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Best CPU for 4K Gaming – Top 6 Options – Buyer’s Guide!

    ✅ Fact Checked
    Updated on October 6, 2022
    John Chad, Bachelor Computer Science Degree & Computer Engineering.
    Written by
    John Chad, Bachelor Degree in Computer Science & Computer Engineering.
    Russel Collins
    Fact Checked by
    Russel Collins
    John is a certified IT & Computer Engineer with a Bachelors Degree. He has worked for a International Insurance Company in the IT department before deciding to become a full time blogger to help his readers. Holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from Stanford University.

    The best way to enjoy your favorite games is with high-quality graphics, which means that they should also look realistic at any resolution or refresh rate possible. The most popular video game resolutions are 1920×1080 (Full HD) and 3840 x 2160 Ultra High Definition (UHD / 4k), but it’s not always easy to find the ideal hardware configuration in order to play these games smoothly. In this article, we will cover some important aspects about what makes the perfect CPU for playing games in UHD and Full HD.

    Nowadays, there are tons of choices available for every budget, including top brands such as AMD and Intel. Although choosing from among them can get confusing, deciding which CPU suits your needs the best depends mostly upon your requirements. For example, if you use your PC primarily for work purposes and watching videos rather than gaming, a mid-range CPU might suit your needs just fine.

    However, if you’ve decided to go ahead with upgrading your system to support 4K gaming, there are several things you must keep in mind before making your purchase decision.

    First of all, you need to know how well each CPU handles frame rates. This will help determine how fast your current games run and how fast you’ll be able to upgrade to new titles in the future.

    Next, you should check out the latest benchmarks related to gaming. These tests provide information regarding the speed of the processor and compare various models against each other. Finally, you should read reviews written by experts who often test each model thoroughly (We did this for you below!). By doing so, you’ll become familiar with everything you need to know about each CPU.

    Top 6 Best CPU for 4K Gaming

    CPUOur OpinionCheck Price
    I7 11700KMost powerful CPU in this list, there will be a bit of bottleneck since your GPU isn't as good but you can always overclock the GPU.Check best price amazon 300x120 1
    I5 11600KA bit worse than the I7 11700K but still easily the 2nd best option. Will have a no bottleneck if you overclock your GPU.Check best price amazon 300x120 1
    Ryzen 7 5800XA bit worse than the other 2 options due to being released prior to them, however it's still a very solid choice.Check best price amazon 300x120 1
    Ryzen 5 5600XAnother solid choice, perfect for a mix of being cheap + decent performanceCheck best price amazon 300x120 1
    I5 12600KNewest Generation of Intel CPUsCheck best price amazon 300x120 1
    Ryzen 7 3800XWeakest CPU we would suggest you to get.Check best price amazon 300x120 1

    If you go for weaker options than the ones we’ve listed, you’ll end up running into bottleneck issues or you will have very low FPS while gaming.

    Upgrading to Intel® Core™ i7-11700K processor boosts productivity, improves multitasking power, and adds additional cores, threads, memory, and graphics performance to your PC. Now, this new level of performance is even faster and more capable with Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 and Intel® Optane™ Memory technology.

    With support for PCI Express gen4.0, the i7-11700K delivers twice the bandwidth for superior memory access, enabling faster transfer speeds. Intel Turbo Boost 3.0 works seamlessly with Intel Turbo CORE technology to automatically adjust CPU performance levels and frequency to meet current workloads without impacting system responsiveness. In addition, Intel Turbo Boost allows the 11700K to dynamically increase clock speeds as needed.

    With up to 3.9 GHz Turbo Boost 2.0 speeds, Intel® Core™ i5 processor allows for great performance and responsiveness with minimal thermal throttling, delivering an enhanced user experience. Optimized for Windows 7-10, Core i5 Processor offers excellent multi-tasking and productivity capabilities. The processor is 100% compatible with Windows 7-10, and supported by motherboard manufacturers. Using a PCIe Gen 4.0 interface, processors can offer exceptional bandwidth and data transfer speed, increasing overall performance by up to 40%. With the ability to manage power profiles in up to 8 ways, the processor can conserve power during idle hours, allowing greater system longevity and reduced electricity usage. Intel® HD Graphics 630 brings powerful graphics capability with support for DirectX12.

    The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X is here to show off AMD’s third-generation “Zen” computing architecture. With 8 cores and 16 threads running simultaneously, the Ryzen 7 5800X is capable of handling anything thrown at it. Running up to 4.7 GHz on base frequency, the Ryzen 7 5800X takes gaming, content creation, VR experiences, and other tasks to new heights.

    Alright, Gamers and PC Enthusiasts, it’s time to get serious. With AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core 3.7 GHz (4.6 GHz Max Boost) Socket AM4 Desktop Processor, you’ll be armed to dominate the battlefield for years to come. The world’s most advanced processor in the desktop PC gaming segment Can deliver ultra fast 100+ FPS performance in the world’s most popular games.

    Game like a pro with the latest technologies integrated into this PC, including a multi-core AMD Ryzen processor, powerful discrete graphics, and ample fast storage options. This desktop is built to keep you productive, creative, and entertained.

    The Core i5 processor from Intel is a compact and energy-efficient processor design for desktops. It offers improved onboard graphics, turbo boost, hyper-threading and rapid processing. The Socket LGA-1700 socket allows the processor to be placed on the PC without soldering. This processor is compatible with DDR4 SDRAM memory that helps in faster data transmission and 16 MB of L3 cache rapidly retrieves the most used data available to improve system performance. This processor has a built-in Intel UHD Graphics controller for great graphics and visual quality.

    Built with seven cores, the AMD Ryzen 7 3800X processor has 16 threads that create a smooth and fast computing experience. With speeds up to 4.5GHz, it creates a seamless response for your games and movies as you work swiftly through your tasks. The Wraith Prism cooler with color-controlled LED support that you receive with this model enables you to monitor temperatures with ease. Experience elite performance in games, content creation, and intense multi-tasking.


    In conclusion, the right CPU to choose differs according to each individual user’s preferences. Before jumping into buying anything, you should understand the benefits and disadvantages of having a faster CPU. Then you can figure out exactly which one will meet your specific needs. After reading this guide, hopefully, you’ll gain valuable insight into selecting the right option for your budget & needs.


    Does CPU matter for 4K gaming?

    Yes, it does because a higher-end will always give you better performance while gaming over a lower-end CPU, this means that you’ll get more FPS and thus smoother image & gameplay with a high-end option. Although, you should always have a good enough GPU to match, especially since the GPU is still more important than the CPU when we’re talking about performance with 4k monitors.

    Does CPU affect 4K FPS?

    Yes, it does, the CPU affects your gaming FPS with a 4k monitor, the same way it would affect it with any kind of monitor. A high-end CPU will always have better overall performance while gaming, thus, higher FPS, lower-end options will have worse performance while gaming, thus, less FPS, this is universal regardless of the resolution of your monitor, although, yes, with a 4k monitor you should make sure to get a strong enough processor to handle it since its requirements & demands will be greater than a regular 1080p monitor.