Best CPUs for streaming and gaming to buy [2020 Guide]

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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CPUs for streaming & gaming

When we’re talking about gaming, especially at a professional level, there’s no way we can’t mention powerful PCs. Everything, starting from the CPU and ending with the RAM, needs to be top-notch for a great experience.

This is especially true if you are also streaming while playing, since your game needs to look and react perfectly while you stream it live.

With that thought in mind, we’ve decided to create a list of the best CPUs that you can buy.

Note: Deals are subject to change. Keep in mind that the price tag often varies. We recommend going on the vendor’s website to check the price. Some of the products may be out of stock by the time you’ve made your purchasing decision. So, hurry up and hit the buy button.

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What are the best CPUs for streaming and gaming?

1

Intel Core i9-9900K

Intel Core i9-9900KThe Intel Core i9-9900K is at the top of our list for good reason. This digital powerhouse boasts 8 cores at 16 threads that run at a frequency of 5.00 GHz that will make even the latest games run as if they were Tetris.

It is made with Solder Thermal Interface Material (STIM) to help maximize efficient heat transfer from the processor to the cooler. This allows you to overclock it to your hearts desire more than you could with any other CPU.

Pros:

  • 8 Cores / 16 Threads
  • 3.60 GHz up to 5.00 GHz / 16 MB Cache
  • Intel Optane Memory Supported
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630

Cons:

  • Compatible only with Motherboards based on Intel 300 Series Chipsets
  • The price tag

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2

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950XThe AMD Ryzen Threadripper processor is designed to provide indisputable multi-processing supremacy for gaming, streaming, and other resource-intensive endeavors such as 3D design.

It features 16 cores that provide an astonishing 32 threads of simultaneous multi-processing power, while the 40MB of the combined cache will make your PC run like a beast.

Pros:

  • Incredible 16 Cores and 32 threads of processing power
  • 4.0 GHz Precision Boost (up to 4.2 GHz with XFR)
  • 40MB of Cache Memory
  • 64 PCIe Gen3 lanes
  • Quad-channel DDR4.Max temperature: 68 degrees C

Cons:

  • Only worth the money if you get it at a sale

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3

Intel Core i7-8700K

Intel Core i7-8700KWhat makes the Intel Core i7-8700Kso special is that compared to the Intel Core i9-9900K it features the exact same stats (proportionate for the price), meaning that it will still be able to run games at astonishing performance levels, without the astonishing price tag.

The 6-core processor is extremely powerful and will turn your computer into a literal workmachine capable of pretty much everything.

Pros:

  • 6 Cores / 12 Threads
  • 3.70 GHz Max Turbo Frequency / 12 MB Cache
  • DDR4 2666
  • Bus Speed 8 GT/s DMI3
  • Intel Optane Memory Supported
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630

Cons:

  • Compatible only with Motherboards based on Intel 300 Series Chipsets

Check price

4

Intel Core i5-9400F

Intel Core i5-9400FYet another mellowed-down version of the i9 and i7, the Intel Core i5-9400F is probably the most cost-efficient CPU that you could buy, without sacrificing too much performance.

While you won’t be able to run the latest titles at max video settings on a 4K monitor, you will still be able to handle games that are not all that resource-intensive, but still relatively new.

Pros:

  • 6 Cores/ 6 Threads
  • 2.90 GHz up to 4.10 GHz Max Turbo Frequency/ 9 MB Cache
  • Bus Speed: 8 GT/s DMI3
  • Intel Optane Memory supported

Cons:

  • Compatible only with Motherboards based on Intel 300 Series Chipsets
  • Discrete GPU required No integrated graphics

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5

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

AMD Ryzen 5 3600XThe AMD Ryzen 5 3600X is yet another CPU designed specifically for the budget gamer that still manages to deliver good performance on all of the latest games.

Not only does it have 6 cores and 12 processing threads, but it also comes with a built-in cooler to keep things from getting too hot during a match. Additionally, the CPU comes bundled with 2 games if you buy it from Amazon.

Pros:

  • Game Bundle: Get Borderland 3 or The Outer World PC game plus 3 months of Xbox Game Pass
  • It can deliver ultra-fast 100+ FPS performance in the world’s most popular games
  • System Memory Specification 3200MHz
  • 6 Cores and 12 processing threads, bundled with the powerful AMD Wraith Spire cooler
  • 4.4 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 35 MB of game Cache
  • DDR 3200 support
  • For the advanced socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on x570 motherboards
  • Good price-performance ratio

Cons:

  • Intel counterparts are allegedly better

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Closing thoughts on CPUs for streaming and gaming

Gaming and streaming have become something akin to a job, and many people are actually making a living out of it.

However, like any other job, you also need the right tools for it, or else your game will run very slowly and you’ll lose your audience.

As such, knowing how to build a PC and how to choose the best components will ensure that your games will run smoothly, and maybe even give you a competitive edge over your opponents.