The Best Budget CPUs for DDR4 & DDR5

Today, we delve into the top budget gaming CPUs, spanning both last and current-gen hardware. Our focus extends to providing options for both DDR4 and DDR5 systems, catering to both AMD and Intel users. Keep in mind, your choice must align with the motherboard type, as AMD CPUs are incompatible with Intel boards and vice versa!

DDR4 System Recommendations:

Intel i3 12100F

Price: $92.99

Intel i3

AMAZON: Intel i3 12100F

For DDR4 setups, let’s take a look at the Intel Core i3-12100F. With 4 cores and a modest 58 Watts power draw, it's a budget-friendly choice bundled with its own cooler. Bundled coolers are perfect for the budget conscious gamer. Ideal for up to an RTX 3070 before we start to see some GPU bottlenecking, it excels in 1080p gaming without a hiccup.

Price 5/5
Performance 3/5
Temps 4/5
Efficiency  5/5
Resolution 1080p




AMD Ryzen R5 5500

Price: $99.99

R5 5500

AMAZON: AMD Ryzen R5 5500

Turning our attention to AMD, we have the Ryzen 5 5500. Sporting 6 cores and a 65 Watts power draw, it comes with its own cooler as well. Boasting 6 cores reaching up to 4.2 GHz, it pairs well with GPUs up to RTX 3070, delivering solid gaming performance for its price.

Price 5/5
Performance 3/5
Temps 2/5
Efficiency  5/5
Resolution 1080p




DDR5 System Recommendations:

Intel i3 13100F

Price: $130.66

i3 13100F

 AMAZON: Intel i3 13100F

Transitioning to DDR5, let’s meet the Intel Core i3-13100F. With 4 cores and a 58 Watts power draw, it outpaces its DDR4 counterpart, the 12100F, with slightly higher clocks. This budget-friendly option comes with its own cooler, and providing a modest gaming performance boost of 2%-5% compared to the 12100F.

Price 4/5
Performance 3/5
Temps 4/5
Efficiency  5/5
Resolution 1080p




AMD Ryzen R5 7600

Price: $229

R5 7600

AMAZON: AMD Ryzen R5 7600

Lastly, for AMD's DDR5 system, they unfortunately don't really offer a budget CPU. Their lowest-cost CPU, the Ryzen 7600, is priced at $199 when on sale and usually around $220. It features 6 cores, a total power draw of 65 Watts, and comes with its own cooler. This CPU can handle 4k and an RTX 4090 without much hassle. However, it tends to run hot, reaching temperatures of up to 90°C. AMD states that this is intentional to maximize the chip's boosting capability.

Price 2/5
Performance 5/5
Temps 2/5
Efficiency  4/5
Resolution 4K


Ultimately, the best CPU for you will depend on your specific gaming needs and budget. So weigh your options carefully and make an informed decision to ensure you get the best gaming experience without breaking the bank.

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