Choose CPU

How to choose the best gaming CPU for games in 2017?

choise of cpuHow to choose the best processor? How many cores should a modern processor have – 2, 4, 8, and does it always mean faster? What is a better processor – Intel or AMD? Should I choose the CPU frequency and what else depends on its performance? When is built-in graphics processor enough?

In this article you will find answers to these and other questions, as well as specific models of the best processors beginning in 2017 the ratio of performance and price.

Table of Contents

  1. The choice of the manufacturer, reliability, and overclocking
  2. The number and frequency of processor cores
  3. Features choice of computer processor
  4. Features of choice of processor with integrated graphics
  5. Motherboard with embedded processors
  6. The best processors of 2017 according to the ratio of performance and price

The choice of the manufacturer, reliability, and overclocking

IntelvsAMDThe choice of the manufacturer of the processor. It can seem that it is very easy to do it since there are only two variants: Intel and AMD. But nevertheless this does not mean just because both manufacturers have pros and cons. The leader in sales by a considerable margin is always Intel for several reasons (more modern production technology, the high performance top models, economy, good advertising), but a strong AMD in the budget and mainstream segment due to the low prices of processors and good performance of embedded graphics. Admirers and opponents of both manufacturers wrote thousands of pages on the Internet phrase-templates of the type “Intel produces the best processor for gaming” or “AMD is still better”, but do not trust the noise and the choice of processor it is necessary to be guided only by comparing the test results, and current prices.

The reliability of the processors. Production technology of modern processors can be called close to the perfection, because they fail for internal reasons very rarely, and for the first six months there are only 1-2 of 1,000 (low-cost processors has less tendency,  powerful – a bigger one). But in such negligible rates of failure we can safely say that the processor is a very reliable device and the unit outages may be the result of not very smooth hand, or too direct convolutions of certain collectors and not a manufacturing defect.

modern processorsFeatures of modern processors. The lion’s share of the value of all of the new processors has the development and it is the work of engineers, designers and marketers, and direct production, especially in large batches, from several milliwatts to tens of dollars. In order to reduce the cost of designing dozens of models of new processors, they usually produce only a few species with integrated graphics cards, as all variety is obtained after a successful or unsuccessful pass various tests – a video card is disabled or simplified, one or two cores is disabled or there is the decreasing of their operating frequency. Thus we obtain such strange and unnatural things like dual-core processors.

Also see: How to choose Graphics card and How to buy WiFi router

Upgrading and overclocking. Typically, only a few changes their processor for more powerful one, so when choosing a processor for a computer you should accept the fact that you will not upgrade ever. There are several reasons, but almost all come at the insistence of the producers, processors, motherboards and other components to push you to buy a new system, not upgrading old ones. The average lifetime of a computer is not too small (5 years and more), so it is better to choose processor with some margin.

The idea of using acceleration to significantly speed up the gaming processor is very attractive only at first glance, as there won’t be a revolutionary breakthrough and you won’t get the performance gains above 20%, but you’ll have to spend money on expensive cooling system and be exposed to complete failure of the entire system from overheating or other reasons. As at present, even inexpensive midrange processors have very good performance, the experiments with overclocking it often do not make sense. A good video card and a fast SSD drive will give much more effect than a processor that was dispersed to the high temperature.

The number and frequency of processor cores

coresThe widespread opinion that the more cores the computer have and higher frequency of the processor is, the faster the computer will be, is not quite correctly, as the system speed is often judged by not its maximum performance, but responsiveness, i.e. the speed of executing small operations like the opening of a browser, which depends on the type of hard disk (a fast SSD or a much slower classic HDD). Therefore, in order to collect or to buy a fast computer, it is not necessary to choose for it the best available processor, in most cases a bunch of “good dual core CPU + a fast SSD drive for the system” is astounding, as the customer reviews on this computer are all just “flying” (except heavy games at maximum quality settings, as they will not work properly at any dual core CPU).

In addition, during normal operation (Internet, movies and simple games) performance on inexpensive dual-Core Intel Core G4500 will be a little different from the system at a much more expensive Quad-Core Intel Core i5-4570. The difference can be seen only in tests, severe applications such as handling/converting video and games at maximum quality settings with a powerful graphics card. If you don’t plan to do these tasks, buying a more powerful (3-4-6-8-XX-core) processor is just pointless.

It would seem that the higher the CPU frequency is, the better it will be, but in reality this is not always the case. For example, dual-core processors Intel J1800 and Celeron G1610 work at close frequencies, but the first one is in 2.5 times faster, because the speed of the processor depends on other factors. The best indicator of the real performance of a specific processor is the test results.

Features choice of computer processor

If we analyze the results of tests of processors, it is possible to conclude that in early 2017:

  • among the cheapest CPUs ($30) there are only models from AMD, even though their performance is sufficient stock for office work and simple games in Facebook;
  • priced at $30-100 models of AMD processors is particularly advantageous without the built-in video card (FX series and Athlon X4), in most other cases, the Intel is much more profitable as faster as and cooler than a similar priced processors competitor. In this price range I would like to highlight the good cheap Intel Pentium G4600 and AMD A8-7600, which have an excellent combination of efficiency, price, performance processor and integrated graphics;
  • priced at $100-250 AMD FX is much more beneficial for non-game use, than Intel, but they are very hot. Other similar-price models of Intel and AMD in this group have a close performance, but the first is much cooler, and their new models have the same or even faster integrated graphics than the processors of a competitor;
  • among the expensive and powerful processors at a price above the $250 leader and a monopoly is Intel.

Often on the forums they criticize the factory (BOX, box) a cooling system and strongly recommend the use of third-party manufacturers. In reality, the boxed cooling systems are designed specifically for their processors, so they have at least good quality and low noise level, and installation of an improved cooling system is required only on the most powerful gaming CPUs or overclocking. A possible reason for such frequent criticism box cooling system is an outdated motherboard BIOS, because very often after the upgrade the CPU temperature falls to 5-12 degrees.

Radiator IntelFeature radiators for Intel are the plastic clips, the design of which is often criticized because during the installation (and especially in the case of re-installation) of the radiator in its place they often fail (usually inadvertently). Also, the design of radiator can contribute to bending cheap of motherboard near the processor that may cause to its malfunction.


Radiator AMDDesign of heat sinks for AMD processors, as you can see in the image on the left is much better as it is easier, safer and requires a rigid mounting on the motherboard, which makes it impossible to bend it. However, there are single cases when the plastic piece of securing of the heat sink on not very high quality motherboards is broken off.

Features of choice of processor with integrated graphics

Processors with integrated graphics cards (on a single chip is the processor and an additional graphics card) are produced by Intel and AMD. Even by modern standards the performance of nearly all integrated graphics is enough for normal tasks and some new models are good for many modern games at minimum quality settings. Higher component integration entails less total consumption, less heat and the expected higher reliability of the computer, so processors with integrated graphics are ideal for a compact home multimedia centers, multipurpose computers with the initial game or with the expectation of further upgrading powerful graphics card.

Currently, all built-in video card in Intel and AMD will cope perfectly well with non-gaming tasks, but the games will easily function due to the built-in graphics card HD Graphics 530 and 630 in the Intel and Radeon R7 AMD, and the performance of all integrated graphics very much depends on the frequency of RAM and enabled dual channel mode.

Also see: How to choose RAM

Motherboard with embedded processors

motherboard with cpuMotherboards with integrated (soldered) CPUs have a very significant advantage – the low price, small size, energy efficiency and total silence to work when using SSD and silent PSU, the latter factor at first seem unnatural, since most users are accustomed to a greater or lesser noise of the system unit. The main purpose of such hybrids of motherboards and processors is the basis for office computers or HTPC (home media centers that are commonly used in a pair with a TV or a monitor). Unfortunately, it is impossible to do silent cooling of best cpu for gaming, therefore, they generally use processors with very low performance. However, they all allow you to work comfortably in office programs, the Internet, to watch online/offline videos and even play simple games like “Zuma”, but more heavy.

Also see: How to build your own PC

Motherboard with integrated processor:

  • Intel J1800, J3060, N3050, N3060 and AMD C-70, E2-2000 have low performance, but in most cases they will be able to cope without any problems with the usual problems;
  • AMD A4-5000, Intel J3355, J1900, J3150, J3160 and especially Intel J3455, J3710 have higher performance, but still it is low.
  • The best embedded processors beginning in 2017 in terms of performance, price and heat are Intel Celeron processor n3150 (for example, as part of the motherboard Asus N3150I-C), J3160 and N3710.

The best processors of 2017 according to the ratio of performance and price

Despite the fact that AMD Ryzen have a decent combination of price and performance, they can be recommended for purchase until early summer of 2017, as their platform AM4 is still too little tested. It is worth noting that Intel 7th generation (for example, G4600, i3-7100, i5-7500 etc.) require updates of BIOS motherboard to the latest versions.

The most inexpensive processors:

  • Intel Celeron G3900, G3930 (DDR4) and Intel Celeron G1820, G1840 (DDR3) – very good speed processors with integrated graphics for low-budget computers or quiet compact multimedia centers. Performance of these processors is sufficient stock for all common tasks, integrated graphics in processors, DDR3 is only enough for very old games, but built-in video cards and processors, DDR4 can afford playing even some modern games on the lowest quality setting;
  • AMD A4-5300, AMD A4-6300 (DDR3) – low-cost processors for budget computers AMD supporters. It although have an incredibly low price, but it is much slower than Intel G3900, G3930 and have a weak graphics card.
Intel Celeron G3900 Intel Celeron G3930 Intel Celeron G1820 Intel Celeron G1840
Intel Celeron G3900 Intel Celeron G3930 Intel Celeron G1820 Intel Celeron G1840
AMD A4-5300 AMD A4-6300
AMD A4-5300 AMD A4-6300

Best budget processor:

  • Intel i3-7100 (DDR4) or a bit weaker than the Intel Pentium G4600 (DDR4) and AMD A8-7600 (DDR3) – low-cost processors for the mainframe computer. Their power will be enough for all normal tasks with a reserve, and the integrated graphics card for most modern games at minimum quality settings. A good basis for the most affordable gaming computers, as there is a sense of modernizing them to a more powerful discrete graphics card if the integrated card will not satisfy you.
  • AMD Athlon X4 845 (DDR3) and AMD Athlon X4 860K (DDR3) – best 4-core processors without integrated graphics for budget gaming computers (playing games on secondary and often maximum quality settings with the appropriate video card).
Intel i3-7100 Intel Pentium G4600
Intel i3-7100 Intel Pentium G4600
AMD A8-7600 AMD Athlon X4 845 AMD Athlon X4 860K
AMD A8-7600 AMD Athlon X4 845 AMD Athlon X4 860K

The best midrange processors:

  • Intel Core i5-7500 (DDR4) or much weaker than Intel Core i5-4460 (DDR3) – best 4-core processors for medium gaming (games at maximum quality settings with the appropriate video card);
  • AMD FX-8320 (DDR3) – hot powerful 8-core processor at a very low price, which is great for specialized computers (video processing, etc.), but use is inferior to the previous two Intel processors.
Intel Core i5-7500 Intel Core i5-4460 AMD FX-8320
Intel Core i5-7500 Intel Core i5-4460 AMD FX-8320

Best powerful processors:

  • Intel Core i7-7700K (DDR4), Intel Core i7-4790 (DDR3) – very fast processor for powerful gaming and specialized computers (playing games at maximum quality settings in the presence of appropriate graphics cards, video processing, etc.);
  • AMD FX-9590 (DDR3) – hot powerful 8-core processor that is great for dedicated computers (video processing, etc.), but use is inferior to the previous two Intel processors.
Intel Core i7-7700K Intel Core i7-4790 AMD FX-9590
Intel Core i7-7700K Intel Core i7-4790 AMD FX-9590

The most powerful processor commercially available at the moment:

  • Intel Core i7-6950X (DDR4) is extremely powerful 10-core processor, but with a very low ratio of performance and price. For comparison, its capacity equals to the total capacity of only 6 normal cheap Intel G3900, but the price is in 50 times higher (this is not a mistake, fifty times!) Sport interest is the only sense to get such an expensive and powerful processor.
Intel Core i7-6950X
Intel Core i7-6950X

Also see: Matching graphics cards and CPUs

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