging efficiency. Maintain this in thoughts when purchasing for gaming PC builds.

Is it true that Intel CPUs higher than AMD CPUs?

Will depend on what you’re doing.

In case you’re gaming- simply gaming- then sure, often. You’ll be paying a great bit extra for an Intel branding and a efficiency distinction that’s often lower than 5%, however that could possibly be essential in case you’re, say, a aggressive gamer. Nevertheless, even this level can break down in case you’re a funds gamer, since AMD’s low-end costs and new Zen APUs can present most, if not the entire Intel efficiency at a a lot lower cost. Intel’s dominance actually solely kicks in at high-end gaming.

In case you’re doing extra than simply gaming, AMD might be much more engaging. Ryzen 5 and higher processors, as an illustration, can deal with high-end gaming duties whereas additionally streaming with little or no stutter and efficiency loss, because of their excessive core and thread rely. They’re additionally usually less expensive than Intel’s counterparts for a similar goal, making Ryzen CPUs a really perfect decide for Twitch streamers and gaming YouTubers alike.

To supply a extra definitive reply: no, Intel CPUs aren’t higher than AMD CPUs. They aren’t worse, both, they only serve totally different functions.

In order for you each little little bit of gaming efficiency you will get, and also you’re keen to pay a better value premium for streaming capabilities with it, go Intel. Their stellar single-core efficiency received’t depart you hurting for FPS, offered the remainder of your system can sustain.

In case you’re on a tighter funds, or streaming/rendering are widespread workloads for you, go AMD. The Zen structure is great for multithreaded workloads like these, and the single-core efficiency remains to be ok to be inside spitting distance of Intel’s.

Are APUs any good? What makes them totally different from regular CPUs?

At first, APUs…weren’t all that nice. We’ll clarify why under.

APUs are additionally usually the identical factor as a CPU, particularly Intel CPUs with built-in graphics. Their built-in graphics efficiency is way increased than Intel’s, although.

AMD debuted APU know-how again in 2014. APUs have been touted as the following huge factor in computing, with far superior built-in graphics know-how in comparison with Intel processors, and lots of producers eagerly leaping onboard. Within the laptop computer market, APUs have been notably potent, making cheaper gaming and productiveness laptops simpler than ever to supply.

Within the desktop market…it was a distinct story. AMD was nonetheless on its AM3 structure again then, which was displaying its age. Their CPU releases merely couldn’t sustain with Intel on their desktop platform, and APUs usually didn’t pose a ok worth proposition to justify shopping for one as a substitute of an Intel CPU + discrete GPU. The know-how didn’t reside as much as the hype within the desktop area.

As of 2018, that has modified. AMD’s newest APUs make the most of Ryzen cores and Vega graphics chips, enabling a degree of efficiency beforehand exceptional for built-in graphics chips. The brand new Ryzen APUs, particularly the Ryzen 3 2200G, supply a reasonably compelling worth for funds techniques…and since they’re nonetheless utilizing Zen cores, can function completely sufficient gaming CPUs even after the consumer will get a discrete GPU.

If you wish to lower your expenses on a PC construct, it’s simple for us to advocate an AMD APU construct. You possibly can all the time add a discrete GPU later, and even bump as much as a Ryzen 5/7 to create a greater expertise.

How a lot RAM do I want? Will it influence my CPU efficiency?

Nice query!

We’ll divide this into tiers and bulleted lists, to your comfort.

Tier 1 – Fundamental/Gaming

  • 4 GB RAM – With this quantity of RAM, you’re just about destitute for contemporary video games, however must be effective with last-gen titles and the proper settings. Normal desktop utilization must be completely effective, as nicely.
  • 8 GB RAM – For gaming-centric builds, that is the best level of entry. Most trendy video games have but to make the most of greater than ~6GB of RAM, and 8GB leaves 2GB for the remainder of your system to work within the background. Normal desktop utilization will excel right here.
  • 12 GB RAM – For gaming-centric builds, you’re already fairly well-covered right here. The additional RAM you could have can now be put towards duties like mild streaming within the background.

Tier 2 – Gaming/Streaming

  • 16 GB RAM – If all you’re doing is gaming, you don’t want this a lot RAM. Take it down a notch. In case you’re additionally streaming and rendering, or in case you similar to having 20 Chrome tabs open whilst you’re in-game, then this is likely to be best for you.
  • 24 GB RAM – You aren’t simply gaming at this point- you’re streaming and rendering usually alongside your gaming workloads. You received’t expertise any gaming efficiency advantages with this quantity of RAM, nevertheless.

Tier 3 – Excessive

  • 32 GB RAM – That is for actually excessive workloads. Maybe you’re streaming and rendering 4K video, or working many file compression/video conversion duties in your PC.
  • 64 GB RAM – Basically the identical utilization situation as 32 GB, however extra excessive. That, otherwise you’re working your personal server. At this level, take your decide.

RAM and CPU Efficiency

CPU and RAM are literally tied fairly shut collectively. In case your RAM is simply too sluggish or there isn’t sufficient of it, your CPU’s efficiency might be bottlenecked by its limitations. When you’ve hit 8GB or increased, your fundamental CPU efficiency received’t change a lot…so long as you’re working a dual-channel configuration or higher.

Apart from having the correct amount of RAM to your CPU, you’ll additionally wish to hold configurations and frequency in thoughts.

  • Single-Channel RAM – A single RAM stick. This can successfully restrict your RAM’s velocity to half of its potential capability, which will bottleneck your CPU’s efficiency considerably.
  • Twin-Channel RAM – Two RAM sticks. In a dual-channel configuration, these RAM sticks will be capable to synchronize and run sooner, permitting them to succeed in their rated speeds. This received’t bottleneck your CPU’s efficiency in any significant method, and is really useful for any gaming system.
  • Quad-Channel RAM – 4 RAM sticks, working collectively. This received’t supply the identical sort of efficiency leap that single-channel to dual-channel will, nevertheless it’ll nonetheless make a distinction. That is splendid for the aforementioned Tier 2 or Tier 3 RAM setups.

Now, for RAM frequency, or RAM velocity.

For many techniques, a fundamental dual-channel DDR4 equipment working at 2133 MHz is all you’re going to wish. Even whenever you begin pushing RAM frequency increased, you’ll see nearly no change in common framerates: nevertheless, you’ll discover enhancements in minimal framerates, which suggests you’ll expertise much less extreme body drops. Larger RAM velocity may even profit streaming, rendering, and different multi-threaded workloads.

Do I want water cooling?

By no means.

The primary advantages of water cooling setups are extra overclocking headroom (particularly with customized loop setups), quieter operation, and low profile builds (particularly AIO coolers). In case you don’t care about this stuff, an air cooler will suffice simply effective to your wants.

Closing Thought

CPUs are nonetheless very a lot related relating to gaming PCs — they won’t be a very powerful piece of {hardware} in a rig (that will in all probability be the GPU), however there’s no arguing {that a} first rate processor will assist to enhance general PC efficiency and permit your machine to run higher than having an outdated or decrease high quality chip put in. 

In case you’re in search of a good CPU that received’t break your funds however will final you for the following couple of years, then the Ryzen 5 3600 could also be the best choice. It gives nice efficiency and overclocking functionality for its value, and it doesn’t damage to take a position on this chip if you would like one thing that may deal with much more demanding video games at increased framerates or resolutions.

We hope that this information has been useful to you, and has given you a greater concept of what kind of CPU is finest to your subsequent gaming PC! Alternatively, in case you’re in search of a CPU to make use of for mining cryptocurrency, then be at liberty to check out our information.

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