8 Best CPU Under $200 for Gaming (with Pros & Cons)

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Are you looking for the best CPU under 200 dollars for gaming and other day-to-day tasks? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. There’s no denying that when it comes to gaming, the processor is the most important component. It is the one that determines how fast your games will run and how well they will look.

Although, finding the best gaming CPU under $200 can be a difficult task because there are just so many options on the market – but to make things easier for you, our experts have compiled a list of the best CPUs under $200 that you can buy right now.

But why should you trust us? 🤔

Since members of our team have been involved in building and testing many PCs over the past few years, as well as launching a successful computer compatibility website, they’ve gained a lot of knowledge and experience in this field.

Having tested and reviewed hundreds of components, we know what works and what does not work.

So, without further ado, here is a list of the best CPUs for gamers that you can choose from…

Best CPU Under $200

We know it’s quite a horrible feeling when your system starts to lag or stutter in the middle of an intense gaming session. It not only kills the mood but also hampers your performance, which can be quite frustrating.

However, you don’t have to suffer from this issue because we’ve compiled a list of the best CPUs under $200 that will enhance your gaming experience.

Let’s have a look at them:

1. Intel Core i5-12400 Desktop CPU for Gaming with 6 Cores & 12 Threads, 4.40GHz Boost Clock Speed, 18MB Intel Smart Cache Memory, and 730 Intel UHD Graphics

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Socket Type
LGA 1700
Core / Threads
6 / 12
Base / Boost
2.5 / 4.4 GHz
L3 Cache
18 MB

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After such a long time of teasers and leaks, Intel finally returned with a brand new 12th generation processor designed for mainstream desktop PCs. And if we talk about decent processors to build a computer within a reasonable budget, then Intel is always a name that proves itself to be a worthy consideration.

The Intel Core i5-12400 is one of those processors that can be considered worth a look since it boasts a whopping count of 6 cores and 12 threads. These cores will ensure that multi-tasking of multiple applications will be slick, enhancing the overall productivity of the end-user. Also, these cores will amplify the speed and give a frictionless experience while using the PC.

Further, the Intel Core i5-12400 comes with a boost speed of 4.40GHz, which is sufficient to meet the requirements of all performance-based activities, making the process easy and unruffled at the same time. The usual frequency of the performance cores will be 2.50 GHz which can effortlessly handle your daily tasks. And thus, considering the speed becomes capable for gaming purposes as well.

In addition, this Intel Core i5-12400 comes equipped with 18MB L3 memory and 2.5MB L2 memory, making it possible to perform daily routine tasks and frequently used instructions even faster than before. Hence, we can say that Intel has given a power pact combo in the name of Core I5-12400.

The processor also comes equipped with Intel UHD Graphics 730, a great option for those looking for something under $200 for medium gaming. The graphics have a base frequency of 300MHz and a turbo frequency of 1.45GHz. So, it will have the capability to handle up to four monitors and provide a better experience. And ultimately, it will enhance your gameplays too.

Following are the maximum resolutions that this processor’s graphics will support:

  • HDMI: 4096 X 2160 @ 60Hz
  • DP: 7680 X 4320 @ 60Hz
  • Integrated flat-panel: 5120 X 3200 @ 120Hz

These graphics will enrich the quality of media consumption and improve overall experiences alongside getting a better quality of gameplay too.

Notable Features of Intel Core i5-12400 Powerful CPU

This 12th Gen Intel Core i5 processor comes with a number of features that are worth mentioning. These are the following notable features that make i5 12400 better than the previous generations.

  • It supports DDR5 RAM at a memory speed of up to 4800 MT/s.
  • High cache memory compared to Core i5 11400.
  • High Maximum Memory Bandwidth.
  • Increased Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency.
  • It offers a 4.40 GHz boost clock speed along with a 2.5 GHz base clock speed.
  • Plus, it has Intel UHD Graphics 730 with a 300MHz base frequency and 1.45GHz turbo frequency for graphics.

Pros

  • The high clock speed of 4.4 GHz.
  • It has an enhanced multi-tasking experience.
  • High stock performance.

Cons

  • As the CPU is locked, overclocking isn’t supported.

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My Views?

If you are looking for the best-performing CPU with a budget of $200, then this is the top choice you can make. With all the new and powerful features, this CPU is definitely worth every penny. Though the product has a slightly low value for money, we can say that Intel has done a remarkable job compared to the previous products.

With all the powerful specs and features, this CPU will make your gaming and media experiences even better. We can say that this CPU is a strong contender if you seek to buy a CPU for under $200 for building a gaming PC. That’s why I would recommend this product to anyone who is looking for a great-performing CPU.

2. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Unlocked Desktop CPU with 6 Cores, 12 Threads, 35MB of Cache, 4.6GHz Boost Clock Speed, and Wraith Stealth Cooler

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Socket Type
AM4
Core / Threads
6 / 12
Base / Boost
3.7 / 4.6 GHz
L3 Cache
35 MB

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AMD has long been recognized among the most prominent names in processors and the Ryzen 5 5600X is one of the fastest mainstream desktop processors that comes under $200 with 6 cores and 12 threads. This CPU is one of the best ones I have ever tried and I was able to achieve the highest frame rates possible (yes, 100+ FPS) when playing some of the world’s most popular games.

While competing with Intel’s processors, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X provides tons of useful features at such a very attractive price, making it a better deal than some of Intel’s top-end processors.

Its whopping 6 cores and 12 threads will ensure that your programs run smoothly while boosting productivity. This AMD Ryzen will surely give a frictionless computer experience. Plus, this processor is unlocked, so you can easily push its limit to extract even more performance from it.

The Wraith Stealth Cooler that comes bundled with this processor is also one of the best stock coolers you have ever used. It is capable of keeping the CPU cool and quiet even when pushed to its limits.

Performance-wise, AMD Ryzen 5600X gives a max clock speed of 4.60 GHz. This speed will meet the requirement of performance-based activities and make the process easy and buttery at the same time. The cores’ usual clock speed will be 3.70 GHz, which can easily handle your heavy workloads, gaming, and other activities. And thus, considering the speed becomes capable of rhythmic gaming.

Furthermore, this CPU is equipped with 32MB L3 and 3MB L2 cache memory, which help you in processing daily routine tasks and frequently used instructions even faster. The cache memory helps in quick-loading various tasks and enhances the overall user experience. So, you can experience amazing gaming performance with zero frame-drops and lags.

Notable features of the Most Premium and Powerful AMD Ryzen 5 5600X CPU

The AMD Ryzen 5600X is quite a powerful and premium CPU that comes under $200 for gaming. You can enjoy a wide variety of interesting features, and these are a few you won’t want to miss.

  • It can deliver elite 100+ FPS performance in the world’s most popular games.
  • Bundled with the quiet, capable AMD Wraith Stealth cooler.
  • It is capable of giving you a 4.6 GHz Boost clock speed.
  • It is an unlocked CPU for overclocking that supports an advanced AM4 socket type.
  • It offers you AMD “Zen 3” Core Architecture along with AMD StoreMI Technology, AMD Ryzen Master Utility, and AMD Ryzen VR-Ready Premium.

Pros

  • The high clock speed of 4.6 GHz.
  • This CPU Allows overclocking.
  • More cache memory to allow better experience.
  • It also comes with a cooler.

Cons

  • No integrated graphics.

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My Views?

I would definitely recommend the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X to anyone seeking to buy a CPU under $200. It is a powerful processor that can handle any task you throw at it, whether it be gaming, productivity, or even both.

Plus, with its unlocked clock speed and advanced socket type, you can overclock this CPU to get even more performance out of it. So, if you’re looking for a great all-around CPU that won’t break the bank, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is definitely the one to get.

3. Intel Core i3-12100 Quad-Core Processor with 4 Cores & Threads, 4.3GHz Boost Speed, 3.3GHz Base Clock Speed, 12MB Cache, and Built-in Intel UHD Graphics 730

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Socket Type
LGA 1700
Core / Threads
4 / 8
Base / Boost
3.3 / 4.3 GHz
L3 Cache
12 MB

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The 12th Gen Core i3 (i3-12100) for desktops is another brand new choice for your gaming PC build. Whenever it comes to processors for building a PC on a low budget, Intel is a name that is always worth considering.

With 4 cores and 8 threads, this Intel Core i3-12100 gaming CPU ensures that everyday work tasks and casual games will run smoothly no matter how demanding they may be. This processor features a base clock speed of 3.3GHz, which can be further boosted to 4.3GHz with Intel’s Boost Technology 2.0 technology.

There is no doubt that Intel’s Boost Technology 2.0 will further enhance the clock speed of this CPU to give a slight improvement in performance. This means that this Core i3 CPU is capable of offering impressive single- and multi-threaded performance for budget gaming PC builds.

It comes with Intel’s latest UHD Graphics 730 integrated graphics card, which is another thing that makes this processor one of the most entertaining. It is also worth noting that the base frequency of this integrated graphics is 300MHz, and the turbo frequency is 1.40GHz. Thus, it will be able to handle up to four displays simultaneously, which will enhance the user experience.

Following are the maximum resolutions that this processor’s graphics will support:

  • HDMI: 4096 X 2160 @ 60Hz
  • DP: 7680 X 4320 @ 60Hz
  • Integrated flat-panel: 5120 X 3200 @ 120Hz

With these graphics, not only will the media consumption experience be enhanced, but you’ll get a better gaming experience too, which will enrich the overall experience.

As an added benefit, it comes with 12 MB of L3 and 5MB of L2 smart cache memory, which aids in the performance of everyday routine tasks and frequently used instructions. As well as this, it can support up to 4 monitors simultaneously, so you can enjoy a multitasking environment while playing games or working on other things.

Notable features of Intel Core i3-12100

Following are the notable features that make i3 12100 better than the previous generations.

  • It supports DDR5 RAM at a memory speed of up to 4800 MT/s.
  • High cache memory compared to Core i3 11100.
  • High Maximum Memory Bandwidth.
  • Increased Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency.

Pros

  • A decent clock speed of 4.4 GHz.
  • It has an enhanced multi-tasking experience.
  • High stock performance.

Cons

  • No overclocking.

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My Views?

The Intel Core i3-12100 is undoubtedly one of the best processors you can get under $200. Even though we would recommend getting Intel’s Core i5-12400 in this budget, but this one is really good and packed with powerful features that are truly worth every penny spent on it.

As compared to its previous generation, you’ll experience a little more performance increase, and your gaming and media experiences will be better as well. As a result, we would definitely recommend getting this one in this price range.

4. AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Unlocked Desktop Processor with 6 Cores, 12 Threads, 4.4GHz Max Boost Speed, 19MB Cache, and AMD Wraith Stealth Cooler

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Socket Type
AM4
Core / Threads
6 / 12
Base / Boost
3.9 / 4.4 GHz
L3 Cache
32 MB

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AMD Ryzen 5 5600G is another best unlocked CPU under $200 on our list. If you’re looking to build a gaming PC on a budget, then this is a great CPU to choose from. It comes with 6 cores and 12 threads, which makes it ideal for handling demanding games and tasks.

With this CPU, you can expect a maximum clock speed of 4.40 GHz. It will also make the process effortless and meet the needs of performance-based activities. Typically, the frequency of the performance core is 3.90 GHz, which will be able to handle intensive tasks, such as games, with ease. As a result, considering the pace, it becomes capable of fluent gaming.

This CPU has been specially designed for the AM4 platform and is capable of supporting a maximum memory speed of 3200 MHz. The L3 Cache memory measures 16 MB, and the TDP is 65W. You can use this product with a wide range of motherboards that support the AM4 socket.

In terms of graphics, the Ryzen 5 5600G CPU offers best-in-class AMD Radeon graphics integrated into the CPU, which is designed to handle high frame rates for fast-action games as well as improve performance in applications for content creation.

Additionally, this CPU has been unlocked, which means that you have the option of overclocking it for even increased performance. When pushing your CPU to the limit, the included Wraith Stealth cooler will help your CPU to remain cool even at the highest performance levels while working silently.

There are also tons of unique features included in this processor, and some of them include Precision Boost 2, AMD StoreMI Technology, AMD Ryzen VR Ready Premium, and AMD Ryzen Master Utility. With all of these features, you can enjoy gaming and multimedia to the fullest.

Notable Features of One of the Most Popular AMD Ryzen 5 5600G CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G unlocked CPU has a lot to offer in terms of gaming and multitasking. Besides that, it is one of the top-selling CPUs on Amazon. Here are a few features that stand out:

  • Best-in-class graphics performance for smooth 1080p gaming
  • It has powerful 6 Cores and 12 processing threads, bundled with the AMD Wraith Stealth cooler
  • Unlocked for overclocking.
  • Comes equipped with Radeon Vega 7 Integrated Graphics and an advanced AM4 socket type.
  • Also, it has AMD “Zen 3” Core Architecture, AMD StoreMI Technology, AMD Ryzen Master Utility, and AMD Ryzen VR-Ready Premium.

Pros

  • The high clock speed of 4.4 GHz.
  • This CPU Allows overclocking.
  • Better cache memory to allow better experience.

Cons

  • It does not have a provision to support DDR5.

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My Views?

It goes without saying that the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G is undoubtedly one of the most suitable CPUs for both media content and gaming. It comes under $200 budget and features a wide range of improvements, making it one of the most popular choices for gamers looking to build a budget gaming PC.

This CPU is also unlocked, which makes it a more attractive product and gives it a competitive advantage over other CPUs. Moreover, overclocking can further enhance its ability to perform better during heavy tasks. In summary, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G is a good choice if you want a CPU that is both powerful and affordable.

5. Intel Core i5-11400 Desktop Processor with 6 Core – 12 Thread, 4.4GHz Boost Clock Speed, 12MB of Smart Cache Memory, and 65W TDP

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Socket Type
LGA 1200
Core / Threads
6 / 12
Base / Boost
2.6 / 4.4 GHz
L3 Cache
12 MB

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Another great processor on our list is the Intel Core i5-11400, which is suitable for gaming and other everyday tasks. Even though this is not the latest processor on our list, it has almost all the features that make it one of the best CPUs under $200. The CPU comes with 6 cores and 12 threads, which means that you won’t have any problems playing games or running other applications that demand a lot of processing power.

The base clock speed of this Core i5-11400 processor is 2.6GHz but can be enhanced further using Intel’s advanced Turbo Boost technology to reach a maximum of 4.4 GHz. With that being said, the 11400 can offer some outstanding single and multi-threaded performance, which is more than sufficient for budget gaming PCs.

With a total of 12MB of L3 cache memory, it is more than capable of performing everyday tasks and quickly running frequently used instructions with no problems. Further, this CPU is able to support up to three monitors simultaneously, so you can enjoy a multitasking environment while playing games or working on other things at the same time.

In addition, it comes with Intel UHD Graphics 730. This is one of the latest integrated graphics with excellent 4K video playback capabilities and has also been tested to run games at 60 Hz without a problem. If you are looking to play a lot of heavy games, however, you will need a dedicated graphics card.

This integrated graphics card has a base frequency of 350MHz, and a turbo frequency of 1.3GHz, which makes it ideal for playing games at a higher resolution, even at high frame rates. And with three monitor supports, you’ll enjoy every bit of your gaming.

The maximum resolutions supported by this processor’s graphics are as follows:

  • HDMI: 4096 X 2160 @ 60Hz
  • DP: 5120 X 3200 @ 60Hz
  • Integrated flat-panel: 5120 X 3200 @ 60Hz
  • These graphics will enrich the quality of media consumption and improve overall experiences alongside getting a better quality of gameplay too.

And what’s more? The Intel Core i5-11400 is an affordable gaming processor that offers you a number of unique features such as Intel InTru 3D Technology, Intel Optane Memory Support, Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, and so on.

This combination of features helps you to get the smoothest gaming experience and make your system feel as smooth as possible while running heavy applications.

Notable Features of Intel Core i5-11400 CPU

This Intel Core i5-11400 desktop processor has plenty of features that make this CPU an ideal choice for gaming as well as multitasking, content creation, and 4K video playback.

Some of the key features of this 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor are:

  • It supports DDR4 RAM at a memory speed of up to 3200 MT/s.
  • High cache memory compared to Core i5 10400.
  • It includes integrated intel UHD graphics 730 with 350 MHz base & 1.30 GHz max dynamic graphics frequency.
  • It also offers some unique technology like Intel Gaussian & Neural Accelerator 2.0, Intel DL Boost, Intel Optane
  • Memory Supported, Intel Turbo Boost Technology, and Intel Hyper-Threading Technology.
  • Following are the notable features that make i5 11400 better than the previous generations.

Pros

  • The high clock speed of 4.4 GHz.
  • It has a decent multi-tasking experience.
  • Better cost efficiency.

Cons

  • High power consumption.

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My Views?

Our test showed that this CPU handled all of the games we threw at it without any problems. In addition, we were able to edit some light videos and playback 4K videos at 60Hz without any issues.

For most people, the Intel Core i5-11400 is more than sufficient, though if you’re looking to do some video editing or gaming at high resolutions, you’ll need a higher-end CPU. So, I recommend this processor to anyone looking for a budget-friendly gaming processor.

6. AMD Ryzen 5 2600 Processor with 6 Cores & 12 Threads, 3.9GHz Boost Clock Speed, 2933MHz DDR4 Memory Support, and 65W TDP (YD2600BBAFBOX)

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Socket Type
AM4
Core / Threads
6 / 12
Base / Boost
3.4 / 3.9 GHz
L3 Cache
16 MB

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The Ryzen 5 2600 is a powerful mid-range CPU from AMD that offers an excellent value for money solution. This CPU is capable of handling most of the tasks that you throw at it, including gaming, streaming, and other media consumption. This CPU comes equipped with 6 cores and 12 threads, making it an ideal choice for gamers and power users.

The CPU has a base clock speed of 3.4GHz and it can be boosted up to 3.9GHz with the help of AMD’s advanced Turbo Core Technology. This CPU also comes with AMD’s Wraith Stealth Cooler, which no doubt improves performance and provides excellent thermal performance.

When we talk about compatibility with the motherboard, this CPU is compatible with the motherboards having an AM4 socket type. In addition to that, this CPU is also compatible with some of AMD’s most popular chipsets, such as the X470, B450, and so on. The CPU supports dual-channel DDR4 memory with a speed of 2933MHz, making it an ideal choice for gaming and everyday tasks.

The thermal design power (TDP) of this CPU is 65 Watts, which makes it very energy-efficient. Those who aren’t sure about TDP should be aware that a high TDP will result in higher temperatures and noise, both of which are bad for any processor out there. Additionally, this Ryzen 5 2600 processor is VR-ready, making it suitable for use with virtual reality headsets. And with the help of AMD’s SenseMI Technology, this CPU can automatically adjust its clock speed and voltage according to the workload.

All in all, the Ryzen 5 2600 is a wise choice for those who are looking for a powerful mid-range CPU that offers excellent performance at competitive pricing.

Notable Features of AMD Ryzen 5 2600

Well, as the name suggests, Ryzen 5 2600 is a 2nd generation CPU from AMD and it sits in the mid-range segment. It has an anonymous amount of unique features that come in handy while playing games and multitasking. Here are the following notable features that make the CPU the most reasonable under the budget of $200.

  • It has 6 cores and 12 threads with a boost clock speed of 3.9GHz.
  • This CPU comes with Zen+ microarchitecture and a Pinnacle Ridge core family.
  • It supports the AM4 socket type, which is compatible with most high-end motherboards.
  • Plus, it has AMD StoreMI Technology, AMD SenseMI Technology, AMD Ryzen Master Utility, and AMD Ryzen VR-Ready Premium.

Pros

  • Comes with a high clock speed of 3.9 GHz.
  • This CPU allows overclocking.
  • Better cache memory to allow better experience.

Cons

  • It lacks integrated graphics.

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My Views?

As I mentioned, the specs and performance of Ryzen 5 2600 CPU are excellent for gaming and other content creation related works. In my previous build, I used this CPU to build a PC and I was totally amazed by the results it delivered.

It can handle any workload you put on it, whether you’re gaming or editing videos. Therefore, AMD Ryzen 5 2600 is a great option if you are looking for a powerful mid-range CPU for your next PC build without spending a lot of money.

You won’t regret choosing it.

Best CPU Under $200 for Gaming – Buying Guide

Quite often, people are unsure about what type of CPU they should purchase for their gaming computer. If you’re one of those people, then this buying guide is for you. This guide will help you to understand what factors you need to take into consideration before buying a CPU for gaming under $200.

The following are some considerations you need to take into account…

1. What are Your Requirements?

Before you begin your research, it is always necessary to understand your requirements. In choosing CPUs, the requirements basically refer to the type of work you usually do with your CPU and whether you like gaming or not? Depending on these scenarios, you will be able to select the option that satisfies all your objectives.

As an example, if you are purchasing a CPU with the intention of satisfying your entire gaming needs, then you will want to take note of your requirements including the CPU performance you need, the budget you have in mind, and the type of games you wish to play with the CPU. After you have decided on all of these things, you will need to look for a CPU that will be able to handle your needs without any problems.

Basically, if you need to fulfill your power-hungry needs, then you should look for a processor like AMD Ryzen 5 5600X, which when coupled with a high-quality graphics card would be able to deliver you the best performance in any of your favorite games (yes, we’re talking about a performance of over 100 FPS). As this processor is backed by six cores and twelve threads, a boosted clock speed of 4.4GHz, it will certainly enhance your performance in any task you perform throughout the day.

2. Which One is the Best Intel or AMD?

Oh gosh… I’m confused??? Which one should I choose???

You are asking yourself a question like this, aren’t you?

Obviously, you will… as soon as we determine the requirements, the next thing that springs to mind is whether to choose an Intel or AMD processor. There is no doubt that we all get confused here and we could not decide which one to get. Both Intel and AMD brands are wonderful. In fact, sometimes we find ourselves unable to decide which one should we get since processors coming from both of these brands can handle anything we throw at them marvelously.

To answer the above question, it simply depends on the kind of performance you are looking for and what your needs are. AMD, for example, is one of the best options out there for you if you want to build a PC capable of playing high graphics-intensive games within your budget. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X processor is well known for its superior gaming performance, and it is one of the best processors on the market.

Alternatively, if you are in need of a CPU that is capable of handling complex data processing tasks, as well as high-end games, then Intel processors will be the best option available to you. They are known for their superior power and efficiency, making them more suitable for such uses. As well, these processors are more stable than their AMD counterparts, which makes them a better option for daily use.

But frankly speaking, both Intel and AMD processors come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. So you will have to pick the processor that will best suit your requirements.

3. Core & Thread Count

The core and thread count is one of the most important aspects you need to take into consideration when selecting a CPU for gaming. A processor with a higher number of cores and threads will be able to handle more complex tasks than a processor with a lower number of cores and threads.

For example, if you are looking for a CPU that can handle multiple tasks at the same time, then you will need to look for a processor with a higher number of cores and threads. On the other hand, if you are only looking for a CPU that can handle basic tasks such as web browsing and watching movies, then you can get away with a lower number of cores and threads.

However, having a lower number of cores and threads is not the only thing that determines the performance of a processor. The clock speed of the processor is also an important factor.

4. Clock Speed

Your CPU’s clock speed determines the rate at which it can execute instructions. With a higher clock speed, the CPU is more powerful and efficient, making it ideal for any type of workload. When a clock speed is high, it is possible to process more data in a single clock cycle.

The base clock speed is mostly used during the initial setup of your CPU, but the boost clock speed is what you need to look for. This will improve performance when necessary, especially during heavy gameplay.

However, you should not be fooled by high numbers alone. It is important to note that having a higher base clock speed does not automatically mean that your CPU will have a higher boost clock speed as well. And it will only be able to overclock the processor if the motherboard has the capability to do so.

5. Is Your CPU Unlocked or Not?

An unlocked CPU is a processor that can be easily overclocked. This means that you can increase the clock speed of your processor beyond the default frequency. This can be done by changing the settings in the BIOS or by using third-party software.

Unlocked CPUs are ideal for gamers and enthusiasts who want to get the most out of their processors. If you are not interested in overclocking your processor, then you can save some money by getting a locked CPU.

6. Overclocking

If you decide to overclock your CPU, then it is better to choose an unlocked CPU over a locked one. Since you will be doing the overclocking on your own, re won’t be any conflicts with the motherboard.

This means that you will have more freedom in terms of the frequency at which you can change. But you must choose a motherboard that will allow you to overclock your CPU without any issues. Otherwise, it might not work after you’ve spent all the money on it.

7. Cache Memory

Cache Memory is another important factor to consider while choosing a CPU for your gaming PC build. It is the memory that is located on the CPU itself. The primary purpose of the cache memory is to improve performance by storing frequently used data and instructions. Mostly, AMD processors have higher cache memory as compared to their Intel counterparts.

Cache Memory does not affect the real-time performance of your CPU but it can be used to improve its efficiency in terms of speed and power consumption. It can ensure that the CPU doesn’t have to wait for RAM to provide it with data like how the GPU avoids having to wait for the next frame of a game.

There are mainly 3 types of cache memory; These are;

  • L1 Cache Memory
  • L2 Cache Memory
  • L3 Cache Memory

The L1 cache memory is the fastest cache memory on the CPU also known as the “Primary Cache“. The L2 cache memory is located at the second level of the cache and handles the data that is needed on a more regular basis along with L1. And finally, there is the L3 memory which is used to store more complex instructions and data when they are not handled by other levels. Cache Memory speeds up your PC by reducing latency, making them ideal for gaming rigs.

Both L2 and L3 cache memory helps the L1 cache memory and boost its performance significantly. Similarly, the bigger the cache memory is, the faster your system can perform tasks without affecting your computer’s performance.

8. Socket Type

Socket type plays an important role when you need to build a gaming PC. It determines the type of motherboard or processor you can use with it and also gives you an idea about the compatibility of the CPU. This ensures that both the CPU and motherboard work together, giving you good performance.

The most common socket types for Intel processors are LGA 1151, LGA 1200, and LGA 1700 while the AMD processors most commonly have AM4 and AM3+ sockets. Nowadays, LGA 1700 is the most commonly used socket type among Intel processors while AM4 is the same on AMD processors. It is important to check if your motherboard supports the same socket type that your processor has.

Socket Type also plays part in overclocking your CPU by letting you have complete control of the settings that are available to you. You can also apply different settings without having to worry about affecting other parts of your gaming PC build.

9. Thermal Design Power (TDP)

Your CPU’s TDP indicates how much power it consumes. Together with the core, it determines how much power the CPU draws from the motherboard at any given time. You’ll be surprised to learn that a TDP of 75W is enough for most gaming PC builds with high-end graphics cards, while a TDP of 250W is required for some extreme setups.

There are two types of TDP, low TDP, and high TDP. You can find low TDP in most Intel CPUs and high TDP in many AMD processors. For most builds, low TDP ones will be the best choice since they use very little power.

High TDP CPUs are generally used for extreme setups involving multiple cores and threads. Also, they consume more power, so choosing a motherboard with a high TDP is crucial. For midrange CPUs, we recommend going with 75W to 95W TDP processors. It’s powerful enough to run a mid-range gaming PC setup without sacrificing performance.

10. CPU Cooling

The CPU cooler is necessary if you want to overclock your gaming PC build. It will run the CPU at a higher clock speed while maintaining its temperature to avoid overheating and damaging your components.

As we mentioned earlier, the clock speed is what determines the performance of your gaming PC. A high clock speed will make your CPU more powerful, enabling it to perform better under heavy loads when playing certain games like Dota 2, Destiny 2, COD; Warzone, and many more.

While overclocking, having high-end gaming sessions, or during multitasking, your CPU might reach its maximum temperature resulting in lowering the clock speed to avoid overheating. This can cause a huge disadvantage because you won’t be able to get the full potential of your CPU.

A cooling system is designed to cool down the CPU and ensure that it doesn’t overheat. The best ones come with a fan and a heat sink that is connected to each other by means of metal or liquid channels. There are tons of options out there with different designs and cooling capacities, like Air Cooling and Liquid Cooling.

So if you are a gamer and want to build a high-end gaming PC, it would be better to use a CPU cooler for extreme and lag-free gaming sessions.

Wrapping Up!

If you are planning to build a gaming PC or planning to upgrade your current rig, we hope that this article has helped you make the right choice. In the end, it all depends on your budget, the type of games you play, and the requirements of your games.

Based on testing a variety of CPUs for a week in extreme conditions, we have already done the tedious part for you and ranked the best CPUs under 200 dollars. All of the CPUs that we mentioned above are the latest and best CPUs that you can find on the market. There is also an article on CPUs under $100, so if you have a limited budget, make sure to check it out.

If you have questions related to this post or any concerns about building a high-end gaming PC, then feel free to ask us in the comment section below.

So what are you waiting for? Build your gaming PC today and start gaming!

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links to Amazon and other websites. When you click on the links and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission. The products we review are entirely based on our personal experiences and viewpoints, so we strongly recommend that you do your own research before purchasing anything we recommend.

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