Back in 2019, if you asked any tech enthusiasts, tech reviewers, or PC experts about a CPU suggestion, they would immediately recommend a Ryzen processor.
Fortunately, things have changed over the past few years, and Intel is finally competitive again in all aspects. So, whether we’re talking about gaming, productivity, or just running basic computer tasks, Intel delivers.
However, both companies offer great CPU options, so the AMD vs. Intel CPU battle continues.
To help you get the right cpu, this guide will tell you about the best CPUs in all categories.
Let’s start now!
Table of ContentsShow
Best Gaming Performance CPUs
First off, let’s have a look at the most exciting category – the best high-end gaming processors available.
In this category, expect high FPS but high prices too. So, if you are looking for budget-oriented solutions, we recommend heading to our budget selections below.
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D
The Fastest Gaming CPU
Specifications:rn• Socket: AM5rn• 16 Cores, 32 Threadsrn• Base Clock: 4.2 GHzrn• Boost Clock: 5.7 GHz*rn• TDP: 120W
- Current fastest gaming CPU on the marketrnMuch lower TDP than competitionrnConsiderably faster in games that favor extra L3 cachern
- $100 more expensive than the non X3D Ryzen and the i9rn
The Ryzen 9 7950X3D is now the fastest gaming CPU in the world, overtaking the i9-13900K and the Ryzen 9 7950X.
This CPU is practically identical to the Ryzen 9 7950X with a small change to the clock speeds and TDP, but a huge change to the L3 Cache, thanks to AMD’s 3D V-Cache Technology.
The 7950X3D has 128MB of L3 cache (double that of the 7950X), base clocks reduced to 4.2 GHz (from 4.5 GHz), boost clocks are still at 5.7 GHz but only on the cores without 3D stacked L3 Cache.
But, that extra L3 cache is what helps the 7950X3D’s gaming performance edge over Intel’s flagship or any other CPU.
Multi-threaded performance is slightly lower than the Ryzen 9 7950X due to reduced boost clock speeds on some cores. However, the X3D CPU has a lower TDP (120W vs 170W), which is a major advantage.
Finally, pricing. The Ryzen 9 7950X3D’s MSRP is $699, while both the i9-13900K and Ryzen 9 7950X is priced around the $580 mark. So, a $110 price premium for 5-6% performance improvement may not be worth it.
But, if you want the absolute fastest gaming CPU in the world, this R9 is the way to go!
Intel Core i9-13900K
Intel’s Fastest Gaming CPU
Specifications:rn• Socket: LGA 1700rn• 24 Cores (8P + 16E), 32 Threadsrn• Base P Clock: 3.0 GHzrn• Boost P Clock: 5.8 GHzrn• TDP: 125W
- Current fastest gaming CPU on the marketrnCompetitively priced in respect to Ryzen 7950XrnCompetitive performance in productivity tasksrn
- Expensive platform (including DDR5)rnHigh power consumption
Intel’s new flagship, the i9-13900K is the second fastest gaming CPU, falling behind the Ryzen 9 7950X by about 5-6%.
The i9 had a huge advantage over AMD’s flagship CPU because of the huge gap in pricing and a slight edge in gaming performance.
However, the Ryzen 9 7950X’s price was officially cut to around $580 (varying), while the i9-13900K ranges between $570 to $590.
This next-gen i9 comes with eight more (Efficient) cores with a total of 32 threads compared to just 24 threads on the i9-12900K.
With 8 cores boosting at 5.8 GHz, a TDP of 125W (300W peak), 68MB L2+L3 Cache, and DDR5, the i9-13900K delivers outstanding gaming performance.
Those extra efficient cores also help the new i9 perform nearly as fast as the Ryzen 9 7950X and sometimes even faster.
A big advantage over the Ryzen 7000 generation is that you can pair this CPU with a DDR4 motherboard and RAM, which can be quite cheaper.
Although if you want to get the most out of your Intel flagship CPU, you will need to go with high-end DDR5 RAM (around 6000+MHz.)
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X
AMD’s Fastest High-Core Count CPU
Specifications:rn• Socket: AM5rn• 16 Cores, 32 Threadsrn• Base Clock: 4.5 GHzrn• Boost Clock: 5.7 GHzrn• TDP: 170W (~250W)
- Cheaper than its predecessorrnFastest consumer CPUs for productivityrn
- No extra cores over previous generation
The Ryzen 9 7950X is AMD’s flagship processor, and it is one of the fastest CPUs in the world, right now.
While it delivers exceptional performance in gaming, the i9-13900K is slightly faster for (almost) the same price.
The Ryzen 9 7950X has 16 cores, and 32 threads, which boost to 5.7GHz, 64MB L3 cache, and peak power usage at about 250W. So, a bit more power efficient than the i9.
The abundance of threads easily handle any rendering, image processing, coding, etc. In addition, the high L3 cache and boost clock speeds supply high FPS in gaming.
At the original $699 MSRP, it was difficult to recommend, but now with a $580 price tag, it’s a much more alluring offer. But, keep in mind that Ryzen 7 7700X and i7-13700K can be as fast as the Ryzen 9 in games while costing significantly less.
AMD Ryzen 9 7900X3D
AMD’s Second Fastest CPU – 7950X3D Alternative
Specifications:rn• Socket: AM5rn• 12 Cores, 24 Threadsrn• Base Clock: 4.4 GHzrn• Boost Clock: 5.6 GHzrn• TDP: 120W
The Ryzen 9 7900X3D has the same role as the Ryzen 9 7950X3D, it just has fewer cores.
It is upgraded with more L3 cache compared to the Ryzen 9 7900X which leads to improved gaming performance and reduced power draw.
Performance-wise, it is tied to the i9-13900K, so it is about 5% slower than the AMD flagship.
The Ryzen 9 7900X3D is priced at $599, so about $20-30 more expensive than the i9, but still $100 cheaper than the Ryzen 9 7950X3D.
If you want an AMD top-tier CPU specifically for gaming, the Ryzen 9 7900X3D is a superior choice compared to its pricier sibling.
Value High-End Performance CPUs
This category is for high-end processors that offer a considerably better value than the flagship CPUs we previously mentioned.
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D
AMD’s Best Value Gaming CPU
Specifications:rn• Socket: AM4rn• 8 Cores, 16 Threadsrn• Base Clock: 3.4 GHzrn• Boost Clock: 4.5 GHzrn• TDP: 105W
- Great gaming performance for a fair pricernLow power consumptionrnMuch cheaper than any Ryzen 7000 build combo
- The AM4 platform (including DDR4 memory) reached the end of its lifespan
The Ryzen 7 5800X3D is AMD’s latest and probably one of the last CPUs introduced for AM4 motherboards. It may be the last, but it’s not the least.
It is one of the fastest gaming CPUs in the world at a very competitive price.
The i9-13900K, and Ryzen 7 7700X might be faster, but the 5800X3D is cheaper, can be paired with an inexpensive AM4 platform, and it doesn’t even need fast RAM to run at its full potential.
This processor is so powerful for games because of its 96MB of L3 cache, which was achieved with AMD’s 3D V-Cache technology. That’s three times more than the original 5800X.
Even with a 4.5 GHz clock speed (200MHz slower than the 5800X), it still performs insanely well in-game.
Intel Core i7-13700K
Intel’s Best Value High-End CPU
Specifications:rn• Socket: LGA 1700rn• 16 Cores (8P + 8E), 24 Threadsrn• Base P Clock: 3.4 GHzrn• Boost P Clock: 5.4 GHzrn• TDP: 125W (250W peak)
- Solid price (available with cheaper DDR4 RAM/motherboard)rnAlmost as fast as the i9-13900KrnSubstantially faster in productivity tasks than the 7700Xrn
- Higher power draw than AMD’s contenders
The i7-13700K is Intel’s second-fastest processor and can easily be compared with the 13900K or the 7950X with its gaming performance. So much power for a price of $450 is definitely an attractive offer.
With eight performance cores boosting up to 5.4 GHz, eight efficiency cores boosting up to 3.8 GHz for a total of 20 threads, 30MB of L3 cache, and a TDP of 125W guarantees high FPS in any game.
The 13700K won’t have any issue handling productivity tasks either with 24 threads in the CPU die. It’s especially impressive if you compare it with the 8-core Ryzen 7 7700X.
If you want to get the most out of this i7, go with the more expensive DDR5 build. However, if you want to get the best value, you can sacrifice a minimal drop in performance and go with DDR4 RAM + motherboard combo.
Overall, the Intel Core i7-13700K offers the best value for high-end performance.
AMD Ryzen 7 7700
Best Value High-End Gaming CPU
Specifications:rn• Socket: AM5rn• 8 Cores, 16 Threadsrn• Base Clock: 3.8 GHzrn• Boost Clock: 5.3 GHzrn• TDP: 65W
- Outstanding gaming performancernGood efficiencyrnOutstanding price per gaming performance
- Intel counterparts offer substantially better productivity performancernAM5 platform is still expensive
While the Ryzen 7 7700X is an impressive CPU, the Ryzen 7 7700 is simply better in every aspect, which is why it is the best value CPU for high-end (gaming) performance.
For just $329, this CPU delivers gaming performance that is comparable to the $450 i7-13700K.
Not only is it cheaper than the i7 and 7700X, but it’s also considerably more efficient rated at just 65W TDP.
Of course, you have to factor in the more expensive prices of DDR5 and AM5 motherboards, but it still ends up cheaper than an i7 or i9.
However, if you wish to maximize the potential of a top-notch GPU, such as the RTX 4090, the Ryzen 7 7700 is an excellent option!
Overall Best CPUs
Most gamers are always looking to get the best performance out of their money. This category is focused on CPUs that are great in all aspects for a fair price.
Intel Core i5-13600K
Overall Best CPU
Specifications:rn• Socket: LGA 1700rn• 14 Cores (6P + 8E), 20 Threadsrn• Base P Clock: 3.5 GHzrn• Boost P Clock: 5.1 GHzrn• TDP: 125W (238W peak)
- Great price-per-performance rnImpressive productivity and gaming performancernSolid overclock
- The non-K i5-13600 offers similar performance for a cheaper price
The Intel Core i5-13600K is currently the overall best CPU. A price point of $330, good performance in gaming, and productivity tasks. What else can you ask for?
If you’re looking for a purely gaming processor, the Ryzen 5 7600 is the better choice since it is almost $100 cheaper even with the more expensive AM5 motherboards and DDR5 RAM.
However, when it comes to productivity, this 14-core i5 obliterates the 6-core 7600 at productivity workloads. It’s even faster than the 8-core 7700/X.
Overall, the i5-13600K is an excellent choice for a CPU. We heavily recommend it!
Watch out for the i5-13600 non-K. It’s $80 less and has a lower TDP.
Ryzen 7 7600
AMD’s Best Value Gaming CPU
Specifications:rn• Socket: AM5rn• 6 Cores, 12 Threadsrn• Base Clock: 3.8 GHzrn• Boost Clock: 5.1 GHzrn• TDP: 65W
- Great gaming performancernAmazing pricernVery efficient
- AM5 motherboards are priceyrnLacks in productivity workloads
AMD’s Ryzen 5 7600 is no doubt one of the best value CPUs for gaming. For just $230, its gaming performance is comparable to the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, and it’s faster than the i5-13600K.
Even if you compare it to CPU beasts like the i9-13900K or Ryzen 9 7950X, in games, it’s only about 5% to 10% slower.
Furthermore, the Ryzen 5 7600’s TDP is 65W, making it one of the most efficient processors.
However, the 7600 is a 6-core processor, so productivity performance is considerably slower than the i5-13600k.
Thanks to AMD’s and Intel’s innovation over these past couple of years, even budget CPUs are quite fast in gaming nowadays.
Here are our best budget CPU picks!
Ryzen 5 5600
AMD’s Best Budget CPU
Specifications:rn• Socket: AM4rn• 6 Cores, 12 Threadsrn• Base Clock: 3.5 GHzrn• Boost Clock: 4.4 GHzrn• TDP: 65W
- Best price-per-performance CPU on the marketrnSolid OC potentialrnVery power efficient considering its gaming prowessrnComes with a CPU cooler
- No apparent downsides
While the Ryzen 5 5600X was AMD’s best CPU, it was quickly overshadowed after the release of the Ryzen 5 5600. This non-X version is considerably cheaper while delivering the same performance.
Originally had a $200 MSRP, but its price is usually around the $150 mark, which is why it is AMD’s best-value processor.
Overall, AMD’s CPU hits the sweet spot in all aspects. It delivers high-end-like performance in games, is good enough for productivity tasks, and has astounding power efficiency; you won’t see this CPU pull any more than 70W from the PSU.
Intel Core i5-12400
Intel’s Best Mid-Range CPU
Specifications:rn• Socket: LGA 1700rn• 6 Cores (6P + 0E), 12 Threadsrn• Base P Clock: 2.5 GHzrn• Boost P Clock: 4.4 GHzrn• TDP: 65W (117W peak)
- Performs well in games and applicationsrnSignificant performance gains through overclockrnComes with a cooler
- Overclockable only with an appropriate motherboard
The Intel Core i5-12400 is the CPU that delivers one of the best price-per-performance on the market right now. Originally, the i5 was cheaper than the Ryzen 5 5600.
However, AMD’s price reduction brought the Ryzen down to $160 or lower, while the i5-12400 remains approximately $180.
It’s just approximately 5-6% less speedy than the Ryzen equivalent, yet it’s still an impressive CPU.
Great performance, 12 threads, low power draw, and the ability to overclock make for a perfect CPU option. Some i5-12400 users managed to overclock it up to 5.0 GHz, leading to a 20-30% performance uplift.
The 13th-Gen alternative, the i5-13400F, provides only a minimal improvement in performance while costing quite a bit more, so the
Intel Core i3-12100F
Best Budget CPU
Specifications:rn• Socket: LGA 1700rn• 4 Cores (4P + 0E), 8 Threadsrn• Base P Clock: 3.3 GHzrn• Boost P Clock: 4.3 GHzrn• TDP: 58W (89W peak)
- Best budget CPU on the marketrnImpressive gaming performancernComes with a cooler
- Not overclockable
Even though the Intel Core i3-12100F has only 4 cores and 8 threads, the performance is not hindered. On the contrary, these cores are so powerful the i3 delivers performance comparable to the i5-10600K for an MSRP of just $120.
It also outperforms the Ryzen 3700X and the previous budget king, the Ryzen 5 3600X.
Pair this CPU with a cheaper motherboard and DDR4 kit, and you’ll have yourself a solid gaming system for less than $300. Heavily recommended!
Supposedly, Intel will be releasing a Raptor Lake Refresh at the end of 2023, so keep your eyes open for that. There are also rumors that the upcoming Ryzen 8000 Series may also release in Q4 of 2023.