How to pick the perfect gaming CPU

The CPU (Central Processing Unit) or processor is the second most important component in a gaming PC after the graphics card, impacting its performance and governing the number of concurrent tasks that can be performed at any one time. Learn more about the brands of CPU we recommend if you’re building a new PC or upgrading your current system.

AMD Processors

The ultimate CPUs for gaming PCs

The AMD Ryzen Range Explained

AMD’s range of Ryzen gaming CPUs produce ground-breaking performance across a wide array of price points.

Ryzen CPUs are available in a wide price range and are divided into four different series, 3, 5, 7 and 9, each with their own set of features and benefits. To help you choose between the different CPUs the table below compares the core and thread counts of the different series and rates the gaming and streaming performance out of 10. It also shows comparative pricing and buy buttons which link off to all the relevant CPU categories, as each series contains many different CPU models.

Within the Ryzen 5 and 3 series, specific models with a G suffix have integrated graphics, which means for a casual gaming PC you don’t need to invest in a separate graphics card, saving you money.

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AMD Ryzen CPUs


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AMD Ryzen 9 5000 Series Socket AM4 Processors

AMD Ryzen 9 5000-series processors are the flagship models of the latest generation of AMD CPUs based on the Zen 3 architecture.

Featuring up to 16 cores and 32 threads courtesy of SMT technology Ryzen 9 CPUs deliver outstanding performance in multithreaded applications such as video encoding and lightly threaded software such as games as well. As long as you have a compatible motherboard and sufficient cooling you can further boost the performance of these processors by overclocking too.

These CPUs are compatible with 500-series Socket AM4 motherboards and some 400-series motherboards with a BIOS update before the CPU is installed.

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Tekspek An in-depth guide into tech: AMD Ryzen 5000 Series

AMD Ryzen 7 5000 Series Socket AM4 Processors

AMD Ryzen 7 5000-series processors are the high-end models of the latest generation of AMD CPUs based on the Zen 3 architecture.

Featuring up to 8 cores and 16 threads courtesy of SMT technology Ryzen 7 CPUs deliver excellent performance in multithreaded applications such as video encoding and lightly threaded software such as games as well. As long as you have a compatible motherboard and sufficient cooling you can further boost the performance of these processors by overclocking too.

These CPUs are compatible with 500-series Socket AM4 motherboards and some 400-series motherboards with a BIOS update before the CPU is installed.

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Tekspek An in-depth guide into tech: AMD Ryzen 5000 Series

AMD Ryzen 5 5000 Series Socket AM4 Processors

AMD Ryzen 5 5000-series processors are the mid-range models of the latest generation of AMD CPUs based on the Zen 3 architecture.

Featuring up to 6 cores and 12 threads courtesy of SMT technology Ryzen 5 CPUs deliver compelling performance in multithreaded applications such as video encoding and lightly threaded software such as games as well. As long as you have a compatible motherboard and sufficient cooling you can further boost the performance of these processors by overclocking too.

These CPUs are compatible with 500-series Socket AM4 motherboards and some 400-series motherboards with a BIOS update before the CPU is installed.

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Tekspek An in-depth guide into tech: AMD Ryzen 5000 Series

AMD Ryzen 5 3000 Series Socket AM4 Processors

AMD Ryzen 5 3000-series processors are the mid-range models of the latest generation of AMD CPUs based on the Zen 2 architecture.

Featuring 6 physical cores plus a further 6 virtual cores courtesy of SMT technology Ryzen 5 CPUs deliver excellent performance in multithreaded applications such as video encoding and lightly threaded software such as games as well. As long as you have a compatible motherboard and sufficient cooling you can further boost the performance of these processors by overclocking too.

These CPUs are compatible with all Socket AM4 motherboards, but older motherboards may require a BIOS update before the CPU is installed.

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Tekspek An in-depth guide into tech: AMD Ryzen 3000
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Tekspek An in-depth guide into tech: AMD Ryzen 7 5700G Series