The Best Gaming CPU

The Best Gaming CPU

Intel and AMD have long been rivals in the CPU market with Intel leading the way in terms of raw performance for many years with their Core range.  All that changed when AMD released their Zen-based Ryzen CPUs in early 2017 and the newer Zen+ just a month or so ago.  The new Ryzen CPUs finally put AMD back in the high-performance sector releasing eight, six and four core variants.

The current flagship Ryzen CPU is the Ryzen 7 2700X Eight Core/Sixteen Thread operating at 3.7GHz with a Turbo Core speed of 4.3GHz.  Retailing at around £280 these are excellent performers compared to Intel’s Core i7-8700K which retails for around £320 with the Ryzen 7 2700X out-performing the Core i7-8700K in multi-threaded tasks by a significant margin.  Whilst the Ryzen 7 2700X is an excellent CPU all around it may be a little too expensive for a gaming PC which is best suited to four and six core CPUs at present.

Enter the AMD Ryzen 5 1600, considered to be the best balance in terms of performance and price for gaming.  This is a Six-Core/Twelve Thread CPU operating at 3.2GHz with a Turbo Core speed of 3.6GHz.  At around £150 this is a more affordable CPU and as with all Ryzen CPUs can be overclocked allowing it to be pushed to around 4.0GHz with suitable cooling.  This is the CPU I use and I run it at 3.8GHz with a high-performance air cooler at standard voltages and increased memory timings.

Ubisoft worked closely with AMD to optimise the performance of their latest Far Cry 5 on Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs.  The Ryzen 5 1600 is their recommended CPU with a Radeon R9 GPU although the Radeon RX 580 offers better performance and is a newer GPU.  This is the recommended combination to achieve 60 frames per second, Full HD 1080p at High settings.

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