If you are looking to build a gamer PC, you will want to know which are the best processors of 2021. Last update January 2021. Be it AMD or Intel, in this article we have made a ranking for it, guiding you to buy the best CPU for your future computer.
Processor Benchmark Ranking
First of all, when buying a new CPU, you need to know how fast it is. However, comparing multiple processors can take a long time. That is why, to facilitate this task, we have made a list of the 300 most powerful microprocessors on the market. This list is ordered by the performance obtained in the tests executed (benchmark).
To better guide you when reviewing it, consider the top 50 processors to build a high-end gaming PC . From 51 to 150, roughly, they are mid-range CPUs. While the rest are good for building low-mid or low-end computers.
Next, the complete list and updated to 2021 of the best AMD and Intel processors.
– PC Gamer: recommended microprocessors for this type of machine.
– Workstation: microprocessors recommended for workstations. They are more powerful than the previous ones. They are suitable for a gamer PC, but they are excessively expensive, since they are not intended to be played in reality.
Note: the powers of the PC gamer list should not be compared with the Workstation list since they are calculated differently.
Why does it matter to choose the correct processor?
As you may already know, one of the three main components of a gaming PC, or rather of any computer, is the processor .
This chip, also called the CPU (central processing unit in English), is the brain of the machine. In short, the processor is responsible for processing all the calculations and operations required by the operating system. Among these are programs, obviously including games. Therefore, it is vital to choose a powerful CPU, especially in a Gamer PC, so as not to present bottlenecks when playing video games.
If you are looking to build a gamer PC, the ranking of the best processors will help you select the correct CPU for your future computer. Remember that if you want to change the microprocessor, you may also have to change the motherboard. If you have doubts, we have several tutorials so that you do not make mistakes in the section of each component.
Best Processors of 2021
What is the best processor for games?
This is one of the questions that every gamer asks himself when he wants to build his gaming computer. You have to be careful with this because you can resort to an error. The “more powerful” processors are not specifically for gaming, but for use by servers or workstations (machines for working on game design or other technical work).
Basically, when you want to buy a powerful CPU for gaming , you should skip the microprocessor models: Intel Xeon, AMD EPYC, AMD Opteron, Intel Core i9, and AMD Ryzen Threadripper. This type of processors is not intended for games, but to make servers or perform high-performance professional tasks. Although they can also be used on a gaming PC, their cost is extremely high and it is not at all convenient in a price / quality ratio.
What some PC Gamers do tend to do is buy a used Intel Xeon, for example. Being an old CPU , with several years of use, its price drops considerably, achieving a good price / quality ratio for its performance. However, it is risky to do this, so we do not recommend it.
So let’s move on to the next question.
Best Microprocessors for PC Gamer
Now, what are the current fastest processors for a gaming PC? Like every year, in this 2021 the Intel Core i7 and AMD Ryzen 7 models are by far the best processors to play. However, let’s clarify two points first:
- The computer is a collection of parts. Your computer must have components of the same level of performance. Otherwise, you will have problems between them, for example, bottlenecks.
- Spending money on the best or most expensive CPU does not imply that when playing games you will notice the difference in FPS. On the one hand, it depends a lot on the game and the graphic (physical) levels. On the other, from the video card and RAM memory that you have placed in the machine.
Remember what we said at the beginning: “on a Gamer PC, there is a performance trident” … CPU, RAM and graphics card.
On the other hand, everything has a maximum. Playing a game at 150 FPS doesn’t make the slightest sense. The one who plays at 150 FPS, sees and feels the same as the one who runs the same game at 60 FPS or 35 FPS. That is, while you are above 30 FPS, your eye will see the same.
Best Processors of 2021
In summary, what we want to make clear is that, do not despair to buy an Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 processor of the latest generation. If you arrive on a budget, the better, because in the future the computer will last for more years (performance). But otherwise, an Intel Core i5 or an AMD Ryzen 5 are both perfect for a high-end or mid-range gaming PC. Of course, always talking about models from recent years.
For their part, the Intel Core i3 and AMD Ryzen 3, should not be relegated. They are very powerful and cheap processors , which will serve you in more accessible ranges, but that can even support a medium range of performance. Later, we will delve into these topics.
Processor Ranking by Brand
AMD vs. Intel , the eternal dispute of two giants that every year is more balanced in the gamer world. Until recently, AMD was at a disadvantage to Intel in the extreme high-end gaming PC. But since joining the Ryzen family, AMD has largely managed to balance the scales.
Next, we will see in a clean way the lists with the most powerful CPUs of each brand.
Top CPU AMD 2021
Today’s AMD processors have a significant demand in the market and have managed to match Intel in all ranges. In this 2021, AMD offers some microphones with an important price / quality ratio. This allows a gamer to find a microprocessor of the same power level as an i7 for example, but with a more accessible price.
Currently AMD has launched its best model, the AMD Ryzen microprocessors , which have been among the best processors of this 2021 , on the heels of the most powerful i7s in the Intel ranking. These mics are suitable for building an extreme gaming PC and at a more affordable price than many Intel i7s.
The following ranking includes the best AMD processors to build a gamer PC in this 2021 . Consider the first 30 to build a high-end gamer PC, the next 70 for mid-range and the rest for low-mid-range or low-end.
Best AMD Processors
2) AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X
3) AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X
4) AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3975WX
5) AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X
6) AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
7) AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3955WX
8) AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
9) AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
10) AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3945WX
11) AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT
12) AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
13) AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX
14) AMD Ryzen 9 PRO 3900
15) AMD Ryzen 9 3900
16) AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X
17) AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
18) AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX
19) AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X
20) AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990X
21) AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2920X
22) AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
23) AMD Ryzen 7 3800X
24) AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X
25) AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
26) AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
27) AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 3700
28) AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 4750G
29) AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 4700G
30) AMD Ryzen 7 4700GE
31) AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 4750GE
32) AMD Ryzen 7 4700G
33) AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT
34) AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
35) AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3600
36) AMD Ryzen 5 3600
37) AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
38) AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 2700X
39) AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1900X
40) AMD Ryzen 5 4600G
41) AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 4650G
42) AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 4650GE
43) AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 4400G
44) AMD Ryzen 5 4600GE
45) AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
46) AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 1700X
47) AMD Ryzen 7 2700
48) AMD Ryzen 7 1700X
49) AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 2700
50) AMD Ryzen 7 1700
51) AMD Ryzen 7 2700E
52) AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 1700
53) AMD Ryzen 5 2600X
54) AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2600
55) AMD Ryzen 5 3500X
56) AMD Ryzen 5 2600
57) AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
58) AMD Ryzen 5 3500
59) AMD Ryzen 3 3300X
60) AMD Ryzen 5 1600
61) AMD Ryzen 3 4300GE
62) AMD Ryzen 3 3100
63) AMD Ryzen 3 4300G
64) AMD Ryzen 3 PRO 4350GE
65) AMD Ryzen 3 PRO 4350G
67) AMD Ryzen 5 3350GE
68) AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3350GE
69) AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3350G
70) AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3400G
71) AMD Ryzen 5 2500X
72) AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 1500
73) AMD Ryzen 5 3400G
74) AMD Ryzen 5 3350G
75) AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
76) AMD Ryzen 5 3400GE
77) AMD Ryzen 5 2400G
78) AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2400G
79) AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3400GE
80) AMD Ryzen Embedded V1756B
81) AMD Ryzen 5 1400
82) AMD Ryzen 3 2300X
83) AMD Ryzen 3 PRO 1300
84) AMD Athlon Gold PRO 3150G
85) AMD Ryzen 5 3550U
86) AMD Ryzen 5 2400GE
87) AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2400GE
88) AMD Athlon Gold PRO 3150GE
89) AMD Ryzen 3 3200GE
90) AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
91) AMD Ryzen 3 PRO 3200G
92) AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
93) AMD Ryzen 3 2200G
94) AMD Ryzen 3 PRO 2200G
95) AMD FX-9590 Eight-Core
96) AMD Ryzen 3 PRO 1200
97) AMD Ryzen 3 1200
98) AMD Ryzen 3 2200GE
99) AMD Ryzen 3 PRO 2200GE
100) AMD FX-8370 Eight-Core
101) AMD FX-9370 Eight-Core
102) AMD FX-8350 Eight-Core
103) AMD Ryzen Embedded V1404I
104) AMD FX-8320 Eight-Core
105) AMD FX-8310 Eight-Core
106) AMD FX-8300 Eight-Core
107) AMD FX-8370E Eight-Core
108) AMD FX-8150 Eight- Core
109) AMD FX-8140 Eight-Core
110) AMD FX-8320E Eight-Core
111) AMD Athlon 300GE
112) AMD Athlon Silver PRO 3125GE
113) AMD Athlon 240GE
114) AMD Ryzen Embedded R1606G
115) AMD FX-6330 Six-Core
116) AMD Athlon 3000G
117) AMD FX-8120 Eight-Core
118) AMD FX -6350 Six-Core
119) AMD FX-6130 Six-Core
120) AMD Athlon PRO 300GE
121) AMD Ryzen 3 PRO 2100GE
122) AMD Athlon 200GE
123) AMD Athlon PRO 200GE
124) AMD FX-6300 Six-Core
125) AMD A8-7500
126) AMD FX-6200 Six-Core
127) AMD PRO A12-9800
128) AMD PRO A12-8870
129) AMD FX-8100 Eight-Core
130) AMD FX-6120 Six-Core
It should be noted that Intel dominates the market for the best extreme-level processors in number of models . By this I mean that between the top positions, there are always five or more of the Intel brand. Likewise, the number of microphones that Intel launches on the market does not mean that it dominates it, but that AMD has much less variety in the extreme ranges.
On the other hand, it must be clarified that the new AMD Ryzen Threadripper models are actually direct competition to the Intel Core i9. This means that, although you can use them to play games, their true objective is also 3D design and not so much games.
Top Intel CPU 2021
For many years now, Intel has continued to rely on its Intel Core series to meet the demand for mid to extreme performance processors . That is why among the best processors of the brand , we will find the Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and i9.
Since the mighty Intel Core i7s came out, no other microprocessor has been able to beat them. Intel is currently experimenting with a new model: the Intel Core i9. This microprocessor is a beast of power, but keep in mind that its real goal is not gaming, but 3D design. That is why, although it is on the list, it should be clear that its performance is far beyond games.
CPU gamer analysis
You always have to bear in mind that computing advances at accelerated steps and that the CPU that today is the best , may stop being so tomorrow because a new one comes out. That is why even for the most demanding gamers, it is very crazy to try to follow that endless race.
The idea of this list is to know which are the best processors of 2021 from both Intel and AMD for those who want to build a gamer PC , be it extreme, high, medium or low range. On the other hand, it must be taken into account that the difference in speed between the first CPU in the ranking and the number 10 , will not be directly visible when playing, not even in ultra graphics. That is why it is a mistake to become obsessed with having the best of the best.
With this I also want to clarify another point for all gamers. Those who want to build a high-level gaming PC , do not need to go for the first places in the ranking of processors , what is more, they can opt for the core i5 / ryzen 5 presented, which are extremely powerful, or the best core i3 / ryzen 3 of this top, since they would only have to aspire to more power if they are going to buy any of the 10 best video cards of 2021 .
It should be noted that the list has been drawn up using benchmark techniques . For those who do not know, the benchmark is a technique used to know the performance of a PC’s hardware. There are many software to do this. It all consists of graphics, sound, and processing tests that evaluate hardware speeds and capabilities.
Best Processors of the Moment
Until the time of the arrival of the 8th generation of Intel (Coffee Lake), AMD dominated the market with its powerful AMD Ryzen. But with the arrival of the new Intel Core, the ranking stabilized again.
Extreme Gaming Processors
In this 2021 , the latest generations of Intel Core i7 and AMD Ryzen 7, constitute the most powerful processors to build an extreme range gamer PC . These microprocessors are the fastest to play video games, as well as to support any video card , the best of the moment, at any maximum possible level. Of course, it is not necessary to acquire these beasts to be able to play with extremely high graphics and FPS, which is why these microprocessors are at an extreme level , and not only high.
If you look at the complete list of the ranking, you can see that there are several processors of past generations that are at the same level of performance as those of the new generation. This is not an error, since in the benchmark tests the PC as a whole is evaluated, and not just the CPU. This means that on the whole, a PC with a CPU almost as powerful as another turns out to have the same performance.
It should be noted that the extreme range is part of the high range, that is, they are the top microprocessors of the same.
High and Mid-Range Gaming Processors
When we talk about high-end gamer microprocessors , we refer to those that allow you to take advantage of 100% the most powerful graphics card on the market, whatever it is. That is, to be able to configure the heaviest game of the moment with the maximum possible graphics without thinking that we will have to lower any option. No, with a high-end CPU and an excellent video card to match this will not happen.
Taking into account the above, the generations of Intel Core i7 and AMD Ryzen 7 of the previous two years, constitute the high range along with the more modern Intel Core i5 and AMD Ryzen 5. In an approximate way, all those processors that are among the first 50 places are considered to have a high level of performance.
On the other hand we have the mid-range gamer processors , which are the ones that comprise the bulk of the market. There are a large number of models and that is why it is usually divided into medium-high, medium and medium-low range. Going to the point, the upper-middle range can be found between 51 to 100 in the ranking, the pure mid-range from 101 to 150, and finally, the lower-middle range from 151 to 200.
All mid-range microprocessors will allow you to play all the games of the moment and can support high-mid-range graphics cards at 100% performance.
Low End Gaming Processors
The gamer low – end microprocessors should not be ignored because we must remember that the analysis range is from the perspective of a gamer PC. These processors are obviously very powerful and can even run any game of the moment, but the problem will arise when linking a graphics card with a higher than average range, since it will not support it, creating a bottleneck.
In summary, although these microprocessors are still suitable for building a gaming PC, they will limit you in terms of choosing a mid-range video card. Still, keep in mind that a mid-range graphics card allows you to play current games at medium levels with a perfectly fluid amount of FPS.
In this section we find the new Intel Core i3. Something different happens here, given that, for example, we find the best i3 as a well-planted upper-mid-range CPU, while the rest are much lower, but still in the mid-range. So in this group we include the two Ryzen named above and the latest Intel Core i3.
One step below we find the AMD Ryzen 3, which should not be despised because they are processors that can serve perfectly for a medium-low gaming PC. But of course, it is always advisable to buy a CPU that can provide a slightly higher performance, since otherwise we may be limited with some games of the moment.
Processor Comparison by Price
Due to a better price / quality ratio, AMD processors are more recommendable. This does not mean that in Intel you cannot find a CPU according to what you need and at a good price, but in general AMD stands out in this range.
On the other hand, the AMD microprocessors of this range withstand the pressure of a high-end graphics better compared to those of Intel, being able to take more advantage of the graphic performance of our video card without forming a bottleneck between the micro and the same. Of course, this is not to say that Intel processors at these prices generate bottlenecks at low demand rates, but rather that AMD processors will respond better to the FPS requirement.
As for Intel, we first find the Pentium G, which are a good option if you do not want to spend on a Core i3, since its performance is similar, in fact, these processors were based on the Core i3. Otherwise, you should buy a low or mid-range Core i3. Of course, as long as you can buy a better Core i3, since it will support the graphics much better.
On the AMD side , we have the A10 range and the six-core FX. The first is similar to Pentium G processors, although they respond better than these. While the six-core FX are the best option in terms of price / quality in this section. The performance of the six-core FX will allow you to support a high-end video card and to a large extent, without having bottlenecks in average rates of demand. Of course, they are processors for a low-end gaming pc , but in this case, they are the best.
You should bear in mind that if you buy a mid-range graphics card, you will not have bottleneck problems, but if you buy a high-end video card, you will have limitations when you want to make the most of it. By this I mean that, for example, a game at medium graphics levels, you can run it normally, but if you want to upload it to high graphics, problems will begin since your micro will not support such demands . Of course, it depends on the game as well.
How to correctly choose a CPU?
When selecting the processor for our computer we must take into account several factors, in addition to the available budget of course. One of these factors is to answer a simple question: what level of demand will we give to our CPU? Here we will have to think in parallel what type of graphics card is the one that we will place.
Both for professional 3D design work and for playing next-generation video games, we need to have a video card, which is a key component to provide us with optimal performance.
When what we want is to build a gamer computer or a PC to work in 3D design then we will necessarily have to choose a powerful graphics card, that is, one of the best video cards. Depending on the video card that we choose, we will have a floor in the processor that we buy. That is, if we select a high-end graphics card, for example, our CPU should be minimally mid-range.
In the case of 3D design, the most recommended graphics cards are high-end or medium-high, so the microprocessor must be mid-range or high-end. On the contrary, in the case of wanting a gaming computer , everything will depend on how powerful we want it to be the same or what graphic levels we want to handle in games.
For example, if you want to play the heaviest games of the moment with extreme graphics, then we will necessarily have to buy a high-end video card and CPU. In case you want to play high graphics, a high-end graphics and a mid-high-end CPU would be sufficient.