Best Chips for a Gaming PC in 2024

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Deciding on the perfect CPU for your gaming PC can feel like navigating a labyrinth. With new options constantly emerging, how do you choose the right one? Fear not, gamers! This guide unveils the top contenders in the 2024 CPU arena. We’ll dive into the strengths of each challenger, from the king of frame rates to the budget slayer. Whether you crave silky-smooth gameplay or the power to handle demanding creative tasks, we’ll equip you with the knowledge to conquer your PC building quest.

Best Overall: AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D

If you crave the smoothest, fastest gaming experience possible, the AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D stands out as the undisputed champion. This CPU prioritizes raw gaming performance above all else, making it the perfect choice for hardcore gamers who demand the absolute best frame rates.

The secret weapon behind the 7800X3D’s dominance lies in its massive L3 cache. This cache acts like the CPU’s short-term memory, storing frequently accessed data for quick retrieval. Traditional CPUs have a limited amount of L3 cache, but the 7800X3D boasts a significantly larger one thanks to AMD’s innovative 3D V-Cache technology.

This allows the CPU to keep all the crucial game data it needs readily available. And it significantly reduces the need to fetch information from slower storage, resulting in lightning-fast performance.

This translates to smoother gameplay, especially in titles that rely heavily on frequent data access. You’ll experience butter-smooth frame rates, even in the most demanding games, giving you a competitive edge and an immersive gaming experience.

However, it’s important to note that the 7800X3D isn’t perfect for everyone. While it excels in gaming, its focus on raw gaming performance comes at a slight cost to multitasking capabilities. The design choices that make it a gaming powerhouse can make it a little less efficient for tasks like video editing or running multiple demanding applications simultaneously.

So, if you’re a die-hard gamer who prioritizes silky-smooth frame rates above all else, the AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D is the undisputed king. Just be aware that its strengths lie primarily in the realm of gaming, and other tasks might see a slight decrease in performance compared to some more well-rounded CPUs.

Best Budget CPU: Intel Core i5 13400F

Building a gaming PC can be expensive, but fear not, budget-minded gamers! The Intel Core i5 13400F is here to prove that top-notch gaming doesn’t have to break the bank. This processor strikes a fantastic balance between affordability and impressive performance, making it a fantastic choice for gamers on a tight budget.

Don’t let the ‘budget’ label fool you. The 13400F packs a serious punch when it comes to gaming. It boasts high clock speeds, which translates to the CPU’s ability to process instructions quickly. This translates into smooth gameplay, especially in fast-paced titles where quick reactions are essential. Think of it like having a speedy car on the race track – the faster the engine (clock speed), the quicker you can respond to what’s happening on the screen.

Another major perk of the 13400F is its compatibility with cheaper motherboards. The motherboard is the platform that connects your CPU to all the other components in your system. High-end CPUs often require specific, expensive motherboards to function properly.

But the beauty of the 13400F is that it works flawlessly with more affordable motherboard options. This allows you to save a significant chunk of money when building your gaming PC, letting you allocate more of your budget towards a powerful graphics card; the other crucial component for a great gaming experience.

The 13400F might not be the absolute top performer on the market. There are definitely CPUs out there that can squeeze out a few extra frames per second in games. But for the price point, the 13400F delivers exceptional value. It’s powerful enough to handle even demanding modern games at high settings while keeping your wallet happy. And that, for many gamers on a budget, is the sweet spot.

gaming PC
Source: Thiago Trevisan/IDG

Best All-Rounder: Intel Core i5 13600K

The world of PC processors can feel overwhelming, with options catering to specific needs. But what if you crave both excellent gaming prowess and the ability to handle demanding tasks? Look no further than the Intel Core i5 13600K, the ultimate all-rounder CPU.

This mid-range chip strikes a perfect balance between delivering smooth, high-performance gaming and tackling multi-threaded workloads with ease. Imagine a skilled athlete who excels in both sprinting and marathons. The 13600K is an athlete in the CPU world.

For gamers, the 13600K boasts impressive power. It can handle even the most graphically demanding titles at high settings, delivering smooth frame rates and an immersive gaming experience. This is thanks to its high clock speeds and a decent number of cores. Cores are essentially the processing brains of the CPU, and the more cores you have, the better your PC can handle multiple tasks simultaneously.

But the 13600K’s strength goes beyond just gaming. It also shines on multi-threaded tasks. Multi-threading allows the CPU to effectively split its workload among its cores, making it significantly faster at handling complex applications. This makes the 13600K a great choice for activities like video editing, 3D rendering, or running multiple demanding programs at once.

Let’s say you’re editing a high-resolution video while simultaneously streaming and chatting with friends online. The 13600K’s multi-threaded capabilities ensure each task runs smoothly without slowing down your system. This multitasking prowess makes it a fantastic choice for gamers who also dabble in content creation or use their PC for various demanding applications.

While there might be more powerful CPUs on the market, they often come with a steeper price tag. The 13600K offers exceptional value, providing excellent performance for both gaming and multi-threaded tasks at a reasonable price point. It’s the perfect choice for those who want a single CPU that can handle everything they throw at it, from conquering virtual battlefields to creating stunning content.

Best High-End Intel: Intel Core i9 13900K

For gamers and creators who demand the absolute best, the Intel Core i9 13900K reigns supreme. This high-end CPU delivers top-tier performance in both gaming and multi-threaded tasks, making it the undisputed king for those who refuse to compromise with their gaming PC.

Imagine a race car built for pure speed. That’s the 13900K. It boasts top-of-the-line clock speeds and a high core count, translating to lightning-fast processing power. This translates into silky-smooth frame rates in even the most demanding games, giving you a competitive edge and an incredibly immersive gaming experience. Whether you’re battling it out in the latest AAA title or pushing your PC to the limits with high-resolution visuals, the 13900K handles it all with ease.

But the 13900K’s power extends far beyond gaming. It excels at multi-threaded tasks as well. With its high core count, the CPU can effectively split complex workloads, making it perfect for content creators. Think of editing a high-resolution video with tons of effects – a demanding task for any computer.

The 13900K’s multi-threading capabilities ensure the entire process runs smoothly without lag or hiccups. Similarly, 3D rendering or running other demanding creative applications becomes a breeze with this powerhouse CPU.

There’s a catch, however, with all this immense power. The 13900K consumes more electricity than some other CPUs on the market. This means you might need a more robust power supply unit (PSU) to keep it running smoothly. The high performance comes at the cost of heat generation. The 13900K can run quite hot, so proper cooling solutions are essential to ensure its long-term health and optimal performance.

The Intel Core i9 13900K is the ultimate powerhouse for those who demand the absolute best. It delivers incredible gaming performance and tackles demanding, multi-threaded tasks with ease. However, keep in mind the increased power consumption and heat generation before diving in. If you’re a serious gamer or content creator who needs the most powerful CPU money can buy and are willing to address the thermal and power demands, then the 13900K is the undisputed king.

Best High-End AMD: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X is a multi-core monster built to handle even the most demanding tasks with ease. While it might not be the absolute king of gaming CPUs, its strength lies in conquering complex, multi-threaded workloads, making it a fantastic choice for those who prioritize raw processing power.

Imagine you’re a master chef juggling multiple dishes at once. That’s the 7950X with its 16 cores. These cores act like individual workstations within the CPU, allowing it to tackle numerous tasks simultaneously without breaking a sweat. This makes it perfect for activities like video editing, where you might be working with high-resolution footage, applying various effects, and encoding the final video – all at the same time. The 7950X’s multi-threading prowess ensures each step of the process runs smoothly, significantly reducing your editing time.

Similarly, the 7950X shines in 3D rendering, a process that can take hours on less powerful CPUs. With its high core count, the 7950X can churn through complex 3D models much faster, saving you precious time. Even multitasking between demanding applications like video editing, streaming, and running resource-heavy software becomes a breeze with this CPU.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that the 7950X isn’t necessarily the top pick for pure gamers. While it can handle even the most modern games without a hitch, some Intel CPUs might deliver slightly better frame rates for specific titles. This is because the 7950X prioritizes raw processing power for multi-threaded tasks over pure gaming optimization.

Another thing to consider is that all this power comes at a cost. The 7950X is a power-hungry CPU, so you’ll need a robust power supply unit (PSU) to keep it running. The high performance translates to heat generation. The 7950X can run quite hot, so a capable cooling solution is essential to ensure its long-term health and optimal performance.

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X is a fantastic choice for content creators and multitaskers who prioritize raw processing power. Its 16 cores make it a beast for multi-threaded workloads, significantly speeding up video editing, 3D rendering, and other demanding tasks. However, keep in mind that it might not be the absolute best for pure gaming performance and comes with increased power consumption and heat generation.

Choosing the Right Chip for You

Picking a CPU isn’t just about picking the most powerful one. Here are some important factors to consider alongside the CPU’s raw performance to ensure you get the best fit for your needs:


CPUs come in a wide range of prices. It’s crucial to consider your budget and what level of performance you truly need. Do you prioritize high-end gaming with the absolute best frame rates? Or are you a more casual gamer who needs a CPU that can handle modern titles without breaking the bank? The ‘best’ CPU depends on how much you’re willing to spend. Don’t get caught up in chasing the most expensive option if a mid-range CPU can deliver the performance you need for your gaming habits.

Motherboard Compatibility

Not all CPUs are compatible with all motherboards. Motherboards act like the main circuit board of your gaming PC, connecting the CPU to all other components. Before you buy a shiny new CPU, make sure it’s compatible with your existing motherboard chipset, or factor in the cost of a new motherboard if needed. Check the manufacturer’s website for compatibility information to avoid any surprises during the building process.

Power Consumption

Some CPUs are real powerhogs. While most modern power supplies (PSUs) can handle mid-range CPUs without issue, high-end CPUs with significant power consumption might require a more robust PSU. A good rule of thumb is to check the CPU’s TDP (thermal design power). The higher the TDP, the more power the CPU consumes. Make sure your PSU has enough wattage to handle the CPU’s demands to ensure smooth operation and avoid potential power supply issues.


When choosing a CPU, consider how long you plan to keep your gaming PC. If you want your system to last for several years, opting for a CPU with a bit more processing power than you strictly need right now might be a wise decision. This ‘headroom’ ensures your CPU can handle the demands of future games and applications that might be more demanding than what’s available today. Think of it as buying a car with a slightly bigger engine – it might be overkill for your daily commute now, but it can handle future road trips with ease.

Battle of the Gaming PC Chips

In the ever-changing world of gaming CPUs, choosing the right one depends on your needs and budget. The AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D reigns supreme for pure gaming performance, while the Intel Core i5 13400F offers impressive gaming at a budget-friendly price. The Intel Core i5 13600K strikes a balance between gaming and multitasking, and the Intel Core i9 13900K is a powerhouse for demanding tasks but comes with a higher price tag.

For content creators, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X tackles multi-threaded workloads like a champ. Remember to consider factors like budget, motherboard compatibility, power consumption, and futureproofing when making your final decision. With the right CPU at the heart of your system, you’ll be ready to conquer any game or creative challenge.

Dive deep into our CPU guide to find the perfect chip for your budget and needs at Inside Tech World!

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