Short and sweet
- AMD also mixes thanks to Ryzen in the upper and middle class
- Entry class from 60 euros, medium class from 150 and upper class from 300 euros
- Current Intel Core i3 series faster than any older AMD CPUs
- Number of cores still have little effect in gaming → clock is more important
- Always up-to-date live-ranking with current prices
When playing on a PC, it is not just about graphics performance: The performance of the processor is also important. Although the load may vary depending on the game engine, however, as with the graphics cards, the more power is available, the more smoothly the game runs. Basically, there are currently hardly any games that use more than four cores. In fact, CPUs with two cores are sufficient for most titles. The number of cores plays a subordinate role, whereas games like Battlefield 1 also prove the opposite. Much more important is the clock and the efficiency of the CPU. Here you should distinguish between the basic and so-called boost or turbot.
The base clock is obtained by the front-end bus of standard 100 MHz multiplied by the appropriately programmed multiplier.
For example, the Intel Core i5-7500 has a base clock of 3.4 GHz, which corresponds to a multiplier of 34.
In Turbomodus it is even 3.8 GHz, so the multiplier is 38. Depending on the requirement, the CPU in the Turbomodus itself is high – it is almost an integrated overclocking function.
For many CPUs there is also a freely adjustable multiplier: In AMD, such processors were marked with Black Edition or shortly BE. Now with AMD all current Ryzen CPUs have a free multiplier – with Intel, the ending K or C shows that you can configure the multiplier freely. Without going too far into detail, everyone should be aware that when you overclock a CPU is out of the specifications and therefore the manufacturing warranty is no longer applicable. In addition, it should be noted that for overclocking a CPU not only the appropriate CPU itself but also a suitable mainboard, with Intel with Z- or X-chipset and also has a sufficiently good cooling.
In our overview for gaming processors, we have looked at more than 30 popular processors, older and up-to-the-minute models from AMD and Intel and added them to a live ranking by means of numerous internet benchmarks,
The performance index shows in percent, which processor, relative to how strong. Currently the Intel Core i7-7700k is the non-plus ultra for players. This is not a coincidence, because the basestact is at a sufficent 4.2 GHz and superimposes in the Turbomodus again 300 MHz. AMD has the look despite high clock rates, but with the new Ryzen CPUs vigorously caught up.
A bit surprising are the Intel Core i3 CPUs quite far up in the overview in the form of the i3-4150 with 3.5 GHz, which it loosely with almost all AMD CPUs. This shows that the number of cores does not (yet) play a large role for most games. AMD’s current flagship, the Ryzen 7 1800X is currently in 4th place and has finally become a real alternative to the continent owner Intel.
At the top are the Intel Core i7 processors. This is closely followed by the current Core i5 models, which together with the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X offer the best price / performance ratio. The price difference from the Intel Core i5 to the Core i7 is almost 100 euros. However, performance is low, since most games do not support the special i7 feature, hyperthreading – eight virtual cores – and the real advantage of expensive high-end CPUs is not usable.
The currently fastest processors
- .Intel Core i7-7700K (4x 4,2-4,5GHz / HD 630 / 95W)Intel Core i7-7700K (4x 4,2-4,5GHz / HD 630 / 95W)100%
- Intel Core i7-6950X (10x 3,0-3,5GHz / 20MB / 140W)Intel Core i7-6950X (10x 3,0-3,5GHz / 20MB / 140W)97%
- Intel Core i7-6900K (8x 3,2-3,7GHz / 20MB / 140W)Intel Core i7-6900K (8x 3,2-3,7GHz / 20MB / 140W)96%
- Intel Core i5-7600K (4x 3,8-4,2GHz / HD 630 / 95W)Intel Core i5-7600K (4x 3,8-4,2GHz / HD 630 / 95W)93%
- AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (8x 3,6-4,0GHz / 16MB / 95W)AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (8x 3,6-4,0GHz / 16MB / 95W)92%
- AMD Ryzen 5 1600X (6x 3,6-4,0GHz / 16MB / 95W)AMD Ryzen 5 1600X (6x 3,6-4,0GHz / 16MB / 95W)91%
- Intel Core i7-6700K (4x 4,0-4,2GHz / HD 530 / 95W)Intel Core i7-6700K (4x 4,0-4,2GHz / HD 530 / 95W)91%
- Intel Core i7-4790K (4x 4,0-4,4GHz / HD 4600 / 88W)Intel Core i7-4790K (4x 4,0-4,4GHz / HD 4600 / 88W)91%
- Intel Core i5-7500 (4x 3,4-3,8GHz / HD 630 / 65W)Intel Core i5-7500 (4x 3,4-3,8GHz / HD 630 / 65W)90%
- Intel Core i7-7700 (4x 3,6-4,2GHz / HD 630 / 65W)Intel Core i7-7700 (4x 3,6-4,2GHz / HD 630 / 65W)90%
- Intel Core i5-7400 (4x 3,0-3,5GHz / HD 630 / 65W)Intel Core i5-7400 (4x 3,0-3,5GHz / HD 630 / 65W)89%
- Intel Core i7-4770K (4x 3,5-3,9GHz / HD 4600 / 84W)Intel Core i7-4770K (4x 3,5-3,9GHz / HD 4600 / 84W)89%
- Intel Core i7-6800K (6x 3,4-3,6GHz / 15MB / 140W)Intel Core i7-6800K (6x 3,4-3,6GHz / 15MB / 140W)89%
- AMD Ryzen 5 1600 (6x 3,2-3,6GHz / 16MB / 65W)AMD Ryzen 5 1600 (6x 3,2-3,6GHz / 16MB / 65W)87%
- Intel Core i7-6700 (4x 3,4-4,0GHz / HD 530 / 65W)Intel Core i7-6700 (4x 3,4-4,0GHz / HD 530 / 65W)87%
- AMD Ryzen 7 1700X (8x 3,4-3,8GHz / 16MB / 95W)AMD Ryzen 7 1700X (8x 3,4-3,8GHz / 16MB / 95W)87%
- Intel Core i3-7350k (2x 4,2GHz / HD 630 / 60W)Intel Core i3-7350k (2x 4,2GHz / HD 630 / 60W)85%
- AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (4x 3,5-3,7GHz / 16MB / 65W)AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (4x 3,5-3,7GHz / 16MB / 65W)85%
- Intel Core i3-7300 (2x 4,0GHz / HD 630 / 51W)Intel Core i3-7300 (2x 4,0GHz / HD 630 / 51W)83%
- AMD Ryzen 7 1700 (8x 3,0-3,7GHz / 16MB / 65W)AMD Ryzen 7 1700 (8x 3,0-3,7GHz / 16MB / 65W)83%
- Intel Core i3-7100 (2x 3,9GHz / HD 630 / 51W)Intel Core i3-7100 (2x 3,9GHz / HD 630 / 51W)81%
- AMD Ryzen 5 1400 (4x 3,2-3,4GHz / 8MB / 65W)AMD Ryzen 5 1400 (4x 3,2-3,4GHz / 8MB / 65W)80%
- AMD FX-9590 (8x 4,7-5,0GHz / 16MB / 220W)AMD FX-9590 (8x 4,7-5,0GHz / 16MB / 220W)77%
- AMD FX-9370 (8x 4,4-4,7GHz / 16MB / 220W)AMD FX-9370 (8x 4,4-4,7GHz / 16MB / 220W)75%
- AMD FX-8370 (8x 4,0-4,3GHz / 16MB / 125W)AMD FX-8370 (8x 4,0-4,3GHz / 16MB / 125W)71%
- Intel Pentium G4620 (2x 3,7GHz / HD 630 / 51W)Intel Pentium G4620 (2x 3,7GHz / HD 630 / 51W)70%
- AMD FX-8350 (8x 4,0-4,2GHz / 16MB / 125W)AMD FX-8350 (8x 4,0-4,2GHz / 16MB / 125W)70%
- Intel Pentium G4560 (2x 3,5GHz / HD 610 / 54W)Intel Pentium G4560 (2x 3,5GHz / HD 610 / 54W)69%
- AMD FX-6300 (6x 3,5-4,1GHz / 14MB / 95W)AMD FX-6300 (6x 3,5-4,1GHz / 14MB / 95W)66%
- AMD Athlon X4 880K (4x 4,0-4,2GHz / 2MB / 95W)AMD Athlon X4 880K (4x 4,0-4,2GHz / 2MB / 95W)60%
- AMD A10-7890K (4x 4,0-4,3GHz / R7 GPU / 95W)AMD A10-7890K (4x 4,0-4,3GHz / R7 GPU / 95W)60%
- AMD Athlon X4 845 (4x 3,5-3,8GHz / 2MB / 65W)AMD Athlon X4 845 (4x 3,5-3,8GHz / 2MB / 65W)60%
- AMD FX-4300 (4x 3,8-4,0GHz / 12MB / 95W)AMD FX-4300 (4x 3,8-4,0GHz / 12MB / 95W)59%
- AMD A10-7870K (4x 3,9-4,1GHz / R7 GPU / 95W)AMD A10-7870K (4x 3,9-4,1GHz / R7 GPU / 95W)59%3
- AMD A10-7860K (4x 3,6-4,0GHz / R7 GPU / 65W)AMD A10-7860K (4x 3,6-4,0GHz / R7 GPU / 65W)59%
- AMD A10-7800 (4x 3,5-3,9GHz / R7 GPU / 65W)AMD A10-7800 (4x 3,5-3,9GHz / R7 GPU / 65W)57%
If you simply want the best performance and the money does not matter, then these CPUs are the best choice:
Intel Core i7-7700K
Intel Core i7-6900k
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
Overview of all current graphics card chipsets in performance comparison
What should I consider when buying a CPU?
When buying a new CPU, there are a lot to consider. You must first orient yourself to the existing mainboard: Which model is it? What is the base? If this is clarified and the desired CPU fits the socket, one should also clarify whether the CPU is also supported by the mainboard. Especially with older boards, this is a problem when new processors come onto the market for the same socket. Here, if necessary, a bios update is necessary, which must be done before the CPU change. The instructions and the necessary software, if you do not want to do the update directly in the bios, you can find on the manufacturer’s side of your motherboard.
If the questions of compatibility are clarified, the question of cooling still remains. A more powerful CPU often has a higher power consumption and thus a higher waste heat. So here it is, the existing CPU cooler to check whether it is equipped for the new task. If not, we have the right article for you here.
If the desired CPU does not fit the current motherboard, only the option remains to buy a new one. However, it is often ignored that you may also need new memory (DDR4), another CPU cooler or even a new housing and power supply. Most CPUs are available as so-called boxed and as a tray version. In the boxed version, the CPU comes in original packaging, depending on the model with the associated boxed cooler and three years of manufacturing warranty. When purchasing an often cheaper tray version, any delivery is not required and the guarantee is usually limited to one year.
How much does a processor cost?
The entry into the world of the game CPUs is conceivably cheap with approximately 50 euro, whereby in this case, of course, is at the lower end of the performance diagram. As with the graphics cards, the formula holds: the more power you want, the deeper you have to reach the pocket. We now see times from overclocking, with which this formula applies only conditionally. While the introductory class is mainly AMD, the middle and upper class is dominated by Intel – this refers to both the price and the performance. While most Intel Core i5 and i7 and AMD Ryzen 5 models cost between 200 and 400 euros, there are special models such as the Intel Core i7-6950X , which is even at the 2000 Euro- Border scratches. It is the only consumer 10-core processor from Intel. For comparison: AMD’s most powerful CPU, the Ryzen 7 1800X with eight cores, is already available for under 500 euros. So if you want to have a good all-round performance for very little money, go to AMD. If it depends on pure gaming performance and less on the price, which focuses on Intel CPUs.
Entry class up to 180 euros
AMD clearly dominates the entry level. Here AMD offers a huge portfolio of CPUs. Starting with the low – cost FX-4300 with 3.8 GHz base clock and four cores starting at 55 euros, over the FX-6300 with 3.5 GHz and six cores, to the fast-top model, the FX-8350 with eight cores and 4 GHz For about 160 euros – all for the aged AM3 + base. The extra charge to the minimally faster FX-8370 is not worthwhile in our eyes. If you want to use the modern AM4 platform, the Ryzen 5 1400 is the best choice.
If it is synonymous in the entry class an Intel remains in this price range only the choice between different Zweikern models. From 60 euros you get an Intel Pentium G4560 , which is in our ranking rather to the bottom light, but thanks to two real and four virtual cores for the price is unbeatable. Even faster, but also expensive, is the Intel Core i3-7100 , which is already listed from about 110 euros. This makes thanks to the high clocking of 3.9 GHz even older Core i5 models wet. If you want to have a free multiplier for overclocking in the entry class, you should have the Intel Core i3-7350k at 4.2 GHz factory.
Intel Pentium G4560
Intel Core i3-7100 Box (BX80677I37100)
AMD Ryzen 5 1400
Medium class up to 300 euros
In the mid-class, the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 starts at 3.2 – 3.6 GHz. The Intel models in this price class have only half the core and less clock, but are significantly more efficient. Performance is at a similar level, the Intel Core i5 7500 , which is particularly recommended because of the low price. The extra charge to the slightly faster Core i5 7600 is nevertheless about 40 euros.
There is even more power with, thanks to the free multiplier, overclockable Intel Core i5-7600k with 3.8-4.2 GHz, which in the ranking is even at the top. Just behind it lies AMD’s Ryzen 5 1600X , With six cores and 12 threads, offers most of the internal data units in the middle class and also convinces with the clock with 3.6-4 Ghz.
Intel Core i5-7500
Intel Core i5-7600K
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
Upper class from 300 euros
In addition to the Intel Core i7 processors, we also find the new Ryzen 7 CPUs from AMD in the upper class for game CPUs. Thanks to the hyperthreading function, which is currently only available in a few games, the i7 models are minimally faster than clock-balanced i5 CPUs. If you want to enjoy a super-class processor, it’s best to use the Intel Core i7-7700k or i7-6700k . While the former clocks at 4.2 GHz in the base clock and offers up to 4.5 GHz in the turbo, the predecessor is a few hundred megahertz slower. In combination with a Z170 or Z270 motherboard and good cooling you can often pull 4.7 GHz or more from the chips. So the 340 euro expensive models are the best among the game CPUs.
Also present in the upper class are the processors for the socket 2011, which is actually designed for workstations, but also often in high-end gaming PCs. Worth mentioning here is the Core i7-6900k with free multiplier, 3.2 GHz basic clock and eight cores for nearly 1100 euros. Matching mainboards are equipped with an X99 chipset and DDR4 support – but costs comparatively much. The flagship of Intel is the Core i7-6950X with ten cores and 3 GHz clock – the price: about 1700 euros!
The new AMD Ryzen 7 1800X, which is ranked just behind the very expensive Intel server CPUs in our ranking, is significantly cheaper and almost at the same level. For comparatively cheap 500 euro you get such a really attractive performance in games and especially in applications. As a small secret tip, the Ryzen 7 1700X is called, which differs from the current flagship of AMD only in the reduced clock and thereby costs a whopping 100 euro less.
Intel Core i7-7700K
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X
The hardware scout says:
When you buy a powerful processor you do not have to dig deep into the pocket. But you should make sure that the CPU is supported by the existing motherboard. My personal recommendation: The Intel Core i5-7600k. Here you are from 240 euros and has thanks to free multiplier still a lot of air up. But also without overclocking one is in the performance ranking for games at the forefront. AMD’s new Ryzen series, especially the Ryzen 5 1600X is, as far as price performance is concerned, also highly recommended.