Do you need a CPU hierarchy to compare all the significant processors in the world and see how they match up against one another? You are in the proper location at this time.
Finding the correct components for your gaming computer may be a task that is both exciting and a little bit laborious at the same time.
Others will have difficulty making sense of all the information if they are not well-versed in the subject area, even though many hardware aficionados find it enjoyable to compare benchmarks and browse several professional evaluations before settling on a final choice this manner.
Finding the proper central processing unit (CPU) does not necessarily have to include any time-consuming investigation of various CPU models or any cross-comparing of multiple specifications, benchmarks, and reviews. This is a fortunate development.
The following is our gaming CPU hierarchy, in which current and previous-generation processors are graded according to game performance.
|CPU Model||Core/Thread Count||Base Clock (GHz)||Overclocking Supported||Socket|
|Intel Core i9-12900KS||8 (16)||3.4||Yes||LGA 1700|
|Intel Core i9-12900K||8 (16)||3.2||Yes||LGA 1700|
|Intel Core i9-12900||8 (16)||2.4||No||LGA 1700|
|Intel Core i7-12700K||8 (16)||3.6||Yes||LGA 1700|
|Intel Core i7-12700||8 (16)||2.1||No||LGA 1700|
|Intel Core i5-12600K||6 (12)||3.7||Yes||LGA 1700|
|Intel Core i9-11900K||8 (16)||3.5||Yes||LGA1200|
|Intel Core i9-11900||8 (16)||2.5||No||LGA1200|
|AMD Ryzen 9 5950X||16 (32)||3.4||Yes||AM4|
|AMD Ryzen 9 5900X||12 (24)||3.7||Yes||AM4|
|Intel Core i5-12600||6 (12)||3.3||No||LGA 1700|
|Intel Core i7-11700K||8 (16)||3.6||Yes||LGA1200|
|AMD Ryzen 7 5800X||8 (16)||3.8||Yes||AM4|
|Intel Core i7-11700||8 (16)||2.5||No||LGA1200|
|Intel Core i5-11600K||6 (12)||3.9||Yes||LGA1200|
|Intel Core i5-12500||6 (12)||3.0||No||LGA 1700|
|AMD Ryzen 5 5600X||6 (12)||3.7||Yes||AM4|
|Intel Core i5-11600||6 (12)||2.8||No||LGA1200|
|Intel Core i5-12400||6 (12)||2.5||No||LGA 1700|
|Intel Core i3-12300||4 (8)||3.5||No||LGA 1700|
|AMD Ryzen 9 3950X||16 (32)||3.5||Yes||AM4|
|AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT||12 (24)||3.8||Yes||AM4|
|AMD Ryzen 9 3900X||12 (24)||3.8||Yes||AM4|
|Intel Core i5-11500||6 (12)||2.7||No||LGA1200|
|Intel Core i5-11400||6 (12)||2.6||No||LGA1200|
|Intel Core i3-12100||4 (8)||3.3||No||LGA 1700|
|AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT||8 (16)||3.9||Yes||AM4|
|AMD Ryzen 7 3800X||8 (16)||3.9||Yes||AM4|
|AMD Ryzen 7 3700X||8 (16)||3.6||Yes||AM4|
|AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT||6 (12)||3.8||Yes||AM4|
|AMD Ryzen 5 3600X||6 (12)||3.8||Yes||AM4|
|AMD Ryzen 5 3600||6 (12)||3.6||Yes||AM4|
|AMD Ryzen 3 3300X||4 (8)||3.8||Yes||AM4|
|AMD Ryzen 3 3100||4 (8)||3.6||Yes||AM4|
Tier 1: Enthusiasts and diehards
Intel Core i9 10900K
If you want the best of the best, your only choice is the Intel Core i9 10900K, the ultimate option.
The central processing units (CPUs) classified as first-tier are currently the most powerful CPUs available on the market. This is because they have the maximum number of cores and threads and often have exceptional overclocking capability. However, they tend to use more power than other processors and are also more expensive.
The truth is that these central processing units aren’t designed for gaming. Still, they are often the most suitable option for those who want to use their personal computers not just for gaming but also for specific CPU-intensive professional software.
|AMD CPUs||Intel CPUs|
|AMD Ryzen 9 5950X||Intel Core i9-12900KS|
|AMD Ryzen 9 5900X||Intel Core i9-12900K|
|AMD Ryzen 9 3950X||Intel Core i9-12900|
|AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT||Intel Core i9-11900K|
|AMD Ryzen 9 3900X||Intel Core i9-11900|
Tier 2 — High-End
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
If you are looking for a high-end central processing unit, the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is a solid choice.
The processors that can be found in this tier are often the ideal option for shoppers who want to purchase an equally powerful and high-end graphics processing unit (GPU) to go along with the CPU.
The performance of these Ryzen 9 and Core i9 machines is not entirely on par with the more costly variants listed above, but they are still quite strong. In addition, they can maximize the performance of the beefiest GPUs that are currently available and perform well with professional software as well.
|AMD CPUs||Intel CPUs|
|AMD Ryzen 7 5800X||Intel Core i7-12700K|
|AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT||Intel Core i7-12700|
|AMD Ryzen 7 3800X||Intel Core i7-11700K|
|AMD Ryzen 7 3700X||Intel Core i7-11700|
Tier 3 — Mid-Range
Intel Core i5 10600K
A good CPU for the middle of the range is the Intel Core i5 10600K.
Concerning personal gaming computers, the central processing units (CPUs) found in this price range are frequently the most popular choices, and for a good reason: they often provide the most value for the money.
Mid-range central processing units (CPUs) in 2023 have larger core and thread counts than ever before. However, they can handle even the most potent GPUs without any major bottlenecking and often come with an extremely fair price tag.
|AMD CPUs||Intel CPUs|
|AMD Ryzen 5 5600X||Intel Core i5-12600K|
|AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT||Intel Core i5-12600|
|AMD Ryzen 5 3600X||Intel Core i5-12500|
|AMD Ryzen 5 3600||Intel Core i5-12400|
|Intel Core i5-11600K|
|Intel Core i5-11600|
|Intel Core i5-11500|
|Intel Core i5-11400|
Tier 4 — Budget
AMD Ryzen 3 3300X
The AMD Ryzen 3 3300X is a strong CPU that is also inexpensive.
Last but not least, people who are watching their pen for gaming andll out a lot of cash on a CPU or the computer system can benefit from the fact that both Intel and AMD provide extremely viable alternatives geared for those on a budget.
These central processing units do not provide the large core and thread counts, outstanding clock rates, or overclocking capabilities available in more costly versions. Despite this, they are not overly expensive and would be the best and most cost-effective choice for many low-cost or even middle-range gaming computers. However, they are not future-proof, which is a shame.
|AMD Ryzen 3 3300X||Intel Core i3-12300|
|AMD Ryzen 3 3100||Intel Core i3-12100|
The Closing Statement
And with that, we have concluded our gaming CPU hierarchy!
You may have noticed that we did not include any more costly AMD Threadripper or Intel Core X models. The reason for this is that these products are not ideal choices for gaming. Therefore we decided not to include them. However, in addition to having substantially more processing power than required for a gaming PC, their price is significantly higher than that of their mainstream equivalents.
In the same way, we did not include any more affordable entry-level solutions, such as AMD’s Athlon APUs or Intel’s Pentium and Celeron lineups. Again, for the same reason — they are poor choices for gaming because they are too weak and would inevitably bottleneck the most recent GPUs significantly. Likewise, we did not include any more affordable entry-level solutions compatible with Windows 10.
Although it would appear that Intel Core processors are the best option for gaming, the rankings of the CPUs were determined only by how well they performed in games; value was not taken into account during the ranking process. This is something else that we feel obligated to point out.
When we talk about value in this context, we refer to a CPU’s price ratio to its performance. However, because the prices can vary depending on several unpredictable factors—many of which have to do with how taxing various games are and how well they are optimized—it can be difficult to determine value accurately.
Therefore, if you’re looking for more accurate suggestions, we advise checking out our curated list of what we believe to be the best CPUs for gaming in 2023. In this pick, we consider various criteria in addition to gaming performance.
Finally, feel free to let us know in the comments if you discover that we have omitted any previous-gen or current-gen CPUs from the list. We will do our best to correct the issue as quickly as possible.