The 10 Best CPUs For Gaming

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Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

This wiki has been updated 3 times since it was first published in October of 2018. While the graphics card gets all the publicity these days, gaming can use significant amounts of CPU power, as well. Depending on what you like to play and the budget you have to work with, there are quite a few models to wade through, and the alphabet soup can quickly get confusing. We've selected the best at running the most demanding software, and offering just the features you'll likely need. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best cpu for gaming on Amazon.

10. Ryzen 5 2400G

9. Threadripper 2950X

8. Intel i3-8350K

7. Core I9-9900K

6. Pentium G5600

5. Intel i3-8100

4. Intel i5-9600K

3. AMD Ryzen 5 2600X

2. AMD Ryzen 1600x

1. Core i5-8400

Editor's Notes

November 01, 2018:

You'll notice there are no 200-series CPUs on the list; that's because if you have a 200-series motherboard, it's actually far more cost-effective to invest in a good Z370 mobo, plus a stopgap low-end Coffee Lake CPU. On the other hand, if you have a 300-series board already, the 8th-generation is the all-around top performer for the dollar. 9-gen Cor CPUs are soldered, too, so overclockers should consider those. Also, welcome AMD back to the game; you can't go wrong with their higher-clocked X-series chips.


Christopher Thomas
Last updated on November 07, 2018 by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.


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