Top 5 Gaming CPUs for the Money – June 2016

What’s goin on guys, Jerry Neutron here back again and today we’re goin a little bit old school with the video style. It’s been a while since I’ve released a top 5 gaming CPU video and being that we’ve had a few product launches go by including Skylake, Broadwell-E and Kaveri Refresh since then, I figured it was about time to make an updated video. So based on overall value, performance and availability these are the top 5 CPUs you should consider if you’re building a gaming PC today!

Starting on the budget end we have the AMD Athlon X4 860K and this is a quad-core, overclockable CPU for only $80 bucks! It was actually on my previous list and the reason it’s still here is there hasn’t been anything to knock it off. AMD released Kaveri refresh versions with the 870K and 880K but the performance differences in relation to the price still make the 860K the better value. Now this CPU may suffer in CPU intensive games like GTA 5 but if you match it with the appropriate graphics card you’ll have a positive experience more often than not.

This next CPU is a step up from the previous but still on the budget end and honestly probably what I would choose if putting together a budget system today. This is the Intel Core i3-6100. This is a dual-core chip with hyperthreading so it’s got two cores, 4 threads and despite not being a true quad-core still beats the 860K in pretty much every way. It’s strong single-core performance is what allows it to get by as a gaming option and even though it can’t be overclocked, at least not via a multiplier, it’s still a capable performer. You also get the advantage of moving to a newer platform with the most current chipset features and an upgrade path should you decide to re-purpose your system.

Coming in at #3, I’ve got somethin for those workstation/gaming, multi-purpose builds, this is the Intel Xeon E3-1230 v5. To run this CPU you need a motherboard on the C232 or C236 chipset but thanks to a few manufacturers there are some gaming grade motherboards on this platform. Now the E3-1230 v5 is a quad-core, 8 thread CPU, essentially the server grade equivalent of an i7 but with a slightly lower clock speed & TDP, locked multiplier and ECC memory support. Now why is a Xeon part on a gaming list? Well, because like previous generations, you get i7-like performance for about $40 bucks less than even the base model i7-6700 which makes the Xeon a great value CPU.

At #2 we’re moving back to the desktop side of things with the Intel Core i5-6500. This may be arguably the best bang for the buck choice on this list as $200 bucks gets you a quad core CPU capable of handling any game or GPU out there. This CPU is a good alternative for those that normally would build a system around the 6600K but maybe have no desire to overclock or want to save a few bucks on the motherboard side. So if you’re lookin to build a system around $800 to $1000ish price range, this would be my recommendation.

And at #1, we have the Intel Core i5-6600K. This is the de facto standard for gaming builds, it’s got a 3.5GHz, quad-core processor with strong single & multi-core performance. It’s overclockable, it’s got a good price to performance ratio and really, buying any higher end Intel model yields diminishing returns in the performance department. So if you’re an enthusiast, looking to put together a gaming PC this is pretty much the default choice on the CPU end. But of course if you’re an enthusiast you probably already knew this anyway! So yeah, great price to performance, overclockable and a great platform to build on.

So those are my top 5 CPU choices for a gaming PC! If your top 5 differs from mine post YOUR top 5 down in the comments below. Be sure to leave a like on this video if you enjoyed this type of content, subscribe if you haven’t already and until next time…see ya!

AMD Athlon X4 860K
Intel Core i3-6100
Intel Xeon E3-1230 v5
Intel Core i5-6500
Intel Core i5-6600K

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