CPU Tier List 2020 – CPU Hierarchy

cpu tier list

Intel and AMD are giving each other a tough time by releasing powerful gaming and workstation processors every year. There you need to know that there is a difference between gaming and workstation processors, and they can’t be used in replacement of each other. You might know that the CPU is the primary building block of every gaming computer, and we can’t compromise on it. In this processor hierarchy, we have divided the top known processors according to their price and performance, and I’m sure you will find this CPU tier list helpful while buying a new processor.

Knowing the requirements makes the buying process of computer hardware very straightforward, but if you don’t, then it may be challenging. Also, you have to check a couple of factors in the processor, as not every CPU performs the same in games and applications. In this processor tier list, you will find the performance of processors in the same category identical, but their specifications may vary. These CPU hierarchy charts are neither specific to gaming nor the multi-threaded applications, but we’ve made an overall list for every kind of user.


Tier 1: Workstation Processors

Tier 1 - Workstation Processors

On top of the list, we got some potent computer processors that offer exceptional performance in server related work. There I would like to mention that AMD Threadripper processors perform well in multi-threaded applications while the Intel processes are suitable for raw gaming performance. These processors have advantages over those mentioned in other tiers, but you might need to give them more power with the performance. The primary use of these processors is in the servers as they can’t give you maximum performance in games and consider this before buying.

Some dedicated people have reviewed the AMD Threaripper processors, and you need to know that these processors can easily beat the Intel i9 9900k in multi-threading performance. Rendering 3D models and video editing can be easily done with these gaming beasts but consider getting something typically made. Some of the models in this list got more than twenty cores, and we all know this amount of power is not required for gaming machines. Those users who have to do work other than gaming and need high performance can consider these processors.

The entries on this intel CPU tier list are some high-end models of the Intel Core i9 series and, yes, the high-end CPUs. I was thinking of including the i9 9900k too in this list, but because these processors are powerful enough compared to that eight cores and sixteen threads processor, I skipped it for the next tier. The least cores and threads in this tier are eight and twelve, while the most are thirty-two and sixty-four so we can imagine these beasts’ performance. You have to note that these processors work on sockets for the workstations, not the normal one (LGA 1151).

CompanyCPU ModelNumber of Physical & Logical CoresBase Clock SpeedBoost Clock SpeedTDPCPU Socket
IntelIntel Xeon W 3175X26 – 563.1 GHz         4.30 GHz  255 WLGA 3647
IntelIntel Core i9 7980XE10 – 20         3.30 GHz  4.30 GHz  165 WLGA 2066
IntelIntel Core i9 7960X12 – 24         2.90 GHz  4.30 GHz  165 WLGA 2066
IntelIntel Core i9 7940X14 – 28         3.10 GHz  4.20 GHz  165 WLGA 2066
IntelIntel Core i9 7920X16 – 32         2.80 GHz  4.20 GHz  140 WLGA 2066
IntelIntel Core i9 7900X18 – 362.60 GHz  4.20 GHz  140 WLGA 2066
IntelIntel Core i9 9980XE18 – 363.0 GHz         4.4 GHz         165 W  LGA 2066
AMDRyzen Threadripper 1900X8 – 163.8 GHz         4.00 GHz  180 WTR4
AMDRyzen Threadripper 1920X12 – 243.5 GHz         4.00 GHz  180 W  TR4  
AMDRyzen Threadripper 1950X16 – 323.4 GHz         4.00 GHz  180 WTR4
AMDRyzen Threadripper 2920 WX    12 – 243.5 GHz         4.3 GHz         180 WTR4
AMDRyzen Threadripper 2950 WX    16 – 323.5 GHz         4.4 GHz         180 WTR4
AMDRyzen Threadripper 2970 WX    24 – 483.0 GHz         4.2 GHz         250 WTR4
AMDRyzen Threadripper 2990 WX    32 – 643.0 GHz         4.2 GHz         250 WTR4

Tier 2: High-End Gaming

Tier 2: High-End Gaming

The next processors on our list are the high-end gaming choices, which enthusiasts consider for their builds. This list includes some mainstream processors and some flagship models, and we’ve combined all of them there. If you’re looking for gaming performance, consider any processor from this list according to your budget and gaming needs. Along with gaming, you can also use these processors for some side work, including streaming and 3D rendering. The sockets used by these processors are the most common ones in the market, including the LGA 1151 and AM4.

All these processors’ performance is no budget high enough, and pairing them with any good graphics card can give you excellent frame rates. The core count of these processors starts from four and eight, and it goes up to sixteen and thirty-two cores and threads, respectively. You need to know about these processors if you consider gaming and stream, the best choice you can get is from AMD as they perform well in multi-threading while for pure gaming, Intel has the game. You may notice in this tier that Ryzen and Intel i7 processors offer the same cores and clock speeds, but their performance might differ.

As we already know that Intel cut off the Hyperthreading from some of their mainstream, and you will see this in the i9 9900k and some other CPUs. For AMD processors from AMD CPU tier list, you will see simultaneous Multi-Threading, which is the same as Intel Hyper-Threading technology. We don’t have to worry about the Hyperthreading cut off because Intel has increased the physical cores so that they will handle the applications very well. The clock speed of these processors is reasonable, and with any aftermarket cooler, you can easily hit a 5 GHz figure with this.

CompanyCPU ModelNumber of Physical & Logical CoresBase Clock SpeedBoost Clock SpeedTDPCPU Socket
IntelIntel Core i7 6700T         4 – 8  2.80 GHz         3.60 GHz         35 W    LGA 1151
IntelIntel Core i7 6700 4 – 8  3.40 GHz         4.00 GHz         65 W    LGA 1151
IntelIntel Core i7 6700K         4 – 8  4.00GHz         4.20 GHz         91 W    LGA 1151
IntelIntel Core i7 6800K         6 – 123.40 GHz         3.60 GHz         140 W    LGA 2011-3    
IntelIntel Core i7 6850K         6 – 123.60 GHz         3.80 GHz         140 W    LGA 2011-3    
IntelIntel Core i7 6900K         8 – 163.20 GHz         3.70 GHz         140 W    LGA 2011-3    
IntelIntel Core i7 7700T         4 – 8  2.90 GHz         3.80 GHz         35 W    LGA 1151
IntelIntel Core i7 7700 4 – 8  3.60 GHz         4.20 GHz         65 W    LGA 1151
IntelIntel Core i7 7700K         4 – 8  4.20 GHz         4.5 GHz         91 W  LGA 1151
IntelIntel Core i7 7740X         4 – 8  4.30 GHz         4.5 GHz         112 W  LGA 2066
IntelIntel Core i7 6950X         10 – 20         3.00 GHz         3.50 GHz         140 W    LGA 2011-3    
IntelIntel Core i7 7800X         6 – 123.50GHz         4.00 GHz         140 W    LGA 2066
IntelIntel Core i7 7820X         8 – 163.60 GHz         4.30 GHz         140 W    LGA 2066
IntelIntel Core i7 8700 6 – 123.20 GHz         4.60 GHz         65 W    LGA 1151
IntelIntel Core i7 8700K         6 – 123.70 GHz         4.70 GHz         95 W    LGA 1151
IntelIntel Core i7 9700K         8 – 8  3.60 GHz         4.90 GHz         95 W    LGA 1151
IntelIntel Core i9 9900K         8 – 16  3.60 GHz         5.00 GHz         95 W    LGA 1151
AMDRyzen 7 1700 8 – 163.00 GHz         3.70 GHz         65 W    AM4
AMDRyzen 7 Pro 1700         8 – 163.00 GHz         3.70 GHz         65 WAM4
AMDRyzen 7 1700X         8 – 163.40 GHz         3.80 GHz         95 WAM4
AMDRyzen 7 Pro 1700X         8 – 163.40 GHz         3.80 GHz         95 WAM4
AMDRyzen 7 1800X         8 – 163.60 GHz         4.00 GHz         95 W  AM4
AMDRyzen 7 2700 8 – 163.20 GHz         4.30 GHz         65 WAM4
AMDRyzen 7 2700X         8 – 163.70 GHz         4.30 GHz         105 WAM4
AMDRyzen 7 3700X         8 – 163.60 GHz         4.40 GHz         65 WAM4
AMDRyzen 7 3800X         8 – 163.90 GHz         4.50 GHz         105 WAM4
AMDRyzen 9 3900X         12 – 24         3.80 GHz         4.60 GHz         105 WAM4
AMDRyzen 9 3950X         16 – 32         3.50 GHz         4.70 GHz         105 WAM4

Tier 3: Mid Range Gaming

Tier 3: Mid Range Gaming

For mid-range gaming, we don’t need much power, and that’s why we’ve picked up some of the flagship models from the old generation and some mainstream CPUs from the new generation. These processors don’t offer high numbers of cores and threads, but still, for mid-range gaming, they offer the best value for their price. As we know, older CPUs from the Intel i7 series are cheap these days to consider them for mid-range gaming. With a little overclocking, we can get exceptional performance from these processors for a very affordable price.

The least number of cores in these processors are four and eight, while the highest number is six and twelve cores and threads. We don’t consider i5 9400f or Ryzen 2600 like processors for this tier because they are a bit weak compared to the entries from the first generation of Ryzen 7 processors. Intel Core i7 4th generation processors and Ryzen 7 first gen are comparable in some ways as they offer almost the same performance. But the thing that makes them different from each other is that the fourth generation is a bit old these days.

Also, we need to know that Ryzen uses the DDR4 memory while the 4th generation of Intel uses the DDR3 memory. That makes a massive difference in these processors, and it may limit the future upgrade options for you. So take care of these few things before buying any processor for your upcoming mid-range build. The TDP of these processors is not much high, and there you will get an advantage of a bundled CPU cooler with the Ryzen processors, which is good as far as you don’t overclock these processors.

CompanyCPU ModelNumber of Physical & Logical CoresBase Clock SpeedBoost Clock SpeedTDPCPU Socket
IntelIntel Core i7 4770 4 – 8  3.40 GHz         3.90 GHz         84 WLGA 1150
IntelIntel Core i7 4770K         4 – 8  3.50 GHz         3.90 GHz         84 W    LGA 1150
IntelIntel Core i7 4770S         4 – 8  3.10 GHz         3.90 GHz         65 W    LGA 1150
IntelIntel Core i7 4770T4 – 8  2.50 GHz         3.70 GHz         45 W    LGA 1150
IntelIntel Core i7 4770R         4 – 8  3.20 GHz         3.90 GHz         65 W    BGA 1364  
IntelIntel Core i7 4771 4 – 8  3.50 GHz         3.90 GHz         84 W    LGA 1150
IntelIntel Core i7 4785T         4 – 8  2.20 GHz         3.2 GHz         35 W      LGA 1150    
IntelIntel Core i7 4790 4 – 8  3.60 GHz         4.00 GHz         84 W      LGA 1150    
IntelIntel Core i7 4790T         4 – 8  2.70 GHz         3.90 GHz         45 W      LGA 1150    
IntelIntel Core i7 4790K         4 – 8  4.00 GHz         4.40 GHz         88 W  LGA 1150    
IntelIntel Core i7 4820K         4 – 8  3.70 GHz         3.90 GHz         130 W    LGA 2011
IntelIntel Core i7 4930K         6 – 123.40 GHz         3.90 GHz         130 W  LGA 2011
IntelIntel Core i7 4960X         6 – 123.60 GHz         4.00 GHz         130 W    LGA 2011
AMD Ryzen 5 1400 4 – 8  3.20 GHz         3.40 GHz         65 WAM4
AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 1500         4 – 8  3.50 GHz         3.70 GHz         65 W    AM4
AMD Ryzen 5 1500X         4 – 8  3.50 GHz         3.70 GHz         65 WAM4
AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 1600         6 – 123.20 GHz         3.60 GHz         65 WAM4
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 6 – 123.20 GHz         3.60 GHz         65 WAM4
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X         6 – 123.60 GHz         4.00 GHz         95 WAM4
AMD Ryzen 5 2400G         4 – 8  3.60 GHz         3.90 GHz         65 WAM4
AMD Ryzen 5 3400G         4 – 8  4.20 GHz         3.70 GHz         65 WAM4
AMD Ryzen 5 2600 6 – 123.40 GHz         3.90 GHz         65 WAM4
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X         6 – 123.60 GHz         4.20 GHz         95 WAM4
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6 – 123.60 GHz         4.20 GHz         65 WAM4
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X         6 – 123.80 GHz         4.40 GHz         95WAM4

Tier 4: Budget Gaming CPUs

Tier 4 Budget Gaming CPUs

The budget range of processors includes some entries from the Intel Core i3, i5, and Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 processors. These processes are okay as long as you don’t prefer high resolutions and in-game settings, but make sure that you are using some graphics card that matches these processors’ performance and doesn’t bottleneck them. Usually, these processors come with two cores and two threads, while the higher number of cores you can see in this tier are six, which are useful in any budget gaming processor. The TDP of these processors is not too high, and the Intel stock cooler can easily handle them.

The clock speed of these processors is not too high, but some support is overclocking, and you can hit reasonable clock rates with them. The budget gaming processors don’t support side applications like streaming and gaming, as they can barely run games these days. You have to compromise on a few things like resolutions and settings in the latest titles, but if you prefer to play Esport games, only these processors are useful. The sockets we need for these processors are very common, and they can be efficiently run on the LGA 1151 socket.

I want to mention these processors don’t expect something more than average with these processors.  The high-end models in this tier list are great enough, and they can be used for modern games and applications. Some of the processors in this list also don’t support boost clocks.

CompanyCPU ModelNumber of Physical & Logical CoresBase Clock SpeedBoost Clock SpeedTDPCPU Socket
IntelIntel Core i3 7100         2 – 4  3.90 GHz         NA51 W    LGA 2011-3    
IntelIntel Core i3 7100T         2 – 4  3.40 GHz         NA35 W    LGA 2011-3    
IntelIntel Core i3 7101TE         2-  4  3.40 GHz         NA35 W  LGA1151    
IntelIntel Core i3 7101E         2 – 4  3.90 GHz         NA54 W    LGA1151    
IntelIntel Core i3 7300T         2 – 4  3.50 GHz         NA35 W    LGA1151    
IntelIntel Core i3 7300         2 – 4  4.00 GHz         NA51 W    LGA1151    
IntelIntel Core i3 7320         2 – 4  4.10 GHz         NA51 W  LGA1151    
IntelIntel Core i3 7350K         4 – 4  4.20 GHz         NA60 W  LGA1151    
IntelIntel Core i3 8100         4 – 4  3.60 GHz         NA65 W    LGA1151    
IntelIntel Core i3 8350K         4 – 4  4.00 GHz         4.50 GHz         91 W    LGA1151    
AMDRyzen 3 1200 4 – 4  3.10 GHz         3.40 GHz         65 WAM4    
AMDRyzen 3 Pro 1200         4 – 4  3.10 GHz         3.40 GHz         65 W    AM4    
AMDRyzen 3 Pro 1300         4 – 4  3.50 GHz         3.70 GHz         65 WAM4    
AMDRyzen 3 1300X         4 – 4  3.50 GHz         3.70 GHz         65 WAM4    
AMDRyzen 3 2200G         4 – 4  3.50 GHz         3.70 GHz         65 W  AM4  
AMDRyzen 3 3200G         4 – 4  4.00 GHz         3.60 GHz         65WAM4    

Tier 5: Entry Level Processors

Tier 5 Entry Level Processors

In the end, we got the entry-level processors, which can be used for fundamental work, and they are not recommended for AAA gaming. These processors serve fundamental features, and they don’t offer performance more than average. However, the number of cores and threads are more than the Mid-range processors. The socket used for these processors is the LGA  1151, which you know is the most commonly used one. Entry-level processors are not specific for gaming; instead, their primary use is in offices and professional work. So hold your horses and let’s check out what’s right for us in these processors.

The number of cores in these processors starts from two while it goes up to six, which is useful if you want to do regular gaming. Overclocking is not possible in these processors as in Intel, it can only be done with unlocked processors, and k series processors got unlocked multipliers from the factory. While some of the processors in this series also offer internal graphics cards, which is a plus point for those who don’t like to buy an external graphics card. Some processors from the AMD FX series are listed in this tier, which you know is one of the best processors in their time.

CompanyCPU ModelNumber of Physical & Logical CoresBase Clock SpeedBoost Clock SpeedTDPCPU Socket
IntelIntel Pentium G G4400         4 – 8  3.30 GHz         NA54 W    LGA 1151    
IntelIntel Pentium G G4400T4 – 8  2.90 GHz         NA35 W    LGA 1151
IntelIntel Pentium G G4500         6 – 123.50 GHz         NA51 W    LGA 1151
IntelIntel Pentium G G4500T6 – 123.00 GHz         NA35 W    LGA 1151
IntelIntel Pentium G G4520         8 – 163.60 GHz         NA51 W    LGA 1151
IntelIntel Pentium G G4560         2 – 4  3.50 GHz         NA54 W    LGA 1151
IntelIntel Pentium G G4560T2 – 4  2.90 GHz         NA35 W    LGA 1151
IntelIntel Pentium G G4600         2 – 4  3.60 GHz         NA51 W    LGA 1151
IntelIntel Pentium G G4600T2 – 43.00 GHz         NA35 W    LGA 1151
IntelIntel Pentium G G4620         2 – 4  3.70 GHz         NA51 W    LGA 1151
AMDAMD FX-41004 – 4  3.60GHz         3.80 GHz         95W    AM3 +    
AMDAMD FX-41304 – 4  3.80 GHz         3.90 GHz         125WAM3 +  
AMDAMD FX-43004 – 4  3.80 GHz         4.00 GHz         95WAM3 +  
AMDAMD FX-43204 – 4  4.00 GHz         4.10 GHz         95WAM3 +  
AMDAMD FX-43504 – 4  4.20 GHz         4.30 GHz         125WAM3 +  
AMDAMD FX 6100 6 – 6  3.30 GHz         3.90 GHz         95WAM3 +  
AMDAMD FX-62006 – 6  3.80 GHz         4.10 GHz         125WAM3 +  
AMDAMD FX-63006 – 6  3.50 GHz         3.80 GHz         95W  AM3 +  
AMDAMD FX-63506 – 6  3.90 GHz         4.20 GHz         125WAM3 +

Conclusion

Every processor in the market has its specific use, and we can’t use a gaming processor for server type work and server processor for gaming. We’ve made a processor hierarchy where all of the processors are categorized so that users will easily get the best options for them if they know their requirements. These lists include the best value flagship and mainstream processors, including the Ryzen 7 2700x and the Intel Core i9 9900k, which offers the best overclocking potential and power in games. Check out the processors on this list, select the best one according to your budget, and get it for your upcoming build.


Q/A

What are the best gaming processors in 2020?

The computer processors are getting more and more powerful with the time, and their number of cores and threads are increasing with every new processor coming. The best flagship processor we can get for gaming in 2020 is the i9 10900k and the i9 9900k, and from AMD, it’s Ryzen 7 3700x, and Ryzen 7 3800x and both of them offer the best performance for their price.

How to get the best value processor?

The best value processor is the one that offers the performance we need for the price we are paying. We can’t use gaming processors for professional work and vice versa, so we have to look at a couple of things, including the number of cores and threads and much more. So always check the detailed specifications of the processor before buying it for your gaming rig.

Also Read:

PSU Tier List 2020 – PSU Hierarchy

GPU Tier List 2020- A Hierarchical Order

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