Comparison of the best processors 2021: which one to buy?

Are you looking for a processor to equip your new computer? Unfortunately, between the many CPUs marketed by the two industry giants, Intel and AMD, you are completely lost! We will help you see more clearly thanks to our selection of the best processors to buy in 2021. Follow the guide!

Our selection of the best processors

Photo of intel-core-i5-10400f

These prices were updated on 02/23/2021 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and excluding delivery costs. Only the prices displayed at the merchants are valid.

buying guide best processors

The best cheap processors

INTEL Core i5-10400F

intel core i5 10400F

Ideal for both office and gaming, the Intel Core i5 10400F is positioned as a mid-range processor available at around 170 – 200 euros. This 10th generation Intel processor has 6 cores, 12 threads and a frequency of up to 4.3 GHz. A great alternative to AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600, for a slightly lower price.

Even if it shows its limits in heavy application tasks compared to its direct competitor, it remains an excellent choice for people who want to play in 1080p definition. However, if you want to do video editing as well, and use higher definitions, AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600 is the model we recommend you look to.

The + The –
Satisfactory overall service No architectural evolution
Content price Engraving in 14 nm

AMD Ryzen 5 2600

AMD Ryzen 5 2600

We begin this buying guide with the AMD Ryzen 5 2600. Very affordable, the CPU is based on the Zen architecture, on 6 cores, a 16 MB cache, 12 threads and a base frequency of 3.4 GHz (up to 3.9 GHz via Boost mode). Finally, it is accompanied by an efficient and quiet cooling system.

Engraved at 12nm, the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 is ideal for running standard office software. On the other hand, it promises to be a bit disappointing in the gaming sector. The processor is available for 135 euros on an e-commerce site like Amazon.

The + The –
Its low price VCore / poorly optimized consumption/
Its versatility
The integrated cooling system

AMD Athlon 200GE

AMD Athlon 200GE

We move on with the Athlon 200GE from AMD. Sold under the € 60 mark, the CPU is establishing itself as an excellent alternative to Intel Pentium processors. Modest, it makes do with 2 cores, a 4MB cache and 4 threads. It is the perfect processor to run the less demanding machines and satisfy the less greedy users. With an Athlon 200GE, you can comfortably navigate, do basic office automation, and stream series and movies.

The + The –
The mini price Requires high frequency memory to enjoy performance
Low energy consumption

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X

Available at around 180 euros, AMD’s CPU is based on the Zen + architecture and has 8 cores, 16 threads, a 16 MB cache and a frequency ranging from 3.7 to 4.3 GHz. . This is ideal for running office software, or even games that are not too greedy. Engraved in 12 nm, the processor is distinguished by an excellent cooling system, the Wraith Prism, and very decent performance in multitasking thanks to its 16 threads

The + The –
16 threads at low cost Slightly down from Intel in games.
A good cooling system

Intel Core i3-9100F

Intel Core i3-9100F

With its 4 cores, its 4 threads, a frequency between 3.6 GHz and 4.2 GHz, and a cache of 6 MB, the Intel CPU is distinguished by versatile performance, even in the field of gaming, and rather reduced power consumption. This is one of the best value for money on the market if the uses of your computer are varied but modest. The processor is offered under the 100 euros mark at most resellers. Perfect for professionals whose budget is not unlimited.

The + The –
A frequency boost to 4.2 GHz Slightly light in-game performance
Ultra versatile
Good value for money

Intel Pentium G5400

Intel Pentium G5400

Available around 65 euros, especially on Amazon, this entry-level CPU promises decent performance for doing some web browsing and office automation. Users who are keen on gaming or image processing, on the other hand, may quickly feel cramped.

The processor is content with 2 cores, a cache of 4 MB, 4 threads and a frequency capped at 3.70 GHz. Based on the Intel Coffee Lake architecture, the Pentium remains one of the queens of low-cost office configuration.

The + The –
An unbeatable price Windows 10 required
Perfect for office automation

The best processors for gaming

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X


AMD also has budget thought with the Ryzen 5 5600X CPU. Affordable, it is necessarily less impressive, but its characteristics remain satisfactory compared to its price: 6 cores, 12 threads, clock frequency of 3.7 GHz (up to 4.6 GHz in turbo mode), 35 Mb of memory TDP L3 and 65W cache.

The + The –
Application performance We are still looking
Strong increase in gaming performance
Still compatible with AM4 and 400/500 chipset
Controlled electricity consumption

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

The Ryzen 7 5800X offers 8 cores, 16 threads, a clock rate of 3.8 GHz (up to 4.7 GHz in turbo mode), 36 Mb of L3 cache and 105W of TDP. A great proposal there again. It is usually offered at 459 euros but is in view of the strong demand, up in price with most brands that offer it for sale.

The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X occupies the top of the series with excellent performance: 8 ultra-fast cores and 16 threads, 32 MB of cache and a native frequency of 3.80 Ghz (going up to 4.7 GHz in Turbo mode). A real feat, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X processor offers high operating frequencies for power consumption measured with a thermal envelope (TDP) of 105W.

The + The –
A contained price Difficult to find in stock
Controlled electricity consumption

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

With its 6 cores, 12 threads, a frequency oscillating between 3.8 and 4.4 GHz, and a rather comfortable 32 MB cache memory, the Ryzen 5 3600X is one of the best CPUs for gaming enthusiasts. Based on the Zen 2 architecture and 7nm engraving, the processor offers high performance for a low price below the 200 euros mark.

On the office side, the CPU offers a correct experience. This is the perfect solution for gamers who do not want to empty their bank account to equip their new machine.

The + The –
A contained price A hair behind Intel’s solutions in games.
Optimized for video games
engraving in 7 nm

Intel Core i7-9700K Coffee Lake

Intel Core i7-9700K Coffee Lake

Sold for around 450 euros, the Intel Core i7-9700K is a powerful CPU without compromise. With its 8 cores, its 8 threads clocked between 3.6 and 4.9 GHz, its 12 MB of cache memory, it is positioned as an excellent choice for the field of office automation and video games. It’s the perfect CPU for gamers looking for speed and power.

The + The –
A lower price compared to its launch No architectural evolution
Increased gaming and application performance

Intel Core i9 9900Kf

Intel Core i9-9900Kf Coffee Lake

For the most demanding gamers, we advise you to opt for the Intel Core i9 9900Kf CPU. With its 8 cores, 16 threads, a 16 MB cache and frequencies ranging from 3.6 GHz to 5 GHz in boost mode, it is one of the best processors developed by Intel. As suitable for gamers as for the most advanced professionals, the CPU is sold around 550 euros on the web, especially on Amazon or LDLC. Attention, the CPU is however noticed by its rather high energy consumption, inevitable given the performance of the beast.

The + The –
A frequency of 5 GHz with turbo mode Rather high energy consumption
Versatile performance
16 threads

The best processors for image professionals

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

AMD Ryzen 5950X

The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X processor takes advantage of the enhancements provided by the AMD Zen 3 architecture. Upgraded power performance, higher frequencies, unified L3 cache in 32MB blocks and a processor that continues AMD Ryzen’s tradition of excellence in in terms of high performance per watt: here is a serious number of arguments to make it join your future PC gaming configuration! Its starting price is 849 euros, but just like the 5800X, 5900X, it is the subject of an overbid on the side of the dealers who have it in stock in view of the strong demand it arouses.

The + The –
High performance Price
ompatible B450 / X470
Measured consumption

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X

We arrive in the field of processors reserved for professional computers dedicated to image processing and video editing. With its 7 nm engraving, 16 cores, 32 threads, a frequency oscillating between 3.5 GHz and 4.7 GHz with Boost mode, AMD’s CPU promises ultra high performance, especially in the field of heavy application.

The processor remains a little behind in the field of video games compared to Intel components on the same price segment. Based on the Zen 2 architecture, the CPU is priced around 850 €. To be reserved for pros.

The + The –
High computing power A little behind in the field of video games
Consumption contained in view of performance

Intel Core i9-10900K

Intel Core i9 10900K

Intel’s 10th generation processor, the core i9 10900K, is clearly dedicated to gaming but also to video editing. This Intel Core i9 processor has 10 cores and benefits from Hyperthreading. This means that it displays 20 threads on its counter. Regarding the base frequency, it is 3.7 GHz but you can reach 5.2 GHz on 2 cores in certain cases.

High-end, the Core i9-10900K still lacks arguments in the absence of technological evolution against the Ryzen 9 3900X or Ryzen 9 5900X from AMD. It remains an excellent choice for applications and games, where it knows how to take advantage of its 10 cores to offer high flight performance.

The + The –
Solid performance in games Motherboard change required (LGA1200 socket)
Application performance Engraving in 14 nm

Intel Core i9-9980XE


Place on top of the top of this buying guide! With its 18 cores, 36 threads, a frequency ranging from 3 to 4.5 GHz, and a comfortable 24.75 MB cache, the Core i9 9980XE 4 is the dream processor of professionals who need a high-performance computer, stable and high computing power. Unsurprisingly, Intel sells the CPU at a high price: more than 2000 euros!

The + The –
36 threads The price
A frequency boost to 4.5 GHz

🤔Which processor to choose according to the uses?

In this buying guide, we have divided the different processors on the market into 3 distinct categories: CPUs dedicated to the most modest (and less expensive) machines, the perfect components for gaming, and the power monsters only intended for computers. pros.

With an entry-level processor, you can easily use your PC to surf the Internet, listen to music, stream series and movies, or do word processing. Not surprisingly, the CPUs in the gaming section are reserved for video game fans.

If you are using your PC to play online or locally, we recommend that you choose a CPU from the list. Finally, processors for professionals mainly concern PCs intended for heavy applications, such as processing or editing videos or 3D design software.

🤷‍♂️How many cores and threads for a processor?

One of the important criteria when buying a processor is the number of cores and threads. A CPU (Central Processing Unit) is made up of cores. Each heart is used to process one or more instructions. The more cores a CPU has, the more simultaneously it can execute commands. If you plan to open multiple programs at the same time and run tasks simultaneously, you will need multiple cores.

For moderate office use, 2 to 6 cores are sufficient. For gamers and pros, opt for CPUs with a minimum of 8 cores to be comfortable. Threads are the tasks or processes managed by the cores of a processor. The more threads a CPU has, the more its cores will be able to perform tasks in parallel.

It is a concomitant notion of that of hearts. If a processor offers 2 cores / 4 threads, then each core can process 2 threads simultaneously. Basic PCs will be satisfied with 4 to 8 threads. More sophisticated machines need 12 or 16 threads instead.

💰What are the different average prices depending on the processors?

For classic office use, you should find your happiness between 50 and 200 euros, depending on the desired performance. To build a gaming PC, count between 200 and 650 euros. Finally, CPUs for professional machines with good performance are priced between 800 euros and 1200 euros. Some models, ultra powerful, can exceed this price. Be careful, 90% of users don’t need to put that much money into a CPU.

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