Updated at: 22-05-2023 - By: Leo Hall
If you want to know everything there is to know about central processing unit specifications, look no further than this article! Everything you require is available at this very moment.

The central processing unit (CPU) is the brains of every computer and should not be cheap. It’s usually not too difficult to decide on a GPU, but choosing a CPU can be more of a challenge. It’s not hard to do, but understanding all the numbers and specifications can be a challenge.

So, what parts of a CPU’s specifications really matter, and which don’t? To what extent does the number of cores matter, and can performance expectations be based on clock rates alone?

In this article, we will explain the most important CPU specifications in as simple a way as possible so that you know what to look for when purchasing a new CPU.

Manufacturer – Intel and AMD

There are currently only two major players in the mainstream desktop CPU market: AMD and Intel.

Over the past decade, Intel has established itself as the industry standard, providing excellently performing and feature-rich central processing units (CPUs) that are the best option for mid-range and high-end gaming rigs. Due to Intel’s reputation for producing high-quality products, the company was able to charge a premium for its processors and effectively corner the market on expensive options.

Meanwhile, AMD had earned a name for itself as the more cost-effective choice, thanks to its high core counts and respectable raw performance. When it came to more advanced processing solutions, however, they were always behind Intel.

How To Choose The Right CPU For Your Gaming PC! - YouTube

But that has all changed with the introduction of AMD’s new Ryzen line of central processing units, which have not only caught up to Intel but surpassed it, largely due to the lower prices at which they can be purchased.

In 2022, AMD’s budget and mid-range CPUs provide much better value for the money than Intel’s offerings, making them the apparent superior choice for gaming. Intel is still competitive because its top-tier products can outperform AMD’s, especially in terms of single-core performance.

Product Line

Both AMD and Intel offer multiple series of processors, each priced and categorized differently. The most common desktop CPUs are made by AMD Ryzen and Intel Core, and they can be further broken down into:

  • Budget-friendly options for gamers: Ryzen 3/i3
  • Ryzen 5/i5 – Mid-range powerhouses that excel at gaming and can handle some professional programs with ease.
  • Ryzen 7/i7 – High-performance central processing units ideal for CPU-intensive applications and professional gaming.
  • Ryzen 9/i9 – Superb workstation CPUs that are rarely seen outside of extreme gaming rigs.

There are, of course, other series out there, but they’re usually neither the right nor the best fit for gaming due to their relative lack of power or strength.

For instance, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) offers the Athlon and A-series, while Intel offers the Pentium and Celeron.

These are cheap and suitable for basic home or office computers, so they have no trouble running Windows and most applications, but they are not usually up to the task of gaming.

On the other end of the spectrum are workstation and server-focused processor families like AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper, Intel’s Core X-series, and Intel’s Xeon series.

If you’re looking to build a gaming PC, we recommend sticking with the main AMD Ryzen or Intel Core lines of processors. As was previously mentioned, Ryzen 3 and i3 are best suited for low-end GPUs in budget builds, while Ryzen 5 and i5 are best suited for mid-range and high-mid range configurations.

The Ryzen 7 and i7 CPUs, on the other hand, are ideal only for top-tier systems. Unless you’re building a multi-GPU rig or purchasing a top-tier graphics card, you probably won’t need a Ryzen 9 or an i9 model.

Socket Type

Make sure you’re getting a motherboard with a compatible socket when you shop for a processor. Wait, what exactly is a socket?

Simply put, it’s an interface that allows the central processing unit (CPU) to talk to the rest of the computer’s parts through the motherboard. Sockets come in a variety of sizes and their pin configurations vary. Obviously, the CPU cannot be installed on the motherboard if the socket is not compatible.

Modern mainstream Ryzen processors use the AM4 socket, which is backwards-compatible with previous generations of Ryzen processors. While the LGA 1151 socket is compatible with most AMD processors, it isn’t with Intel’s mainstream Core CPUs.

As far as performance is concerned, however, the socket is merely a compatibility issue. All Ryzen models beginning with the first generation use the AM4 socket; however, if you’re planning on purchasing an Intel CPU, there are some compatibility issues to think about due to the recent revision of the LGA 1151 socket (more on this below).

Motherboard Chipset

We have mentioned that a CPU connects to a motherboard through the socket, but we haven’t yet mentioned that it uses the chipset to talk to other parts of the computer. Simply put, a chipset is a set of circuits that connects the various components of the motherboard, and different chipsets provide access to different features and capabilities.

The chipset controls features such as the number of USB ports, RAM slots, SATA connectors, and PCIe slots. Some features, like CPU overclocking, AMD Crossfire, AMD StoreMI, Nvidia SLI, and Intel Optane, are also dependent on the chipset.

The ability to overclock your computer’s processor is probably the most important aspect of a gaming PC. Additionally, wealthy gamers may be interested in the possibility of using multiple GPUs. You can learn more about the capabilities of AMD chipsets and Intel chipsets respectively on these pages.

As we mentioned before, there are some compatibility issues with Intel that you should be aware of. Specifically, the newer Coffee Lake processors are incompatible with the older 200 and 100-series chipsets, while the older Skylake and Kaby Lake processors are incompatible with the latest 300-series chipsets. This is something to keep in mind if you’re considering upgrading your CPU but sticking with your current motherboard. In any case, the information about compatibility is available in the aforementioned Wikipedia article.


What are cores, why do manufacturers emphasize them, and does a high core count matter for gaming? The core count is the spec most commonly advertised by CPU manufacturers today.

A core is a processor, to put it simply. Formerly, single-core CPUs were the norm. When the limits of single-core CPUs were reached, however, AMD and Intel began developing dual-core processors for mainstream desktop computers.

The transition from dual-core to quad-core, then hexa-core, and finally octa-core, was completed rapidly. However, that wasn’t the end of it; while most modern desktop CPUs have anywhere from 4 to 8 cores, there are processors available with a much higher core count. For comparison, while the highest-end Threadripper and Xeon models can have as many as 32 cores, the most powerful Ryzen 9 model, the Ryzen 9 3950X, only has 16.

While we’ve established that high-end processors aren’t strictly required for gaming, the question remains: how many cores are actually necessary for 2022 gaming?

Since each core is effectively its own processor, adding more of them can greatly improve a computer’s ability to handle multiple programs at once. Despite the fact that single-core performance is more crucial for gaming, more and more studios are tweaking their games to take advantage of multiple CPU cores, which can significantly boost in-game performance.

Although the optimal number of cores will vary from game to game, we believe that six cores will provide the best overall performance for gaming in 2020. After all, this is the number of processor cores available in Ryzen 5 and i5 midrange models. Even though we found that eight or more cores are unnecessary for budget builds, we still recommend the quad-core Ryzen 3 and i3 models for budget builds.

Threads – Hyperthreading/Multithreading

In the recent years, hyperthreading and multithreading have gained significant attention. The former is an Intel innovation, while the latter comes from AMD. However, they serve the same basic purpose in that they enable a single physical CPU core to act as two logical cores, or “threads.”

However, hyperthreading and multithreading can effectively double the number of cores available to a CPU by splitting the workload between them. Currently, Intel’s i7 and i9 processors are the only ones that support hyperthreading, while all Ryzen CPUs (including the cheaper 5, 7, and 9) support multithreading.

Is it true that multiple threads are just as crucial as physical centers?

Both, actually. As we have discussed previously, single-core performance is more crucial than multi-core performance when it comes to gaming. While it’s true that Ryzen models with higher thread counts will improve system performance in general, this isn’t a concern you should have if your primary goal is playing games.

Watch the clip down below:

It’s clear that the i7 9700K, despite having only eight cores and no hyperthreading, can compete with and often outperform the Ryzen 9 3900X when both are paired with the RTX 2080.

High thread counts, like high core counts, are most beneficial when running professional software that makes extensive use of parallel processing.

Clock Speed and Overclocking

How many instructions the CPU can handle per second is indicated by its clock speed, which is measured in hertz (typically expressed in GHz today). A central processing unit (CPU) core running at, say, 4 GHz can process 4 billion instructions per second, as 1 hertz = 1 cycle per second.

However, it is clear that a higher clock speed results in better raw performance, and that is what we are discussing here. Overclocking is common in the gaming community because any program can benefit from a faster clock speed.

CPU specifications typically include both the stock frequency at which the processor operates and the maximum frequency that can be achieved through overclocking, assuming the computer has sufficient cooling.

You may be wondering what is required to overclock, how much extra performance can be extracted from a CPU through overclocking, and how it all works.

The first step in overclocking is ensuring that both the processor and the chipset on the motherboard can handle the increased speed. The situation with CPUs is straightforward, and we’ve already linked to a table comparing the features of AMD and Intel chipsets. Unlike Intel Core processors, which are locked and cannot be overclocked unless they end in “K,” all Ryzen processors are unlocked and can be overclocked.

When compared to their Ryzen counterparts, unlocked Intel Core CPUs typically can be overclocked to significantly higher clock speeds. This is why Intel’s processors still dominate the high end, especially when comparing single-core performance.

Of course, overclocking requires an expensive additional investment if you want to get any useful performance out of it. If you want to push an Intel CPU to its limits, you will need a good aftermarket cooler (preferably liquid), while the more advanced AMD stock coolers are usually good enough for some light overclocking.

It’s worth stressing, though, that raw clock speed isn’t always indicative of performance. Real-world performance is affected by many variables, such as the CPU architecture and core count and the degree to which the game or software being used has been optimized.

Although Ryzen processors have a higher thread count and clock speed on paper, this does not guarantee that they will provide superior performance.

Spending more on cooling components solely to enable overclocking is, in most cases, not worthwhile for low- to mid-end systems. Even so, in high-end ones, it can amount to a noticeable performance boost. In contrast, overclocking is sometimes the best option for getting the most out of an older CPU. When it comes to actual gameplay, however, the GPU will always be the most crucial part.


The cache is the next stage, and it is a fast memory area that the CPU uses to store information and instructions for later retrieval. It serves the same purpose as RAM—temporary storage—and is thus very similar to RAM. Cache memory, however, is built right into the CPU itself, making it much faster to access than RAM.

A larger cache, like more cores or threads, primarily improves multitasking performance. Therefore, an increase in the cache size is always preferable, though the exact benefit will depend on the application. Each successive cache level in modern CPUs (L1, L2, and L3, or Smart Cache with Intel CPUs) provides more memory than the one before it, but the smaller caches are faster overall.

In any case, the cache isn’t a huge deal when it comes to playing games. More is usually better, but even though an i7 processor has more cache memory than an i5, you probably won’t upgrade to it because of the price difference.

Thermal Power Design or Thermal Output

The processor’s Thermal Power Design (TDP) provides an indication of its minimum required power for proper operation. TDP is helpful because it tells you roughly how much power your PC will need from the power supply (more on choosing a PSU below).

In addition, TDP is useful because it shows the expected temperature the CPU will produce when running typical software. However, neither the maximum heat output nor the maximum power consumption are displayed.

While thermal design power (TDP) isn’t the most important metric when choosing a CPU, knowing its range can give you an idea of how much power it consumes and how hot it gets when under stress.

Integrated Graphics

A graphics processing unit (GPU) that is built directly into a central processing unit (CPU) is called integrated graphics. HDMI connectors, and possibly other types of connectors like DVI or VGA, are commonly found on motherboards that support CPUs with integrated graphics, and are used to output data to the monitor.

Only Intel CPUs with an “F” at the end of their model number do not have one of Intel’s powerful integrated graphics solutions like Intel HD, Intel UHD, or Intel Iris.

Instead of integrated graphics, AMD uses what they call “accelerated processing units” (APUs). As these CPUs don’t differ greatly from regular CPUs with integrated graphics chips, the term is more of a marketing gimmick. Compared to their Intel counterparts, AMD’s Ryzen APUs offer superior graphics but fewer computational capabilities.

What about the value of integrated graphics?

The answer to that question is highly conditional on two variables: how much money you have and what games you plan to play. While Intel’s integrated graphics are serviceable as a fallback in the event of a GPU failure, they are generally not up to snuff for modern games, and AMD’s Ryzen APUs routinely outperform them. Look at the chart below to see the differences:

The second-generation Ryzen 3 with its eight Vega cores easily achieves framerates 50-100% higher than the i3-8100 and the Intel UHD 630. Even though the Ryzen APUs perform admirably in this regard, they still can’t compete with even the most affordable dedicated GPUs like the Radeon RX 560 or the GTX 1650.

However, if you’re building a low-end gaming PC for use with less demanding games at lower resolutions, you can save a lot of money by opting for AMD’s integrated graphics. If you’re after a more robust experience, however, you’ll need to invest in a solid graphics processing unit (GPU).

Best Intel processor: Core i3, i5, i7 and i9 explained | Trusted Reviews

What makes a CPU a CPU?

The central processing unit (CPU) is the most essential part of any computer, but it can’t do its job by itself. The silicon chip is installed in a dedicated socket on the device’s motherboard or mainboard. It’s not the same as memory, where data is kept temporarily. The graphics card or graphics chip, which is responsible for displaying video and 3D graphics, is a separate component.

Central processing units (CPUs) are assembled by cramming billions of tiny transistors onto a single silicon chip. These transistors perform the arithmetic required to execute the programs saved in your computer’s RAM. What you’re doing with your device—watching videos, sending emails, etc.—is represented by the ones and zeros transmitted by these tiny gates.

Miniaturization of these transistors is a common theme in CPU technology advancements. This has led to the steady increase in processing speed seen over the past few decades, a trend known as Moore’s Law.

In the context of modern devices, the central processing unit (CPU) is responsible for a wide range of processing tasks. Instead of a traditional computer processor, mobile devices and some tablets use a System on Chip (SoC) that integrates the CPU with other necessary components. Both Intel and AMD provide CPUs that not only perform traditional CPU functions, but also have graphics chips and memory stored on them.

What does a CPU actually do?

A central processing unit (CPU) is essentially a calculator that runs programs and applications’ instructions. There are essentially three phases to this operation: fetching, decoding, and running. Instructions are fetched from RAM, decoded into their true form, and then executed by the appropriate CPU subsystems.

The calculation or instruction that is carried out may involve simple arithmetic, comparing numbers, carrying out a function, or rearranging data in memory. Everything in a computer is represented numerically, so the central processing unit (CPU) can be thought of as a very fast calculator. The resulting task load could involve anything from booting Windows to playing a video on YouTube to calculating compound interest in an Excel spreadsheet.

The central processing unit (CPU) in modern computers is like the ringmaster, directing the flow of information to the various pieces of specialized hardware. The CPU is responsible for sending commands to other parts of the computer, such as the graphics card (to display an explosion when you shoot a fuel drum) or the solid-state drive (to copy Office files to RAM for faster access).

How important is the CPU?

CPUs aren’t as crucial to system performance as they once were, but they’re still critical to how quickly your computer can respond and how fast it can run. The clock speed is more important for gaming, while the number of CPU cores is more important for more serious tasks like computer-aided design and video editing.

Your CPU is just one component of a larger system, so it’s important to make sure you have plenty of memory and fast storage to feed it. If you’re looking for a middle ground between performance and cost, your graphics card is likely to be the biggest unknown.

You can make a more well-informed decision about your computer’s hardware now that you know what a CPU does. The best AMD and Intel processors are discussed in this guide.

The 5 best gaming CPUs: Top Intel and AMD processors compared

Intel Core i5-12600K

Key specs

  • Release Date: 2021
  • The Twelfth Generation of Products
  • Processor Type: Desktop
  • Ten cores in total.
  • Sixteen threads in total.
  • Up to 4.90 GHz on the performance core’s maximum turbo setting
  • Maximum turbo speed for efficient cores is 3.60 GHz.
  • The frequency of the most effective bass for maximum performance is 3.70 GHz.
  • Base frequency for efficient cores is 2.80 GHz.
  • Total memory in cache: 20 megabytes Intel Smart Cache.
  • L2 Cache Size (Total): 9.5 MB
  • A standard processor draws 125 watts of power.
  • Booster power up to 150 watts.
  • Maximum storage capacity is 128 GB.
  • Intel UHD Graphics 770 is the graphics processing unit.
  • The Core i5-12600K comes with a three-year limited warranty from Intel.

The 12th generation Intel Core i5-12600K is a great choice in the middle of the price range. Although it has the slowest CPU on our list, at around $300 it is a reasonably priced option with speeds of around 3.70 GHz. The 10-core processor’s six performance cores and four efficiency cores work together to provide rock-solid speeds and lightning-fast processing. The LGA 1700 socket is utilized by this three-speed system. Because of its hyper-threading architecture, it can keep up with even the most resource-intensive programs without slowing down. The updated Intel UHD graphics are another one of its distinguishing features. With exclusive Intel 7 Architecture and integrated microarchitecture for power efficiency, the L3 cache can store up to 16 MB of data, boosting performance.


  • Adequate renown
  • Equal Value
  • Superb overclocking potential


  • Not included: CPU cooler
  • Slow down
  • Not playable with every video game

Intel Core i9-12900K

Key specs

  • Release Date: 2021
  • The Twelfth Generation of Products
  • Processor Type: Desktop
  • 16 Cores in Total
  • 24 Threads in Total
  • Boosting to a maximum of 5.20 GHz
  • Maximum turbo frequency for efficient cores is 3.90 GHz.
  • Core bass performance frequency is 5.10 GHz.
  • Base frequency for the performance core is 3.90 GHz.
  • Base frequency of the efficient core is 3.90 GHz.
  • 30 megabytes of cache space Using Intel’s Smart Cache
  • 14 MB of L2 cache in total.
  • Base power for the processor: 125 W
  • Peak turbo output is 241 W.
  • Maximum storage capacity is 128 GB.
  • Intel UHD Graphics 770 is the graphics processor.

The Intel Core i9-12900K can be installed on a printed circuit board thanks to its LGA 1700 socket. The L3 cache has 30 MG of memory, which is about par for the course among the models we considered for this roundup of the best gaming CPUs of 2022. The maximum clock speed(1) on this model is up to 5.2 GHz, thanks to the inclusion of a 12th-generation Intel Core i9-12900K desktop processor. Integrated micro-architecture allows for better performance at 10 nm per watt while using less power. The Intel Thread Director can organize and prioritize tasks across multiple threads to keep your computer from getting bogged down in unnecessary details. There are a whopping 24 threads, split between 16 performance cores and 8 efficient cores. Also, a 600 series(3) motherboard with a 1700 socket and Intel Smart Cache can provide 30 MB of storage. It’s overclockable and can be used right out of the box.


  • High-performing
  • the vast majority of stitches
  • Good reputation


  • Utilizes a great deal of energy
  • Windows 10 can be a pain.
  • Expensive

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

Key specs

  • Memory Chip DDR4 System
  • Release Date: 2021
  • The Twelfth Generation of Products
  • desktop computer processor
  • Ten cores in total.
  • 16 threads in total.
  • The highest possible turbo speed for the performance core is 4.90 GHz.
  • Maximum turbo speed for efficient cores is 3.60 GHz.
  • Core bass performance frequency is 3.70 GHz.
  • Base frequency of the efficient core: 2.80 GHz
  • Stored Data: 20 Megabytes Technology: Intel Smart Cache
  • L2 Cache Size (Total): 9.5 MB
  • Power supply for the processor, nominally 125 W
  • Turbo power is capped at 150 watts.
  • You can use up to 128 GB of memory.
  • Intel’s UHD Graphics 770 is integrated into the processor.
  • The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X comes with a three-year limited warranty that covers both parts and labor.

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is the fastest offering from AMD and comes at a reasonable price despite having only a 6-core processor. Even though there are only 12 processing threads, the Max Boost 4.6 GHz processing speeds more than make up for the average graphics. Experience maximum speeds of 4.6 GHz and a very generous 35 MB of cache, making it faster than the Intel Core i5-12600K. This setup is compatible with all of your preferred games, delivering frame rates of 100 or more, and it saves you money by including an AMD Wraith Stealth cooler in addition to the CPU. DDR-3200 is supported, and the system is already unlocked for overclocking. This processor features the powerful Socket AM4 platform, and it is compatible with PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards.


  • High profile
  • Superb ability to juggle multiple tasks at once
  • Power-efficient


  • Costs more than its predecessors.
  • Constricted 6-core CPU
  • Very few threads

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

Key specs

  • Beginning in 2020
  • AMD Ryzen Processors Product Line
  • Processor Type: Desktop
  • Socket for CPUs: AM4
  • Six cores in total.
  • 12 Threads in Total
  • Overclocking to a maximum of 4.6 GHz
  • Starting at 3.7 GHz
  • TDP Default: 65 W
  • TSMC 7nm FinFET Technology for Central Processing Units
  • L2 Cache Size: 3 MB
  • 32 MB of L3 Cache Total
  • The parts in your AMD Ryzen 5 5600G are covered for three years by AMD’s warranty.

We recommend the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G as the best budget CPU for gaming. At this price point, you can expect slower speeds of 4.4 GHz and a reduced number of 6 cores on a 7nm ‘Zen 3’ processor. With a CPU Socket AM4, you get 12 threads for 1080P graphics and 19 MB of cache space. It has the same unlocked clocking potential as the Ryzen 5 5600X thanks to the inclusion of Precious Boost Overdrive. You can use DDR4-3200 RAM. The AMD Ryzen Master is a nice touch that lets you fine-tune CPU performance for a unique gaming experience, but otherwise, this processor falls short in terms of raw performance, speed, and memory compared to its competitors. However, it is a fantastic choice for those who are on a tight budget.


  • The most affordable option on our list
  • Superb visuals
  • Radeon-compatible


  • Slowed down travel
  • Miniature Hoard
  • poor connection

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

Key specs

  • Release Date: 2020
  • Processors from AMD’s Ryzen Family
  • Processor Type: Desktop
  • Processor Socket AM4
  • 16 Cores in Total
  • Thread count: 32
  • The highest boost frequency is 4.9 GHz.
  • Core Clock Speed: 3.4 GHz
  • TDP (at idle): 105 watts
  • CPU Technology: TSMC 7nm FinFET Processor
  • 8 MB of L2 cache in total.
  • A total of 64 MB of L3 cache
  • The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X comes with a three-year warranty from the date of purchase.

The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, with its incredibly fast 16 cores, is the most expensive option on our list. Socket AM4 supports up to 4.9 GHz of CPU Turbo Boost speed. This means that X570 and B550 motherboards can utilize PCIe 4.0 with no issues. With 32 processing threads and 16 cores, it provides AMD’s top-tier performance for today’s most popular games, with frame rates of 100 FPS. The CPU has 72 MB of cache and supports DDR-3200, making it ready for overclocking. The cooler, however, is not included and must be purchased separately. Since this CPU already costs a lot, this is an extremely costly inconvenience.


  • Heavy-duty processor
  • Large hoard
  • Increased velocity


  • Our priciest option
  • We don’t supply the stock cooler
  • Utilizes a great deal of energy

What is the best gaming CPU?

The Intel Core i5-12600K is the top-rated processor for gaming, but the Intel Core i9-12900K is the superior option for power users.

CPU Speed Processor Threads Cache
Core i5-12600K by Intel 3.70 GHz 10 core 16 30 MB
The Ryzen 5 5600X from AMD 4.6 GHz 6 core 12 35 MB
Ryzen 5 5600G from AMD 4.4 GHz 6 core 12 19 MB
i9-12900K Intel Core i9 5.2 GHz 16 core 24 30 MB
Ryzen 9 5950X from AMD 4.9 GHz 16 core 32 72 MB

Which is the right CPU for you?

A gaming central processing unit (CPU) can take many forms in the modern era.

Take our advice into account when shopping for a CPU to meet your gaming requirements.

Pick this processor… In case you require;
Core i5-12600K by Intel CPU that is both potent and versatile
Core i9-12900K from Intel Intense gaming requires a powerful processor.
Ryzen 5 5600X from AMD. Modest Processor Upgrading
Ryzen 5 5600G from AMD An efficient central processing unit
Ryzen 9 5950X from AMD An optimized central processing unit

How did we choose these CPUs?

If you don’t know what you’re doing when looking for a gaming CPU, the process can be frustrating. Computer processors have their own language, and it can be difficult for a new user to understand.

Intel 10th Gen Core i3, i5, i7, and i9 desktop processors announced with  turbo speeds up to 5.3GHz

Some of the things to keep in mind while looking for a new central processing unit (CPU) for gaming are listed below.

  • Manufacturer: Think about the manufacturer of your CPU if you value dependability. When it comes to central processing units, our top two choices are both from AMD and Intel.
  • Release date: Features may be available in a more recent model due to rapid technological advancement. Of course, you can expect to pay more because of this.
  • The generation of the CPU can reveal useful information about the OS and architecture it employs.
  • How fast a CPU can process multiple instructions at once is indicated by the number of cores it has. Modern central processing units typically employ multiple processing cores.
  • Clock speed, also known as clock rate or frequency, is the number of cycles that can be processed by the central processing unit (CPU) per second. Frequency is measured in GHz (gigahertz).
  • The term “overclocking” refers to the practice of increasing the clock speed of the central processing unit. For instance, the Intel® Performance Maximizer is a top choice for effective overclocking.
  • You may want to check if your CPU has built-in graphics if you plan on doing a lot of imaging. If you want to edit and live-stream videos, this is crucial.

Looking ahead to the PC games you plan to play can also help you determine the best CPU for gaming in 2022. Read the specifications carefully to make sure you’re getting the right CPU for your needs.

How much does a CPU for gaming cost?

A gaming central processing unit (CPU) can set you back a few hundred dollars and up to a thousand dollars. Prices for the best central processing units on our list go from well under $250 to well over $725.

What temp should my CPU be while gaming?

CPU temperatures while gaming should be kept between 61 and 73 degrees Celsius (142-162 Fahrenheit) to ensure optimal performance. Your CPU may get slightly warmer under heavy graphical use or in warmer environments, but this should not be a cause for concern. A better cooling fan, thermal paste to help draw excess heat to the dissipation fins, or even a liquid cooling system may be in order if your CPU is operating at an abnormally high temperature. I highly recommend using one of the many available programs to keep an eye on your CPU temperature so that you can spot problems before they destroy your gaming rig.

What is the best budget CPU for gaming?

As the best low-cost gaming processor, we went with AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X. With its 10 cores, 16 threads, and 4.90GHz maximum frequency, it can run just about any game you throw at it. All of this is provided for under a thousand dollars, so you won’t have to sell a kidney to upgrade your gaming rig.

Are there alternative CPUs worth considering?

We looked for the best gaming central processing units and found several that could be good choices for you. We also considered the following processors for our list of the best gaming CPUs of 2022:

Once you’ve settled on a suitable CPU, we’ll advise you on how to assemble your custom computer, be it a high-end gaming rig or a more frugal low-end machine. We will help you get started with a kid-friendly, family-friendly PC gaming build, regardless of the CPU you choose.


And there you have it: a rundown of the important features to look for in a new central processing unit. Feel free to point out any errors or omissions in the space provided below, and we will make the necessary corrections as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, our CPU and motherboard buying guides may be helpful if you’re in the market for a new processor right now.