Choosing the right processor is rightfully considered one of the most important steps in assembling a computer. And although there are not so many CPUs themselves, this does not make buying the right model any easier. That is why we decided to compile the top of the best processors in 2022, designed for use in PCs of various levels.
Most powerful: Intel Core i9-12900KBest for gaming: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3DBest midrange: Intel Core i5-12600KBest budget: Intel Core i3-12100Best entry-level: AMD Athlon 200GE
Most Powerful: Intel Core i9-12900K
Cores / Threads: 16 (8P+8E) / 24 Clock: 3.2 / 5.2 GHz Socket: LGA 1700 Architecture: Alder Lake TDP: 125W
The Intel Core i9-12900K not only became one of the fastest gaming processors on the market, but also received 16 PCIe 5.0 lanes and an additional four PCIe 4.0 lanes for M.2 SSDs. The processor can work with a wide range of RAM, ranging from the most common DDR4-3200 to the latest DDR5-4800, and its superior single-threaded performance makes this CPU the ultimate choice for gaming PCs.
The processor uses 8 multi-threaded performance cores and the same number of efficient cores. Moreover, its P-cores use the stock frequency of 3.2 GHz and can be overclocked to 5.2 GHz, while the capabilities of the E-cores are limited to more modest frequencies of 2.4 / 3.9 GHz using standard Turbo Boost 2.0 algorithms. The CPU has 30 MB of L3 cache and 14 MB of L2 cache.
Alternative: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
Cores/Threads: 16/32 Clock: 3.4/4.9 GHz Socket: AM4 Architecture: Zen 3TDP: 105W
The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X appeared a year earlier than the Intel Core i9-12900K, but the relevance of this processor remains as high as ever. And, if you prefer AMD platforms, then it may well be a worthy alternative to the i9-12900K. Moreover, unlike the latter, AMD’s development is an even more versatile solution, coping equally well with both heavy work tasks and the heaviest games.
The main advantages of the model are its much better energy efficiency and twice the L3 cache, reaching 64 MB. There is also support for high-speed PCIe Gen 4.0 solid-state drives, but, unfortunately, support for the fresh DDR5 RAM was not delivered.
Best for Gaming: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D
Cores/Threads: 8/16 Clock: 3.4/4.5 GHz Socket: AM4 Architecture: Zen 3TDP: 105W
If the Intel Core i9-12900K and AMD Ryzen 9 5950X are expensive, versatile solutions that do great with both games and professional tasks, then the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D is designed specifically for gamers. Or rather, only on them.
First of all, thanks to the innovative 3D V-Cache technology, the gaming performance of the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D surpasses even the much more expensive Core i9-12900K. Therefore, if you need a processor specifically for games, then the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D is definitely your choice. But in all other respects, the chip demonstrates fairly average, if not mediocre, results. And, for example, the same Core i9-12900K is immediately 62% faster than it in multi-threaded work scenarios.
Best Midrange: Intel Core i5-12600K
Cores / Threads: 10 (6P + 4E) / 16 Clock: 3.7 / 4.9 GHz Socket: LGA 1700 Architecture: Alder Lake TDP: 125W
The Intel Core i5-12600K is considered the best mid-range gaming processor for a reason. Its multi-threaded performance leaves the slightly more affordable AMD Ryzen 5 5600X no chance, and slightly outperforms even the noticeably more expensive Ryzen 7 5800X. And all this is combined with extremely high single-threaded performance, which is crucial in games.
The maximum power consumption of the Intel Core i5-12600K reaches 150 W, but in fact the chip requires much less power compared to its predecessor, and its performance is much higher. There is also support for the latest PCIe 5.0 interface, combined with PCIe 4.0 for SSDs and RAM up to DDR5-4800.
Best Budget: Intel Core i3-12100
Cores/Threads: 4(4P+0E)/8 Clock: 3.3/4.3GHz Socket: LGA 1700 Architecture: Alder Lake TDP: 60W
Unlike most other representatives of the Alder Lake family, the Intel Core i3-12100 lacks power-efficient cores, but the low TDP of the processor does not particularly require this. And what can not be taken away from him is the highest performance in its segment at a more than “delicious” price tag. And this combination leaves no chance for Core i3-12100 competitors.
In fact, he has no competitors. No AMD processor in the same price range can match it in single-threaded performance. And the multi-threaded performance of the chip looks more than impressive. Suffice it to say that the Core i3-12100 is only slightly behind the much more expensive Core i5-12400 in Full HD games. If you want to save even more, take a look at the Core i3-12100F without integrated graphics.
Best Entry Level: AMD Athlon 200GE
Cores/Threads: 2/4 Clock: 3.2GHz Socket: AM4 Architecture: ZenTDP: 35W
In the initial segment, everything is unchanged. The AMD Athlon 200GE processor has been its king for the fifth year in a row. The processor combines very good performance for its level, quite fast Vega 3 graphics and an extremely affordable price tag, which none of the competitors of this model has.
Actually, that is why the advanced age of AMD Athlon 200GE has not prevented it from being the best choice when assembling an entry-level computer. Moreover, despite the lack of official support for overclocking, if you have a compatible motherboard, you can further increase its performance by overclocking.
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