Comparison reviews

CPU Benchmarks and Hierarchy 2021: Intel and AMD Processor Rankings and Comparisons

Our CPU benchmarks performance hierarchy ranks all the current and previous generation Intel and AMD processors, including all of the Best CPUs for Gaming, based on performance. Your CPU has a huge effect on overall performance and, to many, is a computer’s most important component. CPU benchmarks help us suss out the differences, but when it comes time to buy a CPU for your desktop, you’ll find a dizzying collection of model numbers and specs from both Intel and AMD.

We’ve listed the best CPUs for gaming and best processors for workstations in other articles, but if you want to know how each chip stacks up against all the others and how we come to our decisions, this CPU benchmarks hierarchy is for you. We also have an article covering CPU performance in Cyberpunk 2077.

AMD has its Ryzen 5000G APUs coming to market in August, but we jumped the gun and reviewed the Ryzen 7 5700G. This chip’s strong integrated graphics could be a godsend to gamers looking to sit out the GPU shortage, provided they keep their expectations in check. We’ve included the chip in both our standard rankings below and also added a new integrated graphics CPU benchmark ranking so you can see how the chips stack up relative to prior-gen AMD chips and Intel’s lineup. We’ll add the Ryzen 5 5600G after we post our review.

These new chips build on AMD’s resounding success with its Zen 3 architecture. We have the full Ryzen 5000 lineup in our CPU benchmarks, including the Ryzen 5 5600X, Ryzen 9 5950X, 5900X, and Ryzen 7 5800X, along with all of the previous-gen Zen 3, Zen+, and Zen 1 versions of those chips.

Intel’s 11th-generation Rocket Lake-S CPUs are in the other corner, led by the Intel Core i9-11900K and Core i5-11600K that have improved Intel’s competitive standing. As a result of its solid performance and AMD’s continued chip shortages, the Core i5-11600K is now our Best CPU for gaming. The Core i5-11400 is the hidden star of Intel’s new lineup. AMD has no response for this chip on the lower-end of its price range – in fact, the Core i5-11400 grapples with the two-year-old Ryzen 5 3600. 

If you want to see Intel and AMD’s most important models square off head-to-head in our CPU benchmarks, check out these articles:

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