Best CPU Under $300 2024: Solid mid-range processors

Our top picks for AMD and Intel processors under $300

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If you find yourself short on funds for a top-tier PC setup or you’re aiming for a compact gaming rig, no need to fret. We’re here to assist you. The market offers a wide array of CPUs across various generations. If you’re wary of buying second-hand components and aiming for the utmost value, look no further than our curated list of the best CPUs under $300. You’ll have options that suit your budget and performance needs without breaking the bank. Finding the best gaming CPU doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg!

What Do You Need To Check Before Buying A CPU?

Buying a new CPU comes with its very own set of problems. You need to pick out the right motherboard for your CPU. Check cross-compatibility with other motherboard titles and, if need be, check for future-proofing in terms of your CPU socket. In addition, you need to buy an appropriate power supply that supplies an overhead of 100 watts for your CPU’s TDP. Lastly, you need to see if there are no bottlenecking issues with the GPU of your choice.

Intel and AMD have added tons of budget-friendly options in the CPU market that are a sure bang for your buck regardless if you’re a gaming enthusiast or someone who needs a powerful CPU for their creative workflows and productivity needs. You may also want to grab the best thermal paste to ensure you get the absolute best performance from your new CPU.

Best CPU Under $300U: Intel Core i5 13600K

Intel Core i5-13600K

Cores/ threads

14 cores (6 P-cores + 8 E-cores) 20 threads

Speed

5.1 GHz

CPU socket

LGA 1700

Pros
  • Great Value
  • Decent Gaming Abilities
  • Compatible with DDR4 and DDR5
  • Capable of Overclocking
Cons
  • High Power Consumption
  • Demands Efficient Cooling

The Intel Core i5 13600K stands out with its budget-friendly value, making it a solid choice for a mid-range gaming setup. When combined with a CPU budget under $300, you can expect smooth performance in mid-range gaming tasks. Featuring 14 cores and 20 threads, this CPU delivers dependable gaming capabilities even in the current year. Overall, you’ll enjoy impressive single-core gaming performance and reliable multitasking abilities for various workloads.

Best AMD CPU Under $300: AMD Ryzen 5 7600

AMD Ryzen 5 7600 (Non-X)

Cores

6

Threads

12

Base speed

4.7GHz

Boost speed

5.3GHz

Cache

L3 32MB

Socket

AM5

Pros
  • 6 Cores and 12 Threads
  • 65 Watt TDP
  • Comes with a Cooler
Cons
  • No Support for DDR4
  • Lower Core Count compared to Intel counterparts

Switching over to Team Red, the AMD Ryzen 5 7600 emerges as a top contender for mid-range and entry-level builds. However, you’ll need a new AM5 motherboard to set things up. This CPU boasts 6 cores capable of achieving an impressive 5.1 GHz on stock speeds. Additionally, its 38MB cache excels at handling demanding tasks. The best part? It comes at an incredibly affordable price. When seeking a CPU under $300, the Ryzen 5 7600 pairs well and offers optimal performance.

Best Budget CPU Under $300: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

Speed

3.7GHz/ 4.6GHz

Core (Threads)

6/12

Socket

AM4

TDP

65W

Pros
  • Solid Gaming Performance
  • Impressive Single-core Capability
  • Offers Decent Overclocking Potential
Cons
  • No Integrated Graphics
  • Incompatible with AM5 sockets

If you’re focused on saving money without sacrificing performance, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is an excellent choice. It delivers satisfactory gaming experiences at 1080p and 1440p when matched with a CPU budget under $300. While slight adjustments might be needed, this CPU remains a great value. With 6 cores and 12 threads based on the Zen 3 architecture, it strikes a balance between gaming and multitasking capabilities.

In Summary

That concludes our selection of the best CPUs under $300. If you’re aiming for budget-friendly gaming and require a capable CPU to kickstart your FPS sessions, our highlighted choices are a surefire way to go. They offer remarkable single-core performance without breaking the bank.

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