The best 10 CPUs in comparison

Which are the best CPUs of 2019?

Best CPUs of 2019 (1 - 5)
CPU comparison
Comparison winner
CPU comparison
Comparison winner
Intel Core i7-4770K
Comparison winner
Intel Core i7-3770K
Comparison winner
AMD A6-7480
Comparison winner
Intel Core i7-4960X
Comparison winner
Intel Core i7-3960X
Comparison winner
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X
Comparison winner
Intel Core i7-3930K
Comparison winner
Intel Core i7-7700K
Comparison winner
Intel Core i9-9900K
Comparison winner
Intel Core i7-4790K
Image
Intel Core i7-4770K
100points
Intel Core i7-3770K
95points
AMD A6-7480
92points
Intel Core i7-4960X
90points
Intel Core i7-3960X
90points
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X
85points
Intel Core i7-3930K
84points
Intel Core i7-7700K
84points
Intel Core i9-9900K
84points
Intel Core i7-4790K
83points
Best price
Best price
Summary
Summary
  • General info (73)
  • Performance (44)
  • Memory (16)
  • Features (92)
  • Benchmarks (78)
  • General info (70)
  • Performance (44)
  • Memory (16)
  • Features (85)
  • Benchmarks (70)
  • General info (100)
  • Performance (41)
  • Memory (24)
  • Features (100)
  • Benchmarks (0)
  • General info (57)
  • Performance (26)
  • Memory (22)
  • Features (69)
  • Benchmarks (82)
  • General info (40)
  • Performance (45)
  • Memory (20)
  • Features (62)
  • Benchmarks (84)
  • General info (57)
  • Performance (84)
  • Memory (63)
  • Features (62)
  • Benchmarks (0)
  • General info (40)
  • Performance (43)
  • Memory (20)
  • Features (62)
  • Benchmarks (74)
  • General info (82)
  • Performance (46)
  • Memory (27)
  • Features (92)
  • Benchmarks (50)
  • General info (82)
  • Performance (47)
  • Memory (29)
  • Features (77)
  • Benchmarks (90)
  • General info (74)
  • Performance (48)
  • Memory (16)
  • Features (92)
  • Benchmarks (73)
Pros
Pros
  • Higher SysMark 2012 result
  • Faster GPU clock speed
  • Higher ram speed
  • Faster GPU clock speed
  • Lower TDP
  • Newer version of DirectX
  • TrustZone
  • Faster CPU speed
  • More memory bandwidth
  • Higher PassMark result
  • More memory channels
  • Higher Geekbench result (multi-core)
  • Higher Cinebench 10 result
  • Faster CPU speed
  • More memory bandwidth
  • More memory channels
  • Higher Cinebench 10 result
  • Higher SysMark 2012 result
  • Faster CPU speed
  • Higher ram speed
  • Bigger L2 cache
  • More memory bandwidth
  • Bigger L3 cache
  • More memory channels
  • More memory bandwidth
  • More memory channels
  • Higher ram speed
  • Higher PassMark result (single)
  • Smaller semiconductor size
  • Newer version of DirectX
  • Faster bus transfer rate
  • Faster CPU speed
  • Higher ram speed
  • Bigger L2 cache
  • Higher PassMark result
  • Higher PassMark result (single)
  • Larger maximum memory size
  • Higher PassMark result (single)
Cons
Cons
  • L1 cache
  • L2 cache
  • L3 cache
  • CPU threads
  • Thermal Design Power (TDP)
  • RAM speed
  • Cinebench 10 result
  • CPU threads
  • DirectX version
  • Geekbench result
  • L1 cache
  • L2 cache
  • Hyper-threading technology
  • CPU threads
  • L3 cache
  • CPU speed
  • Semiconductor size
  • Thermal Design Power (TDP)
  • CPU threads
  • L1 cache
  • L3 cache
  • PassMark result (single)
  • Thermal Design Power (TDP)
  • CPU threads
  • DirectX version
  • L1 cache
  • L3 cache
  • PassMark result (single)
  • Thermal Design Power (TDP)
  • Dynamic frequency scaling
  • Hyper-threading technology
  • Thermal Design Power (TDP)
  • CPU threads
  • DirectX version
  • Geekbench result
  • L1 cache
  • L3 cache
  • Geekbench result
  • PassMark result
  • L3 cache
  • L2 cache
  • L1 cache
  • Maximum memory bandwidth
  • Thermal Design Power (TDP)
  • L1 cache
  • CPU threads
  • CPU threads
  • CPU speed
  • Thermal Design Power (TDP)
  • RAM speed
  • Maximum memory bandwidth
  • L1 cache
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.22nm22nm28nm22nm32nm7nm32nm14nm14nm22nm
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.84W77W65W130W130W280W130W91W95W88W
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.
GPU clock speedThe graphics processing unit (GPU) has a higher clock speed.
GPU clock speedThe graphics processing unit (GPU) has a higher clock speed.350MHz650MHz800MHzN.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.350MHz350MHz350MHz
DirectX versionDirectX is used in games, with newer versions supporting better graphics.
DirectX versionDirectX is used in games, with newer versions supporting better graphics.11.11112N.A.10.1N.A.10.11212N.A.
Total score for "General info"
Total score for "General info"
Performance
CPU speed
CPU speed4 x 3.5GHz4 x 3.5GHz2 x 3.5GHz6 x 3.6GHz6 x 3.3GHz32 x 3.7GHz6 x 3.2GHz4 x 4.2GHz8 x 3.6GHz4 x 4GHz
L1 cacheA larger L1 cache results in faster CPU and system-wide performance.
L1 cacheA larger L1 cache results in faster CPU and system-wide performance.256KB256KBN.A.384KB384KB3000KB384KB256KB512KB256KB
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.1MB1MBN.A.1.5MB1.5MB16MB1.5MB1MB2MB1MB
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.8MB8MB1MB15MB15MB128MB12MB8MB16MB8MB
CPU threadsMore threads result in faster performance and better multitasking.
CPU threadsMore threads result in faster performance and better multitasking.882121264128168
Total score for "Performance"
Total score for "Performance"
Memory
RAM speedIt can support faster memory, which will give quicker system performance.
RAM speedIt can support faster memory, which will give quicker system performance.1600MHz1600MHz2133MHz1866MHz1600MHz3200MHz1600MHz2400MHz2666MHz1600MHz
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.2224444222
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.25.6GB/s25.6GB/sN.A.59.7GB/s51.2GB/s95.37GB/s51.2GB/s38.4GB/s41.6GB/s25.6GB/s
Maximum memory sizeThe maximum amount of memory (RAM) supported.
Maximum memory sizeThe maximum amount of memory (RAM) supported.32GB32GBN.A.64GB64GBN.A.64GB64GB128GB32GB
Bus transfer rateThe bus is responsible for transferring data between different components of a computer or device.
Bus transfer rateThe bus is responsible for transferring data between different components of a computer or device.5GT/s5GT/sN.A.5GT/s5GT/sN.A.5GT/s8GT/s8GT/s5GT/s
Total score for "Memory"
Total score for "Memory"
Features
Hyper-threading technologyMany of Intel's processors use hyperthreading, which means that each core of the processor can work on two threads at once instead of most processors that work on a single thread per core. This means you can have significant performance gains in certain apps.
Hyper-threading technologyMany of Intel's processors use hyperthreading, which means that each core of the processor can work on two threads at once instead of most processors that work on a single thread per core. This means you can have significant performance gains in certain apps.
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.
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.
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.
TrustZoneA technology integrated into the processor to secure the device for use with features such as mobile payments and streaming video using digital rights management (DRM).
TrustZoneA technology integrated into the processor to secure the device for use with features such as mobile payments and streaming video using digital rights management (DRM).
Total score for "Features"
Total score for "Features"
Benchmarks
Cinebench 10 resultThis benchmark measures the performance of the CPU using multiple threads.
Cinebench 10 resultThis benchmark measures the performance of the CPU using multiple threads.2862325703N.A.3872631491N.A.30453N.A.N.A.0
PassMark resultThis benchmark measures the performance of the CPU using multiple threads.
PassMark resultThis benchmark measures the performance of the CPU using multiple threads.101669622N.A.1416212796N.A.12078123072016711455
PassMark result (single)This benchmark measures the performance of the CPU using a single thread.
PassMark result (single)This benchmark measures the performance of the CPU using a single thread.22522081N.A.20932014N.A.1949259828992546
Geekbench resultThis is a cross-platform benchmark that measures the performance of the CPU. (Source: Primate Labs, 2019)
Geekbench resultThis is a cross-platform benchmark that measures the performance of the CPU. (Source: Primate Labs, 2019)1437112436N.A.2211316241N.A.156855690N.A.N.A.
SysMark 2012 resultSysMark 2012 result for overall CPU performance.
SysMark 2012 resultSysMark 2012 result for overall CPU performance.252228N.A.238241N.A.238N.A.N.A.N.A.
Total score for "Benchmarks"
Total score for "Benchmarks"

How to choose the best CPU

Desktop CPUs

Whether it's a high end gaming desktop, an office workstation or a PC for general use, each desktop build has its own set of requirements which will determine what components you'll need. Before searching for the best CPUs of 2017, you should think about what type of software you are going to use frequently.

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 photo editing, video editing and gaming. These types of workloads require a powerful CPU with more cores, as each core is being utilized by such programs to process the workload.

AMD vs Intel

Brand wars are a common thing in the tech industry and when it comes to CPUs, there are only two giants: AMD and Intel. AMD CPUs perform quite well 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 considered. Intel CPUs are a bit more expensive but they 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 are powered by Intel CPUs.

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 it's important to make sure that the CPU will fit on the motherboard. AMD and Intel have a lot 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.

Cores & clock speed

CPUs use multiple cores to increase the overall speed by running multiple 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 CPUs has, the pricier it is. More cores translate to faster and better processing for heavy computing tasks, such as photo editing, video editing and gaming.

Generally, a quad-core processor would be a good choice if you use your computer for various tasks. Take for example the Intel Core i5 quad-core processors, which provide good performance for most tasks, including gaming. However, Intel i7 processors shine when heavy computing is involved, like 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 is increased. AMD chips, though cheaper, are perfectly fine for common usage and high-end processors can deliver very good performence, but they do not have hyperthreading. AMD does compensate with high clock speeds and more cores packed into a single chip.

Clock speed, also called clock rate, refers to the frequency at which one core is running, determining how fast the processing unit executes instructions. The total clock speed of a processor determines its speed and overall performance.

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