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A Gamer’s Guide to the Best Cheap CPUs in 2021

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Saying the pandemic was overall helpful to businesses is reductive, but the video game industry is one sector enjoying success under these altered circumstances. Due to this, gamers wouldn’t be misguided to try boosting their hobby or even going pro right now. They can fund the activity using cash saved from reduced social activities.

If you want to elevate your gaming and get the most value possible from your money, take a gander at this variety of cheap CPUs perfect for gamers.

1. Intel’s Core i3-8100 Gives Users Quality at a Low Cost

Intel’s brand is all about high-quality processors. They’re a major figure in gaming and indeed in all technology sectors because of their products’ unparalleled performance. Buying the most elite computers and custom builds with Intel processors is far out of reach for the majority of gamers, because they cost thousands of dollars.

Be thankful that finding Intel processors for a low price isn’t too difficult. Intel’s Core i3-8100 CPU is fast and powerful enough to marathon even complex games, as it reaches up to 3.6 GHz. The budget model’s four cores meet today’s standards, sharing 6 MB of L3 cache and support 4K visuals.

This CPU should be a serious consideration for pros and novices alike when taking a look at technology to help keep business running. It’s a good, cost-effective model when you don’t need major processing power. Beginning professionals with the Core i3-8100 can compete with experienced pro gamers who use higher-end processors.

2. Up-and-Coming Gamers Should Try AMD’s Ryzen 3 1300X CPU

The gaming industry is kept afloat by Intel’s products, so it’s no surprise that they tend to be the first name you hear when talking about gaming CPUs. AMD is a rival of Intel’s that sells CPUs of comparable quality and features at competitive prices.

Locating an AMD processor with everything you need isn’t any harder than finding a comparable Intel model. The Ryzen 1300X CPU is a smart buy and a clear example of how AMD’s CPUs compare to Intel models.

The base clock speed for this CPU is 3.5 GHz, but it achieves up to 3.6 GHz using AMD Turbo Boost technology. With AMD’s proprietary overclocking feature that turns on when the CPU cooler allows it, XFR, it hits up to 3.9 GHz. The processor is also strong enough to support complex 3D graphics.

It should be clear from these features why those who play and create detailed video games enjoy AMD’s Ryzen 3 1300X processor. It’s satisfactory for established pros and a perfect CPU for newer gamers who are rising through the ranks.

3. 3D Graphics and Zippy Processing: Intel’s Core i7-2600 Quad-Core CPU

Virtual reality, or VR, is among the industries benefitting from the market conditions of 2020-2021, along with other sectors of the video game industry. Individuals on the hunt for an escape from the real world’s problems are in luck, as VR software and gadgets improve every day.

When it comes to CPUs, VR fans can make use of the Intel Core i7-2600 Quad-Core model. It’s also a smart choice for other people working with high-quality 3D graphics, such as artists and designers.

Trading graphics for speed, or vice versa, is a common issue in computer development. Graphics lovers on a tight budget often accept slow CPUs because of this loathed trade-off. In the same manner, speed-hungry gamers opt for lower-quality graphics to avoid emptying their bank accounts.

It’s both annoying and a little ridiculous to think the computer industry hasn’t come out with a way to get the best of both worlds.

Intel achieved a solution with their Core i7-2600 Quad-Core CPU. Although the most skilled gamers may prefer a higher-priced processor, players with shallow pockets are more than happy to use this model.

The Core i7-2600 Quad-Core processor is a wise choice for budget shoppers who need enough power for activities like long stretches of gaming, VR, and design work. Although the price is low, you won’t feel the need to cut down on your quality of work.

4. AMD’s Ryzen 5 1600 Makes Energy-Efficient Gaming Possible

AMD’s Ryzen 5 1600 Processor is an unlocked CPU that achieves higher speeds under the right conditions, with an average clock speed that ranges between 3.6 and 4 GHz.

Be aware that the Wraith Spire Cooler AMD includes may not be powerful enough to keep computers safe when users overclock often. For a CPU that prioritizes speed and power, its energy-efficiency is impressive for its class.

Unfortunately, there is some bad news about this processor: The Ryzen 5 1600 is one of the affordable models that skimp on graphics to boost speed while staying cheap.

Don’t write the CPU off, as it does deliver an average of 40 frames per second (FPS). That frame rate also reaches 60 FPS when playing 1080p games, so it’s more than adequate for most gamers. Still, today’s improvements in gaming graphics mean that more and more games are more enjoyable when played above 1080p.

A custom replacement graphics card could give you what you want from this processor. In the same way, you can switch out the cooling tower to overclock to your heart’s delight. In some cases, doing so is less pricey than buying a processor that’s both fast and graphics-friendly out of the box.

5. AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600 Brings Power and Speed at a Low Cost

The Ryzen 5 3600 CPU has twelve threads between its six cores, thanks to multi-threading technology. The threads lend the CPU a huge amount of power, which is even more impressive in light of its low price.

The base clock speed of 3.6 GHz rises as high as 4.2 GHz when the system stays cool enough. This variable speed is purposeful, as AMD left the CPU unlocked for overclocking.

The cooling tower AMD includes with the processor can handle the average user’s workload, so the package is a good deal if you don’t tend to work your CPUs to the max. The Ryzen 5 3600 processor might be a less worthwhile choice than another model if you need a separate cooling tower for your purposes.

6. Intel’s Core i3-10100: Inexpensive and Easy to Find

If you need a processor on the spot without spending much, look at the Intel Core i3-10100 CPU. It’s one of the cheapest quality gaming CPUs on the market coming from a reputable brand. The low cost and high quality make using one in a custom $500 gaming PC easy.

It’s not the most powerful processor out there, but it gives a lot of bang for your buck. The Core i3-10100 works well with a 1080P monitor and medium-to-high settings.

Some gamers are disappointed that they can’t overclock with this model because it’s locked. It’s not necessarily a problem, as those with more experience with responsible overclocking tend to prefer premium CPUs. Yet, it’s important to keep in mind if you’re used to the flexibility of an unlocked processor.

It’s no surprise that an affordable and high-quality Intel processor would be in high demand. As a result, many stores that sell CPUs carry the Core i3-10100.

7. AMD Ryzen 3 3200G: A Standard Gaming CPU With a GPU

The AMD Ryzen 3 3200G suits those looking to take their casual gaming to the next level. It’s decent as both a CPU and GPU, perfect for those who aren’t too picky about graphics. The combination also makes it a good choice for cheap custom builds.

The Ryzen 3 3200G isn’t built for intense usage like professional gaming. It’s unlocked with a 3.6 base clock speed, but the Ryzen 3 3200G isn’t built for intense uses like professional gaming. The CPU has four single-threaded cores, so it’s a much weaker processor than those with multi-threaded cores.

Despite those concessions, this CPU works well for basic gaming needs. You can play today’s demanding games on lower settings without any issues.

8. Multi-Thread Technology Boosts Speed on AMD’s Ryzen 7 3700X

AMD’s Ryzen 7 3700X is at the higher end of affordable gaming CPUs, but it’s still cheap and an incredible deal for what you get.

It’s unlocked with a 3.6 GHz default speed and has an impressive 8 cores. What’s even more impressive about this model is that each of those 8 cores is double-threaded. The Ryzen 7 3700X’s 16 threads give it a ridiculous amount of processing power for a budget CPU.

9. Take Everyday Gaming to the Next Level With Intel’s Core i7-10700K

AMD’s Ryzen 7 3700X has features similar to those offered by the i7-10700K: They have the same number of cores and threads and are both unlocked for overclocking.

There are two basic differences between these AMD and Intel models. Intel’s model has a higher base clock speed of 3.8 GHz and focuses on single-core processing. That’s a good thing as far as most gaming applications go.

Something else to consider when comparing the two models is that AMD includes a cooling tower and that their 3700X CPU has an integrated GPU. For many gamers, this is convenient and a good value, but the combo might be frustrating if you prefer having a lot of control.

You might have to replace the cooling tower or upgrade the graphics card when using an AMD processor. Choosier gamers have a chance to pick their accessories for the Intel Core i7-10700K, which doesn’t include graphics or cooling.

More Cheap CPUs and Other Incredible Gadgets

Get started shopping for tech to improve your game with these cheap CPUs in mind.

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