The best entry-level gaming CPUs – Test 2023

Even with comparatively little money you can get a processor with which you can already play quite well. Of course, this also depends on the other installed hardware and primarily on the existing graphics card. But a gaming CPU under 200 euros can be enough to play current games well.

Basically, the performance of the CPU in games depends on many factors. For example, very little and slow RAM can significantly reduce performance. Likewise, an old operating system and not up-to-date drivers.

Loading times can be improved with SSDs. It also depends on the games themselves and how strong a CPU is for the FPS. For example, CS:GO is very CPU-heavy and depends above all on single-core performance.

More than four cores are actually not necessary in this game and the graphics card doesn’t really play a big role unless you play up to the maximum FullHD resolution. So in this case it doesn’t do much to replace the graphics card if you have problems with too few frames. Other games are exactly the opposite.

There CPUs are less the decisive factor, but rather the graphics card. In general, however, one can say: The higher the resolution in the game, the more important the graphics card and the less important the CPU.

For most common and especially for the so-called eSport games, relatively cheap CPUs in the range of up to a maximum of 200 euros are sufficient to be able to play them well. In this price range, you already get Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 7 processors with six cores or more and relatively high single-core performance.

In combination with reasonably fast RAM and a graphics card suitable for gaming, you can put together a gaming PC quite cheaply. Our CPU ranking for gaming shows how entry-level CPUs perform in comparison to more expensive and more powerful processors.

PUBG with an AMD Ryzen 5 5500 and an RTX 3050
The bestmotherboardforryzen editorial team compared the best gaming CPUs up to 200 euros for you and listed them clearly in a table with the current best prices from our price comparison. We only considered CPUs with at least four cores and current models.

Gaming benchmarks of the best entry-level gaming CPUs

What should I look out for when buying a CPU?

The most important thing is that the new CPU fits the existing or planned mainboard. But it is not enough that the socket of the CPU and mainboard is the same. The new CPU must also be officially supported by the mainboard.

A look at the mainboard manufacturer’s product page is enough for this (usually under the CPU support item). If the CPU is supported, it is now important that at least the Bios version that is required for the new CPU is installed.

Ideally, you update the bios before installing the new CPU. With many current mainboards, you can now also update the bios afterward without a built-in CPU using a USB stick.

How do I install or replace a CPU?

When installing the CPU, the PC should be placed on a table so that the mainboard lies flat and the CPU cannot fall out during removal or installation. First, the base is then opened or unlocked with a lever.

With Intel and the new AM5 socket, a bracket goes up here, with AM4 the socket is unlocked in this way. Now carefully hold the CPU at the corners and place it in the socket. Make sure that it is installed correctly.

A small arrow on the edge of the CPU, which can also be found on the socket, helps here. If the arrow is next to the arrow, then the CPU can be placed or plugged into the socket (AM4).

The base is then locked again by the lever. On Intel and AM5, this pushes the bracket onto the CPU. If the lever is completely down, the CPU should now sit properly in the socket. Then the thermal paste can be applied and the CPU cooler can be mounted.

What are the advantages of Intel over AMD and AMD over Intel?

Purely in terms of obstruction, the two take nothing. AMD has the advantage that a new board is usually not absolutely necessary for new CPU generations. On the other hand, you can usually overclock more effectively with Intel, and high-clocking RAM is generally better supported. Otherwise, it is more a question of belief or pending which system you prefer.

Are the CPUs supplied with a suitable cooler?

A standard cooler is included with cheaper models in the “Boxed” version (from Intel) and Wraith (from AMD). However, they are not us to be recommended and actually only to be seen as a short interim solution. You can find recommended CPU coolers for AMD (AM5 & AM4) here and for Intel (socket 1700) here.

What is the best way to cool the CPU?

We recommend a powerful air cooler for operating an entry-level gaming CPU. Recommended models are available here from around 30 euros. You can find more information about CPU coolers in our purchase advice. Alternatively, we have direct recommendations for AMD AM4/AM5 and the Intel Socket 1700. If you prefer to cool with a compact water cooling system for optical reasons, you will find it here.

How hot are the current CPUs?

In a direct comparison between the current AMD and Intel CPUs in the lower price segment, the waste heat from both processors is still relatively low when you compare them with the high-end models.

Nevertheless, the CPUs should be well cooled, since current gaming CPUs from AMD and Intel overclock themselves automatically, depending on the built-in cooling. Water cooling makes less sense in this price segment, mainly because you can get much cheaper and quite good air coolers for around 30 euros.

CPUs up to 200 euros have a maximum of 4 to 8 cores and clock rates of just under 5 GHz. Ideally, the temperatures should not exceed 90° C under full load, otherwise, the CPUs may downclock themselves.

Not the gaming CPU you want? All gaming CPUs from AMD up to 200 euros in a price comparison
All gaming CPUs from Intel are up to 200 euros in the price comparison.

About admin

Zahid Mahmood is a passionate technology enthusiast and gaming aficionado. With a deep love for all things tech-related, Zahid has dedicated his time and expertise to exploring the world of technology and sharing his knowledge with others. As the owner and operator of, Zahid has established himself as a trusted authority in the field of motherboards for Ryzen processors.

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