Best Budget CPU for Gaming under $100 in 2018 [Intel & AMD]

If you are on a way to build a budget gaming PC then you have to choose everything according to budget, whether it is a CPU / Processor, Graphics Card, Case, RAM etc. A CPU or processor is the heart of any computer, and for gaming PC it is one of the most important components that you cannot take for granted even if you on budget. Because if you go for a really low end processor then you won’t be able to play latest games on medium graphics settings and it will also bottleneck the graphics card. Most of the modern AAA games do require a decent processor along with decent graphics card for hitting at least 30 FPS on medium-high settings at 900p or 1080p resolution.  

There are some good budget processors available in the market that can be used for building a powerful entry level or budget gaming PC. When paired with a budget mid-range graphics card, you will be able to play most of the games on decent graphics settings and resolution at playable frame rates. So, here in this post I am going to list down the best budget CPUs for gaming from Intel and AMD that you can use to build a budget gaming PC and can enjoy quite a bit of gaming on it. You can find these budget gaming CPUs under 100 dollars price range.    

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Best Budget Intel CPU for Gaming

Here are best budget gaming CPUs from Intel that you can use to build a budget gaming rig. These budget gaming processors from Intel will cost you under or at around 100 dollars.

Intel Pentium G4400 Processor

If you are on a really tight budget then you will love this CPU. Intel Pentium G4400 is a 6th Generation Skylake Processor that uses the LGA 1151 Socket. It is a dual core processor and is built on the 14nm architecture / fabrication process. The processor has got clock speed of 3.30 GHz and comes with 3MB cache. The processor has lower power consumption and has TDP of only 54W. The processor runs cool even on stock cooler cooler that comes bundled with it.

This is a decent processor for building a normal desktop PC for work and for an entry level gaming PC. When paired with a budget or mid-range graphics card, you can play almost all the games on decent graphics settings. But games like GTA 5 that are CPU intensive will struggle to keep up with this processor. For MOBA and eSports gaming, you will be more than fine with this CPU. You can get this processor at under 60 dollars and this makes it one of the cheapest CPUs that can be used for gaming purpose. If you can spend a bit more and want something better then you can get Intel Pentium G4500 which comes with slightly higher clock speed of 3.50 GHz. You can check both these budgets CPUs from the links given below.

Intel Pentium G4400 Processor Specifications
Clock Speed 3.30 GHz
Cores 2 Cores (2 Threads), Dual Core
Cache 3 MB
Socket Type LGA 1151
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 510
Hyper-Threading No
TDP 54W

Buy Intel Pentium G4400 Processor

Buy Intel Pentium G4500 Processor

Intel Pentium G4560 Processor

Intel Pentium G4560 is one of the best budget processors that you can get for gaming and work PC. This is a 7th Generation Dual Core Kaby Lake Processor that comes with clock speed of 3.50 GHz and 3MB cache. The processor is built on the 14nm architecture and supports Hyper-Threading, which means it can execute 4 threads at once and thus delivers better performance in during milt-tasking. The processor requires LGA 1151 Socket motherboard and has lower power consumption or TDP of 54W only.

 

Intel Pentium G4560 is a great budget processor that offers excellent balance between performance and price. It is fast enough to run almost all of the modern day games at 1080p (on high settings) when paired with a good mid-range graphics card (like GeForce GTX 1050 Ti). You can play games with GTA 5, COD Infinite Warfare, Battlefield 1 etc. without any issues at decent graphics settings. This CPU is as fast as an Core i3 processor and I highly recommend this processor for anyone who want build a powerful budget gaming PC. If you are unable find it and can spend couple of dollars more then you can get its higher model i.e. Intel Pentium G4600, which runs at slightly higher speed of 3.6 GHz. And for a few dollars more you have Intel Pentium G4620 which runs at 3.7 GHz clock speed. You can check all these three CPUs from the links given below.   

Check out: Best Budget Kaby Lake Motherboards for Gaming

Intel Pentium G4560 Processor Specifications
Clock Speed 3.50 GHz
Cores 2 Cores (4 Threads), Dual Core
Cache 3MB
Socket Type LGA 1151
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 610
Hyper-Threading Yes
TDP 54W

Buy Intel Pentium G4560 Processor

Buy Intel Pentium G4600 Processor

Buy Intel Pentium G4620 Processor

Intel Core i3-7100 Processor

Intel Core i3-7100 is an entry level and one of the cheapest Core i3 processors that you can get at around 100 dollars (approx.). This is a 7th generation Kaby Lake processor and is built on the 14nm architecture. This is one of the most powerful budget processors in this list and it comes with clock speed of 3.9 GHz and has got 3MB cache. It is a dual core processor but it supports Hyper-Threading (HT) and can execute 4 threads at once and can mimic a quad core like performance in games and in multi-threaded applications and programs. The processor is very power efficient and has got TDP of only 51W. It is a LGA 1151 Socket CPU and includes support for Intel Optane Memory.

When paired with a decent mid-range graphics card, you can play almost all the modern day AAA games on high / very high settings at 1080p resolution. The processor runs cool and can handle games and heavy duty applications easily. So, if you can spend $100 or close to it then you won’t find anything better than this from Intel. Highly Recommended by me.

Check out: Best Mid-range Graphics Cards under 300 dollars

Intel Core i3-7100 Processor Specifications
Clock Speed 3.90 GHz
Cores 2 Cores (4 Threads), Dual Core
Cache 3MB
Socket Type LGA 1151
Graphics Intel Graphics HD 630
Hyper-Threading Yes
TDP 51W

Buy Intel Core i3-7100 Processor

Best Budget AMD CPU for Gaming

Here are best budget gaming CPUs from AMD for building an entry level gaming PC. These budget gaming processors from AMD will cost you under or at around 100 dollars.

AMD FX-4300 Processor Black Edition

AMD FX-4300 is a budget Quad-core processor from AMD based on the AMD AM3+ Socket. This is an entry level AMD FX series processor (Code named Vishera) and is built on the 32nm manufacturing process. This is a black edition processor which means it is unlocked (unlocked multiplier) and can be overlocked to higher frequencies using a good Aftermarket CPU Cooler. The processor comes with Base clock speed of 3.5GHz & Turbo clock speed of 4 GHz and comes with 4/4MB L2/L3 cache. Compared to the above mentioned Intel processors, this CPU has relatively higher power consumption of 95W and it also runs hotter.

The performance of this processor is quite good for the price and when paired with a good budget graphics card (Radeon RX 460 / RX 560, GTX 1050), it can run most of the games at decent graphics setting and resolutions at playable frame rates. This is the cheapest AMD processor that you can get for your gaming needs. However, it offers significant amount of performance and is good choice for users on tight budget.

AMD FX-4300 Vishera Black Edition Specifications
Clock Speed 3.5 GHz (Base) / 4 GHz (Turbo)
Cores 4, Quad Core
Cache 4 / 4MB (L2/L3)
Socket Type AM3+
Overclocking Yes
TDP 95W

Buy AMD FX-4300 Processor Black Edition

AMD FX-6300 Processor Black Edition

Here we have a hexa-core or 6-core AMD FX series Vishera processor, which is AMD FX-6300. This is also a Black Edition processor with unlocked multiplier and can be overclocked higher using a better CPU cooler. The processor has got base / turbo clock speed of 3.5 / 4.1 GHz and 14MB total cache. AMD FX-6300 requires AMD Socket AM3+ motherboard and it runs a bit hot because of its higher TDP of 95W and 32nm manufacturing process.

This a great budget AMD processor for playing games like GTA 5, Battlefield 1, COD IW, MMO Titles, Assassins Creed Syndicate when paired with a decent mid-range graphics card. Also in multi-threaded applications this processor delivers very good performance.  

AMD FX-6300 Vishera Black Edition Processor
Clock Speed 3.5 GHz (Base) / 4.1 GHz (Turbo)
Cores 6, Hexa-core
Cache 6 / 8MB (L2/L3)
Socket Type AM3+
Overclocking Yes
TDP 95W

Buy AMD FX-6300 Processor Black Edition

AMD FX-8320E Processor Black Edition

AMD FX-8320 is a octa-core (8-core) processor and one of the most powerful processors in the AMD FX Vishera series. This 32nm processor has got base / turbo speeds of 3.5 / 4 GHz and comes with 8+8 MB L2 and L3 cache. This Black Edition processor supports overlocking and has higher TDP of 95W. So, if you are getting this processor then I would strongly advise to get a good budget aftermarket CPU cooler for it.

When it comes to performance then this processor really shines and you can play almost all the modern day AAA games on high / very high settings at 1080p @ 60 FPS when you pair it with a good graphics card like GTX 1050 Ti or Radeon RX 560. Overall a good processor for the money and offers very good performance under 100 dollars price tag.  

AMD FX-8320E Processor Black Edition Specifications
Clock Speed 3.5 GHz (Base) / 4 GHz (Turbo)
Cores 8, Octa-core
Cache 8 / 8MB (L2/L3)
Socket Type AM3+
Overclocking Yes
TDP 95W

Buy AMD FX-8320E Processor Black Edition

AMD Ryzen 3 1200 Quad Core Processor

AMD Ryzen 3 1200 is a quad-core processor from the AMD’s latest Ryzen Series. It is an entry level Ryzen processor and requires a AM4 Socket motherboard for its working. This is one of the most powerful budget CPUs in this list and has performance comparable to the Core i3 7100 processor mentioned above. It comes with base / turbo clock speed of 3.1 / 3.4 GHz and has got large 10MB cache (L2+L3). A new feature in this processor is the XFR (Extended Frequency Range) that allows it overlook automatically to +50 MHz more (beyond Turbo frequency) in presence of better cooling.

The processor comes bundled with AMD’s Wraith Stealth Cooler which is sufficient for stock speeds but if you want to overclock it then you may have to get a better CPU cooler. The TDP of this 14nm processor is 65W which is on the lower side compared to the older generation FX series Vishera CPUs. This is a VR Ready processor and can handle modern day AAA games on high settings at 1080p @60FPS when you pair it with a good mid-range graphics card like GeForce GTX 1060. The processor only supports DDR4 RAM (up to 2667MHz) in dual channel mode. You can get this processor at around 100 dollars. Highly Recommended by me.

AMD Ryzen 3 1200 Processor Specifications
Clock Speed 3.1 GHz (Base) / 3.4 GHz (Turbo)
Cores 4, Quad Core
Cache 2 / 8MB (L2/L3)
Socket Type AM4
Overclocking Yes
TDP 65W

Buy AMD Ryzen 3 1200 Processor

Note: All AMD FX series and AMD Ryzen series processors comes without integrated graphics. For integrated graphics, you have to look for AMD APU series processors.

AMD APU Processors (with Integrated Graphics)

Below you can find the list of best budget AMD APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) Processors that comes bundled with Integrated Radeon Graphics and are generally used for building an entry level gaming PC or a HTPC.

Final Words

These budget gaming processors from Intel and AMD can be used to build a reasonable powerful gaming PC for 1080p gaming. Most of them are priced under 100 dollars and couple of them hover around 100 dollars price range. All the above mentioned budget CPUs are quite powerful and offers you the best performance for the price you pay. If you have got any doubts regarding them, then please ask me your queries by leaving a comment below.

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