CPU Hierarchy 2021 – CPU Tier List For Processors

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) has a significant impact on PC’s performance, and for many users, it is the most crucial component for building a PC. There is a wide range of CPU models from Intel and AMD to power your PC for different purposes.

If you are going to build a gaming PC, different features of CPUs are more important, like core numbers, PCIe lanes, thread number, IPC score, etc.; these features impact a lot over gaming experience, but for some people, these numbers are confusing and boring.

In this article, we have created a list of CPU hierarchies based on their performance. The essential thing while upgrading or building a new PC is to know about your requirements and needs.

If you know very well about the requirements, it is straightforward to find the right component for your PC, and hopefully, you can see that one in our below-mentioned list. We categorize the hierarchy in different tiers depending on their performance and purpose of use.

All the processors in each tier are similar to others, with little difference in performance and price. It is not a gaming processor hierarchy; rather than it is based on overall performance. However, these are arranged in descending order as per performance.

Tier 1 – Extreme Power

Tier 1 - Extreme Power
Tier 1 – Extreme Power

The CPUs included in the first-tier are the most powerful processors currently available in the market. These are the best performers in respect of speed and core count but with a higher power draw averagely and physically big in size. These processors are suitable for use in large servers, but these are not perfect but good for gaming. If you buy any of the processors from this list, keep in mind that you cannot use them to their full potential to maximize the gaming experience.

However, the AMD threadripper processors easily beat Intel’s i9 generation in overall performance, especially for multithreaded applications. Video conversion and 3D rendering smoothly work when running in the game mode. You can use these processors at their full potential to enjoy the enhanced gaming experience.

Undoubtedly, Intel i9 processors have many potentials, but AMD offers better base clock speed, and the i9 series pushes the boundaries with its better overclock speed. The threadripper series gives Inter an opportunity for their money, and that’s the reason behind the launching of i9 generation processors, while the reason for the AMD series is to improve the market and make space for this category.

Brand Model Core-Thread Over-Clocked Base Clock Socket
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16-32 4.70 GHz 3.50 GHz AM4
Ryzen 9 3900X 12-24 4.60 GHz 3.80 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 3800X 8-16 4.50 GHz 3.90 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 3700X 8-16 4.40 GHz 3.60 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 2700X 8-16 4.30 GHz 3.70 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 2700 8-16 4.30 GHz 3.20 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 1800X 8-16 4.00 GHz 3.60 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 Pro 1700X 8-16 3.80 GHz 3.40 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 1700X 8-16 3.80 GHz 3.40 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 Pro 1700 8-16 3.70 GHz 3.00 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 1700 8-16 3.70 GHz 3.00 GHz AM4
Intel Intel Core i9-9900K 8-8 5.00 GHz 3.60 GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-9700K 8-8 4.90 GHz 3.60 GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-8700K 6-12 4.70 GHz 3.70 GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-8700 6-12 4.60 GHz 3.20 GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-7820X 8-16 4.30 GHz 3.60 GHz LGA2066
Intel Core i7-7800X 6-12 4.00 GHz 3.50GHz LGA2066
Intel Core i7-6950X 10-20 3.50 GHz 3.00 GHz LGA2011-3
Intel Core i7-7740X 4-8 4.5 GHz 4.30 GHz LGA2066
Intel Core i7-7700K 4-8 4.5 GHz 4.20 GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-7700 4-8 4.20 GHz 3.60 GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-7700T 4-8 3.80 GHz 2.90 GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-6900K 8-16 3.70 GHz 3.20 GHz LGA2011-3
Intel Core i7-6850K 6-12 3.80 GHz 3.60 GHz LGA2011-3
Intel Core i7-6800K 6-12 3.60 GHz 3.40 GHz LGA2011-3
Intel Core i7-6700K 4-8 4.20 GHz 4.00GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-6700 4-8 4.00 GHz 3.40 GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-6700T 4-8 3.60 GHz 2.80 GHz LGA1151

Tier 2

CPU Hierarchy Tier 2
CPU Hierarchy Tier 2

The CPUs in the second tier come with superb performance, especially for desktops at reasonable prices compared to first-tier CPUs. The CPU in the first-tier provides the freedom of multi-tasking at a higher cost and is suitable for high-end games.

The tier 2 processors are the best combination of accessibility and performance and are perfect to work with 4K visuals usually offered in new and high-end games. But it is something more than it if you are a hardcore gamer. The processors in this tier use typical sockets like LGA1151 for Intel processors and AM4 for AMD processors.

In this tier, you will notice that both i7 and Rayzen models perform very well, like good competitors. The Intel i7 processors perform very well and are suitable for single-core applications, while the Rayzen performs best in multi-core processing.

The processors in this tier are perfect for people who want to build PC for multipurpose like video conversion, video streaming, and gaming; processors can handle all these requirements very well and serve all the needs at reasonable and affordable prices.

Brand Model Core-Thread Over-Clocked Base Clock Socket
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16-32 4.70 GHz 3.50 GHz AM4
Ryzen 9 3900X 12-24 4.60 GHz 3.80 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 3800X 8-16 4.50 GHz 3.90 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 3700X 8-16 4.40 GHz 3.60 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 2700X 8-16 4.30 GHz 3.70 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 2700 8-16 4.30 GHz 3.20 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 1800X 8-16 4.00 GHz 3.60 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 Pro 1700X 8-16 3.80 GHz 3.40 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 1700X 8-16 3.80 GHz 3.40 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 Pro 1700 8-16 3.70 GHz 3.00 GHz AM4
Ryzen 7 1700 8-16 3.70 GHz 3.00 GHz AM4
Intel Intel Core i9-9900K 8-8 5.00 GHz 3.60 GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-9700K 8-8 4.90 GHz 3.60 GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-8700K 6-12 4.70 GHz 3.70 GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-8700 6-12 4.60 GHz 3.20 GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-7820X 8-16 4.30 GHz 3.60 GHz LGA2066
Intel Core i7-7800X 6-12 4.00 GHz 3.50GHz LGA2066
Intel Core i7-6950X 10-20 3.50 GHz 3.00 GHz LGA2011-3
Intel Core i7-7740X 4-8 4.5 GHz 4.30 GHz LGA2066
Intel Core i7-7700K 4-8 4.5 GHz 4.20 GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-7700 4-8 4.20 GHz 3.60 GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-7700T 4-8 3.80 GHz 2.90 GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-6900K 8-16 3.70 GHz 3.20 GHz LGA2011-3
Intel Core i7-6850K 6-12 3.80 GHz 3.60 GHz LGA2011-3
Intel Core i7-6800K 6-12 3.60 GHz 3.40 GHz LGA2011-3
Intel Core i7-6700K 4-8 4.20 GHz 4.00GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-6700 4-8 4.00 GHz 3.40 GHz LGA1151
Intel Core i7-6700T 4-8 3.60 GHz 2.80 GHz LGA1151

Tier 3

CPU Hierarchy Tier 3
CPU Hierarchy Tier 3

The CPUs in the third tire is famous among the gaming community for a long time. The processors in this tier offer excellent performance with a high core number at affordable prices. Therefore, it attracts a lot of people to perform different tasks along with a great gaming experience.

Mostly, gamers who don’t want to enjoy extra bells and whistles but want to enjoy high graphics games like 4K graphics games go with the processors in this tier. No doubt, the processors in this tier perform very well like the processors in the first and second-tier, but these are perfect for the smooth playing of period games.

Moreover, these processors are great if the purpose of PC up-gradation is to play the games and don’t want to enjoy extra features. The gaming experience of processors in the third tier is almost at the part compared to processors in the first and 2nd tier. Tier 3 processors are surely packed with different improvements that are surely capable of meeting the gaming requirements.

However, you may need to buy some other equipment like a powerful gaming monitor. It is crucial if you want to enjoy the 4K gaming experience in real means. Like in the previous tiers, AMD comes with competitive prices of Ryzen 5 CPUs in the middle of 2017. The competition between Intel and AMD almost remains at par in respect of performance and pricing.

BrandModelCore-ThreadOver-ClockedBase ClockSocket
AMDRyzen 5 3600X6-124.40 GHz3.80 GHzAM4
Ryzen 5 36006-124.20 GHz3.60 GHzAM4
Ryzen 5 2600X6-124.20 GHz3.60 GHzAM4
Ryzen 5 26006-123.90 GHz3.40 GHzAM4
Ryzen 5 3400G4-83.70 GHz4.20 GHzAM4
Ryzen 5 2400G4-83.90 GHz3.60 GHzAM4
Ryzen 5 1600X6-124.00 GHz3.60 GHzAM4
Ryzen 5 16006-123.60 GHz3.20 GHzAM4
Ryzen 5 Pro 16006-123.60 GHz3.20 GHzAM4
Ryzen 5 1500X4-83.70 GHz3.50 GHzAM4
Ryzen 5 Pro 15004-83.70 GHz3.50 GHzAM4
Ryzen 5 14004-83.40 GHz3.20 GHzAM4
INTELIntel Core i7 – 4960X6-124.00 GHz3.60 GHzLGA2011
Intel Core i7-4930K6-123.90 GHz3.40 GHzLGA2011
Intel Core i7-4820K4-83.90 GHz3.70 GHzLGA2011
Intel Core i7-4790K4-84.40 GHz4.00 GHzLGA1150
Intel Core i7-4790T4-83.90 GHz2.70 GHzLGA1150
Intel Core i7-47904-84.00 GHz3.60 GHzLGA1150
Intel Core i7-4785T4-83.2 GHz2.20 GHzLGA1150
Intel Core i7-47714-83.90 GHz3.50 GHzLGA1150
Intel Core i7-4770R4-83.90 GHz3.20 GHzBGA1364
Intel Core i7-4770T4-83.70 GHz2.50 GHzLGA1150
Intel Core i7-4770S4-83.90 GHz3.10 GHzLGA1150
Intel Core i7-4770K4-83.90 GHz3.50 GHzLGA1150
Intel Core i7-47704-83.90 GHz3.40 GHzLGA1150

Tier 4

CPU Hierarchy Tier 4
CPU Hierarchy Tier 4

The processors in the fourth tier are designed for baggers in the gaming habit. These processors perform well for starting a journey of PC gaming.

Many people hesitate to use these processors in their gaming PC because they are not suitable for playing newer and high-demand games. But these are perfect if you want to make a gaming PC with the best budget.

These processors are the best alternatives for gaming rigs for playing average demanding games. But you may feel the need for other important and influential components like a graphics card. This is the only way to come over the inefficiency of the processor. Using a high-quality graphics card lets you play some games in high settings, but it is still not enough to play top demanding games.

BrandModelCore-ThreadOver-ClockedBase ClockSocket
AMDRyzen 3 3200G4-43.60 GHz4.00 GHzAM4
Ryzen 3 2200G4-43.70 GHz3.50 GHzAM4
Ryzen 3 1300X4-43.70 GHz3.50 GHzAM4
Ryzen 3 Pro 13004-43.70 GHz3.50 GHzAM4
Ryzen 3 Pro 12004-43.40 GHz3.10 GHzAM4
Ryzen 3 12004-43.40 GHz3.10 GHzAM4
INTELIntel Core i3-8350K4-44.50 GHz4.00 GHzLGA1151
Intel Core i3-81004-43.60 GHzLGA1151
Intel Core i3-7350K2-44.20 GHzLGA1151
Intel Core i3-73202-44.10 GHzLGA1151
Intel Core i3-73002-44.00 GHzLGA1151
Intel Core i3-7300T2-43.50 GHzLGA1151
Intel Core i3-7101E2-43.90 GHzLGA1151
Intel Core i3-7101TE2-43.40 GHzLGA1151
Intel Core i3-7100T2-43.40 GHzLGA2011-3
Intel Core i3-71002-43.90 GHzLGA2011-3

Tier 5

CPU Hierarchy Tier 5
CPU Hierarchy Tier 5

In the end, tier 5 comprises processors available in the market only with basic features to run the older and low requirement games smoothly. You may get success in playing some newer games with high settings.

The primary purpose of the processors in this tier is to add something little other than the bare necessities of a PC. Gamers can enhance their gaming experience with the addition of high features graphics cards.

The processors in this tier are excellent options for people who can’t afford the high specification gaming rig. These are capable enough for different games but with various limitations.

BrandModelCore-ThreadOver-ClockedBase ClockSocket
AMDAMD FX-63506-64.20 GHz3.90 GHzAM3+
AMD FX-63006-63.80 GHz3.50 GHzAM3+
AMD FX-62006-64.10 GHz3.80 GHzAM3+
AMD FX 61006-63.90 GHz3.30 GHzAM3+
AMD FX-43504-44.30 GHz4.20 GHzAM3+
AMD FX-43204-44.10 GHz4.00 GHzAM3+
AMD FX-43004-44.00 GHz3.80 GHzAM3+
AMD FX-41304-43.90 GHz3.80 GHzAM3+
AMD FX-41004-43.80 GHz3.60GHzAM3+
INTELIntel Pentium G G46202-43.70 GHzLGA1151
Intel Pentium G G4600T2-43.00 GHzLGA1151
Intel Pentium G G46002-43.60 GHzLGA1151
Intel Pentium G G4560T2-42.90 GHzLGA1151
Intel Pentium G G45602-43.50 GHzLGA1151
Intel Pentium G G45208-163.60 GHzLGA1151
Intel Pentium G G4500T6-123.00 GHzLGA1151
Intel Pentium G G45006-123.50 GHzLGA1151
Intel Pentium G G4400T4-82.90 GHzLGA1151
Intel Pentium G G44004-83.30 GHzLGA1151

Final Thoughts

Selecting the right CPU for your PC is essential, and it is easy to select the right one if you know the requirements very well. So you can select the CPU that can fulfill your needs very well. The selection of the wrong CPU may result in extra cost to replace the CPU that you can spend in other areas of PC buildings. Hopefully, our hierarchy list helps you to make the selection process simple and easy. To get max performance from your CPU, don’t forget to use CPU Coolers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best CPU in order?

Ryzen 9 5900X, Ryzen 9 3950X and Ryzen 5 3600X are the best CPU in order.

What are the top 5 processors?

Ryzen 9 5900X, Intel Core i7 9700K, Ryzen 9 3950X, Intel Core i5 9600K, and Ryzen 7 5800X are the top 5 processors.

Is Ryzen 7 better than i7 11th Gen?

Benchmarking results have shown that Ryzen 7 defeats the i7 11th generation with the help of its faster single-core performance.

How do AMD processors compare to Intel?

AMD wins the battle overall if we consider price, thermal cooling, benchmarking performance, and security. But an Intel processor could prove to be a better choice for you depending upon your needs.


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Atif Liaqat
By Atif Liaqat

I have been fond of computer technology for a long time, ever since childhood, and was always meddling with various hardware and software. With graduation in computer engineering from a recognized university like NUST was a dream come true and enabled me to pursue my dreams in swift ways.



Pro Tech Reviewer is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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