The best desktop processors for gaming include AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, Ryzen 7 5800X, Ryzen 5 5600X, and Intel Core i5 11600k. What separates each of these processors is the price segment each dominates. On the other hand, each of these processors is very similar in their use cases, i.e., they are the fastest gaming processors in their respective market segments. We have divided this article into six different sections based on the purchasing power of any given consumer: – Entry-level, Budget, Mid-range, High-end, Premium, and Enthusiast.
2021 has been a hot year for homogenization in the hardware tech industry. A predominantly CPU-based company, such as Intel, is venturing into the GPU industry with Intel’s Xe graphics solutions. On the other hand, a company like Nvidia, which has been a part of, almost exclusively, the GPU industry, has announced big plans of manufacturing CPUs as well. Said venture from Nvidia comes in the form of Grace CPUs, which would reportedly be leveraging the flexibility of the ARM architecture to outperform the fastest computers in the world today.
All of this is fascinating news in a space that is so technically challenging, both for other tech companies around the world and consumers alike. Naturally, change in the current list of the top dogs is inevitable. So stay tuned as we would cover the then reigning fastest chips as and when it occurs, along with relevant reviews accompanying each.
AMD Ryzen 3 3100
|Cores + Threads||4 + 8|
|Max Boost Clock||3.9 GHz|
|Current Price||9,700 INR|
The Ryzen 3 3100X is a previous-gen part from AMD featuring the Zen 2 architecture launched back in April 2020. Although it is a generation old at this point, it remains capable of delivering a satisfactory gameplay experience in most AAA titles. In Cinebench R20, the 3100 scores 430 points in the single-core benchmark and 2350 points in the multi-core test. As the core vs. thread count suggests, the processor also has SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading) enabled, which is a great advantage to have, especially in a quad-core CPU.
The Ryzen 3 3100 is perfect for getting your feet wet in your favorite games without spending an absolute fortune behind your system. As with all the Ryzen 3000 series chips, the 3100 comes with PCIe Gen 4 support out of the box. Thus, a motherboard supporting said technology would allow you to upgrade to a PCIe Gen 4 SSD later on down the line should you need to.
Intel Core i5 11400F
|Cores + Threads||6 + 12|
|Max Boost Clock||4.4 GHz|
|Current Price||18,150 INR|
The Intel Core i5 11400F is a part of Intel’s new 11th gen chips, formerly known as the Rocket Lake family of CPUs. With upto a 22% increase in performance according to Intel, the 11400F, although not a flagship such as the 11600k, saves many dollars while delivering more or less comparable performance. In Cinebench R20, the 11400F manages to score a respectable 455 and 3200 points in the single-core and multi-core benchmarks, respectively.
However, it is essential to note that since the Intel Core i5 11400F is not a ‘k’ series part from Intel (example: – Core i5 11600k), it does not support overclocking. Since only the Z-series motherboard chipsets from Intel allow overclocking, you would not be benefitting much the same. Also, the F in 11400F signifies that the CPU does not include any integrated graphics, which is more or less standard for Intel to have with their chips. So, purchasing a separate graphics card when purchasing this processor is mandatory to get a graphical output.
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
|Cores + Threads||6 + 12|
|Max Boost Clock||4.6 GHz|
|Current Price||28,500 INR|
Boasting a tremendous IPC combined with excellent power efficiency, the Ryzen 5 5600X is a phenomenal Hexa-core CPU from AMD. IPC or Instructions per Clock refers to the number of instructions a CPU can perform per clock cycle and is generally used to approximate a CPU single-core performance. Games, even today, tend to favor CPUs with stronger single cores instead of those with a more significant number of said cores.
As is clear, the 5600X comes with SMT enabled. It also has a 32 MB L3 cache which is shared between all the CCXs in the CPU. Such a large amount of shared L3 cache means that more data can be cached and quickly accessed whenever required by the processor, reducing the overall latency of the system. The Ryzen 5 5600X boasts a Cinebench R20 score of 605 and 4610 for single-core and multi-core benchmarks, respectively. Thanks to the performance uplift from the Zen 3 architecture featured within the Ryzen 5 5600X, today, it is one of the fastest Hexa-core processors in the world.
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
|Cores + Threads||8 + 16|
|Max Boost Clock||4.7GHz|
|Current Price||39,500 INR|
Featuring the same Zen 3 architecture found in the previously mentioned Ryzen 5 5600X, the 5800X strikes the perfect balance between power consumption and performance in the high-end segment. In terms of hardware, the 5600X is, at its core, a 5800X with two of its eight cores disabled. However, the excellent power efficiency does not mean the 5800X compromises an inch of how quickly it can get things done. At the present moment, the 5800X remains the desktop processor offering the highest IPC in its class.
Both overclocking and SMT support is present in every desktop Ryzen 5000 series processor from AMD, and the 5800X is no different. Scoring a phenomenal 630 and 6099 points in Cinebench R20’s single-core and multi-core benchmarks, respectively, the 5800X handily beats its predecessor, the Ryzen 7 3800X, by a solid 23% margin. The 5800X, with its 105W TDP, sips power allowing it to be easily cooled by an inexpensive aftermarket cooler such as the CoolerMaster Hyper 212.
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
|Cores + Threads||12 + 24|
|Max Boost Clock||4.8 GHz|
|Current Price||59,500 INR|
With the entire Ryzen 5000 series processor lineup, AMD drove home the point that a processor doesn’t necessarily need to compromise on multithreaded performance to improve single-threaded performance or vice versa. The Ryzen 9 5900X is a prime example of said philosophy. Featuring 12 cores and 24 threads, the 5900X delivers best-in-class IPC as well as multithreaded performance simultaneously. AMD has also somehow managed to fit all those cores and performance inside a 105W package, which speaks volumes about AMD’s cutting-edge engineering talents and TSMC’s chip manufacturing prowess.
Thus, there is no denying that, at the present moment, the 5900X exists as a class of its own. In Cinebench R20, the 5900X scores a whopping 640 points in the single-threaded benchmarks and 8475 points in the multithreaded test. Rest assured, this beast of a processor can effortlessly breeze through any gaming or prosumer workload you might throw at it.
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
|Cores + Threads||16 + 32|
|Max Boost Clock||4.9 GHz|
|Current Price||75,300 INR|
The Ryzen 9 5950X is a processor for those who aren’t satisfied with anything but the very best. Speaking of the very best, the 5950X also delivers the fastest single-core performance in the world at the present moment. Scoring a blistering 650 points in Cinebench R20’s single-core test and a ridiculous 28,704 points in its multi-core benchmark, the 5950X remains undefeated in its single-core performance. It is only outclassed by 20+ core server-grade Xeons or Threadrippers when it comes to the processor’s multi-core prowess.
AMD still maintains a 105W power package, even for a 16 core behemoth such as the 5950X. Thus, if you are not overclocking or overvolting the processor, neither would you require a crazy power supply with an astronomical power rating, nor would there be any necessity for a top-of-the-shelf aftermarket cooling solution, since the processor is inherently so power-efficient, perhaps partially making up for its sky-high MSRP.