[SOLVED] Best CPU speed for gaming in 2020

xerxesaria

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Dec 19, 2012
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Hi.
I'm beginning to build my new gaming PC. Last one I made was in 2014. So many things have changed.
Currently, my research has concluded that a good CPU for a medium build, is the Intel i5 10600k. Although I don't intend to overclock, I'm considering it, but may also consider the i5 10600 (without K)....i7 may be overkill for a medium build and may go out of my budget of €1500 (the Netherlands).

But in general, for gaming in 2020/2021, on average, which minimum CPU base speed is acceptable for demanding games such as Total War, Cities Skylines, Battlefield, Red dead redemption etc? Is 3.0 as minimum acceptable?

For your info, I'm considering an RTX 2060 Super or an RTX 2070 plus 32GB Ram @3600 MHZ (overkill! Haha I know)..... Hopefully if RTX 30 is released soon, their prices will drop!

Thank you.
 
RAM at DDR4 3600 is not overkill and is actually just right!!!! especially as the pricing has come down so much....I picked up 4 x 8GB DDR4 3600 recently at such a good price so go for it...

As to the CPU, the 10600K is probably the best gaming CPU out for the price right now and even Tech Jesus, AKA Steve from Gamers Nexus reviewed it very highly for gaming. It near on matched the 10900K when overclocked and it overclocks very easily...

Overclocking on Intel has become much easier and a simple all core 4.8GHz is as simple as just a multiplier change to 48 with everything else on auto. In the future you can play around a bit more with overclocking and 5GHz all core should be fairly straight forward on the 10600K with decent cooling of course..

As to minimum base speeds, this is not an issue as most will boost out of the box and with MCE enabled to there top rated boost speeds and in the 10600K that will be 4.8GHz all core though baseline will be 4.5GHz all core without MCE.

Bottom line buy the best you can for the budget you have though put more weight on the GPU side. If you can go 10600K + 2070 Super or similar...Example based on the Netherlands...no doubt others will jump in with better solutions but it is a start..

PCPartPicker Part List: https://nl.pcpartpicker.com/list/4bCN8M

CPU: Intel Core i5-10600K 4.1 GHz 6-Core Processor (€253.95 @ CD-ROM-LAND)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition 42 CFM CPU Cooler (€34.95 @ Paradigit)
Motherboard: MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK ATX LGA1200 Motherboard (€189.00 @ CD-ROM-LAND)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory (€75.95 @ Megekko)
Storage: Western Digital Blue SN550 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive (€124.95 @ Azerty)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda Compute 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (€61.85 @ Azerty)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8 GB WINDFORCE OC 3X Video Card (€535.00 @ Azerty)
Case: Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower Case (€99.95 @ CD-ROM-LAND)
Power Supply: SeaSonic CORE GM 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply (€82.90 @ Azerty)
Total: €1458.50
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-08-09 15:18 CEST+0200

Finally this does allow for an upgrade path to Rocket Lake S and Gen 4 PCIe but also you can save more money going the Ryzen route so worth a look especially if non gaming workloads are also important....If pure gaming I would stick to Intel if money and budget are okay..
 
RAM at DDR4 3600 is not overkill and is actually just right!!!! especially as the pricing has come down so much....I picked up 4 x 8GB DDR4 3600 recently at such a good price so go for it...

As to the CPU, the 10600K is probably the best gaming CPU out for the price right now and even Tech Jesus, AKA Steve from Gamers Nexus reviewed it very highly for gaming. It near on matched the 10900K when overclocked and it overclocks very easily...

Overclocking on Intel has become much easier and a simple all core 4.8GHz is as simple as just a multiplier change to 48 with everything else on auto. In the future you can play around a bit more with overclocking and 5GHz all core should be fairly straight forward on the 10600K with decent cooling of course..

As to minimum base speeds, this is not an issue as most will boost out of the box and with MCE enabled to there top rated boost speeds and in the 10600K that will be 4.8GHz all core though baseline will be 4.5GHz all core without MCE.

Bottom line buy the best you can for the budget you have though put more weight on the GPU side. If you can go 10600K + 2070 Super or similar...Example based on the Netherlands...no doubt others will jump in with better solutions but it is a start..

PCPartPicker Part List: https://nl.pcpartpicker.com/list/4bCN8M

CPU: Intel Core i5-10600K 4.1 GHz 6-Core Processor (€253.95 @ CD-ROM-LAND)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition 42 CFM CPU Cooler (€34.95 @ Paradigit)
Motherboard: MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK ATX LGA1200 Motherboard (€189.00 @ CD-ROM-LAND)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory (€75.95 @ Megekko)
Storage: Western Digital Blue SN550 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive (€124.95 @ Azerty)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda Compute 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (€61.85 @ Azerty)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8 GB WINDFORCE OC 3X Video Card (€535.00 @ Azerty)
Case: Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower Case (€99.95 @ CD-ROM-LAND)
Power Supply: SeaSonic CORE GM 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply (€82.90 @ Azerty)
Total: €1458.50
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-08-09 15:18 CEST+0200

Finally this does allow for an upgrade path to Rocket Lake S and Gen 4 PCIe but also you can save more money going the Ryzen route so worth a look especially if non gaming workloads are also important....If pure gaming I would stick to Intel if money and budget are okay..
 
Today, the processor with the best cpu for gaming is the i9-10900K @5.3
But, I do not think that is what you are really asking.
Budget is an issue, and in the US, the 10900K is all but unavailable.

One decent rule of thumb for a balanced gamer is to budget about 2x the cost of the processor for the graphics card.
That puts the i5-10600 squarely in the sweet spot.
Prices are crazy. The other day, I saw the 10600K and 10600 on offer for exactly a $2 difference in price!
If that is the case where you shop, consider the K and a Z490 based motherboard.
While both have the same 4.8 turbo, the K version has a base of 4.1 vs. 3.3 for the non k.

In time you may want the flexibility to overclock.
Otherwise, a B460 based motherboard will cost less and perform the same.
Note that B460 motherboards seem to support ram speeds only up to 2933.
It takes a more expensive Z490 based motherboard to run faster ram.

Usually, 16gb is sufficient, but since ram prices are down, 32gb is ok.
Intel ram controllers are very good at anticipating ram data so fast ram speeds are not as important to app performance as with ryzen. (Integrated graphics excluded)

Post a prospective list of what you might buy.
You will get some constructive comments and opinions.
 

Turtle Rig

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Jun 23, 2020
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I still think the 9900k with a one click in Easy Tune to 5Ghz all core is the way to go. Cheaper motherboard prices and realatively about 100 cheaper then the 10900k or lower. All this while a simple Quiet Dark Rock Pro with no fan noise handles the temps very nicely in the 70's max 80's c and what not. The video card is the make or break IMHO... Grab a 2070 Super or a 2080 and your set for 1440p gaming with all nVidia panel settings set to max and all AA options and high quality and all that jazz. Who cares a 10900k will give 8fps more at higher frequency then the 9900k. I mean who will notice the 5fps difference lol.
 

dorsai

Honorable
Today the 10600k is probably the best price to performance buy out there...it's certainly fast enough to push the 2060 super or 2070 to the limit. There's little danger of not having enough cpu for the next couple of years if you go with the 10600k...it's a solid product that overclocks well.

If time isn't an issue and you can wait a few months I think the 4000 series Ryzen chips will move the Ryzen line from very good to outstanding gaming setups.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
I still think the 9900k with a one click in Easy Tune to 5Ghz all core is the way to go. Cheaper motherboard prices and realatively about 100 cheaper then the 10900k or lower. All this while a simple Quiet Dark Rock Pro with no fan noise handles the temps very nicely in the 70's max 80's c and what not. The video card is the make or break IMHO... Grab a 2070 Super or a 2080 and your set for 1440p gaming with all nVidia panel settings set to max and all AA options and high quality and all that jazz. Who cares a 10900k will give 8fps more at higher frequency then the 9900k. I mean who will notice the 5fps difference lol.
The DRP 4 is barely enough cooler for a 9900k at stock settings. Using the 'One Click' software OC to bump boosts up past 5.0GHz is a recipe for disaster, a 250w aircooler with a software enabled MCE output will not get you 'temps in the 70's' and you most definitely will not be putting a 9900k on a cheap motherboard and expect it to last, or even perform. The 9900k was an extreme power draw, high amperage VRM life blood sucking beast of a cpu, requiring a minimum of an 8pin eps and usually an 8+4 with OC conditions.

In most cases the 10700k is not only cheaper, but better performance and better power balanced on an Asus mobo. For the same amount of threads.

Only place you'll find a 2080 now is ebay, they aren't in production anymore, superceded by the 2070S which uses the same reference pcb.
 

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