The launch of the Ryzen 3000 lineup put AMD CPUs on par with Intel’s in terms of the IPC, greatly reducing the delta between the two competitors in gaming workloads. That makes it harder to pick the “right” CPU for your gaming PC. In this post, we have a look at the various high-end processors from both Intel and AMD and suggest the best one for you.
Best High-end CPU for Gaming in 2020: Intel Core i7-9700K
If you are looking for sheer gaming performance, then the Intel Core i7-9700K is hands down the best CPU on the market. The Core i9-9900K although faster on paper is mostly just a cash-grab and in most cases, the two chips level with each other. As for the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, it is around 5-10% slower in gaming but substantially faster in everything else. But as I said, this is for purely gaming-centric workloads.
Seeing that the Comet Lake-S parts are just about to launch, I’d suggest holding off on buying a new chip if you’re looking do go with Intel. For AMD, there’s still a while before the Ryzen 4000 desktop processors launch, so buying a new part isn’t a bad idea, especially considering that the Vermeer CPUs will be compatible with B450 boards.
Best Budget Gaming CPU in 2020: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
|Specs||Ryzen 5 3600X|
After the recent price drop, the Ryzen 5 3600X is an incredibly attractive mid-range CPU regardless of your workloads. It’s on par with the Core i5-9600K in most games and nearly as fast as the 9700K in everything else. It’s roughly 5-10% faster than the 3600 while costing another $20. I’d say that’s a fair bargain.
Best CPU Overall (Gaming and Content Creation): AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
|Core i7-9700K||Ryzen 7 3700X||Ryzen 7 3800X|
|Base Clock||3.6 GHz||3.6 GHz||3.9 GHz|
|Boost Clock||4.9 GHz||4.4 GHz||4.5 GHz|
|Cache||12 MB||32 MB||32MB|
AMD’s Ryzen 7 3700X was hands down the best consumer processor of 2019, period. Hell, it might as well have been the best CPU of the decade. With a package power draw of just about 50W, it matches the Core i9-9900K (a 250W CPU) in non-gaming workloads while trailing the Core i7-9700K by ~10% in gaming all the while costing nearly half as much. It just doesn’t get better than that!