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