best cpu for gaming

7 Best Gaming CPU (as of Q1 2019) | Finding The Perfect CPU For Your Build

Here are the 7 Best Gaming CPU for 2019 that gives you the most performance per dollar:

Category

CPU 

Core / Threads 

Socket 

Price

Budget

Intel Core i3-8100

4/4

LGA 1151

AMD Ryzen 3 2200G

4/4

AM4

Mid

Intel Core i5-9400F

6/6

LGA 1151

Ryzen 5 2600

6/12

AM4

High

Intel Core i5-9600K

6/6

LGA 1151

Intel Core i7-9700K

8/8

LGA 1151

Ryzen 7 2700X

8/16

AM4

Choosing a CPU that PERFECTLY FITS your build

Your ideal CPU depends on:

How do you intend to use your PC

  • Pure gaming
  • Streaming for your followers
  • Recording your games
  • Video editing for your contents

How much your budget is for your entire build 

  • Finding the balance between your entire budget and performance is necessary. 
  • This guide aims to give you the most performance per dollar.
Alright GIF

So what are the things to consider before buying?

Overclocking 

  • If you’re gonna overclock, consider what aftermarket cooler you're gonna use. It will add up to the entire cost so planning ahead is wise.
  • If you don't know how overclocking works, it's better you research about it. Here's a guide that might help you.

Bottlenecks 

  • Bottlenecks prevents a part (like GPU for example) from reaching its potential. It's important to be mindful about it so you don't waste money.

Future Upgrades 

  • It’s smart to determine your upgrade path as early as possible. It will help you prevent compatibility issue. It also saves you money in a way.

Compatible Chipsets 

  • Both AMD’s and Intel’s latest generation of CPUs listed here need 300-series chipset.
  • Not all chipsets support overclocking.
that makes sense

REVIEWS:

Both Intel and AMD have their own advantage over the other. Intel has the upper hand when it comes to single threaded performance. and AMD takes the lead in multi-threaded performance.

It’s up to you to determine what suits your build better.

We’ve tested various CPUs to determine which could give the most performance out of every dollar.

Here it is…

Best Budget CPUs:

These CPUs are perfect for beginners.  If you have a very limited budget and are planning a pure gaming build, these budget CPUs are right for you.

Let’s dive in:

1. Intel Core i3-8100 @ 3.6GHz

Remember Pentium G4560 “the i3 killer” from Kaby Lake series? Well, that’s not gonna be the case anymore with Coffee Lake.

i3-8100 is Intel’s first entry on the 8th generation Core series. Unlike its predecessor, it has 4 physical cores making it a solid choice over Pentium G5400 as a budget CPU.

intel core i3-8100

Quick Specs

CPU Model

Intel Core i3-8100

CPU Socket

LGA 1151

Cores/Threads

4/4

Lithography

14nm

Clock Speed 

3.6GHz

L3 Cache 

6MB

TDP 

65W

Integrated Graphics 

Intel UHD Graphics 630

Unlocked 

No

Good For:

  • Pure Gaming
  • Watching Anime and Movies 

Not so good for:

  • Streaming
  • Video Editing
  • Content Creation

Final Thought

If a dedicated GPU still fits your budget, then Intel Core i3-8100 will please you. You can get decent FPS at medium to high settings (sometimes even Very High) on many game titles, including AAA.

But, if you can’t afford to have a dedicated graphics card, the next pick is the way to go.


2. Ryzen 3 2200G

Due to its ability to run games on decent FPS without a dedicated GPU, this is the ultimate CPU for budget gamers. Since it’s overclockable, you can even stretch it out a bit for a bit better performance.

Ryzen 3 2200G’s value is tough to beat. Intel can’t compete against this bad boy in terms of price to performance ratio.

ryzen 3 2200g

Quick Specs

CPU Model

AMD Ryzen 3 2200G

CPU Socket

AM4

Cores/Threads

4/4

Lithography

14nm

Clock Speed 

3.5GHz - 3.7Ghz

L3 Cache 

4MB

TDP 

65W

Integrated Graphics 

Radeon Vega 8 Graphics

Unlocked 

Yes

Good For:

  • Pure Gaming
  • Watching Anime and Movies 

Not so good for:

  • Streaming
  • Video Editing
  • Content Creation

Final Thought

If a dedicated GPU is way out of your budget, going with Ryzen 3 2200G is the best idea.

You can run games on low to medium settings (some can be on high) and get a playable FPS.


FPS Comparison:

We used this specs to compare the following games:

  • OS: Windows 10 Pro
  • GPU: GTX 1080
  • Memory: 2x8 3000Mhz

Using Integrated Graphics Only

battlefield
witcher
gta v

With GTX 1080: 

battlefield1
witcher
gta

Budget CPU Pick: Performance Per Dollar

i3 - 8100

R3 2200G

With dedicated GPU

Without dedicated GPU

Interesting

Best Mid-range CPUs:

If you’re not bound by limited budget yet you don’t wanna overspend, mid-range build is perfect for you. This is where the balance between performance and price happens. Mid-range CPUs gets the job done when it comes to streaming and video editing as well.

Gaming in 1440p is common with mid-range build. Meaning, 1080p gaming is not a problem at all!

Hence, mid-range CPU gives a great performance per dollar value!

With that said, let’s take a look:

1. Intel Core i5-9400F

The perfect CPU for gaming in mid-range build. Intel Core i5-9400F is basically i5-9400 without the integrated graphics. What it means for you is you get to have the performance of i5-9400 for a cheaper price.

Since you’re gonna be using dedicated GPU, it makes total sense to get this rather than the 9400.

intel core i5-9400f

Quick Specs

CPU Model

Intel Core i5-9400F

CPU Socket

LGA 1151

Cores/Threads

6/6

Lithography

14nm

Clock Speed 

2.9MHz

L3 Cache 

9MB

TDP 

65W

Integrated Graphics 

N/A

Unlocked 

No

Good For:

  • Gaming
  • Streaming

The Neutral: 

  • Video Editing
  • Content Creation

Not so good for:

  • No integrated graphics to fall back on in the event of GPU failure.

Final Thoughts

Intel’s decision about not including the iGPU is a smart move. But, it is a double-edged sword. Yes, it did make the 9400F cheaper but that is also its drawback. When your GPU breaks, no display for you!


2. Ryzen 5 2600

Ryzen 5 2600 is best for gamers who are streaming and creating their own contents because of its multi-threaded performance.

Yes, it lags a bit behind Intel-9400F on gaming performance. BUT, it makes up for it when it comes to other workloads gamers need such as video editing, game recording, etc.

ryzen 5 2600

Quick Specs

CPU Model

Ryzen 5 2600

CPU Socket

AM4

Cores/Threads

6/12

Lithography

14nm

Clock Speed 

3.4GHz

L3 Cache 

16MB

TDP 

65W

Integrated Graphics 

N/A

Unlocked 

Yes

Good For:

  • Gaming
  • Streaming
  • Video Editing
  • Content Creation

Not so good for:

  • No integrated graphics to fall back on in the event of GPU failure.

Final Thoughts

If your building for pure gaming purposes, you’re better off with 9400F. But, if you are building a PC with streaming and content creation in mind, this is a solid choice!

Since it’s overclockable, it can go head-to-head with 9400F when it comes to gaming performance. Multitasking will benefit as well. But, keep in mind that you’ll need to buy an aftermarket cooler to do it.

Like the 9400F, this has no iGPU which is a drawback.


FPS Comparison:

We used this specs to compare the following games: (all are at stock speed)

  • OS: Windows 10 Pro
  • GPU: RTX 2080
  • Memory: 2x8 3200MHz
battlefield
assassin's creed
shadow of the tomb raider

Mid-range CPU PICK: Performance per dollar

i5-9400F 

R5 2600 

Gaming 

Streaming 

Video Editing 

Recording 

Oh nice

Best High-end CPUs

4K at Ultra Settings? Can do!

Building a high-end PC is more than gaming. The feeling of having one is beyond happiness. From picking what parts to buy and assembling each part to pressing the power button, waiting for it to boot. We take it as an achievement!

Gaming while streaming and recording is never a problem with these CPUs (of course, it would still depends on other parts... Well… you get it).

And now, we are gonna take a look at the best high-end CPUs that will give you the most performance per dollar:

1. Intel Core i5-9600K

First entry at our high-end category. Many consider 9600K as a mid-range CPU. But the way it performs (and its price) tells us that it should be in high-end category.

9600K can get head-to-head with Ryzen 2700X as well as with i7-9700K when it comes to gaming! Yes! You heard that right!

intel core i5-9600k

Quick Specs

CPU Model

Intel Core i5-9600K

CPU Socket

LGA 1151

Cores/Threads

6/6

Lithography

14nm

Clock Speed 

3.7GHz

L3 Cache 

9MB

TDP 

95W

Integrated Graphics 

Intel UHD Graphics 630

Unlocked 

Yes

Good For:

  • Gaming
  • Streaming
  • Video Editing
  • Content Creation
  • Recording while streaming at the same time

Not so good for:

  • Needs Z-series to enjoy overclock which increases the overall cost

Final Thoughts:

Playing AAA titles at ultra settings even in 4K is not gonna be a problem. It’s performance is just a tiny bit behind 9700K but the price justify it well.


2. Intel Core i7-9700K

Intel’s ultimate CPU for gamers. Yup! That’s right! 9700K is the ultimate CPU for gamers.  Since we are talking about performance per dollar value here, i9-9900K is overkill.

Although you can go with lower CPU, 9700K is what we recommend for streamers who do content creation as well for their channels and platforms. The reason? It can handle all of your needs from playing at ultra settings while streaming and recording at the same time.

intel core i7-9700k

Quick Specs

CPU Model

Intel Core i7-9700K

CPU Socket

LGA 1151

Cores/Threads

8/8

Lithography

14nm

Clock Speed 

3.6GHz

L3 Cache 

12MB

TDP 

95W

Integrated Graphics 

Intel UHD Graphics 630

Unlocked 

Yes

Good For:

  • Gaming
  • Streaming
  • Video Editing
  • Content Creation
  • Recording while streaming at the same time

Not so good for:

  • Too expensive compared to other options

Final Thought

Getting an i7-9700K for your build will hit your pocket. BUT, since it’s great enough to be considered future-proof, it’s still worth getting it.

9700K’s performance in gaming is a bit behind i9-9900K and that’s why 9700K is a FAR better choice. Considering value you get for every money you spend of course.

IF 9700K is too expensive for you, the next one on the list is great for you!


3. Ryzen 7 2700X

9700K's multithreaded performance plus 9600K's gaming performance. 2700X is the best alternative for 9700K for streamers and content creators.

2700X’s price is over a hundred dollar less expensive than 9700K, making it the best option for gamers who don’t want to overspend.

amd ryzen 7 2700x

Quick Specs

CPU Model

Ryzen 7 2700X

CPU Socket

AM4

Cores/Threads

8/16

Lithography

14nm

Clock Speed 

3.7GHz

L3 Cache 

16MB

TDP 

95W

Integrated Graphics 

N/A

Unlocked 

Yes

Good For:

  • Gaming
  • Streaming
  • Video Editing
  • Content Creation
  • Recording while streaming at the same time

Not so good for:

  • Gaming is not the strongest suit but still way more than enough
  • No integrated graphics to fall back on in case of GPU failure 

Final Thought

2700X is the best CPU for streamers and content creators because of the balance between performance and price.

The drawback? It doesn’t have an integrated graphics which is  the same case as 9400F and 2600. When you’re GPU breaks, there will be no display for you.


FPS Comparison:

We used these specs to compare the following games: (all are at stock speed)

  • OS: Windows 10 Pro
  • GPU: RTX 2080 Ti
  • Memory: 2x8 3200MHz

1440p:

assassin's creed
forza horizon 4

4k:

assassin's creed
forza horizon 4

High-end CPU Pick: Performance per dollar

i5-9600K 

i7-9700K 

R7 2700X 

Gaming 

Streaming 

Video Editing 

Gaming while streaming and recording 

Wow

Conclusion

Whatever CPU you choose, you really can’t lose with AMD and Intel. Both have their own advantage and it’s gonna be up to you which would suit your build better. My advice is research about what parts will suit your CPU so you can get the most out of it.

Oh by the way, Ryzen 3rd Gen is about to come out. I’ll update this article as soon as possible. For now, enjoy your gaming life!

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