Best budget CPUs for gaming 2023: Budget Intel & AMD options
If you are looking for the best budget CPU for gaming in 2023, you have plenty of options across both Intel and AMD to help you save some money without compromising performance. Although PC hardware has become difficult to get and expensive in recent years, the situation is improving.
CPUs for gaming PCs are much easier to get these days, with plenty of great options from both Intel and AMD when it comes to budget and mid-range options. Here are our picks for the best budget CPUs you can buy in 2023.
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How we chose the best budget CPU for gaming in 2023
We chose the best budget CPU for gaming by taking into consideration a few factors, but we prioritised the speed and performance, along with the price so that it fits into the 'budget' category. Other important aspects include how hot the CPU runs, how much power it uses, how it efficient it is, and how it works for tasks outside of gaming.
Frankly, there are many things to consider when it comes to CPUs, but we've focused on how well they perform when gaming to ensure you get the best speeds for the price you're paying.
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Best budget Intel CPUs for gaming
Intel Core i5-10600K
- 4.8 GHz boost
- Fast mid-range performance
- Solid thermal performance
Our first pick for the best budget Intel CPU for gaming is the Intel Core i5-10600K, an excellent entry-level choice, making it a perfect CPU to get a little more out of your budget.
The six-core, 12-thread Comet Lake processor this thing runs on clocks at a standard 4.1 GHz, allowing for a boost up to 4.8 GHz. The price for performance here is excellent, and enough for anyone looking to run the most modern games.
It cools well, so you don't need the most expensive cooling solution here, but with no bundled cooler you will still need to shed out a little more for a heatsink or water cooler.
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Intel Core i7-12700K
- Great multi-threaded performance
- Fast single-core performance
- 5 GHz boost
A step up from the previous CPU but still cheap enough to be considered budget, we have the Intel Core i7-12700K.
With 12 cores and 20 threads, it has top-tier multi-threaded and single-core performance and will feed your other components data at a blazing speed, ensuring optimum performance across the board when paired with similar-quality components. It can even be boosted up to 5 GHz if you want to do some overclocking and get the most bang for your buck.
If you want to opt out of a pricey GPU, the improved integrated graphics on this are still enough for a lot of the most-played PC games and less taxing games from this generation. Overall, this CPU has a lot going for it and is future-proofed enough to last you well for a few years.
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Best budget AMD CPUs for gaming
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
- Excellent integrated graphics
- Great cooling
- A powerhouse CPU currently at a budget price
The AMD Ryzen 7 5700G is a jack of all trades when it comes to its performance, boasting an eight-core, 16-thread chip with a base clock of 3.8 GHz, maxing out at 4.6 GHz. It has some of the best cooling performance and power consumption of the CPUs on this list, but it's best paired with good memory, or some of its efficiency can become redundant.
Finally, this should be the go-to CPU for players who aren't looking to purchase a dedicated GPU, as it still can handle some of the newer titles out there at 1080p with lower graphic settings.
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AMD Ryzen 5 5500
- Great overall performance for the price
- Rapid speeds
- Low power usage
As the AMD Ryzen 5 5500 runs on the AM4 platform, you can get a much cheaper motherboard to pair with it, meaning this piece of hardware really facilitates a budget build from top to bottom.
With a clock speed of 4.2 GHz, you can expect moderate performance on even the newer games from this generation, and the low power usage makes it extremely efficient for leaving more power to your other parts.
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What is the best budget CPU in 2023?
AMD Ryzen 5 5600G
- Perfect mid-range performance
- Free cooler and excellent thermals
- Great integrated graphics
The AMD Ryzen 5 5600G is the best budget CPU for gaming in 2023, and a cheaper alternative to the Ryzen 7 5700G that still boasts top-tier performance.
You can grab this beast of a CPU for under $150 and it will last you for years in a mid-range build. Much like its bigger brother, it offers fantastic integrated graphics, but these work as well for newer games, making this better when paired with a similar quality GPU.
A big advantage of the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G is that it features a stock cooler in the box, which should help save a little more money. It already features good thermal performance, but the Wraith Stealth cooler will cool it even further, so you never need to worry about overheating.
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That's all for our coverage of the best CPUs for gaming in 2023, and now you know the best budget choices for both Intel and AMD.
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