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Best Gaming CPU: Tech Awards 2023 Editor's Choice series

By The Count - 13 Mar 2023

Best Gaming CPU: Tech Awards 2023 Editor's Choice series

 

Best Gaming CPU

When it comes to gaming, having a powerful and reliable CPU is essential for achieving top-notch performance.  You could get the latest and greatest like the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D processor, which won the Best Desktop CPU in our Tech Awards recommendation, but most modern games do not require a high multi-core count. A high-clock speed would be more advantageous instead – but pricing, TDP and temperature are also taken into consideration in our “Best of Gaming CPU” category.

As such, we looked into options that were priced under US$350, which is half the price of those contending in the Best Overall Desktop CPU. This also nicely translates to under S$500 in our local price point, which is a reasonable sum to set aside for a powerful CPU that excels well for gaming and is adept enough at other tasks too. After all, you don't want your system to choke when you want to record your gaming session for sharing out highlights on your personal social channels.

 

Nominees:

  • Intel Core i5-13600K
  • AMD Ryzen 7 7700

While this face-off would have been more appropriate with a low TDP Intel 13th Gen Core processor to match up with our expectations in this segment, Intel was unable to provide us with a Core i7-13700 nor a Core i5-13600 test sample. We did, however, test a Core i5-13600K (US$319) that's priced in the same price bracket as the AMD Ryzen 7700 (US$329), and as such, we've pitted these options in this award category.

 

And the winner is…

AMD Ryzen 7 7700.

Not exactly a surprise if you've been following our recent CPU reviews.

The AMD Ryzen 7 7700 delivers in all the key areas, serving up not only excellent gaming performance but in multi-threaded applications too. That’s not putting down the Core i5-13600K as its overall performance is impressive too, but from our perspectives, we thought AMD’s wholistic approach to finding the balance between power and efficiency with the Ryzen 7 7700 is the better one – especially in today’s economic climate.

Just look at the chart below: The AMD Ryzen 7 7700's gaming performance at 1080p is not far from the more powerful (and expensive) Ryzen 7950X3D, and costs less than half the price of AMD's flagship processor. Here's a brief snapshot of results below.

Compared to the i5-13600K, pricing between both processors has been ultra-competitive. Depending on where you are purchasing it from, the Ryzen 7 7700 might cost on average about US$10 more or so. But with a 65W TDP, versus 125W on the Intel processor, your running cost, in the long run, will be much lower.

And to sweeten the deal, AMD has even bundled a cooler with the Ryzen 7 7700, so your capital outlay is even lower from the start since you wouldn't need to invest in an expensive AIO cooler (which is recommended for the Core i5-13600K).

Well done, AMD.

For more details on how we rated our nominees and to find out our usage experience of each device, check out the full reviews and articles listed in the References section below.

Meanwhile, check out our other Tech Awards 2023 Editor's Choice winners from the team behind HardwareZone and HWM.

 

References

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