CPU Hierarchy 2018: Intel and AMD Processors Ranked

Your CPU has a huge effect on overall performance and, to many, is a computer's most important component. However, when it comes time to buy a desktop processor, you'll find a dizzying morass of model numbers and specs from both Intel and AMD. Which is faster: a Core i7-8700 or a Core i9-7960X. And where does AMD's Ryzen 7 2700X fit in?

To help you pick a processor, we've ranked all the consumer Intel 8th and 7th Gen processors, along with AMD's Ryzen and Ryzen 2 chips. We determined the order based on average gaming performance across our eight-title test suite. The most powerful chip gets a 100 and all others are scored relative to it. If you want our recommendations, please check out our Best CPUs page.

Intel Core i7-8700K
Coffee Lake
6 / 12
3.7 / 4.7 GHz95W
Intel Core i9-7900X
10 / 20
3.3 / 4.3 GHz140W
Intel Core i7-8700
Coffee Lake6 / 123.2 / 4.6 GHz65W
Intel Core i9-7960X
Skylake16 / 32
2.8 / 4.2 GHz165W
Intel Core i5-8600K
Coffee Lake6 / 6
3.6 / 4.3 GHz95W
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X
6 / 123.6 / 4.2 GHz95W
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
Zen+8 / 163.7 / 4.3 GHz105W
Intel Core i5-8600
Coffee Lake
6 / 6
3.1 / 4.3 GHz65W
Intel Core i7-7700K
Kaby Lake
4 / 8
4.2 / 4.5 GHz91W
Intel Core i5-8500
Coffee Lake
6 / 6
3.0 / 4.1 GHz65W
Intel Core i5-8400
Coffee Lake6 / 62.8 / 4.0 GHz65W
Intel Core i7-7820X
Skylake8 / 16
3.6 / 4.3 GHz140W
Intel Core i3-8350K
Coffee Lake4 / 4
4.0 / - GHz91W
AMD Ryzen 7 2700
Zen+8 / 163.2 / 4.1 GHz65W
AMD Threadripper 1900X (GM)
8 / 16
3.8 / 4.0 GHz180W
Intel Core i7-7700
Kaby Lake 4 / 8
3.6 / 4.2 GHz65W
AMD Ryzen 5 2600
Zen+6 / 12
3.4 / 3.9 GHz65W
Intel Core i7-7800X
Skylake6 / 12
3.5 / 4.0 GHz140W
Intel Core i5-7600K
Kaby Lake 4 / 4
3.8 / 4.2 GHz91W
AMD Threadripper 1950X (GM)
16 / 32
3.4 / 4.0 GHz180W
AMD Threadripper 1920X (GM)
12 / 24
3.5 / 4.0 GHz180W
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
Zen8 / 163.6 / 4.0 GHz95W
Intel Core i5-7600
Kaby Lake 4 / 4
3.5 / 4.1 GHz65W
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X
Zen8 / 163.8 / 3.9 GHz95W
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
Zen6 / 123.6 / 4.0 GHz95W
AMD Ryzen 5 1600
Zen6 / 123.2 / 3.6 GHz65W
Intel Core i3-8300
Coffee Lake
4 / 4
3.7 / - GHz62W
Intel Core i3-8100
Coffee Lake4 / 4
3.6 / - GHz65W
Intel Core i5-7500
Kaby Lake 4 / 4
3.4 / 3.8 GHz65W
Intel Core i5-7400
Kaby Lake 4 / 4
3.0 / 3.5 GHz65W
AMD Ryzen 7 1700
Zen8 / 16
3.0 / 3.8 GHz65W
AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
Zen4 / 8
3.5 / 3.7 GHz65W
Intel Core i3-7350K
Kaby Lake 2 / 4
4.2 / - GHz60W
AMD Ryzen 5 2400G
Zen+4 / 8
3.6 / 3.9 GHz65W
Intel Core i3-7300
Kaby Lake 2 / 4
4.0 / - GHz51W
Intel Core i3-7100
Kaby Lake 2 / 4
3.9 / - GHz51W
AMD Ryzen 5 1400
Zen4 / 8
3.2 / 3.4 GHz65W
AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
Zen4 / 4
3.5 / 3.7 GHz65W
AMD Ryzen 3 2200G
Zen+4 / 4
3.5 / 3.7 GHz65W
Intel Pentium G4620
Kaby Lake 2 / 4
3.7 / - GHz54W
Intel Pentium G4560
Kaby Lake 2 / 4
3.5 / - GHz54W
AMD Ryzen 3 1200
Zen4 / 4
3.1 / 3.2 GHz65W

You may be surprised to find that some less-expensive chips ranked above their upscale siblings. For example, the Ryzen 5 2600X comes out ahead of the Ryzen 7 2700X on this list, because it offers better sustained performance, which was enough to help it do better on the overall suite of tests. However, depending on the application, you may see stronger results from the higher-end chip.

How We Tested

Unfortunately, the Spectre and Meltdown patches found us updating our testing image after the Ryzen 2000-series launch, which has left us with two distinct groups of test results. We have numerous entries in both databases, but neither is entirely complete (yet). As such, we've combined the test pools based upon relative results to the leading processors.

The numbers above represent gaming performance using eight game titles. We're using a geometric mean of the 99th percentile frame rate data, which we convert to an FPS metric, as our overall measure of gaming performance over the entirety of our gaming test suite. We used the Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU for our tests at HD resolution. We have also included several newer processors that we haven't tested yet, but we've assigned them basic positions in our hierarchy based on their capabilities. Naturally, this list will grow as we add more processors.

Test System & Configuration

Test System

AMD Socket AM4 (400-Series)
AMD Ryzen 2000-series processors
MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC
2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2933

Intel LGA 1151 (Z370):
Intel Coffee Lake processors
MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2400, DDR4-2667

AMD Socket AM4 (300-Series)
Ryzen 1000-series processors
MSI X370 Xpower Gaming Titanium
2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2667

Intel LGA 1151 (Z270)
Intel Kaby Lake processors
MSI Z270 Gaming M7
2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2400

Intel LGA 2066

Intel Skylake processors
MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
4x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2666

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FE
1TB Samsung PM863
SilverStone ST1500-TI, 1500W
Windows 10 Creators Update Version 1703 - All Spectre and Meltdown mitigations
Corsair H115i

Legacy Desktop Processor Hierarchy

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 Coffee Lake or Kaby Lake, 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 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).

Intel Core i7-8700K ($379 On Amazon)
Intel Core i9-7900X ($979.99 On Newegg)
Intel Core i9-7960X ($1,695.68 On Newegg)
Intel Core i9-7980XE ($1999.00 On Amazon)
Intel Core i5-8600K ($279.99 On Newegg)
Intel Core i7-7740X ($350.00 On Amazon)
Intel Core i7-7700K ($349.89 On Newegg)
Intel Core i7-7820X ($599.00 On Amazon)
Intel Core i7-7700 ($314.90 On Amazon)
Intel Core i5-8400 ($189.99 On Newegg)
Intel Core i7-7800X ($389.99 On Newegg)
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 i5-7640X ($243.00 On Amazon)
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 Newegg)
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 Threadripper 1950X ($949.99 On Newegg)
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X ($789.99 On Amazon)
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X ($319.99 On Amazon)
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1900X ($549.99 On Newegg)
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X ($298.99 On Amazon)
AMD Ryzen 7 1700 ($294.99 On Newegg)
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X ($199.99 On Amazon)
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 ($199.99 On Amazon)
AMD Ryzen 5 1500X ($189.99 On Newegg)
AMD Ryzen 5 1400 ( On -)
AMD Ryzen 3 1300X ($129.99 On Amazon)
AMD Ryzen 3 1200 ($99.99 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 ($114.99 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)