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Best processors 2019: the best CPUs for your PC

best processors
Image Credit: TechRadar

Are you looking for the best processor 2019 has on offer with which to build your new computer? Lucky for you, the CPU market is teeming with powerful silicon and growing. Thanks to the fiery competition between Intel and AMD, now is a great time to invest in a new processor. 

AMD has been slowly dominating the market, especially now with its Ryzen 3rd generation processors to compete with the likes of Intel Core i9-9900K and Intel Core i9-9920X. Intel, on the other hand, has its 9th-generation Coffee Lake Refresh chips with the Intel Core i9-9900K leading series, and they are still ever popular. Plus, not to be outdone by AMD, Intel has been rolling out Ice Lakechips, and we should start seeing them in computers by the end of 2019.

The market is completely packed with a number of impressive chips, from budget big shots, like the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G, to HEDT heroes, like Intel’s Basin Falls Refresh lineup. There are also many mid-range megastars to round out this best processors list, like our current favorite, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X.

In fact, you can hardly throw a stone without hitting an impressive processor that does the job and more. This just means that finding the most ideal one for your rig is key. Lucky for you, even if the latest and greatest silicon is out of your wallet’s reach, there are many excellent Coffee Lake and Ryzen Gen 1 chips on the market.

Get ready to experience incredible PC performance – as well as great deals thanks to our included our price comparison tool. These are the best processors on the market in 2019.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

(Image credit: Future)

Best CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Team Red’s takeover

Cores: 12 | Threads: 24 | Base clock: 3.8GHz | Boost clock: 4.6GHz | L3 cache: 64MB | TDP: 105W

Incredible performance
PCIe 4.0
Beats Intel at same price
Included heatsink may not be enough
Single core performance still behind

The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X isn’t just AMD’s best mainstream processor right now; it’s also currently the king of all mainstream processors. With multi-threaded performance that destroys everything in its path to start, you won’t find a processor more impressive without stepping up to the HEDT market. Sure, there are some workloads where the Intel Core i9-9900K will still come out better, like with old games that are completely single threaded. However, thanks to this chip, the gap is definitely starting to narrow.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Intel Core i9-9900K

Image Credit: Intel

Best high-end CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K

Raw power

Cores: 8 | Base clock: 3.6GHz | Boost clock: 5.0GHz | L3 cache: 16MB | TDP: 95W

Insane performance
Tight energy consumption
Very expensive for mainstream

Thanks to increasing pressure from AMD, Intel’s offerings have been heating up like crazy (sometimes literally.) Out of this fiery competition came the Intel Core i9-9900K, an absolute beast of a processor that packs eight cores and 16 threads. That’s more cores than any mainstream processor released by Intel. The performance shows that it’s worth it, as this chip can go head to head with some of AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper chips. If raw performance is what you’re seeking, the Intel Core i9-9900K is, without question, one of the best processors you can go for. 

Read the full review: Intel Core i9-9900K

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X

Image Credit: AMD

Best mid-range CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600X

Top performance on a budget

Cores: 6 | Threads: 12 | Base clock: 3.6GHz | Boost clock: 4.32GHz | L3 cache: 16MB | TDP: 95W

 Faster single-core performance 
 Better gaming performance 
 Slightly higher price 

Looking to purchase one of the best processors for content creation on a tight budget? The AMD Ryzen 5 2600X might just be an ideal choice for you. With 6 cores, 12 threads and a base clock of 3.6GHz, you’re getting a much better performance than the pricier Intel Core i5-8600K. As a bonus, you get a gorgeous RGB CPU cooler included. Yes, the gaming performance over the blue team is marginal at best, but when you start multi-tasking – and who doesn’t always end up with 100 chrome tabs open by lunchtime – that value starts to manifest.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 5 2600X 

AMD Ryzen 3 2200G

Image Credit: AMD

Best Entry Level CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 2200G

Integrated graphics on a budget

Cores: 4 | Threads: 4 | Base clock: 3.5GHz | Boost clock: 3.7GHz | L3 cache: 4MB | TDP: 65W

 Playable 1080p gaming 
 Very affordable 
 Finicky drivers 

If you’re putting together a gaming PC while on the tightest budget, the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G might just be your best investment yet. It doesn’t inherit the hyperthreading capability of its predecessor, the Ryzen 3 1200. However, the introduction of integrated graphics makes this APU one of the most affordable ways to experience casual PC gaming, a good enough reason to give this a spot in our best processors list. Impressively, we were even able to play Overwatch at 4K Ultra-HD resolution at ‘Epic’ settings.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 3 2200G 

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

(Image credit: Future)

Best gaming CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

AMD claims the mid-range

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

Excellent performance
Includes a cooler
Still 6-cores

With more threads than the Intel Core i5-9600K, this mid-range graphics card delivers impressive multi-threading performance. However, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X doesn’t just stop there: it takes that budget-minded stage of performance to a new level, with its increased IPC (instructions per clock) performance and a higher clock speed while staying at the same price point. It also stays competitive in even the most intense single-threaded applications.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X

Image Credit: AMD

Best VR CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1800X

Ryzen to the occasion and VR-ready to rumble

Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Base clock: 3.6GHz | Boost clock: 4GHz | L3 cache: 16MB | TDP: 95W

Stunning multi-core performance
Insane price
Overclocking is touch and go
Temperatures are ‘unique’

Initially the Intel Core i7-7700K’s biggest competition, the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X still holds its own today, despite having been succeeded by the Ryzen 7 2800X. Its high core count, when compared to its Intel rival, means that it's better suited for VR workloads. Now that it’s dropped considerably in price, it’s more affordable than ever. If you’re building a VR rig, do yourself a favor: save some cash without sacrificing too much on performance with the Ryzen 7 1800X. It’s undoubtedly one of the best processors for VR gaming.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 7 1800X

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

(Image credit: Future)

Best video editing CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

The best processor for most people

Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Base clock: 3.6GHz | Boost clock: 4.4GHz | L3 cache: 32MB | TDP: 65W

Incredible price to performance
Included cooler
Single-threaded performance still falls behind Intel

The single-threaded performance of the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X admittedly still falls behind Intel, but what matters most in video editing and rendering is how a chip does with multi-threaded workloads. If you’re building a computer that can handle your video editing demands, this chip is an absolute beast and our top pick for video editing. That’s not all: this AMD chip offers impressive performance and a Wraith Spire cooler at a very affordable price.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

Intel Core i9-9980XE

Image Credit: Intel

Best performance processor: Intel Core i9-9980XE

There’s a new king in town

Cores: 18 | Threads: 36 | Base clock: 3.0GHz | Boost clock: 4.4GHz | L3 cache: 24.75MB | TDP: 165W

Sits at the top of the HEDT stack
Insane multi-core performance
Whiplash-inducing cost

Are you the kind of user that demands world-class performance, and money is no object? The Intel Core i9-9980XE is among the best processors for you. With 18-cores and 36-threads, it absolutely destroys all its competitors on the market right now, if just barely. Multi-threaded applications and workstation-class projects are going to breeze by with this chip. However, if that steep price tag makes you do a double take, then you might want to look somewhere else.

Read the full review: Intel Core i9-9980XE

Intel Pentium G4560

Image Credit: Intel

Best budget CPU: Intel Pentium G4560

Intel Core i3 power at a Pentium price tag

Cores: 2 | Threads: 4 | Base clock: 3.5GHz | L3 cache: 3MB | TDP: 54W

Closely tails Core i3-7100
Supports hyper-threading
Limited to DDR4-2400 memory

If you choose the Intel Pentium G4560 over a Core i3 chip, you might not even notice the slight loss of performance, as you’ll be too busy counting all the money you saved. As the first Pentium chip in a long time to boast hyper-threading, the G4560 shows us what low-end CPUs have been missing for a long time. In benchmarks, it proves that it’s easily adjacent to the pricier Intel Core i3-7100.

AMD Ryzen 5 2400G

Image Credit: AMD

Best HTPC CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2400G

Ryzen and Vega finally meet

Cores: 4 | Threads: 8 | Base clock: 3.6GHz | Boost clock: 3.9GHz | L2 cache: 2MB

Impressive integrated graphics
Massive value
Limited PCI-E lanes

One of the only things that was missing in AMD’s Ryzen processors when they blew up was the integrated graphics support. But then, the Ryzen 5 2400G hit the streets and changed everything for mainstream PC users. With excellent AMD Vega graphics, it’s a fantastic APU most ideal for anyone looking to build a home theater PC. In addition, now that AMD has slashed the price, you can get your 4K action for cheaper than ever.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 5 2400G 

Michelle Rae Uy also contributed to this article.

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