When it comes to gaming hardware, GPUs or graphics cards get all the attention. Gamers often believe that as long as the computer has a GPU that’s powerful enough, their choice of CPU will have little to no consequence on gameplay performance and the quality of visuals. Is that really true or is it just another misconception? Let’s find that out first.
Gaming GPUs Need an Adequate Gaming CPU
The CPU inside a gaming PC does indeed matter, especially at higher resolutions. It’s a fact that the graphics card handles most of the load when you run a game, but the CPU is also an essential component for gaming. Graphics processors cannot properly run video games with a weak gaming CPU that is not equipped to handle its share of the heavy load.
If you end up pairing the wrong processor with your brand-new Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti, rest assured that the processor will not only bottleneck your graphics card, but it will also overheat due to the extra exertion for which it was not designed.
On top of that, if you wish to game at 1440p or 2160p resolutions, the processor will need to handle even more load than the GPU when you run your games. To make sure that you don’t end up with the wrong CPU, here’s a brief guide to help our readers make an informed choice.
Intel Core i9-12900K
If you have the budget, there is simply nothing else available right now in the consumer market that can match the 16-core, 24-thread Intel Core i9-12900K in terms of gaming performance. If you are looking to buy a gaming desktop for 4K gaming with significant future proofing, make sure it has an Intel Core i9-12900K inside.
The Legion Tower 7i (Gen 7) is one of the world’s fastest gaming PCs out right now and it’s powered by the Core i9-12900K. Check out the beast of a gaming PC directly on Lenovo.com.
Do note that the Intel i9-12900K is not just the fastest gaming processor, it’s also one of the best processors for any other task that you can possibly think of. The eight energy efficient cores themselves can be boosted up from 2.5GHz to as high as 4GHz, which is quite impressive for E-cores.
That leaves eight extremely powerful P-cores or performance cores that start a base clock speed of 3.5GHz but can easily go up as high as 5.5GHz on boosting.
Intel Core i5-12600K
A mid-range CPU has never been as powerful as the Intel Core i5-12600K is in 2022. The 10-core, 16-thread gaming CPU is the ultimate choice for budget builds, although there is nothing budget about the processors on paper and real-life performance.
With six performance cores and four energy-efficient cores, it is not difficult to decipher that this little game cruncher was designed with performance in mind. P-Cores go up as high as 4.9GHz from its base clock speed of 3.7GHz, while the E-cores range from 2.8GHz to 3.6GHz.
Honourable mention goes out to the newly launched AMD Ryzen 7000 series processor, but they are not available just yet. AMD did fall behind their Intel counter parts in the gaming CPU department this year, which happened after a long time. Nevertheless, the old Ryzen 5950x and the 5800X3D are still monster performers. If you can find one of them at a discount, these won’t let you down either.