Our CPU benchmarks performance hierarchy ranks all the current and previous generation Intel and AMD processors, including all of the Best CPUs for Gaming, based on performance. Your CPU has a huge effect on overall performance and, to many, is a computer’s most important component. CPU benchmarks help us suss out the differences, but when it comes time to buy a CPU for your desktop, you’ll find a dizzying collection of model numbers and specs from both Intel and AMD. AMD EYPC
We’ve listed the best CPUs for gaming and best processors for workstations in other articles, but if you want to know how each chip stacks up against all the others and how we come to our decisions, this CPU benchmarks hierarchy is for you. We also recently added a new article covering the CPU benchmarks hierarchy for Cyberpunk 2077, a dedicated piece to show performance scaling in the most hotly-anticipated game in recent history.
The new Ryzen 5000 processors represent a watershed moment for AMD: The company has swept our CPU benchmarks hierarchy and taken the lead in every metric, including our gaming, single-threaded, and multi-threaded categories. You can see the Ryzen 5 5600X, Ryzen 9 5950X, 5900X, and Ryzen 7 5800X in our rankings, along with all of the previous-gen Zen 3, Zen+, and Zen 1 versions of those chips.
Intel is firing back, though, with its upcoming 11th-generation Rocket Lake-S CPUs that the company says will take the gaming performance crown. We have the Comet Lake lineup in our charts, and we also recently added Intel’s entire 9th-Gen family. Well, at least the models we have on hand. Next up, 8th-Gen, which is working its way across our test platforms now.
We also recently added AMD’s Threadripper Pro 3995WX to our CPU benchmarks rankings. This fire-breathing chip comes armed with 64 cores, 128 threads, and eight memory channels that support up to 2TB of memory.
We’ll explain how we ranked the processors under each table. The game testing ranking is first. We also include an application performance metric in our application score tables, which we’ve split up into single- and multi-core measurements (below gaming table).
The most powerful chip gets a 100, and all others are scored relative to it. If you want our recommendations for specific price bands, please check out our Best CPUs for gaming page.
We are busy retesting our full arsenal of processors with a newer version of Windows 10 to measure performance for our CPU benchmarks. As such, chips without a score are ranked according to their previous rankings with our older CPU benchmarks test suite. We’ll add specific measurements for those chips as our CPU benchmarks testing continues.
We rank all the Intel and AMD processors in the tables below, but we don’t include overclocked performance or 99th percentile fps rankings. You can see all of those numbers in the charts above. Bear in mind that the charts above use the raw performance numbers, whereas our CPU benchmarks rankings below use a score to rank the chips relative to one another. Admittedly, the charts are getting a bit packed as we expand our rankings pool, but we’ll work to separate this out into different classes when we release the next batch of CPU benchmarks.
This group of results also comprises only the chips that have passed through our newest test suite, while the tables below include rankings based on past CPU benchmarks. Finally, the pricing in the charts above represents MSRPs. Given the current state of chip shortages, you likely won’t find many of these chips at these prices at retail.
We’ve ranked all the consumer Intel 10th, 9th, 8th, and 7th Gen processors, along with AMD’s Ryzen and Threadripper chips from all four generations. We have two rankings for each chip, based on 1080p and 1440p CPU gaming benchmarks, but the chart is aligned sequentially based on the 1080p game results. The 1440p listings aren’t listed in sequential order due to unfortunate limitations with our tables. Pay attention to the 1440p rankings: Some faster chips at 1440p CPU benchmarks may be listed below slower chips simply because of the 1080p results.
We measured performance for the 1080p CPU gaming benchmarks with a geometric mean of Borderlands 3, Hitman 2, Project CARS 3, Red Dead Redemption 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and The Division 2.
We measured performance for the 1440p CPU gaming benchmarks with a geometric mean of Borderlands 3, Project CARS 3, Red Dead Redemption 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and The Division 2.
As you can see, AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X take a healthy lead over Intel’s flagship Core i9-10900K in both 1080p and 1440p results, and as you’ll see in our Ryzen 9 5950X and 5900X review, overclocking doesn’t even the score for Intel.
AMD’s stock Ryzen processors beat the overclocked Intel processors, which is quite the feat, and Ryzen is even faster after overclocking, too. Also, check out those CPU benchmarks performance deltas between the previous-gen Ryzen processors and the 5000 series. That’s impressive.
Most folks overlook the incredible power efficiency of the Zen 3 processors, but that equates to a faster, cooler, and quieter system that doesn’t require super-expensive cooling solutions. Take note of the TDP divide in our charts – it’s surprising. Check out our review for more in-depth power testing.
We calculate the above single-threaded CPU benchmarks rankings based on a geometric mean of y-cruncher, Cinebench, POV-Ray, and LAME. The latter consists of two tests: One short duration test and one extended-duration test to measure performance once Intel’s boost duration limits have been exceeded.
Single-threaded performance is often tied directly to the responsiveness and snappiness of your PC in any number of daily applications, like loading an operating system or surfing the web. This metric largely depends upon a mixture of instruction per cycle (IPC) throughput (the number of operations the chip can execute in one clock cycle) and frequency, which is the speed at which the transistors switch between on and off states.
However, a whole host of other considerations, such as cache, architecture, and interconnects (like rings, meshes, and infinity fabric) impact this measure of per-core performance, so these results do not align perfectly based upon clock frequency. Instead, performance varies with each application and how well it is tuned for the respective architectures.
With all that said, the CPU benchmarks delta between Intel’s flagship Core i9-10900K and the Ryzen 5000 processors is incredible – at worst, Ryzen 5000 is 10% faster in single-threaded performance.