Building a mid end or high end gaming pc requires a decent cpu which has enough cores and can be overclocked too to get more performance. These processors generally come for more than 200 dollars and upto 500 dollars. If you go beyond 500 dollars for a gaming pc then you are wasting your money unnecessarily.
For a gaming computer a maximum of 500 dollars can be spent on a single cpu and there is no way of getting a core i7 extreme 5960X or something similar unless you want to build a workstation.
These are the processors which you might consider going with if you have a budget of 800 dollars or above for your pc. Most of them are Intel because they provide superior per core performance when compared to AMD. Some of them are brand new and you may want to buy for your pc in order to make your build future proof.
Intel Core i5 4690K
The first on the list is the i5 4690k which is considered to be the best gaming processor for price. It also has inbuilt graphics processing unit which allows you to play some casual games at low to medium settings.
It is the 4th generation core i5 cpu which is unlocked to be overclocked upto 4.7Ghz and has actually much better features. It has 4 cores and 4 threads which make intensive applications to be run on it easily. With 4 cores you can run any game on it as there is no game that requires more than 4 cores to run.
If you buy a good cpu cooler for it you can overclock it safely to 4.7Ghz and can observe an increase in performance upto 10-15%. This cpu can work with any high end graphics card without any bottlenecking and is considered the best cpu for gaming if you don’t want to waste money on i7’s.
Intel Core i5 6600K
This is the latest Skylake based sixth generation Intel core i5 processor which is considered as the best power efficient processor and also the Best gaming processor for the money. It use LGA socket 1151 motherboards and supports ddr4 memories too. When compared to the i5 4690k it beats it in overall performance. The per watt performance and the power efficiency is higher than the previous generation i5’s. In applications like Cinebench and Compubench, it literally destroys the i5 4690K.
This processor is a very good choice for future proofing your system as not only it will support any graphics card but it also opens doors for ddr4 builds which are faster and more power efficient. The only thing is that it costs much more than the previous generations i5’s otherwise there are other processors of sixth generation which cost less than 200 dollars but are not considered as the best processors for gaming because they are not unlocked.
Amd Am3 Fx 9590
On the AMD side Fx 9590 features 8 cores and a massive 4.7Ghz base clock speed. Even if you overclock i5 4690k or i5 6600k you can only get upto 4.7Ghz if you use a water cooler but it already has 4.7Ghz as it’s base clock. It’s also unlocked and you can overclock it more than 5.0Ghz without any problem.
The advantage of this processor is that you will get 4 more cores for better multi-tasking and still have 4 cores remaining if you play a game like Far Cry 4 which uses 4 cores. The only drawback of this processor is that it draws a lot of power as compared to Intel processors. But still for this price this processor gives you 8 cores to work on and provides you with 8mb/8mb of L2 and L3 cache memory.
Intel Core i7 4790K
Intel core i7 4790k is the best of all gaming processors for money. Although core i5’s are a good choice but if you want to make your pc more powerful and want more fps in your games, then core i7’s are way to go. This processor is totally unlocked and similar like the i5 4690k you can overclock it upto 4.8Ghz with stability by using a cooler like Corsair h100i.
It has 4 cores and 8 threads which will make it run like an 8 core processor. Now 8 cores are more than enough to handle any type of multi-tasking and gaming at the same time. Even if you SLI two gtx 980’s, this processor won’t be bottlenecking them and you will get the maximum performance in games and heavy 3d applications.
Intel Core i7 6700K
This is the newest intel sixth generation processor that is based upon 14nm architecture. It is more powerful than the i7 4790K and has better per watt performance. Although it is expensive but if you want to future proof your pc, then this processor is the best option right now and supports ddr3 as well as ddr4 memories.
The processor uses LGA 1151 socket motherboards and the best for this processor will be with Z170 chipset that is unlocked for overclocking processors and memory. Similar to the i7 4790k it also has 4 cores and 8 threads which make it work like a octa core processor. When the gaming performance is considered benchmarks have shown that with a high end graphics card like Gtx 980 ti or Titan X it beats the i7 4790k by more than 10% and more than 20% when compared to the i7 2nd and 3rd generation processors.
Intel Core i7 5820K
This is one of the extreme Core i7 processors and is based on Haswell architecture. It has 6 cores and 12 threads which make it most powerful processor among all in the list. Although it does not beat the previous i7’s in gaming performance by much margin but it is the best processor for the money right now.
You can get it by paying just 30 dollars more than the price of i7 6700K. It is best when you run intensive rendering applications and want faster performance. It performs much better than the i7 4790K and i7 6700K in Firemark Strike 3d and similar cpu applications.
It uses motherboards with LGA 2011-V3 sockets like X99 which are very good for overclocking and support ddr4 memories. Although if your only concern is gaming and not VFX programs than i5’s and i7’s mentioned above are best for money. But if you want more cores then it’s your choice.