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AMD Processors: the best AMD CPUs in 2020

AMD Processors
MD processors have proven to be competitive.
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best AMD processors have given Intel a legitimate reason to be concerned, rolling out chips that deliver impressive performance for much less than their rivals. Thanks to offerings like the Ryzen 9 3950X, the rest of the Ryzen 3rd Generation line and the much newer AMD Ryzen 5000 chips, AMD is taking over and gaining more traction among consumers over Intel.

A better value for your money, the best AMD processors tend to be more affordable than their rivals without compromising on performance, making them ideal for not just the budget-conscious consumers. While Intel has tried to reclaim the crown with its Comet Lake chips, starting with its 10-core flagship capable of 5.1GHz boost, AMD still seems to have the upper hand in the AMD vs Intel battle.

We gathered all the best AMD processors from all the current generations available. If you’re in the market for a solid chip, you’ll certainly find something on this list.

  • If you're looking for AMD graphics cards, here are our picks for the best AMD GPU

The best AMD CPUs at a glance

  1. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
  2. AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
  3. AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
  4. AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
  5. AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

(Image credit: AMD)

1. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

Best CPU for high-end gaming

Cores: 12 | Threads: 24 | Base clock: 3.7GHz | Boost clock: 4.8GHz | L3 cache: 64MB | TDP: 105W

Amazing performance
A new single-core champion
Same power consumption
Price went up
No included cooler

The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X brings the biggest gen-on-gen jump in a single performance in years, making it a terrific upgrade. This latest release from AMD is not just a stronger processor across the board. It’s also an incredibly powerful processor for gaming and creative work full stop. The fact that you won’t need a new motherboard is just a nice perk.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X takes that budget-minded stage of performance to a new level. (Image credit: TechRadar)

2. AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

Best AMD processor for gaming

Cores: 6 | Threads: 12 | Base clock: 3.8GHz | Boost clock: 4.4GHz | L3 cache: 32MB | TDP: 95W

Excellent performance
Affordable
Includes a cooler
Still 6-cores

Showcasing an impressive multi-threading performance as well as competitive performance in even the most intense single-threaded applications, this mid-range chip cannot help but take the throne as the best AMD processor for gaming. And, AMD Ryzen 5 3600X doesn’t just stop there: it takes that budget-minded stage of performance to a new level, with increased IPC (instructions per clock) performance, along with a higher clock speed – while staying at the same price point.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

(Image credit: AMD)

3. AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

Ryzen to the top

Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Base clock: 3.8GHz | Boost clock: 4.7GHz | L3 cache: 32MB | TDP: 105W

Excellent single-core performance
Strong for gaming
Low power
Price jump from Ryzen 3000
No included cooler

Intel no longer has the monopoly on gaming CPUs. Rocking 8 cores and 16 threads, along with much stronger single-core performance, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X is among the best CPUs for gaming – as well as less demanding creative work – right now. And it comes with a much more approachable price tag compared to most of Intel’s offerings, making it a much better value.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X

If you’re looking for one a processors that can handle processing tasks and high-end gaming, the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X is a strong contender. (Image credit: Future)

4. AMD Ryzen 9 3950X

Moonlights as an HEDT processor

Cores: 16 | Threads: 32 | Base clock: 3.5GHz | Boost clock: 4.7GHz | L3 cache: 64MB | TDP: 105W

Cheaper than HEDT
PCIe 4.0
Fits in AM4 socket
Needs extra cooling
Limited gaming advantage

The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X is so great that in our review, we went as far as to call it the baddest cat in town when it comes to processors that don’t land in the HEDT (high-end desktop) category of processors. Built on AMD’s 7nm Zen 2 architecture, it has a whopping 16 cores and 32 threads, making it excellent for heavily threaded computer work. If you’re looking for one of the best AMD processors that can handle both processing tasks and high-end gaming, the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X is a strong contender.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X

(Image credit: AMD)

5. AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X

Perfecting the Threadripper line

Cores: 24 | Threads: 48 | Base clock: 3.8GHz | Boost clock: 4.5GHz | L3 cache: 128MB | TDP: 280W

Excellent single and multithreaded performance
Competitive price
Not backwards compatible

Launched alongside the even more potent Ryzen Threadripper 3970X, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X may have the same core count as its predecessor. However, it comes with a brand-new architecture that delivers performance gains as well as PCIe 4.0, making it among the best processors in the Threadripper arena. The 3960X delivers dramatically improved single-threaded performance and has successfully reduced its predecessors’ idiosyncrasies that affect their own performance. It may come with a higher price tag and require the TRX40 motherboard – not to mention, a powerful cooler – but it’s certainly worth the fuss if you can maximize its skills to your advantage.