Best Gaming CPU / Processor 2014 - Gamer Review Guide
Best Budget Processors for PC Gaming 2014
If you're looking to build a gaming rig in 2014, then this post should help you make a decision on what processor would be best for your system. This is one of a series of posts that I've written and keep updated in order to bring you the most current information on computer hardware.Before you go don't forget to vote in my CPU poll below and leave a comment.
Choosing a CPU for PC Gaming in 2014
If you're budget is around $1,000, then I highly recommend that you spend about the same amount of money your CPU as you do your GPU. This will help to eliminate any type of bottleneck in performance that may occur otherwise. Processors around the $200 range reach near the peak of FPS performance for gaming, so anything beyond that is more of personal preference for additional outside performance.
Early in 2011 32nm Sandy Bridge processors were released along with corresponding socket 1155 motherboards. One of the most popular processors among gamers was and still is the Intel i5-2500k which boasts 4 core processing power but lacks the hyper-threading technology that the i7-2600k model can provide. While it does have a slightly smaller L3 cache than a processor like the i7-2600k the additional gains for FPS are very minimal. In November of 2011 Intel's Socket 2011 CPU were released which can give you substantial gains in performance if you're willing to spend a little bit more on both your CPU and motherboard combo. While the i7-3820 is certainly the least expensive in this category, you're probably better off sticking with a socket 1155 processor and motherboard unless you go higher end with the i7-3930k, which is probably the best value high-end performance CPU available right now.
Ivy Bridge 22nm processors were released in March of 2012 and provide a modest gain in performance and substantial increase in performance for integrated graphics. In addition, Ivy Bridge processors when used in conjunction with the GEN3 Z68, Z77, Z75, or H77 chipset motherboards give you PCIe 3.0 support.
Intel vs. AMD:
I try to stay neutral as far as processors are concerned and will defer you to benchmark comparisons if you're trying to compare an Intel and AMD processor. You can also check out Tom's review which compares gaming performance for the two brands.
While benchmarks may show that single threaded performance for the AMD processors isn't quite as high as Intel's processors you can certainly get a lot of cores for your money buy purchasing one of AMD's FX series processors. I highly recommend the FX 4100 and FX-6100 as value plays.
Intel vs. AMD Poll for Gaming
Which do you prefer?
Top Ten Processors for PC Gaming 2014 - #1 Ivy Bridge i5-3570k
Please keep in mind that this top ten is according to popularity and price vs. performance rather than overall performance. Don't like the list order? Vote to change it below.
#2 Ivy Bridge i7-3770k
Here's a brief comparison of what you get with the i7-3770k vs. the i5-3570k:
Intel Ivy Bridge i5-3570k
Clock Speed: 3.4GHz
Turbo Speed: 3.8GHz
Intel Ivy Bridge i7-3770k
Cores/threads: 4/8 (Hyper-threading Technology)
Clock Speed: 3.5GHz
Turbo Speed: 3.9GHz
Which one should you purchase? Go with the i5-3570k if you're building a rig simply for gaming purposes, and the i7-3770k if you need outside-gaming performance for photo editing software or other intensive programs.
Best Gaming Processor Under $200 - #3 i5-2500k
#4 AMD Phenom II AMD Phenom II X4 965
#6 Intel I3-2120
The I3-2120 made the list because of it's impressive single threaded performance.
Probably your best bang for your buck right now among Intel's high-end processors.
Best APU Under $100 - # 8 AMD A8-3870K APU with AMD Radeon 6550 HD Graphics
These are great to work with and are great for builds in the $300 range as you don't need to purchase a separate GPU. Perfect for low intensity games and HTPCs.
What's the Best Gaming Processor of 2014?
Which CPU do you plan on purchasing?
Best Gaming PC Hardware for the Money 2014 - You Might Also Like...
- Graphics Cards for the Money
The ever intense topic of what the best graphics card is at any point in time. This post is updated monthly so you'll get accurate information when you join our discussion.
- Motherboards for the Money
What motherboard CPU combo should you purchase? This post will give you a good idea.
- Gaming Headsets for the Money
Gaming isn't always just about hardware. Here's a list of some of the top rated PC headsets among gamers.