How much is a cpu. How much is a cpu

When you purchase Intel processors, you will likely notice that many of them are called “LGA 1151” or “LGA 2011”. The number corresponds to the number of pins on the bottom of the socket and pads on the bottom of the processor.

Best CPU for Gaming 2022

It’s not unusual to begin your search for a great gaming processor for a high-end gaming PC after finding the best graphics cards. GPU prioritization isn’t entirely unreasonable as this component ultimately determines what quality and resolution settings you’ll be able to run your games with. But you can’t spend all of your time and money choosing a GPU just to save on CPU. After all, your CPU is probably just as important as it dictates how well the rest of your gaming PC performs, and a too-weak CPU can clog your system, preventing your GPU from even running at full capacity.

The CPU is not only known as the “CPU” for a game, it is responsible for the speed of your entire PC, from system memory to the SSDs your games are on – so it’s important to pick the best game CPU for your hardware. Unlike the graphics cards you’ll likely replace with every next generation, the best gaming processors can last for years, so make sure you make the right choice that you won’t regret in the long run.

While the CPU market boils down to Intel and AMD, every company has a myriad of offerings, and the market is always changing fast. Confusing model numbers don’t help either. To help you understand it all, here’s our rundown of the best CPUs for every type of PC gamer. If you are browsing in the UK, click here to find out where to find the best gaming processor.

TL;DR – These are the Best CPUs for Gaming

Best CPU for Gaming

Intel Core i5-12600K

Cores: 10 (6P + 4E) | Threads: 16 | Base clock: 3.7 GHz (P core), 2.8 (E core) | Boost clock: 4.9 GHz (P core), 3.6 GHz (E core) | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 770 | L3 cache: 20 MB | TDP: 125W

Equal parts, fast, affordable and equipped with the latest technology, the Intel Core i5-12600K is the perfect addition to almost any PC parts list. It is the first i5 chipset to feature a 12th-generation hybrid architecture, making it as powerful and efficient as processors at twice the cost. In addition, it will support the latest DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0 interfaces, ensuring the highest possible performance. This processor contains ten cores: six power cores and four high performance cores. They will help with task sharing and keep everything in your gaming world running smoothly. And aside from the cores, there are some serious hyper-threads to add to his muscles so he can handle almost any game and even keep up with some background streaming actions.

The Intel Core i5-12600K processor runs at 3.7GHz but can accelerate to 4.9GHz on the P core, and also has a solid 20MB L3 cache for consistently smooth performance in your daily work. For most gamers, this processor has everything you could want to keep you satisfied, including a high ceiling for overclocking. That’s well above what you’d expect from a CPU in this mid-price range

The symptoms of high CPU usage are familiar: the cursor moves abruptly and slowly, and applications start lagging or shutting down. Your workstation may even start to physically heat up as it gets tired with tasks. When diagnosing a faulty system, these are signs that you should start with checking your CPU.

Intel Core i7-12700K - 12th Generation Core i7 Alder Lake 12 Core (8P + 4E) 3.6 GHz LGA 1700 125W Intel UHD Graphics 770 Desktop Processor - BX8071512700K

  • L3 cache: 25 MB
  • L2 cache: 12 MB
  • Cooling Device: The cooling device is not included – only the processor
  • Production technology: Intel 7
  • Model Number: BX8071512700K
  • Item #: N82E16819118343
  • Return Policy: Return Policy Exchange Only

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X - Ryzen 7 5000 Series Vermeer (Zen 3) 8-Core 3.8GHz Socket AM4 105W Desktop Processor - 100-100000063WOF

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  • L3 cache: 32 MB
  • L2 cache: 4 MB
  • Cooling Device: The cooling device is not included – only the processor
  • Production technology: 7 nm
  • Model Number: 100-100000063WOF
  • Item #: N82E16819113665
  • Return Policy: Return Policy Exchange Only

Intel Core i3-10100 - Core i3 10th Generation Comet Lake Quad-Core 3.6 GHz LGA 1200 65 W Intel UHD Graphics 630 Desktop Processor - BX8070110100

  • L3 cache: 6 MB
  • Cooling device: heatsink and fan included
  • Production technology: 14nm
  • 64-bit support: yes
  • Model Number: BX8070110100
  • Item #: N82E16819118138
  • Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

AMD Ryzen 7 5700G - Ryzen 7 5000 G-Series Cezanne (Zen 3) 8-core 3.8 GHz Socket AM4 65 W AMD Radeon Desktop graphics processor - 100-100000263BOX

  • L3 cache: 16 MB
  • L2 cache: 4 MB
  • Cooling device: Wraith Stealth
  • Production technology: 7 nm
  • Model NO .: 100-100000263 BOX
  • Item #: N82E16819113682
  • Return Policy: Return Policy Exchange Only

Intel Core i9-11900K - Core i9 11th Generation Rocket Lake 8-core 3.5GHz LGA 1200 125W Intel UHD Graphics 750 Desktop Processor - BX8070811900K

  • L3 cache: 16 MB
  • Cooling Device: The cooling device is not included – only the processor
  • Production technology: 14nm
  • 64-bit support: yes
  • Model Number: BX8070811900K
  • Item #: N82E16819118231
  • Return Policy: Return Policy Exchange Only

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X - Ryzen 9 5000 Series Vermeer (Zen 3) 16-Core 3.4 GHz Socket AM4 105W Desktop Processor - 100-100000059WOF

CPU Processors Allow Computers to Multitask

A single processor quickly switches between different tasks to increase multitasking. This increases the speed of the processor and makes the computer run optimally. The processor works with the operating system to ensure no data loss. A multi-core processor contains more than one component, and only the bus interface component transfers the data in and out. The multi-core processor also ensures that one core runs at full capacity while performing tasks without slowing down other tasks or clogging other cores. Desktop processors meet the needs of desktop computers. Desktop processors offer high thermal tolerance and are overclockable. The most popular are Intel® and AMD desktop processors.Both brands of desktop processors have increased power and performance, which improves the overall performance of your computers.

The server system responds to requests on the computer network to help provide the network service. Server processors provide incredible scalability and performance to handle demanding tasks with the performance enterprises demand. The server processor runs for a long time with constant load from different users. Servers can host multiple CPUs, depending on the applications they use. Computer processors run at high frequencies, processing more data.

When you purchase Intel processors, you will likely notice that many of them are called “LGA 1151” or “LGA 2011”. The number corresponds to the number of pins on the bottom of the socket and pads on the bottom of the processor.

What Will You Use Your CPU For?

Let’s start by discussing a few common uses. Knowing what you’ll be doing with your CPU is the first step before deciding how powerful it should be, and ultimately which CPU you’ll choose for your build.

Using your CPU to surf the Internet will not require as much power as, for example, the CPU in the case of the RTX 2080 Ti.

Basic Tasks: $50-$100 range

surfing the net

If you’re building a PC for home use and won’t be doing any heavy-duty tasks (no, checking Facebook ten times a day isn’t intense), you might get away with a cheap Ryzen 3 or Intel i3 family processor.

In fact, you might even be able to get away with an even cheaper CPU like the Intel Pentium G4560, but to be honest, the R3 and i3 families are such a good deal, there’s no reason to have anything less in my opinion.

Gaming: $150-$250 range

set up your gaming computer

If you’re using a gaming CPU, it likely won’t have to be insanely powerful or expensive, and it shouldn’t eat up a large chunk of your budget. This is because most well-optimized PC games primarily use the power of the graphics card, which is responsible for 3D rendering and gaming tasks.

As long as your CPU is a good pair for your graphics card, you’ll have no problem running most games. But if your CPU is restricting your graphics card, you may run into some problems.

For example, you wouldn’t want to pair a Pentium processor with the new RTX 2060.

So it’s important to use the correct CPU / GPU combination depending on the type of games you want to play and how challenging the games will be.

However, not all games are primarily GPU-based – some may use more GPUs than you might think.

For example, games like ARMA III require significantly more processing power than better optimized games like Fortnite, which have better PC development teams and primarily use CPU.

Even so, overall, in games, the CPU is less important than the GPU. If gaming is all you want to do, you don’t need to spend $ 300 on a top processor like the Intel Core i9-9900K.

For most gaming builds, mid-range i5s or better, the Ryzen 5 is a great choice.

Creative Media Work & Streaming: $250-$350 range

computer configuration for streaming

This is where things get a bit more complicated. If you’re building a dedicated streaming PC, you don’t need to purchase an amazingly powerful CPU. Assuming you have a dedicated gaming PC and another PC dedicated solely to streaming, an i3 or Ryzen 3 processor will do the job just fine. If you really want to play it safe, upgrading to an i5 or Ryzen 5 is a good idea.

On the other hand, if you intend to stream from the same computer you use to play, you’ll need a much more powerful processor.

This is because you need to encode your stream (compressing large video files for easier internet upload). Unlike games, coding is a CPU-intensive process.

If a game is moderately working on your CPU, gaming and streaming will likely increase it, causing a terrifying CPU bottleneck. This will have a negative impact on the game experience, not to mention stream quality.

Must-Know CPU Specifications

Here are some essential CPU specs:

Core Count

cPU cores

Your CPU (Central Processing Unit) is tasked with calculating a lot of things with incredible speed and recruiting different cores for it.

Think of each core as a miniature processor capable of handling its own calculations.

For example, if a single-core processor would need to calculate 5 x 4 x 3 x 2, here’s how it will handle the problem:

Conversely, a multi-core CPU would do several computations simultaneously. One core would calculate 5 x 4 while the other would calculate 3 x 2, getting the answers at the same time and multiplying them at the end, effectively saving time .

This is why multi-core processors are generally better at dealing with intensive tasks, such as video editing, where many different processes are taking place simultaneously.

However, most video games don’t take full advantage of a ton of CPU cores – in fact, nothing more than four cores (maybe six, but that’s a spoof) will be used by most modern PC games. Having more than four cores isn’t a bad thing though, especially if you plan on doing literally anything other than gaming on your computer.

What’s the score here?

The more cores your CPU has, the more tasks it can handle at the same time, making it more efficient and productive. In general, the more cores the better. If you plan on playing and doing whatever you want on your workstation, the Intel i5 and Ryzen 5 six-core processors are a great place to watch.

Cache Size

CPU pins

The CPU cache is critical to the speed we are all used to from modern computers.

Most people think of hard drives, SSDs, and even RAM when they hear “system memory.” But the CPU cache is a form of memory that is often overlooked and is critical to your system’s performance.

Your processor’s cache is a specialized type of memory that is built directly into your processor.

But why does your CPU need its own memory when you have RAM?

Well, your RAM is faster than, say, your hard drive. But your CPU needs data even faster than your RAM can deliver it.

Moreover, as processors continue to power up at blazing speed (Moore’s Law), they are ahead of RAM modules by a wider margin. Without faster memory, the CPU will sit there doing nothing while waiting for RAM.

Enter the CPU cache. Unlike system memory, which uses dynamic RAM (DRAM), the system cache uses static RAM (SRAM). It is more expensive and takes up more space, but is much faster than DRAM as it does not require constant refresh to store data.

The average CPU will have a few MB of available cache, but it uses a lot of it. When the CPU accesses something from the main RAM of the system, it usually stores it in its cache, then uses advanced algorithms to guess the next set of instructions it will need next, and it will pull that data from the RAM as well.

Basically, your CPU will ask your RAM for any data it thinks it will need and stores all the data in its cache for immediate use.

schematic diagram of the RAM cache processor

Since these guesses aren’t perfect, sometimes the CPU has a “no cache” where it tries to find the data it needs in its cache but cannot and instead requests data directly from RAM, slowing things down.

It is the total number of independent processes that the CPU can execute at the same time. In theory, this number should be the same as the number of CPU cores.

Deciding on your CPU


Both the CPU (CPU) and GPU (graphics processing unit) need to work together for optimal performance. The processor enables more tasks to be handled faster and is better used for logic-based tasks.

On the other hand, the GPU enables high-definition image and video rendering in the required quality. This is especially important when performing high-intensity visual tasks such as rendering games and videos. You can read here for more information on CPU and GPU in games.

Cores vs threads

Processors use a process called simultaneous multithreading, also known as hyperthreading in Intel processors. This is the division of the core into several virtual threads. The core will use threads to provide more power to certain programs, and most CPUs can provide twice as many threads as cores. Read more about threads and hyper-threading in our HP Tech Takes article here.


In general, cores are used to transfer information through the computer and allow you to make changes to files. You can speed up CPU processing time by having multiple cores and tinkering with overclocking (which you can read about here). Be careful though, overclocking can void your warranty and wear components faster.

CPU speed

Also known as “clock speed,” processor speed tells you how fast the processor gets the information from the RAM that the computer requires to perform a given task. It can also help you check if you have enough cores on your device and where you can make improvements to RAM, graphics and other key features.

The higher the processor speed, the more likely your computer will run well in many applications. Processor speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz) and the 3.5 GHz processor speed is more than enough for most users to run their preferred software. For games, video editing, and other applications that require multiple cores, aim for CPU speeds in the range of 3.5GHz to 4.0GHz for best results.

While CPU speed is important, you also need to consider how it can work with your cores and how it can affect your PC experience. These two aspects of the CPU should be assessed together to determine if your computer is running at optimal speed.

Is it better to have a higher CPU speed or more cores?

Whether you opt for a higher CPU speed or more cores may depend on what exactly you want from your device. Faster processor speeds typically help applications load faster, and more cores allow you to run more programs simultaneously and switch from one program to another more easily.

  • If you routinely load a lot of software and run multiple programs at once, you’ll want more cores and a lower CPU speed.
  • If you want to play video games that require high CPU processing power or run programs that render large amounts of information quickly, choose a high processor speed and fewer cores.

This will determine the type of processor you want and its generation. Also, keep in mind that newer processors are likely to perform much more efficiently than older ones. Also, freeing up some hard disk space can make it easier for your CPU to access information, which is better for all computers.

How does cost factor into your decision on number of cores?

Price is a major concern when determining the number of cores you choose for a laptop or desktop computer.

Laptops CPU cores vs desktops CPU cores

Laptops tend to have fewer cores than desktops, mainly because laptops are less powerful than comparable desktops.

Since you always have access to power when plugged in, you have an advantage when using a desktop computer. The desktop also has more space for fans or coolant, which means you can run more cores simultaneously without worrying about overheating.

Graphic designers

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The number of cores in your computer can have a direct impact on your gaming experience. For this reason, we recommend desktops to avid or professional gamers such as the HP OMEN series. Here you will find top-notch, customizable options to handle almost any major game released today.

Improving laptop power

There have been some major changes to the processing power of laptops. Many of them are even available with quad-core processors that can run several demanding applications simultaneously. And for most users, 4 cores should be fine.

Laptops may not have the same cooling and power features as a desktop computer, but you can’t beat their portability and versatility. The HP ZBook series provides an amazing balance between portability and power, and many of these laptops can handle most of the applications you need.

We’ll look at and analyze our results by resolution, not game, due to the impact of the rendering load on both CPU and GPU demand. With that in mind, we’ll start with our lowest resolution, which should highlight the differences between core configurations as much as possible.

What does CPU time mean?

High physical memory usage is often the consequence of using too many demanding applications, but it can also be the result of a process error that would normally require significantly fewer resources. Slow processing can have many different causes, some of which will be more difficult to fix than others. But in the vast majority of cases, if you’re wondering how to reduce CPU usage, the process is as simple as pressing Control + Shift + ESC.

How do I check CPU usage in Windows?

To find out what percentage of CPU your computer is using, just open the Windows Task Manager (Control + Shift + ESC) and click on the Performance tab. The Processes tab gives you a closer look at what may be contributing to the problem and shows you which processes are using the most power and RAM, which is key to figuring out how to reduce CPU usage. From there, you can stop processes that consume disproportionate resources or, if the process in question is typically CPU and memory-free, work to fix the underlying issues.

  1. WMI provider host process
    Look for recent error entries and remove the ClientProcessID for any error you suspect is contributing to the problem. Go back to the Task Manager, click the Services tab and sort the list by process ID. You can compare the list of suspicious processes with this list to identify the source of the failure.
  2. Too many background processes
    Every computer must have background processes – which run without the user opening them in a window – occupying a certain percentage of the CPU. However, as time goes by and more and more applications are downloaded, these background processes can accumulate and start consuming a nontrivial amount of resources. You can stop these processes by unchecking them in the Startup tab and then restarting your computer to prevent them from restarting automatically when you turn on the device.
  3. Virus or Antivirus
    The reasons for high CPU usage are very different – and in some cases surprising. The slower processing speeds can be caused by an antivirus program or a virus that the program is trying to stop. Constantly scanning your hard drive for potential threats can consume a surprisingly large amount of CPU power, especially if: you’re using an older device or operating system again. If your device starts to lag randomly, it could be because your antivirus program is eating up your CPU load. To stop it, use your antivirus program’s scheduling feature to make sure it only scans your device for periods when you won’t be using it. Alternatively, malware may be running on your computer, eating up all the processing power from your CPU.

TDP is a great way to decide what type of cooling you’ll need for your CPU as it’s a measure of your estimated heat release, especially if you plan on overclocking.

CPU Cores Explained

2nd generation Intel Core process or map

The processor plays the role of executing the program instructions. This includes adding / deleting data, moving data, and much more. In the past, a processor was just one processing unit, capable of processing one instruction at a time.

However, since operating systems, programs, and video games contain much more data and provide many more instructions to processors, we now have many processing units in a single processor. Now we call these processing units cores.

This means that one processor can process many instructions simultaneously, which greatly increases the speed of the processor. This allows computers to run several programs or video games at the same time.

For even better performance and multitasking, the cores are threaded (if the operating system allows it). This is called multithreading, hyperthreading for Intel, or simultaneous multithreading (SMT) for AMD.

Basically, this means you can create virtual cores to help the operating system make better use of the physical cores of the processor. So how many of these cores or threads do you really need? Let’s take a look at some of today’s models and number of cores.

Modern CPU Core Standards And Requirements

The best CPU testing software

It is rare that you will be able to select exactly the number of cores you need, but you can choose a processor model that includes the number of cores you need.

If you think you will need 5 cores, you need a 6 core processor as that is the standard. There are no 5-core processors as the cores are always mirrored. Therefore, the cores come in pairs: 2,4,6,8 and so on. Selling SKUs with an odd number of cores would not be profitable for AMD or Intel. Additionally, the number of threads is almost always doubled compared to the cores. The rare exception is Alder Lake from Intel.

To make it a bit easier for you, we’re going to show you some of the most common core / thread combinations and how they impact productivity, work, and gaming.

Single-Core Processors

CPU lighting

Processors with only one core are very rare these days. Even by searching the Intel Pentium library (their cheapest offerings) we weren’t able to find a single-core CPU, so they probably don’t exist at all in newer generations.

For good reason. Most 2022 operating systems, including Windows 10, macOS Big Sur, and Linux, run smoother on multiple cores or threads. Programs / applications may also use multiple processing units.

Running any program on a single-core CPU will be extremely frustrating. Video games are not an option. The same is true for labor productivity.

Dual-Core Processors

Dual core process or illustration

Dual-core processors are also rare today, but are still present in new generations of CPUs such as Intel’s Pentium and i3 or AMD’s Athlon APU. Processors with just two cores are quite outdated and even trying to launch the browser can be difficult.

Fortunately, today’s dual-core processors have 4 threads thanks to multi-threading.

If the cores are fast enough, 4 threads can make using basic text editing programs, browsers, and some video games like League of Legends or Counter-Strike Global Offensive much more satisfying. It’s possible to run more demanding games, but the experience is likely to be much less fluid.

It’s also possible to render or encode video, but it will be slow.

  • Intel Pentium Gold G6405 – will provide enough power to handle any basic task you throw at it. In terms of gaming performance, it is slower but comparable to the i3.
  • AMD Athlon 3000GE – A solid choice, especially if you don’t have a dedicated graphics processor. The integrated Vega graphics processor is much more powerful than Intel’s UHD.

Quad-Core Processors

Quad core process or illustration

4-core, 8-thread processors are much more common than dual-core or single-core processors. Intel’s i3 lineup is full of 4-core / 8-thread processors. Before, all i3s were locked to 4 threads until AMD started pushing for multithreading unlock on all SKUs.

Keeping up with the incredibly rapid evolution of computer technology is almost impossible. Therefore, Branko will use his knowledge on the subject to share news and information on all the latest significant technological innovations and processor-related advances.

How Many Cores are Enough for 1080p Gaming?

We’ll look at and analyze our results by resolution, not game, due to the impact of the rendering load on both CPU and GPU demand. With that in mind, we’ll start with our lowest resolution, which should highlight the differences between core configurations as much as possible.

Ashes of the Singularity has been the hallmark of AMD for years. In the early days of GCN, models like the Radeon HD 7950 had an advantage over NVIDIA graphics cards in this game due to Asynchronous Compute DirectX 12 features that performed better on AMD hardware. It’s still a pretty strong benchmark for CPUs these days with two different benchmarks. Let’s take a look at the latest version, called Escalation.

1080p aots GPU 3070

1080p aots GPU 6800

In the GPU focused test, we get four values ​​per configuration: the FPS average, and how the game handled different “lots” of random calls. Lighter – or presumably smaller – draw-calling lots tend to perform better than the more strenuous ones. There is certainly a kind of “knee” in our charts where having more cores gives you more performance, but losing hardware threads at some level is starting to have a real impact on performance.

Here you can immediately see that the quad-core processor is degrading performance on both our GeForce RTX 3070 and the Radeon RX 6800 XT. It is also much worse without SMT (Symmetric Multi-Threading). Overall, the best place in this benchmark at 1080p seems to be 12 threads. If we look at our 6-core / 12-thread setup as a simulated Ryzen 5 5600X, it helps us put it into perspective. It’s a pretty average CPU with powerful single-threaded performance and multiple multi-threaded grunts.

Especially if you want to get the most out of your high definition 1080p display, it makes sense to get more cores than the minimum. Both the GeForce RTX 3070 and Radeon RX 6800 XT stuck on average somewhere in the 70 FPS range, although the Radeon was slightly faster. We would have expected this given the price difference (MSRP) between them. Let’s see how the CPU-focused test performs.

1080p aots 3070 processor

1080p aots 6800 processor

Once again we see the knee in the charts, and it is very obvious here that while six cores are enough, it really does need some SMT to get to the goal. The performance drop at 4C / 4T is particularly pronounced. Regardless, the wall we’re hitting at 6C / 12T is 36% faster than our lowest setup.

Next up is Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, a title that at the time of its release was known to be a bit of a quirky CPU, at least in terms of the non-CPU turn times taking a while. The game has two benchmarks, as does AotS, and they are again split between CPU and GPU features. First, let’s take a look at the AI ​​time test.

Examining Frame Times And The Effect Of CPU Core And Thread Counts

Let’s take a short break from the average and low frames per second to look at the frame times for a moment. We know the 4C / 4T setup is the slowest of all, but how does it feel? Since Cyberpunk 2077 is our standalone manual test, and since we log our manual tests with CapFrameX, we can take a look at the individual frame times. We had to delve into the performance of this game. On average, 83 FPS seems pretty good at 4 cores, but in practice it wasn’t that smooth. What does it give?

1080p 4c4t frame time

It is really very informative. Despite the average frame rate of 83, the game spent a lot of time with single frames in excess of 20 milliseconds. Incidentally, 20 milliseconds corresponds to a frame rate of 50 fps. All this yo-yo movement effectively keeps the game from running very smoothly. It was a bit nervous on our FreeSync monitor, however. Normally FreeSync prevents tearing and makes the lower FPS feel smooth, but that’s not possible when the game is refueling and recovering repeatedly. Let’s take a look at one of our 12C / 24T waveforms in comparison.

frame time 1080p 12c24t

This is much smoother and you can see it in the low framerate reported by CapFrameX in our framerate charts above. It’s a little over 20 milliseconds, but Cyberpunk’s frame time generally stays below 14 milliseconds, resulting in a low frame rate (which is low in CapFrame X 1%) over 70 FPS. This way the game felt much smoother. So keep this in mind: Just because an average frame rate indicates it is performing well doesn’t mean a game is running as smoothly as its frame rate suggests. Average Frames Per Second is a single data point representing thousands of frames and cannot be used as a final judge of fluency. However, such a frame time graph is a better indicator.

Stay with us as we are only halfway through our first resolution. Then we will move on to the rest of the 1080p tests and move on to the QHD 1440p.

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