Intel & AMD Processor Hierarchy

This hierarchy was originally based on the average performance each CPU achieved in our test suite. We have since incorporated new game data into our criteria, but it should be known that any specific title will likely perform differently depending on its unique programming. Some games, for example, will be severely graphics subsystem-limited, while others may react positively to more CPU cores, larger amounts of on-die cache or even a specific architecture. We don't have access to every CPU on the market, so some of the placements are based on the results similar models deliver. Indeed, this hierarchy chart is useful as a general guideline, but certainly not as a one-size-fits-all CPU comparison resource. For that, we recommend you check out our CPU Performance Charts.


MORE: All CPU Content

Perhaps you noticed that we split the former top tier in half, moving a handful of quad-module AMD CPUs up in the process. Recognizing that a lot of older platforms are going to be paired with graphics subsystems multiple generations old, we wanted to define the top of our range to encourage balance between host processing and complementary GPUs. At this point, anyone with a Sandy Bridge-based Core i7 would realize a gain from stepping up to Kaby Lake or Broadwell-E, for example. And putting AMD's top FX CPUs next to a handful of Core i7s and those older Core i5s represents an upgrade to their status.

Currently, our hierarchy consists of 13 total tiers. The bottom half of the chart is largely outdated; you'll notice those CPUs dragging down performance in the latest games, regardless of the graphics card installed in your PC. If you own a CPU in that range, an upgrade could really take your gaming experience to another level.

Really, it's the top five tiers or so that remain viable. And in that top half of the chart, an upgrade is typically worthwhile if it's a least a couple of tiers higher. Otherwise, there's just not enough improvement to warrant the expense of a fresh CPU, motherboard and memory (not to mention the graphics card and storage solution you'd be considering as well).

Desktop Processor Hierarchy

Search for these on Amazon, or if you prefer, search on Newegg.

Intel Core i7-7700K ($349.89 On Newegg)
Intel Core i7-7700 ($314.90 On Amazon)
Intel Core i7-7700T ($353.07 On Amazon)
Intel Core i7-6950X ($1,627.99 On Amazon)
Intel Core i7-6900K ($1,021.97 On Amazon)
Intel Core i7-6850K ($579.99 On Amazon)
Intel Core i7-6800K ($404.99 On Amazon)
Intel Core i7-6700K ($308.98 On Amazon)
Intel Core i7-6700 ($304.97 On Amazon)
Intel Core i7-5960X ($1,069.95 On Newegg)
Intel Core i7-5930K ($555.99 On Amazon)
Intel Core i7-5820K ($389.99 On Newegg)
Intel Core i7-5775C ($387.90 On Newegg)
Intel Core i7-4960X ($2,809.99 On Newegg)
Intel Core i7-4930K
Intel Core i7-4820K
Intel Core i7-4790K
Intel Core i7-4770K
Intel Core i7-4790
Intel Core i7-4771
Intel Core i7-4770
Intel Core i7-3970X
Intel Core i7-3960X
Intel Core i7-3930K
Intel Core i7-3820
Intel Core i7-3770K
Intel Core i7-3770
Intel Core i5-7600K ($234.96 On Amazon)
Intel Core i5-7600 ($229.99 On Amazon)
Intel Core i5-7500 ($199.99 On Amazon)
Intel Core i5-7400 ($189.99 On Amazon)
Intel Core i5-6600K ($229.97 On Amazon)
Intel Core i5-6600 ($210.66 On Amazon)
Intel Core i5-6500 ($197.00 On Amazon)
Intel Core i5-6402P ($189.99 On Newegg)
Intel Core i5-6400 ($182.99 On Newegg)
Intel Core i5-5675C
Intel Core i5-4690K ($259.01 On Newegg)
Intel Core i5-4670K
Intel Core i5-4590
Intel Core i5-4670
Intel Core i5-4570
Intel Core i5-4460 ($200.99 On Newegg)
Intel Core i5-4440
Intel Core i5-4430
Intel Core i5-3570K
Intel Core i5-3570
Intel Core i5-3550

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X ($499.99 On Amazon)
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X ($399.99 On Amazon)
AMD Ryzen 7 1700 ($329.99 On Amazon)

Intel Core i7-990X Extreme
Intel Core i7-980X Extreme
Intel Core i7-975 Extreme
Intel Core i7-2600K
Intel Core i7-2600
Intel Core i7-965
Intel Core i5-3470
Intel Core i5-3450P
Intel Core i5-3450
Intel Core i5-3350P
Intel Core i5-3330
Intel Core i5-2550K
Intel Core i5-2500K
Intel Core i5-2500
Intel Core i5-2450P
Intel Core i5-2400
Intel Core i5-2380P
Intel Core i5-2320
Intel Core i5-2310
Intel Core i5-2300
Intel Core i3-7350K ($169.99 On Amazon)
Intel Core i3-7320 ($159.99 On Amazon)
Intel Core i3-7300 ($139.99 On Amazon)
Intel Core i3-7100 ($119.99 On Amazon)
AMD FX-9590 ($159.99 On Newegg)
AMD FX-9370 ($179.99 On Amazon)
AMD FX-8370 w/Wraith ($184.99 On Amazon)
AMD FX-8350 w/Wraith ($159.99 On Amazon)
AMD FX-8320 ($124.99 On Amazon)
AMD FX-8300 ($99.99 On Amazon)
AMD FX-8150
Intel Core i7-980
Intel Core i7-970
Intel Core i7-960
Intel Core i7-875K
Intel Core i7-870
Intel Core i3-6320 ($169.99 On Amazon)
Intel Core i3-6300 ($148.02 On Amazon)
Intel Core i3-6100 ($119.99 On Newegg)
Intel Core i3-6100T ($125.99 On Amazon)
Intel Core i3-6098P ($126.99 On Newegg)
Intel Core i3-4360
Intel Core i3-4350
Intel Core i3-4340
Intel Core i3-4170
Intel Core i3-4160
Intel Core i3-4150
Intel Core i3-4130
Intel Core i3-3250
Intel Core i3-3245
Intel Core i3-3240
Intel Core i3-3225
Intel Core i3-3220
Intel Core i3-3210
Intel Core i3-2130
Intel Core i3-2025
Intel Core i3-2120
Intel Core i3-2105
Intel Core i3-2100
Intel Pentium G4620 ($104.63 On Amazon)
Intel Pentium G4600 ($86.09 On Amazon)
Intel Pentium G4560 ($64.99 On Newegg)
Intel Pentium G4500 ($67.75 On Amazon)
Intel Pentium G4400 ($59.99 On Amazon)
AMD FX-6350 w/Wraith ($134.99 On Amazon)
AMD FX-4350 ($74.95 On Amazon)
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition
AMD Phenom II X4 Black Edition 980
AMD Phenom II X4 Black Edition 975
Intel Core i7-950
Intel Core i7-940
Intel Core i7-930
Intel Core i7-920
Intel Core i7-860
Intel Core i5-3220T
Intel Core i5-2405S
Intel Core i5-2400S
Intel Core i5-760
Intel Core i5-750
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9775
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650
AMD FX-8370E ($185.30 On Amazon)
AMD FX-8320E ($114.95 On Amazon)
AMD FX-8120
AMD FX-6300 ($89.98 On Amazon)
AMD FX-6200
AMD FX-4300 ($67.95 On Amazon)
AMD FX-4170
AMD Phenom II X6 1075T
AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition
AMD Phenom II X4 965
AMD Phenom II X4 955
AMD A10-7890K w/Wraith ($148.99 On Amazon)
AMD A10-7870K Black Edition ($119.99 On Amazon)
AMD A10-7860K ($109.99 On Newegg)
AMD A10-7850K
AMD A10-7800
AMD A10-7700K
AMD A10-6800K
AMD A10-6790K
AMD A10-6700
AMD A10-5800K
AMD A10-5700
AMD A8-7650K ($89.99 On Newegg)
AMD A8-7600 ($75.99 On Amazon)
AMD A8-6600K
AMD A8-5600K
AMD A8-3870K
AMD A8-3870
AMD A8-3850
AMD Athlon X4 880K ($96.99 On Amazon)
AMD Athlon X4 870K ($88.39 On Amazon)
AMD Athlon X4 860K ($64.99 On Amazon)
AMD Athlon X4 750K
AMD Athlon X4 740
AMD Athlon X4 651K
AMD Athlon X4 645
AMD Athlon X4 641
AMD Athlon X4 640
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6800
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400
Intel Core i5-680
Intel Core i5-670
Intel Core i5-661
Intel Core i5-660
Intel Core i5-655K
Intel Core i5-650
Intel Core i3-2120T
Intel Core i3-2100T
AMD FX-6100
AMD FX-4130
AMD FX-4100
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T
AMD Phenom II X6 1045T
AMD Phenom II X4 945
AMD Phenom II X4 940
AMD Phenom II X4 920
AMD Phenom II X3 740
AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition
AMD A8-6500
AMD A8-5500
AMD A6-7400K ($61.33 On Newegg)
AMD A6-6400K ($53.99 On Amazon)
AMD A6-3670K
AMD A6-3650
AMD Athlon II X4 635
AMD Athlon II X4 630
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
Intel Core 2 Duo E8600
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
Intel Core 2 Duo E7600
Intel Core i3-550
Intel Core i3-540
Intel Core i3-530
Intel Pentium G3470
Intel Pentium G3460
Intel Pentium G3450
Intel Pentium G3440
Intel Pentium G3430
Intel Pentium G3420
Intel Pentium G3260 ($70.99 On Newegg)
Intel Pentium G3258 ($78.99 On Newegg)
Intel Pentium G3250
Intel Pentium G3220
Intel Pentium G2130
Intel Pentium G2120
Intel Pentium G2020
Intel Pentium G2010
Intel Pentium G870
Intel Pentium G860
Intel Pentium G850
Intel Pentium G840
Intel Pentium G645
Intel Pentium G640
Intel Pentium G630
AMD Phenom II X4 910
AMD Phenom II X4 910e
AMD Phenom II X4 810
AMD Athlon II X4 631
AMD Athlon II X4 620
AMD Athlon II X3 460
Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200
Intel Core 2 Duo E8300
Intel Core 2 Duo E8200
Intel Core 2 Duo E8190
Intel Core 2 Duo E7500
Intel Core 2 Duo E7400
Intel Core 2 Duo E6850
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750
Intel Pentium G620
Intel Celeron G1630
Intel Celeron G1620
Intel Celeron G1610
Intel Celeron G555
Intel Celeron G550
Intel Celeron G540
Intel Celeron G530
Intel Celeron G3950 ($59.48 On Amazon)
Intel Celeron G3930 ($42.81 On Amazon)
Intel Celeron G3920 ($48.92 On Amazon)
Intel Celeron G3900 ($45.24 On Amazon)

AMD Phenom II X4 905e
AMD Phenom II X4 805
AMD Phenom II X3 710
AMD Phenom II X3 705e
AMD Phenom II X2 565 Black Edition
AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition
AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition
AMD Phenom II X2 545
AMD Phenom X4 9950
AMD Athlon II X3 455
AMD Athlon II X3 450
AMD Athlon II X3 445
AMD Athlon II X3 440
AMD Athlon II X3 435
AMD Athlon II X3 425
Intel Core 2 Duo E7300
Intel Core 2 Duo E7200
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700
Intel Core 2 Duo E6550
Intel Core 2 Duo E6540
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E6700
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E6600
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E650
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E6300
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5800
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5700
Intel Pentium G9650
AMD Phenom X4 9850
AMD Phenom X4 9750
AMD Phenom X4 9650
AMD Phenom X4 9600
AMD Phenom X3 8850
AMD Phenom X3 8750
AMD Athlon II X2 370K
AMD Athlon II X2 265
AMD Athlon II X2 260
AMD Athlon II X2 255
AMD A6-5500K
AMD A6-5400K ($34.99 On Newegg)
AMD A4-7300 ($44.19 On Amazon)
AMD A4-6400K
AMD A4-6300 ($28.99 On Amazon)
AMD A4-5400K
AMD A4-5300
AMD A4-4400
AMD A4-4000
AMD A4-3400
AMD A4-3300
AMD Sempron 2650 ($29.65 On Amazon)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
Intel Core 2 Duo E6420
Intel Core 2 Duo E4700
Intel Core 2 Duo E4600
Intel Core 2 Duo E4500
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5400
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5300
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5200
Intel Pentium Dual-Core G620T
AMD Phenom X4 9550
AMD Phenom X4 9500
AMD Phenom X4 9450e
AMD Phenom X4 9350e
AMD Phenom X3 8650
AMD Phenom X3 8600
AMD Phenom X3 8550
AMD Phenom X3 8450e
AMD Phenom X3 8450
AMD Phenom X3 8400
AMD Phenom X3 8250e
AMD Athlon II X2 250
AMD Athlon II X2 245
AMD Athlon II X2 240
AMD Athlon X2 7850
AMD Athlon X2 7750
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400
Intel Core 2 Duo E6320
Intel Core 2 Duo E4400
Intel Core 2 Duo E4300
Intel Celeron E3300
AMD Phenom X4 9150e
AMD Phenom X4 9100e
AMD Athlon X2 7550
AMD Athlon X2 7450
AMD Athlon X2 5050e
AMD Athlon X2 4850e/b
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300
Intel Core 2 Duo E5500
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2220
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2200
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2210
Intel Celeron E3200
AMD Athlon X2 6550
AMD Athlon X2 6500
AMD Athlon X2 4450e/b
AMD Athlon X2 4600+
AMD Athlon X2 4400+
AMD Athlon X2 4200+
AMD Athlon X2 BE-2400
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2180
Intel Celeron 1600
Intel Celeron G440
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+
AMD Athlon X2 4050e
AMD Athlon X2 2300 Black Edition
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2160
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2140
Intel Celeron E1500
Intel Celeron E1400
Intel Celeron E1200

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MORE: Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
    Your comment
  • cmsvmylo
    I don't understand the purpose of this chart. None is going to buy a CPU by looking at it.
  • LeeRains
    I think AMD needs to be given a little more credit for the potential their CPU's actually hold. So many benchmarks and games have drifted to favor Intel's chipset, but it won't be long before the needle swing back to he middle and AMD won't be positioned like this on your "rankings."
  • LogicWeasel
    Chris I found a slight error for you. The Pentium G4400 is listed twice, 3rd tier and top tier, I'm guessing it accidentally got copied into the top tier's list.
  • Nine Layer Nige
    Great work thanks Chris. An essential list in our computer refurbishment workshop.
  • Antonio1941
    I think that ryzen 1800x needs to be litlle bit upper on the list, right where 6900K is. We all seen its performance in benchmarks. And how is it that 6800K is several notches down from 7700K? 7700k isnt new architecture. Its not even a die shrink. It is skylake with 300MHz overclock and added couple features that do squat for gaming performance. 6700K skylake should be right 1 point below 7700K. I suspect this article is biased and deliberately inaccurate. How much did intel paid you off for this scam?
  • The Paladin
    personally teirs lists should always be taken with a grain of salt, may it be this "cpu list and PSU lists just as guilty at time of erronerous mistakes or bias.

    Antonio: if I was you, I would make your own list with the "specifications of each CPU" and why you classify it above this or under that....
    Bitching at someone's attempt to make sense of such products should encouraged, and helped for accuracy.

    If you have information to share to make the list more accurate do so, otherwise provide accurate and positive criticism.. calling someone " how much does intel.. " is childish at best and no one will take your comment seriously, or more than a AMD fan boy revolted his beloved Ryzen is not the top CPU on the market (and to be clear, It could be or not I don't care to be honest).

    after taking a look at the list I think the "centering of each sides (intel/AMD) is causing people confusion. is you scroll down the list you will see the invers of centering happens with intel; and Amd in older product. so I believe the Tiers are not "face to face" but as general groups of CPU, not comparing Ryzen to the 3960 as on the display of the table...
  • DonkeyOatie
    Perhaps the list needs separate columns for GAMING and HIGH-THROUGHPUT (like rendering) to reflect fundamentally different uses.
  • Nine Layer Nige
    The author Chris states "Indeed, this hierarchy chart is useful as a general guideline"
    Its based on their own tests for gaming benchmarks and is just fine the way it is.
  • killerchickens
    How is the is the i7 7700t faster than the i7 6700k?
  • Nine Layer Nige
    Anonymous said:
    How is the is the i7 7700t faster than the i7 6700k?

    Its no big deal. Its a chart, its not life or death.
  • razamatraz
    Everyone complaining about where stuff sits within a tier....STOOPPPPPPPPP!!!! The text is just vertically centered, AMD only has 3 tier 1 chips so they appear in the middle of Intel's 30 or so.

    They are also not really ordered within the Tiers, just that for a normal gaming setup any chip in that Tier will give similar performance in an averaged broad spectrum of games IE they are all equal.

    Now, frankly I'd drop some weaker i5s out of Tier 1 (All of the Ivy Bridge) but that's just me.
  • Dirk_9
    Toms hardware used to be an unbiased, reliable source of information. This blatant Intel bias is disgusting. If you want REAL information, check out independent reviews and comparisons on youtube, of people playing games, side by side, to see the difference between intel and AMD. The story is always the same, people paying 100-300 dollars MORE for Intel chips to see only, MAYBE, 1-5 FPS difference in games. That was with the FX chips. Ryzen is beating Intels top chips in independent gameplay benchmarks on youtube....further exposing the big outlets/channels bias when they release complete BS articles and lists like this. For GAMING, there is no better option and value then AMD.
  • caiokn
    I used to look at that list a lot while planning my last build, so I think I should give my 2 cents: would be nice to see the tiers 3 and 4 broken into more performance levels. I own a Pentium G4400 and from everything I've seen, Haswell Core i3s and newer models have a significant advantage over the dual threaded Pentium, so I think it would make more sense if it was placed a tier below, with older Core i3 models being dropped too. Also, 6 and 8 cores FX CPUs could be one tier higher. It seems more sensible to me that a FX-6300 should be at the same level that a Core i3 4170, while a Pentium G4400 should be at same level as the Athlon x4 860K.

    Also, is there a performance chart that includes newer CPUs? The last I could find dates from 2015.
  • Nine Layer Nige
    The latest updated list is March 12, 2017 at 10:30 AM
    The originator of this thread included a link to the chart.
  • caiokn
    Anonymous said:
    The latest updated list is March 12, 2017 at 10:30 AM
    The originator of this thread included a link to the chart.

    Oh, I meant the CPU Performance Charts, not the Gaming CPU Hierarchy one. The following link is the only one I could find at Tom's, and it only has results up to 2015.,6.html
  • Ucjusz
    I agree with CAIOKN. Pentiums G4560, G4600 and G4620 have 2 cores / 4 threads. Their position in tier 3 is understandable. Pentium G4400 and G4500 on the other hand are only 2-threaded which makes them unsuitable for most modern games. In my opinion they should be two tiers lower.

    Consider that you have to slide down to tier 6 to find next 2-threaded CPU.
  • Darius981
    A10 Godavari APUs and Athlon x4 880-870 should be in the 3rd tier, not 4th, IMHO.
  • beeblequix
    Hi Chris Angelini,
    1. Which programs were used in the test suite?
    2. Any thoughts about creating a gaming hierarchy chart and a separate productivity hierarchy chart?