Best LGA1151 CPUs/Processors For 2022

When you insert your CPU into your motherboard, the socket you install it into has a name. In this case, the socket you’ll be installing these CPUs is called LGA 1151 or Socket H4. The LGA 1151 Socket currently supports, Skylake, Kabylake, and Coffee Lake processors. Today you’ll likely be choosing from Intel’s 8th and 9th gen CPUs as they offer the best overall performance in terms of gaming and other applications.

Another way you can see it is the number of pins in a socket. You can find 1151 pins in the LGA 1151 Socket, and these pins act as contacts between the socket and the CPU. An LGA 1151 CPU such as the I9 9900K wouldn’t be able to work with an LGA 1150 socket. This is because, for one, it can’t even physically fit in the socket, and if you somehow managed to get it to fit, the pins will be incompatible with the CPU.

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Top-Tier
Intel Core i9-9900K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.0 GHz Turbo Unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95W
Mid-Tier
Intel Core i5-9600K Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.6 GHz Turbo unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95W
Budget-Tier
Intel Core i3-9100F Desktop Processor 4 Core Up to 4.2 GHz without Processor Graphics LGA1151 300 Series 65W
Intel Core i9-9900K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.0 GHz Turbo Unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95W
Intel Core i5-9600K Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.6 GHz Turbo unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95W
Intel Core i3-9100F Desktop Processor 4 Core Up to 4.2 GHz without Processor Graphics LGA1151 300 Series 65W
Best Gaming Processor
Best Mid-Range Processor
Best Budget Processor
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Top-Tier
Intel Core i9-9900K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.0 GHz Turbo Unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95W
Intel Core i9-9900K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.0 GHz Turbo Unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95W
Best Gaming Processor
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Mid-Tier
Intel Core i5-9600K Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.6 GHz Turbo unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95W
Intel Core i5-9600K Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.6 GHz Turbo unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95W
Best Mid-Range Processor
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Budget-Tier
Intel Core i3-9100F Desktop Processor 4 Core Up to 4.2 GHz without Processor Graphics LGA1151 300 Series 65W
Intel Core i3-9100F Desktop Processor 4 Core Up to 4.2 GHz without Processor Graphics LGA1151 300 Series 65W
Best Budget Processor
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Intel I9 9900K/KSIntel I7 9700K/KFIntel I5 9600K/KFIntel I5 9400F
Cores & Threads8 Cores/16 Threads8 Cores/8 Threads10 Cores/16 Threads6 Cores/6 Threads
Max Clock Speed5.0 GHz4.9 GHz4.6 GHz4.1 GHz
OverclockableYesYesYesNo
TDP95W Base95W Base95W Base65W Base

Best LGA 1151 CPUs

Here you can find the top-tier CPUs for the LGA 1151 socket. Typically you’ll be pairing these CPUs with a decent motherboard since they’re high performance and are generally overclocked. These CPUs are great for heavy workloads such as gaming and video editing. Intel CPUs tend to lean towards single-core performance which benefits you immensely in video games. Although they’re powerful when it comes to single-core workloads, they do offer decent multi-core performance with high-end processors since they have a decent number of physical cores.

Intel I9 9900K/KS | Most Powerful Gaming Processor

Best gaming LGA1151 CPU I9 9900K/KS
Core Clock Speed3.6 GHz(base), 5 GHz(boost)
Cores8(cores), 16(threads)
MicroarchitectureCoffee Lake Refresh
SocketLGA1151
Max Memory Support128 GB
Integrated GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 630
Lithography14nm
TDP95W

Performance

For raw performance, the I9 9900K/KS is the best gaming processor you can pick up. The I7 9700K falls slightly behind in single-core performance which games heavily rely on today. And if you want the most powerful I9, then go for the 9900KS as it can reach 5GHz out of the box, it’s basically an overclocked 9900K. As for the specs, it has 8 Cores and 16 threads clocked in at 3.6 GHz base, and 5 GHz boost, we can see it has a decent number of physical cores that can be used effectively for productivity tasks.

Its closest Ryzen competitor is the Ryzen 9 3900x which has 12 cores and 24 threads at a very similar price to the 9900K. On paper it looks like going for the Ryzen 9 3900x makes perfect sense, but for gaming, the I9 9900K is still king. The Ryzen 9 3900x excels where multiple cores can be utilized effectively.

Features

feature-wise, it comes with decent integrated graphics (Intel UHD Graphics 630) which can be used if you’re not considering using a dedicated GPU. Unfortunately, it does not come with a stock cooler, and since this chip can run hot, you’ll need a decent aftermarket cooler.

Why Should You Buy The I9 9900K

Many gamers that are fans of traditional I7s will find themselves picking up the I9 9900K because it actually features hyperthreading which the I7 9700K should’ve featured, this is why the I9 9900K is superior to the I7 9700K. Also, the boost core clock speed of the 9900K reaches 5GHz at stock whereas you’ll have to overclock the I7 9700K.

The multicore performance is superior to the I7 9700K because of hyperthreading, this opens many doors such as streaming, and video editing.

PROS & CONS

Pros
  • Best gaming CPU
  • Great single core performance
  • Works on Z370 motherboards
  • 5GHz core peak for single-threaded applications
  • Come with integrated graphics
  • Great overclockability
Cons
  • No stock cooler

Intel I7 9700K/KF | Great Gaming Alternative

best gaming LGA1151 CPU i7 9700k/kF
Core Clock Speed3.6 GHz(base), 4.9 GHz(boost)
Cores8(cores), 8(threads)
MicroarchitectureCoffee Lake Refresh
SocketLGA1151
Max Memory Support128 GB
Integrated GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 630 / No(KF)
Lithography14nm
TDP95W

Performance

The I7 9700K falls slightly behind the I9 9900K in gaming performance, and when I mean slightly, it’s about a 1% difference in gaming. So for gaming, the I7 9700K can offer insane performance for its price. And with the KF variant, you can get 9700K performance for even cheaper at the cost of your integrated graphics. The I7 9700K/KF has 8c8t making this the first generation of I7’s to lack hyperthreading. This means you’ll suffer when it comes to applications that heavily utilize multiple threads.

The I7 9700K has great single-core performance which means applications that only use or heavily utilize one core will heavily benefit from this processor. Due to having no hyperthreading, this is where the I9 9900K excels greatly if you’re multitasking, and you have a lot of professional workloads to process such as video editing, and Photoshop, the I9 9900K will be a better option. This doesn’t mean the I7 is poor at handling applications that utilize multiple cores, it still has 8 physical cores which is still decent in 2020.

Features

Just like the I9 9900K, the I7 9700K has integrated graphics which is the (Intel UHD Graphics 630) which you can use in case you do not have a dedicated card. You’ll definitely need a dedicated graphics card if you pick up the 9700KF variant as it has its integrated graphics module disabled. A stock cooler does not come with the 9700K, so you’ll need to pick up an aftermarket cooler. Please check out the post we’ve written specifically for the 9900K

Why Should You Buy The I7 9700K

The I7 9700K is a great processor for many reasons, it has amazing overclocking potential which means you can push the boost clock speed past 5GHz, this can make a big difference in frame rate when gaming. Also, it comes with 8 physical cores so the multi-core performance is definitely there, you can maybe stream and video edit, but the biggest downside is that the 9700K does not have hyperthreading.

PROS & CONS

Pros
  • Great single-core performance
  • 9700KF is cheaper for the same performance
  • Decent thermals
  • Great overclockability
Cons
  • No hyperthreading
  • No stock cooler

Mid-Tier LGA 1151 CPUs

With the CPUs in this tier, you can put together a decent mid-tier build that you can game and do other tasks on. They’re usually cheaper than the top-tier CPUs, but this comes at the cost of performance. They usually have fewer cores and or lower clock speeds, than the top processors resulting in slightly worst processing speeds. The CPUs in this tier range from $150-220.

Intel I5 9600K/KF | Best Budget Gaming Processor

Best budget LGA1151 CPU Intel i5 9600k/kf
Core Clock Speed3.7 GHz(base), 4.6 GHz(boost)
Cores6(cores), 6(threads)
MicroarchitectureCoffee Lake Refresh
SocketLGA1151
Max Memory Support128 GB
Integrated GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 630
Lithography14nm
TDP95W

Performance

If you’re going for an only gaming setup, the I5 9600K makes perfect sense. The I5 9600K is perfect if you’re not concerned about steaming, video editing, or running heavily multi-threaded tasks. It has 6 physical cores and 6 threads clocked at 3.7 GHz base, and 4.6 GHz boost, on paper, it looks like the perfect mid-range CPU for pure gaming.

Its closest AMD competitor is the Ryzen 5 2600x and they’re nearly identical in performance. The I5 9600K still excels in video games because it has stronger single-core speed, that’s why Intel is better if you only want to game. If you’re interested in performing multiple tasks, then Ryzen is the way to go.

Features

Intel’s I5 9600K features the same integrated graphics the I9 9900K & I7 9700K has which is the Intel UHD Graphics 630. If you’re not going to be running a dedicated graphics card then the integrated graphics is always there to be utilized. There is no stock cooler that comes with the I5 9600K, so you’ll need to pick up an aftermarket cooler.

Why Should You Buy The I5 9400F

The I5 9600K is for gamers that are looking for a decent mid-tier processor for their build, so you’ll find this processor popular among many budget seekers. The single-core performance is decent being able to handle most graphics cards without bottlenecking them. Due to this fact, this processor can be a great choice if you’re going to be gaming at 1080-1440P.

PROS & CONS

Pros
  • Decently priced
  • Great single-core performance
  • Solid integrated graphics module
Cons
  • No stock cooler

Intel I5 9400F | Best Beginner Processor

Best budget LGA1151 CPU 9400f
Core Clock Speed2.9 GHz(base), 4.1 GHz(boost)
Cores6(cores), 6(threads)
MicroarchitectureCoffee Lake Refresh
SocketLGA1151
Max Memory Support128 GB
Integrated GraphicsNone
Lithography14nm
TDP65W

Performance

The I5 9400F is an extreme budget CPU cooler, much cheaper than the I5 9600K, and it has average single-core performance, much similar to what Ryzen offers. However, the price makes this chip a decent bang for your buck, you have a 6c 6t processor clocked at 2.9GHz base and 4.1 GHz boost, and depending on your GPU, you’ll experience slightly fewer frames in-game then what the 9600K offers.

It is a 6 core 6 thread processor that is perfect if you’re specifically using it for gaming. It’s AMD competitor which is the Ryzen 5 2600 is beaten by the 9400F in single-core speed, but if you’re going to multitask, then Ryzen is the way. This is a great entry processor for newly inspired PC gamers that do not want to break their bank to game.

Features

The I5 9400F does not come with integrated graphics, so you’ll for sure need a dedicated graphics card with this system. If you don’t know already, you shouldn’t pair this processor with a super-powerful graphics card, you’ll severely bottleneck the GPU, a nice low-mid tier GPU should do. The 9400F is, in fact, a locked processor so you cannot push the limit by overclocking the CPU.

Why Should You Buy The I5 9400F

Much like the I3 9100F, the processor is heavily limited by the clock speed and the core count, this means the I5 9400F is best suited for applications that do not utilize multiple cores. Such applications are gaming because a lot of games are not coded to utilize more than one core.

PROS & CONS

Pros
  • Decent bang for your buck
  • Better single-core performance compared to Ryzen 5 2600
  • Lightweight, 65W TDP
  • Great for beginner PC builders
Cons
  • No stock cooler
  • Locked multiplier

Best Budget-Tier LGA 1151 CPUs

Here you can find extremely cheap processors that you can use to put together a low budget PC. Usually, these processors are used for budget gaming PCs because they have decent single-core performance. You probably shouldn’t use these processors if you’re handing heavily multithreaded tasks since these processors don’t support SMT/Hyperthreading.

Intel I3 9100F | Cheapest CPU

Core Clock Speed3.6 GHz(base), 4.2 GHz(boost)
Cores4(cores), 4(threads)
MicroarchitectureCoffee Lake Refresh
SocketLGA1151
Max Memory Support64 GB
Integrated GraphicsNone
Lithography14nm
TDP95W

Performance

The I3 9100F is an extremely budget CPU, you can pick it up for much less than $100, so it’s pretty easy to put together a low-budget gaming system with this processor. It has 4 cores and 4 threads clocked in at 3.6 GHz base and 4.2 GHz boost. Still, you have decent single-core performance, but 4 cores is a bit outdated in 2020. The processor is cool if you’re going for a strict gaming system since it will struggle with multi-threaded dependent tasks.

A Quad-core processor sounds like it’ll be slow in 2020, but it’s pretty responsive processing traditional computing tasks like browsing the web. It just happens that Ryzen is more multi-tasking friendly, so if you’re interested in streaming, or video editing, go Ryzen, Intel processors are known for manufacturing the best gaming processors on the market.

Features

Feature-wise, it does not come with integrated graphics so you’ll need a dedicated card, but it does come with a stock cooler you can use. This is great to know because since this processor pleases budget builds, you don’t need to increase your budget by purchasing an aftermarket cooler

Why Should You Buy The I3 9100F

We recommend the I3 9300F be picked up for a very specific reason and that is to just game at a budget. We don’t recommend purchasing the I3 9100F if you’re building a mid-top tier gaming PC despite the single core performance being quite decent at 4.2GHz.

We don’t recommend this processor for top-tier builds because of it’s limitations on a multi-core level, quad-core processors aren’t that good when it comes to running certain games which require multiple cores. And it can be a pain if you want to perform tasks such as video editing or streaming, besides that, this processor is quite good at budget gaming

PROS & CONS

Pros
  • Extremely affordable
  • Decent single-core performance for the price
  • Comes with stock cooler
  • Great for first builds.
Cons
  • No integrated graphics
  • Quad-core chip.

Quick CPU Buyer’s Guide

Picking the right processor is a difficult task, this is because there are a lot of things to consider, so we’re going to make it easy with this short buyer’s guide. Here we’re going to discuss the most important aspects of a processor whether you’re going to be streaming, gaming, or video editing.

The key aspects we would like to go over are single-core performance and why it’s important for gamers, multicore performance, and why it’s important for streamers and video editors. By the end of this guide, you will know exactly how to pick the right processor for your needs.

Also, we’re going to the benefits of overclocking and the negative consequences that come with it. In general, overclocking should be available with most Ryzen processors, and a certain number of Intel processors. Intel ‘K’ processors typically come unlocked which means they’re ready for overclocking.

Single-Core Performance

When we’re talking about single-core performance, we’re mainly referring to how fast a single-core is able to process information. Single-core performance is often gauged by the clock speed of the processor. A processor’s clock speed defines how fast each core will run individually, so if you have a clock speed of 4GHz, each core will run at 4GHz.

GHz refers to how many clock cycles a core can do per second usually in the billions. If your clock speed is 4GHz, then each core will cycle 4 billion times per second. While this is the main method of understanding single-core performance, it can often be misleading. The single-core performance also relies on IPC or instructions per clock cycle, once you understand single-core performance, you can pick the right CPU for gaming.

IPC will refer to how much work your processor can do per clock cycle, so take two CPUs with the same clock speed, the one with the highest IPC will essentially run faster. IPC should not be neglected, it’s a reflection of the processor’s architecture, and architectures are improved with each CPU generation. This is why you should never purchase an old CPU that has a high clock speed, they will often be outperformed by new CPUs with lower clock speeds.

Multi-Core Performance

Alongside the clock speed, there is also multi-core performance as you can guess, it mainly relies on how many cores the CPU has. The more cores a CPU has, the faster the CPU will perform mainly with multithreaded tasks. As for games, they don’t really benefit from multiple cores.

Multicore processors will often come with threads with double the number of cores, so you can have a 6 core 12 thread processor. When a CPU has SMT or Hyperthreading capabilities, the multicore performance will be vastly greater than a CPU without such capabilities. It’s often said hyperthreaded processors will perform 30% better in multithreaded applications.

Multicore performance is great for applications such as video editing, streaming(software encoding), and 3D Modelling. Most applications nowadays are parallelized which means they can benefit from multiple cores, but games are notoriously hard to parallelize.

Overclocking Capabilities

Overclocking is a great way to improve the processor’s performance across the board, you’re essentially pushing the CPU past its rated limits. Although pushing a CPU past its limits seems unsafe, it’s actually safe if you know what you’re doing. Ryzen processors are mostly unlocked with some expectations, and Intel ‘K’ processors are all unlocked.

When you want to overclock, head over to the BIOS so you can manually increase the clock speed modifier. It’s important to increase this value slowly so you don’t run into instability issues, slow increments also allow you to find the true limit of your CPU. Once you reach the limit, you can stop there or choose to increase the voltages, this can decrease the CPUs lifespan.

Before you overclock your CPU, it’s important to make sure you have sufficient cooling in place, this will prevent your CPU from thermal throttling. CPUs can run fine as long as they don’t exceed 80C, going past here will result in throttling or even system shutdowns. A decent AIO cooler or a beefy air cooler should be enough for overclocking.