As PC games get more advanced, they require more power from your machine to render images, complete tasks, and move through gameplay without lagging. Manufacturers like AMD and Intel are continually releasing new CPUs to keep up with the advances in gaming graphics and play.
Which is Better: AMD or Intel?
For most gamers, the decision between AMD and Intel is pretty similar, with both having high-end options for even the most discerning gaming needs. They also both have a pretty wide range of options no matter what your budget, so you can get a decent CPU even if you aren’t able to pay for a completely decked-out gaming PC. Some tests have shown that Intel can perform slightly better on 1080p gaming for some games so it’s the better choice if you really want to maximize frames-per-second, but AMD handles the video editing a little faster. The new AMD Ryzen and Threadripper series perform on par with Intel or even ahead, especially with new security patches that they are continually releasing.
Clock Speeds and Cores
The number of cores in your CPU determines how many simultaneous tasks your computer can perform, and more cores gives you more capacity for time-consuming workloads. If you’re running a lot of graphics-heavy and intensive games you’ll want to maximize cores in your CPU. But you can also measure the performance of your processor using “clock speeds”, which measure how quickly your CPU can perform some of the simpler and more common tasks in gaming. The clock speeds, measured in GHz (gigahertz) is how fast your chip runs, higher numbers mean faster chips. Most chips today have minimum speeds (base) and maximum speeds (turbo) and will adjust based on tasks and temperature for optimal performance.
Do You Need the Latest Generation?
Like smartphones, the manufacturers of computer processors come out with new models about once a year or so. The CPU’s name denotes its generation as the first number in the 4-digit number (for example, the Intel Core i7-9700K is a 9th generation processor). For the most part it doesn’t benefit you to try and save money by purchasing an older generation model, and even if you can save a few bucks that way your machine is more likely to become obsolete sooner or have components that won’t work with it.
Make Sure Your Entire Machine Supports Your CPU
In addition to the latest generation CPU, make sure you have enough RAM and a good graphics card to get the most out of your gaming system. If you go cheap on those other components, even a great CPU won’t give you the gaming experience you want from some of the high-end titles.
Check out Xidax’s full line of customizable CPUs for your next gaming PC, and let us know if you have any questions about which one would work best for you.