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How to Pick the Right CPU for Gaming

Buying the right CPU is often a challenging task especially when you are looking in the market with so many options available. Back in the past, it used to be fairly easy as Intel was the only available option. However, with AMD’s triumphant return to the market with the new Ryzen 7 series motherboards (X570), things have become a bit too technical and if you want to buy a good CPU for gaming, things can be a bit technical, too.

Today, we are going to walk you through a guide that will help you in getting the perfect CPU for gaming. The reason why we are mentioning “gaming” here is that is exactly what we are going to be emphasizing.

Keeping that in mind, let’s not waste time and have a look at how you can buy the perfect CPU for gaming. While you’re at it don’t forget to check out our round-up of Best CPUs for gaming.

Outlining the Budget

The first step is outlining your budget. This is an important one because once you have decided on how much you want to spend, your overall buying experience would be a lot easier. However, considering how it can be difficult for some people, we have decided to take a look at some of the most common price brackets, and talk about what these price brackets would get you.

  • $50 to $100: This is perhaps one of the most entry levels that you can think of. In this range, you are going to get the most basic CPU that will work just fine for tasks like exploring the web, watching videos, and do basic tasks. You can game on it, but it will be bottlenecked in no time, something that most of you would want to avoid.
  • $150 – $250: This is where the sweet spot for gaming stops. In this price bracket, you can get some pretty great CPUs for gaming that will help you a lot, and allow you to achieve your gaming experience without any worries, whatsoever.
  • $250 to $350: While this bracket is also for the gamers, the added benefit here is of the fact that here you can overclock your CPU, and more importantly, you can perform medium to high-grade productivity tasks like rendering videos, and such.

The aforementioned price brackets are definitely the ones to keep in mind whenever you are looking to buy a good CPU, I can assure you that you will have a much better, simpler, and easier experience in buying the CPU that you have been wanting to.

Intel or AMD

Once you have decided the budget, you can start looking at whether you want to go with Intel or AMD. This can be a hard thing to do for most people due to the prolific options available from both companies, but it is a decision we cannot avoid. To get extra in-depth insights about this topic checkout our comprehensive budget guide here: How much should you actually spend on a motherboard

In all honesty, when AMD first launched their Ryzen CPUs, they did not get the response everyone was hoping for in terms of gaming performance. However, over time, AMD has perfected these CPUs, as well as their latest and most successful B450 motherboards line up and they are now better than ever.

Intel, on the other hand, has remained consistent throughout the time, and still manages to do so in 2019.

Whatever the case may be, I can assure you that you will not have to worry about getting either of the CPUs, because as far as the sheer performance is concerned, both of them will work flawlessly, provided you are paring them with the right components and motherboards i.e Z390 for i9-9900k or Z590 for 10th gen intel processors.

Know What Type of Games You Want to Play

It is true that you can buy a good high-end CPU and you will be able to play all the games there are. However, what is the point of spending upwards of $500 on a CPU only to play games like Counter Strike or Fortnite?

Whenever you are buying a CPU, you should always have a proper understanding of the games you want to play. If the games you are looking to play are demanding to a point that they require a good CPU, then you can easily go buy a higher-end option. However, if the games that you play are not really high end and can run on cheaper CPU, too. Then there is no point in spending a lot of money. It is just one thing that you must keep in mind.

Avoid Bottlenecking

When it comes to buying a good CPU for gaming, one of the main things that you will have to be careful about is bottlenecking. You must avoid it at all costs otherwise, the games you will play will not be able to utilize your systems properly. The right thing here is to avoid bottlenecking at all costs.

How to do that? Well, it is rather simple. If you are buying a CPU and a GPU, then make sure that the GPU you are buying is twice as expensive as your CPU. So, in theory, if the CPU you have is $250, then the GPU should be around $500 or above

Similar Read: AMD B350 vs X470: Which One is Better

That way, you will be able to avoid bottlenecking. You must also know that this rule of thumb is not 100 percent accurate, and there is a slight chance of discrepancy, but for what it’s worth, it does take care of things pretty well.


In conclusion, we are fully aware of the fact that buying a proper gaming CPU is one of the most difficult tasks you can do. There are so many factors involved in the process, and you can easily mess things up, as well. The right thing to do, however, is to make sure that you are being careful and read this buying guide that will allow you to buy the perfect CPU also make sure to checkout out this bunch of CPUs for further details.

We have the option to make this a bit more technical, but for gamers who are just looking for a simple buying experience, this guide gives more than enough.


Bill Wilson

Bill is a certified Microsoft Professional providing assistance to over 500 remotely connected employees and managing Windows 2008 to 2016 servers.