CPU Hierarchy: Comparing All the Relevant CPUs in The World

Do you know what the best processor is in the world? If not, then we’ll go through all of the important information about CPUs and give a hierarchy of how they compare with each other so that it’s easy to see which one might be better for your needs.

While a lot of CPUs are very good at multiple things (gaming or browsing the web) it’s important to focus on what’s most important for your needs so that you don’t end up paying for something more than what you need.

A CPU hierarchy is a ranking of computer processors. It can be sorted by power, performance, or price. The first one on the list would be the most powerful processor available while each following item in order gets less and less powerful but more affordable than the previous one.

It’s important to know what your needs are before you buy anything so that you don’t end up paying for something better suited for someone else. Find out if gaming or browsing is more important for your specific needs so that when it comes time to pay, you’ll know which company has a product made just for you!

This blog post will help clarify any confusion about CPUs and give some helpful information about them as well as their hierarchies (sorted by power, performance, or price).

In the world of processors, it’s important to know which one is best for you. You might want a cheap product but that could mean sacrificing performance and vice versa! It’s really up to your specific needs as an individual so take some time now before buying anything in order to think about how much of each feature is most important to you.

If we were ranking these items by performing today there would be no question that Intel Core i-series CPUs are what many people would choose because they’re proven reliable with great speeds and high energy efficiency rates if needed. They come out first in this list due to their overall reliability while also having good speeds when needed for heavy workloads making them perfect for any job.

If you’re looking for something a little less expensive then AMD Ryzen CPUs might be better suited to your needs with their lower price points but still retaining the same great performance in most cases and having huge potential power when needed as well.

AMD Ryzen Processors come next in the hierarchy because they are much cheaper than Intel Xeon processors with lower performance rates but also have huge potential power when needed for things like gaming (while still performing well at other tasks).

They might not be as reliable and fast right now, so people that need reliability should go with Intel Core i-series or Intel Xeon processors instead of AMD’s Ryzen series which has a lot of potentials to grow in terms of performance on its own if given time.

The last CPU we’ll mention is an ARM processor mainly used for those who want something super low cost but without any compromising on speed or features. These CPUs often use less energy making them perfect for anything from mobile devices to tablets while still having great performance and power when needed.

It’s important to note that some companies like Intel have more than one type of processor on the market, but in this list, we’re comparing only their Core i-series processors so you know about all your options for reliability-based off of customer reviews as well as speeds and energy efficiency rates if needed!

CPU Model Core/Thread Count Base Clock (GHz) Overclocking Supported Socket
Intel Core i9-10900K 10 (20) 3.7 Yes LGA1200
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16 (32) 3.4 Yes AM4
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12 (24) 3.7 Yes AM4
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8 (16) 3.8 Yes AM4
Intel Core i7-10700K 8 (16) 3.8 Yes LGA1200
Intel Core i9-9900K 8 (16) 3.6 Yes LGA1151
Intel Core i9-10900 10 (20) 2.8 No LGA1200
Intel Core i7-9700K 8 (8) 3.6 Yes LGA1151
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6 (12) 3.7 Yes AM4
Intel Core i5-10600K 6 (12) 4.1 Yes LGA1200
Intel Core i7-10700 8 (16) 2.9 No LGA1200
Intel Core i5-9600K 6 (6) 3.7 Yes LGA1151
Intel Core i5-10600 6 (12) 3.3 No LGA1200
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16 (32) 3.5 Yes AM4
AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT 12 (24) 3.8 Yes AM4
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12 (24) 3.8 Yes AM4
AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT 8 (16) 3.9 Yes AM4
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X 8 (16) 3.9 Yes AM4
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8 (16) 3.6 Yes AM4
AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT 6 (12) 3.8 Yes AM4
Intel Core i5-10500 6 (12) 3.1 No LGA1200
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 6 (12) 3.8 Yes AM4
Intel Core i5-10400 6 (12) 2.9 No LGA1200
Intel Core i3-10320 4 (8) 3.8 No LGA1200
Intel Core i3-10300 4 (8) 3.7 No LGA1200
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6 (12) 3.6 Yes AM4
Intel Core i5-9500 6 (6) 3 No LGA1151
Intel Core i3-10100 4 (8) 3.6 No LGA1200
Intel Core i5-9400 6 (6) 2.9 No LGA1151
AMD Ryzen 3 3300X 4 (8) 3.8 Yes AM4
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 8 (16) 3.7 Yes AM4
Intel Core i3-9100 4 (4) 3.6 No LGA1151
AMD Ryzen 7 2700 8 (16) 3.2 Yes AM4
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X 6 (12) 3.6 Yes AM4
AMD Ryzen 3 3100 4 (8) 3.6 Yes AM4
AMD Ryzen 5 2600 6 (12) 3.4 Yes AM4
AMD Ryzen 5 3400G 4 (8) 3.7 Yes AM4
AMD Ryzen 3 3200G 4 (4) 3.6 Yes AM4
AMD Ryzen 5 2400G 4 (8) 3.6 Yes AM4
AMD Ryzen 3 2200G 4 (4) 3.5 Yes AM4

Tier 1 – Enthusiast:

Tier one is the highest-end of CPUs. These processors are powerful and typically used for gamers or other people who need a lot of power to do their tasks, but they’re also expensive so not everyone can afford them.

Tier 1 CPUs typically have at least four cores and a TDP somewhere between 95W-140W. Compared to the more casual processors which fall under tier 4 (which we’ll look at below), these are also much faster in general due to the amount of power they consume; however, they still run cool enough not to feel like you’re trapped inside a sauna.

Here is a little bit of a side note: I will be listing the i7-k processors as well, but without a model number. Those are “unlocked” CPUs which can be overclocked, and they typically have similar performance to their non-“K” counterparts despite using more power (due to higher stock clocks).

Please note that the TDP listed for every CPU is the maximum, and most of these boards all use high-end cooling solutions so you’ll actually find that most of them run cooler than their rated 65W or 95W values.

Although gaming computers typically use tier one and two parts, there is a way you can still get a decent gaming performance out of your computer without spending several hundreds of dollars on your processors alone with AMD’s Ryzen 3 series. 

The high-end category consists mainly of Intel and AMD products with only a few other brands mixed in (like NVIDIA). They’re also relatively expensive because they offer good performance at an affordable price. There aren’t many options either since most companies don’t release budget models into this section due to the low-power and competitive pricing for tier one.

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X Intel Core i9-10900K
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X Intel Core i9-10900
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X Intel Core i9-9900K
AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
AMD Ryzen 9 3800X

Tier 2 – High-End Professional:

The high-end professional CPU tier includes systems with more capabilities like being able to use multiple applications simultaneously without slowing down the computer (known as multitasking) while still performing well in most situations including gaming.

Professional gamers know that every millisecond counts when it comes to winning in-game battles. They also know that the right CPU can make or break a game, and their PC is no exception, that’s why they need a high-end CPU. 

Professional gamers need a CPU that can handle multi-tasking and other intensive gaming while not slowing down.

These CPUs are very fast quad-core processors which makes them ideal for gaming in single or multiplayer environments including games like World of Warcraft, Battlefield 3, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. It is also worth noting that these aren’t just for professional gamers but also for high-end computer enthusiasts who want to build super creepy computers with awesome overclocking potentials.

In general, people looking for a good mid-range processor should consider this tier as an option together with its alternatives – Tier 1 (High-End Performance).

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Intel Core i7-10700K
AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT Intel Core i7-10700
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X Intel Core i7-9700K
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
AMD Ryzen 7 2700

Tier 3 – Entry Level Professional:

The entry-level professional tier is the most affordable of all tiers but it also contains processors that are not very powerful in comparison to other higher-end CPUs on this list and tend to struggle with gaming or heavy applications like Photoshop for example. The tradeoff here is that they’re much more affordable so if you don’t need a high-powered CPU then these could be perfect for your needs. TDP is not something to be worried about in this tier since as we’ve seen with the R3 1200, even at stock speeds they can get very hot and loud.

However, if you do plan on overclocking (which is one of the primary reasons to get an entry-level professional CPU instead of a mainstream consumer chip) then they’re perfect for that.

I didn’t include Intel Pentium processors on this list but in my opinion, even those shouldn’t be taken into consideration since they aren’t very powerful. Instead, from this tier, I’d recommend the Ryzen 3 2200G because it offers tremendously better performance in games as well as more cores than any other processor in its price range.

If you only care about gaming performance or your application workloads don’t take advantage of many cores then you can also get away with purchasing something like a Ryzen 3 2200GE or a Pentium Gold G5400 however in my opinion, the 2200G is better since it has 4 cores with SMT enabled which means that it’ll be able to handle multithreaded workloads much more effectively than any of those alternatives.

AMD’s R3 CPUs are also very affordable and have decent stock performance but they’re much weaker than the Core i3-8100 which we’ll talk about next so unless you plan on overclocking then I’d recommend going with the Intel processor instead for a bit higher price if possible. Even though the R3 CPUs don’t come with a cooler, you should still get one just because stock solutions are often loud.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Intel Core i5-10600K
AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT Intel Core i5-10600
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X Intel Core i5-10500
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Intel Core i5-10400
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X Intel Core i5-9600K
AMD Ryzen 5 2600 Intel Core i5-9500
Intel Core i5-9400

Tier 4 – Standard Desktop Computers:

The standard desktop computers tier includes the CPUs that you’ll find in most desktop computers on the market. They’re not very powerful and sometimes struggle with things like gaming or heavy applications, but they are also decently affordable so if your needs don’t require a lot of power then these would work for you. If you want a CPU that can do more than just regular desktop computer tasks, then I’d move on to the higher tier options in this list.

In terms of performance, it really depends on what you’re doing. If all you’re using your computer for is data entry or spreadsheets and simple internet surfing (text-based pages), then these CPUs would be fine for you. They are also great if you are looking to build a low-cost office/business computer where efficiency isn’t as important.

If gaming is something that matters to you, then I wouldn’t recommend staying in this tier either. There are games that new computers of around $400-$500 will play fine at low settings, but most modern games won’t run well at all. You could always try to play the games in windowed mode or with low graphics settings, but I wouldn’t expect great results.

The CPUs in this tier range from $60-$80 for i3s and $110-$140 for Pentiums. If you want higher performance then consider looking at the next tier up which includes a few more powerful chips that will be able to do some pretty impressive things.

If you’re not going to need any special applications like 3D modeling, CAD, video editing/rendering, or anything like that then these CPUs would work fine for you. They may also be good if you are just building a very basic computer and don’t mind doing some tinkering to get it running smoothly (like overclocking or buying a better heatsink).

AMD Ryzen 3 3300X Intel Core i3-10320
AMD Ryzen 3 3100 Intel Core i3-10300
AMD Ryzen 5 3400G Intel Core i3-10100
AMD Ryzen 3 3200G Intel Core i3-9100
AMD Ryzen 5 2400G
AMD Ryzen 3 2200G

What is a processor and what does it do for your computer?

A processor is the brain of a computer. A CPU (Central Processing Unit) handles all the computing tasks for your machine and has two or more cores which are basically miniature processors that do their own work.

The function of a processor is to manage data in the computer and tell it what to do. This includes interpreting instructions from software, executing those instructions for each core on different parts of information simultaneously, and sorting through input/output requests made by other parts of the system. The speed at which a CPU can execute these tasks determines how quickly your PC will operate - if you want more power, get a faster model!

A simple analogy would be that one task equals one thread or job; while they are all working on their own thing at once, there needs to be someone who takes care of making sure everything gets done (the “boss”). In this case, we call him the “CPU” or Central Processing Unit.

The different types of processors:

A CPU is a microprocessor, meaning that it does all the work for your computer. It’s made up of many tiny pieces called cores and each core handles one job at once. The number of cores determines how quickly your PC will operate - if you want more power, get a faster processor!

There are four types of processors:

CPU: The most basic, a CPU is the brain of your computer.

GPU: A GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) handles all graphics-related jobs for your PC and can have from one to hundreds of cores depending on what it needs to do.

DSP: DSPs (digital signal processors) are used in tasks related to audio signals such as voice recognition or music synthesizers; you’ll find these in things like ATMs and cars. They’re able to process many small chunks at once, which makes them faster than CPUs!

APU: An APU is an Accelerated Processing Unit - they combine both a processor with graphical processing capability while also having dedicated video memory. That means that this type of CPU has the ability to manage both the graphics and computing for your machine.

Technology has advanced so much in recent years that CPUs have gone from having only four cores to now being able to handle up to 32! And these days you can find processors with eight, sixteen, thirty-two, and even sixty-four cores inside them! The more powerful models will be more expensive but if you want a PC that never slows down then investing in something like an Intel Core i7920X is worth it. If you need help deciding on the best processor for your needs, contact your local computer store and they should be able to point you in the right direction.

How to choose the best processor for you?

You should choose a processor that is best suited to your needs.

  • If you’re doing heavy work but don’t need much raw power, the Intel Core i series and AMD FX lines are better for you than an expensive CPU like one of the Xeon processors from Intel or some of the high-end processors from AMD’s Opteron line.

  • If you’re going into video editing where it’s all about speed and multitasking capability, then something more powerful like a Xeon E5500 would be good since they have Hyperthreading (you can do multiple tasks at once) which will give you very fast rendering times (again not so important if what you’re rendering isn’t time-sensitive).

  • It also helps identify what type of applications you’ll be doing. If you’re going to work with video and audio, then something like a Xeon E5500 would again suit your needs better than say an Intel Core i series or FX processors (traditionally video editing has always been more about raw power over speed).

  • If all you need is just for general office tasks and web browsing multi-tasking capability, then the latest processor from AMD’s Athlon line may be best suited for what you want but remember that it doesn’t have Hyperthreading capabilities so rendering times will be longer.

  • Intel Celeron chips are great for home users who don’t do much other than basic word processing, playing games, watching videos on YouTube or Hulu, etc.

  • If you’re an engineer who doesn’t need to do a lot of video editing, then the Intel Core i series or AMD’s FX line would be better for your needs.

Why CPUs are so important in modern-day computing?

CPUs are the brains of any computer. I can’t stress enough how important they are to keep your tech running smoothly. They have a huge impact on everything from gaming performance, file encoding and playback speeds, video editing times, photo manipulation software render rates - even word processing speed!

So which CPU should you buy? That’s where this post comes in handy. These CPUs will help you make an informed decision about which one suits your needs best. This is by no means a definitive list but it does take into account what customers love and don’t so much like when purchasing their next CPU upgrade (don’t ask me for recommendations though). It also includes some info on upcoming processors that might be worth keeping an eye out for.


For the purposes of this blog post, we’ve done a deep dive into comparing all the different types of processors in the world. We hope that by doing so you are able to make an informed decision on what type is best for your computer and needs. If not, contact us! Our team can help you figure out which CPU will work best for your system. The first step is understanding how CPUs work and their hierarchy. You may have heard about these before but here’s a quick refresher: Processors are essentially just tiny computers inside your devices – without them, there would be no way for anything digital to function at all. This includes everything from smartphones to laptops as well as servers or any other technology with a CPU inside it. Nowadays, the most common type of CPU you’ll see is either an x86 or an ARM-based chip. The differences between these two architectures are fairly straightforward but important to understand when making a purchase decision.