Processor is one of the key hardware component of your gaming rig, it responds to and manipulates the primary instructions that navigates your whole system. Getting a best CPU for gaming – with optimal core & threads count, greater overclocking performance, flashier cooling mechanism, and useful integrated graphics – surely will bring seamless gaming experience. AMD and Intel are two of the well recognized and predominant manufacturers with smashing processors to offer.
We have gathered a comprehensive data about 9 best CPUs for gaming 2021, each offering different perks and benefits. Go through all along with a detailed buying guide discussing all key factors and pick up the best one according to your need and budget.
Best CPU for Gaming 2021
- AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
- Intel Core i9-10900K
- AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
- Intel Core i7-8086K
- AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
- Intel Core i9-9900KF
- AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
- Intel Core i5-8400
- AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
Our Top 3 Picks
1. AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
Base Clock: 3.8 GHz
Boost Clock: 4.6 GHz
2. Intel Core i9-10900K
Base Clock: 3.7 GHz
Boost Clock: 5.3 GHz
3. AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
Base Clock: 3.8 GHz
Boost Clock: 4.4 GHz
Best Gaming CPU Characteristics
You might be confused and asking yourself, what is the best CPU for gaming available in the market right now? What can be the optimal count for Core and Threads? What TDP should a best CPU 2021 should offer in order to stay low under intensive workloads? These are all valid queries coming in your mind while shopping for a processor with not much basic knowledge. We here in this section are going to discuss some high-priority factors just to help you clear you mind and lead you to a best pick.
AMD or Intel : You won’t witness any other key manufacturer to beat Intel and AMD’s processors. These two are the predominant and reliable brands with amazing lineups for both budget and high-end users. In starting days, the Intel was all over AMD until in 2017 when the AMD bounced back with its Ryzen series offering greater Hyper-threading capabilities and useful number of Cores and Threads. Things are getting really tough for both brand to dominate each other because Intel with its 10th generation Comet Lake processors provides raw performance, is setting the bar so high for AMD. In hyper-threading and overclocking section, Intel stands right at the top. The AMD processors with an advantage of AM4 sockets are more compatible than that of Intel CPUs. There is no doubt that Intel processors offers worthy performance but comes comparatively at high-price tag. While the AMD CPUs comes equipped with modern cooling coolers and don’t costs too much.
Cores & Threads : Cores are the physical part of CPU that receives different instructions while threads can be termed as the logical part of a Core that simply refers to the total number of engagements a processor can make at a time. A processor having greater number of threads and cores will ultimately result in delivering greater performance. Multithreading means cores of a processor can deal with more than one application at a time. AMD terms this phenomenon as simultaneous multithreading and in case of Intel, it is termed as Hyper Threading. In order to get the best CPU for Gaming 2021, you must opt for one that comes with at least 6 cores and 12 threads to handle any gaming workload.
Overclocking : Overclocking of a processor means extending its capabilities with performance to more than what it is intended for. Or in technical terms, increasing the clock rates of a CPU in order to get best gaming performance. Best CPUs for gaming needs to be overclocked because it enables the processor to deliver greater fire power. Intel in terms of Overclocking falls slightly shorter than that of AMD, not all the Intel CPUs holds overclocking capabilities but those with “K” alphabet at the end of their model number can be made overclocked. While AMD here in this section is a beast, offering all their CPUs with overclocking feature. For professional gamers, the Intel’s 10th generation Comet Lake architecture processors are highly recommended because of raw overclocking performance.
Best Gaming CPU 2021
1. AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is one of the mainstream and most powerful processor available in the market right now. This best CPU for gaming with its exceptional multithreading capabilities produces true fire power, almost eating everything coming its way. You may find competing Intel’s processor with same price tag but, when it comes to performance nothing can beat the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X. This behemoth of a processor provides some great fire power with its 12 cores and 24 threads, dispenses 3.8 Gigahertz base clocking speed and when boosted it reaches around 4.6 Gigahertz boost clocking speed.
This best AMD CPU for gaming comes with fourth generation triple lightening M.2 slot that radiates huge file transfer speeds up to 64GB/Sec. The said processor is not doubt much powerful with what it costs, but still there are areas (Older games like world of Warcraft, etc. that are completely single threaded) where it can beat the Intel Core i9-9900K. The inclusion of massive 16 PCIe Lanes in AMD Ryzen 3900X is a big thing as they opens room for the processor to provides faster overall performance. The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is a best CPU for gaming 2021 you can buy for this much affordable price, playing AAA games, dealing with hardcore photo and video editing feels great with its smooth and faster performance.
2. Intel Core i9-10900K
Intel and AMD are genuine rivals, each competing hard to acknowledge their art of providing market with best processors. Intel slightly suffered with its introduction of Core i9-9900K processor previously and that was the perfect time for AMD to totally dominate market with its Ryzen 9 3900x best rated processor. Since then, Intel at a cost of one year research – has come up with its Comet Lake microarchitecture 10th generation Intel Core i9-10900K processor that possesses massive power and potential. Intel Core i9-10900K is a known most powerful processor yet available in the market for professional gamers.
The Intel Core i9-10900K comes with advanced boosting algorithms perfectly carves up clocking frequencies across the cores. This best processor for gaming holds 10 cores and 20 thread that ensures a seamless gaming experience. Further, the 10900K processor comes with a 3.7 Gigahertz base clocking speed – when boosted with Thermal Velocity Boost and Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology , it increases up to 5.3 Gigahertz. The thermal design point of this best processor for gaming is 125w and has 16 3rd generation PCIe lanes. The perfect match for content creator, media artists, professional gaming geeks, Engineers and Scientist dealing with intensive simulation programs. Multitasking is no more a hectic job as Intel Core i9-10900K with its Hyper Threading Technology has made it so effortless for us. The Intel Core i9-10900K at this stage with this much greater cores, threads, and boost clocking speed – is best Intel CPU for gaming that too in an affordable price.
3. AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
AMD has a legacy of blessing market with absolutely top class gaming equipment’s. A motto in CPU section that keeps the brand to dominate its competitors is that “Everyone needs a powerful processor”, which means AMD is keeping its budget users in perspective as well. For a purpose, AMD has come up with its AMD Ryzen 5 3600X – a best budget CPU for gaming that provides proficient performance with multithreading and auto boost clocking capability. Getting greater multi core performance and hyper threading at this much affordable price tag truly is a blessing from AMD.
The AMD Ryzen 5 3600X holds 6 cores with a great single core performance and 12 threads providing room for efficient multithreading. This best powerful CPU under intensive workloads, has a TDP (Thermal Design Profile) of 95 watts. AMD in order to keep the processor low with temperature when introduced to comprehensive tasks, has included well capable and quiet Wrath Spire Cooler. Furthermore, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X comes with a base clocking speed of 3.8 Gigahertz and when boosted with the help of Precision Boost Over-drive Technology, clocking speed reaches to 4.4 Gigahertz. The AM4 Socket type, 36MB in-game cache memory, and 24 x PCIe Lanes 4.0 version makes the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X a notable contestant on the list of best AMD processors 2021.
4. Intel Core i7-8086K
Intel Celebrated – its own 50th anniversary and 40th anniversary of x86 microarchitecture with 8086 processor – in a pretty interesting and unique way releasing the Intel Core i7-8086K 8th generation processor. This limited version processor was only manufactured 50,000 copies around the globe of which the first 8086 copies were given free (Keeping in perspective its name and x86 microarchitecture anniversary with 8086 processor). The Intel Core i7-8086K is a pure overlocking monster.
If you are in position to build your system fine-tuned for overclocking with a best Intel processor, you are at right place for sure. The Intel Core i7-8086K with its 8 cores and 12 threads produces massive power to handle anything you throw at it. The individual thread is made capable – to deliver 5.0 Gigahertz of overclocking speed across all the 8 cores – with an Intel Hyperthreading technology. Furthermore, the Intel Core i7-8086K being a fastest CPU in terms of overclocking, comes with a 4.0 Gigahertz base clocking speed and reaches 5.0 Gigahertz boost clocking speed when boosted. The processor comes with a 3rd-generation Comet Lake architecture and 12MB of smart Intel cache memory. It carries a thermal design profile of 95 watts and LGA 1151 socket type.
5. AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X coming up next on the list of top rated CPUs 2021, is CPU made solely to handle intensive workloads like dealing with workstation applications, intensive video and photo editing, 3D simulations and rendering, etc. The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X with its new Zen micro-architecture comes wit a very affordable price tag. Next most important thing to keep in mind is that you can’t expect extra-ordinary gaming performance from this processor or you can term this as not much competitive when it comes to gaming.
The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X comes with 16 threads and 8 cores, each core carrying a great performance potential. Moreover, this best processor comes with an AM4 socket type. The AMD with its Zen micro-architecture has implemented simultaneous multithreading, each core dealing with two threads making the internal mechanism as of dual-core, the mechanism is perfectly analogous to that of Intel’s Hyper Threading technology. In short, if you are in a position to get a processor that can help you deal better with workstation applications, rendering, and other office works, you can’t simply skip this best CPU 2021. The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X provides outstanding multi core performance, amazing gaming performance, and is greatly cost effective.
6. Intel Core i9-9900KF
Intel has kept on dominating the best gaming CPUs area with their top class processors and this time with a Intel Core i9-9900KF, they have set the bar so high for AMD to beat. The Intel Core i9-9900KF is one of the best gaming CPU 2021, carrying some ultimate power with its well-capable cores and threads. Increase in number of cores has boosted the Intel’s processor performance greatly this time. Not only this, but the Core i9-9900KF scheme is noticeably a first ever Intel’s main stream processor.
The Intel Core i9-9900KF comes with 8 Cores and 16 Threads to let you experience the power of this high-end processor. Apart from getting optimal number of cores and threads, it is also necessary for a processor to be equipped with useful heat transfer mechanisms. Here the Intel Core i9-9900KF has being equipped with (STIM, Solder Thermal Interface Material) to perfectly transfer heat from processor towards the cooling fans. Also it carries a Thermal Design Profile of 95 watts. This helps the best i9 processor to deal efficiently with heating problems when the system is introduced to intensive workloads or gaming. The processor comes with base clocking speed of almost 3.6 Gigahertz and when boosted with Max Turbo Frequency technology it reaches up to 5.0 Gigahertz, which is indeed massive for professional gaming enthusiasts to experience extreme power. If you are willing to get a best Gaming CPU 2021, must consider the Intel Core i9-9900KF before opting for any other on the list.
7. AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
The AMD can’t hold back to let the Intel dominate each processor category. AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is made solely for geeks that are slightly tight on budget but still want to get the most out of it. This best budget gaming CPU comes with good number of threads and great individual core capabilities. The processor is highly capable of dealing with intensive gaming, demanding video and photo editing programs, engineering tasks, etc. Experience raw performance with the help of this powerful processor at low power utilization.
For a powerful processor, coming with greater number of Cores and Threads is a plus. Here too, the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X comes with useful 8 cores and 16 threads. The processor manages to stay low with temperature – when there is some demanding workloads going on – with the help of AMD’s Wraith Prism Cooler. Also the processor to deliver optimal performance, it comes with an improved and advanced architecture. The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X offers incredible price to performance ratio. The processor holds 4.8 Gigahertz base clocking speed and when boosted with a basic overclocking tool, it reaches 4.6 Gigahertz mark. The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is compatible with X470-motherboards and lacks to provide integrated graphics. Having a AMD Ryzen 7 3700X equipped in your system, it allows you to get 100+ FPS while playing high-end video games.
8. Intel Core i5-8400
Intel being the next reliable processor’s manufacturer has a great variety with price from budget to high end. Speaking specifically about geeks that are slightly tight on budget, Intel has come up with its 8th generation Core i5-8400 a mid-ranger processor with great gaming capabilities. The said processor surely can’t beat AMD Ryzen 5 chips but provides good price to performance ratio. The Intel Core i5-8400 comes with 9MB of smart cache memory and two memory channels.
The Intel Core i5-8400 comes with six cores, six thread, and no hyper-threading. With not having hyper-threading capabilities still the said processor is greatly capable of doing wonders for you when it comes to standard games. The Intel Core i5-8400 comes with a base clocking speed of 2.8 Gigahertz and 4.0 Gigahertz of boost clocking speed when boosted with the help of Intel Turbo Boost technology 2.0. The Intel Core i5-8400 possesses TDP (Thermal Design Profile) of almost 65 watts which is great indeed for a mid-range best budget gaming processor. If you are in a position to pay slightly more and get the best processor for your routine video gaming, despite going for an Intel Core i5, go for Intel’s Core i7 that offers comparatively greater power potential.
9. AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
Next budget CPU for gaming from AMD is its Ryzen 3 3200G, a third generation processor well capable of doing wonder at an affordable price for you. AMD never compromises performance for price, keeping its budget users in perspective – AMD has equipped the Ryzen 3 3200G processor with worthy set of specifications. Must consider this best budget gaming CPU if you are low on budget and wish to enhance your gaming.
Speaking about the specification of AMD Ryzen 3 3200G, it comes with 4 processing threads, each individual core carrying greater potential alongside 4 threads, also has 8 PCIe lanes. The said CPU is what you can expect a smooth performance and responsiveness from at very affordable price. It comes with an AMD Radeon 8 Vega graphics card, which works pretty fine keeping graphic smooth and rich. For a processor, apart from focusing on cores and threads, getting useful cooling techniques is also much important. AMD in its budget processor has equipped Wraith Stealth Cooler to keep the system low under pressure. The AMD Ryzen 3 3200G comes with base clocking speed of 3.6 Gigahertz and unlocked for overclocking with max boost overclocking speed of 4.0 Gigahertz.
With AMD and Intel dominating the whole ecosystem of best CPUs for gaming, it is indeed a handy job for other manufacturers making their way to the list of best processors 2021. This was all from our side, after an intensive research we have come up with 9 top contenders from high-end to budget users. Some additional information are added in the guide section that might help you clear you mind about getting the best pick for yourself.