Next-generation budget CPUs for PC gaming in 2022

With the launch of Intel’s Alder Lake series of chipsets, the price-performance ratio has never been better. Budget-conscious buyers will have a hard time choosing from what appears to be the largest selection of chipsets in recent memory.

However, the GPU market still suffers from availability issues. Therefore, it makes sense to choose an efficient chip that can deliver decent performance when paired with a lower quality graphics card.

While both camps, Intel and AMD, share some commonalities, the differences for the end consumer can be significant. Ryzen coolers, for example, are noticeably better than their Intel counterparts. Now, if you don’t have the budget for a water/air cooling system, buying an Intel and expecting massive thermal performance will be counterproductive.

If you are looking to buy a budget CPU, ensuring that you get good value for your money can be a challenging task. Thank God, help is available.

Best budget chipset in PC games

Not everyone can buy high-quality products on the market or simply do not want to, which is why products are available at different prices.

The current budget CPUs are more than capable of delivering a great gaming experience. And to help you make an informed decision, here are the five best slides that are also budget-friendly.

5. AMD Ryzen 5 3600

Ryzen 5 3600 makes strides (Image via AMD)
Ryzen 5 3600 makes strides (Image via AMD)

First things first, the Ryzen 5 3600 does not have integrated graphics. So, you are in luck if you are building a PC without a GPU. But on a good day, you can find it for as low as $200, and at that price you get AMD’s Zen 2 architecture, six cores/12 threads, and a Wraith cooler inside the box to help keep temperatures in check.

Coupled with a good GPU like the RTX 3050, you will be able to play most games in Full HD at high/ultra settings.

4. Intel Core i3 12100F

Core i3 entered its glory days (Image via Intel)
Core i3 entered its glory days (Image via Intel)

An energy-efficient, versatile beast that can power the latest and greatest titles while retailing for just $120. The 12100F doesn’t compete with anything else. AMD’s market share in the sub-$180 category is minimal, thanks to its higher-priced Zen 3 chips.

The i3 has always been viewed by the PC gaming fraternity as a humble compromise, but now it’s bathing in glory.

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Featuring 4 cores/8 threads, it handles everything you throw like a champ, albeit with sub-par editing prowess when it comes to handling high-resolution textures for 4K videos. Moreover, its amazingly low peak power consumption of 89W ensures that it can be used with a low Watt power supply unit.

3. Intel Core i5 12400F

Core i5 has always been a favorite with gamers (Image via Intel)
Core i5 has always been a favorite with gamers (Image via Intel)

It’s safe to say that there is no better value for money chipset out there currently. The performance of this CPU is so good that it won’t cause a throttling when paired with a high-end card like the 3080Ti.

Single-core numbers rival the best out there, including the Ryzen 9 5900X and Intel’s own Tiger Lake series of chips.

At $180, if that’s not a steal, it’s hard to say what is. Compared to the last generation of Tiger Lake, the bandwidth of the bus is experiencing a huge jump. Furthermore, with the cost of B660 motherboards dropping with each passing day, it makes perfect sense to invest in a smart and sustainable future where you can upgrade every chance you get without making a hole in your pocket.

2. AMD Ryzen 3 3300X

The 3300X comes with a Wraith cooler (Image via AMD)
The 3300X comes with a Wraith cooler (Image via AMD)

The core number has become a point of discussion recently in the world of computer games, and there are different schools of thought, each promoting a particular narrative.

However, all that matters is the availability of a PCIe 4.0 interface, economical power expenditures, and a robust multi-threaded power delivery. And when it comes to these features, the 3300X has you covered.

Users of older devices have also benefited greatly from this chip, considering that the 3300X is still found on AM4 board sockets.

1. Intel Core i5 12600KF

At $300, this is the most expensive chip on this list. It has 10 cores/16 threads, combined with a PCIe 5.0 boost clock of 4.9GHz, it can handle just about anything you throw at it.

These chipsets are also overclockable, and users have reported gains of up to 10fps in games like Apex Legends with temperatures in check. Enthusiasts, gamers and content creators, the folks who run the field of PC gaming, wholeheartedly agreed with Intel’s Alder Lake surprise, the i5 12600KF.


The budget-conscious buyer doesn’t always have to compromise. The current computer gaming scene is welcome and offers something for everyone.

Legacy users can still opt for the current AM4 chipset that offers affordable upgrades to older PCs. Meanwhile, novice PC builders can blindly search for the latest Alder Lake perk from Good ol’ Intel.

In general, this is a very good time to be a gamer on PC.

Q: AMD or Intel?

4 votes so far

Edited by Soumyadyuti Ghosh


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