Are you looking for the best CPU under $200 to buy in 2023? If yes, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we will not only provide you with a list of the 7 best CPUs under $200 but also give you an in-depth analysis of each one of them.
With PCBuilder’s blog, our aim is to make the task of choosing the best CPU easier for you. That is why we’ve divided this article into two parts – the list of the best CPUs under $200, and the guide to help you choose the best CPU under $200.
Now, let’s take a look at the best CPUs in 2023:
Best CPU Under $200
When you visit any eCommerce website, you’ll find hundreds of different CPUs. The sheer number of options can be overwhelming, making it hard to decide which one to buy.
So, to make your decision easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best CPUs under $200.
1. Intel Core i5-11400 Desktop Processor with 6 Cores & 12 Threads, 2.60 GHz Base Clock & 4.40 GHz Boost Clock Speed, 12MB Smart Cache, 65W TDP, and Intel UHD Graphics 730
Intel is one of the best-known names when it comes to processors, and the Intel Core i5-11400 is one of the best CPUs under $200. It’s a 6-cores and 12-threads processor which is capable enough to handle demanding applications and games.
The base clock speed of this processor is 2.60 GHz, and it can be boosted up to 4.40 GHz making it one of the fastest CPUs in this price range. It has a TDP of 65W and comes with an Intel UHD Graphics 730 controller.
The integrated graphics card on this CPU means that you do not have to spend extra money on purchasing a separate graphics card. Moreover, this CPU is also compatible with the latest motherboards that come with the LGA-1200 socket type.
When it comes to performance and speed, the CPU is capable enough to play games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and so forth on medium, high, or even ultra settings. Furthermore, the 12MB of L3 cache contributes to enhancing the overall performance of the system.
- One of the most powerful processors from Intel
- It comes with 12MB of L3 cache memory.
- It has Intel UHD Graphics 730.
- No cons.
This Intel Core i5-11400 processor is suitable for gamers who are on a tight budget. This processor has 4K support and can also be overclocked to attain even better performance. For people who are looking to fulfill all of their gaming and video editing-related needs, it is an outstanding CPU.
So if you have been looking for an affordable CPU that offers good performance for under $200, then the Intel Core i5-11400 should be your first choice.
2. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler, 6 Cores & 12 Threads, 3.7 GHz Base Clock Speed, 4.6 GHz Boost Clock Speed, 32 MB L3 Cache, and DDR-3200 Support
The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is another most incredible CPU that comes under $200. It’s a 6-core and 12-thread processor which is based on the Zen 3 architecture. The CPU is compatible with the AM4 socket and can be overclocked to get even better performance.
This CPU comes with a base clock speed of 3.7GHz and it can be boosted up to 4.6GHz, making it another most powerful CPU on our list. The CPU also comes with a Wraith Stealth cooler which sleeps the temperature of the CPU lower even when you’re pushing it to the limit.
It also comes with an impressive 32MB L3 cache memory which further improves the system performance and helps in boosting the overall gaming experience. The CPU can easily handle games like Fortnite, PUBG, Apex Legends, etc. at medium to high settings.
So, if you’re looking for a CPU that can handle demanding applications and games, then the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is the one for you. Although this CPU doesn’t come with an integrated graphics card, so you’ll need a separate graphics card to use along with this CPU.
- Latest streamlined processor from the ryzen 5000 series.
- It comes with 32MB of L3 cache memory.
- It has 6 cores and 12 threads.
- Required discrete graphics card to work.
We have ranked AMD Ryzen 5 5600X as the second best CPU on our list for video editors and gamers. The CPU has been designed on the Zen 3 architecture and comes with a base clock speed of 3.7GHz that can be boosted up to 4.6GHz.
Besides being from the most recent Ryzen 5000 series, this AMD processor also comes with an impressive 32MB L3 cache on it. This CPU can be used to play a wide range of games as well as to edit videos and handle other demanding tasks.
3. AMD Ryzen 5 3600 AM4 Based Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler, 6 Cores & 12 Threads, 3.6 GHz Base & 4.2 GHz Boost Clock Speed, and 32 MB L3 Cache
AMD’s Ryzen 5 series is known for its excellent value, and the Ryzen 5 3600 is no exception. This is a 6-core, 12-thread processor with a base clock speed of 3.6GHz that can easily be pushed to 4.2GHz with ease.
The CPU comes from AMD’s mainstream desktop microprocessor line and it is based on the Zen 2 microarchitecture. The CPU is compatible with the latest motherboards that come with the AM4 socket and supports the latest PCIe 4.0 standard.
On the basis of CPU Benchmark stats, the CPU has a score of 17,823, which is quite impressive. It is also worth noting that AMD Ryzen 5 3600 comes with a Wraith Stealth cooler that is capable of keeping the CPU’s temperature under control, even when you push it to the limits. Furthermore, it features 32MB of L3 cache memory, which is quite impressive.
If you’re in the market for an excellent CPU that comes with the Wraith Stealth cooler and delivers great performance, then AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is the one you should be considering. However, this CPU does not come with an integrated graphics card, so you’ll need to purchase a separate graphics card for it.
- It supports the latest PCIe 4.0 interface
- Comes with a CPU benchmark score of 17,823 which is decent.
- It has 32MB of l3 cache memory.
- Required discrete graphics card to work.
If playing games, streaming videos, and editing videos are your top priorities, then you should go with the AMD Ryzen 5 3600. It is one of the most affordable CPUs available on the market and it comes with a Wraith Stealth cooler. Plus, the 32MB L3 cache memory will make gaming more enjoyable.
The only drawback is that you’ll need to buy a separate graphics card for it. Nevertheless, this CPU is still worth considering if you’re on a budget.
4. Intel Core i5-11600K Unlocked LGA1200 Desktop Processor with 6 Cores & 12 Threads, 3.90 GHz Base & up to 4.9 GHz Boost Speed, 125W TDP, and Intel UHD Graphics 750
The Intel Core i5-11600K is a powerful desktop processor that comes with 6 cores and 12 threads. It has a base clock speed of 3.9GHz and can be boosted up to 4.9GHz, making it one of the fastest processors on the market.
The CPU is compatible with motherboards that come with the Intel 500 series or select Intel 400 series chipset. It also supports PCIe Gen 4.0 for faster data transfer speeds and Intel Optane Memory for improved storage performance.
One of the highlights of this processor is that it comes with Intel UHD Graphics 750, which is a very capable graphics card. However, it should be noted that this CPU does not come with a thermal solution, so you’ll need to purchase a separate cooling system for it.
Overall, the Intel Core i5-11600K is a very powerful processor that comes with a capable graphics card. This integrated card can easily handle most games at 1080P resolution.
- This CPU comes with 6 cores and 12 threads.
- It can easily support 4K and is able to play games at 1080P
- Comes with an integrated graphics card.
- No cons.
Intel Core i5-11600K comes from the 11th generation of Intel processors. It is one of the most powerful CPUs that come with a powerful integrated graphics card. The CPU can easily handle gaming and other demanding tasks.
This CPU supports the latest PCIe standards and Intel Optane Memory. So, if you’re looking for a future-proof processor, then this is the one you should consider.
5. Intel Core i5-12400 Desktop Processor with 18MB of L3 cache, 6 Cores & 6 Threads, 2.50 GHz Base & 4.40 GHz Boost Clock Speed, LGA 1700 Socket, and Intel UHD Graphics 730
The Intel Core i5-12400 is a powerful desktop processor that comes with 6 cores and 6 threads. Having a base clock frequency of 2.50GHz, this processor is capable of being clocked as high as 4.40GHz, so it is one of the fastest processors on the market today.
The CPU is compatible with motherboards that come with the LGA 1700 socket for installation. The CPU also supports PCIe Gen 4.0 for faster data transfer rates. One of the most notable aspects of this processor is that it includes Intel UHD Graphics 730, which is a very capable graphics card. This integrated graphics card can easily handle most games at 1080P resolution without any problems.
Performance-wise, the Intel Core i5-12400 is one of the best processors available on the market. Although it comes with a stock cooler, not nearly enough thermal paste is applied, so I recommend getting some.
Overall, the Intel Core i5-12400 is a great choice for those who are trying to find a powerful and fast processor in their budget. Hence, if you are looking for a processor that is powerful enough to handle most gaming at 1080p resolution, then this is the one you should choose.
- It comes from the latest 12th gen series and supports LGA 1700 socket type.
- It comes with a very capable integrated graphics card.
- No cons.
The Core i5-12400 is one of the newest processors from the 12th generation of Intel processors. This system boasts 6 cores and 6 threads so it is incredibly powerful and it comes with Intel’s latest integrated graphics card.
With the powerful graphics card of this CPU, it is easy to run most of your favorite games at 1080P resolution without any problems.
6. AMD Ryzen 3 3100 4-Core, 8-Thread Unlocked AM4 Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler, PCIe 4.0 Support, 18MB of GameCache, and 3.9 GHz Max Boost Speed
The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is another one of the most incredible processors on our list that is priced under $200. The processor is suitable for doing day-to-day tasks, as it is equipped with 4 cores and 8 threads.
This processor is equipped with a cache size of 18 megabytes, which helps to load data more quickly. With overclocking, this CPU will reach a boost clock speed of 3.9GHz while its base clock speed is only 3.6GHz. The TDP on this card is 65W and it comes with the Wraith Stealth cooler.
The Ryzen 3 3100 uses dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory and is compatible with the latest PCIe 4.0 devices. This processor is unlocked for overclocking, which makes it easier to overclock it.
There is a 3-year warranty included with this CPU. Overall, this is an excellent processor for gaming as well as for other day-to-day tasks. It comes at an affordable price and comes with a lot of capabilities.
We were very pleased with the AMD Ryzen 3 3100’s performance. Moreover, this processor is capable of handling day-to-day tasks as well as gaming tasks. Our team had played some of the latest video games on this processor and it was able to deliver a smooth performance of up to 100 frames per second.
- It has 18MB of GameCache memory.
- It supports the latest PCIe 4.0 interface for fast data transfer.
- Comes with a 3-years warranty.
- Discrete graphics card is required.
If you’re looking for a processor which can handle day-by-day tasks like browsing the internet, checking emails, scrolling Facebook feeds, as well as gaming, then this is the one you’re looking for. It’s priced affordably and comes with a lot of features that make it a great choice for anyone.
Moreover, the Wraith Stealth Cooler ensures that your system stays cool and quiet even when under load.
7. Intel Core i5-10600K Desktop Processor with 6 Cores & 12 Threads, Supports LGA 1200 Socket, up to 4.8 GHz Max Speed, Intel 400 Series Chipset Support, and 125W TDP
If you’re looking for a powerful CPU that is also very affordable, then the Intel Core i5-10600K is the perfect choice for you. This CPU is equipped with 6 cores and 12 threads making it capable enough to handle all of the demanding tasks and games.
The base clock speed of this processor lies at 4.1GHz, but it can be overclocked to 4.8GHz with ease. This processor also has a very large cache size of 12 megabytes which is more than enough to feed your L2 and L1 cache memory.
This processor is also compatible with the latest Intel 400 series chipset-based motherboards and supports Intel Optane memory. It also has a very good thermal design power of only 125 watts.
Even with so many features, the processor comes with a 3-year warranty. We were very please with its performance. When it comes to gaming, this processor is more than capable of delivering a smooth and lag-free experience.
Overall, this is an excellent choice for a budget-friendly CPU that can still handle even the most demanding tasks.
- Comes with 3-years of warranty.
- It has 12MB of L3 cache memory.
- It supports intel optane memory.
- Not the best CPU on our list.
This one is another most powerful and decent CPU on the market and it is also very affordable. The Intel Core i5-10600K has six cores and 12 threads, which is more than enough power for gaming and other demanding tasks.
The CPU also comes with a 3-year warranty, so you can be sure that it will last long.
Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best CPU Under $200?
Finding the right CPU is one of the most important decisions you will make when building your own computer. Not only does the processor affect the overall performance of your machine, but it will also determine what kind of tasks your computer can handle.
When looking for the best CPU under $200, it is important to keep in mind what you will be using your computer for. Are you a gamer? A video editor? Do you just need something for general use? Once you know how you will be using your computer, it will be much easier to find the right processor.
Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for the best CPU under $200;
1. CPU Performance
You need to make sure that your CPU can actually deliver the performance you need before you do anything else. The answer to this question largely depends on what you plan to use your computer for.
For example, if you are a gamer, you will need a processor that is capable of playing demanding games. If you are a video editor, you will need something that can handle large video files.
Do some research on the internet and see what other people are saying about the performance of different processors. This gives you a better idea of what you can expect from each of them.
2. Socket Type
The socket type refers to the physical connection that your CPU will have to your motherboard. When it comes to the compatibility of your CPU and motherboard, you must ensure that they are compatible.
If the processors are not compatible with your motherboard, then you won’t be able to use your CPU with your motherboard. Before you decide to buy a new CPU, do not forget to check the type of socket your motherboard has.
3. Intel vs AMD
AMD and Intel are the two main manufacturers of CPUs on the market today. Both of these companies make excellent processors, so it really comes down to personal preference.
The reason why some people prefer Intel CPUs is because they tend to be more powerful than AMD CPUs. Other people prefer AMD CPUs because they are more affordable.
In the end, it really comes down to what you need and what you are willing to pay for. Also, you will need to make sure that the type of processor you choose is compatible with the motherboard you are using.
4. Clock Speed
Your CPU’s clock speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz), and it determines how fast you can process data with your computer. By increasing the clock speed of your CPU, your computer will be able to put out more output in a shorter amount of time.
If you are looking to buy the best CPU for under $200, you should aim for a clock speed of at least 3.5 GHz. By doing so, you can ensure that your CPU is able to handle even the most demanding tasks.
5. Cache Size
Basically, the cache is a small amount of memory that is built into the processor. This memory is used to store frequently accessed data so that the CPU can access them very quickly.
With a larger cache size, your CPU will be able to access data much faster, which will lead to faster performance. When looking for the best CPU under $200, you should aim for a cache size of at least 8-12 MB.
Overclocking is the process of increasing the clock speed of your processor beyond what its rated speed is. This can lead to a significant boost in performance, but it also comes with some risks.
If you overclock your CPU too much, it can cause damage to your computer. Make sure to do your research before overclocking your CPU. You also need to make sure that your motherboard is compatible with overclocking.
It is natural for your CPU to generate a lot of heat when it is under load. This can lead to throttle, which is when the performance of your CPU is reduced to prevent damage from overheating.
Make sure to get a CPU cooler that can keep your CPU cool even under heavy load. A good CPU cooler can also help to improve overclocking performance. If you are not planning on overclocking, then you can save some money by getting a less expensive cooler. Also, we’ve written a post on ideal CPU temperatures which might be useful to you.
8. L2 and L3 Cache
The L2 and L3 cache are additional levels of cache that are found on some CPUs. These caches are larger than the L1 cache, so they can help to increase performance even further.
Ideally, if you are looking for the best CPU under $200, you should look for a CPU that is equipped with at least 2 MB of L2 cache and 8-12 MB of L3 cache. You may also see some processors with even larger cache sizes, but these will generally be more expensive.
9. Integrated Graphics
There are several CPUs that come with integrated graphics processors (GPUs). This can be useful if you do not want to spend the extra money on a dedicated graphics card.
The downside to integrated GPUs is that they aren’t as powerful as dedicated GPUs. As long as you do not plan to do any serious gaming, then an integrated GPU can be a great choice, but if you only plan on light gaming or some basic graphics work, then a dedicated GPU might be the better choice.
Of course, price is always a factor to consider when looking for the best CPU under $200. You want to find a processor that offers good performance without breaking the bank.
If you’re in the market for a CPU at this price point, you have a lot of great options to choose from, so make sure you take your time and compare them carefully before making your final choice.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Still, have doubts? Here we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions related to the best CPUs under $200:
Q. Which is best, AMD or Intel for office work?
Both AMD and Intel offer great options for office work. However, if you want the best performance, then you should go with Intel.
But, if you are on a budget, then AMD is a great choice as well.
Q. What is the best CPU under $200 for video editing?
If you are looking for the best CPU under $200 for video editing, then we recommend the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X. This processor offers great performance and is very reasonably priced.
This CPU is also a great choice for gaming and other demanding tasks.
Q. Can I play games like PUBG, FORTNITE, and CALL OF DUTY on these processors?
Yes, you can.
These processors are more than capable of playing the latest games at high settings. If you are looking for the best gaming performance, then we recommend the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X or the Intel Core i5-11600K.
Choosing the best CPU under $200 can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Just keep in mind the factors that we mentioned above, and you should be able to find a great processor that fits your needs.
We hope that this article was helpful and that you were able to find the perfect CPU for your needs. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and we will do our best to answer them.
Thank you for reading!