What Is a CPU’s Clock Speed? A Basic Definition
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A CPU’s clock speed represents how many cycles per second it can execute. Clock speed is also referred to as clock rate, PC frequency and CPU frequency. This is measured in gigahertz, which refers to billions of pulses per second and is abbreviated as GHz.
A PC’s clock speed is an indicator of its performance and how rapidly a CPU can process data (move individual bits). A higher frequency (bigger number) suggests better performance in common tasks, such as gaming. A CPU with higher clock speed is generally better if all other factors are equal, but a mixture of clock speed, how many instructions the CPU can process per cycle (also known as instructions per clock cycle/clock, or IPC for short) and the number of cores the CPU has all help determine overall performance.
Note that clock speed differs from the number of cores a CPU has; cores help you deal with less common, time-consuming workloads. Clock speed is also not to be confused with bus speed, which tells you how fast a PC can communicate with outside peripherals or components, like the mouse, keyboard and monitor.
Most modern CPUs operate on a range of clock speeds, from the minimum «base» clock speed to a maximum «turbo» speed (which is higher/faster). When the processor encounters a demanding task, it can raise its clock speed temporarily to get the job done faster. However, higher clock speeds generate more heat and, to keep themselves from dangerously overheating, processors will «throttle» down to a lower frequency when they get too warm. A better CPU cooler will lead to higher sustainable speeds.
When buying a PC, its clock speed is a good measurement of performance, but it’s not the only one to consider when deciding if a PC is fast enough for you. Other factors include, again, bus speed and core count, as well as the hard drive, RAM and SSD (solid-state drive).
You can reach faster clock speeds through a process called overclocking.
This article is part of the Tom’s Hardware Glossary.
- How to Buy the Right CPU
- Best Gaming CPUs
- CPU Benchmarks Hierarchy
- Best Workstation CPUs
- CPUs: Reviews
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Scharon Harding has a special affinity for gaming peripherals (especially monitors), laptops and virtual reality. Previously, she covered business technology, including hardware, software, cyber security, cloud and other IT happenings, at Channelnomics, with bylines at CRN UK.
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14 Best CPU For Streaming 2023
Which one is your priority when you aspire to boost your PC performance? CPU or GPU? No doubt, GPU is essential to do your task of gaming, streaming, and other things in the most efficient manner. But CPU is no less, which you have any chance to overlook. Instead, both are superior in their own way. Now, let us handle the task of finding the best CPU for streaming for you.
If you want to do any streaming, gaming, or watching 4k/8k videos, a powerful CPU is a must-have option. Unless you have a superior clock speed or raw power CPU, you will always feel something is missing to get each drop of satisfaction.
Bottomless options will surely overwhelm you. And, the pain will be more if you are a newbie in the tech world. Since you have come to the best place, never ever worry. Just stay with us for the next several minutes to find the best CPU for streaming.
Top Picks Processors For Streaming
Here are the top 7 best options that we have chosen for you. Have a quick look at these and then we will move forward with more details!
1. AMD s5 3600
- 4.2 GHz Clock speed
- Overclocking support
- Ultra-fast 100+ FPS performance
The AMD Ryzen 5 1600 AF has captured enormous popularity among game and streaming lovers. Its affordable price option makes it more worthy to purchase than other similar category CPUs. For people who are thinking to buy a CPU for the best value of money, it is one of the best choices for them.
Thanks to its multi-threaded performance ability, which shows instant and impressive programming response. It helps to change the execution resources from one thread to another thread. Apart from working well for streaming, it shows reliable performance for gaming as long as each hardware can take the load.
Most of the games will run smoothly because the model can provide superfast 100+ FPS performance. So streamers or gamers will never experience any choppy or slow PC.
The CPU is suitable for both single and dual PC set up. It is compatible with the latest game engines since it is powerful enough to take load easily. You can easily use it for recording and streaming. The task will be more comfortable if you can handle it on your 2nd PC.
Not only this, it is hard to beat for the feature of high-quality video recording with fast video rendering. It may act in an overkill manner when you are in need of Twitch streaming with a double PC build. However, the extra power you are getting for higher-bitrate services is truly something you will miss in other similar category products.
- Highly flexible for multitasking
- Affordable price
- Decent CPU cooler
- High-quality materials
- Video editing and browsing
- 4k video watching at 5x speed
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2. AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
- The high refreshing rate for streaming and gaming
- Compatible for 1440p+ video recording and streaming
- Higher performance at lower power consumption
- 4.4 GHz processor speed
- 8-Cores and 16-Threads
The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is a third-generation PC, which has more cores than previous models. This highly demanding CPU offers revolutionary new features like overclocking potential, compliant storage drives, and so forth. It is compatible with many latest motherboards.
With this flexible CPU model, it can reach a base speed, of close to 3.6 GHz. And, at the same time, its turbo speed is 4.4 GHz. Though it is not so powerful, it can do mid-range tasks easily. Like other AMD CPUs, the model has impressive overclocking capacity. You can easily do it using the Ryzen Master settings application. Without overclocking, you will receive a speed ranges between 3.6 GHz to 4.4 GHz.
Aside from that, this model is an ideal option for a single-PC streaming CPU. It comes at a relatively lower price than similar options and offers higher performance than them. However, it is not best compared to Intel since they offer high-end gaming and streaming CPU.
Talking of 4k videos, the CP U can show reliable performance at an impressive frame rate for highly-resolution play. If your target is only apparent games run with no lag, then you don’t have a reason to ignore this option. It is an excellent performer if you are planning to shift the Ryzen ecosystem for a better chip.
You will not notice much lag or performance loss using this CPU while streaming any videos or games. Since it has 8-cores and 16-threads, you have already come one step ahead for better quality video recording and processing. The multiple core processors will provide expectational quality performance without showing any kind of hanging issue.
- Reasonable pricing
- Only 65-watt TDP
- No heating issue while gaming or streaming
- Noiseless fan and easy to install
- Capable of taking intense workloads
- Pre-installed thermal paste
- A little bit slower than other models
3. AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
- 64MB L3 cache
- 12-cores and 24-threads processor
- 4.6 GHz processor speed
- 7nm Zen 2 architecture
- DDR 3200 support
If the price is not a big factor to you, then the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is one of the best options for you. According to many tech experts, it beats Intel in many ways for the same price range CPU. In fact, it is one of the latest and most powerful CPUs in the market.
With the 70MB l3 cache, your CPU can store a huge amount of data at once in multiple cores. The ultra-rapid processor cache gives a big advantage of storing data and faster access to data. Nevertheless, it is not as fast as l1 or l2. With the 12-cores and 24-threads, the CPU allows the quick transformation of data in various cores simultaneously. As a result, you will have no problem while browsing, gaming, or streaming.
The model has improved clock speed with the 7nm Zen 2 architecture, which is compatible with many socket platforms. So, you have no reason to upgrade your whole motherboard. The model can run moderately at 3.8GHz and with an optimal boost, it will go up to 4.6 GHz. The fluctuation of speed depends on many things, such as PC cooling capacity, workload capacity, and so forth.
However, the latest version of the Ryzen CPU is powerful enough to control the temperature. It will hardly cross 70 degrees Celsius. Besides, doing more demanding tasks like video editing, video recording, ultra-HD video streaming, and so forth is easy-going for this powerful processor. It runs better with the multiple cores process.
Needless to say, each core is a beast to handle a heavy workload. That’s why all the dedicated cores provide an enormous advantage to take the load of various types of work. The monster processor consumes less power than previous models to prevent the excessive heating issue.
- High flexibility and adaptability
- Powerful single core
- Fast rendering times
- Streaming and recording capabilities
- Lower power consumption
- Excellent frame pacing
- No integrated graphics
Check out our Buying Guide For Best CPU for GTX 1080
4. Intel Core i9-9900K Desktop Processor
- 5 GHz processor speed
- 8-Cores and 16-Threads
- 16 MB cache
- TDP 95W
- Two channels DDR4-2666 memory support
Now, it’s time to take an up-close yet quick look at intel’s new powerhouse, a top-of-the-line flagship CPU, which is the Intel Core i9-9900K. Its eight cores and sixteen threads may look formidable on paper. And, indeed this is the best gaming or streaming CPU on the market.
The Intel is an absolute beast of a CPU, which has a base frequency of 3.6 GHz and a max turbo boost of a whopping 5 GHz. There’s 16 MB of smart cache and native DDR4 memory support up to dual-channel DDR4-2666 memory, much like the eighth-generation Core processors.
The new ninth-generation is built on the same 14 nanometers manufacturing process as the previous model. And, it contains the same 16 PCI Express Lanes and socket 1151 compatibility as the prior version.
The biggest change is the materials of this model, which is made from solder thermal interface material. It gives an enormous advantage to control the temperature and do the task of overclocking more efficiently. You will surely overclock it to reach 5 GHz with a decent cooling solution. Talking of streaming or browsing, you will hardly miss any point for this model.
The cooling solution of this model is worthy to impress you. Its 95W TDP is powerful enough to work smoothly even under full load and dissipate heat easily without consuming much power. Considering all the powerful specifications, the CPU is unbeatable in its own way.
- Consumes less amount of power
- Powerful 5.00 GHz processor speed
- Boosts the performance with more cores
- Perfect for gaming and streaming
- Future proof-ish
- Exceptional single-threaded performance
- Price compared to the competition
5. AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
- 16-Cores & 32-Threads
- Multi-core workloads
- 4. 7 GHz processor speed
- 64 l3 cache
AMD already took possession of PC enthusiasts and game lovers with its powerful CPU. The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X adds more reason to own it than previous models. Whether you talk about its application performance, gaming performance, or streaming ability, it is unbeatable in every way you think.
In fact, the manufacturing company claims it is 30 times faster than its previous model. It is featured with more threads, cores, and clock speed. So, people who want hassle-free, lag-free, and ultra-speed in their PC will obviously become a fan base of this model.
Doing video editing or 3D rendering with this beast is like a full of breeze. Suitable for high-end desktop CPU, the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X will work easily for AM4 motherboards. Its enormous versatility makes it stand out from the crowd.
The price of this high-performance CPU is quite higher than in previous models. But you will get what you paid. If the pricing option is not a big deal, you will never able to control yourself to own it.
What’s more, this latest version CPU contains updated BIOS. Also, the manufacturing company fixed the previous bugs to control PC in more efficiently.
Though the model is a non-gaming PC, its gaming performance is quite impressive to take into account. Under higher workloads like multithreading tasks, the CPU runs smoothly with its higher numbers of cores and threads.
If you are only espying for a PC for gaming purposes, it might be not a good option to consider. Because there are already cheap yet powerful CPUs available in the market. However, if you want a CPU for both gaming and video streaming, it is one of the best options. Overall, this efficient and excellent CPU is an ideal option for multithreading tasks.
- High compatibility
- Impressive gaming and application performance
- Power efficiency
- Higher boost frequencies
- Fits in the AM4 socket
- No additional cooling solution
- High price
6. AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X
- 24-Cores and 48-threads
- 140 MB of L3 cache
- 3.8GHz base clock
- 4.5GHz turbo boost
- 280w TDP
We are thrilled to introduce the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X, which is full of impressive with new approaches. Users will find it more effective and more superior performers to handle various workloads. If you prefer to own a high-end desktop, this model is one of the finest options to consider.
You need to invest a few bucks more to own it. As a result, if you think a normal-speed CPU is fine for you, you can compromise this model. However, if you are purchasing it for professional purposes along with super-fast video streaming, you will feel a loss for not acquiring it.
With incredible power efficiency, the quality of your video streaming will improve during ultra-stressful streaming load. If you are fond of fast processing and higher computing power, you will love this model because its turbo speed is 4. 5GHz. Running any extra powerful apps or games with this CPU will give you smooth and businesslike service.
When you want a high frame rate or video resolution, you will love to see its performance. For the 280w TDP, you will need a better cooling system to transfer the heat effectively. Since it doesn’t come with a cooler, you need to buy it separately. You can see some recommended liquid coolers in the product description.
- Suitable for multi-processing task
- Easy-going to run powerful apps and video resolution
- Extremely stable
- High max clock speed
- Materials are not prone to overheating
- Shows superior performance
- Expensive option for beginners
7. Intel Core i9-10900X
- Up to 4.7 GHz unlocked
- 19.25 MB L3 cache
- 165w TDP
- 10-Cores and 20-Threads
- 256GB maximum supported memory
Intel’s new core series of processors are aimed at high-performing tasks to get the most out of its components. Like other Intel core processors, the Intel Core i9-10900X is also an ideal option for high-end desktops. Whether you are an average consumer or heavy user, the high-performance CPU is suitable for all.
While going through the performance result, you will notice an increased improvement of features and speed of this model compared to previous models. Like other X series processors, this model is also an unlocked processor. On a speed base, you can reach up to 4. 7 GHz turbo speed and there is also extra memory support for 256GB.
Aside from that, there is an updated Intel turbo boost max technology 3.0 and Intel deep learning boost. Plus, it includes 72 platform PCle lanes on all SKUs. As a result, you will get additional bandwidth for your graphics cards as well as any other add-in cards that you want to put.
Furthermore, it features a 2.5G Intel ethernet controller i225 that supports Intel. Talking of 165w TDP, this model is standing a little bit on the high side. However, it consumes a considerable amount of power from average ones and becomes hot while handling extra loads. But it is still on the tolerable side compared to other high-end CPUs.
Its real-time performance also gives a clear impression of getting high frequencies for high-end tasks. Talking of productivity, the CPU shows a meaningful difference, unlike similar categories of CPUs. On top of that, you will surely get an impression of benchmarking stats.
The benchmarking result shows a slight improvement in percentage than previous models. When we consider all the valuable features and specifications, this model leaves a footprint to be remembered on the CPU list.
- Solid and stable processor
- Precise option for multi-tasking and productivity
- The powerful boost clock speed of 4.7GHz
- Excellent all-core base speed
- Executes more threads simultaneously
- No CPU cooler included
- Less reasonable power consumption
Things You Should Consider Before Buying Best CPU for Streaming
Unlimited options are here to confuse you and make you feel like standing in the middle of the road. Different CPU has different specification and they may be top-rated in their unique way. However, a few factors will be the same when you want to choose the best CPU for streaming, which you should never compromise.
Some CPUs are only compatible with certain sockets, meaning you’ll need to purchase an extra piece of hardware if you want to use them in a gaming or workstation build. Fortunately, most CPUs are relatively universal and can be used in a range of systems.
When it comes to streaming or encoding, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. If you’re unsure whether a particular CPU will work with your system, be sure to do some research before making a purchase. There are many online forums and websites that can help guide you in the right direction.
Cores are known as physical hardware, which helps to process data. Earlier, only single-core was available. However, when we entered the digital world, dual and quad cores were introduced. Dual cores have more high-performance ability than a single core.
Also, quad cores are far better than dual cores to run powerful programs and applications. You will get immense speed to do your task in a blink of an eye.
However, science is changing every day and we must cope-up with it. Already there is a core i9 in the market and it has 8-cores. Whether you want to do video streaming or high-end modern gaming, you should build a CPU, which has a minimum of 4-cores. It is the pick of the litter to run your PC smoothly with a lag-free mechanism.
A strong linkage exists between cores and threads. You can take the “thread” as a virtual processing unit, while the “core” is a physical processing unit. In the early 2000s, the number of threads will be as same as cores. For instance, a dual-core processor would have double threads.
With the introduction of Simultaneous Multi-Threading technology, the ratio of threads and cores has changed. It becomes 2:1 for threads and cores. For example, the latest core i9 process has 8-cores but 16 threads. Though you don’t need an extreme level of speed for streaming, having a professional quality thread will make a big deal to make you more professional in your specific field.
Clock speeds refer to how fast your PC operates. Clock speed is mainly known as Gigahertz (GHz). The higher the GHz, the more cycles it will execute every second. For example, a CPU with 8.723 GHz will execute 8.723 billion cycles in each second to do your task the most efficiently.
Often, clock speed is more important than cores because higher clock speed will increase the performance of your PC. However, you may also need fewer clock speeds for your specific type of job. The latest CPU will automatically increase or decrease the clock speeds on your requirements.
The highest amount of clock speeds is called “turbo”, while the least amount of clock speeds is called “base”. Your CPU will reach optimal clock speeds in different cores when there are no heating or other issues.
Overclocking occurs when you run your PC at more than the average speed. You basically push or force the clock rate of your computer to operate it speedily. You can save yourself from upgrading your PC if you know how to exceed the limits.
Also, it keeps your PC in cool condition by absorbing additional heat from the system.
However, make sure you know the job properly. Unless you have adequate knowledge about it, you may end up crashing or destroying the motherboard or other internal components. But, if you are succeeded to do it, no one can stop you to play or stream like never before.
If you are planning to upgrade or purchase a new PC, make sure the CPU is featured with overclocked for higher-than-intended frequency.
Thermal Design Power:
When you’re looking to buy a CPU for streaming, keep in mind the thermal design power (TDP). This is the amount of heat a processor can produce. A high TDP means the processor can handle a lot of heat and work quickly. However, it also means the processor will use more energy and be more expensive.
So, when considering a CPU for streaming, think about how much processing power you need and what kind of budget you have. Then choose a model that fits your needs.
The best CPUs for streaming are those with low thermal design powers (TDPs). These processors don’t require as much energy to operate and can last longer without overheating. They’re also usually cheaper than processors with high TDPs.
If you’re only planning on using your computer for streaming occasional videos or games, a low-powered processor may be adequate. But if you plan on using your computer for streaming video all day long, consider investing in a higher-powered CPU.
Streaming processors generally come with a large cache and can improve performance by reducing the number of times your processor has to go look up data from storage. The more data that can be cached, the faster your stream will run.
The size of the CPU’s cache is important because it affects how fast data can be retrieved from memory. A small cache will slow down your stream significantly relative to a larger cache, so make sure to factor in the size of your CPU’s cache when choosing which one to buy.
The budget varies from person to person. Often the quality of your CPU may depend on your budget. However, we are not saying you need a superior performer CPU for streaming.
Top brands like Intel, AMD, etc. have quality CPUs within a reasonable price based on specifications.
How To Optimize CPU/Processor For Gaming
Does the CPU affect streaming?
Ans: It is highly essential to buy a powerful processor if you want a non-stopping record or stream with no sign of buffering. It will also provide high-quality video resolution and framerate.
Is Intel or AMD better for streaming?
Ans: There is no direct answer to this question. Both Intel and AMD are best in their unique way. However, Intel chip can help you to build a dedicated PC.
How can I improve my CPU performance?
Ans: When you want to improve your CPU performance, the first rule is choosing the right motherboard because it is one of the most essential parts of your PC. The right motherboard will be compatible even with the latest processor and other hardware easily. Without a dedicated motherboard, you will get your deserved satisfaction even if you have other powerful components.
Aside from that, you need to regularly update your BOIS and check your ram speed. You can also try to overclock your CPU to boost the performance level. Plus, make sure to switch off the simultaneous multithreading options since it may slow down your PC.
What is a good CPU temp?
Ans: Most of the CPUs stay close to 50 degrees Celsius temperature when users don’t run them. However, while taking high-end tasks at high loads, your CPU may become hot. Aside from that, the CPU may get a little bit hot in certain situations when it consumes more power.
Is Streaming CPU or GPU Intensive?
Ans: Both CPU and GPU affect directly the performance of your PC. There are some common things which are done by both of them. However, they are also made for some specific tasks. For example, the job of GPU is to provide visual effects and clear video resolution. Since the GPU performs many tasks, it occupies a large amount of memory.
On the other hand, the CPU is known as the brain of the PC. Aside from boosting your streaming performance, it does many additional tasks to give you the reason for purchasing it.
How Many Cores Do I Need for Streaming?
Ans: Streaming is a high-end task. So, a single processor can’t do the job effectively. It is better to purchase a CPU that has at least 4 or 6 cores to handle the powerful workload effortlessly and effectively.
Are More Cores Better for Streaming?
Ans: Yes, the more cores you include in your CPU, the better it will be for streaming. When you add more cores, the single-core clock speed reduces. But as a whole, all multi-core performance boosts up for better streaming.
Revolutionary change in the technology world is happening every day. Today what knows as best may struggle to compete in the future. That’s why picking a powerful CPU for streaming when you want to do it for a long-time investment or at least for a few years.
Both Intel and AMD manufacture high-quality CPUs, which are better in different categories. All you need to know is your choice and the requirement to choose the best one.
Also, make sure that the CPU you choose is perfectly capable of doing your job and won’t crash with heavy tasks.
Best budget gaming processors — rating 2022, top powerful inexpensive, cheap intel models for games
Author: Egor Golikov Updated: November 11, 2022
Most users are limited in budget and choose not the most expensive options. And if it is recommended to take the best one when buying a video card, then you can save on some other components. Take, for example, the processor. Not very demanding users can safely choose budget models. They will not lead to a drop in frame rate, but they will save the budget. In this rating, you will find worthy and inexpensive models on the market today, you can quickly navigate and choose the best budget processor that suits your request.
AMD Athlon 3000G AM4
One of the best solutions for building an office or home system. The processor uses the Raven Ridge socket AM4 architecture. This is a dual-core chip with 4 threads, made according to the 14 nm process technology and assembled on the basis of the Zen architecture. The model has an operating frequency of 3.5 GHz and a free multiplier, which allows for higher performance. Thanks to the integrated Vega 3 graphics, you can run games at medium and high settings. This is the best option for those who want to assemble an office computer. The processor is equipped with an unlocked multiplier, which makes it possible for overclocking. The clock frequency reaches 3.5 GHz, there is support for multithreading. The graphics adapter has more power compared to the Intel UHD line. At the same time, the processor will not pull heavy games, but it will do an excellent job with documents and scrolling the social media feed.
Intel Celeron G5905 LGA1200
This fixed multiplier processor is ideal for building a PC if you use the device for work and Internet surfing. The chip, equipped with two Comet Lake-S cores and a frequency of 3.5 GHz, was introduced to the market in 2020. It has integrated UHD 610 graphics, which is enough to run online games in the browser. The Celeron G5905 compares favorably with a lower GPU frequency and high TPD. The model is suitable for undemanding users, for example, for installation in an office computer or for working with documents. Also, the chip can replace the video card, however, demanding programs will lag with it.
Intel Pentium Gold G6405 LGA1200
Another 4 GHz dual core processor with 4 threads. With it, you can assemble an inexpensive gaming system. The model is made using the 14nm process technology. The cooling system is not included in the package. The processor copes well with undemanding games, averaging 60 fps. On heavier games, friezes can slip, and sometimes freezes in the video sequence occur. In this case, it is recommended to lower the graphics settings.
AMD Ryzen 3 PRO 2100GE AM4
The following 64-bit processor has two cores and socket AM4. The architecture is built on Zen. The model is equipped with integrated graphics Radeon Vega 3, which allows you to use a PC without a graphics card. Supports up to 64GB dual channel memory. This CPU boasts low heat dissipation, reaching no more than 35 watts. The base frequency is 3.2 GHz, and the amount of supported memory is up to 128 GB. Cooling system not included.
Thus, this rating of budget processors allows you to evaluate various options in terms of price-quality ratio. Both well-known companies — Intel and AMD produce decent models in the budget segment, but the first option is still the leader in terms of performance. The listed models have enough speed for use on office and home PCs. If you do not plan to run demanding games, then there is no point in overpaying for a gaming processor. In other cases, you can lower the graphics settings or overclock.