The consumer processor market has grown more in the past couple of years than it had in the entire last decade. This is all thanks to AMD’s Ryzen CPUs. With twice as many cores and comparable single-threaded performance, Intel was all but forced to follow suit. The core counts of present mainstream CPUs are twice as much compared to those a few years. That’s more progress than we’ve had since the coming of Intel’s Core architecture in the late-2000s.
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.
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 other applications. 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 the best 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!
- Intel Core i5-9600K vs AMD Ryzen 5 3600 vs 3600X: Best Budget CPU for Gaming?
- Intel Core i7-9700K vs AMD Ryzen 7 3700X vs 3800X: Best Gaming CPU in 2019?
- Intel Core i9-9900K vs Core i7-9700K: Is the 9900K Really the Best Gaming CPU?
- Testing Eco Mode on the AMD Ryzen 3000 CPUs: 95% Performance for 70% Power