Editorials: Hardware: the best CPUs for gaming (from August 2018)

With so many powerful processors in both the hardware range of AMD and Intel, choosing the right CPU for your next upgrade of the gaming system can be a bit difficult. Do you spend thousands of dollars on a top of the same extreme or Threadripper CPU, or do you go for something more mid-range, knowing that your graphics card should do the hard work anyway?

To help you by wrestling the piles and getting the best value for your money, we've compiled a list of the best gaming CPUs that you can buy now.

Best gaming CPU

AMD Ryzen 2600

With six cores, 12 threads, an amplified frequency compared to the Ryzen predecessor of the first generation and a comparable price tag for Intel Core i5- 8400, the Ryzen 2600 is without doubt the best CPU gamble you can buy today. Yes, the 2600X is slightly faster, yes, the i5-8400 is also a bit faster, but for the price you can not beat the standard 2600, especially if you are planning to overclock.

Owners have regularly pushed it up to overclock. 4.3 GHz with sufficient cooling, making it faster than the 2600X in stock and more than a match for the Intel competition. With 12 threads it is also a great multithreading chip, which should benefit more in the coming years, while Vulkan and DX12 APIs see more use among developers.

You can also find it at some outlets for just $ 170. If you have deeper pockets and do not plan to overclock the 2600X, this is a viable alternative.

A close-second

Intel Core i5-8400

When Intel debuted its eighth-generation CPU, the Core i5- 8400 was the darling of fate. A fantastic gaming chip with strong single and multi-core performance, it was part of the first generation Intel chips to play six cores in the middle range, although it has no hyperthreading, which means that the number of threads is half is that of the 2600.

Nevertheless, with a turbo frequency of 4GHz, it is very capable and even a bit faster in certain games. It is not possible to overclock it, because this is not an Intel K-series chip, but it should take you a few years and can be combined with a decent graphic card from average to high range.

Current prices are around $ 19.

Ultimate power

Intel 8700K

If you need more power than the two options mentioned above and have extra cash left over, there is currently nothing resembles the Intel Core i7-8700K. It has six cores and twelve wires, with a turbo frequency that reaches the dizzying height of 4.7 GHz. As we saw with the specially salvaged 8086-Anniversary Edition version of this CPU, it can also hit 5 GHz on multiple cores if you are lucky and provide it with sufficient cooling, which is ridiculously powerful.

This CPU will put you back $ 350, so it's not for people on a tight budget, but there are few chips that can match this in single and multithreaded settings.

Large multi-core option

AMD Threadripper 1900x

With CPUs from the Threadripper 2000 series now available, the first-generation options have dropped significantly in price. They are not designed with gaming in mind, but the entry-level Threadripper 1900x is a very capable gaming chip and it is also reasonably affordable.

With $ 320 (sometimes much less if you catch it in a sale), it offers eight cores and 12 threads that give you massive multithreaded power and mean it's future-proof against games that start to draw from more threads and cores . It also hits 3.8 GHz out of the box and can easily break through 4GHz with a bit of overclocking.

Although you have to migrate to the specific TR4 socket to take advantage of this chip, it is forward compatible with Threadripper CPUs of the new generation and is supported until 2020, so you have upgrade options without having to you need new motherboards in the future.

Picture source: Brian Wong / Flickr

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