best CPU for Gaming and Streaming

Choosing the Ultimate CPU for Gaming and Streaming

In the dynamic world of gaming and streaming, striking the ideal balance between efficiency and performance is essential. However, how can I pick a CPU for streaming and gaming?

The CPU is one of the essential elements that has a major influence on this delicate balance.

This post will go into the specifics of choosing the ideal best CPU for gaming and streaming, taking into account things like core counts, clock rates, and multitasking skills.

The Best CPUs for Gaming and Streaming

How Do I Pick a CPU for Gaming? There are just two well-known brands of desktop computer processors left to choose from: AMD and Intel. Both firms launch new CPU lineups every year. These lineups are further divided into several tiers, each of which offers a range of CPU performance levels.

The top-tier processors are the culmination of their respective products; they are notable for having a high number of cores and can provide high frame rates in a variety of modern AAA games. In addition to their gaming skills, these CPUs have significant power, which makes them ideal for demanding jobs like content production and video editing. Which CPU is most suitable for streaming and gaming?

List of the Best CPU for Gaming and Streaming 2024

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X: Best AMD CPU for Streaming and Gaming

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X stands out as a favored CPU among gamers for its exceptional value. Priced at approximately $170, it holds the distinction of being the most budget-friendly option within the Zen 3 architecture lineup.

Equipped with six cores and 12 threads, the processor boasts a base clock of 3.7GHz, with the capacity to dynamically boost up to an impressive 4.6GHz. Utilizing the same I/O die as Zen 2 processors, it operates from a single-core complex housing 32MB of L3 cache.

One of the notable features of the Ryzen 5 5600X is its relatively low thermal design power (TDP) of 65W. Additionally, being an unlocked chip allows users to overclock it, enhancing its gaming performance.

When coupled with a capable GPU, this CPU delivers an impressive gaming and streaming experience, given its price point. Despite having six cores and 12 threads, it performs admirably in resource-intensive tasks like video editing and 3D rendering.

While it may not match the performance of CPUs with higher core counts and clock speeds, the Ryzen 5 5600X presents a compelling option for those on a budget. Its reasonable price, combined with its overall capabilities, makes it an excellent choice for users seeking a cost-effective yet powerful CPU.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D: Best Ryzen CPU for Gaming and Streaming

Even though the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is no longer AMD’s flagship gaming CPU, it remains an excellent choice for many gamers, especially considering its current price point. Originally priced at around $450, some retailers now offer it for just $329, making the Ryzen 7 5800X3D a highly appealing option.

Featuring eight cores and 16 threads, this powerful CPU operates at a base clock speed of 3.4 GHz, with the ability to boost up to 4.5 GHz. Notably, it boasts a substantial 32MB L3 cache and an additional 64MB 3D V-Cache, resulting in an impressive total of 96MB L3 cache. The increased cache size enhances the system’s ability to access game assets efficiently, contributing to smoother gaming performance.

With a TDP of 105W, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D tends to generate considerable heat, necessitating a robust cooling solution to prevent performance dips. It’s worth noting that this CPU, despite its minor flaw of being non-overclockable, already delivers outstanding default performance.

If gaming or video editing takes precedence in your computing needs, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D emerges as the ideal processor, especially with its attractive pricing and formidable specifications.

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X: Best CPU for Streaming and Gaming

AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950X is the best CPU for anyone looking for the fastest Zen 3 processor available. It may not be the most affordable choice, coming in at about $500, but its performance definitely makes up for the difference.

With an amazing 16 cores and 32 threads, this CPU can easily tackle any multi-core computing activity. With a solid 64MB total L3 cache and a 3.4GHz base clock speed that may spike to 4.9GHz, the Ryzen 9 5950X demonstrates the anticipated power of top-tier CPUs.

The power efficiency of this CPU is excellent even with its 105W TDP. As a result, its cooling system needs as well as thermal design power stay modest. This translates to a system that consumes minimal power, stays relatively cool even during prolonged usage, and maintains robust overall performance.

The Ryzen 9 5950X delivers an exceptional gaming experience, particularly when paired with a high-end graphics card. While most games typically utilize four to six cores, the surplus cores may seem like overkill for gaming alone.

However, they prove invaluable for tasks such as streaming while gaming or engaging in CPU-intensive activities like 4K video editing.

AMD Ryzen 5 7600X: Best Budget CPU for Gaming and Streaming

Presenting the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X, a compelling CPU priced in the range of $250 to $300 that delivers outstanding value for gaming, streaming, and general productivity. Employing the cutting-edge Zen 4 architecture, this processor surpasses its predecessors, rivaling even older high-end CPUs.

Equipped with modern features, the Ryzen 5 7600X supports PCIe 5.0, USB4, integrated display-out graphics, and DDR5 memory, reflecting the latest standards. However, it comes with a caveat — lacking backward compatibility, it exclusively supports DDR5 memory modules and necessitates an AM5 motherboard.

Featuring six cores and 12 threads, this CPU may not match the core count of some alternatives, but its advanced architecture compensates for the difference. Notably, the Ryzen 5 7600X offers overclocking capabilities, allowing users to attain higher speeds. Running at a base clock speed of 4.7GHz, with a peak boost frequency reaching 5.3GHz, it maintains a commendable TDP of 105W.

An ideal choice for budget-conscious users seeking robust gaming performance, the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X presents a cost-effective option with its contemporary architecture and impressive speed capabilities.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X: Best CPU Performance Gaming and Streaming

For those in pursuit of the pinnacle in CPU performance, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X stands as the ultimate choice. However, such supremacy comes at a cost – this processor commands a hefty MSRP of $699, making it the most expensive AMD option featured in this lineup.

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X substantiates its premium price with an impressive array of specifications, featuring 16 cores and 32 threads, surpassing most other processors in core count.

Operating at a noteworthy base clock speed of 4.5GHz, it further demonstrates its capabilities by reaching astonishingly high clock speeds of up to 5.7GHz.

With a cache configuration comprising 16MB of L2 cache and 64MB of L3 cache and built on the advanced Zen 4 architecture, this CPU embraces modern standards like DDR5 support, PCIe 5.0 support, and other contemporary features.

Despite its robust performance, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X maintains relative power efficiency, courtesy of its 5nm lithography and 6nm I/O die node. Nevertheless, with a TDP of 170W, thermal management becomes crucial to prevent thermal throttling and frame rate drops. Employing a high-capacity CPU cooler is advisable to address potential thermal challenges.

Unquestionably, this CPU delivers unparalleled gaming and streaming performance within the AMD lineup, making it the epitome of cutting-edge processing power.

Intel Core i5-12600K

At $320 to $380, the Intel Core i5-12600K is a good CPU option for anybody building a mid-range gaming setup. It is a strong substitute because of its remarkable price-to-performance ratio, especially when compared to the Ryzen 7000 series.

With a design that combines four E-cores and six P-cores for a total of sixteen threads, the Intel Core i5-12600K takes a novel approach. While the E-cores, also known as “efficiency cores,” effectively handle background operations with reduced power consumption, the P-cores, also known as “performance cores,” take on demanding tasks.

Strong but effective multi-core capabilities are provided by this architecture, guaranteeing consistent high frame rates during prolonged gaming sessions.

The E-cores have a base frequency of 2.8GHz and can turbo boost to 3.6GHz in terms of clock rates. The P-cores, on the other hand, operate at a base frequency of 3.7GHz and a turbo frequency of 4.9GHz. The Intel Core i5-12600K is an impressive single-core processor in addition to its multi-core prowess.

With a Turbo Boost Power (TBP) of 150W and a Processor Base Power (PBP) of 125W, the CPU maintains respectable thermal characteristics.

The Intel Core i5-12600K performs admirably, especially given its price range. It turns out to be a better alternative than more costly ones, especially for people looking for a dependable CPU for systems used for streaming and light gaming.

Intel Core i7-12700K

As one of the highly anticipated processors from the 12th Generation “Alder Lake” lineup, the Intel Core i7-12700K lives up to expectations, delivering outstanding performance across various computing tasks such as gaming, 3D rendering, high-resolution video editing, and streaming. Priced competitively at just over $400, it proves to be a versatile and cost-effective option.

The CPU boasts 12 cores, featuring eight hyper-threaded P-cores, providing a total of 20 threads. Additionally, four power-efficient E-cores contribute to its efficiency. The P-cores operate at a base frequency of 3.6GHz, with a maximum boost clock reaching an impressive 5GHz.

This core configuration, coupled with the high clock speeds, ensures consistently high frame rates in modern games, even at higher resolutions. Streaming while gaming becomes a seamless experience, and for those seeking an extra performance boost, the CPU can be overclocked.

Crafted with a 10nm lithography, the Intel Core i7-12700K demonstrates commendable power delivery and efficiency. With a TDP set at 125W, the temperature remains within acceptable limits, avoiding alarming highs.

For users intending to build a gaming and streaming PC around the robust Intel Core i7-12700K, complementing it with quality monitors is essential. Monitors with high refresh rates prove to be the optimal choice, fully capitalizing on the CPU’s capacity to deliver exceptional frame rates.

Intel Core i5-13600K

The Intel Core i5-13600K stands out as a favored choice among mainstream gamers, striking a balance between price and performance at an affordable $329. Despite its midrange positioning, this processor outperforms its Ryzen 7000 counterpart.

With an impressive configuration of 14 cores and 20 threads, the i5-13600K, belonging to the 13th generation “Raptor Lake” series, features both P-cores and E-cores, ensuring a harmonious blend of performance and efficiency.

The CPU’s clock speed is noteworthy for a midrange chip, boasting a base frequency of 3.5GHz and the capability to reach a maximum boost clock of 5.1GHz. This ensures seamless handling of demanding video games, as well as tasks like video editing and 3D rendering.

Even without a dedicated graphics card, the i5-13600K facilitates gaming at lower resolutions and graphics settings, thanks to the improved Intel UHD Graphics 770 integrated into the chip.

However, it’s essential to manage thermals effectively, given its TDP rating of 181W, which surpasses that of the Core i5-12600K. Using a robust cooling solution like a 240mm water cooler is recommended to maintain optimal temperature levels during operation.

How do you choose a CPU for streaming?

Cores and Threads for Streaming: The demands of streaming necessitate a CPU capable of managing numerous tasks simultaneously, highlighting the importance of a higher core and thread count. For optimal streaming performance, it is generally recommended to have a CPU with a minimum of 4 cores and 8 threads. However, pricier CPUs may offer even greater capabilities, boasting up to 8 cores and 16 threads.

How many CPU cores do I need for gaming and streaming?

In the present day, it’s advisable to consider a six-core CPU, even if your main focus is gaming. The key takeaway is that relying on a four-core CPU might result in a suboptimal experience.

Optimal performance is generally achieved with six cores, and for added flexibility, choosing a CPU with eight cores provides ample room for various tasks.

How much RAM do I need for gaming and streaming?

To ensure sufficient headroom for playing upcoming releases, it is advisable to have 16GB of RAM.

For users engaging in activities beyond gaming, such as live-streaming, participating in group chats on Discord, and concurrently running YouTube or Twitch in the background, a consideration of 32GB of RAM provides the necessary flexibility.

Is i5 or i7 better for gaming and streaming?

If your PC usage is primarily focused on gaming, an i5 processor will suffice. However, if you intend to use the PC for tasks beyond gaming, such as video editing or streaming, opting for an i7 processor would be a more suitable choice.

This preference stems from the fact that i7 processors excel in managing more demanding and resource-intensive tasks.

What is the best budget CPU for streaming?

  • 5 Best CPUs for Streaming That Are Worth Your Attention.
  • AMD Ryzen 9 5900X – Best for Streaming Overall.
  • Intel i9 – 12900K – Best for Gaming and Streaming.
  • AMD Ryzen 5 7600X is the best value AMD CPU for streaming.
  • AMD Ryzen 5 5600G is the best entry-level CPU for streaming.
  • Intel Core i5-12400 is the best budget Intel CPU for streaming.


Choosing the best CPU for gaming and streaming involves careful consideration of multiple factors. Whether you prioritize raw gaming power, multitasking capabilities, or a blend of both, the market offers a range of CPUs catering to diverse needs.

Keep in mind your specific requirements, budget, and the evolving landscape of hardware advancements to ensure your gaming and streaming setup remains future-proof.

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