Everyone has heard of the processor. But how important is it towards your gaming experience really? The answer to that is: Very. In this article we’ll go over the best gaming CPUs on the market, so that you can make an informed decision when it comes time to buy your components.
The processor is at the center of everything in your computer. It is the “brains” of the operation.
And, in order to build a solid gaming computer in 2016, you’re going to need a quality CPU.
While some games (like first person shooters) are heavily dependent on your video card, other games (like RTS’ and MMORPGs) have many more calculations that need to be carried out and therefore utilize your processor more.
This should factor into your decision when looking for the best gaming CPU for your build.
Another thing you’ll need to take into account is the total budget you’ve set for your build. You obviously don’t want to spend $300 on a CPU when your total budget is $550, because you wouldn’t have very much money left over for other parts.
In this post, we will take a look at the best gaming CPUs in 2016. I’ve broken down the categories into four different tiers based on performance. While Tier 1 CPUs offer the most all-around performance, that doesn’t necessarily make them the best options if you are working with a budget. Even Tier 4 processors are good options if you are playing non-demanding games and you have a low budget.
For each Tier there are multiple CPUs listed and a few of those processors have a brief overview below.
TIER 1GAMING PROCESSORS
These Tier 1 CPUs are comprised completely on Intel processors. It’s not that AMD doesn’t make capable gaming processors, it’s just that Intel offers the best all-around CPU performance.
However, the CPU you choose will not have nearly as big of an impact on your in-game performance as will your video card. Rather, when choosing a processor for your gaming computer, you want to choose one that will not hinder the performance of your video card.
It’s important to note that all of the Tier 2 CPUs will handle any game just fine and will not hinder even the most powerful of video cards. Even the Tier 3 CPUs are very viable options and will not create a bottleneck in the majority of situations.
So, then why choose a Tier 1 CPU if you can save money and go with a Tier 2 or Tier 3 CPU?
Well, Tier 1 CPUs offer better overall processor performance. While they may not offer more in-game performance, they will provide better performance outside of gaming. So, if you’re looking to do more than just game and high processing power is important to you, then these Tier 1 CPUs are a good choice.
*Intel’s extreme processor are not currently included on this list, but they will likely be added in the future. While Intel’s extreme processors don’t bring any significant benefits to gaming setups, if you have an unlimited budget and you want to push your system to the max, they may be worth your consideration.
Tier 1 CPU Comparison Chart
TIER 2GAMING PROCESSORS
Tier 2 is comprised of a set of excellent gaming processor options. While these CPUs don’t bring quite as much to the table as the Tier 1 CPUs, they are definitely powerful enough to deliver a more than ideal gaming experience.
And, at $200 or less, these processors are a little more affordable than the Tier 1 CPUs, which makes them perfect options for anyone who has a moderate budget.
If you want to overclock your CPU for more performance or you’re using your computer to run applications and games that utilize more than 8 cores/threads , the FX-8320 and FX-8350 are your best bet. If it’s single-core performance and power efficiency that you’re looking for, then the i5-4590 and i5-4460 are better options.
Tier 2 CPU Comparison Chart
TIER 3GAMING PROCESSORS
For gamers who have a lower budget, these Tier 3 CPUs are excellent options. In fact, in most gaming scenarios, they offer enough power to not be a hindrance to your video card.
Therefore, if you have less to spend on your gaming computer, you can choose one of these CPUs to help you allocate more to your video card–which will ultimately give you better in-game performance.
The FX-6300 is probably the best option in this group as it’s very affordable, overclockable, and will not hinder even the top video cards in most situation.
All-in-all, these CPUs aren’t the best processors are the market, but they are affordable and will get the job done.
Tier 3 CPU Comparison Chart
TIER 4GAMING PROCESSORS
If you have an extremely tight budget, then you will want to consider take a look at these Tier 4 CPUs. They won’t offer the best performance, but if you’re just looking to build a system that will at least play most games on lower settings, then they will easily accomplish that.
As mentioned above, the video card you choose will play a bigger role in determining your in-game performance. So, by choosing one of these more affordable CPUs you can allocate more money towards a better video card and you’ll
If your budget is so tight that you can’t afford a video card, then the two APUs listed will allow you to build an entry-level system that relies on integrated graphics. This won’t be the best solution, but it will allow you to get your feet in the door.
Tier 4 CPU Comparison Chart