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The Best Gaming CPUs in 2021


Swapnil Tirthakar

A few years back, it was easy to choose a CPU that could match all your hardcore gaming needs, with Intel CPUs running the show. But now, we are in the world of affordable 4K gaming. There has been a major shift in the last couple of years, with AMD entering the market with CPUs crafted specifically for gaming needs and at a more affordable price than Intel CPUs.

With its Ryzen processors, AMD has provided great competition to Intel. As both companies are looking to lead the race, there have been some tremendous launches in the last couple of years. Zen 3 from AMD is the company’s latest release, and this model is going toe-to-toe with Intel’s gaming giants.

I personally like to have gaming CPUs, as they are worth the investment. These CPUs are not limited to just gaming. You can also use them for development, editing videos, creative work, and streaming video if you are a content creator or influencer on social media platforms, such as YouTube or Instagram.

Choosing a good gaming CPU is certainly not rocket science. You just need to know what your requirements are, and that is it. It is easy to build your own machine around a CPU, coupled with other components, such as a graphics card, additional storage, and motherboard.

This article covers the best CPUs for gaming in 2021 that can also match your creative needs.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600x

AMD’s Ryzen series is very popular for its gaming-friendly processors. The Ryzen 5 3600x is not only a gaming processor, but it is also ideal for tasks that require a powerful CPU. The reason why the Ryzen 5 3600x tops this list is that it is a great gaming CPU that also comes at a great price, giving you great value for your money.


  • Cores: 6
  • Threads: 12
  • Clock Speed: 3.6 GHz / 4.2 GHz

On the normal settings, this model easily beats out the likes of Intel’s Core i5-9600K series. You do not need to install coolers separately with this device, as it ships with a cooler included inside the box, making this model even more affordable.

The Ryzen 5 3600x is an ideal CPU for gamers, as well as power users, such as developers and content creators. Power consumption is also low, as compared to other processors in this price range.

Find more details about the AMD Ryzen 5 3600x here: Amazon

AMD Ryzen 9 5900x

The AMD 5000 series is one of the most advanced and powerful gaming CPU series out there. All Ryzen CPUs are based on Zen architecture, which has made serious improvements with each passing generation. This model is priced on the higher side, but AMD has still managed to keep the price lower than its competitor, Intel, without compromising on performance.


  • Cores: 12
  • Threads: 24
  • Clock Speed: 3.7 GHz / 4.8 GHz

Why invest in a separate CPU for gaming and content creation when you can do both in one? Ryzen 9 5900x is ideal for both gamers and content creators and comes with great performance capabilities.

One thing you should consider before buying this model is that it does not include any thermal solutions. If that is not one of the most important features for you, then this CPU still provides great value for the money.

Find more details about the AMD Ryzen 9 5900x here: Amazon

Intel Core i9 10900K

Core i9 is one of the most advanced generations in Intel’s processors and gaming-friendly series. Intel claims i9 to be the world’s fastest gaming CPU, which also comes at a high price. The 10900K is a super powerful CPU that integrates well with NVMe SSD.


  • Cores: 10
  • Threads: 20
  • Clock Speed: 3.7 GHz / 5.3 GHz

The likes of CS: GO and Dota 2 run effortlessly with the support of this CPU. However, some of the cheaper CPUs from the AMD Ryzen series perform the same job, and even in 4K. So, if you do not have any monetary limitations, then feel free to go for Intel’s 10900K series. Otherwise, cheaper options are available from AMD that provide the same performance and experience.

One feature that might attract users to this CPU is its great overclocking potential. Overall, this is a powerful CPU, but it comes at a slightly higher price point.

Find more details about the Intel Core i9 10900K here: Amazon

AMD Ryzen 5 5600x

The Ryzen 5000 is a mid-range series from AMD that provides great value for the cost. There is little difference between the Ryzen 5900x CPU and this model. Gaming performance is the same for both, with nearly identical frame rates.


  • Cores: 6
  • Threads: 12
  • Clock Speed: 3.7 GHz / 4.6 GHz

This processor offers great gaming performance with good overclocking performance. Like other CPUs in the Ryzen 5000 series, this model also ships in with the Wraith Stealth Cooler. Priced quite aggressively, this model easily competes with many overpriced CPUs from AMD’s competitor, Intel.

Find more details about the AMD Ryzen 5 5600x here: Amazon

Intel Core i7 10700K

Another Intel CPU on our list is the i7 10700K. This model is the one that I am currently using. This is a great CPU with fantastic stock performance and solid overclocking potential. This model is also priced cheaper than similarly capable CPUs offered by AMD, offering value for its price point.


  • Cores: 8
  • Threads: 16
  • Clock Speed: 3.8 GHz / 5.1 GHz

The 8 cores and 16 threads contained within this CPU prove to be enough for any games that I play, as well as other content-related work. The games that I have played on this CPU include CS: GO and EA Sports FIFA 21, and the performance was very good, even on full settings.

The i7 10700K is the best gaming CPU out there, and it can handle anything you throw at it.

Find more details about the Intel Core i7 10700K here: Amazon

AMD Ryzen 5 3400G

The Ryzen 5 3400G is one of the cheapest CPU models from AMD (and its competition, as well). At this price point, you cannot expect much, but this CPU offers great performance, though it is certainly not the best in this segment.


  • Cores: 4
  • Threads: 8
  • Clock Speed: 3.7 GHz / 4.1 GHz

CPU ships in with a cooler in the box so that you do not have to spend more money to buy a cooler. This model is a great budget gaming CPU that comes with integrated Vega 11 graphics, faster than the UHD graphics found in the 8th and 9th generation of Intel’s CPUs.

Find more details about the AMD Ryzen 5 3400G here: Amazon


This list covered some of the best gaming CPUs that you can buy in 2021. Certainly, there are other CPUs that are also available, but I tried to keep the list small and cover the best model in every segment. This way, you should find it easy to decide which model best suits your needs. Feel free to ask us anything related to Linux and gaming at @linuxhint and @SwapTirthakar.

Credit to linux

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