Written by Austin Benoit on June 14, 2020
Throughout the last several years, the gaming community has gone through some tremendous changes. With the increased popularity of ESports, online streaming platforms, and multiplayer gaming in general, surely this is a great era to be highly engaged in the gaming community. With this spike in gameplay and user engagement, there has been a parallel rise in the number of people pursuing their own PC builds. Not only is this a pursuit to achieve a more satisfactory experience while gaming, there is also a greater sense of accomplishment, a deeper connection, when the epic adventures and accomplishments that a gamer undergoes are achieved on a device of his or her own creation. The CPU is arguably (and probably not much arguing would be needed to come to a consensus) the most important component when it comes to PC builds. It is responsible for all the primary, foundational calculations that make the game react the way it was programmed to. Certainly the graphics card is vastly important, and many people often have response issues that are mainly caused by a low-performing graphic card, but for the case of this article, we will focus our efforts on selecting a central processor. As its name indicates, it should be the central decision point for any PC builder.
Now that we have established the importance of choosing a CPU for your build, we need to do our research. It can be overwhelming, but luckily tools like CPU Agent exist to help ease our frustrations with the immense amount of data out there. I wanted to take a moment to objectively, and in a detailed manner, run through its features and provide anyone viewing this article a quick guide to ultimately help them realize the value of CPU Agent’s processor database. Hopefully its value will be apparent to you as well, and your planning time for PC building can be cut down dramatically. Additionally, you can rest assured when you fire up your new and improved PC for the first time, knowing that you chose the best gaming CPU for your individual requirements.
Why Use a CPU Comparison Tool?
If you haven’t put much thought into your next PC build, or if you are a complete beginner, you probably have not had to go through the grief and tedium that us experienced builders have encountered over the years. As is the case with most gamers, the first thing done is a Google search to see what is out there. In general, you will probably find yourself on websites of CPU manufacturers like Intel, AMD, or Ryzen. While all of these sources are highly reputable, the fact that you have to keep flipping back and forth between each website to compare specs can quickly become exhausting. And of course, each processor seller is going to be biased towards their own product (crazy, I know). Even on each website (say you are dead set/loyal to Intel for whatever reason), they are going to steer you towards a specific new product that they are trying to push, which ultimately skews your perception away from the facts and towards their marketing agenda.
Then there are blog posts (kind of like this one), with commentaries, reviews, pros and cons lists, and no shortage of opinions that stem from these posts. There are certainly many great CPU and gaming enthusiasts out there trying to help the community, but still not everyone has all day to read through a dozen blog posts to only learn about a handful of processors that may or may not even be the best option for them. What these bloggers, albeit overall great to have, are unable to deliver is a comprehensive database that encapsulates everything required to make an informed decision into one convenient location.
The Tool Itself
Alright, let’s talk about CPU Agent. On the home page, you will find some of their top picks for various different categories. You will also notice the categories that are used to summarize each CPU – one, two, three, four, and five.
If you want to dig a little deeper, no problem. Click on any of the CPUs in question and you will be taken to the individual product page containing an extremely in depth database of features and specs, all rated down to each individual category. Additionally, you will find in-depth reviews and several different performance metrics. If that is still not enough, CPU Agent has tested their processors from an extensive list of popular games so you can choose the game that you will spend the majority of your time playing (or the game closest to the one you plan to play). For example, you can see how the Intel Core i9-10900K performed for Borderlands 3 or Fortnite, or a whole slew of popular games. The amount of detail and scrutiny that went into this site is extremely impressive.
The next, and probably most helpful feature is the Compare CPUs page. Using this page is simple. You start by typing in the CPUs that you want to compare, or just select them from the alphabetize drop down list (you can compare up to 8 processors at once).
Click the compare now button and you will be given a side by side comparison chart of the processors. Again, you are greeted with a lot of information, but it is organized in an easy to read format that quickly helps you find what you are looking for (even with color coded numbers).
At the bottom of the page is a summary paragraph of each processor, written custom by CPU Agent themselves.
One final feature of the website that helps them stand above other cpu databases on the web, is their Compare PC Builds page. Here you can choose multiple different arrangements of CPU, GPU, RAM size, RAM speed, resolution, and quality settings to get a price comparison at some of the options you may be mulling over. Again, having all of the information laid out in front of you at once is a powerful tool.
How Much Performance Do I Need From My Processor?
It depends on what you’re playing for the most part. I would check CPU Agent’s reference information on the exact game you spend most of your time playing (if available, if not, try and find the one most similar) to get started. Also, your budget will largely dictate what you are able to get your hands on. I would recommend finding some CPUs in your price range, and then run a side by side using the Compare CPUs page. If you are a serious gamer, you will likely get a lot of value out of going with something on the higher end of your budget since the benefits will be easily noticed. If you are building a PC for work, or other more generic tasks, you can get away with something a little less powerful. Ultimately, spend a little bit of time familiarizing yourself with the information on the website, it shouldn’t take too long to have your choice narrowed down to just a couple of good options.
What Does CPU Agent Recommend?
One final, and extremely helpful touch that CPU Agent has added to their new site is an overall ranking of all the CPUs they have analyzed (which is over 2500 by the way). They are the experts who spent all the painstaking hours developing these databases after all, might as well take their word for it! The ranked categories include desktop gaming, desktop productivity, laptop gaming, and laptop productivity.
To Sum Things Up
Gamers that invest in their own builds need to be proud of their equipment. In order to do this, they need to be educated and sure that what they are doing is the best option for them and their individual needs. Using a tool like this will speed up the time it takes to be confident in processor selection and help you actually find the highest performance CPU for your budget.
Guest article written by: Austin Benoit on June 14, 2020