We continue with our series of articles dedicated to one of the most important components of any computer, the processor, and this time we will focus on choosing the best CPUs to play games for 140-200 dollars.
In our previous special and we already made a short summary of the main advantages of AMD and Intel processors, but now we jump to the midrange and we must introduce some important changes, because though most of the previously mentioned points remain applicable, there are some updates to keep in mind.
Before making our last point, you need to keep in mind that with a maximum budget of 200 dollars you can’t access the Core i7 or the Core i5 with an unlocked multiplier.
As always I encourage you to leave your opinions in the comments and any questions you have we’ll answer gladly.
AMD vs Intel: Advantages and disadvantages (updated to the midrange section):
- Very controlled consumption, resulting in increased efficiency and energy savings in the long term.
- Lower operating temperatures.
- Higher IPC (performance per clock cycle), this means greater performance per core.
- Excellent performance in applications that take up to four real cores.
- Turbo Mode that slightly increases working frequencies.
- High prices.
- No HyperThreading technology usually reserved for Core i3 and Core i7.
- It doesn’t have the unlocked multiplier, except on some specific models that cost more than 200 dollars.
- Very attractive prices and contents.
- Good performance in multithreaded applications.
- Processors of up to eight cores in the middle range.
- Turbo Mode which slightly increases the working frequency.
- Unlocked multiplier, for easy overclocking.
- Very high base frequencies.
- High consumption, and TDPs higher than the competition.
- They have a lower IPC, which gives off a worse performance in games that do not use more than one or two cores.
- The series dissipator is pretty mediocre.
In this new article we keep the previous structure but with a twist, and it’s that after reviewing the catalogs of both manufacturers and their prices we will limit our choice to only one CPU of each brand.
This has a very simple justification and is that the offer of processors in this price range is quite limited and similar, and the quality/price value offered by the selected models doesn’t make it worthy of going for a different one.
The Best choice from Intel
The Core i5 4460 is the best you can buy for less than 200 dollars from the entire Intel catalog, because for just 190 dollars, it offers the best price-performance value.
This processor is based on Haswell, resulting in a high IPC, manufactured in 22nm processes and has four real cores running at 3.2 GHz-3.4 GHz, in normal and turbo mode, sufficient to ensure an excellent level performance.
It’s not worth to spend more money on solutions like the Core i5 4590, as the performance difference is negligible and you can invest your savings (almost 10 dollars) to improve other components of your PC.
The best choice from AMD
With this budget you can access AMD’s FX 8000 range, and within it you can opt for the FX 8350, since it is the most balanced option and it is priced at 180 dollars.
To say that is the most balanced option we mean not only the binomial price performance, but also the consumption of the processor, since within our budget we could also opt for the FX 9370, but the second has a TDP of 220W versus the 125W of the first one.
That, coupled with the fact that it’s more expensive and that it makes a substantial difference in performance when compared to the FX8350, it brings us to opt for the latter, which has four complete modules, eight cores of integers, unlocked multiplier and working frequencies of 4 GHz-4.2 GHz, in normal and turbo mode.
Fortunately, you don’t need to spend more than 200 dollars to have a processor with a long life, but in this case when opting for one of the two models we have chosen it’s more difficult than in the previous guide.
The FX 8350 is a very capable processor and looks like it could have a bright future with the arrival of DirectX 12, but the truth is that today the Core i5 4460 is the best choice for three simple reasons:
- Superior performance in virtually all current games.
- Lower consumption and cooler temperatures.
- A solid value and a secure investment from day one.
Since the price difference between the two is minimal, it would only be advisable to opt for the FX 8350 in very specific cases and under very tight budgets.
In this final gallery we leave you a summary of performance results for different processors, since it can be very useful and also serve as a basis for this guide.
Best Gaming CPU under 100 dollars
Best Gaming CPU under 300 dollars