With both Intel and AMD rolling out new processors in 2023, you might be wondering which one to choose. In order to figure out which processor best fits your needs, you’ll want to consider the following: how powerful of a processor you need, how much you’re willing to spend, and whether or not your processor will need to be upgraded in the future. If you’re thinking about purchasing one of the best processors of 2023 and don’t know where to start, we’ve got your back with this guide on the top three products from Intel and AMD.
What processor do I need for my computer?
The answer, unfortunately, isn’t as simple as saying a certain number or type will work for every PC. A processor is just one part of a PC’s system—and what makes it powerful isn’t just how fast it can process information but also how quickly that info gets to and from storage, which is why some chips score better than others even though they don’t technically have more computing power. To determine your best processor for your needs, you should look at all of these factors: CPU cores and clock speed, cache memory size and speed, integrated graphics capabilities (if applicable), RAM capacity and speed. Then there’s price, which varies wildly depending on whether you’re looking for an entry-level chip or a high-end model. Here are our picks for best processors in 2023.
Best budget CPU
The best budget CPU for your PC is a simple one: Intel’s $50 Pentium Gold G5600. This dual-core, four-thread processor has integrated graphics and comes unlocked so you can overclock it. Best of all, it only needs 35W, so it runs cool and won’t suck up too much energy. It also includes a 3MB cache and support for Intel’s Optane Memory to accelerate your storage performance even further if you have an Optane M.2 drive in your system already. And if you don’t have an Optane drive on hand, consider picking up Samsung’s 250GB 970 Evo SSD to get started.
Best mid-range CPU: If you want to spend more money on a faster processor, AMD’s Ryzen 5 2600X is easily our top pick. At $200 (as of May 15), it offers six cores and 12 threads with simultaneous multi-threading (SMT) support that makes light work of multitasking. Its base clock speed is just shy of 4GHz with a boost speed of 4.2GHz—faster than any Intel Core i5 or i7 chip we’ve tested—and its included Wraith Spire cooler keeps things nice and quiet while staying surprisingly cool under load.
Best mid-range processor
The best processors for people who want good performance at a reasonable price are from Intel’s 8th generation of chips. At $240, there’s still an option for a six-core chip (Intel Core i7-8700K), but if you want less expensive options in your new PC, then we recommend any one of three Intel Core i5 chips that start at around $160. These include 6 cores with HyperThreading support (the ability to use 12 threads simultaneously) and they’re more than enough CPU power for most tasks except gaming.
The best value is probably the Intel Core i5-8400, which offers solid performance and comes with 6 physical cores—something you won’t find on AMD’s CPUs under $300. It’s also worth noting that Intel has announced its 9th generation CPUs, and those will be available in October 2018. They should offer slightly better performance while using less energy, though it remains to be seen how much of a difference these new chips will make. The best AMD processor right now is its Ryzen 5 2600X, which costs about $200. This CPU has 6 physical cores and 12 logical ones thanks to simultaneous multi-threading (SMT). It outperforms every other processor out there when it comes to multithreaded applications such as video encoding or 3D rendering.
Best high end processor
If you’re looking for speed, then high-end CPUs are your best bet. These processors are designed for individuals and businesses that need top-of-the-line performance. High-end processors have multiple cores and many threads, which allow them to handle heavy workloads without any issues or lag time. The best high-end processor on our list comes from AMD, but there are a couple of others in contention as well; a lower price tag and massive cache means Intel’s newer processor is worth a look.
Whichever CPU you choose, be prepared to shell out some cash; they’re all upwards of $1,000 USD at launch with an expected retail price around $1,500 USD. This is what happens when you want maximum power! Best mid range processor: The mid-range processors don’t offer quite as much power as their higher end counterparts, but they do come at a significantly lower cost.
Mid-range processors are often more than enough for most users who aren’t running extremely resource-intensive programs like video editing software or photo manipulation software. Best of all, these new chips will run on existing hardware so if you don’t want to upgrade your computer just yet, it’s not necessary.