The three best processors to play that you can buy

Intel and AMD have a large catalog of general consumption CPUs, but which ones are the best processors to play? It is a question that is not easy to answer, especially because thanks to the price war that has occurred between the two companies right now we can find a variety of interesting solutions, but in this article we will give you an answer focusing on three large Budgets: less than 100 euros, less than 200 euros and less than 350 euros.

Our goal is to identify the three best processors to play that we can find in the market right now in those price ranges. We will see your specifications, what value do they offer to be considered "the best" and we will explain what we can expect from them both in the short and medium and long term.

This approach has a reason, and is that buying a processor is one of the most complicated decisions we must make, and it is also one of the most important investments when setting up a PC. Knowing its performance in the short and medium term is important, but if we are clear about its long-term useful life we ​​will be fully aware of how it will stand the test of time, and when we will have to change it without any other remedy.

As always I hope that this guide dedicated to the three best processors to play will be useful and help you choose the processor that best suits your needs. If you have any questions you can leave it in the comments and We will help you solve it.

The best processors to play: previous considerations

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Before launching to choose we must be clear about what elements define a good gaming processor, that is, what requirements are essential so that a CPU can be considered as good if we plan to use it to play.

If we just do one short term look It is quite simple to outline those requirements:

  • You must have at least Four cores and eight threads.
  • his CPI it must be at the height of Intel Core 4000 processors (Haswell series) or at the level of the Ryzen 1000 series (Zen series).
  • The actual working frequency, either in turbo mode or after applying stable overclock, should not fall below 3.6 GHz

Well, based on these three requirements we can say that, for example, the Ryzen 5 1500X It is a good processor for games, and the same would happen with the Core i7 4770K and with others like him Core i7 7700K or the Ryzen 5 2600.

As we can see, it is not difficult to find, today, good processors to play, but what makes some of them be considered the best processors to play? In this case we have to add, to those three requirements that we have seen and that serve as the basis, other fundamental ideas that we will see next:

  • Have a competitive price and according to the real value they offer compared to other equivalent models.
  • They must have one efficiency and some temperatures of work balanced and reasonable.
  • It has to be integrated into a modern platform, complete and enjoy a reasonable lifespan.
  • Good performance both medium and long term, But without unnecessary excess.

If we apply those four points along with the previous three we see the list of candidates for best processors to play is reduced considerably. For example, him Core i9 9900KS It is a high performance processor that is integrated into a modern platform, but has very high working temperatures and a price that is too high for what it offers. This makes it not one of the best processors to play, at least strictly speaking, that is, if we stick to those requirements.

Another example, but this time on the side of AMD. The Ryzen 9 3900X is a very powerful processor that has a high potential in parallel workloads, thanks to its 12 cores and 24 threads, it is integrated into a very complete and updated platform and has very good working temperatures. Its price is also balanced, but its real potential is not used today, and will not be used in the medium and long term, so it represents an "unnecessary" excess. Therefore it is not one of the best processors to play.

The best processors to play are not the ones that offer the most gross performance, but those that offer the best price-performance value, also fulfilling those ideas of efficiency, shelf life and platform We have seen before.

Best processors to play: less than 100 euros

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We started at a level that until recently was a bit complicated, especially after the gradual decline that have been experiencing quad-core and four-wire processors, a configuration that has gone, in just over two years, from being a standard in the mid-range to becoming a "low" range.

Thanks to the push of AMD and the competitiveness that Intel has been showing with the Core 8000 and 9000 series we have lived A revolution which has led the six-core processors to fall to a price level that until recently we would not have dared to dream.

At the beginning of 2017 a six-core and twelve-wire processor like the Core i7 6800K cost more than 450 euros With the arrival of the first generation Ryzen it was possible to buy a Ryzen 5 1600, with six cores and twelve threads, for less than 250 euros, and little by little the prices went down until arriving at little more than one hundred euros.

As we have indicated above a chip that wants to enter that top three of the best processors to play must meet seven important requirements, and in the category of less than 100 euros there is no competition, the undisputed winner is the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 AF, a chip that is based on the Zen + architecture (12 nm) and manufactured in 12 nm process.

Its performance is only between 2% and 5% lower than that offered by the Ryzen 5 2600, and costs 99.99 euros. These are your specs:

  • Zen + architecture in 12 nm process.
  • Six cores and twelve threads at 3.2 GHz-3.6 GHz, normal and turbo mode.
  • Supports overclock with B350 chipsets and higher.
  • 16 MB of L3 cache.
  • 65 watt TDP.
  • Compatible with AM4 socket.

With this processor we can play any current title completely optimally, and we will endure the first transition stage that will mark the new generation consoles. The AM4 platform, in which it is integrated, will also allow us to update without problems to a superior processor without having to change anything.

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Alternatives: the only real alternative if you are looking for an Intel chip is the Core i5 9400F, which has six cores and six threads. It has a higher CPI and superior mononuclear performance, but it is limited to six wires and has a much higher price, since it costs 151.90 euros.

Best processors to play: less than 200 euros

We jump to a complicated level, since it is where most consumers move and where there is more competition. Both AMD and Intel now have a large number of different generation options at this level, including the Core i5 9400F that we have indicated in the previous section, but the undisputed winner for price-performance value, platform and useful life is the Ryzen 7 2700. We tell you why.

We are facing a processor of 8 cores and 16 threads which is capable of reaching, in turbo mode, the 4.1 GHz, and that comes with a fan capable of keeping temperatures at a more than acceptable level. This means that we do not need to make any additional investment to enjoy a good return, and its price is excellent: 149.99 euros.

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With the Ryzen 7 2700 we can play any current title and we will be ready for the transition that will come with the arrival of PS5 and Xbox Series X, thanks to its 8 cores and 16 threads. It is a good purchase for the value it offers both today and in the long term, and if we need to change it we will have no problem, since the AM4 platform in which it is integrated Scale up to the Ryzen 3000 series.

To finish we leave you a summary with your specs:

  • Zen + architecture in 12 nm process.
  • Eight cores and sixteen threads at 3.2 GHz-4.1 GHz, normal and turbo mode.
  • Supports overclock with chipset B350 and higher.
  • 16 MB of L3 cache.
  • 65 watt TDP.
  • AM4 socket compatible.

Alternatives: in this case Intel does not have any processor that really competes in price-performance value with the Ryzen 7 2700. The closest solution is the Core i7 9700F, and has a price of 327 euros, so it makes no sense to consider it as an alternative in this category.

Best processors to play: less than 350 euros

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In this case we have two strong candidates: the Ryzen 7 3700X and the Core i7 9700F. Both offer a fairly solid value for the price they have, But which is better option? We are going to see its specifications and explain its performance and its characteristics in order to make a duly justified choice.

Ryzen 7 3700X Specifications:

  • Zen 2 architecture in 7 nm process.
  • Eight cores and sixteen wires at 3.6 GHz-4.4 GHz, normal and turbo mode.
  • Supports overclock with chipset B350 and higher.
  • 32 MB of L3 cache.
  • 65 watt TDP.
  • AM4 socket compatible.
  • Price: 320.90 euros.

Core i7 9700F specifications:

  • Eight cores and eight wires at 3 GHz-4.7 GHz, normal and turbo mode.
  • LGA 1151 socket with 300 series chipset.
  • Coffee Lake Refresh architecture.
  • Multiplier locked.
  • 65 watt TDP.
  • 12 MB smart cache.
  • Price: 324.90 euros.

If we stick to the raw specifications it is clear that the Ryzen 7 3700X looks like the winning option, but is it really so? In general terms yes. Right now both offer virtually identical performance in games and are therefore two of the best processors to play that we can find in the high-end market.

The difference in this case tilts the balance in favor of the Ryzen 7 3700X is the SMT technology support, which allows you to work with 8 processes and 16 threads, that is, it has 8 cores and 16 threads. By cons, the Core i7 9700F has eight cores and eight threads, since Intel decided eliminate HyperThreading technology and leave it as exclusive to the Core i9 9900 in all its variants.

That smaller amount of threads and the fact that PS5 and Xbox Series X will come with processors Zen 2 with 8 cores and 16 threads It is what leads me to declare winner of Ryzen 7 3700X. This chip represents a better investment if we look in the long term, and therefore it is the winner in this range of our guide of the three best processors to play.

Alternatives: The Core i7 9700K is the best alternative if we are less concerned with the issue of long-term investment.

And what about the processors of more than 400 euros?

best processors to play

I know that more than one of our readers is likely to wonder why we have omitted this category, and the answer is simple, because for a normal user it is not worth investing so much money in a processor, let alone if our main objective is going to be to play.

The best processors to play are those that fall within the range of less than 350 euros for a simple reason, they are the only ones that really take advantage and offer a balanced value from a perspective in the short, medium and long term.

We go back to the example we have set of the Ryzen 9 3900X. It is a very powerful processor and with a good price-performance value, but we will not see games that take advantage of it even in the long term, and the same happens, obviously, with the Ryzen 9 3950X.

However, those two processors would make sense to a user who plays and streams, for example, or for those who want join in a single PC work and leisure and that use professional applications capable of taking advantage of chips with such a high parallel capacity. In both cases the list of the best processors to play would change, because it would no longer be limited to that task.

I would like to make a small paragraph before finishing in relation to quad-core processors. They are not dead, I am aware of this, but today they only make sense if our budget is very tight and we want to mount something that allows us to play in short-term conditions, that is, if we are aware that we will have to update within one or two years.

If you find yourself in this case the Ryzen 3 1200 is the best option that exists right now, since it costs 48.99 euros. These are its specifications:

  • Zen architecture in 14 nm.
  • Four cores and four wires at 3.1 GHz-3.4 GHz, normal and turbo mode.
  • Supports overclock with B350 chipsets and higher.
  • 8 MB of L3 cache.
  • 65 watt TDP.
  • Compatible with AM4 socket.

It offers good performance and is integrated into the AM4 platform, which means you can update without having to change the motherboard. Thus, you could mount it in a basic configuration and change it within one or two years for a Ryzen 7 2700, for example.

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