13 best game processors

*Editor’s review of the best games. Selection criteria. This material is subjective, not intended as an advertisement or a guide to purchase. Before you buy, you need to consult with an expert.

Of all the types of computer components with the term “gaming computer” is closest associated with the video card. But even the most powerful graphics card will be useless in a system with a weak CPU, which controls absolutely everything, including partly the video card itself. The editorial team of the online magazine Expertology, together with the RankQua service team

  • We present you an overview of the most efficient and high-performance processors in various price categories as of February 2020, taking into account primarily their gaming capabilities.

    We will not go into detail about the criteria for selecting a processor, as there is little competition in this narrow market segment. Just like 10 and 20 years ago two technological giants – Intel and AMD, periodically overtaking each other. We will give the necessary explanations, tips and warnings when describing specific series and versions.

    Best Gaming Processors Rankings

    Ratingplaceproduct nameprice
    The best base level gaming processors1Intel Core i3-81007 284 €
    2AMD Ryzen 5 16006 890 €
    3Intel Core i5-840011 839 €
    The best mid-tier gaming processors1AMD Ryzen 5 26007 475 €
    2Intel Core i5-9400F10 100 €
    3Intel Core i5-9600K15 500 €
    4AMD Ryzen 5 360012 590 €
    Best top tier gaming processors1Intel Core i7-8700K26 026 €
    2Intel Core i7-9700K25 990 €
    3AMD Ryzen 7 3700X14 190 €
    4Intel Core i9-9900KS36 990 €
    The best top processors for gaming streaming1AMD Ryzen 9 3950X49 760 €
    2Intel Core i9-9920X87 610 €

    Best Entry Level Gaming Processors

    First let’s look at a short selection of processors that Expertology experts have categorized as conditionally base level. Here we assume that in the presence of sufficient power of other hardware, speed of connection to the Internet, the computer based on one of the presented processors without problems “pulls” any online game and all modern games on PC. About the last one there is a reservation that the latest releases will need to be optimized individually with graphics settings and other parameters that affect resource-intensiveness.

    Here and below our experts drew their conclusions comparing the results of their own tests with the recommendations of reputable international organizations and core publications, such as PC Gamer, PC World, AnandTech, WePC.

    Intel Core i3-8100

    Rating: 4.9

    INTEL CORE I3-8100.webp

    Let us start with the most modest in performance and also the most inexpensive processor of the Intel Core family. This is i3-8100 Here you should know that even the weaker Core i3 will do for gaming. But our experts have chosen this level as a base for optimal combination of price and gameplay features.

    The Intel Core i3-8100 is a turn-of-the-century 2017-2018 model built on 14-nanometer lithography with four CoffeeLake cores in four threads at 3.6GHz. Multiplier is blocked, so there is no overclocking. A bit more advanced Core i3-8350K with unlocked multiplier would be nice for overclocking, but it is significantly more expensive.

    You need a motherboard with FCLGA1151 socket for this processor. Nominal heat dissipation

    65W. Compatible with up to 2 DDR4 type RAM.4GHz up to a maximum of 64GB, including 2-channel and error-correcting.

    Integrated Graphics Module – Intel UHD Graphics 630. For games it is not suitable, so here and below we will not specify the type of integrated graphics, but we will draw your attention only when an integrated graphics card is not provided at all.

    This model supports the following technologies and instructions: AES-NI, AVX, Enhanced SpeedStep (EIST), Idle States, Thermal Monitoring. Security technologies: EDB, Secure Key, MPX, Identity Protection, OS Guard, SGX with Intel® ME. Virtual machine acceleration technologies: VT-d, VT-x, EPT.

    Now let’s translate these dry numbers and numbers to examples and compare them to game developers’ minimum and recommended specifications. So, Intel Core i3-8100 fully covers the minimum and recommended specifications for such games: GTA V, Fortnite 2017, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Crysis 3. Fits evenly into recommended: PUBG, Battlefield V. Covers only minimal requirements: Metro Exodus, Far Cry 5, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. The list above is just a glimpse and certainly does not cover all variety of modern video games.

    For those who prefer processors of Intel’s direct competitor AMD, a comparable processor is AMD FX-8320. Further in the review the two models from AMD are already much more powerful.


    • 4 cores;
    • Dual-channel memory support with error correction;
    • affordable price;
    • Covers the recommended requirements of many modern games;
    • comparatively low heat dissipation;
    • Moderate power consumption.


    • locked multiplier.

    AMD Ryzen 5 1600

    Rating: 4.8

    AMD RYZEN 5 1600.webp

    Number two in the selection of the most modest gaming processors is a representative of a bright Ryzen series from AMD, which quickly brought Intel to its senses, seriously squeezing its position on the market. AMD Ryzen 5 1600 is much more powerful and expensive than previous model.

    It is a desktop processor based on Zen architecture with 14nm process technology. It has 6 processor cores working in 12 threads in total. Top speed 3.2GHz. Placer unlocked, allows you to overclock up to 3.6GHz.

    This is exactly the case when the processor does not have integrated graphics card. That is, when collecting the computer to buy a gaming graphics, or if the budget does not allow, temporarily install an inexpensive “stub” to somehow use the PC until it will be fully equipped.

    It is installed on AM4 socket motherboard. It is compatible with DDR4 RAM up to 2666MHz, including dual-channel and error-corrected memory. Similar Thermal Design

    65 W, i.e. similar to the significantly weaker previous model from Intel. Supports AES-NI, AVX technologies and AMD-V virtualization technology.

    This processor features one of the best cost/performance combinations. So, if you compare it even with higher class processors like some Intel Core i5 series, AMD Ryzen 5 1600 is on par or better in some tests.

    As for the recommended characteristics of the game developers, we can immediately compare this model with the previous one. Intel Core i3-8100 for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Metro Exodus and Far Cry 5 covers only minimal specifications, but the reviewed AMD Ryzen 5 1600 more than covers the recommended ones for the same games. From this position and further on in the review there is no point in comparing the capabilities of processors with modern games, as they will all meet the recommended requirements, and the overall performance of the gaming computer will already depend on other key components – graphics card, memory, etc. d.


    • 6 cores, 12 threads;
    • Low heat dissipation and power consumption;
    • Dual-channel memory support, including ECC;
    • One of the best cost/performance combinations;
    • Covers with reserve the recommended characteristics of the most demanding games.


    • No graphics built in.

    Intel Core i5-8400

    Rating: 4.7

    INTEL CORE I5-8400

    The third and final position in the Best Budget Gamer Processors by Expertology is another good and inexpensive variant by Intel – Core i5-8400 CPU. It is already close to the average gaming category by its capabilities.

    This model was released in October 2017 and was originally focused on office systems, but this orientation is very conditional, and the processor showed itself very well even in the most demanding games. Many games were yet to be released, but the resource of the Core i5-8400 was well stocked to ensure that gamers in the mid-size bracket would not have to think about upgrading for quite some time.

    Has six Coffee Lake cores, running in 6 threads at up to 4GHz. Built on 14nm process technology. Multiplier locked. Heat dissipation is not high

    64W. FCLGA1151 socket compatibility. While the multiplier isn’t available, overclocking options are still available but limited by Intel’s proprietary Turbo Boost version 2 technology.0. This gentle overclocking process will achieve a maximum clock speed of 4GHz.

    The following technologies and instructions are supported by this model: AES-NI – encryption application acceleration; AVX – photo and video content acceleration; vPro – enterprise optimization; Enhanced SpeedStep (EIST) – energy-saving optimization; Hyper-Threading – multithreading; Idle States; Thermal Monitoring. Security Technologies: EDB, Secure Key, MPX, Identity Protection, OS Guard. Technologies of virtual machines acceleration: AMD-V, VT-d, VT-x, EPT.

    The good thing about this processor is that it supports plenty of memory, up to 128GB DDR4 at 2666MHz, including dual-channel memory. On the other hand, this model will not see memory with error-correcting ECC.

    Processor includes an Intel HD Graphics 630 integrated graphics module that supports up to 3 monitors simultaneously. Supports DirectX 12 and OpenGL 4.5.


    • High performance with low heat;
    • High memory support up to 128GB;
    • Wide support for performance and security technologies;
    • An attractive combination of price and performance;
    • integrated graphics.


    • Does not support error-corrected RAM;
    • locked down multiplier.

    Best mid tier gaming processors

    The second selection in our review is a group of conditional medium-level processors that are ideal for building a good, but not too expensive gaming computer. Here under the average level we conventionally take those processors that, paired with a powerful graphics card, are capable of delivering average fps in demanding games above 60 at F

      lHD 1920×1080. Two models by AMD and Intel.

      AMD Ryzen 5 2600

      Rating: 4.9

      AMD RYZEN 5 2600.webp

      Will open the selection an interesting solution from AMD – the Ryzen 52600 processor. It came out in April 2018, and some experts called it a “failed favorite”.

      The thing is that a real favorite of our compatriots in the AMD Ryzen 5 series is the above mentioned AMD Ryzen 5 1600, just because of its low price, and characteristics that stand out against it were a “nice bonus”. In case of AMD Ryzen 5 2600 we see obviously higher performance, which you can get for a very small price difference. And with the inevitable obsolescence of the previous model, the more recent Ryzen 5 2600 has gradually gained decent demand and credibility.

      This processor is based on the improved Zen+ architecture, and differs dramatically from the previous one at least by the same lithography – the 12nm process technology. This already allowed the crystal to retain exactly the same heat dissipation power

      65W, like all the models described above with a noticeable increase in performance. Compatible with AM4 socket.

      As for performance, here we see 6 cores and 12 threads, but the maximum clock speed is 3.9GHz using overclocking capabilities – AMD Ryzen 5 2600 has an unlocked multiplier. First, second and third level cache – 576KB, 3MB and 16MB respectively.

      The processor supports exactly the same technologies, instructions and virtualization technologies as Ryzen 5 1600: AES-NI, AVX, AMD-V. Supports faster DDR4 2933 RAM up to 64GB, including ECC and dual channel. And here too there is no integrated graphics card.

      The overall conclusion on this model is. It makes sense to buy this for an upgrade if your existing processor is much older and weaker. If it is the former favorite – AMD Ryzen 5 1600, then changing it to Ryzen 5 2600 is not too reasonable, because the difference in performance will not be the most significant. It’s better to pay just a bit more and get a more tangible result.

      The merits

      • Processors with 12nm process technology;
      • 6 cores, 12 threads;
      • performance;
      • Low heat output;
      • unlocked multiplier;
      • Dual-channel memory support, including ECC.


      • no integrated graphics.

      Intel Core i5-9400F

      Rating: 4.8

      INTEL CORE I5-9400F.webp

      Now let’s look at the closest rival to the previous in the review AMD Ryzen 5 2600 processor and its slightly improved modification AMD Ryzen 5 2600X. This is Core i5-9400F. The reader may wonder why not Core i5-9400 without any F in the nomenclature, and we will clarify this point right away.

      The Intel Core i5 processor series with the F index are stripped-down versions of the same models without this index. But the only obvious difference in the limited version is the lack of integrated graphics. There’s also such nuance as not using solder, but it’s important for overclockers who are already well aware of the topic without us. So in this particular case Expertology experts as an exception did not count the absence of the video card as a disadvantage of the model, because it was originally intended and gives not just symbolic, but more than a noticeable price difference. 9400F is much cheaper than the 9400.

      Now specifically about the specs and characteristics. The processor is built on the Coffee Lake architecture with 14nm processor technology. 6 cores in 6 threads at a maximum of 4.1GHz. Overclocking only under Turbo Boost 2.0 because the multiplier is locked. Supports up to 128GB DDR4 RAM at 2666MHz, including dual-channel memory. Error-corrected ECC memory is not supported. Compatible with FCLGA1151 socket. Power heat dissipation


      The processor has built-in support for refinement technologies: AES-NI, AVX, EIST, the aforementioned Turbo Boost 2.0, Idle States, Thermal Monitoring; security – EDB, Secure Key, MPX, Identity Protection, OS Guard; virtual machines – VT-d, VT-x and EPT.

      As we see, if to take parameters in pure form this model is comparable in performance with the previous one, in some places even yielding to it – at least in cache and high frequency RAM support. But it is all the same Intel with all principal and subjective advantages.


      • Combination of performance and heat dissipation;
      • supports up to 128GB of memory, including dual-channel memory;
      • combination of price and performance.


      • locked multiplier;
      • does not support ECC error-corrected memory.

      Intel Core i5-9600K

      Rating: 4.7

      Intel Core i5-9600K.webp

      And another smart Intel product in Expertology’s selection of the best mid-level gaming processors is the Core i5-9600K. This processor is more interesting than the previous one and gives the overclockers the space for experiments.

      There are a lot of similarities between this and previous versions. It has 6 cores and 6 threads, 14nm manufacturing process, support for exactly the same DDR4 2666MHz memory in large capacity up to 128GB including dual channel and excluding ECC. Almost exactly the same cache: 384Kb, 256Kb per core, and 9Mb for Layer 1, 2, and 3 respectively. Fits into the same FCLGA1151 socket.

      The difference between these two models is. Firstly, we see free multiplier here, and this is good news for overclocking enthusiasts. Secondly, the upper limit of clock frequency is a bit higher: 4.6GHz, and that even with possible overclocking, like with Turbo Boost 2.0, and directly through the multiplier. And third, the most noticeable nuance – this model already has integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630. As with the other models, you can’t say anything special about it, except that it just is. This can be important in the gradual assembly of a gaming computer, in which the cost of the video card may be more than half of the total amount.

      Amidst all this we can’t forget to mention the improved heat dissipation power of this model

      95W. That’s a boost of nearly 50 percent over any of the previous models. Keep it in mind when choosing a cooler, because box coolers are rarely able to cope with gaming loads.

      If we take the results of testing Intel Core i5-9600K exactly in the game, we can note that this model almost exactly corresponds to the “average level” characteristic. In the summary comparison tables when testing one of the most demanding games of the turn of 2019-2020 (for example, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey) the processor is exactly in the middle at nominal parameters and a little higher, up to the top three, when overclocked.

      Recall, this is all relevant to the resolution of F

        lHD 1920×1080 and top graphics card GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. With such a combination in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey reference game the processor would “pull” minimal fps of 59-60 and average fps over 80.


        • high clock speeds;
        • overclocking capability (free multiplier);
        • overall not bad performance;
        • Average fps in the most demanding games in tandem with GeForce RTX 2080 Ti – more than 80.


        • Increased heat output;
        • Does not support error-corrected memory.

        AMD Ryzen 5 3600

        Rating: 4.6

        AMD RYZEN 5 3600.webp

        Another AMD model, Ryzen 5 3600, completes the list of best mid-tier gaming processors. There is also in the range of AMD “twin brother” with the index X – Ryzen 5 3600X, but our experts do not recommend it because of the negligible difference in real gaming performance with a significant – about $50 – difference in price.

        Ryzen 5 3600 at the time of its release last July 2019, enthusiasts began calling it the “potential Core i7 killer”. It seemed to be no more than a noisy statement at the time, but it turns out that this model certainly has a lot to brag about.

        Processor based on the progressive Zen 2 architecture with 6 cores running 12 threads. What is probably most notable, a combination of 12nm and 7nm processors was used in filling the chip with the transistor component. That is, in this product of our embodiment of technology, which came close to the physical limit of integrated circuits known to mankind methods.

        The multiplier is free in the processor, the maximum clock speed is 3.8GHz without overclocking, and with overclocking up to 4.2GHz. Supports high speed DDR4 RAM at 3.2GHz, including dual-channel, excluding ECC. No integrated video module

        It is installed into the same AM4 socket as all other AMD models described above. We have to give the producer its due: as to backward compatibility its situation is better than that of Intel. Here too we can see the increased heat output



        • 12nm and 7nm processors;
        • Support for high-speed memory, including dual-channel memory;
        • free multiplier;
        • A fairly high nominal clock speed;
        • Relatively affordable price (especially compared with the X-modification).


        • No integrated graphics;
        • Does not support error-corrected memory.

        The best high end gaming processors

        Now let’s proceed to review several processor models which are capable of more than just a conventional average level. Here we will take as a starting point the ability to play QHD 2K 2560×1440 resolution gameplay with high fps. As for the resolution level of the previous group – F

          lHD, then such processors give out extremely high values in 120fps and above (with a powerful video card), so it definitely makes sense to improve the picture quality, and even try to 4K in some places. The models are sorted by power and overall performance, so the last ones in the list are quite capable to provide a comfortable gaming in 4K.

          Intel Core i7-8700K

          Rating: 4.9

          Intel Core i7-8700K.webp

          Let’s start with a very interesting but slightly ambiguous offer from Intel. This is the 8th generation Intel Core i7 series processor – 6-core 8700K. In fact it came out as Intel’s quick response to launch of AMD Ryzen series which exploded the market, namely 6 core 12 line models.

          It’s not hard to assume that the Core i7-8700K is also 6-core and 12-threaded. Cores are Coffee Lake-S. Rated frequency of 3.7GHz, maximal speed when overclocked is 4.7GHz. There is an integrated UHD 630 graphics with a frequency of 1.2GHz. Lithography – 14nm.

          The processor is installed on the socket LGA1151 v2, that is the platform from the previous generation, though will be fully physically compatible, the processor will not “start” on it. Forced upgrade of the motherboard can upset many, and although it is not quite correct, but we take into account customers’ opinions and count it as a disadvantage of the model.

          Core i7-8700K is compatible with up to 128GB DDR4 memory at 2666 MHz, including dual channel memory. Cache configuration: 384KB, 1.5MB, 12MB. Heat dissipation level – 95W.

          Here we should clarify that there is nothing revolutionary about this configuration. Intel took the extensive way and simply added cores and raised the frequency by simple overclocking. And if you compare the behavior of the processor in the most demanding games, its performance will not differ much from the previous generation 7700K.

          How is the 8700K better then? There are several points here at once. At the time fresh toys were released in 2018-2019, few were optimized for this CPU configuration. Not only that, but the optimization is by definition “lame” in almost every game, and only some games really utilized the full potential of the 8700K. But now 6 cores are no longer exotic, and there’s good reason to believe that new gaming products will be less wasteful.

          Finally, such a point as streaming. These days more and more gamers go online and broadcast their game to the delight of the audience on YouTube and Twitch, and this requires an impressive amount of extra power. And here is where the seemingly redundant and not really used cores come to the rescue.

          The merits

          • 6 cores and 12 threads;
          • supports up to 128GB of memory;
          • integrated graphics;
          • free multiplier;
          • Not a bad configuration for gaming streaming.


          • Only compatible with 3xx series chipsets.

          Intel Core i7-9700K

          Rating: 4.8

          INTEL CORE I7-9700K.webp

          To close the topic of Intel Core i7 processors let’s consider another outstanding example of the 9th generation of this series. The model got 2 more cores and even more frequency. Similarly to previous model, 9700K was a product of “arms race” between Intel and AMD after the latter got down to destroying the competitor with its brilliant Ryzen series. “Destroy” is a bit of a mouthful, since Intel has something to answer for.

          So, here we also deal with mechanical adding of cores and pushing clock frequency up to the limit. All this on 14mm process technology and this against the background of AMD’s 12 and 7nm samples. So, these series can be considered a kind of “last gasp” of 14-nanometer lithography for Intel’s top-end CPUs.

          Briefly about the specs. Core i7-9700K is built on Coffee Lake S architecture, it has 8 cores, running in 8 threads. Multiplier unlocked, max clock speed is 4.9GHz. Works with up to 128GB DDR4-2666 RAM. Configuration of cache: 1st level – 512KB; 2nd level – 256KB per core; 3rd level – 16MB. Mounted on LGA-1151 socket. Heat dissipation level –

          95W. On board integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630 graphics card with chip frequency 1.20GHz.

          Of the subtle nuances in this model we can highlight the return of solder as the thermal interface of the internal. The previous solutions were heavily criticized, and the return to the “good old” caused a positive feedback from overclockers and professional users.

          The closest competitor from AMD in this model is Ryzen 7 2700X, and we will look further at a more advanced variant – Ryzen 7 3700X.


          • 8 cores;
          • The high clock frequency;
          • free multiplier;
          • Supports memory up to 128GB;
          • integrated graphics card.


          • 14nm process (this could be considered a drawback here).

          AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

          Rating: 4.8

          AMD RYZEN 7 3700X.webp

          And the point in the selection of the best high level gaming processors according to Expertology is the incredible Ryzen 7 3700X. And it is incredible with almost everything – the configuration, the process technology, the frequency, the affordable price, and most importantly – the combination of all these features in one high-tech product.

          It’s fair to say that there were a lot of inflated expectations associated with the Ryzen 7 3700X, so after the official release some people were disappointed. But this is the problem of “dreamers” and not of the processor itself.

          Let’s start by looking at the spec sheet in its purest form. AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is brand new – it came out last July 2019. The processor is based on Zen2 architecture. Eight physical cores in this case already look much more solid than the previous model thanks to 16 threads, and first of all the lithography itself – revolutionary 7nm. And this at a time when Intel still continued to “torture” the 14nm processor which was becoming a thing of the past.

          The processor runs at up to 4.4GHz. Cache allocation – 512KB; 512KB per core; 32MB for three levels sequentially starting from the first. The multiplier is unlocked. Supports high-speed DDR4 memory up to 3.2GB. Connected to the same unchanged socket AM4. And check out the heat dissipation – it’s only rated at 65W. Not the least of the factors is exactly the super slim 7nm process technology.

          This processor differs from the previous Intel model in many ways, and in general it’s hard to say where it loses out. For gameplay it has no equal in its price category, because the price itself is a little bit disconcerting by its affordability, if you understand what class of device we are talking about.

          The issue with the processor is still the lack of integrated graphics. Since the model is still very affordable, many buyers can equip a regular office PC with it. In this case discovering the need to buy a separate graphics card can be an unpleasant surprise. But in the next selection we won’t pay any attention to this detail assuming that the buyer is clear about his choice.


          • 7nm lithography;
          • 8 cores and 16 threads;
          • High clock speed;
          • free multiplier;
          • Many innovations and improvements over previous generations;
          • Reasonable price for a powerful processor.


          • No integrated graphics.

          Intel Core i9-9900KS

          Rating: 4.8

          INTEL CORE I9-9900KS.webp

          The review of the best gaming processors according to Expertology magazine completes this part. Perhaps the most striking solution out of all the variants available on the market even without regard to their price. Intel did not humble itself and positioned 9900KS as “the best processor in the world for gaming”. We have to admit it’s hard to disagree with them.

          The processor is built on the Coffee Lake architecture. Unlike above mentioned 9700K we see not only eight cores here, but also 16 threads. The lithography at that is 14nm which is already weird looking compared to 7nm AMD earlier model. Rated up to 4GHz, with Turbo Boost up to 5GHz. The multiplier is free, but it is difficult to squeeze anything more out of the processor. This is a disappointment for overclockers but against the background of a generally favorable picture with the specifications it doesn’t look too principled.

          The processor works with up to 128GB DDR4-266 memory, including 2-channel memory. Fits into the LGA-1151 socket. But besides the socket it needs a proper chipset – not lower than Intel Z390. Heat output of the processor is expectedly higher, significantly –


          Some of the decisive factors that made this model really the best for gaming are the outstanding ring bus efficiency and the really fast memory controller. In the chain of functional modules there is simply no weak link that would slow down the whole “company.

          Though this model is the most productive, powerful, balanced and interesting in this review, there’s not much more to say about its features. Intel Core i9-9900KS is truly one of the best gaming processors on the market. But, admittedly, its price will make a lot of people think twice about whether to take such a step.


          • 8 cores 16 threads;
          • Up to 128GB RAM support;
          • free multiplier;
          • efficient ring bus;
          • fast memory controller;
          • One of the best configurations for early 2020 games.


          • heat dissipation;
          • the price is sharply and significantly higher than the closest comparable models.

          The best top processors for gaming streaming

          And here we get to the most interesting – the top solutions, above which only professional Hi-End solutions are higher. These are true “monsters” in a good way – powerful, fast, resource-intensive (let’s face it), incredibly productive and with great reserve for the future development of the gaming industry. Their main task is not only to provide a comfortable game in the most demanding modern games at maximum performance, but also to have time to broadcast it all to the Internet in good quality.

          Here it is worth mentioning that for “pure” gaming without streaming or other resource intensive applications running in parallel, buying a processor with more than ten cores is too redundant and wasteful decision. The same AMD Ryzen 9 3950X in February 2010 costs under 60k. rubles. The point of investing so much money into the gaming computer is only if these investments are somehow “repaid” through the same streaming donations or in any other way related to the commercial gaming.

          AMD Ryzen 9 3950X

          Rating: 4.9

          AMD RYZEN 9 3950X

          The first thing we will consider is the most controversial solution from AMD, which received a fair amount of criticism from industry experts, but still our experts included it in the review for a number of objective reasons. This is Ryzen 9 3950X with its unthinkable 16 cores.

          This is the flagship development of AMD, which absolutely put the notion of top-end processor for desktops on a new level. But for pure gameplay, as mentioned above, it’s not reasonable to consider this variant. Most modern games can rationally use maximum 8 cores. Rarely are any games capable of more, let alone loading all 16 of them. That is why Ryzen 9 3950X makes sense only if you plan to run any other resource-intensive processes in parallel with the game at maximum performance – streaming in high quality.

          But let’s have a look at specs and there is definitely something to evaluate. Processor based on the latest 7nm processor technology. 16 Matisse cores running in 32 threads. Rated frequency – 3.5GHz, maximum – 4.7GHz. Supports DDR4 RAM at 3.2GHz. And here lies an obvious flaw, which is difficult to reasonably explain – the memory is supported by no more than two-channel. Thus, the processor is clearly not a Hi-End solution, where support for 4-channel memory would be a necessary norm.

          the processor is installed on the unchanged socket AM4, is characterized by relatively low for such exorbitant power heat dissipation – at 105W – here the latest and finest lithography has already worked not least.

          All of this is reflected in Ryzen 9 3950X gaming performance in the expected way. The processor is fully capable of delivering roughly comparable fps to the older models in the Ryzen 3000 family. They all are slightly inferior in gaming performance to Intel Core i9-9900KS described above in the previous selection and even to its “relative” without indices. Nevertheless, the developers managed to keep a balance between working with a small number of threads and interactions with system memory and cache.

          To sum up, this model, in spite of all its ambiguity, will suit optimally those users who plan to combine on one machine work in heavy applications and play at maximum speed with streaming in no less heavy toys. By the way, Ryzen 9 3950X in February 2020 is more expensive than the above Intel Core i9-9900KS not by times, but only by a quarter.


          • 16 cores 32 threads;
          • 7nm process technology;
          • innovative solutions;
          • Relatively low heat dissipation on the background of exorbitant performance.


          • does not support 4-channel RAM;
          • high price.

          Intel Core i9-9920X

          Rating: 4.9

          INTEL CORE I9-9920X

          The review of the best gaming processors according to Expertology magazine closes with Intel’s top-of-the-line Core i9-9920X, a super-powerful processor. This is an even more difficult option in terms of making a buying decision, considering its cost. But for the given problems – maximal gaming and parallel streaming in high quality – there is not much of an alternative, if we consider Intel processors in particular. Or rather, there are alternatives, but at a higher price, and they are so expensive that they are practically not even on sale in Russia.

          So, Intel Core i9-9920X is a premium 12-core processor based on Skylake-X architecture, designed for home desktop systems. Lithography – the same 14nm which looks really strange here but that’s Intel’s policy – to squeeze every possible and impossible thing out of the technology. Cores run at 24 threads at 3.5GHz. Multiplier is unlocked. DDR4-2666 memory is supported, and here the makers should be praised – the processor is able to work with 4-channel memory. First level cache – 768KB, second – 12MB, third – 19.25MB.

          The suitable socket for this processor is Socket 2066. Heat dissipation level is expectedly high – compliant

          165W. There is no integrated graphics card.

          In addition to comfortable gaming with streaming or simultaneous operation of “heavy” processes like video rendering or 3D content, practitioners note the high suitability of this processor for a related area – comprehensive video game testing.

          And once again, if you are only supposed to play, even at the highest settings, then today there is simply no game that would use the resources of such a processor at least somewhat efficiently. Not only that, but even the Windows operating system itself handles threads in a not very smart and efficient way. So the best for gaming is still Intel Core i9-9900KS, but not everyone can afford it.


          • 12 cores 24 threads;
          • free multiplier;
          • 4-channel memory is supported;
          • Optimal for gaming with streaming and for testing games.


          • 14nm process;
          • high price.
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