The 9 Best CPUs for Gaming for All Budgets in 2019
Whatsapp Pinterest
Advertisement

If you want the best gaming experience, you need the best hardware. Gamers tend to focus on the graphics card (GPU) first. But your processor (CPU) is also important. The CPU handles a huge number of tasks while gaming, from decompressing level data to simulating physics.

Buying the best gaming CPU can feel confusing. The overwhelming number of CPU features and options makes it difficult. How many cores? Do two processors with equivalent clock speed perform the same? If you’re trying to figure out the best CPU for the money, this gaming CPU guide is for you.

Best CPU for Gaming Under $100

I’m going to break this guide down into easily digestible bits for each budget level. First stop: gaming CPUs under $100.

1. AMD Ryzen 3 2200G

AMD Ryzen 3 2200G AMD Ryzen 3 2200G Buy Now On Amazon $79.97

  • Cores/Threads: 4/4
  • Base Frequency: 3.5GHz
  • Socket: AM4

The AMD Ryzen 3 2200G is a wonderful entry level CPU. It has a very low cost, has four well-powered Ryzen cores, and will give you 720p gaming via its Vega on-chip graphics module. Another positive for the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G is the AM4 Socket. You will find the AMD AM4 CPU socket on a huge range of motherboards. Meaning you can grab yourself a cheap CPU, a cheap motherboard, and play some awesome games.

Now, just because it has an onboard graphics module doesn’t mean you cannot pair it with more powerful GPU. Just be aware that if the GPU is too powerful, you’ll see some bottlenecking between the CPU and GPU.

2. AMD Ryzen 3 1200

AMD Ryzen 3 1200 AMD Ryzen 3 1200 Buy Now On Amazon $59.80

  • Cores/Threads: 4/4
  • Base Frequency: 3.1GHz
  • Socket: AM4

The AMD Ryzen 3 1200 also comes from AMD’s fantastic Ryzen CPU generation. The Ryzen 3 1200 comes from the first generation of Ryzen CPUs, featuring decent individual core frequency, CPU boost up to 3.5GHz, and dual-channel RAM support. The Ryzen 3 1200 also features AMD’s Wraith Cooler. The stock cooler works fine for regular gaming, but if you want to overclock the Ryzen 3 1200 (which you can, as it has an unlocked multiplier), I would advise upgrading to something more powerful.

Like the 2200G, if you pair the Ryzen 3 1200 with a decent GPU and throw in enough RAM, you’ll have some excellent gaming experiences.

3. Intel Pentium G4560

Intel Pentium G4560 Intel Pentium G4560 Buy Now On Amazon $90.20

  • Cores/Threads: 2/4
  • Base Frequency: 3.5GHz
  • Socket: LGA 1151

Wait, an actual Pentium on a gaming CPU list in 2019? That’s right! The Intel Pentium G4560 comes in nicely under budget. However, it also brings a dual-core Kaby Lake processor with a 3.5GHz base frequency, a massive 4.2GHz CPU boost, and support for up to 64GB DDR3 RAM.

The Pentium G4560 is from an earlier generation, hence the DDR3 RAM. On the flipside, you can build a powerful gaming PC using slightly older hardware that will still game at 60FPS in most of the latest games.

Best CPU for Gaming Under $200

Moving up a tier to the best gaming CPUs under $200.

1. Intel Core i5-9400F

Intel Core i5-9400F Intel Core i5-9400F Buy Now On Amazon $139.99

  • Cores/Threads: 6/6
  • Base Frequency: 2.9GHz
  • Socket: LGA 1151

The Intel Core i5-9400F has several excellent features. Coming out of the box with six cores and six threads, a base frequency of 2.9GHz, and a boost frequency of up to 4.1GHz, you can really push the Intel i5-9400F.

Another positive for the i5-9400F is its chipset. The Intel i5-9400F is from the latest generation of Intel CPUs and as such, uses the 300 Series chipset. The 300 Series chipset motherboards are the latest and greatest, designed for greater power and efficiency.

2. AMD Ryzen 5 2600

AMD Ryzen 5 2600 AMD Ryzen 5 2600 Buy Now On Amazon $129.00

  • Cores/Threads: 6/12
  • Base Frequency: 3.2GHz
  • Socket: AM4

As far as gaming CPUs under $200 go, the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 is right up there. It is extremely competitive versus the Intel i5-9400F. The AMD Ryzen 5 2600 packs in six cores and 12 threads, a slightly faster 3.2GHz base frequency, and a slightly slower boost frequency of 3.9GHz.

The combination of the extra threads and faster base frequency make the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 one of the best pound-for-pound gaming CPUs under $200. Another bonus for the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 is its out-of-box overlock option.

Best CPU for Gaming Under $300

Once you head toward the $300 CPU bracket, you’re approaching the top tier of CPUs. Some of the best gaming processors from the latest CPU generations are on offer at this price point.

1. Intel Core i5-9600k

Intel Core i5-9600K Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.6 GHz Turbo Unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95W Intel Core i5-9600K Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.6 GHz Turbo Unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95W Buy Now On Amazon $229.99

  • Cores/Threads: 6/6
  • Base Frequency: 3.7GHz
  • Socket: LGA 1151

The Intel Core i5-9600K is another CPU from Intel’s latest processor generation. The result is a powerful gaming CPU that is also surprisingly power-efficient. With the power efficiency, the Intel i5-9600K packs in six cores with six threads, a base frequency of 3.7GHz, and a boost frequency up to 4.6GHz.

If your sole purpose is gaming, the Intel i5-9600K is what you need. However, if you need your system for other CPU heavy tasks, like video editing or 3D design work, I would advise checking out the next option instead.

2. AMD Ryzen 7 2700

AMD Ryzen 7 2700 AMD Ryzen 7 2700 Buy Now On Amazon $179.97

  • Cores/Threads: 8/16
  • Base Frequency: 3.2GHz
  • Socket: AM4

The AMD Ryzen 7 2700 is more than a match for the Intel i5-9600k. The biggest performance difference comes from the cores and threads mismatch. The AMD Ryzen 7 2700 can call upon eight cores and 16 threads at a base frequency of 3.2GHz. The multi-core performance of the Ryzen 7 2700 outstrips the i5-9600k. It also has a boost frequency of 4.1GHz.

The Ryzen 7 2700 will give you excellent gaming performance at all resolutions, and solid performance at 1440p and 4K.

Best CPU for Gaming Under $400

Once you start looking at CPUs under $400, you’re in the big leagues. You can expect top performance in the latest games, as well as enough power for other CPU intensive processes without worrying about compromising your system in other areas. It’s in this price bracket that you’re likely to find the best processor for gaming.

1. AMD Ryzen 7 2700X

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Buy Now On Amazon $197.99

  • Cores/Threads: 8/16
  • Base Frequency: 3.7GHz
  • Socket: AM4

Don’t do a double-take; you’re not reading the same section. The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X is the upgraded version of the AMD Ryzen 7 2700. What makes it better? Well, the Ryzen 7 2700X still has the same eight-core and 16 thread combination but brings the base frequency up to 3.7GHz—a handy upgrade. The boost frequency also increases, ramping up to 4.3GHz.

And the best thing of all? You can grab this power boost for just a fraction more than the standard Ryzen 7 2700. It is well worth considering if it fits your budget. The 2700X can net you an extra ten frames per second (FPS) in some games. However, it does run hotter than the base version, so that is something consider before purchasing.

2. Intel Core i7-8700K

Intel Core i7-8700K Intel Core i7-8700K Buy Now On Amazon $341.95

  • Cores/Threads: 6/12
  • Base Frequency: 3.7GHz
  • Socket: LGA 1151

The Intel i7-8700K is one of the top gaming CPUs from the last generation of Intel processors. Even though it is from the previous generation, it doesn’t come with any performance flaws. The Intel i7-8700K offers top-tier gaming performance for all of the latest and greatest games.

Under the hood, you find six cores with 12 threads, packing a base frequency of 3.7GHz. It also has a boost frequency of up to 4.7GHz single core performance (which can provide some serious extra power for gaming) and an up to 4.3GHz multi-core boost.

How Much Should You Spend on a Gaming CPU?

How much you spend on a gaming CPU depends on your budget. Remember that the CPU is just one component you need. To build a great gaming PC, you also need a GPU, some RAM, a motherboard, case, and so on. It sounds like it will all add up. But building your own gaming PC doesn’t have to break the bank. You have so many options when you self-build, such as shopping around for parts, buying second hand, and waiting for deals.

For instance, check out this cheap gaming PC build idea This Cheap Gaming Computer Build Runs Fortnite and Minecraft Like Butter This Cheap Gaming Computer Build Runs Fortnite and Minecraft Like Butter Want to build a gaming PC on a budget to play PUBG, Minecraft, and Fortnite? Try this build for the ultimate cheap gaming PC! Read More ; it runs Fortnite and Minecraft at 1080p, hitting 60FPS.

Explore more about: CPU, Gaming Tips, Hardware Tips, .

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!

Enter your Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Matth
    July 3, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Lets make a list of the best cpu for gamming in 2019 less than a weak for a mayor CPU lunch....

  2. Mark
    July 3, 2019 at 10:00 am

    For the U2200G it would be useful to know what level of graphics card it is equivalent to, for example GTX750 or GTX1030 (not sure it this is correct). When upgrading a computer if the graphic card I have is weaker than the U2200G's inbuilt graphics it will make a big difference to cost of the upgrade.