Finest CPUs for Gaming: Q1 2019

See our greatest CPU manuals for the newest replace of our beneficial gaming CPU listing. All numbers within the textual content are up to date to mirror pricing on the time of writing. Numbers in diagrams mirror the EIA.

Finest CPUs for Gaming Q1 2019

Selecting a CPU is typically laborious. So we lined you. In our CPU manuals, we introduce you to a few of the greatest obtainable processors and supply information from our opinions. Our Finest CPU Information for Video games addresses hottest system worth factors, usually connecting a rugged graphics card to a high-performance processor, with the perfect fashions for streaming and encoding on the fly.

AnandTech Gaming CPU Suggestions: Q1 2019
(Costs right on the time of writing)


The $ 1500 Gaming PC
Ryzen 7 2700
$ 260
Core i5-9600Ok
$ 260

The $ 1000 Gaming PC
Ryzen 5 2600X
$ 200
Core i5-9600Ok
Core i3-8100
$ 260
$ 120

The $ 700 Gaming PC
Ryzen 5 2600
Ryzen 5 2400G
$ 160
$ 145
Core i3-8100
$ 120

The $ 500 Gaming PC
Ryzen three 2200G
$ 95

The $ 300 Recreation Potato
Athlon 200 GE
$ 60

One to look at
AMD third Technology Ryzen (Q2 / Q3)
Intel F processors (out now, in some way)

To view our information to the perfect CPUs for workstations, observe this hyperlink:

Nearly all of our suggestions are aimed toward making the efficiency / worth curve correct, with some point out of energy consumption.

A reference to the favourite choice:

For this model of the handbook, we didn’t choose the Favorites possibility simply because we're in the course of the cycle. There may be not a lot happening till the top of this 12 months. AMD has promised mid-year (June?) Subsequent-generation Ryzen processors, and we're unsure what Intel's plans for the desktop presently are, apart from finishing the ninth-generation processor era, the a small push within the eighth era. Now’s the time to construct a PC, because the market will do nicely for the following few months.

The $ 1500- $ 2000 PC: Going for Gaming Gold

AMD Ryzen 7 2700 ( $ 260 $ 50 cheaper than the 2700X) or
Intel Core i5-9600Ok ( $ 260 $ 140 cheaper than the i7-9700Ok)

When constructing a gaming PC, the primary focus is on the graphics card: if all the opposite parts are ample and the resolutions are excessive, the graphics card is commonly the limiting issue. The high-end gadgets use playing cards just like the RTX 2080 or the Radeon VII, which price round $ 700 (generally even a number of playing cards) to get sufficient frames for the 144 Hz, high-end, variable-frame-rate show to push. So long as the remainder of the system just isn’t a bottleneck, gaming fans like to sit down the price-performance curve with graphics greater. Nevertheless, with extra video games utilizing DirectX12, extra CPU cores, digital actuality (VR), and even outdated video games counting on a single, quick CPU core, a single-core processor is crucial.

Right this moment we advocate AMD Ryzen 7 2700 and Intel Core i5-9600Ok.

The AMD Ryzen 7 2700 ( $ 260 ): The Sensible Cash for Efficiency

Each the Ryzen 7 2700X and the Ryzen 7 2700 are at this time the main AMD processors for the mainstream market. The 2700X has the benefit of a better TDP for longer turbochargers, a normal cooler with greater sound and better frequencies. For at this time we advocate the Ryzen 7 2700, which relies purely on the value distinction between the 2.


Presently Ryzen 7 is $ 2700 $ 260, which is $ 50 cheaper than the 2700X. The MSRP distinction between the 2 is $ 30, and with that distinction, the 2700X is the sensible alternative. As this hole grows, it favors the 2700, because the CPU appears to drop in worth, whereas the 2700X stays the place it’s.

The 2700 nonetheless affords eight full Zen + cores with hyperthreading, and the usual cooler nonetheless affords room for overclocking. Customers on this worth vary could go for an after-market cool field (the competitors have to be aggressive with the Wraith Spire). On this case, overclocking to the 2700X (and past) ought to be very simple. However even in inventory, the 2700 is an excellent determine.

You’ll be able to evaluate the 2700X with the 2700 and another CPU mixture we've examined right here in our Benchmark Database Bench .

The Intel Core i5-9600Ok ( $ 260 )

On the Intel facet, this time we modified our advice from the i5-8600Ok to the i5-9600Ok, which stands for a similar worth. For the additional era replace, this CPU makes use of not solely the frequency but in addition a soldered connection between the silicon and the heatspreader, which supplies higher thermal efficiency.

The introduction of the ninth era Intel Core processors was uncommon – first there have been three hard-to-find CPUs, and in January, one other six CPUs have been introduced, the supply of which can be essential for selecting a CPU. Nevertheless, the shares of those first three processors, together with the 9600Ok, appeared to be stabilizing, and at this time you possibly can choose one up.


The Core i5-9600Ok is a 6-core processor with an overclocking potential of $ 260. Above it’s the Core i7-9700Ok, an eight-core processor with overclocking, however for $ 410 and for pure gaming efficiency, these two additional cores won’t do a lot. In line with our assessments, at resolutions of 1440p / 4K, we see a small efficiency distinction of lower than 2%, if any.

You’ll be able to evaluate 9600Ok and 9700Ok in our Benchmark Database Bench .

Am I shopping for AMD or Intel for $ 260?

After we evaluate the 2 instantly, we see a mix-and-match method. AMD, with two additional cores and hyperthreading, is totally dominant in multithreaded assessments, and in some instances nearly twice as many. For single-threaded assessments, Intel has the victory. In video games, Intel usually wins at low resolutions of 720p / 1080p, however at 1440p / 4K video games, the outcomes are nearly equivalent in most of our titles examined, as these resolutions are principally GPU-limited.

In the event you play at low resolutions (720p) and excessive body charges (144-240 Hz), the Intel i5-9600Ok is the perfect purchase. For all those that obtain further productiveness with the system, the AMD Ryzen 7 2700 is beneficial.

The $ 1000 Gaming PC

AMD: Ryzen 5 2600X at $ 200 (at $ 10 from $ 209)
Intel: Core i5-9600Ok at $ 260 or Core i3-8100 at $ 120

As a result of our choices, AMD's and Intel's choices are primarily additional differentiated by pricing. AMD's pricing permits us to advocate the extra highly effective 2600X half, however Intel's advice is uncommon. Now we have already beneficial a Core i5-8500 or i5-8400 within the worth vary of $ 200 – not solely Intel doesn’t have a very good ninth era chip on this worth, the Core i3-8100 prices solely $ 120.

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X ( $ 200 )

For gamers serious about streaming or performing a number of duties concurrently, the Ryzen 5 2600X with six cores is right. The gaming expertise ought to be for an excellent 1920×1080 atmosphere or a mid-sized 2560×1440 setup with future improve choices for both the CPU or the processor. Customers can benefit from low-cost B350 motherboards or the X370 with a corresponding BIOS replace and nonetheless have an important expertise.


This chip comes with its personal storage cooler, which eliminates the additional price. For anybody constructing a workstation at this worth, our Ryzen 5 2600X multithreaded outcomes surpassed all the pieces that Intel affords on the quad-core stage. Intel's latest chips usually are not aggressive in non-duplicated multithreaded assessments.

Intel Core i5-9600Ok ( $ 260 ) or Core i3-8100 ( $ 120 )

In our current buy manuals, we selected between the six-core Core i5-8400 and the i5-8500, primarily based on prizes across the $ 180 mark. They’ve really gone up in worth for our final chief. These processors are nonetheless at this stage, however the Quad Core i3-8100 presently has a cut price worth of $ 120. It's laborious to not have an interest within the worth, which may enable for a major GPU improve on a PC with a $ 1,000 price ticket.


When evaluating the quad-core i3 to a hex-core i5, there are some variations in taking part in, particularly in video games like ashes, the place extra cores can have an effect on the variety of models displayed. Nevertheless, in lots of video games and at completely different resolutions, the efficiency is sort of equivalent when evaluating the identical graphics card. In the event you can afford a greater graphics card due to the financial savings, then there’s an additional energy, if there isn’t any CPU bottleneck (relying on the title).

I additionally included the Core i5-9600Ok as the brand new Intel ninth ​​Gen processor with higher thermal efficiency and overclocking functionality. At $ 260, it may be one thing for a $ 1000 construct, relying on the place your priorities are.

The $ 700 Gaming PC

AMD: Ryzen 5 2600 um $ 160
AMD: Ryzen 5 2400G at $ 145 (was 2400G at $ 158)
Intel: Core i3-8100 at $ 120 (was i3-8100 at $ 130)

At this worth level, I've determined to again down a bit on each CPUs to supply more cash for a rounder build-up. By decreasing prices from $ 40 to $ 60, customers can ramp up one stage on a GPU or double their storage in a single system.

Whereas an AMD APU such because the Ryzen 5 2400G is especially good right here as a result of customers with a discreet GPU can have an honest gaming expertise, the Ryzen 5 2600 now provided is best performing on the identical worth as our final information , The 2400G has been lowered by $ 15 in comparison with our final information. The worth differential of $ 15 for 2 extra cores when utilizing a separate GPU is prone to higher spend for the 2600. With the Ryzen three 2200G it can save you one other $ 60, however nonetheless have a quad-core and spend extra on storage / reminiscence.

For the Intel facet, the Core i3-8100 at $ 120 is an effective advice. The worth has room for different higher parts, and for this information the value has dropped $ 10 since we final beneficial it.

The $ 500 Gaming PC

AMD Ryzen 5 2400G to $ 169 or
AMD Ryzen three 2200G at $ 99

Priced at $ 500, the consumer has to ask if he has the finances for a discrete graphics card. In a single step, greater than half of the finances may very well be spent on a GTX 1050, however with 4GB of DRAM and a 1TB mechanical disk and a 300W no-name model PSU, solely a foul expertise is required. AMD's newest built-in graphics choices are well-positioned right here, leaving more cash for the remainder of the system and a future improve slot with out having to promote an outdated one. Anybody a GT 1030 graphics card with an honest CPU will actually pay the value with out compromising the CPU or the remainder of the system.

For a $ 500 system, the highest Ryzen 5 2400G-APU might be a very good purchase. It has 4 cores, eight threads, is as much as three.9GHz overclockable, and has built-in graphics which are greater than acceptable for 1080p gaming and mid-range settings. The eleven computing models within the built-in Vega graphics present AMD's newest design, and NVIDIA's direct analog can be a GT 1030, which might incur an extra price of $ 100 for every price-equivalent Intel processor.


AMD's APUs are additionally shipped with a really first rate bearing cooler, which might additionally add further Intel system price. If the additional cash is saved, it might be a good suggestion to run some high-speed reminiscence to help the graphics, which additionally impacts the long run when making a big discrete GPU buy.

The choice from AMD is the opposite Ryzen APU, the Ryzen three 2200G for $ 99. This could spend more cash on the remainder of the system like reminiscence or reminiscence for a $ 500 system consumer who doesn’t play a lot, leading to a system with a very nice setup. This may also enable for a future replace of a giant graphics card, with efficiency only some p.c of the massive AMD chips.

A Notice on Intel: At this worth, we don’t imagine that an Intel system affords room for justice. With Intel's technique to focus extra on the high-end manufacturing, AMD has this marketplace for itself.

The $ 300 Recreation Potato with Built-in Graphics

AMD Athlon 200GE to $ 60

For fans who’ve been constructing PCs for a couple of years, it might probably generally be tough to rebuild the mind for a small finances. At this worth level, the opposite choices for gaming embrace final era consoles or consoles. Due to this fact, the consumer ought to do as little as potential as a lot as potential. That is particularly tough for video games as cheap discrete graphics playing cards begin north of $ 150. Each AMD and Intel have pursued this worth vary with their built-in graphics options: Pair CPU and GPU on the identical silicon system and allow each. Aside from a really costly lunge from Intel a couple of years in the past, AMD has led this area.


This time we are literally downgraded from the Ryzen three 2200G to the Athlon 200GE. Finally, the 2200G is the higher gaming processor, with Vega eight over Vega three, however $ 40 can go a great distance in such a system. This could imply switching to a dual-channel reminiscence that might instantly influence built-in gaming efficiency, or double or triple the reminiscence, making it potential to play within the first place. Together with a low-cost ($ 60) A320 motherboard, 8GB of DDR4-3000 reminiscence ($ 72), a 1TB laborious drive ($ 45), and a mix of case and energy adapter ($ 50) ) it affords the obvious extension to a sooner storage driver, or extra storage or a separate GPU. There's no want for a $ 30 cooler as considered one of AMD's highly effective normal coolers is included. The identical motherboard and reminiscence additionally enable the highest processor of Ryzen 7 when a processor improve is required.

The high-end desktop puzzle

It's price noting that we’ve not beneficial top quality desktop processors in these gaming CPU guides recently. The price of the bottom platform signifies that including a prime mannequin for graphics playing cards at $ 600 + will simply break our greatest finances band of $ 2,000, and the remainder of the system can be a disappointment as compared.

One thing like an Intel Skylake X construct will begin with a $ 999 (10-core) processor plus a $ 250 motherboard (X299) and about $ 200 in storage (four x four GB) earlier than we have a look at a top-notch map or reminiscence that goes nicely past the $ 2,000 finances of our top-of-the-line system.


Just like AMD, a 12-core thread ripper for $ 431 with a motherboard of $ 249 (X399) and $ 200 for reminiscence is simply legitimate on a high-end graphics card if the The rest of the system is mediocre to mediocre

In each instances, there’s little profit in going past the perfect mainstream processors for single-GPU video games. For pc customers, the story is completely different, however who desires essentially the most out of his cash to play the newest titles, wants a mainstream processor.

With that stated, we all know that one or two new high-end desktop platforms are within the beginning blocks.

The individuals to be noticed

This 12 months, AMD introduced that they’ll launch their new third era Ryzen processors with chipsets primarily based on TSMC's 7nm course of by the center of this 12 months. This normally means someday within the second quarter (April to June) or the third quarter (July to September), and a few sensible cash is forecasting the center of the 12 months because the Computex present takes place in June. AMD confirmed an early pattern of an eight-core, no-end-frequency processor that matched Intel's greatest 14nm eight-core processor in a single benchmark. Whereas AMD demonstrated an eight-core processor, they teased (primarily based on the design) that it might have extra. These processors are appropriate with current AM4 motherboards, so customers at this time should purchase an AM4 system and later improve if the processors can be found.


However, Intel's future startup schedule is a bit unknown. The corporate launched the ninth Gen Core processor line on the finish of final 12 months. Three fashions had soldered thermal materials for higher thermal and excessive frequencies, fully destroying the remaining energy finances on the chips. Intel is within the strategy of finishing this line of processors, though the corporate is spending extra time producing them due to the excessive demand for server chips, because it earns more cash. The information from Intel's 10nm processor line is anticipated to be obtainable by the top of 2019 laptop computer chips. Which means desktop chips may occur through the course of 2020. This leaves a niche for the rest of 2019, and AMD won’t give an actual reply, until it does. The corporate plans to launch one other spherical of 14nm CPUs this 12 months , At this level, we have no idea what Intel is as much as.

Total, CPUs are usually in a quiet part. After the final 24 months after the beginning, I'm somewhat bit joyful that I’ve time to take inventory of what's happening! Nevertheless, this can be a nice time for customers who need to construct a brand new PC. Nothing goes so quick that you just would not have to chunk your nails, and what comes mid-year would be the identical as what you purchase at this time.

Right this moment is an effective day for video games!

The AnandTech CPU Cowl

Our main CPU opinions during the last 12 months have lined all new releases and are price studying.

* If Intel or AMD Product Supervisor wish to contact you for extra examples, please ship an e-mail.

If customers have any requests, depart a remark or name me on Twitter @IanCutress

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