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Which gaming CPUs have the best price-to-performance ratio?

AMD vs. Intel im CPU- und PlattformvergleichImage: IDG

Which processors currently have the best price-performance ratio for playing current titles, and what should you definitely look out for when buying a new CPU? This detailed guide will answer those pressing questions, and also provides many useful tips.

We consider processors from AMD and Intel from the Ryzen and Core series of the following generations:

AMD Ryzen 5000 (“Vermeer”)AMD Ryzen 7000 (“Raphael”)Intel Core 12000 (“Alder Lake”)Intel Core 13000 (“Raptor Lake”)*

*Joined by the Core 14000 (“Raptor Lake Refresh”), which replace their predecessors 1:1, so to speak.

This brings us to the most interesting question: Which processor offers the highest performance for the money? In the following diagrams we have compared the current average market prices with our FPS values determined from 12 games and put them in relation to each other.

We consider a total of three elementary criteria for the price-performance ratio:

Price-performance ratio in games with HD (720p)Price-performance ratio in games with full HD (1080p)Price-performance ratio in mutli-thread applications

This article was translated from German to English and originally appeared on pcwelt.de.

CPUs with the best price-performance

Here we offset the gaming and application performance determined in our benchmarks with the currently cheapest market value.

Preis-Leistung Gaming 720p - CPU
Preis-Leistung Gaming 1080p - CPU
Preis-Leistung Anwendungen - CPU

Gaming performance of the CPUs at a glance

The following charts show the average gaming performance of the processors in HD resolution (720p) with 1280×720 pixels in the 12 games we tested. The higher the score, the better.

Spiele-Durchschnitt 720p - CPU
Assassin's Creed Valhalla 720p - CPU
A Total War Saga Troy 720p - CPU
Battlefield V 720p - CPU
Borderlands 3 720p - CPU
Cyberpunk 2077 720p - CPU
DOOM Eternal 720p - CPU
F1 2020 720p - CPU
Hitman 3 720p - CPU
Red Dead Redemption 2 720p - CPU
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 720p - CPU
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 720p - CPU
Watch Dogs Legion 720p - CPU

With the release of Raptor Lake, Intel made a relatively large leap in performance, which catapulted the Core i9-13900K and the Core i7-13700K to the top of our benchmarks and thus ahead of the Ryzen 7000.

With the release of the Ryzen 7000X3D, however, the tide has turned again. AMD was thus able to reclaim the performance crown from Intel, although it should be added that not all games benefit from the larger L3 cache (3D V-Cache).

Larger differences are also only noticeable in the CPU limit. However, as soon as the GPU limits, which is often the case, especially in the higher resolutions such as WQHD (1440p) and 4K/UHD (2160p), the processor only plays a subordinate role.

Our test results also show that it doesn’t always have to be a top model for gaming. Because even mid-range CPUs like the Core i5-13600K or the Ryzen 7 7700X can keep up well and are not too far behind. The new Core 14000 chips, which are merely a refresh of the Core 13000, replace their direct predecessors almost 1:1 in the benchmarks.

Core i9-13900K → Core i9-14900KCore i7-13700K → Core i7-14700KCore i5-13600K → Core i5-14600K

The Intel Core i7-14700K occupies a small special position here. Although it replaces the Core i7-13700K in terms of gaming performance, it still has to be rated somewhat higher in terms of multi-thread performance due to its four additional E-cores.

Further reading: Best graphics cards for PC gaming

Purchase recommendations for every price range

For many users, it is not only interesting which processor brings the most performance for the corresponding task area, but which CPU offers the best price-performance ratio in the respective price class.

The following table shows our CPU recommendations for each price range.

Price range Recommendation RRP Best price 15.06.2023 Retailer

up to $100AMD Ryzen 5 5500$159 from $99Best Buyup to $150AMD Ryzen 5 5600 $199from $134 Amazonup to $200AMD Ryzen 7 5700X$319from $176Amazon up to $350 AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D$499 from $323 Amazonup to $400 AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D$499 from $399 Best Buyup to $450Intel Core i9-14700K$445 from $419 Best Buyup to $600 AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D$699from $630Amazon

Users who rely on an APU and thus want to use a CPU with an integrated powerful GPU should also take a look at the AMD Ryzen 5600G, which is currently offered at prices starting at $124. Especially for older and less demanding games, a dedicated graphics card can be dispensed with here.

This article was translated from German to English and originally appeared on pcwelt.de.

Sven Bauduin konzipiert und realisiert bereits seit rund 20 Jahren Computersysteme und berichtet über fast alle relevanten IT-Themen. Aktuelle Hardware wie Prozessoren, Mainboards, Arbeitsspeicher und Grafikkarten aber auch Betriebssysteme und Anwendungssoftware sowie Linux und Open Source sind seine Themenschwerpunkte.

Recent stories by Sven Bauduin:

5 reasons to get an AMD Ryzen CPU for your next PC5 reasons to buy an Intel Core CPU for your next PCPC bottlenecks explained: How to know if your CPU or GPU is limiting games

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