• 10 Best CPUs for Gaming UK 2022 1
  • 10 Best CPUs for Gaming UK 2022 2
  • 10 Best CPUs for Gaming UK 2022 3
  • 10 Best CPUs for Gaming UK 2022 4
  • 10 Best CPUs for Gaming UK 2022 5

10 Best CPUs for Gaming UK 2022

When planning your next gaming PC, you'll want to make sure you have a good CPU. While your graphics card does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to running modern games, your CPU is the component that keeps everything running smoothly. Both work in conjunction with one another, so you'll want to match up your CPU and GPU to avoid "bottlenecking" your build.


We've compared the best CPUs for gaming from AMD and Intel, including both cheap, budget options and more expensive ones that are also excellent for streaming. All our picks of the top CPUs will run games, but you'll also need the recommended GPU. Whether you're building a water-cooled gaming monster or doing something a bit more budget-friendly to play Minecraft, Fortnite, or League of Legends, there's something for every build below!

This Article's Contributors

mybest Editing Team
  • Last updated: 21-04-2022
Table of Contents

Compare the Best CPUs for Gaming

For those after a quick look, here is our Top 5:


  1. Intel - Core i5-12600K for £259.98
  2. AMD - Ryzen 5 5600X for £202.41
  3. Intel - Core i9-12900K for £509.95
  4. Intel - Core i5-12400 for £179.25
  5. AMD - Ryzen 5 5600G for £192.00

For a more in-depth look at the comprehensive top 10 selection, make sure to read on to learn more about the different types of CPUs for gaming available and understand how our ranking was determined.


This article's chosen EC site price listings are reflective of its publishing date.

Image
1
Intel Core i5-12600K 1

Intel

2
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 1

AMD

3
Intel Core i9-12900K 1

Intel

4
Intel Core i5-12400 1

Intel

5
AMD Ryzen 5 5600G 1

AMD

6
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 1

AMD

7
Intel Core i7-12700KF 1

Intel

8
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 1

AMD

9
Intel Core i5-10400F 1

Intel

10
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G 1

AMD

Name

Core i5-12600K

Ryzen 5 5600X

Core i9-12900K

Core i5-12400

Ryzen 5 5600G

Ryzen 9 5950X

Core i7-12700KF

Ryzen 9 5900X

Core i5-10400F

Ryzen 7 5700G

Features

The Best Intel CPU for Gamers Who Also Use Their PC for Work

The Best AMD Option for Mid-Level, Budget-Friendly Builds, Complete With Fan Cooler

A Powerful Card for Those Investing in the Best Performance Possible

The Best Intel Option When Building on a Tight Budget

Integrated Graphics Makes This an Interesting Option for Those Without a Dedicated GPU

AMD's Powerhouse Option That Delivers Excellent Performance

A Fantastic Card for Those Looking to Game While Watching Twitch on a Second Monitor

A Powerful Performance With a Clock Speed of 4.8 GHz and 24 Threads

A Slightly Older Budget-Friendly Option for Fans of Less Resource Intensive Titles

An Impressive Option With Integrated Graphics at a Cheaper Price

Price£259.98£202.41£509.95£179.25£192.00£573.84£368.99£354.78£117.00£254.98
ChipsetIntelAMDIntelIntelAMDAMDIntelAMDIntelAMD
SocketLGA 1700AM4LGA 1700LGA 1700AM4AM4LGA 1700AM4LGA 1200AM4
Cores10 (6 / 4)616 (8 / 8)661612 (8 / 4)1268
Threads16122412123220241216
Base Clock3.7 GHz / 2.8 GHz3.7 GHz3.2 GHz / 2.4 GHz2.5 GH3.9 GHz3.4 GHz3.6 GHz / 2.7 GHz3.7 GHz2.9 GHz3.8 GHz
Boosted Clock4.9 GHz / 3.6 GHz4.6 GHz5.2 GHz / 3.9 GHz4.4 GHz4.4 GHz4.9 GHz5.0 GHz / 3.8 GHz4.8 GHz4.0 GHz4.6 GHz
Link

How to Choose a CPU for Gaming in the UK

Key Points to Consider

  1. Before You Buy, Check Motherboard Compatibility 
  2. Choose the Highest Number of Cores Possible
  3. To Determine How Fast Your CPU Is, Check the Base and Boosted Clock Speeds 

1. Check Motherboard Compatibility Because Different Chipsets Will Not Fit in the Same Sockets

1. Check Motherboard Compatibility Because Different Chipsets Will Not Fit in the Same Sockets

There are two main CPU manufacturers: AMD and Intel. Both companies have their fans, and while there are many technical differences between the chipsets, the reality is you probably won't notice a huge difference between similarly priced and specced CPUs in your day to day gaming.


An important difference to consider, however, is the compatibility with your motherboard, which can get a little complicated. Intel and AMD CPUs will not fit in the same sockets, meaning you'll need to pair up your CPU with a compatible motherboard. We've listed the socket types in our specifications, but the best way to ensure they fit together is to use PCPartPicker.


A good rule of thumb is to pick a processor, and compatible motherboard, based on the overall budget of your build. If you're aiming for a low to mid-level build, you'll get the most bang for your buck with an AMD chip and compatible motherboards. If you're after a mid to high-level machine, Intel is worth the investment, especially if you're looking to future-proof your build.


Pair your gaming CPU with a new graphics card for the best experience!

2. Choose the Highest Number of Cores and Threads Possible for a Smooth Gameplay Experience

2. Choose the Highest Number of Cores and Threads Possible for a Smooth Gameplay Experience

All modern CPUs have several cores, which is the engine or brain of the CPU itself. The earliest CPUs had just a single core that would focus on one task at a time, while modern CPUs have multiple cores to handle several different tasks simultaneously. When it comes to CPUs, the more cores, the better, and you'll want at least 6 cores for modern gaming.


When it comes to gaming, CPU cores are essential for making the game run as smoothly as possible. If you break down a modern game, it's actually lots of small tasks being constantly processed, so the more cores, the quicker the tasks are completed.


Threads are a little more difficult to describe but simply put, the more threads a core has, the quicker it can complete complex tasks. Like many other technical specifications, the higher the number of threads, the better!


Save some money on your build with a budget PC case!

3. Check the Base and Boosted Clock Speeds to Determine How Fast Your CPU Is

3. Check the Base and Boosted Clock Speeds to Determine How Fast Your CPU Is

When looking at CPUs, you'll notice something called a clock speed which measures how fast the processing cores inside your CPU are in gigahertz (GHz). Some CPUs have different types of cores with different speeds, which are often referred to as performance cores (p-cores) and efficiency cores (e-cores).


Imagine a base clock speed like a resting heart rate; this is what your CPU operates at when just ticking over and keeping your computer's background programs and services running. The boosted clock speed is the top speed your CPU can reach when running resource-intensive programs like modern games. The higher the number, the faster your CPU can process tasks, and the smoother your game will run.


Why not try a mico-build with a mini ITX case?

10 Best CPUs for Gaming in the UK

This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.

1

IntelCore i5-12600K

£259.98

ChipsetIntel
SocketLGA 1700
Cores10 (6 / 4)
Threads16
Base Clock3.7 GHz / 2.8 GHz
Boosted Clock4.9 GHz / 3.6 GHz
2

AMDRyzen 5 5600X

£202.41

ChipsetAMD
SocketAM4
Cores6
Threads12
Base Clock3.7 GHz
Boosted Clock4.6 GHz
3

IntelCore i9-12900K

£509.95

ChipsetIntel
SocketLGA 1700
Cores16 (8 / 8)
Threads 24
Base Clock3.2 GHz / 2.4 GHz
Boosted Clock5.2 GHz / 3.9 GHz
4

IntelCore i5-12400

£179.25

ChipsetIntel
SocketLGA 1700
Cores6
Threads12
Base Clock2.5 GH
Boosted Clock4.4 GHz
5

AMDRyzen 5 5600G

£192.00

ChipsetAMD
SocketAM4
Cores6
Threads12
Base Clock3.9 GHz
Boosted Clock4.4 GHz
6

AMDRyzen 9 5950X

£573.84

ChipsetAMD
SocketAM4
Cores16
Threads32
Base Clock3.4 GHz
Boosted Clock4.9 GHz
7

IntelCore i7-12700KF

£368.99

ChipsetIntel
SocketLGA 1700
Cores12 (8 / 4)
Threads20
Base Clock3.6 GHz / 2.7 GHz
Boosted Clock5.0 GHz / 3.8 GHz
8

AMDRyzen 9 5900X

£354.78

ChipsetAMD
SocketAM4
Cores12
Threads24
Base Clock3.7 GHz
Boosted Clock4.8 GHz
9

IntelCore i5-10400F

£117.00

ChipsetIntel
SocketLGA 1200
Cores6
Threads12
Base Clock2.9 GHz
Boosted Clock4.0 GHz
10

AMDRyzen 7 5700G

£254.98

ChipsetAMD
SocketAM4
Cores8
Threads16
Base Clock3.8 GHz
Boosted Clock4.6 GHz

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Written and researched by David Sexton

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