Fire up your rig with the best CPUs for gaming. More cores, more clocks, and flashier coolers

The best CPUs for gaming in 2020

6. AMD Ryzen 5 3600

A midrange CPU that makes a strong case for AMD's third-generation Ryzens. This processor packs in six cores and twelve threads, and is 40 percent faster than Intel's 9400F in certain scenarios. 

Cores: 6 | Threads: 12 | Base Clock: 3.6GHz | Turbo Clock: 4.2GHz | Overclocking: Yes, 4.2GHz typical | L3 Cache: 32MB | TDP: 65W | PCIe 4.0 lanes: 16

5. Intel Core i5 9400F

This affordable midrange performer is slightly faster than the previous gen Core i5 8400. It's an excellent budget-friendly choice that doesn't cost much more than a Core i3 part. 

Cores: 6 | Threads: 6 | Base Clock: 2.9GHz | Turbo Clock: 4.1GHz | Overclocking: No | L3 Cache: 9MB | TDP: 65W | PCIe 3.0 lanes: 40

4. AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

A future-proof CPU that packs in all the benefits of AMD's Zen 2 architecture. That includes PCIe Gen4 support, which isn't necessary for gaming in 2020, but should be useful in the coming years. 

Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Base Clock: 3.6GHz | Turbo Clock: 4.4GHz | Overclocking: Yes, 4.2-4.3GHz | L3 Cache: 32MB | TDP: 65W | PCIe 4.0 lanes: 16

3. AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

The 3900X may not be the absolute fastest gaming processor, but it's close enough at the settings and resolutions gamers use. Outside of games, it's unequivocally the most powerful CPU.

Cores: 12 | Threads: 24 | Base Clock: 3.8GHz | Turbo Clock: 4.6GHz | Overclocking: Yes, though PBO better | L3 Cache: 64MB | TDP: 105W | PCIe 4.0 lanes: 16

2. Intel Core i9 10900K

If you want the absolute best CPU for gaming, the 10900K is all the processor you need. It's overkill for the vast majority of gaming scenarios, but there's comfort in owning the very best.

Cores: 10 | Threads: 20 | Base Clock: 3.7GHz | Turbo Clock: 5.3GHz | Overclocking: Yes, 5.0-5.3GHz typical | L3 Cache: 20MB | TDP: 95W | PCIe 3.0 lanes: 16

1. Intel Core i7 10700K

The best CPU you can buy for gaming in 2020, and a processor that runs the more expensive 10900K mighty close in terms of power. The 10700K is also a superbly solid overclocker. 

Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Base Clock: 3.8GHz | Turbo Clock: 5.1GHz | Overclocking: Yes, 5.1GHZ typical all-core | L3 Cache: 16MB | TDP: 95W | PCIe 3.0 lanes: 16

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