The best AMD processors for 2022

AMD is at the top of our list of the best processors due to the incredible success of the Ryzen 5000 generation. Our top pick for the best AMD CPU right now is the Ryzen 9 5950X because of its incredible 16 cores, low power requirements, and high single-core performance. There are plenty of other options for AMD fans, though.

From the best Ryzen CPU for gaming to the best AMD processor on an extreme budget, we have plenty of options for fans of Team Red. If you want to jump camps, make sure to check out our roundup of the best Intel CPUs, as well.

product image of amd ryzen 9 5950x processor on white background

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

The best, most powerful AMD Ryzen CPU

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Fairly low TDP
  • Great for core CPU-intensive workloads
  • Effortlessly handles gaming

Cons

  • No onboard graphics
  • Expensive

Why should you buy this: It’s the highest specced AMD Ryzen desktop processor.

Who’s it for: Content creators and professionals looking for core CPU performance.

Why we picked the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X:

Sitting on top of the tier is the Ryzen 9 5950X which is a powerhouse and an over-powered chip for most users. It comes with 16 cores and 32 threads that can boost up to 4.9GHz, along with a whopping 72MB of combined L2 and L3 cache. As is the case with most high-end components, the 5950X’s power is clear from the specs, but it takes a little more digging to see its performance benefit in real-world use. It might offer a marginal benefit over the 5900X while running CPU-intensive applications, however, the 5950X shines when it comes to multithreaded performance. In tasks that require a lot of cores, such as hardware encryption and 3D rendering, the 5950X aces the charts and shoots far ahead of the 5900X. Tasks that use a dominant core will see less of a benefit compared to the 5900X.

As for gaming, while the 5950X can show slight improvements in certain titles, most games won’t be able to take advantage of the processor’s full horsepower. Even in CPU-intensive titles like Hitman 2 and Microsoft Flight Simulator, the 5950X is overkill. It’s a highly capable gaming CPU, topping benchmarks alongside all of the Ryzen 5000 processors. Thus, it is worth noting that this processor is just not worth the extra cost if you’re primarily going to use your PC for gaming.

amd ryzen 9 5950x

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

The best, most powerful AMD Ryzen CPU

amd cache reckoning is upon us ryzen 7 5800x3d review 1

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D

The best AMD processor for gaming

Pros

  • The fastest gaming CPU on the market
  • Solid thermal performance
  • Works with AM4 motherboards
  • Inexpensive
  • Low power requirements

Cons

  • No overclocking
  • Lackluster general CPU performance

Why should you buy this: It’s the best CPU for gaming, no questions asked.

Who’s it for: Gamers who want the best of the best

Why we picked the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D:

The Ryzen 7 5800X3D is the same CPU as the Ryzen 7 5800X — an AMD Ryzen chip that is absent from our list. That’s because the 3D-stacked model includes an additional 64MB of L3 cache stacked on top of the processor, and that extra bit adds up to make it the best processor for gaming.

It manages nearly a 7% lead over the Ryzen 9 5950X in games, despite costing around $150 less. Even against Intel’s flagship Core i9-12900K, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is still around 3% faster in games. That’s despite drawing less than half the power, using half of the cores, and clocking in a full $200 cheaper than Intel’s top CPU. If you want to build a gaming machine, there’s really only one option: The Ryzen 7 5800X3D.

It struggles outside of gaming, however. You’re getting eight cores and a max boost clock of 4.5GHz, so apps that favor a lot of cores or a high clock speed won’t see an uplift from the Ryzen 7 5800X3D. Gamers have a lot to be excited about, however. We rarely see such stark improvements in gaming performance from a CPU, which is all the sweeter considering the Ryzen 7 5800X3D’s attainable price point of $450.

amd ryzen 7 5800x3d

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D

The best AMD processor for gaming

amd ryzen 5 5600x processor.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

The best midrange AMD processor

Pros

  • Great gaming performance
  • Easy to cool
  • Respectable single and multi-threaded capabilities
  • Bundled cooler

Cons

  • Lacks integrated graphics

Why should you buy this: It’s a great value-for-money processor for PC gaming.

Who’s it for: Gamers looking to build new or upgrade their PC.

Why we picked the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X:

Priced at around $230, the Ryzen 5 5600X is a great alternative to the Ryzen 7 5800X3D if you’re on a budget. While it’s one of the cheapest processors out of AMD’s current Ryzen 5000 lineup, the 5600X is squarely targeting the mainstream. For the money, you get six cores and 12 threads, a base clock of 3.7GHz, and a boost clock of 4.6GHz. This processor comes with 35MB of combined L2 and L3 cache, which is just 1MB less than the 5800X, which is a $350 CPU.

The CPU uses AMD’s Zen 3 architecture, improving instructions per clock (IPC) and memory management. The IPC improvements show clearly in limitedly threaded tasks like gaming. The 5600X can keep up with processors that cost twice as much, sitting near and occasionally passing the 5800X, 5900X, and even some options from Intel. If all you’re interested in is gaming, the 5600X is the perfect processor. By comparison, higher-end processors don’t offer anywhere near the kind of performance improvements to justify the added cost.

The 5600X starts to show some weakness in productivity. Although still topping the pack in single-threaded performance, the 5600X falls behind the last-gen 3700X and the newly launched Intel i7-12700K in single-threaded as well as multi-threaded benchmarks. The 5600X is a very impressive processor because of and despite its price.

amd ryzen 5 5600x

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

The best midrange AMD processor

retail box of the amd ryzen 7 5700g apu on a white background.

AMD Ryzen 7 5700G

The best Ryzen CPU with integrated graphics

Pros

  • Capable integrated graphics for 1080p gaming
  • Bundled Wraith air cooler
  • Respectable thermals and power consumption
  • Equivalent CPU performance to 5600X

Cons

  • No PCIe Gen 4 support
  • Less cost effective when paired with dedicated GPU

Why should you buy this: It has the best integrated graphics performance of any desktop CPU.

Who’s it for: Casual gamers who don’t wish to invest in a dedicated graphics card.

Why we picked the AMD Ryzen 7 5700G:

If you still haven’t got your hands on a graphics card, your best bet is a chip with integrated graphics. The good thing is that such processors are easily available. The Ryzen 7 5700G is currently AMD’s best desktop APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) featuring its powerful Zen 3 architecture with Vega-based graphics. Based on the same 7nm process, the CPU includes 8 cores and 16 threads running at a base frequency of 3.8GHz with a boost frequency of 4.6GHz. At the same time, it manages to maintain a fairly low TDP of 65W. As for integrated graphics, it is considered to be the best in class, though the Vega architecture is definitely showing its age. It features a total of eight compute units, 512 GCN cores, and clock speeds of up to 2GHz.

Other notable features of the 5700G include 16MB of L3 cache and support for DDR4-3200 memory. AMD also bundles its Wraith Stealth cooler, which is a great value addition, even though most aftermarket coolers offer better thermal performance. Sadly, there is no PCIe 4.0 support, which means you cannot experience the sheer speeds offered by some of the fastest NVMe solid-state drives. Priced around $300, the Ryzen 7 5700G isn’t cheap, but if you don’t wish to invest in a dedicated graphics card any time soon, this is actually a solid deal.

amd ryzen 7 5700g

AMD Ryzen 7 5700G

The best Ryzen CPU with integrated graphics

razer blade 14 and 15 compared.

AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX

Most powerful AMD mobile processor

Pros

  • Cutting-edge mobile RDNA2 onboard graphics
  • Built on TSMC’s 6nm process
  • Incredibly efficient

Cons

  • Can’t stand up to Intel 12th-gen CPUs in performance

Why should you buy this: It’s a fantastic performing mobile processor with excellent battery life.

Who’s it for: Gamers, content creators, and professionals looking for a powerful mobile chipset.

Why we picked the AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX:

AMD announced the Ryzen 6000-series processors for notebooks at the start of 2022, and even though there is no desktop counterpart yet, it is an important line of CPUs for notebooks this year. Featuring the new Zen 3+ architecture which includes TSMC’s new 6nm process node along with higher clock speeds and RDNA2 integrated graphics, these processors are not only powerful for productivity and entry-level gaming, but they are also quite efficient. The lineup is led by the Ryzen 9 6980HX, but as of now, the highest performing mobile chipsets that prospective buyers can get their hands on are the 6900HX and the 6900HS. Both come with a similar configuration including 8 cores, 16 threads, base clock speeds of 3.3GHz, and boost clock speeds of 4.9GHz. The only difference is that the 6900HX is an unlocked chip, which means it is capable of overclocking and has a higher TDP of 45W compared to 35W on the 6900HS. The update to RDNA 2 integrated graphics also means that there is potential for improved graphics performance compared to the older Vega series. According to AMD, RDNA 2 brings 12 compute units with faster clock speeds, wider memory bandwidth, and a larger L2 cache.

Additionally, there is support for PCIe Gen 4, USB 4, Wi-Fi 6e, and DDR5 memory. While the support for the new memory standard does sound good, it is important to note that DDR5 is quite expensive and faces limited availability at the time of writing. Currently, the only two laptops that are on sale with the new Ryzen 6000 series mobile processors are the new Razer Blade 14 and the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14.

razer blade 14

AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX

Most powerful AMD mobile processor

amd ryzen 5 5600g retail box with processor on white background.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

The best entry-level CPU with integrated graphics

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Cheaper than previous-gen APUs
  • Unlocked for overclocking
  • Great thermals and power consumption

Why should you buy this: It’s the most affordable AMD APU.

Who’s it for: Gamers looking for a value-driven CPU with integrated graphics.

Why we picked the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G:

If you asked us for the best AMD CPU with integrated graphics on a budget, we would suggest the Ryzen 3 3200G or the Ryzen 5 3400G. However, the chipset shortage has had a significant impact on the pricing of older AMD APUs. Thankfully, AMD launched the Ryzen 5 5600G in 2021, solving a huge problem for PC builders. The chip features the same Zen 3 architecture as seen on other AMD Ryzen 5000 processors, along with 6 cores, 12 threads, and a base clock speed of 3.9GHz that can boost up to 4.4GHz. Like the 5700G, the 5600G also features 16MB of L3 cache, a 65W TDP, and comes bundled with an air cooler. As mentioned before, the integrated Vega GPU is not the fastest, but it gets the job done. It is clocked at 1.9GHz and features 448 stream processors. When it comes to gaming, AMD says that the 5600G is capable of 79 frames per second (fps) in Civilization VI, 33 fps in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and 98 fps in Fortnite, all at 1080p with low settings.

At an additional $90, you can bump up to the Ryzen 7 5700G, which will offer you more cores and threads and a slightly faster-integrated GPU. However, if you are on a tight budget, this is your best bet.

amd - ryzen 5 5600g

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

The best entry-level CPU with integrated graphics

amd athlon 3000g processor and box.

AMD Athlon 3000G

The best entry-level AMD processor

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Can be overclocked
  • Integrated GPU

Cons

  • Only two cores
  • Better Intel models available at similar price

Why should you buy this: It’s super cheap despite offering decent performance.

Who’s it for: PC users who looking for an ultra-budget CPU.

Why we picked the AMD Athlon 3000G:

For a very basic and ultra-budget build, the AMD Athlon 3000G is a well-rounded CPU for under $100. It’s a dual-core processor with a base clock speed of 3.5GHz, and it’s the first Athlon CPU that’s unlocked, so you can squeeze a little extra performance out of it with overclocking. If you don’t, it remains a pretty efficient CPU too, with a TDP of just 35W, and with the bundled cooler, you won’t necessarily have to invest in an aftermarket solution. It also comes with integrated Vega graphics which allows for light gaming like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Rainbow Six: Siege at medium settings and 720p resolution. Don’t expect the integrated graphics to run games at 1080p outside of the most lightweight of esports and indie games.

The Athlon 3000G is selling for about $70, which is a great value, and it can fit on most AM4 socket-based motherboards. However, it is best to check the compatibility, as some high-end boards do not support the Athlon series. The only downside of this processor is that Intel offers way more competitive chips at this price point with a higher core count and threads.

amd athlon 3000g

AMD Athlon 3000G

The best entry-level AMD processor

Frequently Asked Questions

Are AMD processors better than Intel?

AMD processors can compete directly with Intel on almost everything. While at the very top-end Intel’s chips do offer higher performance, it’s not a huge lead. Intel Alder Lake processors are very inefficient in comparison, demanding a lot more power and outputting a lot of extra heat.

Whether you’re looking for a CPU for gaming or productive working, AMD’s lineup of Ryzen 5000, 6000, and some earlier designs are still excellent choices.

Do all AMD processors come with an integrated GPU?

No. An important factor when buying an AMD CPU is that a majority of high-performance chips do not come with integrated graphics. This essentially means that you need to buy a dedicated graphics card. AMD does offer dedicated models with an integrated GPU that are denoted by a G at the end of the model number — for instance, the Ryzen 7 5700G, Ryzen 5 5600G, and Ryzen 3 3200G. Those are known as APUs and can operate without a discrete GPU.

What motherboard do I need with my AMD processor?

AMD’s 500-series motherboard supports most recent-generation AMD Ryzen processors right out of the box, but the entire Ryzen CPU lineup, including the new Ryzen 5000 series, is based on the AM4 socket. This means that certain older motherboards can also be used with the latest chipsets with just a quick BIOS update. For a list of all the compatible motherboards, it is best to check the information by heading to AMD’s official website.

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