Being one the most critical components in a PC, getting the best processor for gaming you can possibly afford is an absolute must if you ever want to take your build to the next level. The problem with this, though, is that since there are so many CPU’s on the market it can be difficult to figure out what CPU’s are the best for your build. Fortunately, for you, I’ve put together a list of CPU’s that all provide amazing value in their perspective price ranges that will definitely take your gaming experience to the next level. If you are looking for the best processors, then look no further because I have them all in this guide below.
BEST GAMING PROCESSOR ON A BUDGET
AMD FX 4350 QUAD CORE PROCESSOR, BLACK EDITION
While AMD struggles when it comes to making processors that can compete with Intel’s High-end processors, they make some of the best budget processors that you can get for gaming. The AMD FX 4350 is the perfect CPU for someone who is on a budget, but still needs a card that will take their gaming to the next level.
One of the main reasons, I chose the FX-4350 is due to the fact that it is a Quad Core Processor at a very affordable price you are getting a processor that is able to manage many tasks at once and still keep a relatively quick speed. Most processors at this price-range are dual core and while that is ok, games are becoming incredibly more demanding and having a Quad Core Processor will extend the life of this processor by a great deal. Many people seem to think they need more than four cores, but going above four cores really has diminishing returns as games really can’t make use of the extra cores at this current time so that isn’t even an issue.
It’s cool that CPU’s can do all these amazing things, but what we really care about is how it performs in games. Well for gaming on a budget, this processor will process games very well and can really put out some impressive benchmarks for the price. As long as you have an impressive video card to compliment this CPU, then this will definitely hold its own.
When the FX-4350 is overclocked it truly puts out some amazing performance. The stock speed is already pretty high sitting at 4.2GHz, but this thing can easily be overclocked to 4.7 Ghz, which is amazing when you consider that this processor is so inexpensive. If you do decide to overclock this device, I would recommend you looking into something other than a stock cooler however as this can easily overheat the CPU. I also want to mention that this CPU is unlocked (AMD usually always unlocks there CPU’s) which just means that it is much easier to overclock.
Motherboard Compatibility: AM3+
The Socket type for this CPU is AM3+ which is something to know as motherboards have different socket types and you can really end up getting confused so always check to see if your motherboard is compatible with your CPU.
I chose this processor as the top CPU due to its amazing affordability and also its ability to easily be overclocked offering even better performance. I would recommend this to anyone who is on a budget but still wants a CPU that can last them for a long time.
Other Notable Budget Gaming Processors
AMD FX-6300Check The AMD 6300’s Price On Amazon
I actually used this on my $500 Dollar Gaming PC Build and let me just tell you if you are willing to spend some more money then this processor is amazing for the price and I would really recommend it if you are considering doing video editing or something else that could utilize multiple cores on a budget. I didn’t put this as my top choice because the extra two cores don’t really matter when it comes to gaming as games only utilize four. The FX-6300 is can also easily be overclocked like most AMD processors, but the base frequency is 3.5GHz ( I would really recommend overclocking this thing to push out some amazing processing). The bottom line is that it is an amazing CPU when it comes down to it and it will provide an awesome gaming experience. If you are a little more experienced with processing and also are going to be using your gaming computer for other CPU intensive things I would recommend this to you. This CPU is an AM3+ socket type so make sure that your motherboard is compatible with it.
CPU Socket: AM3+
Intel G3258 4 Pentium Core ProcessorCheck The Intel G3258’s Price On Amazon
If you are really looking for the cheapest gaming processor that should still be able to run most games fairly well then I would check out the Intel Pentium G3258 processor. Not only is this processor a great buy, but its also a very unique one. Intel hardly ever makes their CPU’s unlocked, but the intel Pentium processor is fully unlocked which allows for more options when it comes down to overclocking your processor. The CPU comes with its stock speeds being set at 3.2Ghz which is ok, but for this card, I would really recommend overclocking. I would recommend this CPU if you are trying to get a cheap processor that is also very effective and don’t mind overclocking the processor to turn it into something that will really run games well. If you are not a very technical person, then I would recommend you just getting the FX-4350 as it is already heavily overclocked at 4.2Ghz. This is a dual-core processor, but for the price, this is definitely a steal.
CPU Socket: LGA 1150
BEST MID-RANGE GAMING PROCESSOR
AMD FX-8320 8-CORE PROCESSOR
When it comes to mid-range builds there are many options, but there are just a few CPU’s that really stick out and completely dominate the competition. The AMD FX-8320 8 core processor is one of those CPU’s. If you want a processing monstrosity, then this is for you.
This thing has a massive amount of cores and totals eight when you count them all up. What you should know, though, is that for gaming anything more than four cores is really overkill in 2016. Just because something has many cores doesn’t mean that you should buy it. That being said this thing is really fast! I have used this in a build I worked on for someone who wanted a PC that could multi-task like no other and this thing having so many cores is able to run everything like a champ. If you are anything like me and love having many things open at once, you know all too well that things can start to lag as your processor is getting swamped with applications, but because of the FX-8320 having eight cores it is able to deal with these applications much more efficiently which translates into really quick snappy response times.
Due to this being one of the best mid-range CPU’s that you can buy at this current time, as long as the rest of your build is right you should be able to run games on high-ultra settings. This all really depends on the rest of your build, but this CPU will not be the thing that’s holding your PC back. Where this CPU really shows its use is when it’s being used for Processor heavy games such as online games and even during those times this CPU has more than enough power to hold its own (especially if overclocked).
If you are not overclocking this CPU, you are really missing out as that is where it truly shines. This things stock speeds are 3.5Ghz, which is good and will play games just fine. The Beauty of this CPU is that since it is unlocked you are able to easily get overclock it up to 4.7Ghz. If you do decide to overclock this CPU, I would really recommend that you get a CPU fan that can keep your processors from overheating such as the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Motherboard Compatibility: AM3+
You really need to make sure that your CPU is compatible with your motherboard or you could end up getting incompatible parts. The FX-8320 fits an AM3+ socket, so make sure that your motherboard supports this.
Honestly, If I was looking for great performance for great value, I would definitely consider this as the top choice. I’m the type of person who likes to do many things all at once and the AMD FX-8320 is a great card for someone who just refuses to close down those browsers while gaming. If you are ok with overclocking (which is a really simple process) then you should get this without a doubt. To be frank, I would recommend this over the high-end processors for most people when it comes to gaming as it has more than enough power for most builds.
Other Notable Mid-Range Gaming Processors
Intel Core I3-4160 Dual Core ProcessorCheck The Intel I3-4160’s Price On Amazon
If you’re looking for an intel processor with hyperthreading then I would recommend the I3-4160 due to its good performance and affordable price. This I3 CPU really has some amazing performance for its price and should play games just fine. I would choose this CPU if you are planning on using an intel motherboard and need an intel processor until you upgrade in the future. Intel’s High-end processors are much better than AMD’s at the moment so this is definitely something to consider. The i3-4160 also consumes very little power and isn’t known to overheat so if you are trying to have a build that you don’t have to manage this would be a great addition. The main reason why I did not pick this as my top processor is because of intel completely locking this processor at 3.6Ghz. What that means is that even if you want to overclock to boost your performance, you don’t have that option. This is also a dual core processor so in the future if games start to utilize more cores then this might be a handicap, but due to this only having two cores each single core puts out a great performance.
CPU Socket: LGA1150 Socket
Intel i5-4460 Quad Core ProcessorCheck The Intel i5-4460’s Price On Amazon
If you are willing to spend a little bit more on a mid-range processor I would seriously recommend the i5-4460 quad-core processor. This thing is an awesome CPU for gaming and it will easily last you for years. This processor has four cores which means that it should be more than enough for any recent games that utilize multiple cores. I didn’t choose this as the top CPU because it’s a little more than people really need for a mid-range build. If you have the money to get this you might just want to get a high-end processor as the i5-4460 is pretty close in price and the performance of high-end processors are much better. The other major reason for me not picking this as the best is that it can’t be overclocked because it is locked by intel. If you weren’t going to overclock then this might not be an issue, but for those who are I’d just get the AMD 8320. I’d recommend this if you really cannot spend a little more for a high-end intel processor, but still want an awesome CPU.
CPU SOCKET: LGA 1150
BEST HIGH-END GAMING PROCESSOR
INTEL QUAD CORE I5-6600K PROCESSOR
Intel is the king of high-end processors and the I5-6600k is one of the best CPU’s for gaming out right now. If you are thinking of getting a processor that will destroy any game that’s coming out for years to come then this Skylake processor will do it, but be prepared to pay a good deal for it.
If you think that just because this is a quad core processor that it isn’t good, you are sorely mistaken. The i5-6600k has fewer cores then other CPUs, but each of those single cores are very powerful and can destroy any game that’s coming out in 2016 and for years to come. One thing you should also know is that games don’t use over four cores at the moment, so for gaming, anything over four cores is really just extra and not important for gaming.
The Gaming Performance of the i5-6600k is spectacular. If you get this processor, any game that comes out in 2016 and in the future will be playable as long as the rest of your build is up to par. In fact, for gaming, this is one of the best CPU’s you can get for the price and it’s hardly any worse than the new i7’s. In CPU intensive games this thing will tear right through any processing it does have to do without breaking a sweat. In fact, I doubt you will have any need to overclock it for a long time.
After a while, when the i5-6600k gets a little older, you can then overclock it to make it a beast again. The stock speeds are 3.5GHz, but can get up to 4.6GHz overclocked (This thing is amazing). There’s a similar version of this that is non-overclockable, but if you ask me getting the overclocked version really extends the life of this CPU and for a few bucks more it’s more than worth the cost.
Motherboard Compatibility: LGA 1151
Just to make sure that no one gets the wrong motherboard, you should check out the socket type above and make sure the motherboard you are getting or already have supports this CPU.
This CPU does not come with a stock fan cooler, so if you do plan on getting the i5 you need to get a fan cooler. I would recommend the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Honestly, this thing is an amazing CPU that’s the latest and the greatest of intel’s new Skylake series. If you want to have a fresh CPU that is going to last you for years then this CPU is a great edition to your build. I honestly wouldn’t even overclock this CPU for a little while, until absolutely necessary as I would try to stretch this processors life over a long period of time.
Other Notable High-End Gaming Processors
Intel Boxed Core I5-6500Check The Intel I5-6500’s Price On Amazon
If I had to pick one of the best processors for someone trying to test out a high-end CPU I would choose the i5-6500. Just because it is the cheapest high-end CPU on this list doesn’t mean that it won’t crush any game that’s coming out this year with ease. This thing is still a skylake processor that is a recent release. If you have this CPU accompanied by a nice graphics card you should be gaming at the top for a while. I would recommend this if you aren’t going to be overclocking as this CPU is locked, and also want to test out intel’s new skylake series. I actually like this so much that I used it in my $900 Gaming PC Build. It’s a quad-core processor that has some really strong performance. The main reason why I didn’t pick it as my top choice is that it’s locked. That means that the only speed the CPU can stay at is 3.2Ghz. Other than that this CPU will stay cool and should last you for a long time.
CPU Socket: LGA1151
Intel I5-6600 Quad Core ProcessorCheck The Intel I5-6600’s Price On Amazon
If you don’t ever see yourself overclocking your CPU you might really want to consider just getting the i5-6600 as it is cheaper and has all the features the 6600k has other than it being locked. You will be getting a quad-core processor that’s clocked at 3.3GHz which is more than enough and it will still last you for years. I understand not everyone wants to go into overclocking and I respect that. This is still one of the best processors on the market so you really will be ok for a long time. Just because it’s the 6600k’s little brother doesn’t mean that you should write it off so easily as it is a very powerful CPU that will process anything from games to video editing and a lot of other things. This is a skylake processor so it’s the latest series so needless to say, you will love this thing.
CPU Socket: LGA 1151
As you can see by my list, all of these Gaming CPU’s aren’t the best you can buy and that’s because CPU’s have diminishing returns when it comes to gaming. There really is no need for an i7, which is why my high-end CPU’s aren’t outrageously priced. If you were going to be doing some super intense editing and other things then by all means feel free to get the super high-end processors, but this post is for gaming and what you see above is really all you could ever need. Other than that, all of these CPU’s will make awesome editions to their builds and will really allow you to game to your fullest potential.
I really would recommend you overclock these CPUs that can be overclocked (especially the budget ones) as it will offer much greater performance and it’s also relatively easy to do.
If you have any questions about this post or want to make sure that your motherboard is going to actually work for a certain CPU, just leave a comment below and I will personally help you figure that out. I’m here to help!
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