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In a gaming PC, the graphics card is the single most important component, but that doesn’t mean you should opt for an inferior CPU that can’t keep up with it. This might cause a processor bottleneck, leading to under-utilization of your fancy flagship GPU. It’s best to go with a processor that compliments it, but at the same time, it’s not advisable to spend too much on it. As a thumb rule, the CPU should be cheaper than the graphics card, at least in gaming builds. For the vast populace, this might sound like an overly complicated task, so we’ll be simplifying things for you. In a gaming rig, the choice of the processor depends on the graphics card you’ll be using as well as the resolution you’ll be playing at.

If you have a top-end GPU like say the RTX 2080, then you need a CPU that doesn’t handicap it. At the same time, if you’re going to game at 4K, you don’t need to spend too much on it as you’ll be restricted by the GPU in most cases. However, if you are looking to game at 1080p but at higher frame rates, like 120Hz or 144Hz, then the CPU comes into the picture, as lower-end parts aren’t able to cross the 100 FPS mark. At higher resolutions, it’s hard to get to the 60 FPS mark due to the sheer amount of graphics processing power required, so the processor usually isn’t the bottleneck as most chips can easily shell out 60 frames per sec.

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Best CPU for Gaming Under Rs. 30,000: Intel Core i7-9700K

Price: Rs. 30,299 (Link)

The average enthusiast will tell you to go for the Ryzen 7 3700X, but for gaming, the Core i7-9700K is the better choice and in India, the prices are also pretty much the same. The latter can be overclocked to yield almost identical performance to the Intel Core i9-9900K, notably better than even the Ryzen 9 3900X. As the Ryzen chips don’t exactly boost that well, it’s pointless to overclock them, especially a 65W unit. I suggest staying away from the i9 as the delta is not noticeable and after overclocking, both CPUs produce the same frame rates in most games. For gaming at 100+ FPS, at 1080p or 1440p, the Core i7 is the recommended option as it consistently beats the 3rd Gen Ryzen chips. However, if you are looking to build a PC not just for gaming but for a variety of other tasks including rendering, video editing or CAD, then the Ryzen 7 3700X is the better option.
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Best CPU for Gaming Under Rs. 20,000: AMD Ryzen 5 3600

Price: Rs. 17,050 (Link)

For a mid-range build meant for 1440p or 4K gaming, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is undoubtedly the most well-rounded CPU. Boasting multi-threaded capabilities on par with the Core i7-9700K and gaming performance just shy of the 8700K, the Ryzen 5 is the best CPU in the sub-20K market. It’s ideal not only for high-end gaming but rendering, video editing, and pretty much every modern application. Just pair it with fast RAM and a capable GPU and you’re set.

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Best CPU for Gaming Under Rs. 15,000: Intel Core i5-9400F

Price: Rs. 11,750 (Link)

The Intel Core i5-9400F is one of the cheapest hex-core CPUs in the market. The Ryzen 5 2600 is pricier and comes with SMT enabled but fails to impress in gaming workoads. In the Indian market, the Core i5 is especially a better proposition because unlike the US, the prices of the older Zen+ chips haven’t dropped, making them hard to recommend.

Best CPU for Gaming Under Rs. 10,000: Intel Core i3-9100F

Price: Rs. 6,629 (Link)

The Intel Core i3-9100F is the CPU to get if you are looking to build a gaming PC under 40K INR. Packing four cores running at an impressive 4.20GHz, the 9100F routs every other Ryzen chip in the sub-10K price bracket. This is mainly due to the higher IPC and boost clocks compared to the older Ryzen parts. With a 3rd Gen Ryzen 3 processor, that will probably change, but for now, the Core i3-9100F is the best budget gaming CPU.

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As you can see, the quad-core Coffee Lake chip consistently yields 60+ FPS across all titles, and can even be used for eSports if you are strapped for cash and don’t have enough to spend on an expensive CPU in addition to a GPU.

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Benchmark credits: Techspot

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