Updated at: 24-03-2023 - By: Leo Hall
The newer gaming CPUs all have at least four cores, while the older non-gaming CPUs typically only have two. Furthermore, at this time, quad-core CPUs are optimal for gaming because they are the most cost-effective and have only a marginal performance disadvantage compared to CPUs with a higher core count.


In the year 2022, it is generally agreed that six cores is the minimum number of CPUs necessary for optimal gaming performance.

While four cores will suffice for the time being, they are not a particularly future-proof option. The performance benefits of a CPU with eight or more cores are highly dependent on the game’s coding and the graphics processing unit (GPU) with which it is paired.

Choosing the best graphics processing unit (GPU) for a game is simple. You simply look at some performance indicators and decide what you’re willing to spend based on that.

Central processing units, however, are a little bit of a different story.

It’s true that the specifications of a CPU can affect its performance. However, it is more difficult to evaluate a CPU’s gaming performance because it differs so widely from one game to the next and also depends on the GPU that the CPU is used in conjunction with.

However, the number of CPU cores is usually the most notable feature.

Which begs the question: how many CPU cores do you really need for gaming in 2022, and does it even matter? Here, you can find out by reading on.

Let’s get down to first principles.

What Is A CPU Core?

A CPU’s core count, in layman’s terms, describes how many tasks it can juggle at once. In the past, multitasking was not possible on computers with single-core processors. The priority tasks would be cycled through rapidly, and the workers would switch between them as needed. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t lead to a very polished presentation.

This began to change in 2005, when the first commercially available dual-core CPUs were introduced, paving the way for other multi-core CPUs. Over the next decade, CPUs with 4, 6, 8, and more cores flooded the market.

While it’s true that multi-core CPUs provide noticeable gains when it comes to multitasking and a wide range of professional software, how much of an impact does a higher core count actually have when it comes to gaming?

CPU Cores: How Many Do I Need? < Tech Takes - HP.com India

What are the benefits of more CPU cores?

  • As a solution to the significant technical challenges posed by simply increasing the processor’s clock speed, multi-core processors were developed. Having a single chip with multiple processor cores is also more cost-effective than using multiple processors. One processor with multiple cores is typically less expensive than two processors with a single core.
  • The system’s baseline workload is evenly distributed across all processors. So, your laptop or desktop computer is less likely to become completely overloaded and freeze. A computer’s clock speed and overall performance can benefit from a processor with multiple cores. It’s important to note that the actual performance boost will vary greatly depending on the type of software being run and the OS being employed. The principle only applies to highly demanding software that supports multiple threads.
  • Always look for processors with at least 2 cores if you can afford it. Depending on your intended use, you should either purchase a CPU with a high clock speed or a large number of cores.
  • To add, only processors made by the same company and of the same type can be compared to one another. It’s possible, then, that an older CPU with eight cores can perform worse than a brand-new CPU from a different manufacturer that only has four cores.

Single-Core vs Multi-Core Gaming Performance

Not too long ago, the number of cores on your CPU didn’t mean much because most games weren’t optimized to make use of them. The situation, however, has shifted significantly in recent years.

Since multi-core CPUs have been commonplace for over a decade, it is only natural that programmers have begun to take full advantage of them by optimizing games for multi-core performance.

For the time being, gaming performance on a single core is more crucial than multi-core performance. Still, the number of cores should not be ignored, as modern games will invariably make use of more than one CPU.

Still, if we had to make broad strokes, we’d say that in 2022, six cores is a good compromise for gaming. In most mid-range PCs, the Intel Core i5-9600K or the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X will serve as the central processing unit.

This in no way indicates that quad-core processors are now useless for playing games. They are still very practical for low-cost construction.

To make matters worse, today’s quad-core models are hardly future-proof, and they will always bottleneck most mid-range graphics cards. On the other hand, the value of CPUs with eight or more cores will be determined solely by the GPU with which they are used.

As an illustration, there is little point in combining an i7-9700K with a GTX 1660 Ti, but if you have your sights set on a high-end GPU like the RTX 2080 Super, then a more potent i7 or Ryzen 7 CPU would be a good idea.

Physical Cores vs Logical Cores

While discussing central processing unit cores, it is important to also discuss logical cores, also known as threads.

The hyperthreading and multithreading technologies developed by Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), respectively, allow a single physical core to perform the tasks of two logical cores at once.

To what extent, then, is multithreading or hyperthreading beneficial? Without a doubt, that is correct.

Ryzen processors from AMD span the price spectrum, from entry-level to midrange, and nearly all of them support multithreading. However, only the most expensive i9 processors in Intel’s 9th generation of processors supported hyperthreading.

Comet Lake, the next generation of Intel’s processors, will include hyperthreading in an effort to catch up to AMD.

Although increasing the number of threads or cores improves performance, the actual improvement in-game will vary depending on the specifics of the game.

The Ryzen 5 3600X may not be superior to the Intel Core i5-9600K in gaming performance simply because it has more threads. The way the game is coded and the graphics processing unit in question are the two most important factors.

Even though the video above shows that the performance gap is often small or nonexistent, there are games where it can be quite large.


You may be wondering what exactly we mean when we talk about bottlenecks, which we have briefly discussed.

Simply put, a bottleneck exists if a central processing unit (CPU) is unable to issue instructions quickly enough to allow a graphics processing unit (GPU) to operate at peak efficiency. The same holds true when a powerful central processing unit (CPU) like an i7-9700K is paired with a modest graphics processing unit (GPU) like the GTX 1650 Super.

If this is the case, then upgrading to a more powerful CPU won’t improve your gaming experience and you’ll have wasted your money.

In the end, there is no foolproof method of determining exactly how much a given CPU will slow down a given GPU. If you want to know what a good CPU/GPU combination would look like, a bottleneck calculator can help you get a good idea of what it would be, but it isn’t perfect.

For the sake of simplification, let’s assume the following:

  • Budget GPUs like the Radeon RX 580 or GeForce GTX 1650 Super are well-suited to Ryzen 3 and i3 processors.
  • Midrange graphics processing units, such as the Radeon RX 5600 XT or RTX 2060 Super, perform well on Ryzen 5 and i5 processors.
  • High-end graphics processing units (GPUs), such as the RTX 2070 Super and RTX 2080 Super, perform best on Ryzen 7 and i7 processors.

The more powerful Ryzen 9 or i9 CPUs are usually unnecessary for gaming PCs unless you intend to run CPU-intensive professional software or install multiple graphics processing units.

Best CPUs for Gaming 2022

Intel Core i5-12400

In general, the best central processing unit for video games


Alder Lake, an Architectural Gem
LGA 1700 Socket
Six cores (6P 0E) and twelve threads.
Standard Tuning: 4.4 Hz
Frequency at maximum boost: 2.5
TDP: 65W


Highly effective in-game functionality
Single-thread and multi-thread strength
Extremely Low Costs
PCI Express 5.0 and DDR5 memory
Overclocking the RAM is supported.


The LGA1700 motherboard is a prereq.

The Core i5-12400, a mid-range CPU with six cores and twelve threads built on the Alder Lake architecture, is currently the best CPU for gaming thanks to recent price drops that have brought it down to an unbelievable $160. It goes without saying that it outperforms the $230 Ryzen 5 5600X in gaming, as with the right settings it can even outperform the previous-gen Core i9-11900K flagship (which retailed for $549).

The chip has six hyperthreaded P-cores running at 2.5 and 4.4 GHz, respectively. The 12400 is equipped with cutting-edge connectivity features such as support for DDR4-3200 and up to DDR5-4800 memory, 16 lanes of PCIe 5.0, and 4 lanes of PCIe 4.0 from the chip for M.2 SSDs.

All threaded productivity apps benefit from the Core i5-12400’s solid performance, and its quick single-threaded performance outperforms even the fastest Ryzen 5000 processors. The Core i5-12400 raises the bar for low-cost gaming processors with its superb overall performance and significantly lower price tag compared to similar AMD models.

The 65W/117W base/peak power rating of the Core i5-12400 is handled by the cooler included in the package; however, a 600-series motherboard is required for optimal performance. While DDR4 will suffice for the vast majority of gamers due to its low cost and respectable performance, those in need of increased memory throughput will have to spring for the more expensive DDR5. The availability of B- and H-series motherboards from Intel’s partners is great news, and a B660 motherboard coupled with a Core i5-12400 CPU will make a formidable gaming rig.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X


Design: Zen 3 Architecture
Connector Type: AM4
Six cores and twelve threads.
Fundamental 4.1 GHz Baseband
Maximum Boost Speed: 4.8 GHz
TDP: 65W


Top-Notch Gaming Capability
Excellent performance on both single- and multi-threaded tasks
Simple to chill
PCIe 4.0
Coozier Bundled
Savings in energy consumption
Compatible with current 500-series motherboards


Pricing that is higher from one generation to the next

After extensive testing, we have determined that the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is the best AMD CPU for gaming due to its excellent balance of gaming and application workload performance, which easily outperforms that of Intel’s offerings. Due to Intel’s intense competition, you can get this six-core, twelve-thread chip for as little as $230. Amazingly, the Ryzen 5 5600X outperforms the much more expensive Intel Core i9-10900K in gaming. Furthermore, it is one of the most efficient desktop PC processors we have ever tested with regards to power consumption.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Desktop Processor (4.6GHz, 6 Cores, Socket AM4) Box - 100-100000065BOX for sale online | eBay

Gaming, single-threaded, and multi-threaded application performance are all improved by AMD’s Zen 3 microarchitecture’s remarkable 19% increase in IPC. The chip’s general gaming performance is comparable to that of the more expensive Ryzen 7 5800X, which retails for $330. As a result, the 5600X is a wonderfully versatile processor, capable of handling anything from competitive-class performance on high-refresh-rate monitors to streaming to more mundane workloads like office applications with ease.

With the right cooling and motherboard, the Ryzen 5 5600X can achieve short-term boosts above its base and boost clocks of 3.7 and 4.6 GHz, respectively. The chip’s 65W TDP rating means it operates at low temperatures and with minimal noise compared to its predecessor’s 95W TDP. The 5600X is backward-compatible with 500-series motherboards, so current AMD users can rest easy. The chips are also compatible with motherboards from the Intel 400 and 300 series. Need a new motherboard to accommodate the chip? AMD’s AM4 offerings are plentiful and competitively priced, with the B-series lineup providing the best overall value for this class of chip.

Intel Core i9-12900K


Alder Lake, an Architectural Masterpiece
Input/Output Connector Type: LGA 1700
16 (8P 8E) cores / 24 threads.
Starting Point: 3.2 Hertz
Topping Boost Frequency: 5.2 GHz
TDP: 125W


The most powerful processor available for gaming.
Benefits of Price Competition
DDR5 and PCI Express 5.0
Excellent results when only one thread is active.
Efficiency in multiple threads


-There is no ice chest in the bundle.
-Motherboards that use the LGA1700 socket are necessary
-Pricing Structures on a Platform

The Intel Core i9-12900K was once recognized as the world’s most powerful gaming processor. For $589, it’s an incredible deal for high-end game streaming, as it outperforms AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950X in both gaming and heavily-threaded content creation tasks. The x86 single-threaded performance is where it truly shines, as it is far and away the best in the industry.

The 12900K provides cutting-edge connectivity thanks to its support for DDR4-3200 and up to DDR5-4800 memory, its 16 PCIe 5.0 lanes, and its dedicated PCIe 4.0 lanes for M.2 SSDs.

The chip has a total of 24 threads thanks to its combination of eight hyper-threaded P-cores and eight regular E-cores. With Turbo Boost Max 3.0 enabled (only on P-cores), the P-cores can reach peak frequencies of 5.2 GHz, up from the base frequency of 3.2 GHz. However, the E-cores can be overclocked to a maximum of 3.9 GHz from their base frequency of 2.4 GHz using the industry-standard Turbo Boost 2.0 algorithms. There are 30MB of L3 cache and 14MB of L2 cache on the chip.

This 12900K is rated for 125W PBP (base) and 241W MTP (peak) power, but we measured significantly lower consumption. In return, you receive performance at the forefront of your field.

Besides a new 600-series motherboard, you’ll need a powerful cooler to keep the chip at the optimal temperature. There is a large selection of high-end motherboards that are compatible with DDR5 memory, and while DDR4 motherboards are more common, they are still widely available. Although DDR5 is more expensive, it offers more memory throughput and offers similar performance to DDR4, making it a viable option for most gamers.

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X


Zen 3 Design and Construction.
AM4 Socket
The ratio of threads to cores is 16 to 32.
The starting frequency is 3.4 GHz.
Maximum Overdrive Speed: 4.9 GHz
TDP: 105W


The most cores and threads in its class with 16.
The need for higher boost frequencies
Inexpensive per-core cost
Reduced energy consumption
PCI Express Generation 4


Must have powerful refrigeration
The absence of a packaged ice chest
-Rising generation-on-generation costs
-There are no built-in graphics.

For as long as anyone can remember, if you wanted the absolute best in performance on your desktop computer, you had to pay for it. The chips have steep suggested retail prices and need expensive infrastructure to work properly, such as powerful motherboards and the additional cost of fully populating quad-channel memory controllers. For this reason, most budget-conscious users who could benefit from the threaded horsepower of a HEDT chip instead opt for mainstream offerings, where performance in lightly-threaded applications and games is sacrificed.

The Ryzen 9 5950X from AMD is a 16-core processor with 32 threads, continuing the company’s tradition of bringing HEDT-class performance to mainstream motherboards. Although the 5950X costs $550, it is a bargain compared to other HEDT processors that don’t provide the same level of performance.

Those who are only interested in gaming as a hobby should not buy a HEDT processor, in general. The Ryzen 9 5950X is a mainstream processor (with fewer cores and higher clocks), and as such, it is not the best choice for gamers. Instead, AMD’s lower-end 5000-series models offer better value for gamers. But if you want a chip and platform that can do serious work seriously fast while still being nimble enough to deliver high-refresh gameplay at night, the Ryzen 9 5950X is the only CPU that can do both.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D


Modeling: Zen 3
Platform: AM4 Socket
the number of cores/threads is 8/16
To begin with, the frequency is set at 3.4 GHz.
Maximum Boost Speed: 4.5 GHz
TDP: 105W


The best gaming CPU money can buy
Plus: affordable rates
Compatibility with PCIe 4.0
Attainable for AM4 motherboards
Acceptable performance in both single- and multi-threaded modes
high efficiency, low power use


Without the ability to overclock
No ice packs in a bundle
-There are no built-in graphics.
-Poor performance compared to rival chips for use in desktop computers

An innovative engineering effort resulted in the $449 Ryzen 7 5800X3D, which features 3D V-Cache technology and the world’s first desktop PC chip with 3D-stacked SRAM, resulting in an incredible 96MB of L3 cache. The result is a low-power processor with outstanding gaming performance, which easily bested Intel’s $589 Alder Lake Core i9-12900K and $739 Core i9-12900KS.

The Core i9-12900K costs $589, which is 30% more than the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, which retails for $449. The Core i9-12900KS retails for $739, which is a whopping 64% more than the $449 Ryzen 7 5800X3D. That makes the Ryzen 7 58000X3D not only the fastest AMD gaming processor in our benchmark suite, but also the fastest gaming processor overall, beating out all Intel models.

But you should know that there are drawbacks to using such a specialized chip; the 3D V-Cache doesn’t improve performance in all games, despite having an effect on nearly all of the ones we tested. Although the Ryzen 7 5800X3D has been fine-tuned for gaming, it lags behind other processors in its price range when it comes to productivity software. When compared to the previous-generation Core i7-6900K, the new Core i9-12900K is 29% faster in single-threaded tasks and 62% faster in multi-threaded applications.

The Core i7-12700K, available for $385, is a good option if you want a chip that performs well in both games and applications. The Core i7-12700K is the best all-around processor in this price range, being 28.8 percent faster in single-threaded work and 40 percent faster in multi-threaded work than the 5800X3D.

The 5800X3D can be used with existing socket AM4 motherboards, going all the way back to the 300-series from 2017. This makes it a fantastic high-performance drop-in upgrade for Ryzen users. Keep in mind that AM4 is being phased out in favor of the AM5 socket, which will house the 5nm Ryzen 7000 “Raphael” Zen 4 CPUs. Furthermore, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D does not support the cutting-edge connectivity options provided by Alder Lake, such as DDR5 and PCIe 5.0.

Due to its lower power consumption, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is a more affordable alternative to the Core i9-12900KS and 12900K. It also runs cooler and doesn’t necessitate as powerful a cooling system, motherboard, or PSU. What this means is that the 5800X3D provides excellent gaming performance at a lower price and with less noise and heat than a Core i9 system.

It’s hard to go wrong with this chip, especially for AMD system upgraders, if you’re willing to accept the lower but still competent performance in desktop PC applications and do your homework to make sure the Ryzen 7 5800X3D accelerates the types of games you play frequently. The Ryzen 7 5800X3D is a formidable processor that provides cutting-edge gaming performance and makes room for future GPU upgrades, provided you have a penchant for high-end fare and a firm grasp of the strengths and weaknesses.

Intel Core i7-12700K


Alder Lake Style Buildings
LGA 1700 Socket
12 (8P 4E) cores and 20 threads.
Threshold: 3.6 GHz
Topping out at 4.9 GHz of Boost Speed
TDP: 125 / 190W


Equals or exceeds the performance of the 12900K in games
Advantages in both single-threaded and multi-threaded workloads
Excellent relative to other gaming systems
High-speed PCI Express (PCIe) v5.0 and DDR5 memory
An Enhancement in Energy Productivity


No bundled ice chests allowed.
Pricing models available on multiple platforms
More energy is consumed than with Ryzen.

The 12700K, at $385, outperforms the Ryzen 7 5800X ($330) and the Ryzen 9 5900X ($550) by a wide margin, and it also undercuts Intel’s own $589 flagship Core i9-12900K (gaming performance) by a wide margin.

When playing games at 1080p resolution, the Core i7-12700K is a stunning 12 percent faster than the Ryzen 7 5800X. When compared to a stock Core i7-12700K, the $449 Ryzen 7 5800X3D is 13% faster at 1080p. However, it is only 3.6% faster than an overclocked Core i7-12700K configuration. The Core i7-12700K, on the other hand, is a better all-rounder if you’re looking for performance in productivity work; thus, the 5800X3D is the better choice if you’re only concerned with gaming performance in the $400–$475 range, while the 12700K is the better choice if you’re looking for a more cost–effective balance of price and performance.

Productivity-wise, the 12700K can hold its own: The 12700K is roughly 17% faster than the 5800X and 5900X in lightly-threaded applications. The Ryzen 9 5900X is 2.5% slower than the Core i7-12700K in single-threaded tasks, but it achieves some wins in multi-threaded ones. There is no comparison between the Core i7-12700K and the Ryzen 7 5800X3D; the former is 28.8 percent faster in single-threaded tasks while the latter is 40 percent faster in multi-threaded tasks, making the latter the superior all-around performer.

The Core i7-12700K has 20 processing threads, with 8 performance (P) cores and 4 efficiency (E) cores. The P-cores operate at 3.6/5.0 GHz base/boost, while the E-cores clock in at 2.7/3.8 GHz. The chip also has 12MB of L2 cache and 25MB of L3 cache for data processing.

Along with cutting-edge memory support (DDR4-3200 and up to DDR5-4800), the 12900K offers cutting-edge connectivity with 16 lanes of PCIe 5.0 and an additional four lanes of PCIe 4.0 from the chip for M.2 SSDs. There is a 125W PBP (base) and 190W MTP (peak) power rating for the 12700K. In spite of this, we found that it consumed significantly less power than its predecessor, and yet it offered highly competitive functionality.

You will require a new 600-series motherboard and an effective cooler for the chip. There is a plethora of options for high-end motherboards that work with DDR5 memory, and while DDR4 motherboards are more common, they are still plentiful. While DDR4 will suffice for the vast majority of gamers due to its low cost and respectable performance, those in need of increased memory throughput will have to spring for the more expensive DDR5.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X


The Zen 3 Architectural Style
Type: AM4 Socket
Threads/Core Count: 12/24
Threshold: 3.7 GHz
Maximum Overclocking Speed: 4.8 GHz
TDP: 65W


Compatibility with PCI Express version 4.0
An additional, unlocked factor
Works with motherboards in the 500 series
Highly effective in video games.
Superior efficiency in both single- and multi-threaded workloads


No ice packs in a bundle
A rise in generation-on-generation pricing
A lack of on-board graphics

Intel Core i5-12600K

The Top-Rated Middle-Range CPU for Playing Games


Alder Lake, an Architectural Masterpiece
Connector Type: LGA 1700
The ratio of cores to threads is 10 to 16 (6P 4E).
Standard Resonance 3.7 Hz
Optimal Boost Frequency.
TDP: 125W


Outstanding efficiency in-game
1 Reasonable Costs
PCI Express 5.0 and DDR5 RAM
Higher performance than Ryzen processors


A packaged ice chest is not permitted.
-Motherboard supporting LGA 1700 socket required
Indicative Pricing Structures

The Core i5-12600K, at $280, outperforms the Ryzen 5 5600X, at $230, in terms of gaming performance. When compared to the Ryzen 5 5600X, the 12600K provides up to 38% more threaded performance, and it even provides 7% more performance than the Ryzen 7 5800X, which retails for $330. This is a top-tier gaming CPU because of its speed in a single-threaded workload.

The 12600K has 16 threads total, with six threaded P-cores running at 3.7/4.9 GHz and four threaded E-cores running at 2.8/3.6 GHz. Together with its 9.5 MB of L2 cache and 20 MB of L3 cache, this configuration provides exceptional performance.

The chip has support for 16 lanes of the cutting-edge PCIe 5.0 interface, as well as four lanes of PCIe 4.0 for a fast M.2 SSD port. But the cutting-edge connectivity doesn’t end there: Both DDR4 and DDR5 memory are compatible with the Core i5-12600K. While DDR4 will suffice for the vast majority of gamers due to its low cost and respectable performance, those in need of increased memory throughput will have to spring for the more expensive DDR5.

Although it has a maximum power rating of 150W, the 12600K consumes much less power than its predecessor while providing noticeably better gaming performance. The chip’s reduced power consumption makes it compatible with a wide range of standard air and water coolers; just make sure your chosen cooler is compatible with the LGA 1700 socket.

Likewise, a new 600-series motherboard is required for the processor, with the only available models being Z690 variants. There is a large selection of top-tier machines that work with DDR5 memory, and even though DDR4 motherboards are only available in the middle and lower price points, there is still a lot of variety to choose from.

Intel Core i3-12100


The Alder Lake Building Complex
LGA 1700 Socket
Four (4) helical (P 0E) cores and eight (8) threads
The 3.3-Hertz Reference Frequency
Peak Boost Frequency: 4.3 GHz
TDP: 60W


Excellent value for the cost.
Outstanding performance in single-threaded and gaming applications
Bundled capable cooler
Both DDR4 and DDR5 compatible
PCIe 5.0
Low energy usage
In other words, it allows for memory overclocking.


There is only 2.0 Turbo Boost, not 3.0.
Core clock speed cannot be increased

The $130 Core i3-12100, along with its Alder Lake siblings, introduces revolutionary pricing to the market. For $25 less, you can get the Core i3-12100F from Intel’s F-series, which retails for $104 but has disabled integrated graphics. Our CPU benchmarks show that the Core i3-12100 is the best option for the money between $105 and $130 because it offers exceptional performance for the price and there is no clear current-generation competitor from AMD. The quad-core i3-12100 has a superior combination of price, performance, and stock cooler, making it the clear market leader in the $100–$130 price range and a formidable opponent to more expensive alternatives.

The Core i3-12100 has replaced the i5-6600K as the top budget gaming CPU, and it also performs admirably in other lightly-threaded applications. If you need faster performance in a single-threaded workload, you’ll need to look elsewhere, such as at other Alder Lake processors, since none of AMD’s processors can compete with the 12100. When it comes to threaded productivity workloads, the Core i3-12100 holds its own admirably for the price.

CPU Intel Core i3-12100 (3.30 Up to 4.30GHz | LGA 1700 )- Khanhhungpc

Power consumption for the Core i3-12100 is 60W PBP (base) and 89W MTP (peak). The chip’s base frequency is 3.3 GHz, and it can turbo up to 4.3 GHz. Additionally, 12 MB of L3 cache is included. Socket 1700 motherboards from Intel’s 600 series (Z690, H670, B660, and H610) are compatible with the Alder Lake processor. It is not possible to increase the speed of a Core i3-12100 computer by simply increasing the voltage to its pins. Intel, however, allows memory overclocking on Z690, B660, and H670 motherboards (though Z690 isn’t practical for this class of chip).

There is currently no AMD processor that can compete with the Core i3-12100 in terms of price. Even though it has no direct rivals, it offers significant improvements in performance over previous generations. In 1080p gaming, for example, you can get 88% of the performance of the $299 Core i5-12400 with the $129 Core i3-12100, saving yourself 56% of the cost. A great balance of cost and effectiveness, indeed.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G


Framework: Zen 3 Architecture
AAM4 Socket
Sixteen / Twelve Threads Per Core
Threshold: 3.9 GHz
Maximum Boost Speed: 4.4 GHz
TDP: 65W


Superior value for the money.
Zen 3 processors have faster central processing units
Good 720p, acceptable 1080p
Positive impact on the environment and the economy
Excellent margin for overclocking
Cooler bundles
Works with a variety of AM4 motherboards.


-Support for PCIe 3.0

Many people will upgrade to the Ryzen 5 5600G while the GPU shortage lasts because of its powerful integrated graphics, which can be used for gaming in the meantime. As such, the Ryzen 5 5600G more than lives up to its billing, entering the fray as the new value champ for APUs, which are processors with integrated graphics powerful enough to allow for light gaming without the need for a discrete GPU, albeit at reduced quality settings.

In comparison to its more expensive sibling, the Ryzen 7 5700G (which retails for $359), the Ryzen 5 5600G (which retails for $259) offers 96% of the gaming performance on integrated graphics while costing 30% less. As a result, it’s the most cost-effective APU available. The Ryzen 5 5600G’s Vega graphics offer surprisingly good performance in games if you are willing to compromise on fidelity and resolution and have realistic expectations. While the 5600G’s Vega graphics provided relatively high-quality 1280×720 gameplay across a wide variety of games, 1080p users had fewer options to work with. It is possible to play games at 1080p, but the fidelity settings will need to be set very low.

The Ryzen 5 5600G has eight cores and sixteen threads, a base clock of 3.9 GHz, and a turbo clock of 4.4 GHz, making it a good value for general desktop PC use. The chip is compatible with existing 500-series and some 400-series motherboards, though support for the latter will vary depending on the manufacturer.

Read our Best Cheap CPUs article if you are on a tight budget but still want to build a system for light gaming. At prices as low as $55 (£40), these chips offer decent performance for games that don’t require a dedicated graphics processor.


As you can see, the main question does not have a simple or direct answer. Dual-core processors were still an option for some setups as recently as a few years ago. Due to the exponential growth in core and thread counts, quad-cores are quickly becoming outdated.

In conclusion, quad-core CPUs will usually only suffice for budget builds in 2022, while hexa-core CPUs will usually be your best bet for mid-range configurations. Meanwhile, high-end computers benefit from octa-core processors.

You should always check out some benchmarks, as the article notes that those are just broad strokes and that your actual performance will vary depending on the model, the GPU, and the game.