The best 10 CPUs in comparison

Which are the best CPUs of 2020?

Best CPUs of 2020 (1 - 5)
CPU comparison
Comparison winner
CPU comparison
Comparison winner
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X
Comparison winner
AMD Epyc 7702
Comparison winner
AMD Epyc 7742
Comparison winner
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X
Comparison winner
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X
Comparison winner
AMD Epyc 7702P
Comparison winner
AMD Epyc 7662
Comparison winner
AMD Epyc 7H12
Comparison winner
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
Comparison winner
AMD Epyc 7642
Image
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X
100points
AMD Epyc 7702
93points
AMD Epyc 7742
90points
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X
88points
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X
86points
AMD Epyc 7702P
83points
AMD Epyc 7662
80points
AMD Epyc 7H12
80points
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
80points
AMD Epyc 7642
77points
Best price
Best price
Summary
Summary
  • General info (68)
  • Performance (100)
  • Memory (66)
  • Features (75)
  • Benchmarks (83)
  • General info (70)
  • Performance (81)
  • Memory (80)
  • Features (75)
  • Benchmarks (79)
  • General info (69)
  • Performance (82)
  • Memory (80)
  • Features (75)
  • Benchmarks (63)
  • General info (67)
  • Performance (74)
  • Memory (66)
  • Features (75)
  • Benchmarks (78)
  • General info (67)
  • Performance (68)
  • Memory (66)
  • Features (75)
  • Benchmarks (76)
  • General info (70)
  • Performance (81)
  • Memory (80)
  • Features (75)
  • Benchmarks (50)
  • General info (65)
  • Performance (80)
  • Memory (64)
  • Features (75)
  • Benchmarks (63)
  • General info (67)
  • Performance (85)
  • Memory (64)
  • Features (75)
  • Benchmarks (0)
  • General info (82)
  • Performance (56)
  • Memory (70)
  • Features (67)
  • Benchmarks (69)
  • General info (69)
  • Performance (70)
  • Memory (80)
  • Features (75)
  • Benchmarks (51)
Pros
Pros
  • Higher Cinebench R20 (multi) result
  • Higher Cinebench R20 (single) result
  • Higher multi-core Geekbench 5 result
  • Faster Blender (bmw27) result
  • Faster CPU speed
  • Smaller semiconductor size
  • Faster Blender (bmw27) result
  • Lower TDP
  • Higher Cinebench R20 (multi) result
  • Faster Blender (bmw27) result
  • Higher Cinebench R20 (single) result
  • Higher multi-core Geekbench 5 result
  • Smaller semiconductor size
  • Higher Cinebench R20 (single) result
  • Smaller semiconductor size
  • Lower TDP
  • More memory bandwidth
  • Faster CPU speed
  • Higher Cinebench R20 (single) result
  • Smaller semiconductor size
  • Higher maximum operating temperature
  • Lower TDP
    Cons
    Cons
    • Geekbench 5 result (single)
    • Maximum memory bandwidth
    • Memory channels
    • Thermal Design Power (TDP)
    • Cinebench R20 (single) result
    • CPU speed
    • Geekbench 5 result (multi)
    • Geekbench 5 result (single)
    • Cinebench R20 (multi) result
    • Geekbench 5 result (single)
    • Maximum memory bandwidth
    • Memory channels
    • Thermal Design Power (TDP)
    • L3 cache
    • Blender (bmw27) result
    • Cinebench R20 (multi) result
    • Geekbench 5 result (single)
    • Maximum memory bandwidth
    • Memory channels
    • Thermal Design Power (TDP)
    • Cinebench R20 (single) result
    • Geekbench 5 result (multi)
    • Geekbench 5 result (single)
    • CPU speed
    • Cinebench R20 (multi) result
    • Cinebench R20 (single) result
    • CPU speed
    • Thermal Design Power (TDP)
    • Blender (bmw27) result
    • Cinebench R20 (multi) result
    • Geekbench 5 result (multi)
    • Memory channels
    • L3 cache
    • L2 cache
    • Cinebench R20 (single) result
    • L2 cache
    • CPU threads
    • CPU speed
    General info
    Semiconductor sizeSmall semiconductors provide better performance and reduced power consumption. Chipsets with a higher number of transistors, semiconductor components of electronic devices, offer more computational power. A small form factor allows more transistors to fit on a chip, therefore increasing its performance.
    Semiconductor sizeSmall semiconductors provide better performance and reduced power consumption. Chipsets with a higher number of transistors, semiconductor components of electronic devices, offer more computational power. A small form factor allows more transistors to fit on a chip, therefore increasing its performance.7nm14nm14nm7nm7nm14nmN.A.14nm7nm14nm
    CPU temperatureIf the CPU exceeds the maximum operating temperature then problems such as random resets can occur.
    CPU temperatureIf the CPU exceeds the maximum operating temperature then problems such as random resets can occur.68°CN.A.N.A.68°C68°CN.A.N.A.N.A.95°CN.A.
    Thermal Design Power (TDP)The thermal design power (TDP) is the maximum amount of power the cooling system needs to dissipate. A lower TDP typically means that it consumes less power.
    Thermal Design Power (TDP)The thermal design power (TDP) is the maximum amount of power the cooling system needs to dissipate. A lower TDP typically means that it consumes less power.280W200W225W280W280W200W225W280W105W225W
    64-bit supportA 32-bit operating system can only support up to 4GB of RAM. 64-bit allows more than 4GB, giving increased performance. It also allows you to run 64-bit apps.
    64-bit supportA 32-bit operating system can only support up to 4GB of RAM. 64-bit allows more than 4GB, giving increased performance. It also allows you to run 64-bit apps.
    PCI Express (PCIe) versionPeripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) is a high-speed interface standard for connecting components, such as graphics cards and SSDs, to a motherboard. Newer versions can support more bandwidth and deliver better performance.
    PCI Express (PCIe) versionPeripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) is a high-speed interface standard for connecting components, such as graphics cards and SSDs, to a motherboard. Newer versions can support more bandwidth and deliver better performance.4444444444
    Total score for "General info"
    Total score for "General info"
    Performance
    CPU speedThe CPU speed indicates how many processing cycles per second can be executed by a CPU, considering all of its cores (processing units). It is calculated by adding the clock rates of each core or, in the case of multi-core processors employing different microarchitectures, of each group of cores.
    CPU speedThe CPU speed indicates how many processing cycles per second can be executed by a CPU, considering all of its cores (processing units). It is calculated by adding the clock rates of each core or, in the case of multi-core processors employing different microarchitectures, of each group of cores.64 x 2.9GHz64 x 2GHz64 x 2.25GHz32 x 3.7GHz24 x 3.8GHz64 x 2GHz64 x 2GHz64 x 2.6GHz16 x 3.5GHz48 x 2.3GHz
    L2 cacheA larger L2 cache results in faster CPU and system-wide performance.
    L2 cacheA larger L2 cache results in faster CPU and system-wide performance.32MB32MB32MB16MB12MB32MB32MB32MB8.1MB24MB
    L3 cacheA larger L3 cache results in faster CPU and system-wide performance.
    L3 cacheA larger L3 cache results in faster CPU and system-wide performance.256MB256MB256MB128MB128MB256MB256MB256MB72MB256MB
    L2 coreMore data can be stored in the L2 cache for access by each core of the CPU.
    L2 coreMore data can be stored in the L2 cache for access by each core of the CPU.0.5MB/core0.5MB/core0.5MB/core0.5MB/core0.5MB/core0.5MB/core0.5MB/core0.5MB/core0.5MB/core0.5MB/core
    CPU threadsMore threads result in faster performance and better multitasking.
    CPU threadsMore threads result in faster performance and better multitasking.12812812864481281281283296
    Total score for "Performance"
    Total score for "Performance"
    Memory
    DDR memory versionDDR (Double Data Rate) memory is the most common type of RAM. Newer versions of DDR memory support higher maximum speeds and are more energy-efficient.
    DDR memory versionDDR (Double Data Rate) memory is the most common type of RAM. Newer versions of DDR memory support higher maximum speeds and are more energy-efficient.4444444444
    Maximum memory bandwidthThis is the maximum rate that data can be read from or stored into memory.
    Maximum memory bandwidthThis is the maximum rate that data can be read from or stored into memory.95.37GB/s190.7GB/s190.7GB/s95.37GB/s95.37GB/s190.7GB/s204.8GB/s190.7GB/sN.A.190.7GB/s
    Maximum memory sizeThe maximum amount of memory (RAM) supported.
    Maximum memory sizeThe maximum amount of memory (RAM) supported.N.A.4000GB4000GBN.A.N.A.4000GB4000GB4000GBN.A.4000GB
    Memory channelsMore memory channels increases the speed of data transfer between the memory and the CPU.
    Memory channelsMore memory channels increases the speed of data transfer between the memory and the CPU.4884488828
    RAM speedIt can support faster memory, which will give quicker system performance.
    RAM speedIt can support faster memory, which will give quicker system performance.3200MHz3200MHz3200MHz3200MHz3200MHz3200MHz3200MHz3200MHzN.A.3200MHz
    Total score for "Memory"
    Total score for "Memory"
    Features
    Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)AES is used to speed up encryption and decryption.
    Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)AES is used to speed up encryption and decryption.
    Dynamic frequency scalingDynamic frequency scaling is a technology that allows the processor to conserve power and reduce noise when it is under a light load.
    Dynamic frequency scalingDynamic frequency scaling is a technology that allows the processor to conserve power and reduce noise when it is under a light load.
    MultithreadingMultithreading technology (such as Intel's Hyperthreading or AMD's Simultaneous Multithreading) provides increased performance by splitting each of the processor's physical cores into virtual cores, also known as threads. This way, each core can run two instruction streams at once.
    MultithreadingMultithreading technology (such as Intel's Hyperthreading or AMD's Simultaneous Multithreading) provides increased performance by splitting each of the processor's physical cores into virtual cores, also known as threads. This way, each core can run two instruction streams at once.
    SSE versionSSE is used to speed up multimedia tasks such as editing an image or adjusting audio volume. Each new version contains new instructions and improvements.
    SSE versionSSE is used to speed up multimedia tasks such as editing an image or adjusting audio volume. Each new version contains new instructions and improvements.4.24.24.24.24.24.24.24.24.24.2
    Hardware-assisted virtualizationIt is easier to obtain better performance when using virtualization if it is hardware-assisted.
    Hardware-assisted virtualizationIt is easier to obtain better performance when using virtualization if it is hardware-assisted.
    Total score for "Features"
    Total score for "Features"
    Benchmarks
    Blender (bmw27) resultThe Blender (bmw27) benchmark measures the performance of a processor by rendering a 3D scene. More powerful processors can render the scene in less time.
    Blender (bmw27) resultThe Blender (bmw27) benchmark measures the performance of a processor by rendering a 3D scene. More powerful processors can render the scene in less time.30seconds34.5seconds33.9seconds47.4seconds60.4secondsN.A.N.A.N.A.90.8secondsN.A.
    Cinebench R20 (multi) resultCinebench R20 is a benchmark tool that measures a CPU's multi-core performance by rendering a 3D scene.
    Cinebench R20 (multi) resultCinebench R20 is a benchmark tool that measures a CPU's multi-core performance by rendering a 3D scene.24763188572064417444135521885718203N.A.9148N.A.
    Cinebench R20 (single) resultCinebench R20 is a benchmark tool that measures a CPU's single-core performance by rendering a 3D scene.
    Cinebench R20 (single) resultCinebench R20 is a benchmark tool that measures a CPU's single-core performance by rendering a 3D scene.495391398509509391386N.A.531377
    Geekbench 5 result (multi)Geekbench 5 is a cross-platform benchmark that measures a processor's multi-core performance. (Source: Primate Labs, 2020)
    Geekbench 5 result (multi)Geekbench 5 is a cross-platform benchmark that measures a processor's multi-core performance. (Source: Primate Labs, 2020)23454N.A.10812224441991611436N.A.N.A.14163N.A.
    Geekbench 5 result (single)Geekbench 5 is a cross-platform benchmark that measures a processor's single-core performance. (Source: Primate Labs, 2020)
    Geekbench 5 result (single)Geekbench 5 is a cross-platform benchmark that measures a processor's single-core performance. (Source: Primate Labs, 2020)1201N.A.78912611268779N.A.N.A.1295N.A.
    Total score for "Benchmarks"
    Total score for "Benchmarks"

    How to choose a CPU for your computer

    Whether it's a high-end gaming computer, an office workstation, or a PC for general use, each desktop build has its own set of requirements, which will determine what components you need. Before searching for a CPU for your PC, you should think about what type of software you are going to use frequently.

    CPU workloads

    There are two types of workloads in the technical sense: single-threaded and multi-threaded workloads.

    Single-threaded workloads are simple tasks, like web browsing or text editing, which do not require a lot of processing power. Multi-threaded workloads involve heavier types of processing, for example, video editing and gaming. These types of workloads require a powerful processor, coupled with a significant amount of RAM.

    The number of cores and the clock speed are the two primary indicators of a CPU's power. A CPU core receives instructions and performs calculations (operations) accordingly. Clock speed, also called clock rate, refers to the frequency at which one core is running, determining how fast the processing unit executes instructions.

    Together, they give the total clock speed or CPU speed, about which you can read in detail here. With more cores, the CPU's performance increases, as each core is being utilized to process the workload.

    CPU socket

    You also have to think about the motherboard's socket whenever you're looking to buy a new chip, as CPUs have various sizes, and the CPU must fit on the motherboard. AMD and Intel have a lot of different sockets for almost every new generation of CPUs. Taking into account that Intel CPUs became more and more popular, chances are that you'll find more motherboards compatible with Intel CPUs.

    AMD vs. Intel

    Brand wars are frequent in the tech industry, and when it comes to CPUs, there are only two giants: AMD and Intel. AMD CPUs operate efficiently and usually have a lower price tag. For example, AMD Sempron and Athlon dual-core processors are affordable, starting at 30$, and perform very well on PCs running home applications.

    However, AMD processors do get hotter than Intel chips, and additional cooling solutions may have to be implemented. Intel CPUs are a bit more expensive, but they tend to outperform the competition, especially when it comes to multi-threaded workloads. Intel CPUs are power efficient and generate less heat. For this reason, many portable computers employ Intel CPUs.

    CPU performance

    CPUs use multiple cores to increase the overall speed by running numerous instructions simultaneously. Knowing the type of workload will help you determine what kind of processor you'll need.

    For a PC running general-purpose applications, a dual-core processor will be enough, while for more complex workloads, you'll probably need a quad-core. The more cores a CPU has, the pricier it is. More cores translate to faster and better processing for heavy computing tasks, such as 3D modeling, photo and video editing, big data processing.

    Generally, a quad-core processor would be the right choice if you use your computer for various tasks. For example, the Intel Core i5 quad-core processors provide excellent performance for running common applications and for gaming. However, Intel i7 processors shine when complex computing is involved, such as running 3D modeling applications or playing games with 4K HDR graphics, and this is mainly because of Intel's hyperthreading technology.

    Hyperthreading doubles the logical cores or thread count of a processor. By duplicating the threads of one core, execution resources are used efficiently, and the processing speed increases.

    AMD chips, though cheaper, are perfectly acceptable for everyday usage, and high-end processors can deliver outstanding performance, but they do not have hyperthreading. AMD does compensate with high clock speeds and more cores packed into a single chip.

    CPU benchmark

    While CPU benchmark is a component of CPU performance, it's worth mentioning separately as it can help you determine which CPU is the best for your needs. What is a CPU benchmark? It's a score that uses baseline measurements to compare the performance of a CPU against others. In essence, they provide companies and users with a standardized way to engage in CPU comparison.

    UserBenchmark, Geekbench, and Cinebench, and PassMark are all excellent CPU benchmarks to look at when comparing CPUs. While you'll encounter various measurements, it's especially helpful to look at the difference between the single-core score and the multi-core score.

    Devices and actions that only require a single-core, including playing games and working with basic programs, will rely more on the single-core score. For heavily-threaded games, you'll need to look for a CPU that has a higher multi-core score to ensure that the processor can support the workload.

    Integrated graphics

    Sometimes, the graphics processing unit (GPU) is integrated into the processor. For most entry-level desktop PCs, CPUs that have integrated graphics are good enough. But for designers, content creators, and IT solutions, a graphics module embedded on the CPU does not rise to the challenge. Thus, a dedicated GPU is necessary for professionals. Our guide for graphics cards gives helpful tips for choosing a GPU.

    By
    | Updated on
    This page is currently only available in English.