Every computer has a processor. You likely already know that if you’re reading this article. The processor lies at the center of every task your computer performs. However, when you’re talking about gaming, the processor is infinitely more important that if you’re simply checking email or surfing the web.
Gaming CPUs need to be fast and efficient because most online games have highly detailed graphics and run many calculations that put a strain on your computer’s resources. When you’re looking for a new gaming CPU, you need to consider these factors before going any further. Your run of the mill, everyday CPU won’t cut it.
However, one of the things that most gamers struggle with when pricing their build is how much to spend on the CPU. It’s critical, yes, but it can get expensive fast. If you only have $500 budgeted for your build, don’t blow more than half of it on the CPU. Be smart and budget conscious.
Here’s a deeper look into some of the best processors for PC gaming that come in three different price categories.
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X comes in at under $500 and has an 8-core CPU with 16 threads and a 3.7GHz base. AMD offers more threads and cores at lower price points than many of its competitors. The 2700x is a great choice when comparing CPUs at this price point side by side.
AMD can outperform the others in multi-threaded functions like streaming, gaming, video editing, and multitasking on the computer. It’s the perfect choice for playing the top online games today as long as you pair it with an exceptional graphics card.
At this price point, you’re getting the best of the best, and your final build project will likely cost more than $1000. Your new gaming computer will play even the most complex games on the highest settings without skipping a beat. You will be able to jump right into the action after seeing the latest and greatest games on Unwinnable.
AMD Ryzen 5 2600
The AMD Ryzen 5 2600 has a 6-core CPU with 12 threads and a 3.4GHz base. At under $200, this is a great mid-range CPU with enough power to eliminate strain on your video card. However, it is still affordable enough to price into almost any build.
If you find yourself needing to spend a little less on your CPU than you had hoped, give this option a try. It will allocate more responsibility to your video card, giving you better performance while gaming.
While this isn’t the top gaming CPU on the market, it’s affordable and offers plenty of power for the price.
AMD Ryzen 3 2200G
If your budget is really tight, take a look at the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G. It has a 4-core CPU with 4 threads and a 3.5GHz base. It costs less than $100 and is perfect for anyone who wants to build a gaming computer but can’t afford the high-end CPU models.
At this price range, you won’t find the best CPUs on the market, but you can build a computer that will render most games on the lowest settings. You can combine it with a better video card to ensure higher gaming performance, and you may not notice much of a difference.
Spending less on the CPU means you can spend more on your video card, building a solid gaming computer that perfect for first-time builders. With time, you can always upgrade this processor.
Choosing the Right Gaming CPU
There are plenty of options at all price points when you’re looking at CPUs to build your own gaming computer. Quality manufacturers make CPUs of all sizes and capabilities, but a combination of price and performance should be your first considerations when choosing the right one for you.
You need to find that sweet spot between price and performance to determine the value of the CPU for your build. Consider your other options when it comes to pairing your CPU with the right video cards.
Building a gaming computer is a lot more affordable than buying one outright, and it’s much more fun, too. You get exactly what you want, you can prioritize the parts that are most important to you, and the result is something you built with your own hands.
If you’re new to gaming or to building your own computer, there are plenty of resources online or at your local computer hardware store that can help you find what you need, answer any questions you have, and get you started down the right path.
Whether you’re building a brand-new system or just upgrading your existing CPU, look at any of the AMD processors above or check out specs on any of the other top manufacturers.