After our last CPU roundup, we made sense of the numbers and the processors that brought the best value when overclocked. We decided then to make a more straightforward shootout -- this was also the most demanded by readers -- putting an overclocked Ryzen 5 1600 against the Core i5-8400.
You've read the reviews and now we are putting them together on a single CPU comparison. On deck for this one we tested 8 processors in 9 games at not only 1080p, but also 720p and 1440p, amounting to more than 650 benchmark passes.
Today we're checking out the most affordable six-core processor ever released, and this time it's not from AMD. The Core i5-8400 is more affordable than the $215 Ryzen 5 1600, though it can't be overclocked and lacks HyperThreading, but it should nonetheless be ample for gamers and may even be the new go-to solution for budget builders.
After extensive testing, we've come up with this quick guide to bring you the best CPU choices available right now, divided into four categories: The Best Enthusiast/Value Gaming CPU, Best Extreme Desktop CPU, Best All-Round High-End CPU and Best Budget CPU.
The FX-8320E has been AMD's go-to option for budget quad-core computing without integrated graphics for a few months now. But the landscape has shifted on Intel's side with the arrival of its new Skylake-based Core i3 and Pentium processors. After being disappointed in August by the marginal performance between Skylake and Haswell Core i7s, we're interested in seeing how the i3-6100 stacks up against the older i3-4360, as well as the i5-4430 and the overclocked FX-8320E.
Take a look back at how Intel CPUs have progressed over the years. We're testing and comparing the original Core 2 Duo CPUs against the Nehalem-based Core i5-760 and Core i7-870, the Sandy Bridge Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2700K chips, and then to the current generation Haswell Celeron, Pentium, Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 parts.
With desktop CPU prices ranging from as little as $60 to over $600 there are options for everyone wanting to buy or build a new Intel system. The Core i3 is intended as entry-level, the Core i5 is geared for mainstream usage, and the mighty Core i7 is meant for high-end systems and enthusiasts. But what do you get by spending more? Here's your answer.
These days you might expect buying a new processor to be fairly straightforward. The choice seems clear: Intel has proven to offer superior core performance with considerably greater efficiency. However, many enthusiasts argue that AMD offers better overclocking on its more affordable processors and therefore delivers a better bang for your buck. We put that notion to the test.