Top Gaming Processors 2021
Intel Core i3 9100F
So, in all price categories, the sharpest battle unfolded between AMD and Intel processors. Top best processors for gaming in early 2021 from different price points, which are now the most successful acquisitions. Let’s start with the most budgetary processor of the penultimate generation Coffee Lake from Intel, namely Core i3 – 9100F, which has long been the best purchase for undemanding users, since its price is kept around 6,000 rubles. This solution also has other advantages besides the price-performance ratio. One of these advantages is the presence of low heat dissipation, which allows you to significantly save not only on the cooling system, but also when choosing a motherboard. But it also has disadvantages – Intel changed the platform with the release of the tenth generation of its processors, so in the future, of course, you can upgrade to a more productive processor, but this will only be within the framework of an irrelevant platform. Overall this is a very good gem that has 4 cores and 4 high clock threads per core in Turbo Boost up to 4.2 GHz. This option is also good because it is great for playing online projects where you need not multithreading, but high performance per core. Therefore, we can say with confidence that this is the best solution for this price category.
5% more powerful than the previous Core i3 9100F. A good budget CPU of the latest generation from Intel is Comet Lake, which has 4 cores, but already 8 threads with a high clock speed per core in Turbo Boost up to 4.3 GHz. It bypassed the Core i3 9100F in all our tests by 5%, but if we judge from the point of view of price and quality, then I think it’s not worth overpaying 4000 rubles for 5% of performance.
Ryzen 3 3100
Raising the bar higher and here we have a processor of the penultimate generation of AMD – Zen 2, which is equal in performance to the Core i3-10100, but 2 – 3% more powerful in overclocking. This is a well-proven CPU from AMD in all plans, namely Ryzen 3 3100. Here we also get 4 cores and 8 threads with a peak frequency of 3.9 GHz (overclocked to 4.3 GHz), which makes it a very good solution for a budget build. Also among the advantages can be noted support for PCI Express of the fourth generation, 16 MB cache of the third level and a good overclocking potential. The performance of this processor is now enough for all modern games, unlike the i3 – 9100F, it still works on the still current socket AM4, which will be just as relevant with the upcoming release of the new generation of Ryzen 5000 series processors. In the future, you can make a good upgrade to fresh processors and significantly improve the performance of your system. Let me remind you again that Ryzen processors are very easy to overclock using the Ryzen Master app and the proprietary overclocking program from the motherboard manufacturer.
Ryzen 3 3300X
The next processor is also of the Zen 2 generation and is 5-7% more powerful than the Ryzen 3 3100, it can rightfully be considered the king of mid-budget gaming. This, of course, is the Ryzen 3 3300x (unfortunately, it disappeared from sale, but we have to mention it). Here we also have 4 cores and 8 threads, but with a higher clock speed of 4.3 GHz. This CPU is now suitable for absolutely any task, both for professional and gaming, because its core frequency is quite high for the Zen 2 architecture. The Ryzen 3 3300x supports PCI Express of the fourth generation and has 16 MB of L3 cache. It also beats the 6-core 12-thread Ryzen 2600 in gaming performance, which costs about the same. But it has a drawback, which is its high heat dissipation, so the cooling system must be selected wisely if you want to actively play games or render video. Ryzen 3 3300x costs a little more than 3 3100. Buying this processor will cost you about 10,000 rubles, but the problem is that there is a shortage of these processors on the market, so finding it is quite problematic. In general, this is a very good solution, even with a small margin, at least in games.
Ryzen 5 3500X
Since the Ryzen 3 3300x is hard to find on sale, we can safely recommend the third generation Zen 2 processor, namely the Ryzen 5 3500X. It is still on sale today. Has 6 cores and 6 threads with a maximum frequency of 4.1 GHz. Accordingly, the CPU speed will be 42% faster than the 3300X. It also has support for PCI Express 4, but already 32 megabytes of L3 cache. However, do not think that it will be much better than the previous one. In games, the number of fps will be approximately the same. In general, a very good processor for its price range.
Ryzen 5 3600X
And we smoothly move on to the processor, which can be attributed to the middle segment, since it easily copes with absolutely all tasks. Here we again have a solution from the Reds – this is the Ryzen 5 3600x processor, which at the beginning of its existence was not the best option. Previously, this processor cost much more than its sibling without the x index, this price was not justified by the performance obtained. But now the difference in price between the 3600 and 3600X is barely noticeable, so the Ryzen 5 3600x would be a smart decision. At the moment, we can say with confidence that this is the absolute top for its money. It makes sense to buy a regular Ryzen 5 3600 only when you want to save money on the motherboard, because it can be installed even in the cheapest options. This solution offers us 6 cores and 12 threads with a high peak frequency of 4.4 GHz. It has 32 MB cache of the third level, support for PCI Express 4.0 and a fairly high heat dissipation, so when buying this option you will not need to skimp on good cooling. In general, this is a solution with long-term potential, so you can forget about the upgrade for 2-3 years. This solution will cost you 17,000 rubles.
6-core and 12-thread, running in turbo mode at a frequency of 4.3 GHz CPU, the latest generation from Intel Comet Lake Core i5-10400F is 4000 rubles cheaper Ryzen 5 3600. According to all our tests, it is 10% more powerful in games, but under certain conditions, namely: if there is an expensive motherboard on the Z490 chipset in the PC, capable of working with DDR4 – 3200 MHz RAM. In this case, the blue processor has the advantage, but due to the expensive mother, the build price becomes almost the same as a computer based on Ryzen 5 3600x. That is, by purchasing a system unit with i5-10400F, you gain a little in performance, while there is no gain in money. The advantages of the i5-10400F include more stable operation of virtual machines, and the Ryzen 5 3600x will be faster in rendering and video processing programs.
Core i5 10600
The latest generation CPU from Intel Comet Lake Core i5-10600 has 6 cores and 12 threads, operating at a maximum frequency of 4.8 GHz and more expensive by 6000 rubles Core i5-10400F, but the latter is only 5-7% more productive. I think such a small increase in power is not worth the money.
In fact, this is the same Core i5 10600, but with an unlocked multiplier. It is more expensive than the previous stone and, in our opinion, does not provide the necessary performance gain in overclocking. We managed to achieve a stable processor frequency of 5.1 GHz, and even then not for all cores, while the temperature was 100 C and a voltage of 1.394 V. At the manufacturer’s declared frequency of 4.8 GHz, the stone has a temperature of 85 C, while the voltage is 1.275 Q. I want to say that we strongly question the tests of some reputable computer magazines with the results of overclocking the i5 10600K to 5.2 GHz.
Ryzen 7 3700X
8 cores and 16 threads, 3.6 GHz (turbo 4.4 GHz), the penultimate generation of CPU from AMD Zen 2. It took us the most time to compare the stones of Ryzen 7 3700X and Core i5 10600K and as a result the representative of Intel won, but with a negligible 4% advantage, which is impossible to feel in real life. So our advice is to pay attention to the i5-10400F processor, which is much cheaper than the i5 10600K and Ryzen 7 3700X, by 10,000-13,000 rubles, but only 10-15% of the performance is inferior to them. This applies to computer games, but if you are processing video files, then take Ryzen, it will be faster.
8 cores and 16 threads, 2.9 (4.8 GHz turbo). We were never able to identify a winner between the Ryzen 7 3700X and the i7-10700F, since the stones performed almost the same in all tests.