Looking for a feasible gaming rig can be a tiresome task if you are a hardcore gamer. After all, playing some really high-end games requires a compatible rig with the latest technology. Processors, or CPUs are an important requirement without which gaming would seldom be entertaining. Now, there are hundreds of processors on the market meant for gaming action and all claim to be truly worth their price tag. But, how would you know which one fits your bill and suits the kind of games that you play? By going through our review of the best processors for gaming, of course!
Carefully assembled from the depths of the Internet, our lineup of the best processors for gaming will cater to gamers of all hues who have varying budgets. So, are you all set to find out the best processors for gaming? Without further ado, let the games begin.
10 Best Processors For Gaming at every Budget in 2018 (Reviewed)
1) AMD RYZEN 7 1700 (Best all-purpose Gaming processor with octa-core)
After a few years of wait, AMD has introduced a high-end processor with a whole new “Zen” architecture. Known as Ryzen 7 1700, this processor surely is enticing enough to lure in avid gamers on a tight budget.
At first glance, we discerned this AMD flagship processor comes loaded with multi-threaded eight cores, which lend it the firepower to sustain some heavy-duty multitasking. So, games ranging from GTA-5 to Forza Motorsport 7 can be played easily whilst tackling the load of a high-end video editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro running in the background. Heck, it can even handle a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) like FL Studio 12 seamlessly.
Coming onto the speed, while it may not be incredibly fast as Intel’s Core I7-7700K (more on that below), but it is still speedy enough for playing lag-free games for hours on end. A respectable base clock speed of 3.0GHz and a turbo clock speed of 3.7GHz just need a bit of overclocking on this chipset and you can play any visually demanding game with ease and grace. And, oh overclocking this chipset doesn’t emit any droning noise as well.
If you are on a budget, this processor fits the bill quite easily. There are some nifty inbuilt features that proffer an unhindered and smooth gaming experience. We are talking about an efficient cooler called Wraith Spire and Sense MI technology, where the CPU controls the speed of the clock in real-time.
However, one downside to this processor is its power consumption, which should not have been overlooked by AMD. That being said, the Ryzen 7 1700 still retains its charm as a robust multitasking beast since multi-threaded chipsets can operate multiple applications at a time.
Bottom Line Best processor for gamers on a tight budget.
- 8 core,16 threads
- Very Affordable
- Cooler and Sense MI technology
- 20 MB Cache Memory
- Can be Overclocked
- Good for Multitasking
- Not as fast as Intel Core i7-7700K
- Consumes a lot of power
2) Intel Core i7-7700K (Fastest Intel processor for high-end gaming)
One of the most recognized chipset makers in the world, Intel has touted its 7th Gen Core i7-7700K as one of the fastest gaming processors in the industry right now. And, that’s what makes it a compelling choice for not only high-end gaming action, but also for music production as well as extensive video editing albeit one at a time.
With a formidable stock speed of 4.2GHz and an equally impressive turbo boost speed of 4.5GHz, playing some of the most demanding video games ranging from World of Warcraft, Civilization 6, to Battlefield 4 becomes a walk in the park with this solid quad core processor.
We figured this top-tier Intel CPU keeps the power consumption to a bare minimum without making any grinding noise. Moreover, compared with its closest competitor, AMD’s Ryzen 7 1700, its power consumption is relatively less.
Also, this processor doesn’t disappoint one bit when it comes to overclocking. For instance, it quickly reached some swift speeds on high-end games such as Mass Effect: Andromeda and Outlast 2.
However, to be honest, AMD’s Ryzen 7 1700 scores over this processor due to the sheer number of multi-threaded eight cores. Also, a slightly expensive price tag could play spoilsport for some gamers. A few shortcomings notwithstanding, the Core i7-7700K is one of the best processors for gaming from Intel till date and delivers on various benchmarks that definitely make it worthy of high-octane gaming action.
Bottom Line One of the best processors for gaming on the market right now.
- Good stock and turbo speed
- Remarkable overclocking
- Less power consumption
- Supports High-definition Resolutions
- High-end gaming compatible
- Can handle Multitasking
- Not suitable for multitasking / less no. of cores
- Relatively expensive
3) Intel Core i7-6700K (Best CPU for gaming in mid-price range)
Intel aims to bridge the gap between fast chipsets and a professional gamer’s needs by touting the Core i7-6700K as one of the best processors for gaming in the mid-price level range. For starters, it supports both DDR3L and DDR4 RAM and can be snug in old as well as new motherboards.
On the performance front, the Core i7-6700K doesn’t disappoint one bit. Gamers would surely find it enticing to indulge in brilliant 4K resolution gameplays in games such as Fallout 4.
At the same time, this Intel processor doesn’t leave professionals (people into graphic designing, music production, etc.) in the lurch as well. It can tackle some serious overclocking load efficiently.
Speaking of overclocking, we managed to derive an optimal speed of 4.8GHz which is pretty awesome. Further, this CPU can withstand graphics-laden, high-octane and demanding games like Ashes of Singularity quite easily. Moreover, a base clock speed of 4.2GHz wasn’t disappointing either. You would be delighted to know that the turbo boost speed can be bumped to an impressive 4.4GHz on this chipset.
Coming to the downsides, a somewhat expensive price tag of the Core i7-6700K is a buzzkill for an otherwise decent processor with a surprisingly good fps rate. We are saying this because we got a solid 122 fps whilst playing Fallout 4 as well as an impressive 52 fps in Shadow of Mordor. Also, while the Core i7-6700K remains steadfast on the performance front, it is a big power hogger with a staggering 140W consumption.
Bottom Line Best processor for gaming with a killer turbo boost.
- Great for Overclocking
- Good Turbo boost (4.4 GHz)
- Supports both DDR3L and DDR4 RAM
- Suitable for Multitasking
- Slightly expensive
- Consumes a lot of power
4) AMD RYZEN 5 1600X (Best CPU for live-streaming)
Keeping in mind the aspirations of gaming fanatics, the Ryzen 5 1600X has been introduced by AMD as one of the best processors for gaming on the market. It is a six-core processor that can parallelly operate 12 threads, thus making it suitable for seamless multitasking endeavours.
Its hyper-threaded six cores ensure playing heavy graphics games such as Call Of Duty- World War II and Battlefield 4 becomes a doable affair. You can also livestream your gameplays on Twitch while doing some high-end video editing on the side. Moreover, thanks to a zen architectural design, it can be integrated with any modern motherboard with DDR4 RAM. Also, some nifty features such as 16MB cache memory and AMD’s flagship Stealth cooler make it a steal in the mid-price range.
However, there are certain downsides too! For instance, the Ryzen 5 1600X doesn’t come bundled with a fan/heat sink which would have been beneficial for playing high-end games such as Ashes of the Singularity.
Second off, compared with some rivals, it slightly lags behind in the base and turbo clock speeds department. With a base clock speed of 3.6GHz and a turbo boost speed of 4GHz, the Ryzen 5 1600 X’s throughput lags at least 10% more than Intel’s i5-7600 (more on that below). Given the fact that AMD has aligned this processor much on the lines of Intel i5-7600, it certainly could have done more.
Bottom Line One of the best processors for gaming fans pursuing live-streaming.
- Six-core processor
- Multi-threaded cores for Multitasking
- 16MB cache memory
- Stealth Cooler
- Relatively low speed
- No Heat sink
For those of you anxiously looking for a pocket-friendly gaming based processor, Intel’s brand new offering, the Core I5-7600K, is a lucrative option. For starters, it is the latest Kaby Lake-based processor and supports DDR4 RAM as well.
Here are our first impressions. The Core I5-7600K is about 8% faster than its predecessors, so you won’t face any lags whilst playing games such as Fallout 4, and thus enjoy immersive real-time graphics complemented by a sweet surround sound experience.
Considering the modest price, we were actually impressed with its base clock speed that came around 3.8GHz. It is a reasonably priced deal given its capabilities in terms of clock speed. We’d reckon this processor is an apt fit for games such as Doom and Witcher 3 which are compatible with DDR4 RAM.
Moreover, the Core I5-7600K doesn’t make a long droning noise when overclocked and mellows down rather quickly. In fact, it also draws less power when graphically demanding processes are not running in the background.
However, we feel carrying out multitasking operations is one area where this processor could have done more. But, the biggest downside to the Core i5 7600K is its limited efficiency when it comes to overclocking. In our tryouts, it could only reach an overclocked speed of 4.2 GHz before maxing out. Also, compared with rivals in the same range such as the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X, the thread count of this processor is relatively less.
Bottom Line Best budget gaming processor worth every penny.
- Great Speed
- Very Affordable
- Power Efficient
- Can play graphics-heavy games
- Only Four cores
- Not suitable for overclocking
6) AMD RYZEN 7 1800X (Best Gaming processor for Video Editing)
Perhaps the costliest contender on our list of the best processors for gaming, the RYZEN 7 1800X is a true gameplay companion. It comes armed with a 3.6 GHz stock clock speed and a turbo speed of 4GHz.
At first glance, you will notice that it boasts a solid eight cores that are multi-threaded and fully loaded for heavy-duty multitasking ranging from playing intensive games like Ashes of the Singularity to doing some slick HD video editing, as well as rendering audio tracks on demanding DAWs like Pro Tools, FL Studio 12, et al.
We took this CPU for a spin whilst playing Witcher 3, and it returned an impressive 62 fps (better than Intel’s Core i7-7700K). This processor can even tackle games like Civilization 6, wherein you can bring your gameplays to life in a breathtaking 1440p resolution.
That being said, the RYZEN 7 1800X is a steeply priced processor so everyone won’t be able to afford it. Further, one disadvantage is that it doesn’t boast a cooler unit, hence your computer might heat up a bit whilst playing intensive games at a stretch. All in all, this CPU is meant for gamers seeking an immersive experience and for whom price is not a constraint.
Bottom Line Best processor for hardcore gamers who like multitasking.
- Octa Core, 16 threads
- Great Speed, 4GHz turbo
- Suitable for Multitasking
- Good fps, supports 1440p resolution
- Quite Expensive
- No cooler unit
7) Intel Celeron G3950 (Most Affordable Gaming processor)
For those of you who don’t want to splurge on an expensive processor, Intel’s Celeron G3950 comes to the fore as a lucrative option. It is a handy gear apt for low-end gaming, while also being compatible with modern motherboards.
We must admit, that despite being perhaps the cheapest chipset on our review of the best processors for gaming, the output was terrific for low-end games. The Celeron G3950 might be a single thread processor (i.e. it can operate only one application at a time), but we were able to play games such as League of legends at an impressive frame rate of over 60fps. Interestingly, the temperature also peaked at a modest 37°C.
But, as expected the output in high-end games such as Battlefield 4 flickered since the demand for larger fps/ large resolutions is high. Also, gamers must part with multitasking with this CPU even if that means avoiding simultaneously recording gameplays on Twitch. The reason being, Celeron G3950 is not cut out for supporting extensive operations.
However, there’s a silver lining to this processor as well. That is, it consumes a lot less electricity. During sporadic tests we figured it only drew a meagre 66W from the mains when it peaked. Also, another resourceful quality of the Celeron G3950 is that it is backed by a cooler unit for keeping the CPU temperature at bay and avoiding overheating.
Bottom Line Best deal for gamers looking for a super affordable processor.
- Best for low-end games
- Very Affordable
- Less electricity consumption
- Comes with a Cooler
- Not fast
- Doesn’t support games with high fps and large resolutions
8) Intel Core i3-7350K (One of the fastest Intel Processors)
If you are an overclocking enthusiast who likes to test the limits of their processor with some high-octane gaming at a pocket-friendly pricing, then Intel’s Dual Core chip, i3-7350 might the right pick for you.
When it comes to sheer speed and running a single application at a time, this Intel processor is a notch above than most AMD processors. At 4.2 GHz, it has one of the fastest stock clock speeds in the chipset game. Although there is no provision for turbo boost. Which is why, as soon multitasking comes into play, the speed drops down drastically.
Still, the the CORE i3-7350K’s overclocking can reach an impressive speed of 5GHz sans compromising on FPS and resolution. We took it for a spin whilst running Witcher 3 at 51 FPS, and we felt it promises a decent gaming action on desktops.
However, there is one limitation: The core i3-7350K isn’t compatible with most Intel motherboards. Eventually, users might end up buying an expensive Intel motherboard to get their gaming rig up and running.
Bottom Line A very feasible CPU exclusively for overclocking fans.
- Fast base clock speed (4.2GHz)
- Very Pocket-Friendly
- Good Overclocking (up to 5GHz)
- Consumes Less Power
- Cannot do multitasking
- Not compatible with most motherboards
AMD crops up a surprise for hardcore gamers with a low-priced chipset, RYZEN 5 1500X, but does it get the job done on games like Witcher 3? We find out.
It comes packed with a modest base clock speed of 3.5 GHz and a turbo boost speed of 3.7 GHz. Whilst playing Ashes of the Singularity, we could derive a decent score of 48 fps. We further tested its potential, this time in Battlefield 1. Here too, it showed a rather impressive 83 fps at par with some of its pricey Intel counterparts.
Like most AMD processors, the RYZEN 5 1500X too delivers optimal results with multitasking. However, while carrying out exhaustive tasks, it fails to score viz. processor speed. Also, most gaming enthusiasts will feel a bit disappointed as it is not up to the mark in the overclocking department as well. Hence, playing intensive games such as Battlefield 4 will be a downright lagging affair midway through the game.
Moreover, at 98W, the electricity consumption of the RYZEN 5 1500X is another area of concern. That being said, if you are searching for a affordable gaming processor that is better at delivering higher fps, we reckon giving this processor a shot.
Bottom Line One of the most affordable quad core processors with decent fps.
- Quad core, with eight threads
- Super affordable
- Higher FPS (best all-around)
- Good for multitasking
- Not quite fast
- Lags when overclocked
- Consumes more power
Rounding off our list of the best processors for gaming is Intel’s i7-5820K chipset which comes loaded with a decent base clock speed of 3.3GHz and a turbo boost speed of up to 3.6GHz.
To check if the i7-5820K is legit good for overclocking, we did a little test. The results? We were able to play games such as Dark Souls 3 and No Man’s Sky in 1440p resolution with a decent fps rate. Also, multitasking with this CPU is also possible. You can do rendering of projects in DAWs, video editing software and also carry out extensive graphic designing.
However, one major downside to this chipset is that it is compatible with, say, only DDR4 RAM and limited motherboards. Which means, if you own an older generation motherboard with DDR3L RAM slots, you might as well have to upgrade your gaming rig. Another drawback is that it doesn’t have a coolant/cooling system.
Nevertheless, avid gamers won’t be disappointed with the Core i7-5820K chipset since its six cores enable plenty of multitasking options. Budding gaming vloggers can make the most of it by simultaneously playing and live streaming their gameplays.
Bottom Line Best six-core processor for recording gameplays.
- Six cores, fast speed
- Can be overclocked
- Good FPS
- Only supports limited motherboards
Conclusion: Best Processors for Gaming in 2018
For multitasking fans who want to run as many heavy-duty applications as possible besides their favourite game, AMD’s Ryzen 7 1700 is one of the best processors for gaming.
If you are a fan of immersive gameplays at great resolutions and terrific turbo speeds, check out Intel Core i5-7600K.
If you are seeking a very affordable processor that can support your low-end gaming needs easily, the Intel CELERON G3950 is one of the best processors for gaming for you.
Lastly, check out Intel Core i7-6700K, if you want to get a solid fps rate in your gameplays and your budget is not fixed.
And…that’s a wrap! We do hope that our review of the 10 Best Processors for Gaming will help you make a sensible purchase and keep you happy in the long run.
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