Best Gaming CPU for $300

Which provides the best value for mid to high end gaming?


  • Total voters
    61
  • Poll closed .

Nightfire

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Looks like there is a lot of CPUs that will be in this price range now.

AMD 5600x: Best IPC, no igpu
AMD 3700x: Lower 1080p, but 8/16; no igpu *($280 now)
AMD 4700g: A unicorn, great igpu, limited cache
Intel 9700K: Likely the fastest at gaming when.
o/c; igpu, high power use.
Intel 10600k: mostly the same above.
Intel 10700 (non-k): 8/16, no o/c but good boosy
 
Last edited:

LukeTbk

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Not sure how do we know if the answer is 10600k or 5600x, before the review embargo, but 3600x * 1.2 or so would probably be ahead im most game.
 

Nightfire

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Not sure how do we know if the answer is 10600k or 5600x, before the review embargo, but 3600x * 1.2 or so would probably be ahead im most game.

Likely within 5% of each other, even when o/c. Advantages for the 5600x really comes down to power, which is less heat in the case and better i/o. The 10600k's biggest advantage would be the igpu; quick sync and platform maturity/stability.
 

mazeroth

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The best "value" is the 3600 at $159, and it's not even close. For 1440p and 4k gaming, it's plenty fast. Also, you have the 3700X at $230, when it's selling for $280. Now, if it was $230, I'd maybe lean that way for the best value CPU.
 

Nightfire

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The best "value" is the 3600 at $159, and it's not even close. For 1440p and 4k gaming, it's plenty fast. Also, you have the 3700X at $230, when it's selling for $280. Now, if it was $230, I'd maybe lean that way for the best value CPU.

Damn, I guess the price went back up. (Unable to fix in poll). Still, I would want an 8/16 so 4700g if I could find one.
 

Nightfire

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Approximate R20 ST scored when normalized to 4.0 ghz / Freq needed to match Zen 3 at 4.8 ghz:
Zen3: 526 / --
TGL: 496 / 5.1 ghz
Zen2: 454 / 5.6 ghz
Zen+: 414 / 6.1 ghz
SKL: 411 / 6.1 ghz

If Zen3 MT scales similiar to Zen2, the 5800x MT should be just slightly ahead of the 10850k.

Funny how Intel and AMD completley switched roles here.

** numbers may be slightly off depending on testinh conditions / boost behavior.
 

chithanh

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Disregarding the higher base and boost clocks for now:
3600 + 20% IPC would put the 5600X around 4500 points in CB20 nT
3800X + 20% IPC would put the 5800X around 6000 points
3900X + 20% IPC would put the 5900X around 8600 points
3950X + 20% IPC would put the 5950X around 10900 points

So with the higher clocks AMD should be able to perform very close to the 10700K, 10900K, 10980XE, and Xeon W-3275 respectively.
 

kirbyrj

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Another option you didn't include is the 10700 non-k. It can be had right around $300, is 8C/16T, and boosts to 4.8Ghz or so with a little tweaking.
 

Nightfire

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I actually changed my vote to the 10700 now that the 3700x prices went up. It still has an igpu, compatible with new platform, and has incredible boost performance.
 

kirbyrj

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I actually changed my vote to the 10700 now that the 3700x prices went up. It still has an igpu, compatible with new platform, and has incredible boost performance.

I have one in my "gaming" build. They were far more available at launch than either the 10900k or 10700k. Plus it's in a little mATX case (Sliger Cerberus), so the 65W TDP is nice also.
 

ELox

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I'm looking to put together a new build in the next 2 months. I have a pair of ASUS VG248QG monitors that can go up to 165Hz and have Gsync. Leaning towards a Nvidia 3070 but not sure what platform/cpu/mobo to get. Currently running an i5 3570K so anything will be an upgrade, but given I'm running 1080P I was thinking intel was my best bet, but perhaps the 5600 will compete in that $300 range. Are Mobo's usually about the same price or are AMD's typically cheaper? Seems like it might be close enough to whatever is on sale at the time. Gotta get those 1080p benchies on the 5600 of course though.
 

kac77

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I'm looking to put together a new build in the next 2 months. I have a pair of ASUS VG248QG monitors that can go up to 165Hz and have Gsync. Leaning towards a Nvidia 3070 but not sure what platform/cpu/mobo to get. Currently running an i5 3570K so anything will be an upgrade, but given I'm running 1080P I was thinking intel was my best bet, but perhaps the 5600 will compete in that $300 range. Are Mobo's usually about the same price or are AMD's typically cheaper? Seems like it might be close enough to whatever is on sale at the time. Gotta get those 1080p benchies on the 5600 of course though.
I'm basically waiting until the benches come out. Once that happens I'll make my moves then.
 

Ready4Dis

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The best "value" is the 3600 at $159, and it's not even close. For 1440p and 4k gaming, it's plenty fast. Also, you have the 3700X at $230, when it's selling for $280. Now, if it was $230, I'd maybe lean that way for the best value CPU.
I picked mine up for $250 with a free $60 game I was going to purchase anyways (ac Valhalla), I imagine you'll see those types of deals again.
 

Nightfire

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The 10700 looks to be a hidden gem. It's a bit over $300, but the 'f' version looks to be closer to the mark.
https://www.techpowerup.com/review/intel-core-i7-10700/

- It matches the 3700x in productivity and is a good bit ahead in gaming. It even out games the 9700k.
- It's on the new platform which is nice as well.
- Power consumption while gaming is really not that high.
- Even for a mostly gaming rig, I think I would want 8 cores.
 

Nightfire

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IPC > cores.

So the 5600x > 3700x.

That's how i see it.

Buying a 5600x over a 3700x or 109700f feels a bit like buying a 7700 over a 1600 in 2017 except the latter in the former comparison are perfectly capable in high fps gaming.
 

kirbyrj

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IPC > cores.

So the 5600x > 3700x.

That's how i see it.

When there is general availability, there's also going to be ~$50 price difference between the two I would think. Even more in the used market. In strictly gaming sub-1440p, yes. I would tend to agree, but it also depends on what you do with the extra $50. $50 might buy you a better video card or a larger SSD for example...
 

gerardfraser

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Not if you're aiming for 4K120 range.
MY LG OLED works fine 4K 120Hz with RTX 3080 and mid range CPU now that firmware fixes were released for LG OLEDS. I be interested to know which CPU you think would be a good fit for 4K 120Hz HDR PC gaming. I would also like to ask you in particular what would you think you are missing at whatever CPU you would recommend for 4K 120Hz HDR PC gaming against any of the CPU's in the above list.
 

crazycrave

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The 3700x is the smoothest PC I have ever owned myself as it just plays hard and with the stock cooler ..

 

gerardfraser

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AMD CPU/GPU are fine for PC gaming,so is Intel. If your sitting at home playing on an AMD system and worrying about someone on an Intel system getting 5 FPS more than you. All the CPU's in the poll are fine for PC Gaming.
 

GoldenTiger

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If you are playing 4k120, you are not mid to high end gaming. Also, 4k120 really doesn't take much more cpu performance than 2k120.
Exactly my point.... It's just as cpu demanding as other resolutions once you have enough gpu power.
 

UltraTaco

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9700K: Likely the fastest at gaming when.
o/c; igpu, high power use.
Mates, why worry so much about power consumption? You cn always do as taco nd unplug pc after use to catch up on energy savings:)👍

crazycrave mate, is posting your youtube video a signature move, mate?
 

Endgame

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Mates, why worry so much about power consumption? You cn always do as taco nd unplug pc after use to catch up on energy savings:)👍

crazycrave mate, is posting your youtube video a signature move, mate?
Why worry about power? I want the ol gaming rig doing something all the time, so when it’s not gaming it’s folding. Letting your rig run at 100% cpu and 100% gpu 24x7x365 gives you new appreciation for power usage.
 

GoldenTiger

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Its not all about energy savings. Power=heat which affects other components and can make your room warm as well over time.
Yep. I plan on undervolting my 3080 once I get one. Too much heat into the room. I even undervolted my 970 sli because of the heat!
 

learners permit

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My wife's 3600x is snappy and heat output is nada. IPC increase wont hurt it any either. I hope they bin them all. 👍
 

somebrains

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The best "value" is the 3600 at $159, and it's not even close. For 1440p and 4k gaming, it's plenty fast. Also, you have the 3700X at $230, when it's selling for $280. Now, if it was $230, I'd maybe lean that way for the best value CPU.

I calculate value with mobo included.
That’s where AMD is attractive for gaming builds.
Z490 just can’t compete in package price with b450 sticking around.
 

Nightfire

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I calculate value with mobo included.
That’s where AMD is attractive for gaming builds.
Z490 just can’t compete in package price with b450 sticking around.

Solid point. None of the Intel options are impressive when paired with B-460. Alright, changing again..
 

thesmokingman

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Buying a 5600x over a 3700x or 109700f feels a bit like buying a 7700 over a 1600 in 2017 except the latter in the former comparison are perfectly capable in high fps gaming.

You're ignoring the architectural improvements and more importantly for gaming since you brought it up, the 5600x will be better no doubt due to its cache and CCX layout.
 

somebrains

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Solid point. None of the Intel options are impressive when paired with B-460. Alright, changing again..

5600 rumors putting it around $220 retail make all of this worth looking at independent 5600x reviews in a few weeks.
Can you draw a straight line from a $300 5600x to an ocd 5600
No idea.

Will 5600x really match 10600k/9700k in real world games or just a few cherry picked examples at settings that most of us wouldn’t use?
No idea.

All of this is a wait and see around a modest $400-500 mobo+cpu move.
I’d argue that getting a gpu of choice will be tougher.
 

DrDoU

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Looking at a 5600x. As always some benchmarks will do better on intel vs amd. It’s just depends how close the gap is. It should be interesting to see and compare
 
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