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Best Gaming CPU / Processor 2014 - Gamer Review Guide

Updated on February 21, 2014

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.

Intel or AMD for Gaming?
Intel or AMD for Gaming?

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.

Intel Processors:

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.

AMD Processors:

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?

See results

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

Cores/threads: 4/4

Cache: 6.0MB

Clock Speed: 3.4GHz

Turbo Speed: 3.8GHz

Lighography: 22nm

Intel Ivy Bridge i7-3770k

Cores/threads: 4/8 (Hyper-threading Technology)

Cache: 8.0MB

Clock Speed: 3.5GHz

Turbo Speed: 3.9GHz

Lighography: 22nm

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

#6 Intel I3-2120

The I3-2120 made the list because of it's impressive single threaded performance.

#7 i7-3930k

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?

See results

Gaming CPU News and Discussion

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