The Ultimate CPU Hierarchy Of 2022

 

The way we play video games these days is nothing like it was in the past. Each day, new games are released, and new platforms are developing, providing a never-ending feast of enjoyment. Yet, not all PCs will be able to handle those brand-new resource-intensive games.

The GPU and the CPU are the two primary components of a desktop that need to be upgraded to get higher frame rates (FPS) in games or achieve higher levels of productivity. The GPU is responsible for rendering graphics, whereas the CPU handles everything else.

Finding the appropriate processor can be challenging due to the wide variety of prices offered by the products that are now available on the market. Right now, only two companies are leading the market with their top-notch and cutting-edge processors. AMD and Intel have been the biggest rivals in the CPU competition.

I have prepared this hierarchy of CPUs from the most recent couple of generations. Its purpose is to assist you in determining precisely what it is that you require. If you are looking for CPU rankings according to the FPS ratings of various games, you can also check my guide on CPU gaming benchmarks. But without keeping you waiting any longer, let’s dive into our CPU rankings!

 CPU style=

Credit Source: Pexels

Table of contents

How Did I Categorize Them?

S-Tier CPUs

A-Tier CPUs

B-Tier CPUs

C-Tier CPUs

D-Tier CPUs

The Bottom Line

What’s Next?

    How Did I Categorize Them?

    I categorized the CPUs into tiers according to how well they function in gameplay. I factored in things like: efficiency, gaming speed, price and how top quality their features are.

    If you wish to check out GPU rankings as well, I’ve made a dedicated guide on ultimate GPU rankings. You can check various graphics cards performance in different games and their frames per second at different settings.

    But without further ado, I present the definitive list of CPU rankings to you!

    S-Tier CPUs

    Ryzen CPU box style=

    Credit Source: Amazon

    The S-Tier is reserved for the most highly-value CPUs. Consumers who can maximize their frames per second (FPS) in the most visually demanding video games or who want to undertake a job effectively should consider purchasing one of these processors.

    It is important to remember that high-end CPUs will not significantly impact high-resolution gameplay due to the GPU bottlenecking that will occur. On the other hand, they will unquestionably improve your frame rate when playing competitive games at lower quality settings and 1080p resolution.

    The Threadripper of the 3rd generation delivers the most competitive pricing for its efficiency for working in the S-Tier production tier. One example is the Threadripper 3990X, which possesses 64 cores and 128 threads. Sadly, it will set you back $4,000 for this one. So, it is a better option for a workaholic environment rather than just gaming.

    Another option is the Threadripper 3960X, which can be purchased for $1,400 and features 24 cores and 48 threads. If you seek a solution that Intel powers, the i9-10980XE costs $1000 and has 18 cores and 36 threads. However, I do not suggest using them for gaming purposes.

    Check out Intel's S-Tier processors ranking for gaming, such as the i9-12900K which is priced at $599, the i7-12700K which is priced at $419, and the i5-12600K, which is priced at $299. The Intel i9-12900KS and the AMD Ryzen 5800X3D are faster than these game central processing units (CPUs), which are among the quickest and latest currently available.

    Those would be the two fastest gaming CPUs currently available everywhere around the globe. Since multiple evaluators have produced varying times, I cannot determine which one is the quickest. Some people believe that the i9 is marginally faster, whereas others believe that the 5800X3D is quicker.

    The 5800X3D is the superior CPU since it has a price tag of $450 and is compatible with any motherboard and RAM combination. On the other hand, the i9 has a price tag of $800 and needs a high-end DDR5 kit that costs more than $700 to perform at the same level as the Ryzen one.

    The Ryzen 5950X, 5900X, and 5800X from AMD are all very quick central processing units, so they earn the right to be ranked in the S-Tier. The suggested retail prices for these are $799, $549, and $450 accordingly for each item.

    I also added the recently introduced Ryzen 7 5700X to this tier, which has an MSRP of $300 with extremely close performance to that of the 5800X. This processor is compatible with all AM4 platforms.

    There are some 11th gen Intel CPUs available in this tier, but I wouldn't advise buying them because they are fairly out of date at this point.

    Gaming

    Model

    Boost Clock

    Cores/Threads

    TDP

    MSRP

    1.

    Ryzen 7 5800X 3D

    4.5 GHz

    8/16

    105 W

    $450

    2.

    Intel Core i9-12900KS

    5.5 GHz

    8P/8E/24T

    150 W

    $800

    3.

    Intel Core i9-12900K

    5.2 GHz

    8P/8E/24T

    125 W

    $600

    4.

    AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

    4.9 GHz

    16/32

    105 W

    $800

    5.

    Intel Core i7-12700K

    5.0 GHz

    8P/4E/20T

    125 W

    $420

    6.

    Intel Core i9-11900K

    5.3 GHz

    10/16

    125 W

    $550

    7.

    AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

    4.8 GHz

    12/24

    105 W

    $550

    8.

    Intel Core i5-12600K

    4.9 GHz

    6P/4E/16T

    125 W

    $300

    9.

    AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

    4.7 GHz

    8/16

    105 W

    $450

    10.

    AMD Ryzen 7 5700X

    4.6 GHz

    8/16

    65 W

    $300

    11.

    Intel Core i7-11700K

    5.0 GHz

    8/16

    125 W

    $400


    Productivity

    Model

    Boost Clock

    Cores/Threads

    TDP

    MSRP

    1.

    AMD Threadripper 3990X

    4.3 GHz

    64/128

    280 W

    $4000

    2.

    AMD Threadripper 3970X

    4.5 GHz

    32/64

    280 W

    $2000

    3.

    Intel Xeon W-3175X

    3.8 GHz

    28/56

    255 W

    $3000

    4.

    AMD Threadripper 3960X

    4.5 GHz

    24/48

    280 W

    $1400

    5.

    AMD Threadripper 2990 WX

    4.2 GHz

    32/64

    250 W

    $1980

    6.

    Intel Core Core i9-10980XE

    4.8 GHz

    18/36

    165 W

    $980


    A-Tier CPUs

    Intel CPU box style=

    Credit Source: Amazon

    The A-Tier of central processing units (CPUs) comprises processors which are from both newer and older generations that do not break the bank and have a lower total number of cores.

    The Ryzen 5 5600X and the Ryzen 5 5600 are going up against the Intel i5-11600K in this matchup. These central processing units (CPUs) contain six cores and 12 threads, and their prices are comparable. They cost approximately $300, a significant discount compared to the S-Tier Processors.

    On the other hand, because it's MSRP is only $200, the Ryzen 5 5600 is significantly more cost-effective.

    Also fitting in here are AMD's Ryzen 7 5700G and Ryzen 5 5600G processors with integrated graphics, which are placed directly below the i9-10900. In addition to that, I also have the 10700K and 10900K CPUs, which are from two generations ago.

    The third generation of AMD's processors is another contender for an A-Tier slot. In particular, the Ryzen 9 3900X and Ryzen 7 3700X processors.

    The i3-12100F from Intel may appear to be nothing more than another i3 with its limited threads, but in reality, it competes favorably in terms of performance with other CPUs such as the 11400F and the 3700X.

    Model

    Boost Clock

    Cores/Threads

    TDP

    MSRP

    1.

    Intel Core i9-10900K

    5.3 GHz

    10/20

    125 W

    $500

    2.

    Intel Core i7-10700K

    5.1 GHz

    8/16

    125 W

    $385

    3.

    AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

    4.6 GHz

    12/24

    65 W

    $200

    4.

    Intel Core i5-12400

    4.4 GHz

    6P/0E/12T

    65 W

    $200

    5.

    AMD Ryzen 5 5600

    4.4 GHz

    6/12

    65 W

    $200

    6.

    Intel Core i5-11600K

    4.9 GHz

    6/12

    125 W

    $270

    7.

    Intel Core i9-10900/T

    5.20 GHz/4.60 GHz

    10/20

    65 W/ 35 W

    $450/ $440

    8.

    AMD Ryzen 9 3900X/XT

    4.6 GHz/4.7 GHz

    12/24

    105 W

    $530/ $745

    9.

    AMD Ryzen 7 5700G

    4.6 GHz

    8/16

    65 W

    $360

    10.

    AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

    4.4 GHz

    6/12

    65 W

    $260

    11.

    Intel Core i5-11400F

    4.40 GHz

    6/12

    65 W

    $160

    12.

    Intel Core i5-10600K

    4.8 GHz

    6/12

    125 W

    $270

    13.

    Intel Core i3-12100F

    4.3 GHz

    4P/0E/8E

    58 W

    $105

    14.

    AMD Ryzen 7 3800X/XT

    4.5 GHz/4.7 GHz

    8/16

    105 W

    $400/ $400

    15.

    Intel Core i5-10400F

    4.3 GHz

    6/12

    65 W

    $160

    16.

    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

    4.4 GHz

    8/16

    65 W

    $320


    B-Tier CPUs

    Intel i9 CPU box style=

    Credit Source: Amazon

    We are now looking at CPUs which belong to the B-tier. Don't get the wrong idea: the CPUs that fall into this group are still more than competent in managing modern games and producing good frame rates. You could even say that the B-tier CPUs offer the best price-to-performance ratio compared to previous tiers.

    One of AMD's most famous CPUs is the Ryzen 5 3600, and this model is still available today. A low-power 12-thread processor retails for under $200 and has a low power draw. How could you possibly not adore it?

    In today's market, you might be able to purchase a 3600 or perhaps a 3600X for as little as $180.

    There are also several processors from Intel's 9th generation that work wonderfully here. Even the 8-thread i7-9700K and the i9-9900K are sufficient for most tasks. The suggested retail price (MSRP) is far higher than offered here.

    Model

    Boost Clock

    Cores/Threads

    TDP

    MSRP

    1.

    Intel Core i9-9900K

    5.0 GHz

    8/16

    95 W

    $500

    2.

    Intel Core i7-9700K

    4.9 GHz

    8/8

    95 W

    $385

    3.

    Intel Core i9-9900

    5.0 GHz

    8/16

    65 W

    $450

    4.

    Intel Core i7-9700

    4.7 GHz

    8/8

    65 W

    $330

    5.

    AMD Ryzen 5 5500

    4.2 GHz

    6/12

    65 W

    $160

    6.

    AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

    4.4 GHz

    6/12

    65 W

    $250

    7.

    AMD Ryzen 5 3600

    4.2 GHz

    6/12

    65 W

    $190

    8.

    AMD Ryzen 3 3300X

    4.3 GHz

    4/8

    95 W

    $120

    9.

    Intel Core i5-9600K

    4.6 GHz

    6/6

    95 W

    $270


    C-Tier CPUs

    Intel i3 CPU box style=

    Credit Source: Amazon

    We have entered the realm of CPUs that are beginning to show their aging and inadequacy for modern games.

    The IPC of the second generation of AMD's Ryzen processors is quite low, leaving a lot to be desired, although they continue to give amazing value. The same can be said for Intel's i5s and i3s of the 9th generation.

    You get an 8-core and 16-thread central processing unit (CPU) with the Ryzen 2700X, which you can purchase for less than $300 these days. This makes it a really good choice. Nevertheless, this is Zen+; it is not to be confused with AMD's Zen 2 (3600, 3700X, etc.). It has a single-core performance that is far lower than expected.

    The i5s made by Intel, such as the Core i5-9400F, are likewise out of date because they can only support a maximum of 6 threads, while the i3s can only support a maximum of 4 threads. According to the technology we use today, that is unacceptable.

    While no one aspires to be in the C-Tier  in any other area of life, it is a place to be for processors. The C-Tier is currently brimming with great price-to-performance value. Because of its incredibly low price, I chose AMDs Ryzen 5 2600 as the preferred option in this class.

    The 2600 is now available for a little under $120, and it can be combined with a mid-range to high-end graphics card and a 1080P 144Hz display to provide a superb gameplay experience.

    Of course, the newer AMD Ryzen 5 3600 surpasses the 2600 significantly. The newer Ryzen processors, on the other hand, have had out-of-the-box BIOS compliance difficulties with B450 motherboards, and if you would like to avoid those problems, you'll have to pay a little more for an X570 chipset board, which lowers the Ryzen 5 3600's price-to-performance value a little.

    There are B450 motherboards that guarantee out-of-the-box compliance, and AMD offers solutions to help get past the BIOS issue. Even with that in view, the Ryzen 5 2600 will remain a great option for budget-conscious gamers and system builders as long as the price gap between it and the 3600 remains around $80.

    If you do not want to overclock and want the best single-core performance for under $200, the Intel Core i5-9400 and 9400F are worth considering. While the 9400F does not have inbuilt visuals, it is $60 cheaper than a normal 9400. So, if you're planning to acquire a specialized graphics card and don't care about losing the integrated Intel HD graphics, choosing the 9400F over the 9400 will save you a lot of money.

    The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X and 2700 are also good alternatives in this tier because they have more threads and cores. While they won't quite match the single thread efficiency of the i5-9400, 9400F, and 3600, they should be adequate enough for you not to notice the difference.

    The AMD Ryzen 5 2600X, which offers a modest performance improvement over the 2600, is also important. Nevertheless, it's only $10 cheaper than the Ryzen 7 2700, and you'd be well off with the additional cores and threads for that price gap.

    Model

    Boost Clock

    Cores/Threads

    TDP

    MSRP

    1.

    Intel Core i3-10300

    4.4 GHz

    4/8

    65 W

    $150

    2.

    Intel Core i5-9400F

    4.1 GHz

    6/6

    65 W

    $160

    3.

    Intel Core i3-10100

    4.3 GHz

    4/8

    65 W

    $120

    4.

    AMD Ryzen 7 2700X

    4.3 GHz

    8/16

    105 W

    $330

    5.

    AMD Ryzen Pro 4750G

    4.4 GHz

    8/16

    65 W

    $310

    6.

    AMD Ryzen 3 3100

    3.9 GHz

    4/8

    65 W

    $100

    7.

    AMD Ryzen 3400G

    4.2 GHz

    4/8

    65 W

    $445


    D-Tier CPUs

    AMD ryzen 7 box style=

    Credit Source: Amazon

    At long last, we have reached the final tier of CPU  rankings. The vast majority of the central processing units (CPUs) available in this price bracket are AMD's APUs, designed to perform admirably for gamers on a limited budget.

    The Ryzen 5 3400G and Ryzen 5 2400G are both more expensive than the Ryzen 5 2600; however, given that both come with decent integrated graphics, one may argue that it is more beneficial to utilize the first two processors rather than the latter.

    Although, you could go with a processor such as the Intel Core i3-9100F, which sold for less than $90. You may get more performance from it by pairing it with a graphics card that is kind to your wallet, such as AMD’s RX 560.

    However, the Ryzen 3 3200G and the Ryzen 3 2200G make a lot of sense for consumers working with even more limited budgets. The Ryzen 3 3200G, can run non-demanding esports titles such as Rocket League, Dota 2, League of Legends, etc. on medium settings on a 1080P monitor. This includes games like The Elder Scroll V: Skyrim and Metro: Last Light.

    The Ryzen 3 3200G could provide a significantly improved performance over the 2200G but will cost approximately $25 more than the 2200G, and you will have to cope with the BIOS compatibility issue on the B450 chipset motherboards if you choose to upgrade to it.

    This is the D-tier, which is a category of CPUs that can significantly impede the ability of your GPU to reach its full potential. This is especially true if you have a comparatively greater powered GPU like an RTX 2080 or an RX 5700XT.

    Even considering the low prices of CPUs like the 2600X, i3-9100, and other CPUs like them, it is difficult to suggest them because there are other CPUs that are the same price but offer significantly higher performance.

    Model

    Boost Clock

    Cores/Threads

    TDP

    MSRP

    1.

    AMD Ryzen 7 2700

    4.1 GHz

    8/16

    65 W

    $300

    2.

    AMD Ryzen 5 2600X

    4.2 GHz

    6/12

    95 W

    $230

    3.

    AMD Ryzen 5 2600

    3.9 GHz

    6/12

    65 W

    $200

    4.

    Intel Core i3-9100

    4.2 GHz

    4/4

    65 W

    $120

    5.

    AMD Ryzen 3 3200G

    4.0 GHz

    4/4

    65 W

    $180

    6.

    AMD Ryzen 5 2400G

    3.9 GHz

    4/8

    65 W

    $170

    7.

    AMD Ryzen 3 2200G

    3.7 GHz

    4/4

    65 W

    $100

    8.

    Intel Pentium G6605

    4.3 GHz

    2/4

    58 W

    $90


    The Bottom Line

    The amount of money you have available to spend and the types of things you intend to do with your PC are the primary considerations that should guide your selection of a CPU.

    This tiered list contains about 40 CPUs. That is a relatively low number considering there are hundreds of CPUs out there. However, I decided to limit my list to the last three generations of processors from both AMD and Intel.

    There are also some exclusions made from the latest generations as some CPUs can only be bought as part of an OEM PC or a pre-built system.

    These CPU rankings are based on several review websites and YouTube tech channels, along with some of my personal testing. In any event, regardless of your requirements or price range, the CPU hierarchy list that is provided should assist you in selecting the appropriate processor.

    If you have any questions feel free to contact me, you can use the comments section below or a contact form.

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