The Best Processors For Gaming by Price (Dec 2018)

Adrian B Updated on Nov 04, 2018

In this guide, you will find all the latest available processors. If you are building your next Gaming PC or are willing to, you probably have found out that it can be kind of a mess to choose a CPU. I hope I can help you decide with this guide.

If you see errors, misleading information, or you just don’t agree with me I would really appreciate your comments so we all can improve this post together. Try to be nice to each other and be collaborative.

Buying Guide

What Price Range Is Best For Me?

Standard – Up to $150

The most recommended options here are usually AMD CPUs because of its power/price relation, being the Ryzen 3 1200 the best option for 1080p builds.

The CPUs you can usually find here are usually paired with a GTX 1050 / 1060 3GB or an RX 460/470. You could expect a very good gaming experience while spending not too much, 450 to 600 dollars for the entire build. The performance will hit the 30-50 FPS at 1080p and High / Ultra settings.

Ultra – From $150 to $250

For intensive games, an Intel CPU is always the preferred option because they have a better performance per CPU and that’s what our games will demand to play them at higher resolutions.

In this tier, you will find the perfect partners of a GTX 1060 6GB or an RX 480 8GB. You will easily reach the 60 FPS / 1080p / Ultra in 99% of the currently available games. Also, you could play VR games with such CPU/GPU combination.

Master Race – From $250

If you need to squeeze all the potential of GPUs like the GTX 1070 or GTX 1080, you will definitely need an Intel i7 or a Ryzen 7 CPU. Using any model of these processors families, you will be able to run all current games at 60 FPS at 1440p and Ultra settings, and even could run 4K games at 30-45 FPS.

Models like the i5-8600K or the i7-8700 can easily handle multiple GPU configurations to enable a high FPS 4K gaming experience.

While you’re here, make sure to check out the best Black Friday CPU deals of 2018!


AMD AM4 – Ryzen 2, 2018

AMD Ryzen 2nd Gen Desktop Processors
2200G
2400G
2600
2600X
2700
2700X
Cores/Threads
4/4
4/8
6/12
8/16
Base Frequency
3.5 GHz
3.6 GHz
3.4 GHz
3.6 GHz
3.2 GHz
3.7 GHz
Turbo Boost 2.0
3.7 GHz
3.9 GHz
3.9 GHz
4.2 GHz
4.1 GHz
4.3 GHz
L3 Cache
4 MB
16 MB
DRAM Support
DDR4-2933
Integrated Graphics (IGP)
Vega 8
Vega 11
-
-
-
-
IGP Base Freq
1100 MHz
1250 MHz
-
-
-
-
TDP
65 W
95 W
65 W
105 W
Price (RRP)
$99
$169
$199
$229
$299
$329

Standard – Up to $150

AMD Ryzen 3 2200G

AMD Ryzen 3 2200Glaunch

chevron_right4 cores (4 threads) at 3.5 GHz
chevron_rightSocket AM4
chevron_rightRadeon Vega 8
chevron_rightCPU Ryzen 2
chevron_right65 W
Market Price: $89.00
Available on:
Amazon USA

Ultra – From $150 to $250

AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Radeon Vega 8 iGPU)

AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Radeon Vega 8 iGPU)launch

chevron_right4 cores (8 threads) at 3.6 GHz
chevron_rightSocket AM4
chevron_rightRadeon Vega 8
chevron_rightCPU Ryzen
chevron_right65 W
Market Price: $152.00
Available on:
Amazon USA
AMD Ryzen 5 2600

AMD Ryzen 5 2600launch

chevron_right6 cores (12 threads) at 3.4 GHz
chevron_rightSocket AM4
chevron_rightN/A
chevron_rightCPU Ryzen 2
chevron_right65 W
Market Price: $159.99
Available on:
Amazon USA
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X

AMD Ryzen 5 2600Xlaunch

chevron_right6 cores (12 threads) at 3.6 GHz
chevron_rightSocket AM4
chevron_rightN/A
chevron_rightCPU Ryzen
chevron_right95 W
Market Price: $199.99
Available on:
Amazon USA

Master Race – From $250 to $350

AMD Ryzen 7 2700

AMD Ryzen 7 2700launch

chevron_right8 cores (16 threads) at 3.2 GHz
chevron_rightSocket AM4
chevron_rightN/A
chevron_rightCPU Ryzen
chevron_right65 W
Market Price: $251.00
Available on:
Amazon USA
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X

AMD Ryzen 7 2700Xlaunch

chevron_right8 cores (16 threads) at 3.7 GHz
chevron_rightSocket AM4
chevron_rightN/A
chevron_rightCPU Ryzen
chevron_right105 W
Market Price: $289.99
Available on:
Amazon USA

Intel LGA 1151 – Gold Coffee Lake, 2018 Q1, 8th Gen

Intel GOLD Coffee Lake 8th Gen Desktop Processors
G5400
G5500
G5600
Cores
2C / 4T
Base Frequency
3.7 GHz
3.8 GHz
3.9 GHz
Turbo Boost 2.0
-
-
-
L3 Cache
4 MB
DRAM Support
DDR4-2400
Integrated Graphics (IGP)
UHD 630
IGP Base Freq
350 MHz
IGP Turbo
1.05 GHz
1.10 GHz
TDP
54 W
Price (RRP)
$64
$75
$86

Standard – Up to $150

Intel Pentium Gold G5400

Intel Pentium Gold G5400launch

chevron_right2 cores (4 threads) at 3.7 GHz
chevron_rightSocket LGA-1151
chevron_rightUHD Graphics 630
chevron_rightCPU Coffee Lake
chevron_right54 W
Market Price: --
Available on:
Amazon USA
Intel Pentium Gold G5500

Intel Pentium Gold G5500launch

chevron_right2 cores (4 threads) at 3.8 GHz
chevron_rightSocket LGA-1151
chevron_rightUHD Graphics 630
chevron_rightCPU Coffee Lake
chevron_right54 W
Market Price: $99.18
Available on:
Amazon USA
Intel Pentium Gold G5600

Intel Pentium Gold G5600launch

chevron_right2 cores (4 threads) at 3.9 GHz
chevron_rightSocket LGA-1151
chevron_rightUHD Graphics 630
chevron_rightCPU Coffee Lake
chevron_right54 W
Market Price: $106.99
Available on:
Amazon USA

 

Intel LGA 1151 – Coffee Lake, 2017 Q4, 8th Gen

Intel Coffee Lake 8th Gen Desktop Processors
i3-8100
i3-8350K
i5-8400
i5-8600K
i7-8700
i7-8700K
Cores
4C / 4T
6C / 6T
6C / 12T
Base Frequency
3.6 GHz
4.0 GHz
2.8 GHz
3.6 GHz
3.2 GHz
3.7 GHz
Turbo Boost 2.0
-
-
4.0 GHz
4.3 GHz
4.6 GHz
4.7 GHz
L3 Cache
6 MB
8 MB
9 MB
12 MB
DRAM Support
DDR4-2400
DDR4-2666
Integrated Graphics (IGP)
GT2: 23 EUs
GT2: 24 EUs
IGP Base Freq
350 MHz
350 MHz
IGP Turbo
1.10 GHz
1.15 GHz
1.05 GHz
1.15 GHz
1.20 GHz
PCIe Lanes (CPU)
16
16
PCIe Lanes (Z370)
< 24
< 24
TDP
65 W
91 W
65 W
95 W
65 W
95 W
Price (RRP)
$130
$180
$200
$260
$340
$370

Standard – Up to $150

Intel Core i3-8100

Intel Core i3-8100launch

chevron_right4 cores (4 threads) at 3.6 GHz
chevron_rightSocket LGA-1151
chevron_rightUHD Graphics 630
chevron_rightCPU Coffee Lake
chevron_right65 W
Market Price: $124.89
Available on:
Amazon USA

Ultra – From $150 to $250

Intel Core i3-8350K

Intel Core i3-8350Klaunch

chevron_right4 cores (4 threads) at 4 GHz
chevron_rightSocket LGA-1151
chevron_rightUHD Graphics 630
chevron_rightCPU Coffee Lake
chevron_right91 W
Market Price: $169.00
Available on:
Amazon USA
Intel Core i5-8400

Intel Core i5-8400launch

chevron_right6 cores (6 threads) at 2.8GHz
chevron_rightSocket LGA-1151
chevron_rightUHD Graphics 630
chevron_rightCPU Coffee Lake
chevron_right65 W
Market Price: $229.99
Available on:
Amazon USA

Master Race – From $250 to $350

Intel Core i5-8600K

Intel Core i5-8600Klaunch

chevron_right6 cores (6 threads) at 3.6GHz
chevron_rightSocket LGA-1151
chevron_rightUHD Graphics 630
chevron_rightCPU Coffee Lake
chevron_right95 W
Market Price: $250.99
Available on:
Amazon USA
Intel Core i7-8700

Intel Core i7-8700launch

chevron_right6 cores (12 threads) at 3.2 GHz
chevron_rightSocket LGA-1151
chevron_rightUHD Graphics 630
chevron_rightCPU Coffee Lake
chevron_right65 W
Market Price: $339.00
Available on:
Amazon USA
Intel Core i7-8700K

Intel Core i7-8700Klaunch

chevron_right6 cores (12 threads) at 3.7 GHz
chevron_rightSocket LGA-1151
chevron_rightUHD Graphics 630
chevron_rightCPU Coffee Lake
chevron_right95 W
Market Price: $369.99
Available on:
Amazon USA

Key Facts

Editor's Rating: 4.6/5

  • doneBest price/performance ratio
  • doneSingle core & Multi thread performance
  • clearRuns really hot under heavy load
  • clearPower consumption

Changelog

Added Products

  • April 24, 2018: AMD Ryzen 2nd Generation
  • April 9, 2018: Coffe Lake GOLD models (Pentium G5xxx)
  • February 2, 2018: Intel i7-8700K
  • October 11, 2017: Intel Coffe Lake’s: i3-8100, i3-8350K, i5-8400, i5-8600K, i7-8700
  • August 1, 2017: AMD Ryzen 3 1200, AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
  • July 11, 2017: new Skylake-X family: i5-7640X, i7-7740X, i7-7800X, i7-7820X
  • May 9, 2017: Ryzen 5 1400, 1500X, 1600, 1600X; Ryzen 7 1700, 1700, 1800X
  • February 3, 2017: Intel Pentium G4560
  • January 31, 2017: Intel Pentium G4600
  • January 13, 2017: all desktop Intel’s Kaby Lake processors:
    • i3-7100, i3-7200: in the first tier
    • i3-7320, i3-7350K, i5-7400, i5-7500, i5-7600, i5-7600K: in the second tier
    • i7-7700, i7-7700K: in the third tier

Removed Products

  • April 19, 2018: remove discontinued generations
  • February 5, 2018: Intel LGA 2011-v3 and Skylake-X processors in favor of Coffe Lake models

 

How did you find this guide? What CPU do you have? How much are you willing to spend in your next CPU? How often do you upgrade it?

Comment Below!
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