The best CPUs to keep your PC (and wallet) happy
When you start looking for the best processor, there are usually one or two reasons for this. Either your existing computer is too slow, causing a feeling of discomfort, or you are starting to build a new computer from scratch. We’ve put together a list of the best processors from AMD and Intel to suit both gaming and general-purpose PCs, or a combination of both.
Intel or Am?
Due to the constant rivalry between the red and blue teams, we have a clear understanding of the main advantages of each side. While AMD’s high-end Ryzen processors have more cores and threads, Intel Koby Lake remains unbeatable when it comes to instructions per clock and high clock speeds.
There are also several significant differences between Intel and AMD processors. For example, AMD Ryzen processors do not have integrated graphics, which means that you have to buy a discrete graphics card in order to fully experience all the benefits of a CPU. On the other hand, AMD processors are often praised for being overclocked as a standard feature and having great fans – things Intel should work on.
Most of Intel’s chips have integrated graphics and have had a reputation for being a top brand in the CPU field over the years. For these reasons, Intel processors perform better in gaming computers compared to AMD, although this is rapidly changing.
Best processor: Intel Core i7-7700K
Cores: 4 | Threads: 8 | Base frequency: 4.2GHz | Maximum frequency: 4.5GHz | Third level cache: 8 MB | Thermal package: 91 W
+ Ability to overclock up to 5 GHz
+ Fastest CPU for LGA 1151 motherboards
– Only minor improvements over the previous generation
– Minor graphics core update
The Koby Lake Intel Core i7-7700K can be overclocked by a degree higher than last year’s Skylake Core i7-6700K, making it the fastest chip that can fit on an LGA 1151 motherboard. The “K” in the name stands for unlocked overclocking capability. This CPU can be overclocked to 5GHz if your cooler allows it.
Best High-Tech Processor: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X
Cores: 16 | Threads: 32 | Base frequency: 3.4 GHz | Maximum Frequency 4.0GHz | L3 cache: 32MB | Thermal package: 180W
+ Ability to perform extreme mega-tasks
+ Easier installation compared to Intel
– Higher power consumption compared to Intel
– Switching profiles requires a complete restart
When AMD launched its Zen-based Ryzen chips earlier this year, they performed well in price / performance, outperforming Intel. At the same time, they could not beat Intel in terms of high power. That all changed with the arrival of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, which is not only better value for money than the Intel Core i9-7900X, but also easier to plug into any x399 motherboard socket.
Best mid-range processor: AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
Cores: 6 | Threads: 12 | Base frequency: 3.6GHz | Maximum Frequency: 4.0GHz | Third level cache: 16 MB | Thermal package: 95 W
+ Excellent multi-core performance
+ Favorable thermal conditions
– Confusing overclocking
Unsurprisingly, AMD offers more cores for less money in this mid-range chip compared to Intel. While trade-offs had to be made in other areas to keep the price low a year earlier, the Ryzen 5 1600X, without exaggeration, remains economical. At the end of the day, with six cores and 12 threads, the 3.6GHz base clock doesn’t seem a shame, let alone can be boosted by overclocking to 4.0GHz.
Best entry-level processor: AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
Cores: 4 | Threads: 4 | Base frequency: 3.5GHz | Maximum Frequency: 3.7GHz | Third level cache: 8 MB | Thermal package: 65 W
+ Excellent value for money
+ More cores than most budget CPUs
– Low scores in performance tests
– Overheats a little
Given that you’ll need a discrete GPU in addition to the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X, you can assume it was built for gaming. This is a small processor that you are unlikely to pass up when you see its price.
.Best gaming processor: Intel Core i5-7600K
Core “K” series at the price of i5
Cores: 4 | Threads: 4 | Base frequency: 3.8GHz | Maximum Frequency: 4.2GHz | Third level cache: 6 MB | Thermal package: 91 W
+ Ease of overclocking
+ Maximum frequency approaches base speed of i7-6700K
Be that as it may, the excess of only 300 MHz over its predecessor leads to the fact that after overclocking it becomes almost on a par with the latest generation Core i7-6700K. At the same time, this chip won’t make a big hole in your budget.
Best VR processor: AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
Ryzen and VR – Ready for Battle
Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Base frequency: 3.6GHz | Maximum frequency: 4 GHz | L3 cache: 16 MB | Thermal package: 95 W
+ Amazing multi-core performance
+ Incredible price
– Unreliable overclocking
– Temperatures “unique”
The main rival of the Intel Core i7-7700K, AMD Ryzen 7 1800X is positioned as a real threat to Intel’s flagship. Unfortunately, the Ryzen 7 1800X is a lot more expensive than the 7700K, which is not typical of the cost-oriented Red Team, but it is certainly no worse than some older Intel chips.