Best CPU 2023

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In 2022, there were several powerful CPUs that made headlines in the tech world. The best CPUs industry giants like Intel and AMD brought to the table pushed computing forward and gave a glimpse and what the future has in store. Bring to the market a wide range of options to meet a range of needs, from gaming to professional applications.

So with this in mind CGMagazine breaks down our selections for the best CPU going into 2023. From last year’s still impressive Intel Core i9-12900KS to the blazingly fast AMD Ryzen 9 7950X, gamers were spoiled for choice, with many chips boasting specs we could only have dreamed of five years ago. But even with so many options, there can be only one best CPU 2023.

Here are CGMagazine’s nominees for Best CPU of 2023:

Intel Core i9-12900KS

Intel I9-12900Ks Review 3

Writer: Brendan Frye
Score: 8
Price: $775

It has been a few months since Intel dropped their Intel 12th-gen Alder Lake CPUs onto the world, bringing a new era for the chipmaker. While Intel has started to lag behind AMD Ryzen in some areas, Alder Lake felt like the shot in the arm needed to make things interesting again.

Boasting some impressive benchmarks in both productivity and gaming, Intel 12th Gen has made things very interesting for PC builders delivering a noticeable performance jump compared to AMD Ryzen and Intel 11th-gen CPUs. But to not rest there, Intel decided to make things exciting and unleashed their incredibly powerful Intel Core i9-12900KS, delivering one of the most powerful gaming CPUs on the market today.

Provided you want to take the plunge into the Intel Alder Lake waters and demand only the best, the i9-12900KS is the top of the heap. It delivers fantastic real-world gaming and productivity results and does stand head and shoulders over most of the other CPUs we have tested. For the average user, the standard i9-12900K or the i7-12700K would give more than enough power for the latest games, but when money is no object, the i9-12900KS is an impressive offering and a true testament to how powerful the new Alder Lake platform truly is.

Delivering impressive results, the Intel Core i9-12900KS is a powerful enthusiast CPU, but due to the limited improvement over the 12900K and the increased cost, this is one best saved for the people that demand only the best.

Intel Core i9-13900K

Intel-Core-I9-13900K-Cpu-Review 544191

Writer: Brendan Frye
Score: 9.5
Price: $589

Power aside, the Intel Core i9-13900K is the most powerful consumer-grade CPU you can buy. It delivers unparalleled performance across the board, with it delivering the best performance in gaming, creative software and synthetic tests. This is a CPU that is made for the enthusiast, and the fact intel has managed to price it less than the flagship AMD Ryzen 9 7950X, means it is an easy recommendation for people looking to upgrade. Better yet, since the 13th Gen CPUs run on the same boards your 12th Gen Alder Lake processors did, it is an easy upgrade to deliver noticeably better performance. 

I am incredibly impressed with what Intel brought to the table with the i9-13900K. The CPU is a monster, with plenty of untapped potential should you have the cooling and power to truly unleash what it can do. As it stands, out of the box, the Intel Core i9-13900K CPU is the most powerful gaming and creative CPU you can buy and one that should make AMD very worried

The Intel Core i9-13900K CPU is the most powerful gaming and creative CPU you can buy; just make sure you have the power and cooling to tackle what this monster processor can demand.

Intel Core i5-13600K

Intel-Core-I5-13600K-Cpu-Review 117839

Writer: Brendan Frye
Score: 10
Price: $419.99

The Intel Core i9-13600K CPU is an impressive mid-range offering, with 14 cores, 20 threads, and clock speeds of up to 5.1GHz. It is built on Intel’s 7 nm process and its x86 performance hybrid architecture and offers best-in-class performance thanks to the combination of P-cores and E-cores. In addition, the Thread Director inside the CPU ensures that all threads run on the correct cores for optimal performance.

In our gaming tests, this CPU manages to do incredibly well, especially in games that are not dependent on multi-core workloads to perform at their best. Everything from Fortnite to Civilization VI demonstrated fantastic results, delivering significant improvements year-over-year compared to 12th Gen, and even managed to deal a major blow to the mid-range offerings from AMD Ryzen. As with the Core i9-13900K, there are a few outliers, but that is due to the video card and not the CPU, with the AMD RX 6700 XT being the bottleneck for performance. 

With impressive numbers and slightly more manageable power and heat demands, the Intel Core i5-13600K is the chip to buy to see the best gaming performance possible at a price that won’t cut too

Winner: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X

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Writer: Brendan Frye
Score: 10
Price: $699

AMD’s Zen 3 CPUs made big waves when they hit the market, with more load/store bandwidth, lower latency, and increased multi-thread performance. Now, the Zen 4 is an entirely different animal. The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X is a beast of a CPU, and it managed to take down the flagship Intel chips in almost every test we threw at it. The incredibly impressive base and boost clocks and the new 5nm process mean Intel will have to work to stay ahead of what AMD is throwing down. From gaming to creative and productivity, there is no getting around just how powerful this chip truly is.

With the potential to overclock it even further, for someone that is looking for the most bang for their buck on a new PC build, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X CPU is the new flagship CPU to beat. With an MSRP of $699, if you are looking to build a new gaming PC, there is nothing on the market that can compare. Just be prepared to invest in cooling to get the most of your new investment. 

AMD has taken up the gauntlet and delivered the most powerful gaming CPU you can buy with the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X CPU that delivers incredible performance at a price that is hard to pass up.

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