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How To Choose The Best Processor For a Gaming computer in 2023

Building a gaming computer is an exciting project, but it can also be overwhelming, especially when it comes down to choosing the best processor. The processor is the heart of your PC, and it plays a crucial role in determining your gaming performance. With so many options available, selecting the best processor for a gaming computer can be a daunting task.

In this blog post, we will share some pointers enabling you to choose the best processor for your gaming computer, covering factors such as budget, compatibility, performance, brand, overclocking, and future-proofing. Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or a casual player, this guide will help you make an informed decision and get the most out of your processor.

How to choose the best processor for a gaming computer

Key points to takeaway on how to choose the best processor for a gaming computer

  • The processor is a crucial component for gaming computer performance, and factors such as budget, compatibility, performance, brand, overclocking, and future-proofing should be considered when choosing a processor.
  • The number of CPU cores and hyperthreading/multithreading technology can affect gaming performance, with more cores and hyperthreading being beneficial for multitasking and CPU-intensive games.
  • Integrated graphics can provide a cost-effective solution for basic tasks, but dedicated graphics cards are recommended for high-end gaming and demanding graphics-intensive applications.
  • Overclocking can improve performance but comes with risks such as overheating, higher electricity bills, and reduced CPU lifespan.
  • AMD and Intel are both popular processor brands, each with its strengths and differences. It’s important to research and compares processors before purchasing to ensure you choose the best option for your needs.

Do the number of cores matter on a processor for a gaming computer

These little powerhouses are like the Avengers, each with their unique strengths and abilities. The more cores you have, the more superheroes you have on your team, ready to tackle whatever tasks you throw their way. Processing cores are individual units within a CPU that can independently execute instructions. Each core can handle a set of tasks simultaneously, increasing the overall speed of the processor. CPUs with more cores can handle more tasks in a single cycle, leading to better performance in multitasking applications and demanding software, such as video editing and gaming.

AMD and Intel are like Superman and Batman of the processor world, each with its fan base, but with a few key differences. AMD is like Batman, dark and brooding with more cores than you can shake a baton. They’re perfect for multi-threaded tasks, like Batman’s utility belt packed with gadgets.

Intel is like Superman, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound with their lightning-fast clock speeds. They’re perfect for single-threaded tasks, just like Superman’s ability to focus his powers on one target.
At least, that was the case before Intel released its I9 13900K series, now both of these behemoths are gunning for the top gaming processor spot. Better for us though if they keep doing that.

Are hyperthreading and multithreading the same? Is it important in a processor for a gaming computer?

Hyperthreading is a technology developed by Intel that allows a single physical processor core to execute multiple software threads simultaneously. In AMD’s case, it’s called multithreading.
This means that a processor with hyperthreading enabled in bios appears to the operating system as having twice as many logical cores as physical cores. For example, a quad-core processor with hyperthreading will appear to have 4 CPUs running around.
In gaming, hyperthreading can have a significant impact on performance, particularly in games that can take advantage of multiple threads.
Games that use multiple threads can benefit from hyperthreading by distributing their workload more efficiently across the processor’s logical cores. This can result in better performance and higher frame rates, particularly in CPU-intensive games.
However, not all games benefit equally from hyperthreading. Some games may only use one or two threads, and in these cases, hyperthreading may have little to no impact on performance. In fact, in some cases, hyperthreading can actually decrease performance, particularly in older games that are not optimized to take advantage of multiple threads.

What are integrated graphics on a processor? Can I game with integrated graphics?

Integrated graphics, or as we like to call it, “graphics on a budget”, is the scrappy underdog of the graphics processing world. It’s like the plucky little engine that could, always chugging along and doing its best, even if it’s not the biggest or the most powerful. This means that instead of requiring a separate dedicated graphics card, the computer can use integrated graphics to display images and video.
Integrated graphics provide a cost-effective solution for users who do not require high-performance graphics, such as casual gamers, office workers, or those who use their computers for basic tasks like browsing the web and streaming videos. By integrating graphics processing into the processor, manufacturers can offer more affordable computer systems without sacrificing performance.
And let’s not forget about their eco-friendly side – integrated graphics are like the veggie burger of the graphics world. They consume less energy and are more environmentally conscious than their power-hungry dedicated graphics card counterparts. So, not only are they saving you money, but they’re also saving the planet. What’s not to love?

However, it’s important to note that integrated graphics are not as powerful as dedicated graphics cards, and are not recommended for high-end gaming or other demanding graphics-intensive applications.

They also typically have less memory than dedicated graphics cards, which can limit their performance in some scenarios.

In the case of Intel, any processor with the designation “F” to its series does not have integrated graphics. In the case of AMD, any processor with the designation “X” to its series, integrated graphics will not be present in them.

Should I buy a processor with overclocking capabilities? Which Processors are safe to overclock?

Overclocking a processor is like turbocharging your car – it’s a risky move that can give you a lot of extra horsepower, but also has the potential to blow up your engine. This is done by increasing the CPU’s multiplier or bus speed, which increases the frequency at which the CPU operates.

The main advantage of overclocking is that it can improve a computer’s performance, particularly in CPU-intensive tasks like gaming or video editing. By increasing the clock speed, the CPU can process more instructions per second, which can lead to faster load times, smoother frame rates, and overall improved performance.

However, there are also several risks associated with overclocking. The main risk is that it can cause the CPU to overheat, which can damage the processor and other components in the computer. Overclocking can lead to higher electricity bills and reduce the lifespan of the CPU.

To minimize these risks, carefully monitor the CPU’s temperature and voltage levels while overclocking, and make sure that the computer’s cooling system is up to the task. It’s also important to note that overclocking can void the warranty on some CPUs, so it’s extremely important to check the manufacturer’s guidelines before attempting to overclock.
In the case of Intel, any processor with the designation “K” to its series has been designed to be overclock-friendly. In the case of AMD, all Ryzen Series processors are unlocked, meaning overclock ready.

Do Power Requirements or TDP play an important part when it comes to processor preference?

The average TDP is 65W to 90W, some newer processors are verging out to 120W as well but we don’t really mind it. The power requirements of a processor don’t usually impact much on the decision of which processor to choose for a gaming rig.

Which processor would you recommend for an entry-level Gaming Computer?

  • Great for casual and low-requirement games
  • Not recommended for streaming.

For Intel –
Intel Core I3 12th Generation 12100F – The reason for the 12th generation (12100F) instead of the 13th generation (13100F) is simple. The price for the 13th Gen is more but the performance bump does not justify the cost.
Intel Core I3 12100F has 4 threads and 4 Cores and goes up to a max speed of 4.30 GHz. The Intel I3 13100F also has 4 threads and 4 cores and can go up to 4.50 GHz. The speed difference is not a lot but the pricing is when you are on a budget.
Also, we prefer the “F” series processor for Intel, as a dedicated graphics card is recommended for a gaming computer.

For AMD –
Ryzen 5 3600 is a great processor for a gaming computer. It comes with 6 Cores and 12 threads and can be overclocked to 4.20 GHz.

In our books, if you don’t have a preference between AMD and Intel, for an entry-level gaming PC go for AMD Ryzen 5 3600.

Which processor would you recommend for a low mid-level Gaming Computer?

  • Great for casual and low-requirement games
  • Not recommended for streaming on twitch or youtube

Our recommendations for Lower mid-level gaming – For casual gaming and running games on medium settings. Can stream on low settings.

For Intel –
Intel Core I5 12400F – This processor comes with 6 cores and 6 processing threads and a max turbo frequency of 4.4 GHz. You can run and stream several FPS shooters like Valorant, PUBG, Free Fire, etc on medium settings. Forget streaming high-end games on this system though

For AMD –
AMD Ryzen 5 5600G – Hear me out, AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is great but at the time of writing, it is scarce in the market and a bit overpriced. The difference between 5600G and 5600X is in speed. AMD Ryzen 5 5600G can reach up to 4.4 GHz where as Ryzen 5 5600X reaches up to 4.6 GHz. Besides this, both of them have 6 cores and 12 threads. But hardly any processor gets pushed to those speeds unless you specifically make them. So going with 5600G is great in our books.

When recommending to our customers for this segment, we strongly suggest AMD Ryzen 5 5600G or 5600X as the processor for a gaming PC ins this segment (If it becomes available and prices get corrected).

Which processor would you recommend for an average Gaming Computer?

  • For running games on recommended settings
  • You can easily stream on medium to high settings.

For Intel –
Intel Core I5 12600K – This processor comes with 10 cores and 16 processing threads and a max turbo frequency of 4.9 GHz. You can run and stream several Triple AAA Titles like God Of War, and Elden Ring on medium and high settings. The best part about this processor is it’s future-proof in the sense it supports both DDR4 RAM and DDR5 RAM as well. This is our go-to processor for this range.

For AMD –
AMD knocked the ball out of the park when it came down to providing value in this price range. Several processors are vying for notice in this segment like – AMD Ryzen 7 5700X, AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, and AMD Ryzen 9 5900X. The new entrants of AMD Ryzen 7000 Series, Ryzen 5 7600X, and AMD Ryzen 7700X, series are only compatible with DDR5 Memory so that is a downside. If you are making a desktop right about now, it might be a great idea to go ahead with AMD Ryzen 7000 series processor instead since AMD has promised support for these processors for the next 4 years at least.

We recommend Intel I5 12600K as a processor for a gaming computer in this segment because the core and thread count and its support for both DDR4 and DDR5 Memory trump AMD’s processors in this segment.

Which processor would you recommend for the Best Gaming computer?

  • For running games on Ultra settings and getting the best results
  • You can easily stream at the best quality and it is great for content creation involving gameplay and 3D renderings

For Intel –
Intel Core I7 13700K – Coming in with 16 cores and 24 threads, this piece of beauty is great for gaming, high-level content creation, and streaming at the highest levels. Anything you want is perfect on this processor. Promising max speed of 5.40 GHz and support for both DDR4 and DDR5 Memory standards, it provides the icing on the cake.

For AMD –
AMD Ryzen 9 7900X – With 12 cores and 24 threads and a max boost speed of 5.6GHz is the only solution offered by AMD worth mentioning in this segment. It fizzles out comparatively to Intel

You might suggest that I am comparing Ryzen 9 with I7 but we are comparing it based on price point. AMD doesn’t have an answer to Intel when it comes to a processor supporting both DDR4 and DDR5 Memory standards, especially in high-performance segments. One might say that AMD is counting on DDR5 Memory to be adapted quickly and is releasing its range of processors for the future market. Meanwhile, Intel thinks the adoption of the DDR5 standard will require some time as the memory stick pricing for DDR5 becomes more affordable.

Our recommendation in this comparison is – Intel Core I7 13700K as a processor for a gaming PC because of being future-proof and providing more cores and threads. The speed difference of 200Mhz is negligible since both processors will hardly ever need to reach those speeds. Let’s suppose they do more processing cores mean more resources for the system and more threads mean better utilization by software to give better performance. Simple Maths!!

Hopefully, this article will help you understand the key decision-making points when you decide to purchase a new processor for a gaming PC. If you have thirst for more check out this article by Intel. If you want a helper for other components check us out here

Frequently asked questions

Intel has long been the leader in the gaming CPU market and its top-end processors, such as the Intel Core i9-12900K or the i7-13700K, offer excellent gaming capabilities.
AMD has been making significant strides in the CPU market in recent years, and their Ryzen processors have become popular among gamers due to their strong performance and competitive pricing. The Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 5 5600X are great options for gaming.

As per the specs the best processor for a gaming PC you can get right now is Intel Core I5-13600k. It comes with 14 cores and 20 threads, base clock speed of 3.50 GHz and can be boosted to 5.10 GHz. It also has intel UD H770 integrated graphics which can be used for low end gaming. Intel Core I5-12600K was a great precursor to this processor, if you can get your hands on that, it is great as well !!

If you have an older or lower-end processor, upgrading to a more powerful processor can significantly improve gaming performance. This is particularly true for games that require a lot of processing power, such as open-world games or strategy games.
However, if you have a relatively modern processor, increasing the amount of RAM may provide a bigger performance boost, especially for games that require a lot of memory, such as AAA games or games with large maps or environments.

In recent years, AMD Ryzen processors have become increasingly popular among gamers due to their strong performance and competitive pricing. Ryzen processors typically offer more cores and threads than Intel processors at a similar price point, making them ideal for gaming and other multi-threaded workloads.
However, Intel still has an edge in single-core performance, which can provide an advantage in some games that are more dependent on single-threaded performance. Additionally, Intel processors are often better supported by game developers, meaning that some games may be optimized better for Intel processors.

Anything above 3.0 GHz is great on a processor for a gaming PC. If you only want to game then, cores and threads loose importance but most people today stream alongside their gaming. In that case you would want to get a processor with more cores and threads for your gaming PC.

A minimum of quad core processor like Intel Core I3-12100 or AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is recommended for gaming smoothly. But more depends on the game in question as well.

Yes, typically if both Intel Core I5 and I7 belong to the same generation, I7 will be faster and give better performance. But if you have Intel Core I7 1st generation and I5 of 13th Generation Intel I5 13th Generation will give better performance. The generation of processor is important in case of Intel Processors.

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