5 Best CPU for Gaming

Best CPU for Gaming

Choosing a top gaming CPU in 2022 can be tricky because there are many great options.

For instance, Intel’s 12th Gen chips have proven worthy competitors to AMD’s Ryzen 5000 chips, making it the best time to upgrade your gaming PC’s processor.

These chips from AMD and Intel are all Quad-core processors which remains the most popular processor spec among Steam users; however, Hexa-core processors are poised to overtake them in the coming months.

This doesn’t mean that four cores and eight threads aren’t adequate for gaming setups; it is far from it since most games still depend on single-core performance.

Keep in mind that there is no need to get a top-of-the-line GPU and pair it with a budget CPU.

So if you’re hoping to use your gaming monitor’s 120Hz refresh rate, you’ll need a processor that doesn’t choke your performance or stifle your frame rates.

That said, let’s look at some of the best gaming CPUs available right now. 

List of the Best CPU for Gaming Include

5 Best CPU for GamingArchitecureBase ClockBoost ClockCores/ThreadsTDPDimensionsWeight
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Zen 34.1Ghz4.8Ghz6 & 1265W1.57 x 1.57 x 0.24 in. 2.8 oz.
AMD Ryzen 9 5900XZen 33.7Ghz4.8Ghz12 & 2465W1.57 x 1.57 x 0.24 in. 2.8 oz.
Intel Core i5-12600KAlder Lake3.7Ghz4.9Ghz10 & 16125W4.57 x 1.73 x 3.98 in. 3 oz.
Intel Core i7-12700KAlder Lake3.8Ghz4.9Ghz12 & 20125/190W4.57 x 1.73 x 3.98 in. 1.59 oz.
Intel Core i9-12900KAlder Lake3.3Ghz5.2Ghz16 & 24125W‎6.46 x 5.12 x 5.47 in. 15.5 oz.

1. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

Best CPU for Gaming
Best CPU for Gaming – AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 

We feel that the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is worth mentioning because while it’s a fantastic gaming CPU in its own right, it’s very cheap, especially if you’re upgrading from an older AM4-compatible gaming CPU. 

The Ryzen 5 5600X also has the best value in the Ryzen 5000 series because it ships with a Wraith Stealth cooler, so you don’t have to spend extra cash on a 3rd party cooler. 

Keep in mind that while you don’t have to spend money on a new cooling system, if you do, you’ll hit a higher base and boost clock speeds for longer. 

Key Specifications

  • Architecture: Zen 3
  • Base Clock: 4.1Ghz
  • Boost Clock: 4.8Ghz
  • Cores/Threads: 6/12
  • TDP: 65W
  • Dimensions: ‎1.57 x 1.57 x 0.24 inches
  • Weight: 2.8 Ounces

2. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

Best CPU for Gaming
Best CPU for Gaming – AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

AMD’s Zen platform has improved with each generation, but the fact that AMD has managed to eliminate a 19% IPC improvement with Zen 3 is nothing short of impressive. 

So whatever resolution you’re gaming at, the Ryzen 9 5900X can handle it and keep your GPU of choice fed with plenty of juicy frames.

This is a 12-core and 24-thread behemoth, so it can cope with pretty much anything you throw at it. 

Key Specifications

  • Architecture: Zen 3
  • Base Clock: 3.7Ghz
  • Boost Clock: 4.8Ghz
  • Cores/Threads: 12/24
  • TDP: 65W
  • Dimensions: ‎1.57 x 1.57 x 0.24 inches
  • Weight: 2.8 Ounces

3. Intel Core i5-12600K

Best CPU for Gaming
Best CPU for Gaming – Intel Core i5-12600K

The Core i5 12600K is a standout CPU for gamers because not only does it offer exceptional performance across the board, it does so at a budget-friendly price point. 

It dwarfs pretty much every other gaming processor out there, including the pricier ones.

Since it’s built on a new architecture, you will need to get a new motherboard and probably some new RAM sticks while you’re at it- Alder Lake supports DDR4 and DDR5 RAM sticks. 

Key Specifications

  • Architecture: Alder Lake
  • Base Clock: 3.7Ghz
  • Boost Clock: 4.9Ghz
  • Cores/Threads: 10/16
  • TDP: 125W
  • Dimensions: 4.57 x 1.73 x 3.98 Inches
  • Weight: 3 Ounces

4. Intel Core i7-12700K

Best CPU for Gaming
Best CPU for Gaming – Intel Core i7-12700K

At under 400 dollars, the Core i7-12700K dwarfs the AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X and Ryzen 9 5900X, all while offering the same gaming performance as Intel’s flagship gaming processor, the Core i9-12900K but for considerably less.

It has eight high-performance and four efficiency cores, making a total of twenty threads.

The high-performance cores have a base/boost of 3.6/5.0Ghz, while the efficiency cores have a base/boost of 2.7/3.8Ghz. What’s more, it’s fed by 12MB of L2 cache and 25MB of L3.

Key Specifications

  • Architecture: Alder Lake
  • Base Clock: 3.6Ghz
  • Boost Clock: 4.9Ghz
  • Cores/Threads: 12/20
  • TDP: 125/190W
  • Dimensions: 4.57 x 1.73 x 3.98 Inches
  • Weight: 1.59 Ounces

5. Intel Core i9-12900K

Best CPU for Gaming
Best CPU for Gaming – Intel Core i9-12900K

If you’re building a high-end PC not just for gaming but also for more intensive exploits such as 3D rendering and video editing, the Core i9-12900K is the CPU for you.

It’s a powerhouse, no doubt, but it needs a setup built around it to help it shine.

As a result, you’ll need a beefy PSU to make the most of its power, and a serious cooling system wouldn’t hurt either.

The fact that there is a lot of overclocking headroom will allow you to push this CPU to a whole new level. 

Key Specifications

  • Architecture: Alder Lake
  • Base Clock: 3.2Ghz
  • Boost Clock: 5.2Ghz
  • Cores/Threads: 16/24
  • TDP: 125W
  • Dimensions: ‎6.46 x 5.12 x 5.47 Inches
  • Weight: 15.5 Ounces

Final Thought

As you can see, there are plenty of good processors for gaming from the two leading chipmakers, AMD and Intel.

Therefore, the selection comes down to preference on architecture, but either way, you’ll be getting truly capable CPUs. 

See Also

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How to Overclock CPU?

How to Check CPU Temp?