The choice of processor determines the performance and efficiency of a computer. But what is the best GPU for gaming? Which CPU should you install for socket 1200, AM4/AM5 or 1700? Which CPU has the best value for money and which CPU goes best with an RTX 3080 or RX 6800 XT? We summarize the most important purchase criterion in our benchmark list: the performance. We consider not only games, but also and applications. We give the index once as a whole and then again divided into games and applications. This allows you to choose the list that best suits your needs. All values are normalized, which means that all benchmarks are evaluated equally.
CPU tests 2022: This is new
Update 11/11/2022: With Intel Raptor Lake and AMD Zen 4 we have many newcomers in the CPU index. Furthermore, new benchmarks were introduced, so that the numbers of today cannot be compared with those of the past. However, testing processors takes time, so we can only show you a limited number of CPUs for comparison at the current hour. We are already working on further test results. So that you can still make comparisons, we continue to display the old index with 40 entries.
Update from August 18, 2022: There are now 40 processors in the PCGH CPU index. This allows you to compare many different CPU generations. This means that the online CPU index is now even more comprehensive than that in the PCGH print, since space is limited there. We hope you enjoy browsing.
Update from 06/13/22: We have revised and restructured the entire article. We go into detail about how we determined the following values and list which hardware and software we use for the tests and benchmarks. Page 2 contains the ranking and additional information as to why we use the low resolution of 1280 × 720 for the benchmarks.
Every year, not only PC games, 3D graphics and hardware reinvent themselves, but also our demands on our benchmarks. Loyal readers know that we only made extensive optimizations and changes to the test course for processors in issue 04/2021. Many of these findings remain, we are concentrating mainly on gaming performance this year, but are raising the bar with new benchmarks and changed test conditions.
The software and hardware used
You can find the complete list of games and programs used in the dedicated article, the CPU FAQ. The result is an exciting analysis of current processors that reflects performance in 2022. The multi-core utilization was primarily taken into account, since even more CPU cores are to be expected by the end of the year. The biggest innovation on the test platform for processor benchmarks is once again the graphics card. Instead of an Asus ROG Geforce RTX 3090 Strix OC we now use an Asus TUF RX 6900 XT. We are aware of the criticism that the driver overhead of the Nvidia RTX 3090 generates in the CPU limit. The AMD card allows us to mostly set the graphics details in the games used to the highest level, and we also use modern ray tracing shadowing whenever possible, as this has been shown to further increase the processor load. It is also important to us to create a buffer so that future processor generations are not limited by the graphics card and can show their full potential.
We haven’t changed anything in the proven test methodology: Before the benchmark runs, each CPU is subjected to a warm-up period, during which the core clock (boost) drops to a specific level that varies from model to model. We configure a TDP limit in the UEFI of the test mainboards: Each CPU is configured to the parameters that the manufacturer provides for the respective model. With an Intel Core i9-10900K, for example, this is 125 watts (TDP), while the boost can apply 250 watts for 56 seconds. By heating up, we force each CPU to go into its sustained load mode. In this way we avoid unrealistically high values and enable a fair comparison. The clock frequency of the installed RAM is also forced to the manufacturer’s specifications, we specify the amount of 32 GiB (DDR4 and DDR5) and the timings (XMP).
We always use the latest version of Windows 10 including all (security) updates, but without TPM 2.0. Each benchmark consists of three runs, each lasting 20 seconds. As before, the lowest possible 16:9 resolution is used for the benchmarks; sometimes we reduce the resolution even further using scaling to minimize the GPU load. We use the current version of CapframeX (CX) as the only tool for recording and evaluating the average performance achieved (average fps) and the frame times (percentile P1 (milliseconds in fps)). CX enables outlier detection, which we apply to the 1% frame times with a maximum of five percent, which increases the precision of the results.
next page next page