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Best Intel and AMD PC processors in 2020: see 12 models

See the 12 best processors from Intel and AMD to buy in 2020, from the most cost-effective to the most expensive.

Buying a PC processor can be a difficult task. The Core i9 10900K and Ryzen 9 3900X are the best processors from Intel and AMD, respectively, in 2020, but there are still other cost-effective options for assembling a computer without spending a lot and still having good performance, as is the case with Ryzen 5 3600X.

To help you buy the right processor that meets your needs, Zoom prepared a selection with 12 different models, which were divided into three categories: cheap chips for low-cost computers, cost-effective for good performance without spending too much and high performance for demanding users. Check the list below.

Check out the list of the best PC processors to buy in 2020. (Photo: Reproduction / Shutterstock / Alberto Garcia Guillen)

Cheap AMD and Intel processors

The following processors are models for those looking for cheaper options and don’t mind having slightly lower performance. They are aimed at those who are building a computer for basic use, but with a good set of components, they can deliver a good performance beyond the expected.

AMD Athlon 3000G : cheap AMD processor with integrated graphics

(Image: Disclosure / AMD)

If you are looking for a more affordable processor from AMD, the Athlon 3000G may be a good choice. It has 4 MB of cache and is dual-core, that is, it has only two cores, but it can work with up to four threads simultaneously. Its basic clock is 3.5 GHz, but if you like to venture overclocking, you can rest assured that this model is already unlocked from the factory for this.

The real advantage of the Athlon 3000G that makes it a good choice for those who are building a slightly cheaper computer is that you do not need a dedicated video card initially, as it already has an integrated one, the Radeon Vega. It has a DDR4 memory controller up to 2666 MHz, supporting up to two channels.

AMD Athlon 3000G spec sheet:

  • Cores: 2
  • Threads: 4
  • Base clock: 3.5 GHz
  • Clock boost: Not specified
  • Cache: 4 MB
  • TDP: 35W
  • Socket: AM4
  • Integrated graphics card: Radeon Vega 3

AMD Ryzen 3 3100: basic third-generation AMD Ryzen processor

AMD Ryzen 3 3100. (Image: Disclosure / AMD)

Raising the level slightly, we have the Ryzen 3100, which has four cores running up to 8 threads simultaneously. Its cache memory is 16 MB and has a clock speed of 3.6 GHz, but with the help of the company’s boost technology , it reaches up to 3.9 GHz. You can still go further if you have experience in overclocking , as following the tradition of several other models of the company, it is also already unlocked for that.

As it was launched this year, it is already compatible with PCI Express 4.0 technology, and can also be used with higher frequency DDR4 memories. According to the manufacturer, it has support for combs up to 3200 MHz. The chip does not have a dedicated graphics card.

AMD Ryzen 3 3100 specs:

  • Cores: 4
  • Threads: 8
  • Base clock: 3.6 GHz
  • Clock boost: 3.9 GHz
  • Cache: 16 MB
  • TDP: 65W
  • Socket: AM4
  • Integrated graphics card: No

Intel Pentium Gold G5600 : Cheap but efficient Intel PC processor

Intel Pentium Gold G5600.  (Image: Disclosure / Intel)

The Pentium Gold G5600 is part of the most “basic” models from Intel, suitable for those who will assemble a computer a little simpler. It has only two cores, but it can operate with up to four threads at a time at a 3.9 GHz clock . The chip, however, does not have any kind of feature to increase the frequency. It supports memories up to 2400 MHz and DDR4 model.

What draws attention in this processor is that it already has an integrated graphics card, the Intel UHD Graphics 630, a very simple model, but that can break a stick if your budget is not enough to buy a dedicated card. It has 4 MB of cache memory and supports up to 54W of average power consumption, the TDP.

Intel Pentium Gold G5600 specs:

  • Cores: 2
  • Threads: 4
  • Base clock: 3.9 GHz
  • Clock boost: No
  • Cache: 4 MB
  • TDP: 54W
  • Socket: FCLGA1151
  • Integrated graphics card: Intel UHD Graphics 630

Intel Core i3 9100F: ninth generation Intel Core i3 processor

Intel Core i3 9100F.  (Image: Disclosure / Intel)
Intel Core i3 9100F. (Image: Disclosure / Intel)

Looking for a slightly more basic ninth generation processor? The i3 9100F is one of the more “simple” options, but it delivers excellent performance. It has 4 cores and can run up to four threads at once, at a base clock of 3.6 GHz. However, the company works with Turbo Boost technology , which manages to raise this value up to 4.2 GHz. AMD models, overclocking is not possible here .

It has “only” 6 MB of cache memory, which are distributed more efficiently due to Smart Cache technology, which manages space when the cores are being used simultaneously, promising a better result than the conventional one. The i3 9100F has two memory controllers, supporting DDR4 models up to 2400 MHz. The chip does not have a dedicated graphics card.

Intel Core i3 9100F datasheet:

  • Cores: 4
  • Threads: 4
  • Base clock: 3.6 GHz
  • Clock boost: 4.2 GHz
  • Cache: 6 MB
  • TDP: 65W
  • Socket: FCLGA1151
  • Integrated graphics card: No

Cost-effective AMD and Intel processors

Now we will mention some processors that are references in the item “cost-benefit”. They are not as cheap as those mentioned above, but they are among the models on the market that most deliver advantages for the price that is charged.

In terms of performance, they are between intermediate and advanced options. If you are not looking to assemble a computer for professional use, they will certainly serve you well and deliver excellent performances, even on heavier tasks and games.

AMD Ryzen 3 3300X: AMD’s low-cost gaming processor

AMD Ryzen 3 3300X.  (Image: Disclosure / AMD)
AMD Ryzen 3 3300X. (Image: Disclosure / AMD)

Now entering the cost-benefit area, we have the Ryzen 3300X. It was a processor well praised by experts for fulfilling exactly what it promises, which is to deliver excellent performance at a more affordable price. This model has four cores and can run up to eight threads, this at a clock speed of 3.8 GHz, which can rise to 4.3 GHz with the company’s turbo technology.

It is also compatible with PCI Express 4.0 technology, in addition to supporting DDR4 memories up to 3200 MHz, so it is a processor that can handle a very powerful set without suffering overloads. It is manufactured in seven nanometers, which makes it an option with more energy efficiency and less heating, further optimizing its final performance.

AMD Ryzen 3 3300X specs:

  • Cores: 4
  • Threads: 8
  • Base clock: 3.8 GHz
  • Clock boost: 4.3 GHz
  • Cache: 16 MB
  • TDP: 65W
  • Socket: AM4
  • Integrated graphics card: No

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X : AMD Ryzen 5 processor for video editing and simultaneous work

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X.  (Image: Disclosure / AMD)
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X. (Image: Disclosure / AMD)

Even more powerful than the model mentioned earlier, this processor will favor those who work with several programs open simultaneously. It has 6 cores, but can run up to 12 threads at once, which is best for use in multi-tasking on the computer. In addition, the Zen2 microarchitecture made with 7 mm nanometers made it possible for this generation to reach higher clocks using less energy and heating less.

The result of this is in the numbers of the Ryzen 5 3600X which has a base clock of 3.8 GHz, but can reach up to 4.4 GHz with AMD’s boost technology . You can still go further, as it is already unlocked from the factory for overclocking . It has two memory controllers, for combs of DDR4 technology with a frequency of up to 3200 MHz.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X specs:

  • Cores: 6
  • Threads: 12
  • Base clock: 3.8 GHz
  • Clock boost: 4.4 GHz
  • Cache: 32 MB
  • TDP: 95W
  • Socket: AM4
  • Integrated graphics card: No

Intel Core i5 10400F : 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor for multitasking

Intel Core i5 10400F.  (Image: Disclosure / Intel)

The Intel Core i5 10400F is one of the options for those looking for a good cost-effective model. In this option, the company focused on offering good performance in the use of multitasking, so it has six cores and 12 threads available, which work with Hyper Threading technology. The technology promises to further increase processor performance in these cases, optimizing energy use and eliminating idleness.

The 10400F can work with a base clock of 2.9 GHz, but with the company’s Turbo Boost technology , it is possible to reach up to 4.3 GHz. If you want to overclock , you will have to go to another series from Intel, as this chip does not come unlocked for this. It supports DDR4 standard memories up to 2666 MHz and supports PCI Express 3.0.

Intel Core i5 10400F datasheet:

  • Cores: 6
  • Threads: 12
  • Base clock: 3.9 GHz
  • Clock boost: 4.3 GHz
  • Cache: 12 MB
  • TDP: 65W
  • Socket: FCLGA1200
  • Integrated graphics card: Intel UHD Graphics 630

Intel Core i5 9600K : Intel processor overclocked

Intel Core i5 9600K.  (Image: Disclosure / Intel)

The i5 9600K was one of the first ninth-generation processors from Intel, but arrived with the same “Coffe Lake” architecture as the previous generation, also being manufactured in 14 nanometers. It has six cores and can run up to six threads simultaneously, but has a high clock , with 3.6 GHZ of base value and can reach up to 4.3 GHZ, using the company’s turbo technology.

However, a crucial difference from other lines is that you can overclock here to increase your frequency even more. For this reason, the TDP of the I5 9600K is also higher, since in addition to a clock that is already high naturally, it needs to have a greater power dissipation in times of overclocking . It is worth mentioning that it has an integrated video card, the Intel 630 UHD, a simple model, but which can break the branch in times of emergency.

Intel Core i5 9600K datasheet:

  • Cores: 6
  • Threads: 6
  • Base clock: 3.6 GHz
  • Clock boost: 4.3 GHz
  • Cache: 9 MB
  • TDP: 95W
  • Socket: LGA2011 – 3
  • Integrated graphics card: Intel UHD Graphics 630

High-performance AMD and Intel processors

To conclude our indications, we will show four high performance models, aimed at those who seek the best possible performance and do not care about paying for it.

The processors mentioned below have a very powerful technical sheet and are indicated for those who are building a computer for professional use, or for those who want to have robust machines that last for years.

AMD Ryzen 7 3800X : eight-core AMD Ryzen processor

AMD Ryzen 7 3800X.  (Image: Disclosure / AMD)

The Ryzen 7 3800X is one of the high performance options for those who do not plan to save money for excellent performance. It has eight cores and can and can execute 16 threads. As is usual with AMD processors, it will be an excellent option for the use of multi-tasking and programs that need this feature to run well, as is the case with rendering software, 3D modeling and others.

It uses Zen2 architecture with some optimizations to improve its frequencies, all with the help of 7 mm lithography, which guarantees more energy efficiency and less heating. It has a base clock of 3.9 GHz, but can reach 4.5 GHz with the company’s boost technology , in addition to being unlocked for overclocking . It has 32 MB of L3 cache memory, a very generous amount that helps it perform well in games and other applications.

AMD Ryzen 7 3800X specs:

  • Cores: 8
  • Threads: 16
  • Base clock: 3.9 GHz
  • Clock boost: 4.5 GHz
  • Cache: 32 MB
  • TDP: 105W
  • Socket: AM4
  • Integrated graphics card: No

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X : 12-core AMD Ryzen processor

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X.  (Image: Disclosure / AMD)

Were you not satisfied with the 8 cores of the previous model? The Ryzen 9 3900X has an incredible 12 cores, those that can generate 24 threads, an amount that is impressive and aimed at more advanced use, in which very heavy programs will be executed. It has a base clock of 3.8GHz, which with the boost technology from AMD can be raised to 4.6GHz, but if you are the type of “hardcore” user you can overclock to increase these values ​​even further.

It also uses 7 nanometer technology to increase its frequencies, decrease energy expenditure and temperatures in cases of heavier uses. The Ryzen 9 3900X has a 64 MB L3 cache memory, which guarantees high level performance in programs and games, even the heaviest. In addition, it is also capable of supporting memories up to 3733 MHz, so you can build a supercomputer with this processor.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X specs:

  • Cores: 12
  • Threads: 24
  • Base clock: 3.8 GHz
  • Clock boost: 4.6 GHz
  • Cache: 64 MB
  • TDP: 105W
  • Socket: AM4
  • Integrated graphics card: No

Intel Core i7 10700K: eight-core Intel Core i7 processor

Intel Core i7 10700K.  (Image: Disclosure / Intel)

One of Intel’s high-performance processors is the i7 10700K, which features the Hyper Threading feature so that the processor delivers optimum performance when using applications that require good multitasking. The chip has eight cores that can run up to 16 threads at once. The K line arrives unlocked from the factory for overclocking , so this processor has a higher TDP, 125W, so it has a higher power dissipation in these cases.

However, Intel continues to adopt 14 nanometer technology in the manufacture of its processors, which for many is somewhat controversial since competitors like Ryzen are already using 7 nm. However, the company is improving this construction, making it more powerful and efficient. So the i7 10700K has a base clock of 3.8 GHz, but it can reach an incredible 5.1 GHz, all with an improved cooling system to support more extreme cases.

Intel Core i7 10700K datasheet:

  • Cores: 8
  • Threads: 16
  • Base clock: 3.8 GHz
  • Clock boost: 5.1 GHz
  • Cache: 16 MB
  • TDP: 125W
  • Socket: LGA1200
  • Integrated graphics card: Intel UHD Graphics 630

Intel Core i9 10900K : 10-core Intel Core i9 processor

Intel Core i9 10900K.  (Image: Disclosure / Intel)
Intel Core i9 10900K. (Image: Disclosure / Intel)

The Intel Core i9 10900K is the most powerful model of the tenth generation to date. The chip has 10 cores that run up to 20 threads at once, all with optimized performance thanks to Hyper Threading technology. The base clock of 3.70 GHz can reach up to 5.30 GHz with Intel’s Turbo Boost technology . It is still possible to increase this value by overclocking , as it arrives unlocked from the factory for this.

According to Intel, it supports up to 128 GB of RAM, which can be in the DDR4 standard. Another important point is that it has an integrated video card, not that you will use it as the main one, but in case your dedicated card burns, you will still be able to use the computer normally.

Intel Core i9 10900K datasheet:

  • Cores: 10
  • Threads: 20
  • Base clock: 3.7 GHz
  • Clock boost: 5.30 GHz
  • Cache: 20 MB
  • TDP: 95W
  • Socket: LGA 1200
  • Integrated graphics card: Intel UHD Graphics 630