Your CPU is typically going to be the most important component in your computer, and the CPU has the second greatest influence on your PC’s gaming performance after the graphics card. This page is a resource to help select the best CPU for gaming.

Take a look through the categories in the table of contents to the right, and figure out which is the best CPU category for you. In order to take full advantage of these chips in PC gaming, you will also need to select a balanced graphics card option. For full gaming-focused builds at different budget tiers (which recommend both CPUs and GPUs), see our primary build recommendation chart.

A note about workstation CPUs: While there are more expensive CPUs on the market than any of those listed below, such “higher-tier” chips sacrifice per-core speed in order to provide additional cores in each CPU. This strategy makes those high-core-count CPUs terrific choices for professional-grade video editingmusic production, and 3D rendering—but slightly worse choices for gaming, which currently benefits more from high single-core speeds than from the highest core counts.

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