Ryzen 9 7950X3D
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A closer look at the market's leading processors, comparing each for gaming performance, price, and overall value for money
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The CPU, or central processing unit, is one of the most important hardware components in your gaming PC, maybe more so than the graphics card. Most people prioritize it as the second most essential hardware consideration, with only the GPU having more of an impact on your overall gaming experience. This makes sense as the GPU manages the quality, resolution, and frame rates of your PC games. However, contrary to many people’s beliefs, the CPU plays an intricate role in how well your PC runs games, making it worth finding the best CPU for gaming.
Whilst this guide is for 2023, we ensure that last year’s hardware is still relevant today. The list will be updated as and when is necessary.
Having said that, picking the best gaming CPU for your needs can be a little strenuous, especially if you aren’t up-to-speed with the latest offerings. Annoyingly, the CPU market is forever changing with new, more powerful options altering prices all too often. How are you meant to know which CPU is best?
If you happen to choose team red ad your CPU of choice, you might want to check out our best AMD motherboards article.
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Intel and AMD have released their latest and greatest processor generations in the form of the Ryzen 7000 series and the Intel 13th generation.
One of these processor generations is objectively better than the other, in terms of price and more importantly, performance.
AMD was the fan favorite this time around but seems to have fallen short of the mark, with its seemingly lackluster performance and its high prices. We were really rooting for AMD to pull out all the stops and finally beat Intel in the single-core performance realm of computing. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
Intel, on the other hand, pulled out all the stops and gave us a phenomenal set of CPUs to work with, the flagship contains 8 more cores than the flagship of AMD, allowing Intel to take the multi-core performance crown away from AMD. not only that, but the price is much better within Intel’s new generation. Making Intel the obvious choice for now.
Here we will take an in-depth look at our best gaming CPUs of 2023.
The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D is the pinnacle of CPU gaming right now. the 7950X3D features 16 CPU cores and 32 threads, all clocked at 5.7GHz. The advantage bestowed upon the 7950X3D is the fact it has a much larger cache than any other CPU on the market right now.
Having V-cache is great but it does have its limitations. V-cache is incredibly sensitive to high voltages and temperatures. this means that part of the CPU has to be restricted to keep everything running properly.
The great thing about the Zen 4 version of the X3D CPUs is that the 3D V-cache is only built on to one of the two CCDs. This means that only half of the CPU is restricted and subject to the limitations the 3D V-cache imposes.
The 7950X3D is up to 40% faster in some gaming scenarios, and it’s easy to see how when you compare the success of the 5800X3D. This CPU will set you back a fair amount, but it will also gain far more than what it costs in gaming and computing performance.
There’s not much more to be said than that. This is the undisputed best AMD CPU for gaming in 2023.
P-cores 3 GHz / E-cores 2.2 GHz
P-cores 5.8 GHz / E-cores 4.3 GHz
125 W / 253 W boost.
The i9-13900K is a very powerful CPU capable of toppling the competition, Its 24-core and 32-threads dominate in both single and multi-core workloads. Cementing the 13900K at the top of multi-threaded performance for the first time in years.
The 13900K has a TDP of 125 W base and 253 W boost, now that’s a massive jump in TDP over Alder Lake. But it’s also a massive jump in performance. The 13th-generation Raptor Lake CPUs see improved single-core performance of up to 15% and multi-core performance of up to 41%. The best part is you don’t even have to upgrade your motherboard to access all of this performance, but upgrading has its benefits.
L2 CPU cache is doubled this time around, giving the CPU swift access to larger, faster storage. This enabled the CPU to keep processing instructions quickly without developing a backlog to slow it down. The 13900K is seriously fast, with a boots core speed of up to a massive 5.8 GHz, the fastest core speed on the market at the time of writing.
All of this performance does have a downside, however, the 13900K runs incredibly hot under immense stress. We don’t expect you to ever reach the levels of usage that we did in our stress test, but we did manage to get the 13900K to throttle up to 13%. using a 360mm AIO.
Normally, you would expect to see the Ryzen flagship, the 7950X here. Not this time. We don’t feel that the best CPU for gaming on the AMD side of things is the 7950X. We think much better value can be found in the Ryzen 9 7900X.
The 7900X is part of the brand-new Zen 4 architecture, bringing performance to another level on the AMD platform. Finally, the 7000 series is brought into the present with the AM5 socket providing support for both DDR5 and PCIe Gen 5. AMD users everywhere rejoice.
The 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen 7900X is capable of massive multi-core performance as well as single-core performance thanks to its massive 5.6 GHz boost clock speed. AMD has seriously cranked up the single-core performance this time around, making the single-core performance on par with Alder Lake, Intel’s previous generation CPUs.
Cache has been doubled this time around, now 1MB per core as opposed to 512KB, this means more instructions for the Ryzen Zen 4 CPU cores to chew through, A CPU that’s kept fed by cache in a speed manner is a fast CPU.
We have to talk about the TDP, and yes, it’s a lot higher than the last generation. The 7900X’s TDP is 170 W at the base core speed and 230 W at the boost speed. This also unfortunately makes the CPU run hotter than we’d like, just like the 13900K. It seems CPU cooler technology just can’t keep up with the amount of power packed into the new generation of CPUs.
Max boost speed
96MB (64MB 3D V-cache)
The Ryzen 7 5800X3D is a marvel in CPU engineering, the 5800X3D has technically claimed the top ‘best gaming CPU’ from Intel and their core i9 12900K but there are a couple of reasons it’s not top of our list today. The 5800X3D is an excellent choice for gaming, rocking a cool eight multithreaded CPU cores and a whopping 96MB of brand new AMD 3D V-cache, It seriously gains an edge in some games.
3D V-Cache is where this CPU differed from literally every CPU in the world right now, as it’s the only one to make use of it. 3D cache is not stacked laterally like a normal 2D cache but vertically (thanks to new 3D printing technology) – hence the term 3D cache. This drastically increases the number of chiplets you can cram into an area of any given size, thus resulting in larger cache capacities without sacrificing access speeds. The vertical stacking allows AMD to achieve the massive 96MB L3 cache with a total access speed of 2TB/s in its 5800X3D CPUs.
The 5800X3D has lower core speeds of 3.4GHz base and 4.5GHz max, these speeds are even lower than its brothers the 5800X, the reason for this is the 3D V-cache is unstable at higher core speeds. Thanks to the 5800X3Ds low max core speeds and lack of overclocking support, it’s not very good at single-core workloads or workstation tasks. if ever there was a fully-fledged gaming CPU it would be the 5800X3D.
This new caching technology gives the CPU major advantages in some gaming workloads, but not all. And with the lower core speeds and lack of overclocking support means the 5800X3D is regularly outperformed by cheaper and worse CPUs in scenarios where the cache is not utilized, even in gaming.
For these main reasons, is why the 5800X3D is not higher on our list. You can read the full product review on the Ryzen 7 5800X3D right here.
Boost clock speed (single core)
Total Cores / Threads
The 12th gen 12900K is the successor to the 11th gen Intel i9-11900K, utilizing the new ‘Alder Lake’ architecture as opposed to the ‘Rocket Lake’ of the older CPU. Unlike the release of Intel’s 11900K, the 12900K has been a huge hit amongst reviewers – despite the more expensive price tag.
The 12900K comes with a 125W TDP which, yes is higher than the AMD counterpart – meaning it does get a little toasty under the hood. The 12900K is only compatible with the new FCLGA1700 socket, meaning a complete upgrade will be necessary if you plan on purchasing this CPU. The new 12900k comes to shelves boasting a core count of 16 and 24 threads, making it a great all-rounder for both multitasking and gaming. Intel has put its efforts into architectural improvements with the new Alder Lake lineup, improving on almost every area.
With all these improvements, we finally see Intel regain the top spot as far as gaming is concerned. More impressive, however, is the fact that in workstation and multitasking scenarios, the Intel 12900K is almost as good as the Ryzen 5900X. Pair that with crazy overclocking potential and great single-core performance and you have one tasty processor.
It took AMD a while, but finally, they’re at the top of the CPU hierarchy with their extremely impressive Ryzen 9 5900X. This CPU pretty much does it all – gaming performance, overclocking, productivity work, the lot. If you’re looking for the best all-around CPU on the market, look no further – team red has you covered.
The flagship CPU from AMD offers up uncontested gaming performance and fantastic multi-tasking productivity work – all of which are great for gaming, streaming, rendering, and video editing. When you pair that with its current price tag, you’d have to say that the 5900X also shows some of the best value in today’s market too.
The 5900X is a 12-core 24-thread part, offering up a 3.7GHz base frequency right out of the box. Furthermore, with PBO, the 5900X can be boosted to 4.8GHz when it needs the additional power most – think gaming or productivity-type workflows. AMD, like always, has unlocked the Ryzen 9 5900X for excellent overclocking capabilities, with many users hitting 5.0GHz respectively. This all translates to very good performance in gaming – with single-core performance having the ability to push 100FPS + in the most demanding of modern titles.
The flagship offering also brings excellent future-proofing to your new build, supporting PCIe 4.0 for the next generation of hardware that’s just around the corner. You’ll be able to slot the 5900X into newer 500-series boards alongside older 400-series alternatives, making it not only powerful but versatile too. The only downside is the lack of a cooler – something that AMD’s more budget-oriented alternatives don’ have to worry about.
Boost clock speed (single core)
Total Cores / Threads
Another of Intel’s latest arrivals comes in the shape of their i5-12600K – their latest mid-range offering. This CPU comes equipped with a much more affordable price tag, but don’t let that fool you, it comes jam-packed with performance, including plenty of overclocking to boot.
The i5-12600K offers up 10 cores and 16 threads, the same as its predecessor the 11900K, but improvements to the architecture bring significant improvements in performance, with up to a 30% increase in FPS on some titles. Although AMD’s 5600X still beats the card in multi-core tests, making it the better CPU in this price range for workstation uses. On top of this, the 12600K typically (though not in all cases) beats the 5600X in single-core and gaming scenarios.
This performance is thanks to the impressive 3.7Hz base clock speed of the 12600K, with a tasty max single-core boost frequency of 4.9GHz. If you’re into overclocking, there’s also a ton of potential to be had by doing so with this chip. Pushing it up to 5.3GHz is not out of the question, putting it right up there with the likes of the 10900K, but be aware you will need a pricey cooling rig to do so. Even pre-overclocking the 12600K runs hot, which is the only real drawback of this chip, and this does necessitate slightly more being spent on cooling, eating into the savings somewhat.
Nevertheless, assuming you have an FCLGA1700 socket motherboard (the chipset is not backwards compatible) you won’t go far wrong picking this processor for your gaming rig. Overall, as far as gaming is concerned, at this price range, you’ll struggle to find anything that can match the 12600K’s performance. A fantastic CPU from Intel.
The 5600X was one of the most anticipated CPUs to be released when Ryzen announced their 5000 series CPU lineup – mainly thanks to some impressive benchmarking rumours. It came to the table offering a shocking mix of Intel-beating value and performance in both gaming and workflow scenarios. If you’re looking for a well-priced CPU that can smash out AAA game titles at over 100fps and has excellent multi-tasking abilities, the 5600X should be high on your list of recommendations. It’s the very reason why it finds itself in our list of best CPUs for gaming.
Price/performance, this chip is one of the best we’ve seen in a long time. It has a base clock speed of 4.1GHz alongside a 4.8GHz boost clock frequency – putting it next to some of the top performers in this guide. Furthermore, with a 19% increase in IPC, this thing really does leave the last generation of 3000 series CPUs in the dust. It comes with its own CPU cooling fan which AMD says is newly designed with excellent efficiency and almost no noise output – a feature the premium CPU options in AMD’s 5000 series lineup can’t boast.
Overall, whilst the 11600K offers better single-core performance at a cheaper RRP, the 5600X is still one of the best CPUs you can get at this respective price point.
From a gaming standpoint, the Ryzen 9 5950X isn’t quite as good as the 5900x or 10900K. That being said, it still offers very good performance and actually outperforms them both when it comes to multi-tasking type workflows.
The 5950X is another step in the HEDT direction for desktop CPUs – offering up 16 cores and 32 threads for truly unparalleled workstation performance in this guide. Unlike HEDT though, you won’t have to purchase a custom board to run this bad boy, it’ll slot right into your AM4 motherboard without a hitch.
In terms of raw gaming performance, the 5950X does show a decent account of itself in this guide. Whilst it’s not as good as the 10900K or 5950X, it still offers very stable FPS figures when playing modern AAA titles. With a base clock frequency of 3.4GHz and a boost up to 4.9GHz, you’ll have more than enough juice to drive the most intense rendering and multi-tasking workflows.
All being said, this is an excellent all-around CPU – but mainly tailored towards the individual that really needs that extra productivity performance. Gamers will be better suited toward fewer cores and higher single-core performance.
if you want a CPU for both gaming and streaming simultaneously, then you’re going to want a CPU with a lot of cores and a high clock speed. This means that you’re gonna be spending a pretty penny on a CPU for both gaming and streaming purposes. We can recommend a few CPUs that will be good for both gaming and streaming, the list is as follows:
Any one of these CPUs will be perfect for gaming and simultaneous streaming. As you can see, all the CPUs have a high core count to coincide with a strong CPU core speed. We’ve made sure to select a number of CPUs for a variety of budgets, but as you can see, selecting a CPU that’s good at both streaming and gaming means you’re going to be paying a lot for a high-end CPU.
Whilst gaming at 1440p is more demanding on your system, it’s not very CPU dependent. Gaming at 1440p only requires a minimal amount of additional effort for your CPU, it’s your GPU that does most of the heavy lifting. because of this, you’re pretty much free to go ahead with the CPU you already have planned.
As long as your CPU meets the recommended system requirements of the game you are trying to run, you should be okay to run the game at 1440p. A tip though is to make sure the GPU is well ahead of the recommended system requirements, as most of the targets are based on 1080P gaming.
If we had to recommend a baseline 1440p processor it would be the Ryzen 5 5600X
fortunately for you, you can check out our Best budget CPU page, as we take a deep dive into the world of budget gaming CPUs in that article.
The top dog best budget CPU for gaming has to be the Core i3-10100F, its respectable core speed, and lower power consumption make it a prime candidate for gaming on an extreme budget. It’s one of the reasons we think the i3-10100 is such a great CPU, very few CPUs rival the bang-for-the-buck performance it provides.
Again, fortunately for you, the Best CPU under $200 article exists for your viewing pleasure.
We found that the Best CPU for gaming under $200 was the Ryzen 5 5600G.
The AMD G-series stands out from the rest due to its compatibility with AMD FSR and other software upgrades. AMD FSR has been known to improve performance even on lower-end GPUs.
3.9GHz – 4.4GHz
The Ryzen 5 5600G is a cost-effective alternative suitable for those with limited funds and provides comparable gaming performance to its predecessor, the 3400G. What sets it apart is its more efficient design, cores, and threads.
This processor comes with 6 cores and 12 threads, with a base clock speed of 3.9GHz and a boost clock speed of 4.4GHz, along with 16MB of L3 cache and 3MB of L2 cache. The 65W TDP accommodates AMD’s VEGA 7 iGPU, which features 448 stream processors and a clock speed of 1.9GHz.
Despite some individuals considering Vega 7 as a regression, its improved efficiency compensates for the fewer cores, resulting in no reduction in graphical performance.
For an APU, the Ryzen 5 5600G is a fantastic deal. As of writing, a new 5600G can be obtained for approximately $120, and purchasing one negates the need for a separate GPU.
When coupled with a GPU, the 5600G functions as a slightly less powerful version of the 5600X, with the same number of cores and threads but slightly less speed. The 5600X is still an outstanding processor, and having a CPU that performs just a little beneath it can still result in an exceptional CPU.
The first thing to consider when choosing your gaming CPU is what you intend to use it for. Just because a CPU is “the best” in one category doesn’t mean it’s the best CPU for you.
But what are you looking for in a CPU? How do you know it’s the one for you? Should it have more cores or faster speeds? Let’s look at a few key factors that may help you decide:
The Ryzen 7000 X3D series of processors from AMD has landed, these processors are designed for gaming workloads and will blow away the competition. Essentially, the 7000X3D series are just Ryzen 7000 series processors equipped with 3D V-cache. But what is 3D V-cache?
The 3D V-Cache technology in AMD Ryzen processors offers a significant boost in performance for 3D graphics-intensive applications like video games, animation, and video rendering. By reducing the need for data transfer between the main memory and CPU, the technology enables faster rendering times and improved overall performance.
To optimize gaming performance, AMD has incorporated the 3D V-Cache on a single CCD rather than both CCDs in the Ryzen 9 X3D parts. This approach preserves the benefits of higher clock speeds on the secondary die while balancing single-threaded gaming and multi-threaded applications. In previous generations, the X3D CPU was locked to overclocking and featured a lower boost speed to accommodate the new cache, resulting in compromised performance outside of gaming, particularly in the case of the 5800X3D.
A processor is made up of cores and threads. Nowadays, CPUs have multiple cores which allows them to do multiple tasks, think of it as the literal embodiment of the old saying; two heads are better than one.
The computer treats threads as virtual CPUs. The amount of threads is the number of tasks each core can handle. Threads can only do one thing at a time, but they can switch extremely fast. As such, threads serve as an efficient way for your CPU to effectively switch between handling multiple tasks.
Clock speed, sometimes known as cycle speed, refers to how many cycles a core will perform every second. This is measured in megahertz. So 4MHz would be four million cycles per second.
Processors that are “unlocked” can be overclocked to reach a higher clock speed than their stock speed. However, overclocking has to be done right. If done incorrectly, you might find yourself with a costly paperweight at the end of the day. Nevertheless, it’s a rule of thumb to ask: “Is overclocking worth it?” before doing so.
If you’re unsure which processor you should get, read our article on which CPU do you really need? Or you can check our CPU hierarchy to see a detailed list of CPUs and which category they belong to.
Together these will give you a general idea about how well the processor in question will perform, but let’s delve a little deeper. For instance, IPC (instructions per cycle) tells us how many actions can be taken every cycle and is often much harder to find. Moreover, specific tasks utilize fewer cores, like gaming, which means you’ll want strong single-core performance (it’s still good to have at least four cores for gaming, though). On the other hand, tasks such as video rendering utilize a lot of resources, meaning you’ll want extra cores (at least eight +) for a smooth experience.
Ultimately, this is why we always benchmark the CPUs and test processors performing different types of tasks.
Sometimes, you want to build a powerful gaming rig. You don’t care about streaming or content creation. Your bottom line is getting those high FPS numbers.
When it comes to a pure gaming build, speed is your friend. Unlike highly taxing programs and tasks, games aren’t as dependent on CPU cores and threads. Anything quad-core or higher is sufficient for gaming.
Most games will run on a dual-core processor, but more and more games are starting to require a quad-core or higher to install and run. That being said, most modern-day CPUs come equipped with at least 4-cores.
For a hardcore gaming build, I would suggest looking for processors that have at least the following speeds:
Pairing a fast processor with a good SSD, a powerful graphics card, and some quality RAM will really increase your FPS overall.
Maybe you don’t care about high FPS figures or saving your content for the world to see. Perhaps you’re more the casual type, the type who just likes to game now and then in your free time. AAA games titles aren’t really your thing, and you don’t require all that processing power.
If all you’re looking for is a gaming build that will run some low-intensive steam games and esports titles, then a casual gamer setup might be more suited to your needs. Typically, a casual gaming build doesn’t need the latest hardware offerings. It’s also much more affordable than a hardcore gaming build.
When looking for a casual gaming CPU, you should look for one that is at least a quad-core if your budget allows it. It also doesn’t need to be extremely fast.
Let’s see what you should be looking for:
A growing trend over the last five years has been to stream and share gaming content. Platforms like YouTube and Twitch are hugely popular amongst the gaming community at the moment, and more people seem to be jumping on the stream build bandwagon. This, however, can be somewhat taxing on your processor if you don’t have a sufficient amount of power.
This means you’re going to need a processor with more cores and threads than your typical hardcore gaming build. Here’s what you should look for if you’re thinking about building a computer for gaming and streaming:
Having a higher core and thread count will help your computer multitask, allowing it to record your game as well as process everything else that’s going on in the background without the lag.
Our team of PC enthusiasts spends countless hours researching and benchmarking hardware to make sure you guys are up-to-date with what’s best. Whether it’s the Intel i9-13900K or one of Ryzen’s brand new 7000 series, the team makes sure no stone is left unturned when putting every processor through its paces.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at what we’ve chosen for the best gaming CPUs currently available. Furthermore, let’s finally answer that age-old question; who’s better, AMD or Intel?
When it comes to choosing the best CPU for gaming the i9-13900K is a really good value. It’s unbeatable single-core performance is ideal for high-FPS action packed gameplay.
It’s 24 cores and 32 threads mean that you can get an edge in multi-tasking and workloads that benefit from multiple cores. Such as content creation or rendering workloads.
Yes, when it comes to gaming the CPU does matter. While it may not be the most important factor to consider, it still needs to perform well enough to run games with no issues.
For gaming, you will want a CPU that has a sufficient amount of cores and threads. If you are planning to stream, or listen to music while you are gaming, you will need a CPU with significantly good multitasking.
In general, for gaming, the higher the amount of cores and threads a processor has, the better it will be. If there are not enough present, the CPU will become slow and will struggle to load larger games.
A lot of gamers tend to focus mainly on the performance of their GPU. While this is important, your CPU is important in the running of your computer. You will need to take into consideration aspects such as clock speeds, and cache too.
Choosing the best CPU for gaming can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be a challenge. Now that you’re familiar with the best gaming CPUs of 2020, it should hopefully make an informed decision when it comes to buying a lot easier. Don’t forget to pick the right cooling solution for your CPU to ensure it runs at optimal levels at all times!
Deciding which gaming CPU you’re going to get will come down to what your personal needs are going to be. Using this article should help you decide which one is best for you. We hope you enjoyed our best CPU for gaming article.
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9 thoughts on “Best CPU for gaming 2023”
Where the F is ryzen 7?😂
Hi Yumil, the page needs a massive update.
The fastest 6&8 cores CPUs for 2019 are the 8086K and 9900KS
Both are Intel fastest factory Coffeelake and Coffeelake Refresh CPUs.
Both Intel 8086K and 9900KS are faster than the AMD 3600X and 3800X
9900KS is the last upgrade for the 300 series boards.
May I suggest the AMD
Ryzen 5 2600X for the best budget gaming CPU? More threads than the Intel Core i5-9600K and the price is waaay better. Great guide nevertheless
We have updated the builds since your comment, take a look and let us know what you think!
Nice job on a very good guide.
However, may I suggest one correction: In the section “Terms to Know”, subsection “Clock Speed”, sentence “So 4MHz would be 4 billion cycles per second.”, the word “billion” should be “million”.
Thanks for the correction champted
Hey. I sent a screenshot. Did you get it?
Not sure we did friend. What was it regarding?