Not many years have passed when processors like Intel Core 2 were serving the PCs and most of the time, they were not gaming processors but successfully handled handle heavy games but failed to offer seamless performance and high-end gaming experience to the gamers. But, processors have come a long way and the “I” series from Intel is literally ruling most of the high-end PC’s their release back in 2008. The Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors still come with new PC models and are undoubtedly the most suitable units that you should have in case you are expecting outstanding performance from your machine.
However, you should not take it lightly as it is the most important component of your PC and takes care of almost all the tasks and processes running on your system. But with the advancement in technology, there are some other parts as well which play a crucial role in running your PC to its full potential. RAM, Graphics card etc. share the load exerted on CPU but it is something you should not compromise with, in case you are getting or assembling your PC especially for gaming.
The games released now days are really very demanding and you cannot enjoy them until and unless your PC meets its required specifications. So, here we aim to help you in selecting the best processor for gaming that you can get in the market right now.
Best Gaming Processor of 2018
1. AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
AMD recently made a big entry with the new Ryzen 7 Graphics processing units series which is nothing but affordable but octa-core processors so the gamers who cannot go for high-end GPU can enjoy the latest games without drilling a hole in their pockets. However, we are not here to discuss AMD Ryzen 7, but AMD Ryzen 5, which was introduced to enhance the mainstream computing power of the normal CPUs.
AMD Ryzen is the best high performance and a budget gaming processor that you can get in order to satisfy your high-end gaming needs. Many people still doubt but Ryzen 5 is way better than Intel i5 processors. You can see the difference while playing latest heavy games, which is pretty huge.
AMD already have a better version, i.e. Ryzen 7 1800X, which is a better version of Ryzen 5, in the market. But, it looks way ahead of time as it offers 8 cores which are not even required for even heaviest of games, and is too expensive. The extra two cores hardly contribute to the gaming performance and you will have to pay a hefty sum for it too. So, Ryzen 5 1600X is more efficient and productive.
You may find better frame rate with Intel i5 processor, but AMD offers you extra multi-threading in Ryzen 5 along with an amazing heat spreader. Ryzen R5 offers thrice the thread count offered by i5 processors
The best part about this processor is its price. You get a 6 core, 12 threaded gaming beast just for $219. A high-end quad-core gaming processor would even cost more than AMD Ryzen 5 1600X.
Similar to the Ryzen 7 architecture, Ryzen 5 also focuses on producing mid-ranged processors which consist of more and more cores as well as hyper-threading. The best processor in the Ryzen 5 series is the 1600X GPU which features 6 cores to the players along with eight threads. The GPU has been base clocked at 3.6 GHz which can also be boosted up to 4.0 GHz for over the head performance. There is no doubt in the fact that the Ryzen 5 1600X is a superb GPU which is even better than Intel Core i5 and i7 processors in most of the aspects.
Ryzen 5 1600X GPU Features
AMD has always been keen on bringing up and trying out new architectures for better and efficient performance. And with 1600X, they have featured their new innovative 14nm architecture and process. Similar to Ryzen 7, the Ryzen 5 1600X operates on the same AM4 chipset assisted by all the modern technologies and other amenities available in CPU technology. The Ryzen 5 1600 X also supports the DDR4 RAM, Thunderbolt 3 ports, and NVMe SSD support.
But along with these positive points, there are some negatives as well. For example, Ryzen 5 1600 X does not contain the support for using multiple graphics cards at the same time. The players might also get disappointed by the premium but odd B350 motherboards that feature 8 X dual PCIe 3.0 graphics card slots but they do not support the Nvidia SLI, but only AMD’s CrossFire technology, as stated by the company.
There are fewer power phases in the B350 board with smaller heatsinks in some of the board models. This is because the B350 board is manufactured to serve the mainstream audience and not heavy professional gamers. These specifications could prevent the gamers from overclocking the 1600X processor as well as other processors coming under the Ryzen 5 series. It would be better and we would also like to recommend you to get an X370 or better board in case you want to extract complete power and features from the Ryzen 5 1600X GPU.
Ryzen 5 1600X GPU Performance
There were a lot of problems and issues that Ryzen GPUs faces when they first entered the market. There were complaints about the high CPU temperature that could cause concerns. However, the manufacturers considered the complaints and took them seriously after which few optimizations were made to the Ryzen 5 GPU and new drivers were released along with BIOS updates to contain these issues.
But that is about all the processor coming under Ryzen 5 series. Ryzen 5 1600X particularly does not have many issues and it is one of the best performers in the mid-range AMD GPU lineup. On benchmark testing, it scored 1232 Cinebench R15 score. When compared to the Intel Core i5-7600K, the score is about twice and even more than benchmark score of Intel i7 Broadwell-E processor, which was able to score only 1153 points in the Cinebench R15 benchmark test.
The frame rate coming from Rayzen 5 1600X was almost double as well when compared to Intel i7 7600K processor, making it one of the best budget processors to have for gaming. All these test results were more than enough to include it in our main gaming system and perfect for uploading gameplay clips, eSport as well as live-streaming of the games.
Ryzen 5 1600X Overclocking
The users can overclock the Ryzen 5 1600X GOU up to 4.0 GHz. It is a figure that is mentioned in the card box. That means, you might be able to take it even further, and that is true. You can overclock it to even 4.1 GHz, but you will need Ryzen Master software in order to do that. If you wish to go even beyond that, you should have an advanced cooling system installed on your PC. Also, you may have to play around with the voltage setting of your system as well.
The default Ryzen 5 1600 X remains at 50-degree celsius at normal temperature and the default air cooling system does well to keep it below the dangerous temp limit.
Obviously, we all know that two is always better than one. And same is the case with Ryzen 5 1600X processor. 6 cores is always better than having 4 cores in the GPU. Performance wise, it is way better than Intel i5 and i7 processors and that is something you should not worry about at all. It is the perfect GPU if you are looking for powerful performance for both work and gaming.
2. Intel Core i7-6700K
Intel Core i7-6700K is one of the most popular and common gaming processor which offers everything a gamer could ask for. You can run almost any RAM on it as it supports both DDR4 and DDR3 RAM chips. Not even this, the i7 processor supports the 4K resolution and could be overclocked to get the extra performance for intense gaming.
We have a good amount of knowledge about the Skylake processor and the one we are going to talk about is a quad core but eight-threaded processor. In addition to that, it also features a L3 caches of capacity 8MB. You wont find much change here and it is almost similar to what we have seen in the previous processors of the same generation.
The different parts of the Skylake processor are designed on a 14-n Intel fabrication procedure with inclusion of the tri-gate transistors. Many says that the Intel Core i7-6700K is the final “tock” in the Intel’s most popular “tick-tock” development cadence and all that because of the new CPU architecture that hey have adopted.
Obviously, Architecture redesign means increasing the clock performance as well as efficiency of the GPU by making some enhancements. And Intel claims that the enhancements that they have made has resulted in 10% increase in the speed of the Intel Core i7-6700K GPU when compared to the previous ones.
Since the Core i7-6700K replaces the previous Intel i7-4790K, it is available at almost similar price. But there has been a degradation in the clockspeed which has been reduced from 4.4 GHz in Core i7-4790K to 4.2 in Core i7-6700K processor. Another difference in the new processor is that it can run all the four cores at 4.2 GHz very easily and that look under heavy load. The multiplier has been unlocked in this processor so that the users can easily overclock them.
The power consumption of the new processor has been increased to 91 watts when compared to the previous GPU and that is mainly to get more juice and power out of the Intel i7-6700K processor. The Intel i7-6700K processor officially supports DDR4 RAM and we would recommend you to use the same. However, people can also use DDR3L RAMS as well operating at 1.5V voltage, but that is something would would not like to suggest it to you.
Another problem that most of the users can face is that the new Skylake processors are not compatible with prior gen sockets. You will have to get a new generation motherboard which has LGA1151 sockets. With new sockets, you wont get the FIVR. FIVR is nothing but Fully Integrated Voltage Regulator in the processor. FIVR actually introduces an inductor into the picture which increases the Z-height, but that is not very much effective in when your machine is running on low voltage.
But keeping that aside, Intel Skylake i7-6700K processor does bring a lot of power along with it and is also very easily tweakable. According to the company, it is one of the first processor that they have introduced for overclocking purpose.
Intel Skylake i7-6700K processor is best for people who like to overclock stuff. There are both negative and positive points of this new processor and it comes finally upon you whether you can pull out all the positive or the negative from it. There are new introductions when compared to the previous one, but still you have the option to squeeze a bit more power from it whenever required.
The new Skyline architecture introduced by Intel makes the overall processing a lot more streamlined as well as smooth. And, In case you have an assembled PC or are assembling a PC especially for gaming and are using a lot of other cards as well, Intel Care i7-6700K is the one you should go with.
3. Intel Core i7 6800K
Intel Core i7 6800K is designed on company’s latest highly advanced architecture, i.e. Skylake. Intel i7 6800K is another best six-core CPU that you can get out there right now. Not only that, it offers 12 PCle lanes to the CPU, thus running the hard disks, graphics processor and other chips at their full efficiency.
For a long time, we have only seen processors with only four cores. AMD tried to take on the heads with the Bulldozer 8 core CPU and by offering it at a very reasonable price to the gamers. But Intel soon came up with better processors with way more cores and choices that took AMD out of the competition all at once. This proved that the core difference in octa core Bulldozer and HyperThreaded CPU was way more symmetrical than it was technical. And one such processor we have been talking about is a good example of what Intel proved. The 6 cored Intel i7 6800K processor is a beast in all terms and that you can have at an affordable price.
We are going to highlight it again and again that Intel i7 6800K processor is one of the best as well as affordable HyperThreaded six-core processor that you can get in the market right now. When compared with the Intel Core i7 6700K, it is only $100 expensive and will cost you around $440, which is not very expensive for people who want great gaming experience from their machines.
Core i7 6800K Architecture
The main feature of the i7 6800K processor is its Core and thread count. The i7 6800K CPU comes with 6 cores and 12 units of MultiThreaded processing power to your machine. More number of threads simply means that your CPU will be able to handle a lot chunk of heavy load without breaking and sweat. One undoubted fact is that the games that we will be seeing in the future are going to be more and more detail as well as heavy, and you definitely need a processor with more number of threads so that you do not face any kind of lag or tear while playing them. If your processor is not able to handle the load of the games that we are seeing now, it will be a total waste of money of installing such a processor because you might have to upgrade it again in the near future.
Looking deep into its architecture, there are 28 PCIe 3.0 lens that comes out of the CPU. this simply means that if you are having a machine with more than one CPU install in it, i7 6800K is a better choice when compared to its lower model, i.e 6700K Skylake processor. With 28 lanes, 12 more than the Skylake 6700K, i7 6800K is left with enough space for the users to attach SSD directly to the CPU itself.
Intel Core i7 6800K runs at the base clock speed of 3.4 GHz ND Turbo speed of 3.8 GHz. It is not very less when compared to the Skylake i7 6600K CPU. However, Gamers can still overclock the CPU taking it up to 4GHz clock speed handling heavy games very easily.
The 6 cores that we see in Intel Core i7 6800K is same as we see in the 6000 series from Intel as well as in the 6700K CPU, but it makes use of a completely different architecture. The Intel Core i7 6800K Is based on the Broadwell-E based architecture and not on the Skylake architecture that was released a couple of years back. So, Broadwell-E is the same old CPU design that we have seen in the past on various other CPUs.
For people who are confused with the Broadwell-E architecture, it is just sinking down of the old Haswell-E architecture from the 22nm transistor node to the much smaller 14nm transistor node. There are some remarkable improvements in the new CPU like it can support DDR4 RAM memory and that too up to 2400MHz when compared to 2133MHz in the previous generation processors. It also has the double bandwidth than the previous gen processors because of the quad channel DDR server roots setup.
Core i7 6800K Performance
One thing is for sure, Intel Core i7 6800K is one of the most powerful CPUs in the market right now. Compared to the Skylake architecture based Skylake i7 6600K processor, 6800K beats Skylake in all manner. The extra cores in the Intel Core i7 6800K make sure that they compensate the multi-threaded loads. Also, the Turbo clock speed takes care of heavy gaming and HD gaming experience as well. We played some heavy games on this processor and the results are way better in Intel Core i7 6800K than the Skylake i7 6700K processor. And not only that there is a lot of room available for overclocking as well, and all thanks because this processor is a K-series processor from Intel. Obviously, it was not able to hit the overclocking as the 6700K processor but still, we were able to juice out boost up to 4.3 GHz from it.
For people are satisfied with medium resolution gaming by setting down the graphics settings, Intel Core i5 6600K is the best, but for gamers who can not compromise with their gaming experience, it is one good CPU to look forward to. You won’t have to spend $1000 on special gaming processors like Intel i7-5960X when you can get almost same power with a bit of overclocking at way less price. Intel i7-5960X is a pinnacle and the best you can have on your motherboard and the best chip that came out of Haswell-E architecture till date. But having only two fewer cores and offering a boost up to 4.3GHz, it is able to match the levels that we might expect from many expensive CPUs.
If you are definite about having more cores in your next CPU and are comfortable with 6 cores, Intel Core i7 6800K is the best option you have out there. We say this keeping the price point in mind as well. It is a great pick if you have dual GPU set up on your motherboard along with other high-end gaming rigs. If not, you can use the money to get some other stuff for your machine improvement as well.
The CPU has unlocked multiplier, you once can easily overclock it over 4 GHz for better performance. However, the only drawback is that by default it comes with a weaker clock speed. Also, you will have to pay around $87 more for Core i7 6800K when compared to Core i7 6700K processor. But, at the same time, it is way cheaper than AMD Ryzen R7 1800X CPU.
4. Intel Core i5 6600K
Intel Core i5 6600K is a very popular, most common and one of the best gaming processor fort those who do not wish to spend a fortune on the processors and are looking for something which can handle normal to high-intensity games as well as other imaging software. The i5 6600K CPU is capable of providing superb performance in all kinds of scenarios. One can overclock it easily to get better performance, but we think that the power it provides at default clocking is more than enough for seamless performance.
As we have already discussed before, the Intel’s Skylake architecture took some time for the company to develop, and that is because they shifted from the Haswell 22nm architecture to the 14nm processor architecture. The change was aimed at better power efficiency in order to enhance the battery life of most of the Laptops that use it, but with very little performance enhancements. The same architecture was used for the development of the i5 6600K processors, like in i7 6600K GPU, but with some extra amendments.
Rendering high definition complex designs as well as rendering videos is not a problem for the i5 6600K processor and thus can handle a PC built for gaming as well as development.
But there are few drawbacks as well. In case you ever clock the i5 6600K processor for extra performance, it might effect the screen rendering performance a bit. The processor supports both DDR3 as well as DDR4 RAM along with 4K display support. Also, you might face some overheating problems while heavy gaming. But you can easily solve that with the help of a cooling and or other similar components.
One big problem with the Skylake architecture processors is that they cannot be used with the existing old motherboards and the users will have to update their motherboards from existing LGA1150 models to the new 6th gen LGA1151 socket possessing motherboards.
As we mentioned before, there is a big difference in the Skylake i7 and Skylake i5 processors and that is, Skylake i7 6600K processors possess Hyper-Threading. Hyper-Threading means that there are 4 physical core as available on the CPU but they act as 8 cores because of efficient multithreading thus offering a huge boost to the multi-threaded applications. However, with new architecture CPU, you get a get a boost of 3.9 GHz from a 3.5 GHz clocked i5-6600K CPU along with 6MB level 3 cache. It is obviously less than the 4GHz clocked i7-6600K processor which can give a boost up to 4.2 GHz when overclocked along with 8MB of level 3 cache.
Intel Skylake i5 6600K Performance
There is no doubt in the fact that Skylake processors provide better performance than the old traditional architecture that Intel has been using. But the increase in the Skylake i5-6600K is just 10% boost. But if you have been using the old Sandy Bridge CPU, you might consider to upgrade your CPU to the latest, as you get 30% boost when compared with the CPUs that run on the Sandy Bridge i5-2500K processors.
On testing the new processor against the previous Haswell architecture based i5 CPU and running 4K multimedia, the benchmark improvement was not as Intel claimed. Also, the performance benchmark varied with different tasks which we ran on both the CPUs.
One thing that you should know is that for HD gaming, you will have to pair the Skylake i5 6600K processor with a dedicated graphics card. The integrated Intel Graphics 520 is better than what we saw in the previous generation cards, but that is not sufficient if you wish to have a good gaming performance from your CPU.
On our testing, we found that the previous Haswell i5 processor was only able to offer 32.3 frames per second when a game was run on 1280 X 720 pixels resolution. But the new i5-6600K processor was able to provide around 42 frames per second at the same setting. We also had AMD A10-7850K processor with us when was the best offering 52 frames per second for the same game.
Intel Skylake i5 6600K Overclocking
Unlike the company was before, i.e. against overclocking, they have accepted the fact and power of overclocking in the past decade. With Skylake, the user gets the complete control over BCLK. With the new SATA and PCI dependency removal, you can squeeze all you can out of it without any risk or data loss or corruption.
But that is what company is focussed on and on testing it we were not able to go far before the system became unstable and crashed. Increasing the voltage did help in making the computer stable but the main boost we got was from increasing the multiplier slowly. We were able to juice out 4.4 GHz from i5 6600K CPU. We were also able to take the CPU to 4.7 GHz but at the same time we had to increase the voltage up to 1.35 volt, but that requires some serious cooling installed on your system.
The CPU needs 29-watt power at normal usage, around 80 watts while you are playing heavy games on it. But that is the average power consumption, under real stress, the power consumption can go up to 40 watts to 130 watts. Will some performance boost, we expected Intel to upgrade the heatsink as well. But we are disappointed as it was exclusive for 6th gen CPUs. So you should have a good cooling system installed on your motherboard to keep it cool while gaming.
There is no doubt in the fact that Skylake i5 6600K is a powerful as well as efficient CPU that can handle most of the games at medium settings. A bit of overclocking will relieve some of its pressure but it is not something you should compulsorily do. Another thing to keep in mind is that you might have to change your motherboard as well if you wish to upgrade to i5 6600K CPU. So, if you have a very old CPU installed in your PC and you are thinking of a budget CPU to install in your system, this could be the one you can put on your lookup list.
5. Ryzen 7 1700
AMD recently launched their Ryzen CPU series some time back and AMD Ryzen 7 1700 is their entry point processor. If you know about Ryzen 7 1800X, it offers more or less similar specifications to that but it is also one of the cheapest eight-core processors out there in the market available just for $400.
But since, 1800X is the better one out of the two, the clock speed of AMD Ryzen 7 1700 is less than the better version CPU. Also, it is the less preferred than the two because it is less suited for single threaded games and applications, but for all the multi-threaded applications, you can get what you want from AMD Ryzen 7 1700.
AMD Ryzen 7 1700 Specification and Design
As we have already told you, Ryzen 7 1700 is same in terms of design as Ryzen 7 1800X and at the same time if features exactly same 8 cores, the same number of threads, it fits in the same motherboard that you have been using. The company has unlocked the processor making it easy to overclock. All in all, there are only three major differences in both the Ryzen processors.
The thing that you will find annoying in the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 is that its base clock speed is 3.0 GHz and that goes up to 3.7 GHz in the turbo boost and heavy load. While on the other hand Ryzen 7 1800X is able to provide a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz and which goes up to 4.0 GHz in the boost mode. There is not a big difference in the overclocked processor but we expected a bit higher figure base clocking in Ryzen 7 1700.
The second difference in both the Ryzen processors is the 65 TDP. It is very less power consumed by an eight-core processor. If we compare the power consumed by Intel eight-core processors, the 7700K consumes 91W of power, 1800X consumes 95 watts and i7 6900K consumes huge 140 watts.
Now the final difference is the extra X that actually stands for “extra” 100MHz that you get out of each core in 1800X and only 50 MHz per core in 1700.
The makes the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 ideal for people who want to upgrade their CPU for general video and audio processing or some other professional purpose. We are saying it is not as good as other processors of the same range being relative. It will provide you almost similar speed and performance and it would be great if you can push it to 4.0 GHz clock speed. The only time you will face problem is while playing new heavy games at full setting while your graphics card is not able to handle it. Otherwise, you will be fine while normal gaming.
AMD Ryzen 7 1700 Architecture
The new architecture on which AMD Ryzen 7 1700 is based has replaced the previous Bulldozer architecture which the company has been using till now. The company has been focussed on coming up with a more efficient chip which could provide better IPC or Instructions per clock calculations as well.
Well, they have achieved 52% increased IPC and power consumption reduction as well with the new architecture. Not only that AMD Ryzen 7 1700 also brings multi-threading into the picture.
AMD Ryzen 7 1700 is a highly advanced processor and this is also its drawback. Ryzen 7 is a 8 core processor which are more than we are gonna use in near future, even for heaviest of gaming. You might think that 8 cores will boost up your performance, but it struggles to surpass the Intel Core i5 6600K processor’s performance in few games. The processor also supports 4K display but you will have to pay around $1000 for it. Obviously, it is very costly and one can easily find cheaper alternatives. But if budget is not a problem and you want to have the best of the best for you PC, you can get nothing better than Ryzen 7 1700 processor for the long run.