Best CPU under $400 2024: Perfect for high-end gaming

Our top picks for CPUs under $400

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PC component part-picking can get pretty expensive. If you’re looking for a solid mid-high-range contender but still need to keep yourself within budget constraints, then you can count on us with our top CPU picks for under 400 dollars. So, let’s take a look at our top CPU picks for under 400 dollars that are surely worth the salt. 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 $400: Intel Core i7-13700KF

Intel Core i7-13700KF (Latest Gen) Gaming Desktop Processor 16 cores

CPU Model

Intel Core i7

CPU Speed

5.4 GHz

CPU Socket

LGA 1700

  • Clever combination of high-performance P-cores and energy-efficient E-cores
  • Impressive multitasking capability with 16 cores and 24 threads
  • High base and boost clock speeds enhance productivity
  • Competitive gaming performance
  • Supports DDR5 and PCIe Gen 5 for improved connectivity
  • Compatible with both 600 and 700 series motherboards, expanding options
  • Generates substantial heat under heavy workloads
  • High power consumption at maximum boost (200W)
  • Lacks integrated graphics, requiring a dedicated GPU
  • Cooling solutions need careful consideration
  • Power efficiency demands attention for prolonged usage

The Intel Core i7-13700KF takes the lead in the sub-$400 price range as an absolute powerhouse processor. Belonging to Intel’s Raptor Lake series, it ingeniously combines high-performance P-cores and energy-efficient E-cores within a single chip. Boasting a remarkable 16 cores and 24 threads, this CPU guarantees exceptional multitasking prowess. With a base frequency clocked at 3.8 GHz, it achieves exhilarating boosts up to 5.4 GHz for P-cores and 4.2 GHz for E-cores.

Impressively, the i7-13700KF doesn’t just excel—it dominates—in the realms of gaming and single-core applications, even rivaling its AMD counterpart, the Ryzen 7 7700X. Its prowess extends further, challenging pricier CPUs like the Ryzen 9 7900X in video editing and rendering tasks.

Best AMD CPU under $400: AMD Ryzen 7700

AMD Ryzen 7 7700X





Base speed


Boost speed






  • Incredible Single-Core Performance
  • Solid Overclocking Headroom
  • Good Price-Performance Ratio
  • High Temps

If you’re after a powerful but not super expensive processor, AMD has you covered, as always with the AMD Ryzen 7 7700, and it’s part of the Ryzen 7000 series. Even though it’s in the middle range, it’s not holding back on performance. This CPU has 8 cores and 16 threads, which is like having lots of hands to handle different jobs at the same time. Plus, it’s built with the Zen 4 architecture and comes with a big 32MB memory cache. This makes it really good at handling multitasking without slowing down. Its base clock starts at 3.8 GHz, but it can zoom all the way up to 5.3 GHz when you need that extra kick.

Now, if you’re wondering about pushing it even harder with overclocking, you can totally do that. Just remember, you’ll need a good cooling system to keep things chill. In simple words, the AMD Ryzen 7 7700 is a strong processor that doesn’t cost a fortune. Just keep it cool, and it’ll handle your tasks like a champ.

AMD Runner-UP: Ryzen 5 5600X

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X


3.7GHz/ 4.6GHz

Core (Threads)






  • Decent single-core performance
  • Beats previous-gen flagships
  • Bundled cooler

Let’s be real here. The Ryzen 5 5600X is almost three years old now, and in today’s fast-changing tech world, three years can make something seem outdated. But guess what? The Ryzen 5 5600X is still holding its own pretty well. It’s standing up strong against many new budget gaming CPUs that have popped up recently. The Ryzen 5 5600X is like AMD’s MVP for gaming on a budget. This chip is a real powerhouse when it comes to mid-range gaming without breaking the bank.

Talking specs, the Ryzen 5 5600X is all about balance, with six cores and twelve threads created using AMD’s advanced 7 nm Zen 3 tech. Honestly, this is hands down the best budget CPU you can grab right now. The only thing it doesn’t have is integrated graphics, but hey, if you’re into gaming, chances are you’ve already got a mid-range GPU ready to roll.

In Summary

If you’ve only got 400 dollars to spare on a CPU, you can pretty much count on our top CPU picks to get the most performance out of your PC–whether it’s AAA gaming or CPU-intensive creative workflows.

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