The Best CPUs (2023 Reviews)

Looking for a new CPU but not sure which one to get? Need one for your gaming PC or one for your workstation perhaps? Here are the best CPUs for everyone.

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 get to it!

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.

The Pros:

  • Current fastest gaming CPU on the market
  • Competitively priced in respect to Ryzen 7950X
  • Competitive performance in productivity tasks

The Cons:

  • Expensive platform (including DDR5)
  • High power consumption

Intel’s new flagship, the i9-13900K is currently the fastest gaming chip, pushing the Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 7 7700X back to second (or third) place.

Not only is it faster than AMD’s flagship processor, but it is also cheaper. It is priced at $589 and is a much better choice than AMD’s $699 MSRP.

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.)

The Pros:

  • Cheaper than its predecessor
  • Fastest consumer CPUs for productivity

The Cons:

  • No extra cores over previous generation
  • More expensive than the i9-13900K

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 faster and cheaper, so it’s not the best choice if you plan on gaming.

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.

Unfortunately, an $699 MSRP makes this a hard buy (for gaming), considering that the i9-13900K is $589 and the Ryzen 7 7700X, which is just as fast, is priced at $400.

The Pros:

  • Great gaming performance for a fair price
  • Low power consumption
  • Much cheaper than any Ryzen 7000 build combo

The Cons:

  • 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.

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.

The Pros:

  • Solid price (available with cheaper DDR4 RAM/motherboard)
  • Almost as fast as the i9-13900K
  • Substantially faster in productivity tasks than the 7700X

The Cons:

  • 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.

The Pros:

  • Outstanding gaming performance
  • Good efficiency
  • Outstanding price per gaming performance

The Cons:

  • Intel counterparts offer substantially better productivity performance
  • AM5 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.

Still, if you want to get the most out of a high-end GPU, like an RTX 4090, the Ryzen 7 7700 is a fantastic choice!

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.

The Pros:

  • Great price-per-performance
  • Impressive productivity and gaming performance
  • Solid overclock

The Cons:

  • 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!

However, be on the lookout for the i5-13600 non-K, which is $80 cheaper and has a lower TDP.

The Pros:

  • Great gaming performance
  • Amazing price
  • Very efficient

The Cons:

  • AM5 motherboards are pricey
  • Lacks 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.

Budget CPUs

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!

The Pros:

  • Best price-per-performance CPU on the market
  • Solid OC potential
  • Very power efficient considering its gaming prowess
  • Comes with a CPU cooler

The Cons:

  • 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.

The Pros:

  • Performs well in games and applications
  • Significant performance gains through overclock
  • Comes with a cooler

The Cons:

  • 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 cut brought the Ryzen down to $160 or less, while the i5-12400 is still around $180.

It’s only about 5-6% slower than the Ryzen counterpart, but it’s still an amazing 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

The Pros:

  • Best budget CPU on the market
  • Impressive gaming performance
  • Comes with a cooler

The Cons:

  • 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!

Upcoming CPUs

Both AMD and Intel are planning to release value/budget-oriented processors, which may replace a good chunk of the CPUs on this article. AMD will also release its Ryzen 7000X3D CPUs, which might take Intel’s gaming crown!

So, make sure to check back in after CES 2023 to see the newest best CPUs in the world!

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Branko Gapo

Keeping up with the incredibly fast evolution of computer technology is almost impossible. That's why Branko will be using his knowledge on this matter to share news and information on all the latest essential technological innovations and advancements related to CPUs.