It’s not all about getting the latest CPU
Don’t be taken in by all the sales hype, the very latest processor may not necessarily be the best gaming CPU for you. Look at the performance requirements of the games that you want to play and base your selection of processor on that, rather than what is the latest big thing to hit the market.
Save some of your money for the other important components
You will naturally want to get the best gaming CPU that you can afford, but don’t spend so much money on it that you have to go too cheap on the other components. Very often, once you reach a certain standard of processor, you don’t gain a lot more by going up to the next level, so just get a CPU that will meet your requirements, and then you can save your money to buy other high quality components.
The main two manufacturers to consider are the two that currently dominate the market; AMD and Intel. Both of them produce very high quality and extremely reliable gaming CPUs, so the best way to choose between them is on a case-by-case basis, rather than having a preference one or the other of the manufacturers. In other words, make the comparison of different gaming CPUs based on the relative specifications of each one, rather than the brand name.
It is best to buy a gaming CPU that will see you through the next five years, which is the average lifespan of a gaming computer. If you buy a processor with some margin in it, it will save you struggling with performance issues in a few years’ time.
For most people who will be using a PC for general purposes and for standard game playing, the stock fans will be sufficient to stop the CPU overheating. The only reason you would need to upgrade the cooling system is if you plan on over-clocking the CPU. Over-clocking will usually only gain you a maximum of a 20% increase in performance, though, so when you take into account the cost of an upgraded cooling system as well, so for most gamers, it is not usually worth doing.
Choosing the best CPU for gaming is not easy, because there are so many different models with different specs available. If you are unsure about what it is that you need, it is advisable to ask an expert or visit a computer components review website, or you may end up paying a lot more money than you really need to.