When you are building a gaming rig, you need to think about what graphics card and CPU you are going to get. That is because both of these components are responsible for producing your game’s frame rates and you want to make sure that you are playing as smoothly as possible.
That being said, there are so many CPUs out there and so it is understandable that the layman can get bombarded with so many different options.
Fortunately for you, this article is centered around giving you useful information about the best gaming processors that you can buy in 2020.
Before We Begin
The first thing that you have to consider is your budget. Before buying a gaming CPU, you need to establish how much money you want to spend on it so that you can narrow down your options significantly.
For example, if your budget is only $250, then you can get a Ryzen 3600 or even a heavily-discounted Ryzen 3700x if you can find one.
Of course, there are some people who are huge fans of a single company and if you are part of that demographic, then I will provide great CPUs for each brand as well.
With that out of the way, here are the best gaming processors that you can find in 2020:
Best Gaming CPUs
1.Intel Core i9-10900K
At the time of writing this article, Intel processors are still the kings when it comes to pure gaming performance. That is because their core frequencies are clocked higher and that the 14nm process nodes have been exhausted, giving you unparalleled performance that the chip is able to offer.
It is a 10-core, 20-thread part that has a base clock of 3.7GHz and it can boost up to 5.3GHz automatically. Of course, with the way Intel makes their processors now, only the two best cores boost as high as that while the rest can boost up to 5GHz without any problems.
Despite the relatively lower core count when pitted against what AMD has to offer, the higher frequencies mean that it can produce more frames than the top-of-the-line chips from team red.
What’s more, you can overclock this chip so that all of the cores can boost up to 5.3GHz, though you will have to be lucky enough to achieve those numbers.
Speaking of overlock, the Intel Core i9-10900K is one of the best overclocking chips out there. By spending some time pumping up the frequencies and testing their validity, you can eke out more performance out of the processor for free. Of course, you will need to have a beefy CPU cooler if you intend to do that.
While this chip is rated at 95W TDP, it can easily draw as much as 300+ watts of power when it is overclocked, so you’d want to keep that in mind.
However, if you want the best processor for gaming on the market in 2020, the Intel Core i9-10900K is the king.
2.Intel Core i5-10600K
Price: $275-$300 Depending on Retailer
A few years ago, when you think about the Intel Core i5 processors from Intel, you only get a maximum of 4 cores and 4 threads on each part. That has changed since the release of the 10th generation chips and Intel has now upped the core count to 6 cores, while also adding the company’s hyperthreading feature as well.
For those of you who do not know, Intel’s Hyperthreading is a feature that pretty much doubles the thread count of its processors. So, since the Intel Core i5-10600K is a 6-core CPU, it effectively has 12 threads with the said feature enabled. Now, what does this all mean?
Well, it just means that you get better gaming performance across the board. Since most games nowadays utilize more than 4 cores when maxed out, having the Intel Core i5-10600K makes a lot of sense.
Just like its bigger brother, the Intel Core i5-10600K is also a pretty good overclocker as well. Its base frequency is 4.1GHz and its boost frequency is 4.8GHz. However, if you are lucky, you can overclock the chip to go beyond 5GHz, but that is mainly dependent if you won the silicon lottery or not.
Do keep in mind that Intel’s overclockable processors do not come with stock coolers by default and that is because their chips run hotter when it is dialed beyond its stock specs.
It is also worth noting that since this processor uses a new socket (LGA1200), you will also need to spend money on getting a Z490 motherboard as well.
Despite the fact that you need to get a new motherboard for this processor to work, getting the Intel Core i5-10600K still makes sense for a lot of people.
It is priced just right and has the gaming performance that rivals even the best chips from AMD.
3.AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
While I have recommended two Intel CPUs in succession, those are the only two processors that are worth mentioning here. That is because the other CPUs in Intel’s product stack just do not have that price-to-performance value compared to AMD chips.
That being said, if you want a CPU that is not only good for gaming but also capable enough for your streaming needs, then the AMD Ryzen 7 3700x is the best processor for that.
It is an 8-core, 16-thread chip that has a base clock of 3.6GHz and a boost frequency of 4.4GHz. Keep in mind that only the two best cores can reach as high as the said boost frequency while the others remain at 4.3GHz. It is still pretty good nonetheless.
Even though it is true that AMD CPUs aren’t as overclockable as Intel processors, this particular chip requires no overclocking at all. In fact, it is pretty great out of the box which is ideal for people who are not savvy enough to manually overclock their CPUs.
The reason why a lot of people like AMD chips is that they come with stock coolers even though they are all overclockable and that is true with this one.
It is bundled with AMD’s Wraith Prism cooler which is a down-firing CPU cooler with the RGB bling. Seriously, why couldn’t Intel do this?
Now the downsides. Although it is true that you can technically overclock the 3700x, it doesn’t really go beyond 4.4GHz, though you can have it at static 4.3 all-core boost if that is what you want.
Furthermore, while it supports PCIe 4.0, you will need either a B550 motherboard or an even more expensive X570 motherboard for that.
Still, the AMD Ryzen 7 3700x provides amazing value for a processor that is priced just below $300.
4.AMD Ryzen 5 3600
Price: $180-$200 depending on Retailer
If you want the best mid-range processor for gaming, look no further than the AMD Ryzen 5 3600. No, not the ‘X’ version and certainly not the newly released ‘XT’ variant, but just the base model.
The reason why I do not recommend the aforementioned versions is that, for the price, they do not provide good value. Sure, you get better stock coolers, but since you can save more money getting the base model, you can spend that on a beefier cooler instead.
Anyway, the Ryzen 5 3600 is a 6-core, 12-thread chip that has considerable performance for the price. No, it doesn’t rival the Intel i5-10600K but it still provides great value since the 3600 is no slouch at all.
You can get an Nvidia 2070 Super and couple it with this processor and you will have no problems pumping out those frames.
In fact, if you are building a 1080p gaming rig on a budget, I can wholeheartedly recommend this processor than the Intel Core i5-10600K above.
Because this chip is under AMD’s Ryzen 2 architecture, you can also take advantage of its PCIe 4.0 support, though again, you will need a compatible motherboard for that.
Still, for a processor that is priced at or below $200, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is pretty tough to beat.
5.AMD Ryzen 3 3300X
So, what if you only have $500-$700 to spend to create your own gaming PC, what options do you have? Well, there are still plenty, though if you can spend $120 on a processor, I suggest that you get the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X.
It is a 4-core, 8-thread chip that is pretty tough to beat at this price point. In fact, there is literally no CPU that can rival it based on price-to-performance. It is clocked at 3.8GHz and it can go as high as 4.3GHz when boosted.
The processor is an overclockable chip and although it comes with a stock cooler, you will still need to spend some money to get a more powerful cooler that can handle the heat.
Any GPU that is considered as mid-range or lower can be supported by this processor without fear of a bottleneck which is why I would recommend this for people who are considering building their own budget builds.
6.AMD Ryzen 5 3400G
Okay, if you are building a gaming PC on a really low budget, then the AMD Ryzen 5 3400G is what I can recommend.
Now, you might be thinking why I’ve recommended a CPU that is priced higher than the previous recommendation. Well, you see, this is actually an APU.
An APU is a CPU with integrated graphics which means that if you are truly on a budget, you just get this one and not have to spend money on a discrete graphics card.
It is a 4-core, 8-thread processor with a base frequency of 3.7GHz and a boost of 4.2GHz. Yes, it is overclockable but again, you will need a better cooler to take advantage of that.
What is interesting here is the integrated graphics solution that is baked into the processor itself. It is AMD’s Vega 11 graphics processor that is about 2-3x better than any Intel integrated GPU out there (at least, at the time of writing).
Its performance is akin to an $80 graphics card which means that you can play games at medium settings at considerable frame rates.
Now, if you are getting this CPU, it is imperative that you get a motherboard with an HDMI or a DisplayPort output so that you can take advantage of its integrated GPU.
Again, if you are truly on a budget, the AMD Ryzen 5 3400G alleviates the need for a discrete GPU, allowing you to play games for cheap.
While there are only two Intel core processors on this list, I am by no means a fanboy. I am just someone who wants to recommend the most bang for the buck CPUs on the market.
Sure, Intel still offers the best processors if you are going to use its CPUs purely for gaming, but for anything else, AMD’s CPUs are still better.
Since most people are into streaming now, it is important that you get a capable processor that is able to handle gaming and streaming as well, so acquiring a 3700x or a 3600 makes sense in that regard.
You might also be wondering why I didn’t recommend the Ryzen 9 3900X and 3950X here and that is because both of those processors, although behemoths in other tasks, provide an ‘okay’ performance in gaming. Sure, it pumps out frames more than the 3700X but for the price, it is not worth it from a pure gaming standpoint.
Also, while Intel also offers some APUs, the 3400G processor from AMD is tough to beat. Its integrated graphics solution is so much better than what team blue has to offer bar none.
Again, I am not a brand loyalist but I am someone that always looks at the price to performance ratio and only recommends the ones that I think are good for the money.
Of course, if you use your PC for purposes other than gaming, I can wholeheartedly recommend AMD’s 3900X or 3950X.
However, since we are limited to just gaming in this article, the processors that are on this list are certainly the best ones that you can find in 2020.
Amazon Luna- Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Cloud Gaming Service
It seems that cloud gaming is the future as a lot of companies are pooling their resources just to make things happen.
Amazon Luna is Amazon’s foray into cloud gaming and it is going to be available soon. Read further to find out more information about this new experience.
Google has paved the way for cloud gaming to come to the fore with the release of the Stadia not too long ago. Although it was mired with a lot of different issues, it seems that the company has found a way to make things work.
Amazon also wants in on the action and although there are some similarities with Luna and Stadia, there are also some stark differences as well.
Before I begin, I just want to explain the concept of cloud gaming. Basically, instead of downloading games to your gaming PC or whatever platform you choose to install them, you will just stream those games using data centers that are scattered all over the world.
It should go without saying that you need to have a fast internet connection to make this happen and so that you will not experience high latency (which was a huge problem when Stadia launched).
That being said, the premise of Google Stadia is that you need to either purchase an individual game so that you can play it at any time (forever) or you could subscribe to the monthly plan and play the games that are on offer every month (and continue to play them so long as you’re subscribed).
With Amazon Luna, you will be presented with different channels that you can subscribe to. Each of these channels has different games on offer which makes this quite appealing for game developers to show their mettle.
Right now, the platform is still in beta and there are only two channels available at the moment- Amazon’s own Luna Plus and the Ubisoft Channel. The latter will have 50 games that you can play right away and more Ubisoft games will be added in the future.
Keep in mind that this channel-based system makes it so that developers can price their services accordingly. It remains to be seen how much Ubisoft will charge individual users, so stay tuned for that.
1080p and 4K Gaming
Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna will support both 1080p and 4K resolutions. Of course, the latter would be more taxing and you will need a fast internet connection to be able to enjoy high-fidelity gaming. I suggest that you get a WiFi 6 router and a compatible device to make the most out of your experience.
Unlike Stadia, Amazon Luna is more flexible in that it supports a lot of different devices. Not only can you play on your PC, but you can also choose to play it using your iOS devices, Android phones, and you can even utilize the company’s own FireTV devices as well.
Now, there has been this entire debacle about Apple’s 30% cut on every app in its App store but the good news is that Amazon can circumvent that.
You see, when you are going to play on your iOS devices, the application will actually be a PWA or a Progressive Web App. Basically, the game that you want to play will run in a contained web browser instead of it being an actual application that you install in your device. This bypasses the whole 30% cut issue which is a good thing.
NVIDIA Hardware Use
According to a recent Steam survey, the vast majority of PC users are all using NVIDIA graphics cards. This is a good thing for Amazon Luna because it means that it can support a lot more people.
That is because the company’s cloud gaming service will use NVIDIA GPUs instead of AMD cards (which Stadia uses for graphics processing).
Supposing that Amazon Luna will be more popular than any other cloud gaming service out there, NVIDIA will enjoy huge profits as a result.
Can Be Streamed to Popular Sites
Twitch is arguably the most popular streaming platform today and Amazon is looking to forge a partnership with the said service to allow you to stream your games to the popular website.
The said platform is widely used as a means of generating revenue- something that is quite popular today due to the recent pandemic.
This move also makes it appealing as well as more and more content creators can use Amazon Luna to reach a broader audience.
New Controller with Alexa Support
Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna also requires you to get a special controller. The good thing is that the control will have a microphone so that you can use Alexa for specific voice commands.
What’s interesting about the Luna’s controller is that it is completely connected to the Cloud, which means that you do not have to pair it with the specific device you are going to use to play games online.
According to Amazon’s website, it should have a grippy texture and will feature low-friction thumbsticks that provide maximum performance across the board. By using the controller’s microphone, you can actually tell Alexa to fire up the specific game that you want to play, so long as it is inside the channel that you’ve subscribed to.
Amazon Luna is quite enticing, at least, on paper. It is shaping up to be a better cloud gaming service compared to its competitors but the service is still in beta, so there are more things that need ironing out before its official release.
Right now, there are only two channels that are available and Ubisoft hasn’t imposed its pricing yet. The Amazon Luna channel is priced at $6.99
If you are interested in getting in on the action, you can be an early beta tester by subscribing to the service.
Amazon Luna will be out sometime in October.
Acer Nitro XV340CK Review- A Greatly Competitive Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $500
Ultrawide monitors used to be a niche display in that the only people who work on productivity tasks and creative workloads usually buy them.
Fortunately, the display technology has evolved and gamers, too, can enjoy a much wider screen.
Today, I am going to review the Acer Nitro XV340CK which is a 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor that is priced competitively.
Even though this is marketed as a gaming monitor, the Acer Nitro XV340CK actually doesn’t look like it. It looks simple and I love the aesthetics, especially if you want to place this in your office.
The only thing that might make you think that this is a gaming display is that red accent that you can find on the base of the monitor but that’s about it.
Anyway, let’s start with the stand. Aside from the aforementioned red accent, the stand provides good ergonomics.
It gives you the ability to swivel the monitor a complete 360 degrees, you can tilt it to 35 degrees back and you can adjust the height up to 5.9 inches. Because this is an ultrawide monitor, you cannot put this thing in portrait mode.
I love the fact that this monitor has slim bezels. At only 0.4 inches, you can place another monitor right beside it and it wouldn’t really take a lot of screen real estate at all.
The overall build quality is good. Despite the fact that it doesn’t feel premium, at least when compared to the best gaming monitors out there, it still feels sturdy nevertheless.
For the ports, you get two Displayport 1.4 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports. Due to the wealth of ports on offer, you can use this for your PC or your game console.
The only thing that might be cumbersome for some users is that the OSD controls are situated at the back of the monitor- particularly on the bottom right side. The buttons are also a bit smaller than usual, so you may have a hard time pressing the right ones.
The Acer Nitro XV340CK has a 34-inch IPS display with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 and an aspect ratio of 21:9. It is the same as other ultrawide gaming monitors that you can find on the market so there is no problem with that.
You do have the option to enable the picture-in-picture mode so that you can divide the display in two if you wish to fire up two different programs at the same time. This is why it is not only a handy gaming monitor, but it can also be used for office work as well.
Its contrast and brightness leave much to be desired. With a native contrast ratio of 1048:1 and peak SDR brightness of only 247 nits, it is not the best display when it comes to these things.
However, its redeeming quality is that its colors are accurate. After calibration, I got 95% sRGB, 82% AdobeRGB, and 81% DCI-P3. It is relatively color accurate and it would have been nice for creative workloads, but its peak brightness just falls short of making it an ideal display for such use-cases.
It is also worth noting that if you are in a well-lit room that the brightness could be a huge issue. The good thing is that the display’s matte finish can help reduce glare significantly, though you will still find that it is not bright enough in some situations.
I am surprised by the fact that there is literally no color bleed on the Acer Nitro XV340CK. This is unheard of, especially since ultrawide monitors are notorious for this.
Sure, its peak brightness and contrast could have improved, but gamers are not especially focused on those things. If anything, it is the performance of the display that usually takes the cake and I am happy to report that you won’t be disappointed with the Nitro XV340CK.
Normally, with IPS panels, they tend to not have a good response time, but that is actually not the case here. At just 5.3ms, it is definitely one of the best out there even when compared to other, more premium models.
How about input lag? This is a speed monitor and as expected, input lag is minimal. At just 4.2ms, I am really blown away by the performance of this thing. Every keypress on your gaming keyboard will register almost immediately and that is really great from a competitive standpoint.
It is also worth noting that its 144Hz refresh rate is ideal, especially since most gamers are clamoring for high refresh rate displays anyway.
This is a FreeSync gaming monitor and you can enable this variable refresh rate feature in both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.
To get a hold of the said features, it is important for you to know that you should use the DisplayPort cable that is included in the box. There is also an included HDMI cable if you want to use this display for your Xbox or Playstation consoles.
With all of those things being said, if I were to ask you how much this thing costs, what will be your guess? If you’ve guessed around $700, you’re wrong.
The Acer Nitro XV340CK is priced at just $450! At that price, you are getting a relatively color-accurate monitor, a really fast display with minimal input lag, and a vast number of ports that you can use for your PC or game consoles.
Sure, its contrast and peak brightness could have been improved, but if you are talking about raw gaming performance, the Acer Nitro XV340CK blows other ultrawide gaming monitors out of the way.
Just make sure that you have a nice gaming PC for this thing to work nicely. Other than that, I highly recommend the Acer Nitro XV340CK for its price and performance.
HyperX Cloud Stinger S- A Comfortable 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
As an audiophile, I’ve always loved HyperX’s gaming audio solution. They are inexpensive and for the price, you are actually getting sound quality that you normally would only hear from expensive products.
In today’s article, I am going to review the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. This is a budget offering that aims to improve upon the original Cloud Stinger with the inclusion of a 7.1 surround sound option.
Do I recommend this headset? Find out later on in the article.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger S is actually quite similar to the original version. It has the same pleather ear cups that envelope your ears quite nicely and the clamping force of the headset itself is actually quite okay.
I’ve been receiving reports that there are some people that have problems with the tightness or, shall I say, how loose this thing can be. But that will probably be a result of the size of your head and not the actual product itself. For me, the fit was okay, but your mileage may vary.
Although this thing is predominantly made in plastic, the overall build quality is good, though I would advise you not to throw this headset when you lose a round in a MOBA game or first-person shooter.
There is a microphone on this headset and just like the original, it is not removable. It would have been nice if you could remove it when you are not using it because even if you fold the microphone (which also acts as a way of muting it), you will still see it which can be annoying at times.
This thing is quite simple and all you have for the controls is the volume slider that is located on the right ear cup.
While other HyperX gaming headsets come with a carrying pouch, I am sad to say that the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t have one.
All you get in the box aside from the headset is a USB dongle that is attached to a relatively long cable and some documentation. And, since you use this thing completely wired, it can also be used in your Playstation or other game consoles as well.
The 3.5mm analog cable should be inserted in the USB dongle if you wish to use its 7.1 surround sound implementation, but if you are just going to watch movies or play non-competitive games, I suggest that you do not use it.
There are two modes that you can utilize if you are going to use the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. You can use its 3.5mm headphone jack and enjoy stereo sound or you could insert that into the included USB dongle and use the 7.1 surround sound feature.
Keep in mind that if you are going to use the 7.1 output that it is only supported on the PC since you will need the NGENUITY software to enable it.
That being said, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S’ sound signature leans more toward being bright and with a little emphasis on the bass. This seems to be the preference of the majority of gamers since lower frequencies can make those in-game sounds pop-out more.
I also love the mid frequencies as it is quite balanced as well. I’ve had no problems listening to in-game dialog and when I am using the microphone, it just works really well.
Although the high frequencies are okay, I would say that it is the weakest of the bunch, though not so much as to diminish the overall sound quality. You will still hear the sibilance of the cymbals and lead guitars, but it is not as pronounced as the lower and mid frequencies.
As for the 7.1 surround sound, you should enable it in the companion software and it is only available when you are on the PC.
Anyway, its surround sound is okay but I say this because it is a budget gaming headset. If you compare it to the more premium ones, this is subpar at best. Still, you could enable it in your favorite games but I will advise against it if you are just listening to music or watching movies.
Despite a relatively good clamping force, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t do so well in terms of sound isolation. People around me can still hear what I was listening to, so this might not be ideal if you are playing at night and there are people sleeping.
There is usually this notion that budget headsets have horrible microphones but not the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. In fact, I would go on to say that it has one of the better ones on the market.
Instead of sounding tinny, the microphone quality of the Cloud Stinger S is full-bodied and my teammates can hear every word I said without any problems.
The volume of the microphone is also quite good as well. Normally, with budget offerings, you tend to sound a bit ‘too far’ but that is not the case here.
Overall, I am quite pleased with the microphone. The only thing that I do not like is that the flippable microphone may impede your vision sometimes, but I think that you can adjust to this.
For a budget headset, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is definitely one of the better sounding ones. I also love the fact that the microphone’s quality is top-notch and it can even go head-to-head against its more premium counterparts.
I am just a bit disappointed that you do not get a carrying pouch with this one because other HyperX gaming headsets have them. But, this is a minor inconvenience.
I did not feel the need to talk about the NGENUITY software mainly because it is pretty barebones and all you can do with it is to enable the 7.1 surround sound, adjust the volume and microphone, and that’s about it. There is no equalizer present which is quite odd.
Still, for what it is giving you, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is highly recommended. This thing costs $60.
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