Putting together a gaming PC can be both a pleasant and excruciating process. Indeed, a lot of us like comparing performance benchmarks and looking up reviews by users and professionals alike to find the product best suited to our needs.

However, with so many options to choose from, the process can become quite long and tedious, with plenty of backtracking and cross-referencing.

To make the process easier, we have divided all the gaming processors currently on the market into tiers according to their performance and price.

CPU ModelCore/Thread CountBase Clock (GHz)Overclocking SupportedSocket
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX32 (64)3YesTR4
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX24 (48)3YesTR4
Intel Core i9-9900K8 (16)3.6YesLGA1151
Ryzen 9 3900X12 (24)3.8YesAM4
Ryzen 7 3800X8 (16)3.9YesAM4
Intel Core i9-7980XE18 (36)2.6YesLGA 2066
Intel Core i9-7960X16 (32)2.8YesLGA 2066
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950WX16 (32)3.5YesTR4
Intel Core i7-9700K8 (8)3.6YesLGA1151
Ryzen 7 3700X8 (16)3.6YesAM4
Intel Core i9-7940X14 (28)3.1YesLGA 2066
Intel Core i9-7920X12 (24)2.9YesLGA 2066
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2920WX12 (24)3.5YesTR4
Intel Core i9-7900X10 (20)3.3YesLGA 2066
Ryzen Threadripper 1950X16 (32)3.4YesTR4
Intel Core i5-9600K6 (6)3.7YesLGA1151
Ryzen 5 3600X6 (12)3.8YesAM4
Ryzen 5 36006 (12)3.6YesAM4
Ryzen Threadripper 1920X12 (24)3.5YesTR4
Ryzen Threadripper 1900X8 (16)3.8YesTR4
Intel Core i7-8700K6 (12)3.7YesLGA1151
Intel Core i7-87006 (12)3.2NoLGA1151
Ryzen 7 2700X8 (16)3.7YesAM4
Ryzen 7 27008 (16)3.2YesAM4
Intel Core i5-8600K6 (6)3.6YesLGA1151
Intel Core i5-95006 (6)3NoLGA1151
Intel Core i5-94006 (6)2.9NoLGA1151
Intel Core i3-8350K4 (4)4.0YesLGA1151
Ryzen 5 2600X6 (12)3.6YesAM4
Intel Core i5-84006 (6)2.8NoLGA1151
Ryzen 5 26006 (12)3.4YesAM4
Intel Core i3-91004 (4)3.6NoLGA1151
Ryzen 5 3400G4 (8)3.7YesAM4
Ryzen 3 3200G4 (4)3.6YesAM4
Intel Core i3-81004 (4)3.6NoLGA1151
Ryzen 5 2400G4 (8)3.6YesAM4
Ryzen 3 2200G4 (4)3.5YesAM4
Intel Pentium G56002 (4)3.9NoLGA1151
Intel Pentium G55002 (4)3.8NoLGA1151
Intel Pentium G46204 (4)3.8NoLGA1151
Intel Pentium G54002 (4)3.7NoLGA1151
Intel Pentium G46002 (4)3.6NoLGA1151
Intel Pentium G45602 (4)3.5NoLGA1151
AMD Athlon 240GE2 (4)3.5NoAM4
AMD Athlon 220GE2 (4)3.4NoAM4
AMD Athlon 200GE2 (4)3.2NoAM4
AMD A12-98004 (4)3.8YesAM4
AMD A12-9800E4 (4)3.1YesAM4
AMD A10-97004 (4)3.5YesAM4
AMD A10-9700E4 (4)3YesAM4
AMD A8-96004 (4)3.1YesAM4
Intel Celeron G49002 (2)3.1NoLGA1151
AMD A6-95002 (2)3.5YesAM4
AMD A6-9500E2 (2)3YesAM4

Table of ContentsShow

Tier 1 – Unmatched Power

cpu tier list 2020

The first tier CPUs are the most powerful microprocessors currently on the market. They push the norms both in regards to speed and core count, have higher than average power draw, and are physically larger as well.

They are the most powerful processors overall but are not aimed towards gamers. Rather, they are the best fit for high-end workstations and servers. Getting one solely for gaming would be a waste, both of money and their potential.

AMD and Intel are quite competitive in this tier, as the Threadripper and Core i9 CPUs are on relatively even terms. However, the former has the upper hand when it comes to multitasking (due to a higher core and thread count) while the latter still fare better in regards to single-core tasks.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WXIntel Core i9-9900K
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2970WXIntel Core i9-7980XE
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950WXIntel Core i9-7960X
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2920WXIntel Core i9-7940X
Ryzen Threadripper 1950XIntel Core i9-7920X
Ryzen Threadripper 1920XIntel Core i9-7900X
Ryzen Threadripper 1900X
Ryzen 9 3900X
Ryzen 9 3800X

Tier 2 – A More Accessible Powerhouse

The second tier CPUs focus on offering superb performance for desktop PCs at much more affordable prices than their first-tier counterparts. They come with high core counts, and the vast majority uses the mainstream sockets, which would be AM4 and LGA1151 for AMD and Intel, respectively.

These CPUs are a great choice both for workstations and gaming PCs, provided that the gaming PC in question is equipped either with multiple GPUs or an exceedingly powerful one. For the average gamer, however, any of these CPUs would still be overkill.

Once again, there is quite a bit of competition in this tier ever since AMD had released most of its original Ryzen 7 models in early 2017. When put up against one another, the 2nd generation Ryzen and the 9th generation Intel CPUs are on relatively even terms, just as they were during the previous generation: Intel remains on top when it comes to single-threaded tasks, but AMD has the upper hand in regards to multitasking, all the while their CPUs are slightly more affordable.

Ryzen 7 3700XIntel Core i7-9700K
Ryzen 7 2700XIntel Core i7-8700K
Ryzen 7 2700Intel Core i7-8700

Tier 3 – A Gamer’s Favorite


The third tier CPUs are the most popular in the gaming community by far. They offer excellent performance and a high number of cores at very approachable prices, making them ideal for gaming and miscellaneous computer use.

Much like with the previous two tiers, AMD only truly became competitive in this price range with the release of Ryzen 5 CPUs around the middle of 2017, and as with their pricier counterparts described above, the Intel vs. AMD situation remains largely the same in this tier.

Ryzen 5 3600XIntel Core i5-9600K
Ryzen 5 3600Intel Core i5-9500
Ryzen 5 2600XIntel Core i5-9400
Ryzen 5 2600Intel Core i5-8600K
Intel Core i5-8400
Intel Core i3-8350K

Tier 4 – A More Affordable Gaming Solution

ryzen vs intel

The fourth tier CPUs are not as powerful as third-tier ones in terms of raw performance but are much more affordable than the aforementioned “beefier” models. Combine that with the fact that they are more than sufficient for running mid-range GPUs, and it becomes apparent as to why they are the most cost-effective option for a lot of gamers.

AMD used to have a flimsy presence in this range that consisted solely of their dated FX CPUs, which could not compete with what Intel was offering. But as before, with the introduction of Ryzen 3, AMD had very viable solutions once again, and this led to Intel upgrading their Core i3 CPUs to true quad-core status, as opposed to the hyper-threaded dual-cores that they were before.

Ryzen 5 3400GIntel Core i3-9100
Ryzen 3 3200GIntel Core i3-8100
Ryzen 5 2400G
Ryzen 3 2200G

Tier 5 – Good For Those On A Tight Budget

cpu comparison chart

And finally, there are the fifth tier CPUs which are the most affordable CPUs out there, but as such, they are also the weakest. They are ideal for regular non-gaming PCs or office computers but they will inevitably bottleneck all but the most affordable GPUs to varying degrees.

This tier consists of several latest CPUs and APUs from Intel and AMD respectively. This includes the Intel Pentium and Celeron CPUs, as well as the AMD Athlon and A-series APUs.

AMD Athlon 240GEIntel Pentium G5600
AMD Athlon 220GEIntel Pentium G5500
AMD Athlon 200GEIntel Pentium G4620
AMD A12-9800Intel Pentium G5400
AMD A12-9800EIntel Pentium G4600
AMD A10-9700Intel Pentium G4560
AMD A10-9700EIntel Celeron G4900
AMD A8-9600
AMD A6-9500
AMD A6-9500E

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