Best CPU Processor

The Intel Boxed Core I5-6600K 6M Processor is our best CPU processor and this processor can display up to 4096 by 2304 resolution. As for its typical usage, it is very ideal for any PC game, making music, photo editing, video editing and much more. And in addition to that, when it comes to performance, it is guaranteed 30 times better than your old PC when it comes to 3D graphics. This processor runs at a processing speed of 3.50 GHz and it also supports DDR4 as well as DDR3L. This is a 6th generation Intel processor which is a must-have for any gaming setting. If you have an Intel i3 processor then you can upgrade to the i5.

Our step-up pick is the Intel Boxed Core I7-6700K 8M Processor and this CPU processor is so powerful that it can display resolutions up to 4096 by 2304. This is an 8M processor which runs at a speed of 4 GHz. It is a friendly processor which supports DDR3L as well as DDR4 memory. When it comes to its features, it uses Intel Turbo Boost technology. The processor can provide you with 3 times more battery life and 2.5 times more productivity than older PCs. As for its intended use, it is very ideal for high-end gaming and multitasking. It is also a step up from our top pick due to its unprecedented processing power.

The budget pick is the AMD FD6300WMHKBOX FX-6300 6-Core Processor Black and this CPU processor consumes power of up to 95 watts as it processes with up to 6 cores. As for the typical usage of this CPU processor, it is great for recording music, intense gaming and many more at the most demanding resolutions. It uses an AM3+ socket type and its base frequency is 3.5 GHz and its overdrive frequency is 4.1 GHz. The CPU processor has a cache of 6 / 8MB for L2 or L3 and it also comes with a heat sink. The CPU processor is ideal for most high-graphics games such as Skyrim and Half Life 2 and it greatly supports DDR3 and SDRAM.

Table of Contents

A Little Background

The CPU or the central processing unit is the heart and the brain of any computer system. Nearly everyone in the world knows about this. However, some people mistake the CPU to be the whole case of the CPU, but not exactly the little chip inside. The CPU processor is what keeps the whole case of the CPU together. Without the processor of the CPU, your PC will be nothing so take into consideration the best CPU processor for your unit, whether you are handling a desktop, a laptop or a MacBook Pro. Not every person is knowledgeable when it comes to CPU processors and this is why you need to learn a few basics first before considering upgrading your unit.
A CPU’s speed is dictated by the number of cores that the CPU processor operates on. The number of cores multiplies the clock speed of your unit. For example, if you are running a Windows 8 laptop or notebook with an Intel i3 CPU processor at 2.40 GHz, you are running two cores at the same time, as the i3 is simply an upgraded version of the dual core, so you operate with 2.40 GHz of clock speed times two. Intel’s units are designed as an upgrade from the regular dual cores, quad cores, octa cores and the like. Different CPU processors have different operating speeds depending on the number of cores it has.
In addition to the number of cores, the clock speed, measured in gigahertz (GHz), is a factor when deciding the best CPU processor. The clock speed defines the rate at which the processor can operate and perform the given tasks. When two CPU processors have the same number of cores, you can compare the clock speed of both of them and the one with the higher clock rate would be the winner. Clock speed also takes its toll on the heating of the unit, alongside the number of cores, and this is why you should cool it down with a dedicated cooling system.
Different CPU processors have a variety of specs and purposes. Most people upgrade their PCs to suit their gaming needs. A lot of games today have very high graphics and processing demands and the amount of lag can be reduced with the proper tech specs of the CPU processor you have. The processor is what keeps your system running so you need to upgrade it with care and consideration. However, if you are not a meticulous person with graphics then simple, lower spec CPU processors would do just fine for your setup.
If you are a serious gamer then you should go for quad core to octa core CPU processors. Of course, in addition to this, you need to have a dedicated cooling system, in which most quad core and octa core systems already come with a heat sink, a cooling fan and other freebies to easily set up your gaming rig.
The high demands for 3D and graphics as well as sound and motion from high CPU games such as Skyrim as well as the demanding processing power of most video editing software such as Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas Pro may require you a lot of processing power. If you work with Photoshop often then you may also need to have a pretty good CPU processor to handle the job, as Photoshop has a few high-graphic filters that may require a lot of processing power. In the same way, if you are a musician and you look forward to a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) that will cater to your needs then you might also need to upgrade your system, as most DAWs such as Cubase, FL Studio and others might also consume a fair amount of CPU power.
However, if you are a mediocre user then you can go for most quad core and dual core CPU processors. If your typical usage of the computer unit, whether it is a desktop, a laptop or a notebook computer, is mostly for Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point and a few small games then you can just go for cheaper CPU processors for your budget. This is because such programs do not require a lot of heavy graphics to function well. In fact, Microsoft Office 2007 can work even on dual core systems, as long as you consider the disk space and regular clean-up of your PC and system.
If you own a very old motherboard then you can go for a CPU processor that can accommodate a large variety of motherboard sockets. As time goes by, it becomes harder and harder for any of us to look for CPU processors that will cater to old gear that we might have from our grandpa or grandma’s PC. Old motherboard sockets and units might not fit in most of today’s CPU processors and this is why you should consider a CPU processor that will fit your target motherboard socket and unit.
Choosing your CPU processor largely depends upon your budget and your intended use. Of course, upgrading your unit is a pretty big investment to consider. Being a start-up when it comes to YouTube gaming, Twitch streaming and the like can be pretty challenging at first if you do not have the necessary gear. In the same way, video editing, making music, photo editing and all other tasks can consume a lot of CPU depending on your program or application on your computer. This is why you should consider first your budget before buying. Most people don’t know how expensive it could be to upgrade a system that they might not really use anyway. Only upgrade your system when you know that your system is suffering due to the demands of the programs that you absolutely need for your job or hobby.

How We Picked

When it comes to the best CPU processor, there are a number of factors to consider in your choice, such as:
Number of cores – this is the first and foremost thing you need to consider when choosing the best CPU processor. Typically, you will find most mediocre and standard CPU processors today at quad core, which contains 4 processing cores. Dual core is lower than that and is particularly suitable for lighter operations such as Microsoft Office. Octa core is for the hardcore gamer or the 3D renderer artist due to its extremely fast speed, which also requires a ton of cooling power along with it.
Clock speed – the clock speed was the first thing to compare CPU processors back then when every PC had a single core processor. When in doubt between two quad core CPU processors, take a good look at the clock speed of the two so you can compare and contrast.
Price – while this is not really a deciding factor, always keep in mind that your budget will be just right for the processor and to set up your gaming rig. Most aspiring YouTube gamers don’t know where to start and this is why they mostly start off with a mediocre gaming rig. Then, as they earn from AdSense and possibly a few crowdfunding sites, they can fund their PC for an upgrade on their processor so they can take their gaming ideals to the edge.
Intended use – will you use the CPU processor for a gaming rig or just a casual office computer? Will use it for a lot of 3D applications, video editing, music making and other rigorous tasks? Or will you just use it casually for Microsoft Office and similar low-eating applications?
Compatibility – make sure that your CPU processor will be compatible with the socket of your motherboard. The supported memory card slots should also be wide and diverse. If you have an old unit, always consider this feature.
Memory cache – consider the CPU processor’s memory cache for L1, L2, L3, etc. to maximize the speed and power of your unit and system. This can be found on your PC as the “installed memory” or RAM (random access memory) and is usually around 6 to 8 MB.
Freebies – most CPU processors also come with a heat sink, a cooling fan or cooling system, stickers and the user manual.

Our Pick

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Intel Boxed Core I5-6600K 6M Processor

Our best CPU Processor is the Intel Boxed Core I5-6600K 6M Processor which effectively runs at a processing speed of 3.50 GHz for its clock speed. As for compatibility, it supports DDR4 as well as DDR3L. As a matter of fact, it is also compatible with chipset motherboards of the Intel 100 series so it is a very diverse CPU processor. As for the graphics, this awesome CPU processor can display up to 4096 by 2304 resolution. Take note that this is an unlocked processor for your convenience which uses Intel Turbo Boost Technology.
This awesome CPU processor is very ideal for any PC game, making music, photo editing, video editing and much more. It is also guaranteed 30 times better than your old PC when it comes to 3D graphics. And as a matter of fact, you also get 2.5 times better productivity compared to your old PC. The Intel Boxed Core I5-6600K gives you up to 3 times more battery life, if you want to install it on a laptop PC. Moreover, it has an instant on feature up to 0.5 seconds. This is a 6th generation Intel processor which also comes with a sticker.
A must-have for any gaming setting, the Intel Boxed Core 6M Processor is definitely our top pick for the best CPU processor. And as a matter of fact, if you have an Intel i3 processor then you can upgrade to the i5. The CPU processor is of high quality and is backed by a warranty of 3 years, like most standard Intel products.

Flaws but Not Dealbrakers

Even computer parts such as our best CPU processor, the Intel Boxed Core I5-6600K 6M Processor, have its own shortcomings but they are very minor. For instance, the fact that the i7 is much powerful than the i5 is a fact, but nonetheless the i7 is pricier so the i5 is our top pick for everybody’s budget.

Step-up Pick

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Intel Boxed Core I7-6700K 8M Processor

The step-up pick for our best CPU processor is the Intel Boxed Core I7-6700K 8M Processor which effectively runs at a speed of 4 GHz. As a CPU processor, this is an 8M processor which supports DDR3L as well as DDR4 memory. As for the unique feature, it uses Intel Turbo Boost technology. The processor is also compatible with most chipset motherboards from the Intel 100 series. The processor is also available in packages with CPU cooling fan or with Corsair Hydro Series cooler.
Effectively, the Intel Boxed Core I7-6700K can display resolutions up to 4096 by 2304. It is definitely a step up from our top pick due to its unprecedented processing power. It is also very ideal for high-end gaming and multitasking. Adding to that, it also gives you 30 times better 3D resolution for games. The processor uses an Instant-On technology that turns the unit on for only 0.5 seconds.
Ideal for LGA 1151 motherboards, the Intel I7-6700K 8M Processor can provide you with 3 times more battery life and 2.5 times more productivity than older PCs. The processor is also backed by a 3-year limited warranty, like our top pick.

Budget Pick

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AMD FD6300WMHKBOX FX-6300 6-Core Processor Black

The AMD FD6300WMHKBOX FX-6300 6-Core Processor Black is our budget pick which effectively processes with up to 6 cores. The processor consumes power of up to 95 watts and it has a cache of 6 / 8MB for L2 or L3. Moreover, when it comes to the clock speed, its base frequency is 3.5 GHz and its overdrive frequency is 4.1 GHz.
As a budget pick, this 6-core processor uses an AM3+ socket type. In addition, the unit already comes with a stock fan so you are ready for any gaming situation. The processor is also available in bundles with the SSD and Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO. As for its typical uses, it is great for recording music, intense gaming and many more at the most demanding resolutions and it is also ideal for Windows 7 and up. This processor also supports DDR3 and SDRAM and its hard drive interface is eSata and Serial ATA-150. Conveniently, it also comes with a heat sink.
Ideal for most high-graphics games such as Skyrim and Half Life 2, the CPU fan included also runs very silently so it does not distract your gaming. The AMD FX-6300 6-Core Processor Black also comes with a sticker and it also includes with a user’s guide.

Ideal CPU Processor for 3D Artists

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Intel Boxed-Core i7-6950X Processor Extreme Edition

Our best CPU processor for 3D artists and 3D rendering is the Intel Boxed-Core i7-6950X Processor Extreme Edition which has up to 40 lanes of PCIe 3.0, equivalent to 2×16 + 1×8. It has a whopping RAM cache of 25M and is super ideal for high-end 3D graphics so it is meant for 3D graphic artists and animators and the like.
The CPU processor has up to 4 channels for DDR4 2400 and it also allows you one DIMM per channel. As for power consumption, it has a TDP of 140 watts. For compatibility, it greatly supports LGA 2011 v3. For the clock speed, it has processing speeds of up to 3.50 GHz and it has a whopping 10 cores plus 20 threads to get the biggest jobs done.
This particular CPU processor uses Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology to improve your PC’s performance. It also greatly supports any DDR4 quad channel memory. The processor uses Intel Smart Cache of up to 25 MB and is great for the most rigorous multi-threaded processing demands and workloads.

Best Octacore (8-core) CPU Processor

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AMD FD8350FRHKBOX FX-8350 8-Core Black-Edition Processor

If you want the best octa core CPU processor, you can go for the AMD FD8350FRHKBOX FX-8350 8-Core Black-Edition Processor which has 8 cores that process unprecedented power. This one has a cache of 8 / 8MB for L2 and L3 and it consumes up to 125 watts of power. You can unlock the possibilities of your CPU with this awesome 8-core processor. Adding to that, it comes with a stock fan and it also comes with cooling bundles and SSD as an option.
This CPU processor uses an AM3+ socket type and it runs at speeds of 4.0 GHz for base and 4.2 GHz for overdrive for the clock speed. In fact, you can go up to 5.0 GHz of speed using the best AMD cooling solutions. The AMD FX-8350 8-Core Black-Edition Processor includes an E3 fan and a heat sink and it also comes with an instruction manual. It also comes with a sticker and a certificate of authenticity and is backed by a warranty of 3 years.

Ideal CPU Processor for Casual Gaming and Multitasking

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Intel BX80662I36100 Core i3-6100 3M Cache

The Intel BX80662I36100 Core i3-6100 3M Cache is our best casual CPU processor which supports memory cards of DDR4 and DDR3L. It fits the FCLGA 1151 using its socket and it uses Hyper Threading Technology for its dual core processor. It also supports 4k at 60 Hz using its Intel HD Graphics 530 and it comes with instruction set extensions such as secure key, AES, AVX, SSE4 and many more.
The i3 by Intel runs at a speed of 3.70 GHz and it has a cache of 3M. it also supports DDR3 and SDRAM and it also comes with an Intel Box cooler. Ideal CPU processor for average users, the Intel Core i3-6100 3M Cache is great for casual gaming and other non-rigorous tasks. It is a great budget solution for those who just want a decent CPU processor.

Best Quad Core CPU Processor

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AMD A8-7600 Quad-Core 3.1 GHz Processor

The AMD A8-7600 Quad-Core 3.1 GHz Processor has a cache of 4 MB and it comes with a convenient stock fan. It uses APUs that is HSA-enabled and it uses AMD TrueAudio technology so your gaming system is enhanced. The CPU processor also comes in an SSD bundle package and it makes the use of Radeon R7 graphics.
It uses an FM2+ socket and it consumes a power of 65 watts. An ideal processor for desktop PCs, this quad core CPU processor runs at 3.1 GHz of processing power. It supports SDRAM and DDR3 memory cards and it is an ideal CPU processor for multitasking at the office. It is great for the most basic functions up to casual gaming instances.

Best Gaming CPU Processor

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Intel Core i5-4590 6M BX80646I54590 Processor

The Intel Core i5-4590 6M BX80646I54590 Processor has a cache of 6M and runs at a processing speed of 3.3 Ghz. Compatible with motherboards such as Z87 and Z97, it uses Quick Sync Video so that your video conversion will be sped up and uses Intel Turbo boost technology. Also available in a package with SSD, it uses IPT with PKI. Take note that Z87 motherboards may also require an update for their BIOS.
The Boot Guard feature protects your devices greatly and safely. This OEM CPU processor is a quad core processor and it supports DDR3 as well as SDRAM. A great CPU processor for gaming and rigorous textures, detailed graphics, shaders and the like, it has 4 cores as well as 4 threads and is also compatible with chipsets such as the H81, Q85, B85, H87, Q87 and the like.
Great for multitasking, you can play games, surf the internet, watch YouTube videos, and work on Photoshop, Adobe Audition, and Windows Movie Maker all at the same time. The Intel Core i5-4590 Processor is an ideal CPU processor for high-end gaming as well as VR.

Best Desktop CPU Processor

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AMD Athlon 5350 AD5350JAHMBOX Desktop Processor

The AMD Athlon 5350 AD5350JAHMBOX Desktop Processor comes with a stock fan and is a great desktop CPU processor. This quad core CPU processor uses Hyper Transport technology so that its I/O communication is greatly enhanced. Its DDR memory controller is integrated and is of low latency and high bandwidth. Ideal for processing both 64-bit and 32-bit programs, its on-chip cache is the best in its performance. It has a processing speed of 2.05 GHz and it has an L2 cache of 2 MB.
It supports SDRAM as well as DDR3 but you might need an AM1 motherboard for this CPU processor. It comes with a fan and a heat sink and it works as a great media player. It is a great CPU for the Windows 7 overall.

Best Dual Core CPU Processor

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AMD A6-6400K Richland Dual-Core Desktop Processor

The AMD A6-6400K Richland Dual-Core Desktop Processor consumes a power of 65 watts and runs at a frequency of 3.9 GHz. It is a great CPU processor for desktop computers which comes with Radeon HD 8470D. It uses an FM2 socket and is a basic dual core processor for the most basic yet demanding tasks.
If you are not very picky with processors then you can go for this dual core processor. It supports DDR3 and SDRAM memory slots and it comes with a heat sink. It also supports 3D playback and it has great speed despite being a dual core processor.

The Competition

There is no competition for the best CPU processor since only Intel and AMD are the main manufacturers of CPU processors out there.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the things you need to consider when choosing the best CPU processor?
A: According to PC Mag , consider the price for its value and specs and know how many cores the CPU processor have. Dual core processors are for office work and typical use of programs while quad core processors are for casual gaming and basic 3D graphics as well as creating music and editing videos. Octa-core processors and above are meant for high-end gaming and rigorous graphics, best 3D graphics and the like.
The two major brands to consider are Intel and AMD and they are the only ones to ever offer the best CPU processors out there. Consider where you will use the CPU processor and consider the socket of the processor because some brands do not have the capacity to accommodate most motherboard sockets. Intel can accommodate a lot of sockets and models, even the old ones, whereas AMD only has two main sockets, AM3+ and FM1.
Consider the clock speed of the CPU processor, measured in GHz or gigahertz. Despite the number of cores, the clock speed is what determines the performance of the CPU processor. The integrated graphics processor is a great factor when choosing the best CPU processor. Most new CPU processors today can support 64-bit systems as well as the old 32-bit systems. The cache of the CPU processor should also be considered, for its L1, L2 and L3 while the thermal design power or TDP is measured in watts and acts as the average power consumption of the CPU processor. Some CPU processors also have an overclocking ability for those who want to push their gaming systems to the limit (with caution, of course).

Q: What are some of the most common brands of CPU processors to look at?
A: According to PC Hardware , Intel and AMD are at the top of the line when it comes to CPU processors. Intel is the most mainstream of all CPU processors due to its wide availability and upgraded multitasking capabilities. Standard Intel processors included the Pentium Dual Core, the i3, the i5 and the i7. The i3 is an upgraded version of the dual core while the i5 is a higher version of the quad core. On the other hand, i7 processors are simply quad core processors with 8-way threading so that they can be designed for the most rigorous video editing, 3D and gaming tasks. Higher versions of the i7 can have 8 to 10 cores for the best processing power possible.
On the side of AMD, they have the A4, A6, A8 and A10. A4 has a dual core system and A6 is just an upgrade of it. The A8 is a quad core similar to the i3 and i5 and the A10 is comparable with the i7 of Intel. For those who want extra power, the Piledriver FX series from AMD is your best bet.

Wrapping It Up

Overall, the Intel Boxed Core I5-6600K 6M Processor is our best CPU processor for any gaming, video editing, music making, photo editing and the like.