cpus

Best CPUs to Buy

by Sam Greene

Considering the recent trend of supporting one CPU manufacturer brand while ignoring the effort experts put in technology, we thought of giving you our list of processors to decide the best CPU to buy, irrespective of the brand. We will present you with an unbiased review of each processor based on customer feedback and the product’s technical specification.

At A Glance:

Best pick

AMD's Best CPU to Buy

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Enthusiast Processor

A top-tier CPU for comprehensive

Best for multitasking and streaming

Staff Pick

Best Overall CPU to Buy

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

Features PCIe 4.0

Support excellent streaming

deliver ultra-fast 100+ FPS performance

Budget Pick

Best Budget CPU to Buy

AMD Ryzen 5 3600

AMD Ryzen 5 3600

1080p gaming at 100+fps

Compatible with old motherboards

Stable voltages on stock frequency

CPU is a fundamental part of your computer system. It acts as the brain and commands all the other components. The GPU, RAM, and Storage drive all fetch data and process are based on the CPU’s instructions. It has an essential role in gaming, engineering simulations, and content creation.

We have two big names in processor manufacturing, AMD and Intel. The two tech giants have their architectures, lithography, and implementation. Their net performance outcome can be judged through their benchmark scores. This article will discuss both AMD and Intel-based processors and include all the analysis from benchmark scores to price/performance ratio.

Our Recommendations For Best CPU to Buy

Award Modal Design Retailer
AMD's Best CPU to Buy AMD Ryzen 9 3900X AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
Intel's Best CPU to Buy Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
Best Overall CPU to Buy AMD Ryzen 7 3700X AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
Best Mid-Range CPU to Buy Intel Core i5-10600K Intel Core i5-10600K
Best Flagship CPU to Buy Intel Core i7-10700K Intel Core i7-10700K
Best Budget CPU to Buy AMD Ryzen 5 3600 AMD Ryzen 5 3600
Best Enthusiast CPU to Buy Intel Core i9-9900K Intel Core i9-9900K
Best Performance CPU to Buy Intel Core i7-9700K Intel Core i7-9700K

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Best pick AMD Ryzen 9 3900X View on amazon

Brand: AMD | Dimensions: 1.57 x 1.57 x 0.24 inches | No. of Cores: 12 | No. of Threads: 24 | Lithography: 7 nm | Socket: AM4 | Max. Frequency: 4.6 GHz | TDP: 105 Watts | Base Clock: 3.8 GHz | Game Cache: 70 MB | PCIe Version: 4 | Inbox Cooler: Wraith Prism

What recent buyers report?

Enthusiast gamers and regular content creators have been impressed with the processor performance. Gamers report a significant improvement in the bottlenecking problem during processor-intensive gaming scenes with a massive 70MB game cache that seems to work well for most games. It consumes slightly more power than its other AMD counterparts, but the difference in performance is apparent.

Why it stands out to us?

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is a gaming processor built for an enthusiast. It runs slightly hotter but still manages to consume less power than the Intel options for the same price point. The value for money that you get for the 12 cores 24 thread processor is outstanding. This processor can handle streaming, gaming, and rendering, along with other processes. This processor’s multi-tasking capability makes it the best choice for the game who wants to build a high-end gaming PC.

Who will use it most?

Overclockers would love to experiment with this processor as it gives a significant overclocking margin. Adobe Lightroom users will appreciate the incredible IPC performance jump that AMD has made. Adobe Lightroom works faster. This processor is a multitasker’s heaven for handling multiple tasks while remaining power efficient. It shows how AMD architecture and lithography has made it a massive success as an all-rounder.

Bottom Line

Because Intel performs better per core than AMD, but AMD works more efficiently. It offers lower power consumption. AMD is better for software like Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Ansys, and other photo editing and modeling software. Intel does perform better in gaming but is way behind the AMD performance for an average PC user. It does not feature integrated graphics, so it’s not recommended for users who are not looking to install a GPU. This processor is an all-rounder with good options all around.

The Pros

Enthusiast Processor

A top-tier CPU for comprehensive

Best for multitasking and streaming

The Cons

The cooling system should be better

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Intel Core i9-10900K

Intel Core i9-10900K View on amazon

Brand: Intel | Dimensions: 1.47 x 1.47 inches | No. of Cores: 10 | No. of Threads: 20 | Lithography: 14 nm | Socket: LGA1200 | Max. Frequency: 5.3 GHz | Base Clock: 3.7 GHz | TDP: 125 Watts | Smart Cache: 20 MB | PCIe Version: 3 | Inbox Cooler: No

What recent buyers report?

This processor runs games at max settings and gets all the jobs done quickly. Combining it with a good motherboard like the MSI Z490 GODLIKE will let you reach 4000Mhz of RAM speed, and with a stable set of VRMs, this CPU can be overclocked to 5.3Ghz as reported by buyers.

Why it stands out to us?

If you are not a streamer, just a gamer with love for good graphics and complex in-game physics, then Intel Core i9-10900K is the processor for you. It maintains stable fps while gaming offline. AMD Ryzen processors are very good at multitasking due to many cores; this processor is slower while streaming and gaming.

Who will use it most?

Flagship lovers will buy this processor as it features 10 cores and 20 threads, the highest offered by Intel processors. This processor outperforms single-task processing. Intel promises 187fps on PUBG and other competitive games. It’s a top tier processor capable of running any AAA best CPU to buy title at 4k resolution with stable frame rates.

Bottom Line

This processor, like the other K-type processors, needs an AIO cooling solution. This processor is great for games that take up a lot of CPU resources. Mostly open-world games require more computational power. Games like Assassin’s Creed: Origins and Far Cry 3 are some of the examples. This processor is right for 144Hz gaming. This processor is for enthusiast category gamers.

The Pros

Easy to use

Supports easily 5.3 GHz overclocking

Comes with an advanced cooling solution

The Cons

Unfair price

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AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

Staff Pick AMD Ryzen 7 3700X View on amazon

Brand: AMD | Dimensions: 1.57 x 1.57 x 0.24 Inches | No. of Cores: 8 | No. of Threads: 16 | Lithography: 7 nm | Socket: AM4 | Max. Frequency: 4.4 GHz | TDP: 65 Watts | Base Clock: 3.6 GHz | Game Cache: 36 MB | PCIe Version: 4 | Inbox Cooler: Wraith Prism

What recent buyers report?

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X comes with a huge 36 MB game cache and a maximum clock speed of 4.4 GHz. Being an overclocking capable processor ensures good room for the increasing frequency with 8 cores and 16 threads. This processor is compatible with new B550 and X570 motherboards but can be an overkill for old motherboards as they won’t support PCIe 4.0.

Why it stands out to us?

Consuming just 65 watts of energy, this processor is the best in its price range. Compared to Intel’s similar performing chip, this processor is cheaper and a good all-rounder for a mid-range pc built. This processor runs cool at stock speed with a stock cooler. The cooler also features RGB for aesthetics.

Who will use it most?

This processor is every streamer’s dream. It gives stable streaming frame rates on OBS Streaming at 6000mbps 1080p 30fps x264 format. It’s a good choice for gamers looking to stream their content over the internet while experiencing good fps while playing. The manufacturer claims to maintain 100 fps for all AAA titles. The benchmark results for rendering 4k videos are also low. Processor intensive games work well with this CPU.

Bottom Line

Professional gamers like Fnatic are fans of the Ryzen series due to its capability to enable high-FPS gaming and high resolutions. The cooling solution that comes within the box makes it a price-effective deal. Accessing the BIOS without a graphic card won’t be possible as this processor does not feature integrated graphics. Some motherboards that do not have display outputs can be the right choice from a price perspective for this processor.

The Pros

Features PCIe 4.0

Support excellent streaming

deliver ultra-fast 100+ FPS performance

The Cons

No Integrated Graphics

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Intel Core i5-10600K

Intel Core i5-10600K View on amazon

Brand: Intel | Dimensions: 1.47 x 1.47 inches | No. of Cores: 6 | No. of Threads: 12 | Lithography: 14 nm | Socket: LGA1200 | Max. Frequency: 4.8 GHz | Base Clock: 4.1 GHz | TDP: 125 Watts | Smart Cache: 12 MB | PCIe Version: 3 | Inbox Cooler: No

What recent buyers report?

As an intel processor, Intel Core i5-10600K gives decent value for money. The problem lies in its future compatibility. The processor socket is changed to LGA1200 means this socket might last for an extended, but they haven’t introduced PCIe 4.0 compatibility. It upsets gamers as they are more focused on graphic card performance.

Why it stands out to us?

Processor-intensive loads tend to overload the L3 cache and produce a bottleneck effect while gaming. This processor manages the processor-intensive gaming mechanics efficiently. As an Intel processor, the amount of power consumption for the performance output is justifiable. Most of the games are optimized for Intel processors. So, this processor is your best bet for good gaming performance.

Who will use it most?

As a gamer, it’s essential to know that this processor performs better than the 9th gen i7 processor and at a lower price. This CPU will provide you with stable framerates on notable game titles. Gamers have reported that most of the games give better framerates than AMD. This processor is for gamers who are looking to build a high-end gaming PC on a budget.

Bottom Line

Overall, this processor provides a good price/performance ratio. Under the overclocked condition, this processor can reach up to clock speeds of 5.3Ghz, as reported by some users. For high-end pc gamers, stable frame rates can be achieved at 1080p, 1444p, and 4k resolutions. The stability of Intel is something that cannot be denied.

The Pros

Integrated Graphics

Smooth and fast performer

Good overclocking potential

The Cons

No PCIe 4.0

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Intel Core i7-10700K

Intel Core i7-10700K View on amazon

Brand: Intel | Dimensions: 1.47 x 1.47 inches | No. of Cores: 8 | No. of Threads: 16 | Lithography: 14 nm | Socket: LGA1200 | Max. Frequency: 5.1 GHz | Base Clock: 3.8 GHz | TDP: 125 Watts | Smart Cache: 16 MB | PCIe Version: 3 | Inbox Cooler: No

What recent buyers report?

Being a 10th generation processor, Intel Core i7-10700K is compatible with the motherboards that support Intel 400 series. The processor is overclocking enabled and capable of reaching 5.1 GHz of clock speed with a decent cooling solution. No heat sink and fan are provided with the processor as it’s preferred you have an excellent quality liquid-based cooling solution to run this processor for the overclocked condition.

Why it stands out to us?

This processor keeps its cool under the pressure of high processor-intensive games like Dota 2, Escape, and PUBG. It does consume 125 watts while running, but it gives out good benchmarking results. The stock clock speed is high enough to support a good gaming experience.

Who will use it most?

This performance of this processor lies in the sweet spot between gaming and streaming friendly CPUs. People who do a little bit of video/photo editing will favor this processor. It’s a high-end gaming PC processor yet maintaining good value for money. However, it does increase your energy bills. You can use the bottom-up approach and slowly upgrade your hardware as this socket is here to stay for a long time.

Bottom Line

The processor is easy to overclock, and at 5.3Ghz under 1.4v, it stays under 70oC. To extract the full potential of this processor, you will need a good RAM and Motherboard. This processor can support up to 2933MHz 128GB RAM; thus, motherboards that can support up to 128GB are recommended. Motherboards are a little expensive. The processor’s overall price is high due to indirect costs like a cooling solution, a good motherboard, and high-speed RAM.

The Pros

Intel Optane Memory support

Good overclocking headroom

Low heat with the better cooling system

The Cons

No PCIe 4.0 support

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AMD Ryzen 5 3600

Budget Pick AMD Ryzen 5 3600 View on amazon

Brand: AMD | Dimensions: 1.57 x 1.57 x 0.24 inches | No. of Cores: 6 | No. of Threads: 12 | Lithography: 7 nm | Socket: AM4 | Max. Frequency: 4.2 GHz | Base Clock: 3.6 GHz | TDP: 65 Watts | Game Cache: 35 MB | PCIe Version: 4 | Inbox Cooler: Wraith Stealth

What recent buyers report?

This processor is currently the most advanced desktop processor in the market. AMD claims to achieve 100+fps performance in the world’s most popular games. The 32 MB game cache with 3200 GHz speed support is unmatched for its price point. The user reported that this CPU wouldn’t be a bottleneck in 144Hz refresh rate gaming.

Why it stands out to us?

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is your go-to option if money is what you want to save. The processor works with old motherboards with a simple BIOS upgrade. It can easily be called the mid-range king. The low rendering time for 4k videos and high Cinebench R20 scores make this processor an excellent choice for people looking to game/edit on a budget.

Who will use it most?

Entry-level content creators and gamers are currently exploring editing/gaming at high FPS and low rendering time will feel a drastic change if coming from an older generation processor. The overclocking head is enough to experiment with but isn’t high enough to be incompatible with the stock cooler.

Bottom Line

This processor has low consumption for the performance it offers. It is efficient in design, thus keeping your energy bills under control. The CPU comes with pre-applied thermal paste and is easy to install. Assembling a PC with an x570 motherboard, you can own a future compatible PCIe 4.0 supporting hardware. You won’t be able to find a processor with this kind of price/performance.

The Pros

1080p gaming at 100+fps

Compatible with old motherboards

Stable voltages on stock frequency

The Cons

Lack of a better CPU cooler

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Intel Core i9-9900K

Intel Core i9-9900K View on amazon

Brand: Intel | Dimensions: 1.47 x 1.47 inches | No. of Cores: 8 | No. of Threads: 16 | Lithography: 14 nm | Socket: LGA1151 | Max. Frequency: 5.0 GHz | Base Clock: 3.6 GHz | TDP: 95 Watts | Smart Cache: 16 MB | PCIe Version: 3 | Inbox Cooler: None

What recent buyers report?

The processor easily clocks to 5GHz on all cores with stable voltages. You would need a decent AIO cooling solution to get rid of the heat produced. It reaches around 170 Watt under benchmarking or fully loaded condition at max frequency. Some users have run 5.3GHz with this processor at 1.4v but crash to BSOD above 4.7Ghz.

Why it stands out to us?

Intel Core i9-9900K is the fastest mainstream processor available in the 9th generation of Intel processors. It supports up to 128GB of RAM. This processor is built for professionals and outshines the 9th generation processor for its low rendering times with 8 cores and 16 threads.

Who will use it most?

As the Intel 10th generation has also been introduced, this processor is still the 9th generation king. It offers lower power consumption than the highest tier 10th gen processor. A 16MB cache utilizes the L3 cache efficiently and keeps the bottlenecking lower than a counterpart AMD processor. Intel is known for its single-core performance, and this processor exceeds all AMD processors in its price point.

Bottom Line

The official Intel website states a 130W cooler as a suitable entry-level solution for this processor. It outperforms comparatively to other 9th generation processors with frames per second reaching up to 53.8 fps at 1080p with the highest possible settings. For engineering-related work, this processor scores 4.26 at 1080p 5GHz clock speed on Creo 3.0. It is an enthusiast-level fastest mainstream processor in the 9th generation. It has been tried and tested by the gaming community.

The Pros

Fast rendering speed

Excellent multicore performance

Cheaper than 10th generation alternative

The Cons

High Thermal Load

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Intel Core i7-9700K

Intel Core i7-9700K View on amazon

Brand: Intel | Dimensions: 1.47 x 1.47 inches | No. of Cores: 8 | No. of Threads: 8 | Lithography: 14 nm | Socket: LGA1151 | Max. Frequency: 4.9 GHz | Base Clock: 3.6 GHz | TDP: 95 Watts | Smart Cache: 16 MB | PCIe Version: 3 | Inbox Cooler: None

What recent buyers report?

Intel Core i7-9700K, paired with a decent RAM and GPU, gives stable 120+ fps on most gaming titles at 2K resolution. Background work has little influence on the performance of the processor. Although AMD is better at handling multitasking loads due to the more significant number of threads, Intel handles the workload better and bottlenecks less than AMD.

Why it stands out to us?

It supports 2666MHz DDR4 RAM with 2 memory channel support. It features integrated graphics that comes in handy when upgrading your BIOS or when your graphic card stops working. Without hyperthreading, this processor still gives head-to-head competition to the Intel Core i9-9900K at a lower price point.

Who will use it most?

Gamers who prefer gaming at 4k resolutions will like the processor the most. It gives out stable FPS under loaded conditions of games that require processor-intensive work. A motherboard with good quality VRMs will overclock this processor to 5.0MHz and fuel the thirst that overclockers desire. People owning the z370 or z390 motherboard will prefer this processor.

Bottom Line

Running at 5.0MHz with Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 provides good performance as an all-rounder. The drawbacks this processor has over AMD are low price/performance ratio, no support for PCIe 4.0, low performance while gaming with streaming, and consuming a large chunk of your power supply in maintaining the clock speed. AMD’s, on the other hand, are more efficient.

The Pros

Improved Heat Transfer

Good single thread performance

Handles complex gaming workloads

The Cons

No bundled cooler

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Summary For Best CPU to Buy

Award Modal Design Retailer
AMD's Best CPU to Buy AMD Ryzen 9 3900X AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
Intel's Best CPU to Buy Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
Best Overall CPU to Buy AMD Ryzen 7 3700X AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
Best Mid-Range CPU to Buy Intel Core i5-10600K Intel Core i5-10600K
Best Flagship CPU to Buy Intel Core i7-10700K Intel Core i7-10700K
Best Budget CPU to Buy AMD Ryzen 5 3600 AMD Ryzen 5 3600
Best Enthusiast CPU to Buy Intel Core i9-9900K Intel Core i9-9900K
Best Performance CPU to Buy Intel Core i7-9700K Intel Core i7-9700K

Conclusion

Being the 10th generation Intel processor has its downside. If you own an Intel processor from 6 to the 9th generation, you won’t be able to upgrade on the same motherboard with an LGA1151 socket. It is a significant drawback compared to AMD as the AMD Ryzen motherboards support 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation processors with the AM4 socket. In terms of performance, if you are a multi-tasker, then the AMD Ryzen series is the best option due to its high performance in multi-core design. Intel, on the other hand, is excellent for a single-core intensive workload. As a gamer or content creator decision lays upon the demand and budget. Although each CPU among the CPUs mentioned above would be the best CPU to buy for multi-purposes, you have to choose them with care because they need a compatible setup to run correctly. But if you are successful in accommodating it with a perfect build, you would not be disappointed about their world-class performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best CPU on the market?

Choosing the best CPU isn’t a hard decision to make. AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is hands down the best gaming processor in the market as it aces through all the benchmarks results. The in-game performance and FPS are also rock solid. You would need an excellent cooling solution for this processor to give out its true potential. It is expensive with a low price/performance ratio, so it's best for enthusiasts.

What is the best cheap CPU?

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is the best cheap CPU to go. It has the best value for money. If you are not going to be gaming on big monitors, then 1080p gaming is more than enough to get non-differentiable pixel density. This processor gets the job done. It comes with a Wraith Cooler inside the box, so it also saves indirect costs.

How do I choose a CPU?

To choose a CPU, you will need first to decide what your requirements are. If you are playing games casually, then buy an AMD processor with good performance for the price tag. If you are a professional gamer, buying an Intel processor like the Intel Core i9-9900K is your best bet as it offers lower bottlenecking and high frame rates all around. Price can be compromised where performance is a matter of life and death in a competitive esports environment.

Should I buy Ryzen or Intel?

If you want a budget-friendly high-end gaming PC with 4K gaming, AMD is a good multi-tasker CPU, Whereas Intel is more gaming-oriented. AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is the best gaming processor as it offers good price/performance. The multi-tasking is phenomenal compared with Intel in a similar price range that makes it the best for the modern needs of streaming and gaming together. AMD is a cost-effective all-rounder processor. You can pick Intel Core i9-10900K or AMD Ryzen 9 3900X; both are highly worthy for multi-purposed.

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