The choice of processor will depend on personal preference, budget and what the main purposes of the PC will be.
It is important to remember that for gaming purposes although a certain minimum CPU specification is necessary to run modern games, most of the in game processing is actually done by the graphics card. So a high end graphics card with a mid-range CPU will deliver much better gaming performance than a top of the range CPU paired with a mid- range graphics card.
So if your budget is limited it is important to set aside as much of it as possible for the best possible graphics card which can be managed while not compromising too much on the other components. This can be quite a tough thing to do and you are welcome to call one of the Arbico Sales team if you need some advice.
Broadly speaking, AMD CPUs tend to provide more bang for buck at the lower end while Intel CPUs dominate the mid and high end when it comes to sheer power. Within AMD and Intel there are further choices.
However for extreme gaming the choice is more limited because you will need a processor which can be overclocked. So realistically you have a choice between the AMD Phenom and FX range and the Intel i5 3570K, i7 3770K, i7 3820, i7 3930K and i7 3970X. The other CPUs in the Intel range cannot be overclocked and AMDs FM1 and FM2 CPUs don’t stack up as well in gaming performance even after overclocking.
Over clocking is where the processor settings are adjusted via software to make it run faster than it would normally run. Please remember overclocking requires some technical knowledge and if done incorrectly will damage the components in your PC. Such damage will not be covered by your warranty. Obviously if you are buying one of Arbico’s extreme gaming PCs our normal warranty terms will apply and cover any of the components that have been overclocked by our experienced team members.
If money is no object than the Intel Socket 2011 Core i7 3970X CPU is the best gaming CPU available. The highest end extreme gaming PCs combine an overclocked 3970X CPU with 64GB of RAM and 2 of the top end NVIDIA or AMD graphics cards in SLI or Crossfire mode (more on this in the Graphics card section).
Next up is the Intel Core i7 3930K which is also Socket 2011 CPU and still costs quite a bit.
For most gamers with a budget between £1000 and £2000 though the choice is between the Intel Socket 1155 Core i5 3570K or Intel Socket 1155 Core i7 3770K. Either of these can be overclocked and paired with between 16GB and 32GB of RAM and a high end AMD or NVIDIA graphics card.
Under the £1000 range an overclocked AMD Phenom or FX CPU is the best choice. Choosing an AMD CPU will be mean that you will be able to select a good case, cooling, motherboard, power supply and graphics card and get a well-rounded extreme gaming PC.