The best CPU for gaming is that processor which is cable of offering a heady combination of powerful single-threaded performance, some tasty multi-threaded chops, and a price tag that doesn’t instantly nuke your bank balance.
Despite the dominance of quad-core CPUs – or above – in today’s gaming rigs, the difficulty in coding for multi-core processors has meant we’re still not seeing many modern game engines taking full advantage of the powerful CPUs many of us now have in our machines. In fact, since AMD has decided to take the fight to Intel in terms of core-count, even six cores is becoming more and more common.
But games are slow to catch up. We had hoped that the rise in DirectX 12 games, and AMD’s promise of burgeoning Vulkan API support from developers, that the CPU would become more and more important for good gaming performance. That hasn’t come to pass, and the GPU is still the most important component of your gaming rig… but that doesn’t mean any old processor will do – you still need a quality chip to get the most out of your graphics card.