Best LGA 1151 CPU

Atif Liaqat | Last Updated On November 22nd, 2021

LGA 1151 is the most popular Intel socket because it covers four generations of Intel processors, unlike Intel’s other sockets that usually cover only two generations. LGA 1151 came with the 6th-generation Intel processors and the last generation to come with LGA 1151 socket was the 9th generation. Since the 9th-generation processors are pretty similar to the 8th-generation processors, there is no need to buy an 8th-generation processor.

The 6th and 7th-generation processors are getting obsolete, as even the Core i7 processors from these two generations came with only four cores, while in the 8th and 9th-generation processors, even the Core i5 processors come with six cores. The single-core performance of 9th-generation processors is also much better than the 6th and 7th-generation processors.

An important thing to note with LGA 1151 processors is that even though the 6th and 7th-generation processors use the same socket, they are compatible with the motherboards designed for 8th and 9th generation processors. Likewise, 8th and 9th-generation processors do not work with motherboards designed for 6th and 7th-generation processors.

In this article, we will check some of the best LGA 1151 processors that you can use for the next couple of years before you feel the need to upgrade again. For the best CPU for LGA 1150, you can check this article.

Quick Buying Tips!

A processor must be carefully chosen because you may select a processor that does not perform optimally with your motherboard or does not work at all due to compatibility issues. That is why we have created this guide for those who do not have enough knowledge about processors.

Compatibility: The first thing that you should check in a processor is its compatibility with the motherboard. The motherboard should host the same socket as required by the processor and with the exact variant; otherwise, your system will not work at all. If you consider buying 9th-generation Intel processors, you should have a Z390, Z370, H370, H310, or B360 motherboard.

Cores: The basic specification of a processor is its number of cores. The more cores a processor has, the better it will perform. The best 9th-generation processor with LGA 1151 socket is the Core i9-9900K that comes with eight cores and sixteen threads. The Core i7- 9700K comes with eight cores and eight threads, while Core i5-9600K has six cores and six threads. The Core i3-9100F is the cheapest processor from the 9th-generation processors that comes with four cores and four threads.

Overclocking Support: The overclocking capability of a processor can increase the performance of a processor, and that is why most enthusiasts prefer buying an unlocked processor that can be overclocked if it is coupled with a Z-series motherboard. All the K-series processors by Intel are unlocked processors, which means that they have unlocked multipliers. Overclocking a processor highly affects gaming performance because the faster the cores are, the more FPS you will get- in games.

Hyper Threading Support: Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology is a great feature that can result in twice the number of threads in a processor, improving the processor’s performance by up to 25 percent. Among the 9th-generation processors, only the Core i9-9900 and 9900K come with Hyper-Threading, while the Core i3,i5, and i7 processors do not come with this feature. If you are interested to check how many threads your CPU have, check this article.

Best LGA 1151 CPU Reviews

Even after removing hyperthreading, Intel still managed to give a similar performance to the AMD counterparts. However, this decision was quite good as the 7th generation i7 7700K got only four cores too low for today’s gaming demand. Removing extra threads and adding physical cores make the performance even better. The Intel Core i7 9700K offers eight cores and threads, which are enough for today’s gaming demand, but this CPU stands behind the AMD same-priced processors when it comes to multi-core performance. A great reason to buy this processor is that the i9 9900K is relatively reasonable but needs a beefy motherboard and cooler, which means the enthusiasts have to face extra expenses.

However, at the same time, users also look for the Ryzen 7 2700X (see suggested 2700X RAM), which comes at a 325$ price bracket while it’s 50$ more expensive. Also, AMD Ryzen processors come with bundled coolers which makes the deal even more compelling. The base clock of this processor is 3.60 GHz, while its boost clock reaches up to 4.7 GHz, but you just need a good motherboard and cooler for that. The TDP of this processor is 95W, allowing you to overclock it with air coolers like NH-D15 or DeepCool Assassins 3.

In 2021 this processor is good to consider, but you will not have PCIe Gen4 slots on it while you can have them in all AMD competitors. A high price tag and no bundled cooler are the main things that disappoint the users about this processor. The good thing is that you will like to know that eight cores give exceptional performance in parallelized workloads. The high turbo boost clocks mean you will have better single-core performance as compared to AMD processors. The solder TIM provides excellent heat dissipation and transfers to the cooler. Overall this processor is a worthy consideration in Coffee Lake processors for LGA 1151 socket.

Intel Core i5 9600K’s (also check this article for the best CPU cooler for i5 9600K) performance improvement compared to the last generation is not much to merit attention, but Intel has still improved much in their Coffee Lake processors. Previously Intel processors come with four cores only till the seventh generation. Now, the company cut off hyperthreading and increase two actual core, which I appreciate much as modern games demand more cores.

When it comes to raw gaming performance, this processor is what you need, but those looking for multi-core performance will go with the AMD alternatives. The great thing about this processor is that it comes with an unlocked multiplier means you can overclock it at its full potential, but you must need a good motherboard and some moderate cooler, which you can check out there.

Intel increased the core count of their CPUs by 50% to match the performance of the first generation of AMD Ryzen processors, but the latest round of Ryzen CPUs are still superior. They again increased the cores of ninth-generation i7 and i9 CPUs but not in the i5 series. This CPU is slightly cheaper than the Ryzen 7 2700, but you need to know there is AMD CPU that comes with a bundled cooler while this one lacks.

As mentioned above, the Intel Core i5 9600K comes with six cores and six threads enough for mid-range gaming. The base clock of this processor is 3.7 GHz which at turbo boost the clocks reaches up to 7.6 GHz, but for that, you must need a Z series motherboard which is quite expensive as compared to other chipsets and also a good cooler too so that you can get maximum out of it.

The Intel Core i5 9600K is similar to the i5 8600K, but few things changed because of the generation difference. No doubt it’s a great gaming processor for this price, but the one that Ryzen 5 26000x or Ryzen 7 2700x (see suggested GPU for Ryzen 7 2700x here)  is offering when overclock can’t justify its price. Also, you may need to compromise on the multi-thread work performance, which makes the users look for other options.

Overall, it’s a great gaming processor for the price we are paying for it, and with modern titles, you can easily achieve good frame rates. Though choosing between AMD and Intel is quite difficult as it depends on what software you have to run on the machine most frequently. Gamers who don’t want to go above 1920×1080 can go with this chip, while those looking for more value consider Intel.

Budget gaming is impossible without the Intel i5 9400F as it’s a decently priced CPU but gives great performance. This mainstream processor competes with the Ryzen 5 2600/X, while one provides great raw gaming while the other gives multi-core performance. Users can choose between two different versions where one offers integrated graphics while the other lacks and have a slight price difference.

Intel cut off hyperthreading from their mainstream and mid-range processors and increased the actual number of cores, and most of us appreciate this decision. Previously Intel i7 7700K comes with only four cores while these processors offer six cores, and in the 9th generation, Intel again revised the core count. The six cores and threads of this processor are enough for any modern game or application.

Most of the time, users have problems with the cooling solutions of Intel CPUs as they lack the bundled cooler, but luckily this one comes with it. The stock Intel cooler is good to run the processor at its base clock, but when you are looking to run the CPU at boost clocks, you need a good aftermarket cooler. Also, this CPU lacks overclocking, so you don’t need an expensive cooler, but Hyper 212 Evo is enough.

One more thing is running this processor on the boost clocks needs a Z series motherboard like Z370 or Z360 depends on your budget, while budget-friendly chipset motherboards like B365 or H310 can’t get this job done. The multiplier of this processor is locked, which means you can’t overclock this processor, and for that reason, you don’t have to go with some expensive motherboard.

The base clock of this processor is 2.9 GHz, while at boost, it goes way up to 4.1 GHz, and it’s just a 100 MHz clock boost compared to the previous generation. Though the great thing is the price of both i5 8400 and 9400F is the same, which makes it appealing to consider the 9400F.  The i5 9400 & 9400F replaces the old generation processors as they are fast, cheap, and offer excellent value.

A decently priced processor with a cheap motherboard and bundled cooler makes a perfect budget-friendly build. Intel i5 9400F is a great gaming processor; however, this seems a bit low when you see modern gaming requirements. Also, the lack of overclocking makes users consider some other options as all of the AMD competitors come factory unlocked and give users a great advantage.

Even though it’s been two years since Intel released this processor, it still has a gold medal in its neck just because of its performance and overclocking performance. Intel again revised the core counts of their 9th generation processors, and i7 9700K has now two more cores totalling 8c/8t. In contrast, the i9 9900K has 8c/16t with hyperthreading enabled, offering better performance in games and applications.

Increasing the actual number of cores again in the new generation is somewhere good as when it comes to the latest games; they demand more performance while it also makes the processor future proof. Hyperthreading was not available to any processor in these two generations, but with i9 9900K, Intel enabled that, and it competes for the AMD alternatives at doing multi-threads tasks.

The base clock of this processor is 3.6 GHz, but surprisingly it reaches 5 GHz on turbo boost, and the unlocked multiplier allows you to overclock the processor in the way you want. There are several variants of this processor, including the 9900K; the simple one offers to overclock 9900KF, which lacks the integrated graphics, and there are few others that you can check out on the Intel suffix guide.

The overclocking of this processor is not possible with some cheap components (motherboard and cooler), and you must need to go with the premium options. Although we have got a dedicated guide on motherboards and coolers for this processor, still mentioning there that it’s only working with the Intel Z390 chipset motherboards while with cheap chipset boards like B365, its performance will be garbage.

Those users who are willing to run this processor on base clocks can consider coolers like Hyper 212 Black, which are budget-friendly, but it needs at least the NH-D15 or a 280mm AIO for overclocking. One thing that might disappoint the users is that this processor lacks the bundled cooler, and if you are even willing to run it at stock clocks, you must need an aftermarket cooling solution.

Overall it’s a great processor to consider, but only when you don’t care about the expensive components to run it and not working on a budget-friendly or mid-range build. Some AMD competitors to this processor offer similar or better performance for the same price, and they even don’t need premium stuff for overclocking. However still, it’s the best LGA 1151 CPU to consider in 2021.

Then last on our list is this Intel I3 9100F that does not contain more cores but has a mind-blowing performance in all circumstances. It is powerful enough in supporting all your heavy-duty tasks and even some low-profile gaming, but the best thing about this CPU is that it is highly compatible with the LGA 1151 socket.

The maximum support of this CPU for the speed is up to 4.2 GHz and comes with a maximum of 512 GBs of storage. This storage capacity is extremely great and widest to support the well-functioning of the CPU; it can help you with your day-to-day smoother working operations without ever letting the CPU heat up or even slow down in the speed.

Moreover, the CPU comes with the need for discrete graphics installation that can help it boost the performance to an even more extent. This boost in performance is much needed whenever you are video-streaming or performing some video editing or video rendering tasks.

Just like any other powerfully performing CPU, this Intel I3 9100F also comes with strong support for the Intel 300 Series chipset-based motherboards. These motherboards increase the CPU in its performance even further and help it to satisfy its users even better. These 300 Series chipsets include Intel B360 Chipset, Intel Z390 Chipset, Intel Q370 Chipset, Intel H310 Chipset, Intel H370 Chipset, and Intel Z370 Chipset. So if you have a motherboard with any of these chipsets, you can enjoy the optimal performance of this CPU for sure.

However, there is only one thing that lags in this COU, and that is the BIOS update. You need to update the BIOS before ever installing the motherboard to check the compatibility between the two. An updated BIOS is an essential thing in any CPU that helps it to be better compatible with the motherboard and help it to function even better and amazingly. So, if this CPU doesn’t come with an updated BIOS, doing the thing might help you enjoy the flawless compatibility of your PC components.


LGA 1151 remains the most popular Intel socket, even though there are two generations of processors released after this socket. The 9th-generation processors were the last processors that came with LGA 1151 socket, and most users use either Z390 or B360 motherboards with these processors.

Even though the 9th-generation processors are not the latest, they are still powerful enough for the latest games because Intel did not improve the single-core performance in the 10th and 11th-generation processors. The Core i9-9900K is the fastest processor out of the bunch that is more than enough for most users, while the most popular processors of this generation are Core i7-9700K and Core i5-9400F. For budget users who want to enjoy less demanding games, the Core i3 processors are the best, as they come at a low price.

If you are here because you want to find a new CPU to replace your old one, you might want to read this article too so you can safely remove your old CPU from a motherboard.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the fastest processor from Intel’s 9th-generation?

Intel Core i9-9900K is the fastest processor of this generation, as it comes with eight cores and sixteen threads. For gaming, the performance of this processor is not much different from the Core i7-9700K because there are barely any games that can utilize over eight cores. However, for those who want to stream as well, the eight extra threads might come in handy.

What is the best-valued LGA 1151 processor?

Even though the Core i9-9900K is the fastest processor of this generation, its high price makes it out of reach of most people. That is why the most popular LGA 1151 processor is the Core i5-9400F, which comes with six cores and six threads. It is a locked processor, which means that it cannot be overclocked, but the high clock rates of this processor are enough for most games. Moreover, it does not come with an integrated graphics card, so it costs lower than Core i5-9400.

Can a Core i3 processor play the latest games?

The 9th-generation Core i3 processors come with four cores and four threads. The latest games can efficiently utilize up to eight threads, so Core i3 processors are not so good for the latest AAA games. However, the single-core performance of the 9th-generation processors is good enough that the four cores can provide over 60 FPS in most AAA games.

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