Intel vs AMD Ryzen: Best CPUs for Gaming in 2020 [September Update]

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. The 10th Gen Comet Lake processors are more of the same ol’ 14nm Skylake architecture but at the same time deliver decent performance in gaming workloads. 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 i5-10600K

Price: $329

SpecsCore i5-10600KCore i7-9700K
Base Clock4.1GHz3.6GHz
Boost Clock4.8GHz4.9GHz
L3 Cache12MB12MB

No matter how dated Intel’s 14nm based Skylake architecture may be, it still retains the lead in gaming, thanks to the high core clocks. With the 10th Gen Comet Lake-S lineup, the Core i5-10600K is easily the best pick. It outperforms the Core i7-9700K and even levels with the Core i9-10900K once overclocked.

If you’re okay with opting for an older LGA 1151 based processor, the Core i7-9700K is also an excellent choice. The caveat is that you have an upgrade path. Perhaps if you already have the motherboard, then it’s not a bad idea, especially considering that the price is down to $300 (with promo).

As far as the 11th Gen Rocket Lake-S is concerned, I’m not sure if it even exists anymore. Intel didn’t say a word about it at HotChips, and the fact that Alder Lake is set to launch in the second half of 2021 with the new LGA1700 socket means that both the 9th and 10th Gen owners will be out of potential upgrade paths.

Best Budget Gaming CPU in 2020: AMD Ryzen 5 3600

Target: 1080p/1440p/4K @ 120-144 FPS

Price: $199

SpecsRyzen 5 3600X
Base Clock3.8GHz
Boost Clock4.2GHz
L2 Cache3MB
L3 Cache32MB

The Ryzen 5 3600 is an incredibly attractive mid-range CPU regardless of your workloads. It’s nearly on par with the Core i5-10400 in most games and as fast as the 10600K in everything else. Normally we’d suggest the 3600X, but at the present pricing, there’s a delta of $60 between the. For an additional 4-5% performance, that’s just not worth it. Regardless, the Ryzen 5 3600 should be sufficient for just about every scenario.

AMD Ryzen 3 3300X vs R5 3600X vs R7 3700X vs R9 3900X: How Many CPU Cores Do You Need for Gaming?

For people from the subcontinent, I recommend the Ryzen 5 3500. It’s a 3600 without SMT, but that shouldn’t matter in gaming. Plus, it’s much cheaper as well.

Best CPU Overall (Gaming and Content Creation): AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

Target: 1080p/1440p/4K @ 144 FPS

Price: $289 (Link)

Core i7-9700KRyzen 7 3700XRyzen 7 3800X
Base Clock3.6 GHz3.6 GHz3.9 GHz
Boost Clock4.9 GHz4.4 GHz4.5 GHz
Cache12 MB32 MB32MB
Memory SupportDDR4-2666MHzDDR4-3200MHzDDR4-3200MHz

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 65W, it matches the Core i7-10700K (a 250W CPU) in non-gaming workloads while trailing the Core i5-10600K by around ~10% in gaming all the while costing much less. It just doesn’t get better than that!

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Computer Engineering dropout (3 years), writer, journalist, and amateur poet. I started Techquila while in college to address my hardware passion. Although largely successful, it suffered from many internal weaknesses. Left and now working on Hardware Times, a site purely dedicated to. Processor architectures and in-depth benchmarks. That's what we do here at Hardware Times!
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