Looking for the best gaming cpu can be a tiresome task for every hardcore gamer. After all, playing some really high-end games requires a compatible rig with the latest technology. Processors, or CPUs are one such requirement without which gaming would rarely be entertaining.
Now, there are hundreds if not thousands of processors in the market that are all meant for gaming action and claim to be truly worth their price tag. Out of those, only Intel and AMD have the sole reputation of making the best quality, durable chipsets in the market. But, how would you know which one fits your bill and suits the kind of games that you play?
Worry not! Down below, we have made a list of the top 10 best processors of 2018 across categories that you must not miss out!
INTEL CORE I7-7700K
(The Best CPU For Gaming 2018)
One of the most recognized chipset makers in the world, Intel tops our list with the 7th Gen core ™ i7-7700K, which is touted as one of the fastest processor in the world (currently) that makes it a compelling choice for some high-end gaming as well as extensive video editing, etc.
With a stock speed of 4.2GHz and an equally impressive turbo boost speed of 4.5GHz, playing some of the most intense video games ranging from Battlefield 4, Civilization 6 to World of Warcraft becomes a reality with this quad core processor. However, we must admit, AMD’s Ryzen 7 1700 scores over this adapter in terms of multi-threaded eight cores that make it not quite suitable for heavy-duty multitasking.
On the plus side, we figured this top-tier Intel core ™ i7 CPU kept power consumption to a bare minimum without making any grinding noise. Further, its power consumption is comparatively less than its closest competitor, AMD’s Ryzen 7 1700. Also, when it comes to overclocking, this processor doesn’t disappoint as it reached some swift speeds whilst we played high-end games such as Outlast 2 and Mass Effect: Andromeda.
All in all, in spite of a few shortcomings such as a slightly expensive price tag, the core ™ i7-7700K is Intel’s best processor till date and delivers on various benchmarks that surely make it worthy of gaming action.
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AMD Ryzen 7 1700 (Highest no. of cores)
After a few years of wait, AMD has introduced the best processor for gaming with a new set of high-end processors with a whole new architecture called Zen. These CPUs are called Ryzen 7 and have the potential to be every gamer’s go-to processors.
At first glance, we figured this AMD flagship processor is loaded with eight cores, making it very compatible for carrying out some heavy-duty multitasking. Making it one of the fastest processor in the world after Core-i7.
So, anything ranging from Call of Duty- Black Ops 3 and GTA-5 can be played along with high-end video editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro. Heck, it can even handle a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) like Reaper simultaneously.
Coming onto the speed part, it’s not incredibly fast compared with Intel’s core ™ i7-7700K, but it gets the job done easily. With a base clock speed of 3.0GHz and turbo clock speed of 3.7GHz this processor seems a bit slow, but it can be overclocked with a few changes on the motherboard setup. Also, it is compatible with DDR4 RAM so snugging them in new motherboards won’t be a problem for users.
Moreover, this processor is quite affordable and comes with some built-in features such as an efficient cooler called Wraith Spire and Sense MI, where the CPU controls the speed of the clock. However, this CPU’s power consumption is a pain point that certainly could not have been overlooked by AMD.
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Intel Core i5-7600K
(Best Budget Processor Worth Its Price)
If you are on the lookout for a very pocket-friendly gaming based processor, look no further than Intel’s brand new offering: Intel core i5-7600k. It is the latest Kabylake based processor that supports DDR4 Ram.
First impressions: Thanks to this processor, Fallout 4 doesn’t lag at all and we could enjoy a surreal graphical surround sound experience. It is at least 8% faster than its predecessors such as the i5-6600K. We were also quite satisfied with the base clock speed of this processor that came around 3.8GHz making it the perfect fit for games such as Witcher 3 and Doom which pair well with DDR4 Ram.
This processor is also a reasonably priced deal given its capabilities in terms of clock speed. Also, we were very much in awe with its power efficient nature that makes it mellow down and draw less power when some graphically demanding task is not carried out. Although carrying out multitasking operations is one area where this processor could have done a bit more.
On the downside, the speed of intel core i5-7600k is not quite good when it comes to overclocking when compared with the other other intel's beasts like intel core i7 6800k and intel core i7-7700k. In our experience, it could reach an overclocked speed of 4.2 GHz and then maxed out. Also, the thread count of this processor is minimal compared with some of its rivals in the same range such as the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X.
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AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
(Best Six Core Processor For Livestreaming And Video Editing)
For what it’s worth, the Ryzen 5 1600X has been introduced by AMD as the main contender to Intel’s I5-7600K. It is a six-core processor that can operate 12 threads parallely i.e. it can be used for some serious multitasking.
The hyper-threaded six cores ensure that users can seamlessly carry on multitasking on their systems which includes playing Battlefield 4 and even Call Of Duty- World War II (which will be released later in 2017) along with some high-end video editing or even recording gameplays on Twitch at the same time. It also scores well with a zen architectural design that makes it a delight on any modern motherboard with DDR4 Ram.
Moreover, what makes it a strong contender is a 16MB cache memory as well as some flagship AMD features such as Stealth cooler. However, it doesn’t come bundled with a fan/heat sink which would have made it all the more enticing for relentlessly playing high-end games such as Hitman and Ashes of the Singularity.
Where it lags behind its primary competitor, the CORE I5-7600K is in the base and turbo clocks speeds department. This processor has a base clock speed of 3.6GHz and a turbo boost speed of 4 GHz. While the speeds are not comparatively low, this AMD CPU’s throughput lags at least 10% more than Intel’s i5-7600 and certainly doesn’t cut much ice with us given that AMD has aligned this processor on its lines.
AMD RYZEN 7 1800X
(Best Processor For Gaming and Video Editing)
The RYZEN 7 1800X is perhaps the costliest processor on our list, but that doesn’t deter its potential to be a gaming heaven. It comes loaded with 3.6GHz stock clock speed as well as 4GHz Turbo speed.
The first thing you will notice about this processor are its eight cores that are multi threaded and fully equipped for carrying out heavy-duty multitasking operations ranging from HD video editing, rendering audio tracks on demanding DAWs like Cubase/Reaper to playing intensive games like Ashes of Singularity or The Division.
When we tested this processor by playing Witcher 3, it returned a marginally good 62 fps which was better than Intel’s Core i7-7700K. Even on games like Civilization 6, the breathtaking 1440p resolution clearly shows that this chipset is well worth its expensive price tag.
However, one big downside is that it doesn’t have a cooler unit and things might get a bit heated if you are an intensive gamer. That being said, this the best cpu for gaming for those who are looking at an all-round immersive experience although they will have to pay up some money.
Intel Core i7-6700K
[Best Processor For Laptop]
With the Core i7-6700K, Intel hopes to bridge the gap between fast gaming chipsets and every professional’s needs. This multi-core processor supports both DDR3L and DDR4 RAM making it the best cpu for 4k gaming apt for being snug in old as well as new motherboards.
On the performance front, this Intel processor brings a lot more to the table than its predecessor, the Core i7-5775C. We believe this chipset is a good deal for professionals (people into graphic designing, audio engineering, etc.) who have to do some serious, demanding tasks on their computer. At the same time, gamers will not be let down by its brilliant 4K resolution whilst indulging in some high-end games such as Fallout 4.
For us, this processor is worthy of praise for two reasons- firstly, we liked the base clock speed of 4.2GHz that wasn’t disappointing. Secondly, we loved the turbo boost speed which can go up to an impressive 4.4GHz on this CPU. Although we could get a solid 53 fps while playing Shadow of Mordor as well as 85 fps in Dying Light, and an equally impressive 123 fps in Fallout 4, the real problem lies in the slightly expensive price tag, which is frankly a buzzkill otherwise it's the best processor for laptop that you can buy.
The best feature that we could derive out from this CPU was in terms of overclocking. It clocked a speed of 4.8GHz which is surely pretty amazing. That proves that this CPU can withstand some high-decibel, demanding games like Ashes of Singularity easily. Lastly, we noticed that it does give a bit more pep and performance if you are playing intense games, but remains a big power hogger with a whopping 140W consumption.
Intel CELERON G3950- (Most affordable CPU)
Perhaps the cheapest chip on our list, Intel’s Celeron G3950 is a handy gear for low-end gaming that is also compatible with modern motherboards making it an ideal replacement for those who don’t want to splurge extra cash.
First things first, we were delighted with the output of this processor. Since it is a single thread processor (i.e. it can operate only one application at a time) we managed to play games such as League of legends, CS:GO, etc. while maintaining the frame rate at over 60fps. The temperature, also peaked at a modest 38°C.
But, we were not really happy with the output in high-end games such as Battlefield which require larger fps/huge resolutions. Also, users should forget about multitasking with this CPU even if they are recording gameplays on Twitch. The reason is, this processor is not cut out for supporting extensive operations.
Although the silver lining for this processor lies in the fact that it consumes a lot less electricity. In our tests, it only drew a meagre 67W from the mains when it peaked, which is very resourceful. It is ably backed by a cooler unit which keeps the temperature at bay and avoids overheating problems. So yeah the Celeron G3950 will be a lucrative deal for those gamers who are short on money.
Intel CORE I3-7350K
(2nd Fastest Intel Processor)
If you are an overclocking enthusiast who likes to test the limits of their processor with some high-end gaming, yet at a pocket-friendly pricing, then Intel’s Dual Core chip, i3-7350 might the right pick for you.
This Intel processor is miles better than most AMD processors when it comes to sheer speed whilst running only one application at a time. Furthermore, it has one of the fastest stock clock speed of all Intel chips at 4.2 GHz, and that in our opinion pretty much makes up for the lack of turbo boost. However, the speed drops down drastically as soon as multitasking comes into play.
Still, we found the overclocking feature of this CPU as something worthwhile. It could reach a speed of an impressive 5GHz without ever compromising on FPS and resolution. Without a doubt, it beats AMD’s Ryzen 5 1500X in the department of single threading a.k.a running one application at a time with a faster speed. We could easily run Witcher 3 at 51 FPS using this processor and feel it will suit desktops slightly more than laptops.
But, where it lacks in output is at multitasking or executing various tasks seamlessly at the same time, that is, it will not suit all games. The main limitation with the core i3-7350K, however, lies with the compatibility issues it faces with several Intel motherboards themselves. Eventually, users will have to shell out extra money to get their gaming rig up and running with this CPU by buying an expensive Intel motherboard.
AMD RYZEN 5 1500X
(Affordable Quad Core Processor)
AMD knocks up a surprise for avid gamers with a relatively cheaper chipset in the form of RYZEN 5 1500X. Now, it’s not really as super fast as one would like to expect, but it gets the job done on most games such as Witcher 3.
It comes packed with a modest base clock speed of 3.5GHz and a turbo boost speed of 3.7GHz. We could derive a decent score of 47.8fps whilst playing Ashes of the Singularity. Also, it showed a rather impressive 83 fps in Battlefield 1 which is at par with some pricier Intel counterparts.
As is the case with most AMD chips, the RYZEN 5 1500X delivers fine results with multitasking, but fails to score in terms of processor speed while carrying out single tasks. Sadly, here it pales in comparison to several Intel i3 chips that are outright better. Also, this CPU doesn’t do much in terms of overclocking and most gaming enthusiasts will feel a bit let down. It certainly cannot play heavy-duty intensive games such as Battlefield 4 without lagging midway through the game.
Another, area of concern for us was electricity consumption which, at 98W was comparatively higher than an Intel chipset in the same price range. All in all, if you are looking at an immersive gaming experience, this processor is better at delivering higher fps than some expensive Ryzen chips so, yeah it is the best budget cpu for gaming.
Intel Core i7-5820K (Best Intel 6 Core Processor)
Rounding off our list is another Intel chip called the i7-5820K which pretty much claims to be one of the best CPU's for gaming and video editing. It is loaded with a decent stock clock speed of 3.3GHz and a turbo boost speed of up to 3.6GHz.
This processor comes in handy for overclocking enthusiasts who want to test the limits of their CPUs with a demanding gameplay as well record and render it on a gamut of editing software. We figured playing games such as No Man’s Sky and Dark Souls 3 in 1440p resolution with a good fps rate was a walk in the park for this chipset. Also, users can carry out extensive graphic designing, audio and video editing via this chipset.
However, the downsides of this CPU comprise of support for limited motherboards plus its compatibility with only DDR4 RAM. Despite of being the best intel cpu for gaming and affordable one, this CPU won’t support older generation motherboards and RAM slots such as DDR3L implying users will have to shell out extra bucks to upgrade their rig.
One more drawback for us has to be its overheating problem, which at times, gets out of hand due to the lack of a coolant/cooling system. Nevertheless, the Core i7-5820K chipset can be used as an all-purpose processor that won’t disappoint avid gamers as its six cores enable multitasking options for budding gaming vloggers who want to simultaneously play and live stream their gaming experience.
If you are looking for a very cheap processor that can support your low-end gaming needs easily, look no further than the Intel CELERON G3950.
If money is not a constraint for you and you want to play the best visually appealing and high-end games out there, Intel core ™ i7-7700K and AMD RYZEN 7 1800X might be what you are looking for.
For multitasking fans out there who want to run as many heavy-duty applications as possible, AMD’s Ryzen 7 1700 and RYZEN 7 1800X are more than good enough.
For someone who is looking at getting the best out of their processors through overclocking may have a look at Intel’s Core i7-6700K ("best Processor For Laptop") and CORE I7-7700K.
If you are a fan of great resolution and terrific turbo speed check out Intel’s Core I7-7700K and intel core i5-7600k.
Last but not the least, if you want to get a solid fps rate in your gameplay feel with a 4K resolution, the Intel Core i7-6700K, AMD RYZEN 7 1800X and even a relatively less-expensive AMD RYZEN 5 1500X would be the best cpu for gaming that you get in market.