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These Are The Best Laptop Processor You Can Buy In

Choosing a laptop is already tricky, but the sheer number of processor models and names further complicates matters. Why is selecting a computer based on its processor so tough? This is easier said than done, but with the proper knowledge, you can go from being a clueless laptop purchaser to an expert on the subject. This article is dedicated to demystifying, organizing, and telling you precisely what you need to know – what processor your next laptop should have, what it’s suitable for, and what it’s not good for.

Why is purchasing processors so crucial? As we are repeatedly informed, they are the core of any device, so they must be essential—the faster the processor, the better your games and software performance. Instead of delving into the specifics of each processor, it is simpler to consider the software and games you wish to run. You should be able to pinpoint the laptop and processor that best suits your needs based on your primary usage.

What is a laptop processor?

A laptop processor is a specific type of computer processor that is intended for use in laptop computers. Laptop processors are typically less powerful and more energy-efficient than desktop processors.

Choosing the Best Laptop Processor: A Comprehensive Guide

The processor is one of the most critical factors when selecting a laptop. A faster processor will result in a more responsive, faster laptop.

There are several factors to consider when selecting a processor for your laptop. The first is the processor’s speed. The faster the laptop’s processor, the quicker it will operate. The number of cores is the second factor—the more excellent the number, the greater the performance. The third factor is the cache size: the larger the cache, the more efficient the system.

So, how do you locate the best laptop processor for your requirements? This article will explain the various types of processors available on the market and their respective capabilities. In addition, we will offer some advice on how to choose the best processor for your laptop.

Different processor types:

CPUs and GPUs are the two most common types of laptop processors.

All software instructions are executed by the CPU (Central Processing Unit). The CPU is the computer’s “brain.” A fast CPU will enhance your laptop’s performance.

The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) handles the rendering of images and videos. You will need a powerful GPU if you intend to use your laptop for video editing or gaming.

You should keep a few essential specifications when searching for a new processor.

  • Clock speed: You should also pay close attention to the clock speed measured in gigahertz (GHz). A higher clock speed allows the processor to complete tasks faster.
  • Core count: The number of processor cores is the first value. A processor with more cores will be able to handle more tasks concurrently, making it a suitable option for power users.
  • Cache size: Cache size refers to the amount of memory a processor can access quickly. The performance increases with increasing cache size. The cache size is measured in megabytes (MB). A larger cache can improve performance because it is used to store data temporarily.
  • TDP: Maximum power consumption of the processor. The performance increases with increasing TDP. However, this will also increase the amount of heat produced.

The top laptop processors are:

  • Intel Core i7: This is one of the fastest available laptop processors. It has a fast clock speed and a sizable cache.
  • AMD Ryzen 7: This is a more recent processor from AMD that offers superior performance at a lower cost than Intel processors.
  • Intel Core i5 is a good choice if you’re looking for a balance between performance and cost.
  • AMD Ryzen 5: This is a budget-friendly option that offers respectable performance.
  • Intel Pentium is a low-end processor suitable for simple web browsing and email tasks.

Intel processors are generally the best option for the majority of individuals. They are faster and more powerful than AMD processors and compatible with various software and applications. However, AMD processors are a good option for shoppers on a budget or those requiring a processor capable of handling intensive tasks.

How we evalue

Finding the best processor for your needs and budget is not as simple as finding the fastest processor available, as it is easy to spend much more than necessary. It is essential to consider what you want from your PC and shop accordingly.

Consider the Intel Core i9-12900K and AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D if you’re looking for the best gaming CPU on the market; the same is true if you intend to perform advanced content creation tasks, such as 4K video editing. However, a Core i5 or Ryzen 7 should suffice if you want to play games at lower resolutions or if you’re looking for something to handle everyday tasks and medium-duty processing work more quickly.

If you have a limited budget, an AMD Ryzen 3 option may be better. It won’t perform as quickly as a high-end chip, but it won’t cost you excessive money. Note that Ryzen 3 is not available in the current 5000-series generation; therefore, you will need to revert to the third or fourth generation.

10 Best Laptop Processor You Can Buy In 2022

If you’re also interested in high-end builds, the best CPUs will provide outstanding performance levels for content creation or playing the best PC games at high frame rates. With the impending release of Intel Raptor Lake and AMD Ryzen 7000-series processors, the best processors on the market are receiving substantial price reductions, making them an even better value.

However, which laptop processor is best for you? Fortunately, we’ve evaluated the best of the best, and we’re here to assist you in making the best decision for your needs and budget.

1. Best Overall: Intel Core i9-12900K Desktop Processor

The Intel Core i9-12900K is a potent processor that marks Intel’s return to form. Traditional ‘performance cores’ are paired with new ‘efficiency cores’ designed to take care of background tasks without interfering with core processes in the 12th generation of desktop CPUs. This is advantageous for some reasons, including power efficiency and the ability to multitask, such as running streaming software while playing a game.

With the Core i9-12900K, Intel appears to have reclaimed the CPU throne it lost five years ago when AMD’s Ryzen line debuted. This chip will effortlessly handle any demanding tasks you throw at it; however, you should be prepared to spend a bit more on your CPU cooler, as all that power causes this silicon slab to run hot.

Key Features
  • The processor features Socket LGA-1700 socket for installation on the PCB
  • 30 MB of L3 cache memory provides excellent hit rate in short access time enabling improved system performance
  • 10 nm enables improved performance per watt and micro architecture makes it power-efficient
  • Intel 7 Architecture enables improved performance per watt and micro architecture makes it power-efficient
  • Incredibly powerful
  • Performance and efficiency cores
  • Great for gaming
  • All new platform, all new hardware
  • Premium performance, premium price tag

2. Best value: Intel Core i5-12600K Desktop Processor

The Intel Core i5-12600K is one of the few processors in its price range that completely dominates the competition, but this is the case. It currently costs just $260 for a 3.7GHz base clock speed and 10 cores, 6 of which are multi-threaded Performance Cores, making it one of the best options available if you’re looking for a great deal.

These are conventional CPU cores, while the remaining four are efficiency cores. Even though this chip is significantly less expensive than the i9-12900K at the top of our list, you still get the most recent Intel technology. This chip layout will allow your computer to focus on essential tasks, such as gaming, without worrying about Windows 11 updates interfering (and your framerate). If you are not concerned with overclocking, you can purchase its non-K sibling, the i5-12600, for a lower price.

Key Features
  • Intel® Core® i5 Deca-core (10 Core) 3.70 GHz processor offers hyper-threading architecture that delivers high performance for demanding applications with improved onboard graphics and turbo boost
  • The Socket LGA-1700 socket allows processor to be placed on the PCB without soldering
  • 16 MB of L3 cache rapidly retrieves the most used data available to improve system performance
  • Intel 7 Architecture enables improved performance per watt and micro architecture makes it power-efficient
  • Built-in Intel UHD Graphics controller for great graphics and visual quality
  • Excellent performance
  • Affordable
  • Will need all new hardware

3. Best processor for gaming: AMD Ryzen™ 7 5800X3D 8-core

The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D is, without a doubt, one of the best gaming processors currently available. The 5800X3D can outperform even the more expensive Core i9-12900K in gaming, thanks to AMD’s new 3D V-Cache technology’s exceptional performance.

Since this is essentially an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X with triple the cache memory thanks to a new microarchitecture that allows AMD to stack cache on the CPU dies, it retains the same AM4 socket as previous Ryzen chips, so you don’t need to upgrade your motherboard if you already have an AMD system.

Recent leaks indicate that AMD may be planning to bring the 3D V-cache technology to other Ryzen 5000 chips before launching the 7000-series, so if you want the best gaming performance on a budget, you may want to wait to see if Team Red releases a Ryzen 5 5600X3D.

Key Features
  • The world’s fastest gaming desktop processor and first gaming processor with 3D stacking technology
  • 8 Cores and 16 processing threads with AMD 3D V-Cache technology
  • 4.5 GHz Max Boost, 100 MB cache, DDR4-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards
  • Cooler not included, high-performance cooler recommended
  • Outstanding gaming performance
  • Uses current-gen AM4 Socket
  • New 3D V-Cache technology
  • No DDR5 or PCIe 5.0
  • Non-gaming performance lags a little

4. Most Powerful: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-core

The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X features the most significant generation-on-generation performance increase in years, making it an excellent upgrade from the previous 3900X. It is a more powerful processor overall and a powerful CPU for gaming and creative work without an increase in power consumption compared to the previous model. Additionally, you won’t need a new motherboard if you’re upgrading from an older AM4-socket chip is a plus.

The 5900X has since been dethroned by the Intel Core i9-12900K in raw performance. However, this processor is still worth considering because it is significantly less expensive than Intel’s flagship product. If you’re firmly in the AMD camp, this is the best chip they currently offer; yes, the 5950X is also available, but it’s significantly more expensive, so we’d rate this processor as superior overall.

Key Features
  • The world’s best gaming desktop processor, with 12 cores and 24 processing threads
  • Can deliver elite 100-plus FPS performance in the world’s most popular games
  • Cooler not included, high-performance cooler recommended. Max Temperature- 90°C
  • 4.8 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 70 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards
  • Amazing performance
  • A new single-core champion
  • Same power consumption
  • Generational price increase
  • No included cooler

5. Best Intel processor for gamers: Intel Core i7-12700K

The graphics card may be the primary focus when constructing a gaming PC, but the processor is also crucial. Choosing a gaming CPU, however, is a bit of a balancing act; you don’t need the absolute best (in this case, the Core i9-12900K), but you do want a solid processor. Numerous CPU-restricted games benefit from a good processor, but you do not have to overpay for the most advanced product. The Intel Core i7-12700K comes into play here.

This Alder Lake processor is another gem in the lineup that successfully balances performance and cost. It offers a total of 12 cores (eight performance and four efficiencies), close to the Core i9-12900K, which has 16 cores. This processor also features base and boost clock speeds of 3.6GHz and 5.0GHz, respectively. It can be overclocked to achieve even greater speeds if that’s your thing.

If you want something better than the Core i5-12600K but don’t want to overspend, this CPU is your best bet, and it’s a favorite among gamers who don’t require the additional power of the 12900K.

Key Features
  • Intel Core i7 3.60 GHz processor offers more cache space and the hyper-threading architecture delivers high performance for demanding applications with better onboard graphics and faster turbo boost
  • The processor features Socket LGA-1700 socket for installation on the PCB
  • 25 MB of L3 cache to boost the instruction processing and system performance
  • Intel 7 Architecture enables improved performance per watt and micro architecture makes it power-efficient
  • To boost graphics and visual quality, the chipset has a built in Intel UHD Graphics controller
  • Much cheaper than the Core i9-12900K
  • Great gaming performance
  • Can be overclocked
  • Not quite as good as the Core i9-12900K
  • Needs an additional cooler

6. A newly affordable choice: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

It may have increased in price generationally compared to the Ryzen 7 3800X. Still, since the release of its new X3D sibling (see #3 on this list), the 5800X has seen a substantial price cut that brings it closer to the already excellent-value, much newer Intel Core i5-12600K.

The Ryzen 7 5800X, with its 8 cores and 16 threads and single-core solid performance, is currently one of the best gaming and mid-level content creation processors. The newly affordable price tag is a boon for AMD fans, as this CPU enables Team Red to match Intel’s midrange options in performance without sacrificing affordability.

Key Features
  • AMD’s fastest 8 core processor for mainstream desktop, with 16 processing threads. OS Support-Windows 10 64-Bit Edition
  • Can deliver elite 100-plus FPS performance in the world’s most popular games
  • Cooler not included, high-performance cooler recommended
  • 4.7 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 36 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards
  • Excellent single-core performance
  • Strong for gaming
  • Low power
  • Price jump from Ryzen 3000
  • No included cooler

7. Best previous-gen Intel processor: Intel Core i5-11600K

Intel’s 11th-generation Rocket Lake platform is not flawless, but the Core i5-11600K remains a viable option. It’s inferior to the Core i5-12600K by a wide margin, but you may be able to snag a chip on the cheap, freeing up funds for one of the best graphics cards.

In most games, the 11600K maintains a small but measurable advantage over the 10600K. In some games, such as Death Stranding, the 11600K is superior to the 10700K, while in others, it is comparable to the 10900K. Although not quite the generational improvement Intel enthusiasts had hoped for, the 11600K demonstrates that a high-end processor is unnecessary for gaming.

The generational gains are more evident in non-gaming tasks. The 11600K outperforms Intel’s previous-generation processors using application-specific accelerators and provides more credible competition to AMD’s mid-range processors in productivity tasks. Multicore performance has increased without a significant decrease in single-core performance.

The 11600K is an excellent processor for gaming. It has sufficient power for gaming and decent power for productivity tasks, a combination that is difficult to find for less than $300. However, the 12600K is the superior option, so only choose the 11600K if you can find it at a substantial discount. Since its price is close to its successor when not on sale, you would be better off purchasing the Core i5-12600K instead.

Key Features
  • Compatible with Intel 500 series & select Intel 400 series chipset based motherboards
  • Intel Optane Memory Support
  • PCIe Gen 4.0 Support
  • No thermal solution included
  • Performs well for a mid-range CPU
  • Can handle most gaming tasks
  • Cheaper than the latest CPUs
  • It's previous-gen, so current processors outperform it
  • Not worth it without a discount

8. Best Premium: AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3995WX

AMD’s Threadripper 3000 processors are best known for wreaking utter havoc on Intel’s HEDT lineup, easily outperforming the incumbent Cascade Lake-X processors in critical areas and upending our CPU Benchmarks Hierarchy and Best CPUs for Workstations rankings in a single swoop. Threadripper 3000 processors fell short in one place; they did not support all eight memory channels or the full complement of PCIe lanes. While it was unheard of for Intel to be so thoroughly defeated in a market segment it has traditionally dominated with pricing impunity; the Threadripper 3000 processors did not support all eight memory channels or the full complement of PCIe lanes. The Threadripper Pro chips from AMD address this issue and will soon be available for purchase.

The absurdly equipped 64-core 128-thread 3995WX is the flagship of AMD’s new four-pronged Threadripper Pro lineup, which includes 12-core models. At launch, all chips were exclusive to ThinkStation P620 workstations from Lenovo. The company’s partners, including ASUS Pro WS Sage SE and Gigabyte WRX80-SU8, also unveiled new motherboards. Unfortunately, AMD has not yet disclosed retail pricing information.

In addition, the consumer Threadripper models were not designed to meet the needs of the high-volume, high-margin OEM workstation market, which is crucial as AMD seeks to continue its market share expansion. AMD never designed or marketed its Threadripper lineup for the workstation market. Still, the new Threadripper Pro chips are designed to allow the company to penetrate the lucrative OEM workstation segment for the first time in 15 years, opening a new front in AMD’s battle against Intel’s most powerful chips.

AMD’s Threadripper Pro models provide multiple access points to eight-channel memory and 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes, thereby establishing a new benchmark for professional-level performance.

Key Features
  • Industry Leading 64 Cores and 128 Processing Threads, the Highest Multiprocessing Performance You Can Get In a Professional Workstation Processor
  • Incredible 4.2 GHz Max Boost Frequency, with a Huge 288MB Cache
  • Eight-channel DDR4 and 128 total PCIe 4.0 lanes, the most bandwidth and I/O you can get on workstation desktop processor
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO processors provide unique, built-in data protection, seamless manageability, and reliable longevity so you can work confidently and more securely.
  • 280W TDP, Cooler not included
  • Excellent rendering performance
  • Competitive performance in GPU-accelerated applications
  • Eight-Channel memory interface
  • 128 Lanes of PCIe 4.0
  • Fully-validated ECC memory support
  • Some workloads don't benefit from 128 threads

9. Intel’s new flagship: Intel Core i9-9980XE Extreme Edition Processor

The Core i9-9980XE Extreme Edition, the pinnacle of Intel’s Core X-Series processors for high-end desktop PCs, is destined for only the highest-end PC builds. Indeed, it could appear in extreme, hacked-up gaming rigs that are more about bragging rights than value logic. But what is the more probable (and rational) destination? Professional media processing workstations. Their owners’ obsession with every detail will be justified by the pleasure they derive (or the money they earn in the time they save) from accelerating 3D renderings, data analyses, and other CPU-intensive tasks.

Its massive arsenal of threads and cores is one of the Core i9-two 9980XE’s most potent attributes for such missions. This firepower is less critical for gaming than for professional applications designed to take advantage of a CPU’s clock speed and the number of simultaneous instructions it can execute. High-end workstations and gaming rigs now commonly feature eight-core processors. The base model of the Apple iMac Pro is equipped with an eight-core Intel Xeon, whereas the MSI Trident X(at Amazon)(Opens in a new window) recently evaluated by PC Labs features an eight-core/16-thread Core i9-9900K.

Key Features
  • 18 Cores/36 Threads
  • 3.00 GHz up to 4.40 GHz Max Turbo Frequency/24.75 MB Cache
  • Quad DDR4-2666 Memory channels
  • Compatible only with Motherboards based on Intel x299 chipsets
  • Intel Optane Memory supported
  • No ECC Memory Supported
  • Thermally efficient construction.
  • Excellent performance on multi-threaded workloads.
  • Very good overclocking potential evident in our sample.
  • Expensive
  • Lesser performance per dollar versus AMD alternatives.
  • Threadripper chips support more PCI Express lanes.

10. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core

AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series CPUs have arrived, easily surpassing Intel’s competing chips and introducing a new level of desktop PC performance with the Ryzen 9 5950X and 5900X. AMD’s $300 Ryzen 5 5600X delivers a similarly stunning blow to Intel’s mid-range lineup and slots in as the mainstream chip for gaming – as seen in our CPU Benchmarks Hierarchy, it even outperforms Intel’s $488 halo Core i9-10900K in 1080p gaming.

The Ryzen 5 5600X wreaks havoc in the midrange with six cores and twelve threads powered by the 7nm-fabricated Zen 3 architecture. This potent combination results in a 19% increase in instruction per cycle (IPC) throughput, making the 5600X an easy choice for our list of the Best CPUs. Other fine-grained enhancements, such as a highly optimized boosting algorithm, enhanced memory overclocking, and redesigned cache topology, eliminate Intel’s remaining performance advantages while delivering a new power efficiency. The Ryzen 5 5600X is the most power-efficient desktop PC processor we’ve ever tested.

AMD has altered its pricing structure as it assumes the position of an unrivaled premium brand due to the change in performance leadership. The company has increased the price of all of its new chips by $50, which disproportionately affects the Ryzen 5 5600X for enthusiasts: The entry-level price for a new Zen 3 processor is $300, much to the chagrin of AMD enthusiasts. Nevertheless, despite the negative response to AMD’s price increases, the Ryzen 5 5600X provides more than enough performance to justify its price.

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is the no-compromise gaming chip for the mid-range, as its application performance and power efficiency are the best in its class.

Key Features
  • AMD’s fastest 6 core processor for mainstream desktop, with 12 processing threads
  • Can deliver elite 100 plus FPS performance in the world’s most popular games
  • Bundled with the quiet, capable AMD Wraith Stealth cooler. System Memory Type: DDR4
  • 4.6 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 35 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards
  • Strong gaming performance
  • Strong single- and multi-threaded
  • Relatively easy too cool
  • IPC gain, boost frequencies
  • Power efficiency
  • Overclockable
  • 400/500-series compatible
  • PCIe Gen4 support
  • Bundled cooler
  • Gen-on-gen price increase
  • No integrated graphics


The best laptop processor for gaming depends on your specific needs and budget. However, Intel Core i7 and AMD Ryzen 7 are two of the most popular processors for gaming laptops. These processors can handle even the most demanding games due to their high performance. One of these processors will be an excellent choice if you want a laptop that can handle all your gaming needs.

Nobody appreciates this response, but it depends.

The Intel Core i9-12900K is the reigning champion for raw performance regardless of price, but it will require a whole new motherboard as it uses the new LGA-1700 CPU socket, and you’ll likely need a whole new cooling solution as well.

Meanwhile, suppose you’re looking for the best gaming processor. In that case, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D not only outperforms virtually every other processor on the market, but it’s also compatible with any AM4 motherboard and requires minimal additional cooling – though liquid cooling is highly recommended for optimal performance.

In terms of cost-effectiveness, AMD still reigns supreme. Intel has the high-end covered (unless we’re talking about AMD’s absurdly expensive Threadripper chips, primarily used for business). Still, AMD offers a wide range of processors with consistently excellent performance-to-cost ratios.

If we’re discussing the world’s fastest CPU, it would be AMD’s monstrous 64-core/128-thread Ryzen Threadripper Pro 5995WX, a High-End Desktop (HEDT) processor. This indicates that it is intended for severe content production, such as 3D rendering for movies or film scoring with dozens of digital instruments – not the average PC builder. It’s also absurdly expensive, with a suggested retail price of $6,499.

Intel Core i9-12900K is the fastest consumer desktop processor according to benchmark scores, bringing us back to reality. However, things become more intriguing when it comes to gaming. In this regard, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D dominates, outperforming the Intel Core i9-12900K in 4K gameplay.


As stated previously, a laptop can frequently accommodate multiple processors. However, there is typically only one processor in each device, and it makes sense that most users would select the fastest processor available. It is the sensation of having a new machine without paying for a new one. As long as you understand how to prioritize your needs, you will make the optimal decision for your circumstances.

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Best Top Reviews Online was founded in 2018 to provide our readers with thorough, unbiased, and independent advice on what to buy. We now have millions of monthly users from all over the world and evaluate over 1,000 products per year.

The article above was written by the BestTopReviewsOnline team, which includes many of the US’s most knowledgeable technical experts. Our team includes well-known writers with extensive experience in mobile phones, computing, technology, photography, and other fields.

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