CPUs from AMD and Intel: Buying tips and current recommendations

In our specialty, we offer you updated purchasing advice on processors for gaming PCs, where we have also prepared some topics that also explain basic knowledge in more detail. First of all, this page is about sockets and CPU cores, on the other hand, we clarify the basic questions that most people ask themselves before making a purchase. Then we take care of overclocking and motherboards, and finally we list the CPUs recommended in their price and performance class in an overview.

Socket: The base of the CPU

In stores, the processors are first divided into AMD and Intel, then again after the so-called sockets. There is also a good reason for this, because the connector is the installation unit for the CPU on the motherboard. Mechanically, the socket must match the CPU exactly – therefore you are always looking for a motherboard that offers the same socket for your desired CPU. As a rule, AMD and Intel always present new sockets when something fundamentally changes in the CPUs. With a new socket, the two manufacturers always establish a completely new generation of CPUs, with which new, suitable motherboards then come on the market.

In the following years, new, more or less significantly improved CPUs may be added to these sockets. The AMD Socket AM4, which is ideal for the mainstream sector, ie normal users and gamers, has been around for over five years.

The Ryzen CPUs from AMD offer good value for money, especially between 200 and 350 euros, although the Intel competition is usually a bit faster, but also more expensive.

Source: AMD

Over the five years, three main families of CPUs gradually came out: Ryzen 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000. In return, Intel released the Socket 1200 for the mainstream sector in the spring of 2020, for which there were two CPU generations ( Core) i-10000 and i-11000), and since October last year there is the new Socket 1700 with the Core i-12000 models.

Enthusiast pedestrian

In addition to the regular sockets, there are other sockets that are not important to normal users and gamers – especially sockets, also known as “enthusiast sockets”, hardly offer any extra performance for gaming, on the contrary: Some CPUs offer a particularly large number of cores for special applications, but are even slower in games than much cheaper regular CPUs because they offer a relatively low clock.

The large number of kernels does not pay off in games – more than eight kernels usually provide no benefits in games. In addition, the motherboards for these enthusiast plugs are noticeably more expensive.

cores and threads

Processors have cores that can perform different tasks independently of each other. The more cores, the more tasks the CPU can handle in parallel – but everything has its limitations. As already described, games do not use all cores, no matter how many, but with eight or more cores, there is basically no advantage to an otherwise comparable CPU architecture, especially since the cores in modern CPUs also master SMT (Simultaneous Multithreading) …

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