The CPU is a sometimes overlooked component in a gaming computer. While GPUs garner all of the headlines and command the biggest asking prices, the CPU goes about its business in a fairly pedestrian manner. Still, regardless of its standing in the gaming PC hierarchy, a fast, reliable processor is a must. Below are a few of the top options available from both AMD and Intel — the two biggest names in the CPU space.
AMD’s Top CPU Options
Price Friendly: Ryzen 3 3300X
With a base clock speed of 3.8GHz and capable of maxing out at 4.3 GHz, the Ryzen 3 3300X
isn’t short on speed. It offers 4 cores and 8 threads and has everything players have come to expect from AMD’s third generation of Ryzen processors. The only caveat to the package is availability. With such a high level of performance and a retail price of just $149, the Ryzen 3 3300X should sell fast— and that’s exactly what it does. Fortunate consumers with the ability to snatch one up
should do so immediately.
Cutting-Edge Performance: Ryzen 9 5900X
At the other end of the price spectrum is the Ryzen 9 5900X
: a $549 behemoth that shatters benchmarks as well as bank accounts. This CPU has PCIe 4.0 support, 12 cores and 24 threads. Because of this, it’s the perfect processor for gamers who intend to play at maximum settings while also streaming their work for the world to see. It’s also a great choice for those looking to get the most out of VR gaming
The Middle Ground Option: Ryzen 5 5600X
It may not seem like it, but most PC gamers operate in the space between bargain-basement budget builds and rigs so extreme they need to be cooled with liquid nitrogen
. These players will get more than enough performance out of the Ryzen 5 5600X
, priced at $289. This leaves builders with a solid chunk of change to use on other components. Meanwhile, 6 cores and 12 threads and a base clock speed of 3.7 GHz make the Ryzen 5 5600X chips very desirable to those looking to spend about $1,000 on their next PC build.
The Flagship: Core i9-11900K
The competition between AMD and Intel for CPU supremacy has been a long and brutal one, with each chip maker coming out on top in certain areas. However, the performance of the Core i9-11900K
is more proof that, while AMD’s upper echelon CPU trumps Intel’s in some multithreaded tasks, the Rocket Lake chip can boast superior performance in many titles.
Combined with a GeForce RTX GPU, this CPU generally outperforms AMD’s top option in most 3DMark benchmarks. The retail price of $549 might be a bit much, but consumers who are loyal to Intel likely won’t mind paying more.
Affordable Performance: Core i5-11400K
This 10th generation Comet Lake CPU
has proven a popular option for PC enthusiasts
. A key factor in this popularity? It’s priced reasonably well at just over $200. While it won’t blow any doors off, the 6 cores and 12 threads make it more than capable, especially when overclocked up to 4.8 GHz. It’s a great option — one that’s going to look good and perform well in a budget PC build.
The Perfect Balance of Price and Performance: Core i7-10700K
Commonly available in the $320 price range, the Core i7-10700K
offers a lot to like. Capable of topping out at 5.1 GHz and boasting 8 cores along with 16 threads, this Comet Lake CPU is one of Intel’s most popular selections in the PC building community. As with all Intel CPUs, it comes with a cooler. That being said, anyone serious about getting more than base-level performance out of the CPU will want to ditch it and opt for a third-party model.
Protecting Your PC
With so much to think about when selecting CPUs and other essentials, gamers sometimes neglect extended warranty protection
. This can be a big risk, as even problems that seem minor can have a detrimental impact on performance or even ruin devices for good. High-power PCs may experience manufacturer defects and failures to motherboards, graphics cards, and fans.
However, with an extended warranty from Upsie, PC owners can protect their investments and keep them in the best shape possible. Upsie’s warranties are comprehensive and cover a wide range of possible damage, including internal computer failures. In addition, Upsie offers premium protection for up to 70 percent less than competitors.
For protection, savings, and peace of mind, choose Upsie.
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