Cpu good: The Best CPU for Gaming in 2022 — Top Gaming CPUs for the Money

AMD Ryzen 7 7700X CPU review

Our Verdict

The poster child for both the generational uplift of the Zen 4 architecture and the efficient potential of the Eco Mode. Though the competition with Alder Lake makes for tough reading.

For
  • Outperforms the 5800X3D in gaming
  • Hits 5.15GHz under full all-core loads
  • Eco Mode is ace
Against
  • Struggles against Intel’s latest

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On the face of it the Ryzen 7 7700X is maybe the least exciting of all the new Zen 4 processors AMD has just released. The Ryzen 9 7950X has the benefit of being cheaper and faster than its predecessor, and comes rocking the highest thread count of any chip out there. And the Ryzen 5 7600X is the highest clocked mainstream CPU around and is just $299.

But an $399 eight-core, 16-thread CPU in 2022 seems kinda passé. 

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Which is why AMD made a big deal out of jamming a freakish amount of extra L3 cache into its Ryzen 7 5800X3D earlier this year. The addition of 3D V-cache made that Zen 3 CPU the fastest AMD gaming CPU ever, even if it was just sporting the same essential cores and core count as the standard Ryzen 7 5800X . And yet just five months later here we are with the Ryzen 7 7700X outperforming it almost across the board, even in most games.

In some gaming cases it will actually match the top-end $700 Ryzen 7000-series CPU, sometimes even beating it, which is certainly not something you can ignore when you’re looking for a new chip. That makes what might have seemed a rather pedestrian CPU rather more interesting. 

Essentially what we have here is a direct replacement for the Ryzen 7 5800X of the previous generation. But it’s called a 7700X because the 7800X designation is likely being reserved for a Zen 4 3D V-cache gaming chip. At least once AMD can get it put together in the fab and shunted out the door to face up to Intel’s Raptor Lake launch.

Ryzen 7 7700X spec

(Image credit: Future)

Cores: 8
Threads: 16
Socket: AMD AM5
CCD lithography: TSMC 5nm
CCD die size: 70mm²
CCD transistor count: 6. 5 billion
IOD lithography: TSMC 6nm
IOD die size: 122mm²
IOD transistor count: 3.4 billion
Max boost clock: 5.4GHz
Base clock: 4.5GHz
L2 cache: 8MB
L3 cache: 32MB
Memory support: DDR5-5200 (non-OC)
TDP: 105W
Price: $399

That means we’ve got eight Zen 4 cores, with simultaneous multithreading delivering 16 threads of compute power. We’ve run a deeper look at the new Zen 4 architecture in our Ryzen 9 7950X review, but suffice to say it’s a derivative of the Zen 3 tech, but with some extra L2 cache and a redesigned front end created to better feed data into the wider execution engines brought into the previous generation.

Oh, and higher clock speeds. Way higher clock speeds. Okay, the Ryzen 7 7700X isn’t up to the 5.9GHz heights of its 16-core brethren, but with an all-core frequency of 5. 15GHz out of the box it’s still seriously impressive. Under single-core loads, such as those of most game engines, I’ve measured it running at 5.55GHz.

These would have been heavily overclocked frequencies just a few months back, and we’re getting them in stock-clocked AMD chips. Though there are noises Intel’s on the same track with 6GHz numbers coming out of Jacob’s recent trip to Intel’s Haifa labs.

The Ryzen 7 7700X sports the same 105W TDP as the Ryzen 7 5800X and 5800X3D, but its 5nm compute and 6nm I/O dies deliver efficiency improvements and the Eco Mode feature delivers outstanding performance per watt figures. I’m a big fan of Eco Mode in the Zen 4 generation of chips and probably more so with this more middle-order processor, too.

Image 1 of 6

Eco Mode gives you the option to run your mighty Zen 4 silicon using less power, hence the ‘eco’ bit. That’s something we’re all a little more conscious of at the moment, given the economic situation and the spiking energy prices across the globe. From the 105W TDP you can drop it down to a 65W TDP instead, and barely make a dent in performance. That’s because performance and input power operate on a curve, so you have to keep putting in much more power to keep the performance going upwards.

So sometimes a big drop in power usage will only result in a surprisingly small dip in actual real-world performance. Such is the case with the Ryzen 7 7700X, where gaming especially just doesn’t suffer. At worst you get 95% of the performance for a chunk less power, lower thermals, and therefore quieter gaming.

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)

Unlike the 170W TDP Ryzen 9 7950X, where the drop in power to 65W results in much lower multithreaded performance—down to 77% of its full capabilities—that doesn’t happen with the Ryzen 7 7700X. Cinebench performance at 65W is 95% of what the chip manages at 105W, and sometimes gaming frame rates actually improve. 

The temps and gaming wattage don’t really drop that much in 65W mode, but then under gaming loads its cores aren’t maxing out anyways. It is still almost reaching 5GHz under all-core loads at 65W, and I think that is seriously impressive.

Which might have you questioning why AMD didn’t just make this a 65W chip in the first place, and certainly why the Ryzen 5 7600X has been shifted from a 65W TDP in Zen 3 to a 105W TDP in Zen 4. Honestly, I believe it’s about competition.

As much as it is good to talk about efficiencies, lower power demands, and performance per watt for new architectures, that doesn’t sell chips. What sells is straight performance, and AMD knew that it could push more power through its 5nm core complex and get these high clock speeds and attention-grabbing numbers.

Gaming Performance

Image 1 of 8

(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)

Compute and system performance

Image 1 of 7

PC Gamer test rig

AMD
Motherboard: ASRock X670E Taichi
Memory: G. Skill Trident Z5 Neo DDR5-6000 CL30 2x 16GB

Intel
Motherboard: Asus ROG Z690 Hero
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-5600 CL36 2x 16GB

Graphics card: Nvidia RTX 3080 10GB
Storage: 1TB WD Black SN850
Cooler: Corsair h200i RGB
PSU: NZXT 850W
Chassis: DimasTech Mini V2
 

Either way, the Ryzen 7 7700X, is arguably one of the best gaming chips. It keeps pace with the Ryzen 9 7950X, and massively outperforms the old Ryzen 9 5950X when it comes to gaming frame rates. That 5.55GHz single-core clockspeed is really doing the work there. 

It’s also exemplary of just how efficient the 5nm CCD of the Zen 4 generation is over its Zen 3 forebears. The performance per watt delta is pretty staggering; the Ryzen 7 7700X offers over twice what the Ryzen 9 5950X delivers.

It is also keeping close to the top Alder Lake chip, too. Though I’ve got a feeling this close touching distance to Intel’s processors will be short-lived when the upcoming 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs arrive.

Still, the efficient gaming power of this AMD chip has impressed me. I think I’d happily run my Zen 4 chip in Eco Mode 24/7, then maybe consider letting the shackles off if I really wanted to push the computational performance of my machine. 

Which, honestly, is a rare occurrence. I don’t run my games at 1080p, and at 1440p and 4K, you’re more likely to be GPU bound than limited by your processor. And if I’m rendering content, or demanding weird pics from some AI painter, then my graphics card is going to be the core component I reach for.

Therein lies the rub. The role of the CPU is ever diminishing in a world where the computational potential of graphics silicon is being used across an ever wider swathe of disciplines. No longer is it all about the games—where arguably the CPU has been ‘good enough’ for a while now—but in all parts of the creative world the processor has been relegated to the facilitator for the graphics card; the component which allows the GPU to do its processing unfettered.

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(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)

So, the idea of the best gaming CPU does have a certain anachronistic flavour these days. Which makes the idea of spending $699 on a Ryzen 9 7950X a bit much if your PC is primarily a gaming machine. But then, maybe spending $399 on an eight-core CPU is, too, when a humble $200 chip will arguably do just as well in GPU-bound titles at higher resolutions than 1080p.

These existential questions for CPUs aside, there is something else that the Ryzen chips as a whole need to consider: Raptor Lake. Intel’s imminent update to Alder Lake is promising higher clock speeds just as Zen 4 has done, more multithreading chops, and already comes with a built-in gaming advantage thanks to whatever its engineers did with the Golden Cove, now Raptor Cove design.

When both Raptor Lake and the Zen 4 3D V-cache Ryzen come out it’s going to have to lose any pretensions towards being a high-end gaming CPU.

But the Ryzen 7 7700X is still an excellent example of the generational improvements of the Zen 4 architecture, especially on the efficiency side. This third-tier chip is pretty regularly beating the cache-heavy special edition CPU of the last generation, and that was the best gaming processor AMD had ever made just five months ago. It’s efficient, hella fast, and can deliver on the gaming front. 

Not quite such an unexciting chip, then. 

Read our review policy

AMD Ryzen 7 7700X

The poster child for both the generational uplift of the Zen 4 architecture and the efficient potential of the Eco Mode. Though the competition with Alder Lake makes for tough reading.

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he’s back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.

The Best CPUs: Productivity and Gaming

  • Best Of
  • CPU

Top Choices From $80 to $700


By
Steven Walton

TechSpot is supported by its audience. We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Here’s why you can trust us.

With readers constantly inquiring about which CPU they should buy, and after all the extensive testing you’re familiar with, the TechSpot CPU buying guide narrows things down to a handful of recommendations you can trust.

Usually we’d choose the Top 5 processors currently in the market, but with competition at an all-time high, for the most part there are no clear winners, and the right choice heavily depends on your use case. Therefore we’re going to work through the pros and cons for each option, so you’ll know exactly what will work best for you.

To go through our recommendations, we’ll go from least to more expensive and discuss gaming performance first, then general productivity and other considerations.

  • $80 — $130
    Core i3-12100F | Ryzen 5 5600

    Price: $117

  • $180 — $240
    Core i5-12400F | Ryzen 7 5700X

    Price: $197

  • $300 — $320
    Ryzen 5 7600X | Core i3-13600K | Ryzen 5 5800X3D

    Price: $248

  • $400 — $440
    Core i7-13700K/KF | Ryzen 7 7700X

    Price: $436

  • $550 — $700
    Ryzen 9 7900X/7950X | Core i9-13900K/KF

    Price: $573

There’s plenty of great options and you can hardly go wrong. AMD and Intel are locked in a fierce battle right now which is great to see.

Although we are updating this buying guide in time for the holiday season, if you can wait a few more weeks to make your CPU purchase then we recommend you do. Usually we see some interesting announcements come out of CES and we’re expecting AMD will be looking to breathe some life into AM5 sales, which could mean 3D V-Cache models or more affordable non-X versions.

Budget CPU ($80 — $130)

In numbers

Price:

$117 on Amazon

The contenders in this segment include the likes of the Ryzen 5 4500, Core i3-10100F or 10105F, all of which can be had for about $80 right now, then there’s the Ryzen 5 5500 and Core 13-12100F at $100. The next step takes you to around $120 for the Core i5-10400F and Ryzen 5 3600, while the Ryzen 5 5600 can be had for $130.

For those of you building a new PC from the ground up, we recommend avoiding the Ryzen 5 4500 and Core i3-10100F/10105F. They’re now only $20 less than the Core i3-12100F, which offers substantially better performance and can be upgraded to 13th-gen Raptop Lake parts down the track.

The Core i3-12100F offers solid value at $100 and even when paired with affordable DDR4-3600 CL16 memory, it’s a good bit faster than the Ryzen 5 5500 for gaming, delivering on average 15% more performance in our tests. There are also a number of well priced Intel B660 boards that can support Core i9 processors without any throttling issues, such as the $130 MSI Pro B660M-A, but if you never want to upgrade beyond a Core i5, the Asrock B660M Pro RS works for $90 — the $40 extra for the MSI model does buy you a more capable product in terms of power delivery though.

Putting it all together: $100 for the 12100F, $140 for a good B660 motherboard and $60 for 16GB DDR4-3600 CL16 memory and you’ve got a great platform upgrade for just $300, or $350 if you opt for a 32GB kit. Alternatively, if you want to invest in DDR5, we’d skip B660 boards and instead go for the Asrock Z690M PG Riptide, a great value board at $160. Then for memory, Crucial 8GB modules work well enough and $85 for a 16GB kit is very cheap. If you’re a bit more serious about your RAM, G.Skill’s Ripjaws S5 DDR5-5200 32GB memory can be had for $145, taking the DDR5 combo to $405.

The step up option is the Ryzen 5 5600, which can be thrown on a quality B550 motherboard for as little as $90 — such as the MSI B550M-Pro VHD WiFi, while the Asrock B550 Pro4 for $100 is another nice option. Then $60 gets you a decent 16GB DDR4-3600 CL16 memory kit or $110 for 32GB, meaning you can piece the AM4 combo together for as little as $280 — $20 less than the 12100F, and you have the luxury of being able to upgrade to the 5800X3D down the track, or for productivity performance the 5900X or 5950X.

These two budget choices are basically the same price when factoring in platform costs. Both are excellent CPUs with solid upgrade paths and honestly we’d struggle to pick between them as the performance they offer now is great and the upgrade option to either the 13600K or 5800X3D is also great. Price up both in your region as that could be the deciding factor.

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Mainstream CPU ($180 — $240)

In numbers

Price:

$197 on Amazon

User Reviews:

Increasing the budget opens up a number of AM4, AM5, LGA1200 and LGA 1700 options. There’s over a dozen CPUs in this bracket, but we can quickly narrow the selection down to two options. You can safely ignore Intel’s 10th and 11th-gen options above $150, they just aren’t competitive. Most of the AM4 parts also don’t make sense, such as the 5600X, you might as well just get the 5600.

The Core i5-12400F at $180 is a good way to get your foot in the door and on something like the Asrock Z690M PG Riptide that option can make sense, paired with G.Skill’s DDR5-5200 32GB that combo would cost $485 — almost 40% more than the 12100F build, for 50% more cores — in a demanding game like Cyberpunk 2077, we did see a 32% performance boost from the 12400 over the 12100.

The Ryzen 7 5700X can offer comparable gaming performance and even at $240 you can create a 32GB DDR4 build on an entry-level B550 board for about $40 less. In games that are bandwidth-hungry the Intel combo will fare much better though. On the upside, for core-heavy productivity the 5700X is the superior option given it will deliver around 30% stronger performance.

In short, the Core i5-12400F enjoys a better upgrade path and the ability to support DDR5 memory, while the 5700X combo is a bit more affordable, will deliver a similar gaming experience and is more powerful for productivity.

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Mid-Range Performance CPU ($300 — $320)

In numbers

Price:

$248 on Amazon

TechSpot Metascore:

User Reviews:

In this segment we land on options like the Core i5-12600K, 13600K, 12700K, 11900KF and Ryzen 5 7600X. So let’s discard some of these… the 11900KF at $355 makes no sense, not that the 11th-gen Core i9 ever made any sense, and the 12700K is now pointless as it costs more than the 13600K and is slower, for everything. The i5-12600K at $280 is a reasonable deal, but as we found in a recent value analysis it’s worse value than the 13600K for gaming, and much worse when it comes to productivity, so the 12th-gen Core i5 is also a write off.

Thus top choices are the Core i5-13600K at $320 and the Ryzen 5 7600X at $300. The advantage of the Core i5-13600K is its superior productivity performance as it can put those E-cores to good use, offering substantial gains over the 7600X. Also, for those of you who like to tinker with their hardware and dabble in overclocking and memory tuning, the 13600K is a better choice, offering more headroom and a greater degree of tuning.

There’s also a wider range of sub-$200 motherboards on offer, thanks to support for Intel 600-series boards, and backwards compatibility with DDR4 means you can carry over old memory or purchase from the vast pool of already available DDR4 memory. CPU-bound DDR4 performance will generally be slower than that of DDR5, so if you’re building an entirely new PC we recommend jumping to DDR5 now.

The advantage of the Ryzen 5 7600X is that it’s the more efficient chip, consuming less power which in theory should make it easier to cool, though we don’t believe cooling to be a major consideration here. The real advantage for the Ryzen 5 is the superior AM5 platform, which will support at least two more generations of processors, offering a broad upgrade path for those investing now.

There’s really no right or wrong option here, by default they’re both excellent products, ultimately you need to toss up between stronger productivity performance and platform longevity. We also mention the 5800X3D because that’s the top upgrade path for current AM4 owners who want to maximize gaming performance without spending on an entire platform upgrade.

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High-end Performance CPU ($400 — $440)

In numbers

Price:

$436 on Amazon

TechSpot Metascore:

User Reviews:

If you are spending $400 on a new CPU, there’s no reason to consider any previous-gen CPUs. Even the 5800X3D is a tough sell unless you’ve already invested in AM4. That leaves the Ryzen 7 7700X at $400 and the Intel Core i7-13700KF at $420, and the version with the integrated graphics (K-SKU) at $440. For a mere 5% extra you might as well get the 13700K for stuff like QuickSync support.

The 7700X and 13700K battle is very similar to the 7600X and 13600K. We’re looking at the same pros and cons. In our opinion, DDR4 support for Raptor Lake is no longer beneficial for higher-end parts as you’d always opt for DDR5 when building a new system or executing an entire platform upgrade at this budget level. Pricing is similar and so is motherboard cost. You’d be looking at spending ~$200 for something decent with a good feature set.

The Core i7-13700K is the stronger productivity CPU, at least 10% faster for core-heavy workloads but can be as much as 45% faster. Then when it comes to gaming they’re close enough to call a tie.

The advantage of the 7700X is that it’s the more efficient processor, consuming a lot less power, though power limiting the 13700K can help, but the same is also true of the 7700X. The true advantage for the Ryzen 7 part is the AM5 platform which will support at least two more generations of processors, offering a broad upgrade path for those investing now.

Strictly for gaming, we’d go with the 7700X even though the 13700K is just as capable. But if productivity is part of your equation, then the 13700K is the better option. It’s certainly the better all-rounder from a performance standpoint.

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CPU Performance Kings ($550 — $700)

In numbers

Price:

$573 on Amazon

TechSpot Metascore:

User Reviews:

Current generation flagship offerings consist of the Ryzen 9 7900X, 7950X and Core i9-13900K. On AMD’s side, the 7950X offers better value at $44 per core opposed to $46 per core for the 7900X. You should only buy the 7900X over the 7700X for productivity performance, and if you assume that time is money, in that case the better value 7950X is the obvious choice.

We’ll say it again. If you’re just gaming, the more affordable 7700X is a better choice than either the 7900X or 7950X, as the single CCD processors ensures lower latency between cores. The 7900X and 7950X are first and foremost productivity CPUs, that you’d only pick over the 7700X if you’re focused on work, or work and play, and if work is on the agenda, then the 7950X makes the most sense.

As for Intel, the Core i9-13900K is a beast, a literal beast when it comes to power usage, sucking down significantly more power than the 7950X for a similar level of performance. In our opinion, the 7950X is the better productivity CPU, for core-heavy work it either matches or beats the 13900K.

For gaming though, the 13900K is king — it’s not miles faster, just 3% faster on average according to our own testing, but there are examples where the Core i9 is around 20% faster, and that can be a big deal for competitive gamers.

A good quality AMD B650 board can be purchased for around $200 and G. Skill’s Trident Z5 DDR5-6000 CL36 32GB memory can be had for $205, taking that combo to $805.

Meanwhile, the 13900K costs $620 and you’ll want to spend at least $200 on a Z690 motherboard to avoid VRM throttling, chuck in the same G.Skill DDR5 memory and that combo comes to $1,005. That’s a rather large 25% premium for what amounts to similar gaming performance. The Core i9 was ~2.5% faster on average at 1440p with an RTX 4090 in our testing.

Unless you’re after the absolute fastest gaming experience possible, there’s little point investing in the Core i9-13900K. For productivity we’d go with the 7950X and for gaming the less expensive 7700X and 13700K are better value options.

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Intel Core i5-9400F Processor — «Good Processor»

Based on the ASRock B365M-HDV motherboard with socket 1151-v2, a budget gaming assembly was assembled. The processor was chosen Intel Core I5-9400F, the most affordable of the 9th generation series at a price for this motherboard socket, the cooling cooler is original from Intel with a copper core. Also added are two sticks of 8 GB of DDR4-2400 RAM, a 4 GB GTX 1650 video card, and a 650 W power supply. The operating system is on an M2 SSD disk, for data it is a regular HDD disk.

After assembling all the above components, the BIOS did not appear immediately, after the third automatic reboot. But then there were no problems, I installed the system and drivers. I didn’t have to flash the bios.

In operation, the processor is smart, complete with other components. The processor has 6 cores and 6 threads, there is a turbo mode, where the frequency from the base of 2900 MHz can increase to 4100 MHz. Additionally, I did not overclock anything, everything works with factory settings. This processor will unlock the potential of modern graphics cards. There is no graphics core, which can be a problem for assemblies with this processor of office computers; you will have to additionally purchase a budget office video card. But in gaming assemblies with a full-fledged video card, the integrated graphics processor is basically not needed. Intel, third party information, uses these processors with defective GPUs properly locked. In general, this circumstance, if it exists, will not interfere in any way, since the buyer is aware that he is buying a processor without an integrated graphics core. The processors themselves are very efficient, plus the guarantee is also not small.

I also did not read a lot of information about these processors, they do not have solder under the cover, but thermal paste is applied. I don’t know yet whether this is good or bad, and when this thermal paste dries. Operating temperatures must be monitored. If there is not sufficient cooling of the processor, then it seems to me that the service life of the thermal paste itself and its qualities can be significantly quickly reduced. This question can be answered later based on the results of use. The heat dissipation of the processor is only 65 watts.

At the time of writing this review, I am very pleased with the processor. Feels good in toys, I don’t play often but sometimes I run WOW, TESO online and tanks. All games are on ultra, temperatures are normal, nothing is heated. Even after quite a long time in games. For work, the processor is also very good, everything is smart and fast, you can load it with a full variety of tasks.

Advantages

  • Cool, nimble, productive

Disadvantages

  • Price, lack of graphic processor

Mariakulikov will recommend

Read all reviews 5

Other reviews

Read all reviews 5

See also 9000 July 2021)

When choosing a processor, you always want to get the best option for your tasks with the best price / performance ratio. We offer to consider the ten most popular models for desktop PCs on our market. This rating is dynamically formed based on the number of views of specific CPU models by hotline.ua visitors and transitions to the pages of online stores over the past 14 days. Let’s see which models more often than others fell into the focus of potential buyers in the middle of summer 2021.

ZMIST

  • 1 1. AMD RYZEN 5 3600
  • 2 2. Intel Core i7-10700K
  • 3 3. AMD Ryzen 5 5600x

  • 4 4. Intel Core i5-10400f
  • 5 5. AMD RyZen 9 5950x
  • 6 6. AMD Ryzen 9 5900x
  • 7 7. Intel Core i5-11400
  • 8 8. Intel Core i3-10100f
  • 9 9. AMD Ryzen 7 5800x
  • 10 10 10 10 10 3700x
  • 900. 11 Results

The Ryzen 5 3600 returned to the top position in the processor popularity rating. There is nothing surprising or unexpected to admit this. The 6-core, 12-thread Zen 2 chip offers such an attractive price/performance ratio that even with more advanced CPUs coming out, this favorite with a successful history is still very much in demand.

Some price increase a few months ago temporarily knocked this model off the pedestal, but the subsequent systematic price reduction returned the Ryzen 5 3600 back to the first place. Curiously, the Tray version without a standard cooling system turned out to be the most popular. Obviously, in the ~$200 chip category, price plays an important role. The retail Box variant, which is offered at ~$20 more, is in less demand.

Second position behind the Core i7-10700K. Even after the release of the 11th generation Core chips, Intel’s previous generation processors are in demand. Of course, this does not apply to the entire line, but only to individual models. The increased interest in the Core i7-10700K is easy to explain. First of all, this is an initially good 8-core 16-thread chip with an unlocked multiplier and activated graphics.

A very good discount added value to this CPU. The retail price of this model since its release in Ukraine has been at $450, but now these chips can be purchased for ~$320. Of course, if for the sake of economy you are ready to close your eyes to the color and degree of officiality of the supplies. According to our tests, the Core i7-10700K is somewhat inferior in performance to the Core i7-11700K, but the previous generation chip also has its advantages — it is more economical and now costs much less.

The Ryzen 5 5600X certainly has its place in the top of CPU popularity. A rather high starting price in retail held back the popularity of this 6-core model of the Vermeer family. Zen 3 chips received a noticeable boost in terms of performance per clock (up to + 19% IPC), but with the release of these processors, AMD abandoned the “more affordable alternative” principle.

The retail price of this processor stayed at $350+ for quite a long time, which is generally uncharacteristic for 6-core processors, especially from AMD. With a slight decrease in price, the processor began to fall into the focus of interests of lovers of balanced solutions more often. However, the cost is still important, because Tray-versions for ~$310 are somewhat more popular than the retail version for ~$330.

Intel’s most affordable 6-core processor is still one of the most attractive mid-range chips, especially when it comes to choosing a CPU for a gaming system. At the peak of popularity, the retail price of the Core i5-10400F dropped to $160.

At the beginning of the summer the price rose unpleasantly to ~$210, but the current ~$180 seems to be quite an adequate payment for the proposed level of performance. Recall that versions of Intel processors with the “F” index in the model name indicate deactivated integrated graphics. In these cases, the purchase of a discrete graphics card is mandatory.

The 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X suddenly burst into the top ten most popular mid-summer processors with a good result. The flagship of the AMD desktop line is now, without any reservations, the most productive CPU for desktop systems. Obviously, the 32-thread model is of interest to users who probably know how to efficiently use the resources of such a processor. It is likely that such chips may be part of the ultimate gaming assemblies, but in such an environment they are more likely to look like a fashion attribute «for all the money.»

The real capabilities of the Ryzen 9 5950X are revealed in the tasks of processing media data, rendering and other multi-threaded processor calculations, which for some reason cannot be shifted to the shoulders of a graphics adapter. In the spring, the cost of this CPU soared to $1400, but now the price has rolled back to its previous levels, so when buying a 16-core processor, you will definitely be able to meet $1000.

If a powerful processor is needed, but there is about $650 to buy a CPU, then a 12-core Ryzen 9 may be a good option5900X. If you look at the graph with the dynamics of offers, then in the first half of spring it was very problematic to acquire this chip. Single sellers took advantage of the situation by raising the cost of the CPU to $900+, but already in May the situation with availability improved markedly, and the price returned to its current levels.

The justification for such a purchase depends entirely on the tasks used. For a gaming system, such a chip will be somewhat redundant, but if the increased number of cores / threads helps to save time for the execution of existing work, then the costs will quickly pay for themselves. Recall that, as in the case of the top model, in the retail package Ryzen 9The 5900X is offered without a cooler. An efficient cooling system will require additional costs.

The only representative of the new line of Rocket Lake chips for LGA1200 in the current TOP-10 popular processors was the junior model of the series — Core i5-11400. Although the 11th generation Intel Core desktop chips remained on the 14-nanometer process technology, they received a new architecture with significantly improved performance per clock, as well as support for PCI Express 4.0.

Interest in the chips of the new line is held back by a slightly higher cost and incompatibility with mainstream motherboards based on the previous generation chipsets (Intel h510/B460). However, on the updated platform, even chips with locked multipliers can be significantly accelerated by removing the limitation on the thermal package in the boost. For details, see our Intel B560 motherboard review.

At the beginning of this year, the cost of the 4-core Core i3-10100F (4/8; 3.6/4.7 GHz) dropped to $100, and at that price it really was an offer that was hard to refuse. For a while, this model even managed to top the CPU popularity rating on hotline.ua. In the spring, the selling retail price of this chip soared to $160, which had a noticeable effect on consumer interest.

Now the cost of the Core i3-10100F has rolled back to $130, allowing it to return to the top ten most popular desktop CPUs. The large-scale spring update of Intel processors did not actually affect the segment of entry-level models. In this class, the manufacturer introduced only minimally accelerated versions of Comet Lake, offering + 100-200 MHz. A potential replacement for the Core i3-10100F is the Core i3-10105F (4/8; 3.7/4.4 GHz), which is already available for ~$140.

Despite the generally high cost, virtually all key AMD Vermeer chips are listed in the top ten most popular CPUs on hotline.ua. Processors with Zen 3 architecture perform well, regardless of the nature of the loads. They cope well with multi-threaded tasks as expected, and internal optimizations have significantly improved single-threaded performance.

It’s unusual to see that even in games top Intel chips can be caught up. The 8-core Ryzen 7 5800X strikes a good balance for a progressive desktop platform, although it’s still a bit pricey (~$480). If the system is used not only for games, then the costs will be justified, if entertainment is a priority, then the Ryzen 5 5600X is often not inferior to the more expensive model.

As you can see, relatively inexpensive AMD 8-core processors from the previous generation are still popular. The Ryzen 7 3700X is now available for $300+ and offers good multi-threaded performance.

Out of habit, I would like to add that this is the most affordable chip on the market with a functional configuration of 8/16, but it is already appropriate to recall the Core i7-10700K, which can now be bought for the same money. And in such a version, a lot will already be decided at the level of personal preferences, especially if the system is more often used for multi-threaded applications. In games, the Intel chip will definitely have an advantage, which is also equipped with integrated graphics, and in the current conditions this is also an argument.

Results

This is how the processor TOP-10 turned out as of the beginning of July 2021. The rating changes dynamically, its current state can always be tracked independently in the appropriate section, remembering to specify sorting «by popularity».

Along the way, we note several curious models that are also of interest, but at the time of preparation of the material were outside the top ten. First of all, this is the Ryzen 5 PRO 4650G (6/12; 3.7/4.2 GHz) — a hybrid 6-core AMD Renoir chip with Zen 2 architecture, equipped with a fairly powerful Radeon Vega 7 integrated graphics. APU is also not accidental. Against the backdrop of an acute shortage and very high cost of discrete video cards, any solution with an “embedded” has additional value. Ryzen 5 PRO 4650G not available for retail sale. Initially, the chips were available only to manufacturers of finished systems, but over time they appeared in consumer markets. However, the APU can only be purchased in the Tray variant, and the number of available offers is very limited. Immediately before the publication of the material, they completely disappeared from the sale.

The increased demand for processors with integrated graphics is also evidenced by the fact that Ryzen 7 PRO 4750G (8/16; 3.6/4.4 GHz) was one step away from the top ten. Despite the fact that this is by no means a cheap chip (~$380), the hybrid APU is popular among those who intend to do without a video card. Of course, such models can also be used with a discrete adapter, but in this case there is no point in overpaying for an integrated GPU.

For connoisseurs of integrated solutions, AMD announced new models at the last Computex 2021 exhibition, finally made on the basis of the Zen 3 — 9 architecture0133 Ryzen 5 5600G (6/12; 3. 9/4.4 GHz) and Ryzen 7 5700G (8/16; 3.8/4.6 GHz). This time the APUs will also be officially presented in retail, and should be on sale on August 5th. The processors of the Cezanne family will still be equipped with Vega (GCN) graphics, so, alas, you should not count on a noticeable increase in fps here. But the increase in computing performance should be tangible.

Among the popular models from AMD, it is worth highlighting the still relevant Ryzen 5 1600 AF (6/12; 3.2/3.6 GHz). The upgraded 6-core processor is one of the most affordable in its class, and therefore is often used for assemblies, including entry-level gaming systems.

Judging by the dynamics of requests, there is a growing interest in the new Core i7-11700K (8/16; 3.6/5.0 GHz). Intel has been able to significantly improve the performance per clock (IPC) in the Rocket Lake family of chips, however, to cool the top 8 cores, you will need a very efficient cooling system.