Processors

Best AMD Ryzen CPUs for Gaming in 2021

7 Mins read

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Choosing the right CPU for your new gaming PC is an important decision. It is easy to get confused about which processor should you buy, because there are plenty of different models available on the market. For a long time, Intel CPUs were the first choice for many gamers and desktop enthusiasts, however, times have drastically changed. And for the better.

AMD revolutionized desktop CPU market in 2017 when it launched its first 8-core, 16 thread CPU to the mainstream market. Ever since then, popularity of Ryzen CPUs has sharply grown, and for a good reason. Not only that Ryzen CPUs are cheaper than their Intel counterparts, but they also have more power, and are more energy efficient. That may sound unbelievable, but it is true. However, choosing the right Ryzen CPU for your gaming PC in 2021 still isn’t an easy choice. There are many factors to consider before bringing the right decision. Whether it’s budget, cooling, energy consumption, or different modes of usage, CPU is one of the most important components in the computer, so decision about buying a specific model should be made wisely. Gaming represents one of the most intensive activities CPU can handle, so having a quad core processor with at least 8 threads is a must in 2021.

Must read: The Best CPUs for Gaming in 2021: The Top 10 Processors

As it was said before, choosing the right CPU for your new gaming PC isn’t an easy task. Luckily, we’ve made a list of best Ryzen CPUs for gaming you can buy right now in 2021, so scroll down and see which one suits you the best.


Ultimate Performance:

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

Best Value:

AMD Ryzen 5 3600

Best for Content Creators:

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Best for High-End Gaming:

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

Best Entry-Level CPU:

AMD Ryzen 5 1600


Ultimate Performance: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

Cores/Threads: 12C/24T | Base Clock: 3.7 GHz | Boost Clock: 4.8 GHz | TDP: 105W | PassMark Score: 39.539


  • Extraterrestrial performance in gaming
  • Outstanding single-core performance
  • Supports PCIe 4.0 interface
  • Modest power consumption
  • Requires aftermarket cooler
  • Difficult to obtain

All hail to the new emperor of mainstream gaming CPUs – the Ryzen 9 5900X! This crazy powerful CPU is practically an electronic nuclear reactor made out of silicon. The Ryzen 9 5900X features 12 physical cores and 24 threads that sport a base clock of 3.7 GHz, and boost clock of 4.8 GHz. This CPU can also boast with stellar single-threaded performance which allows it to beat even the mightiest Intel’s CPU – the Core i9-10900K.

The Ryzen 9 5900X is able to score 3.505 points in the PassMark single-core test, and 8.470 points in the Cinebench R20 Multi-Core benchmark. With a whooping 64 MB of L3 cache, this CPU is capable of completely annihilating its competition. Even the previous generation high-end workstation CPUs, such as the Intel Core i9-10980XE, or AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3945WX, are no match for the Ryzen 9 5900X. Paired with the best enthusiast graphics cards, such as the GeForce RTX 3080, or Radeon RX 6800 XT, this CPU can push your frame rates way above 60 FPS mark on 4K resolution with all settings set to ultra. The only flaw of this magnificent CPU is that it doesn’t come with a stock cooler, so be sure to buy a suitable cooling solution to keep it quiet and cool. Overall, despite its somewhat high price, getting the Ryzen 9 5900X is an excellent choice if you don’t plan to upgrade your PC for the next five years.

Best Value: AMD Ryzen 5 3600

Cores/Threads: 6C/12T | Base Clock: 3.6 GHz | Boost Clock: 4.2 GHz | TDP: 65W | PassMark Score: 17.864


  • Great performance in gaming and applications
  • Amazing price to performance ratio
  • Backward compatibility with older motherboards
  • Supports overclocking
  • No integrated graphics

If the Ryzen 9 5900X is the emperor of all mainstream gaming CPUs, then Ryzen 5 3600 is their grand duke. This is one of the best desktop PC processors we have seen in years. The Ryzen 5 3600 easily beats its Intel counterparts, such as the Core i5-9400F, or Core i5-8400, and is as good as the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1900X or Intel Core i7-8700K.

The Ryzen 5 3600 can be paired with a high-end graphics card, such as the GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER, or Radeon RX 5700 XT, and can easily deliver 60-144 FPS on ultra graphics settings at 1080P or 1440P resolution. This CPU is also very suitable for 4K gaming. It is also worth to mention that the Ryzen 5 3600 is built on a 7nm FinFET manufacturing process, and has a TDP of 65 watts. The processor comes with its own cooler, however, it doesn’t feature an integrated graphics module, so buying a dedicated GPU is a must. But besides that tiny little flaw, this processor is simply amazing, and its price-to-performance ratio still remains unsurpassed by any other competitor currently available on the market.

Best for Content Creators: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Cores/Threads: 12C/24T | Base Clock: 3.8 GHz | Boost Clock: 4.6 GHz | TDP: 105W | PassMark Score: 32.897


  • Fantastic performance in gaming and multi-threaded applications
  • PCIe 4.0 interface and overclocking support
  • Beats Intel equivalents for less money
  • High TDP
  • Requires aftermarket cooler

If you find the AMD Ryzen 5 5900X to be too expensive, but still want something more powerful, then AMD Ryzen 9 3900X might satisfy your appetites. Although its was first launched way back in 2019, the Ryzen 9 3900X is still the best all-around CPU currently available on the market. Featuring 12 physical cores and 24 threads, as well as a boost core clock of 4.6 GHz, the Ryzen 9 3900X still remains to be a powerful desktop CPU.

The Ryzen 9 3900X is a perfect CPU for gamers who also deal with streaming, video editing or 3D modelling. In GeekBench 4 Multi-Core benchmark, the Ryzen 9 3900X is able to score 44.000 points, and in PassMark single-threaded test it is able to score around 2.750 points. For a price of around $500, the Ryzen 9 3900X is able to deliver overkill performance in 1080P gaming, and is able to beat both Intel Core i7-10700K and AMD Ryzen 7 5800X in multi-threaded applications. The only major flaw of this CPU is that it likes to run hot, so we recommend buying a liquid cooling solution to keep it chill. Overall, the Ryzen 9 3900X is an excellent processor to buy in case you want to build a serious gaming or workstation PC.

Best for High-End Gaming: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

Cores/Threads: 8C/16T | Base Clock: 3.6 GHz | Boost Clock: 4.4 GHz | TDP: 65W | PassMark Score: 22.763


  • Great performance in gaming and applications
  • Good thermal design
  • Reasonable price
  • No integrated graphics
  • Single-core performance lower compared to its Intel rivals

If you want something more powerful than the Ryzen 5 3600, but can’t afford the Ryzen 5600X, then the Ryzen 7 3700X is your best bet for building a powerful gaming PC in 2021. This processor is a successor to the Ryzen 7 2700X, and it features a boost clock speed of 4.4 GHz. Like all the other Ryzen CPUs, this processor also supports overclocking, as well as hardware communication via PCIe 4.0 interface.

Compared to the Ryzen 5 3600, this CPU features two more cores, and sports a much lower TDP of 65 watts compared to the Ryzen 9 3900X. Paired with a high-end graphics card, this CPU is able to push your in-game framerate well above 60 FPS mark at 1440P resolution on ultra settings. Since this CPU is a direct competitor to the Intel Core i7-9700K, it is worth to note that its single threaded performance is slightly disappointing. In PassMark single-threaded benchmark test, the Ryzen 7 3700X scores around 2.650 points, while the i7-9700K scores 2.900 points. Still, this is a great CPU, and if you aim to play your games at 1440P or 4K resolutions, you should definitely get it.

Best Entry-Level CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600

Cores/Threads: 6C/12T | Base Clock: 3.2 GHz | Boost Clock: 3.6 GHz | TDP: 65W | PassMark Score: 12.413


  • Good performance in gaming
  • Bundled cooler
  • Low price
  • No integrated graphics

If you are looking for the best budget gaming CPU, then look no further. The Ryzen 5 1600 is probably the best thing you can get for the lowest price possible. This is world’s lowest power 6-core, 12-thread desktop processor, with a single core PassMark score of 2.083 points. The Ryzen 5 1600 can be bought for less than $200, and is slightly slower than its Intel counterpart – the Core i5-9400F. This amazing budget CPU also sports a boost clock of 3.6 GHz, and it even supports overclocking. Like all the other Ryzen CPUs, this one requires a motherboard with the AM4 socket, and has a TDP of 65W. Paired with a mid-range graphics card, such as the GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER or Radeon RX 5500 XT, this CPU can deliver average in-game framerate of up to 90 FPS at 1080P resolution on ultra settings. Although it comes with its own CPU cooler, we recommend buying a budget CPU heatsink for more efficient cooling.

Conclusion

AMD Ryzen CPUs are great processors for gaming and professionals applications, such as video editing, 3D modelling and programming. Depending on your budget and personal preferences, there is a wide variety of Ryzen CPUs which should suit your gaming needs in 2021. We hope our buying guide helped you in search of the information you were looking for. If you still feel confused, and need advice about buying, feel free to post comment below. We will try to help you.

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About author
Before he joined ViCadia, Nicholas worked as a journalist for several tech magazines. Over the years he gained a lot of knowledge about computers. His main area of interest are processors, motherboards, and operating systems.
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