Intel Core i5-8400

MODEL Intel Core i5-8400
CORES 6
THREADS 6
BASE CLOCK 2.80 GHz
BOOST CLOCK 4.0 GHz
TDP 65W

When you are too concessions about the budget, one of the most affordable processors we can get for this graphics card is the Intel Core i5 8400. Before its release, AMD has released some of the Zen+ CPUs, and there Intel released this one as a reply to them. When you have to use multi-tasking applications, you can consider the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 because of SMT, but for pure gaming, Intel leads the game. Previously Intel processors come with hyperthreading, but there Intel cut it off and increased the physical cores. The elimination of hyperthreading from the mainstream processors and the increased cores gives them a great advantage over the previous one.

Intel Core i7 7700K was a great processor in its time, but as you know Intel has increased the cores, the entry-level Comet Lake processors can even beat that with some great margin. Even when compared with Intel Core i5 8400, you will see that this processor is way better than i7 7700K. Also now the core counts of this processor are equals to the i5 8600K, which is an expensive hardware for a budget build. The goodness of this processor is that it doesn’t bottleneck with GTX 1080 and you can get the maximum performance out of your hardware.

One thing that might disappoint some users is the stock clocks of this processor and the lack of overclocking which is only available in K series processors. The multiplier of this processor is not unlocked but thanks to Intel hyperthreading that allows you to get some exceptional clocks but within certain limits. If you are one upgrading to this processor from the last generation, you must need to change the motherboard because this one doesn’t work with Intel 200 series boards. Some chipset motherboards like H310 and B365 are very cost-effective, and you can consider them for this build.

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X

MODEL AMD Ryzen 5 2600X
CORES 6
THREADS 12
BASE CLOCK 3.6 GHz
BOOST CLOCK 4.2 GHz
TDP 95W

The single-core performance of both Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 series processors is identical, but when it comes to the multi-core performance, you will see a great difference between them. We can consider this one if running low on budget but for some more money you can buy some high-end hardware from this series. Usually, we’ve seen Intel processors giving a great raw performance for gaming while AMD processors are providing best in class performance for multi-tasking applications. If you have to do some side productivity or creative tasks along with gaming on your machine, you can consider Ryzen 5 2600X for your build. One thing that makes this processor more appealing is AMD promised their users that even Zen4 architecture would use the same socket and all you need to do is upgrade the BIOS of the motherboard.

The in-game performance of this processor is slightly better than the Intel Core i5 9400f or other mainstream processors. More interestingly the multi-core performance of this processor is much better than the similar Intel CPUs. Also, the bundled coolers increase its value which you can use for the stock clocks, but for some little overclocking you have to change the cooler. Even the factory unlocked multiplier is a reason to consider it over the i5 9400f as you can easily overclock it to get some added performance. In contrast, in Intel processors, you can only overclock the K series processors. The six cores and twelve threads of this processors are enough to max out most of the latest tiles while the simultaneous multithreading allows you to do streaming or rendering.

The clock speed of this processor is 3.6 GHz while on max turbo it can easily hit the speed of 4.6 GHz and there you have got some overclocking margin that will more boost its performance in games. Overall when gaming is your only concern, Intel processors are good to go, but for some side work, you can consider this monstrous hardware. The bundled cooler, great performance and the overclocking power make it one of the best choices to consider.

Intel Core i7-8700K

MODEL Intel Core i7-8700K
CORES 6
THREADS 12
BASE CLOCK 3.70 GHz
BOOST CLOCK 4.70 GHz
TDP 95W

A few months ago Intel Core i9 9900k was considered as the most powerful processor in the market, but before its release, the i7 8700k was the one who gives the highest single-core performance. Intel has released processors like i7 9700k or 9900k, but still, I would say its one of the best processor we can consider for our builds.

Comparing this processor with the Intel i7 9700k, this one comes with six cores and supports hyperthreading, but the 9700k has eight cores and doesn’t support hyperthreading. When it comes to gaming performance, you are going to see a hardly 4-5 fps difference. Also, you will found that the overclocking headroom of 8700k is slightly better than the other one.

Performance-wise both of these processors are almost same, but the only reason to consider the 9700k is if you are getting it for the same price as of 8700k or cheaper. The six cores and twelve threads are enough to handle any game or applications, but for streaming or rendering purpose, you might need more cores (9700k).

The stock clock of this processor is 3.7 GHz but on max turbo, it can easily reach up to 4.7 GHz and still there is some overclocking headroom available for you. The single and multi-core performance of this processor is unquestionably amazing, and it’s going to disappoint you for any reason.

Overclocking this processor might need some good cooler as this one doesn’t come with a stock cooler. I would recommend you to get an AIO cooler with this processor so you can overclock it at full potential and get the maximum performance out of it. The missing stock cooler might be disappointing for some users as all of the AMD CPUs and some from Intel comes with one.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600

MODEL AMD Ryzen 5 3600
CORES 6
THREADS 12
BASE CLOCK 3.6 GHz
BOOST CLOCK 4.2 GHz
TDP 65W

Build on the Zen2 architecture; the Ryzen 5 3600 is a six-core and twelve threads processor that is a powerhouse in a true sense. These number of cores are enough for any modern triple-A title with high resolutions and in-game settings. The base clock of this processor is 3.6 GHz while you can push it up to 4.2 GHz on the max turbo. This processor is a solid entry in AMD Ryzen processors and still recommended ass the best CPU to consider in the year 2021. The performance of this processor on one side but the more interesting thing in this processor is the bundled CPU cooler. It works good for the stock clocks, and you can save money for some good aftermarket cooler for later.

The main competitor of this processor from Intel side is the Intel Core i5 10400 which has the same six cores and twelve threads but lacks overclocking. AMD processors have an advantage over the Intel CPUs as all of them comes with an unlocked multiplier and supports great overclocking potential while Intel lacks it. There are a couple of motherboards compatible with this processor, but the best one is that which comes with x570 chipset. The performance of chipset in overclocking is not that much but as this one is slightly expensive than others, so resulting in better VRM cooling. With chipsets like B450, you can just run this processor but can’t get the full performance out of it.

Ryzen 5 3600 is same as of the stock i7 8700K, so you are not going to see any bottleneck because of the graphics card. You can nearly run any latest title on this build, and I’m pretty sure the performance will not disappoint you. Even Zen3 processors are announced to launch soon, but still, this one got a great spot in best gaming processors. The low power consumption, bundled cooler, PCIe Gen4 support and exceptional performance make this processor one of the great choices to consider. Though some limited overclocking headroom, missing integrated graphics and no PCIe Gen4 support in cheap B series motherboards makes us think for better alternatives too.

Intel Core i9-9900KF

MODEL Intel Core i9-9900KF
CORES 8
THREADS 16
BASE CLOCK 3.6 GHz
BOOST CLOCK 5 GHz
TDP 95W

Intel i9 9900K might not be the most potent processor after the release of Zen3 and Rocket Lake processors, but still, it has a gold medal in its neck. Back then, when Intel released the Coffee Lake CPUs, this was considered the fastest processor in the market, offering similar cores to the i7 9700K but comes with hyperthreading enabled that Intel cuts off in their 9th generation processors.

There are several variants of this processor where the simplest one supports overclocking and has integrated graphics, too called i9 9900K. The one I'm recommending to you is the i9 9900KF which supports OCing but lacks the graphics. Doing compromise on it can save you money that can be invested on other components, and as we are already getting it for GTX 1080 ti so don't need the integrated graphics. 

Intel revised the core counts in the Coffee Lake processors, making the mid-range and flagship processors similar in core count (eight cores). However, the main difference between them is hyperthreading, as one offers eight threads. At the same time, the other one has sixteen making it much better to perform in games and heavy workloads, which makes the processor best for productivity tasks.

The base clock of this processor is 3.6 GHz, but if you own an excellent motherboard like a Z390 chipset board and a good aftermarket cooler, you can easily push the clocks of this CPU to 5 GHz. The components required to overclock the Intel processors are pretty expensive as cheap motherboards can't overclock them and CPUs with K suffix only supports overclocking while others lack.

The successor of this processor is much better than it, but when it comes to AMD CPUs, the latest Ryzen 5 5600X seems to perform identically to the i9 10900K at 1080p resolutions. The cooling requirements of this processor are pretty high, and you need a good CPU cooler to run and overclock this processor. Also, the power consumption of this CPU goes a bit high when running high on loads.

I recommend this CPU with Nvidia's latest RTX series of graphics cards, but it also works excellent with GTX 1080 ti. With this combo, you can max out most of the latest titles, but with a few ones, you need to compromise on the in-game settings, etc. We also have dedicated guides on i9 9900K motherboards, graphics cards, and CPU coolers which will help you in making a complete build with this CPU.

Intel Core i5 10400

MODEL Intel Core i5 10400
CORES 6
THREADS 12
BASE CLOCK 2.9 GHz
BOOST CLOCK 4.6 GHz
TDP 65W

Intel Core i5 10400 is a great gaming processor that comes with six cores and twelve threads and gives a great competition to know Ryzen 5 3600 well. Though at some points this one got advantages while for some the other ones but overall both of these processors are great for gaming and made a spot in best gaming CPUs list. The base clock of this CPU ranges between 2.9 GHz and 4.3 GHz depending on the workload and is slightly lower than the well-known models including the i5 10600K but for a reason. The TDP of this processor is dropped from 125W to just 65W, and it makes sense for the mainstream processor. However, there are Z490 motherboards that don’t cause the TDP limits for the CPU. While buying the motherboards, you need to know that B and H series motherboards can only accept memory up to 2666 MHz because this processor is locked. If you are one looking to run this processor at max turbo and looking for the best performance out of it, Z490 motherboard will be good to pair with it because they offer more value and premium performance.

The good thing in this processor is it comes in two different variants, one with integrated graphics while the other one lacks it. The reason to decide between them is the price difference between them because if you don’t need GPU, you can save some money. While if you got that in your CPU you also need to make sure that your motherboard has video output ports. The older generation processors don’t come with hyperthreading and performance slightly bad in multi-core applications. This one comes with it and gives you great performance in creative and productivity tasks. A complete black colored heat sink is bundled with this processor which works well with 65W TDP CPU. The locked multiplier of this processors makes it to stand before the AMD processors as they got an overclocking advantage. This processor rarely hit x43 multiplier means you can’t go above 4.3 GHz speed in the max turbo. Also, Ryzen 5 3600 supports PCIe Gen4 while Intel motherboards still don’t support that bandwidth so before buying this CPU take care of these things.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

MODEL AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
CORES 12
THREADS 24
BASE CLOCK 3.8 GHz
BOOST CLOCK 4.6 GHz
TDP 105W

The best gaming processor is that one which can max out any triple-A title and gives both single and multi-core performance for an affordable price? If it is true then AMD Ryzen 9 3900X nails this concept in a true meaning by providing the outstanding perforamcne for some budget friendly price point.

This processor comes with twelve cores and sixteen threads which are enough for any gaming or rendering build. At the same Intel Core i9 9900K is offering only eight cores and sixteen threads for same price. In this way this processor gives better value than the Intel but for same price and I’m sure it will never disappoint you in term of performance.

Of course i9 9900K gives best ever single core perforamcne, even better than the Ryzen 9 3900X but that doesn’t matter a lot these days. Modern games demands more multi-core performance as compared to the old one who demands more signle core processor perforamcne.