Choosing the best CPU can be a hard and time-consuming task but we are going to help you with this problem. We did the research for you to help you with your decision. Just pick your price range and buy one of the listed processors in its category.
The central processor unit (CPU) is the heart of the computer and the speed of your computer depends on your CPU mostly.
General Tips for Choosing the CPU:
- The OEMs CPU are covered by a one-year warranty and the BOX has a three-year warranty. If the warranty period provided by the store is less – it is better to think about looking for another distributor.
- Along with all the BOX processors, a cooler should be supplied (of course, a simple model, which is not good enough for high loads, but for the average operation it’s ok).
- The processor should be selected depending on the required tasks. If in normal mode you have about two resource-intensive programs, it is better to buy a dual-core processor with a high frequency. If more threads are used, it is better to choose a multi-core processor of the same architecture, even with a lower frequency.
- Hybrid processors (with built-in video card) will save your money on buying a video card, provided that you do not need to play the resource hungry games. Almost all the modern CPU of Intel and AMD series A4-A10 has integrated graphics card, but AMD’s graphics core is more powerful.
- Each processor has its own socket (platform), i.e. The name of the connector on the motherboard for which it is intended. Whichever processor you choose, be sure to look at the compatible of the socket with CPU.
- Almost all CPUs can be overclocked, i.e. Work at a higher frequency than the one indicated in the characteristics.
- Powerful CPUs can consume up to 110-220 watts of electricity in the load.
Best CPU for under $50
Of course, for this money, high-performance can’t be expected. Usually, this CPU is brought in two cases:
- For an office computer, which does not require high power.
- For the so-called “home server” – a computer, the main purpose of which – the storage and playback of files.
For the basic tasks, Intel Celeron G3900/3930 or AMD A4 processors (the higher the model is, the slightly more expensive it is and faster). If you have dedicated video card then you can save a little more money and take the quad-core AMD Athlon X4, because In this processor there is no built-in graphics core.
To work in the overclocking mode, the Intel Celeron G3900 or 3930 (LGA1151 socket) with support for DDR4 memory and a more powerful integrated graphics core will be an excellent choice. But this is the latest generation processor on the Skylake platform and needs a suitable motherboard that must fit into the budget.
It’s worth to mentioning that you should not pay attention to the four-core AMD Sempron and Athlon Kabini X4 for the socket AM1. These are slow processors, unsuccessful products of the company.
Best CPU for under $100
There are a few more possibilities because for this amount of money you can buy a good quad core from Intel or octa-core CPU from AMD. It also sometimes possible to buy initial sets of motherboard + processor for the under $100. Usually, CPU in this price range are enough for comfortable work, but not good for a heavy load.
To work at the nominal frequency, it’s best to choose the AMD Athlon II X4 processor for the AMD FM2 / FM2 + socket and for the price of under 100$ total you can buy a motherboard with this processor. If you need built-in graphics, then take whatever you like at the price of the AMD A8-7600 / A10-7860 series or the Intel Pentium Dual-Core G4500 for the Intel LGA1151 platform.
The AMD FX-8300 octa-core processors (this one is actually the best buy), or the AMD FX-6300 demonstrate amazing performance when running in overclock mode. In these models, the multiplier is unlocked, which means they can easily be overclocked.
Finally, Intel also has an inexpensive processor with an unlocked multiplier. Suitable for extreme overclocking, this is the Intel Pentium G3258. But buying it, you need to take into account a couple of things: any motherboard is no longer suitable for overclocking and it’s only dual-core, it’s useless to buy it and use it at the nominal frequency.
Best CPU for under $150
For the price of under $150 one of the best pick is the 8-core AMD FX-8320E series, especially when this processor is overclocked then it sometimes can beat the Intel i5/i7 in some games .
If you need an integrated graphic card then you can take a quad-core hybrid AMD from the A10-7890k series on the AMD FM2 socket. Which is suitable for creating a media center at home and even for playing resource hungry games at low or medium settings. This CPU has integrated graphics Radeon R7 series which is very good.
If you look towards the Intel in the price category of up to $150, then look no further and buy the Intel Core i3-7100 which in pair with a good graphical card is suitable for playing most games at 1080p at ultra settings. Basically, this is the best value for the money at the price range of under 150$ if you want to step into the world of DDR4 memory and want the Intel processor.
Best processor for under $200
The best performance in this category is given to processors from the Intel on the LGA1151 platform, although AMD is still trying to hold positions.
Best processor in this price range with integrated graphics is the AMD A10-6800K with Radeon HD 8670D.
Since pricing for AMD and the Intel processors went down with the release of AMD Ryzen this price range now ruled by the Intel CPUs mostly. But there is a monster available from the AMD FX-9590 with its huge stock frequency at 4.7/5.0GHZ (Base/Overdrive). In some games, this beast beat the Intel i7 CPUs. This processor has 8-cores but support only DDR3 memory so if you want to buy DDR4 memory then there are no other options than the Intel i5 series. Another downside of this CPU is that is REALLY hot and need a good venting and cooling.
As for Intel, the best choice would be the new i5-7500 or if the price went up or you want something a little bit cheaper then you can buy I5-6400 both of these support DDR3L or DDR4 memory and have 4 cores and 4 threads.
Best CPU for under $250
The choice of processors in this price category usually does not present any complexity. For the work at the nominal frequency (without overclocking), Intel Core i5-6500 or the new (released in 2017) i5-7600 is the best.
For overclocking, you should buy the Intel i5-6600k. But keep in mind that for high overclocking you need a good fan which can cost a lot and you might be out of the “under 250$” price range.
Best CPU for under $300
As for 3, march 2017 this price range doesn’t include processors from AMDs. For the price of under $300, there is only two option available. You can buy the Intel i7-6700 which has 4 cores and 8 threads to use it at nominal frequency.
Or to work in the overclocking mode, the best choice will be the Intel Core i5-7600k processor for LGA 1151, which in this case has no competitors. High frequency and unlocked multiplier make this CPU ideal for gamers and overclockers. Among the processors used for overclocking, it shows the best price/performance/power consumption ratio.
Best CPU for under $350 and up to 400$
If we talk about the best model of the price range of under 400$, then here is the Intel Core i7-7700K for the Intel LGA 1151 platform. This processor is the best for both uses in the nominal frequency and for overclocking, as well its great for top games at high settings. With the appropriate video card.
But AMD finally released their new CPUs which is on par with the i7-7700k in game benchmarks (3-5 fps lower than the Intel) but also it is a little cheaper! So it’s a tough choice now. But if I were going to buy a processor in this price category today. Then I would buy without a blink of an eye the Ryzen 1700 for the price of under 350$ or the Ryzen 1700x for under the 400$. Because this CPU is the new gen and has 8 cores and 16 threads VS the Intel i7-7700k 4 cores, 8 threads. My opinion is that this CPU is future-proof and it will beat the i7-7700k in future games that can use all CPU power.