Categories: Desktop

Top 10 CPU Under $500 That Can Be Awesome For Your Desktop PC In 2021


The CPU is the brain of any computer. If you are a gamer or streamer or even a content creator, who is looking to build a gaming rig that will serve your cause for at least the next 5 years, and without spending too much, you should consider the top 10 CPU under $500 mentioned below.

Among modern games, some are laboriously dependent on the graphics card and some require quick calculations needed to be carried out by using the processor more. This is going to be a prime factor in deciding which of the top 10 CPU under $500 you are choosing.

Our picks for the top 10 CPU under $500 vary in prices but doesn’t exceed $500. Here a list of them. You can also check our top 10 graphics card list.

Processors List

1. AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is a very good option under the top 10 CPU under $500 for gamers who are not bothered about pricing but are focused on the performance. It can handle multi-threaded applications with ease. The 3900X has a base clock of 3.8 GHz which can be boosted to 4.6 GHz and an L3 cache of 64MB.


The 3900X can run almost all top-level games, such as Apex Legends, PUBG, Fortnite, Minecraft, GTA V. It has raised the bar of high-range consumer-level processors, for solely gaming purposes.


  • Series: Ryzen 9
  • Cores: 12 cores
  • Threads: 24 Threads
  • Clock Speed (Frequency): 3.8 GHz
  • Weights: 0.1 lb (45.36g)
  • Best Price: $499

2. Intel Core i7-10700K

While the 3900X offers tremendous performance, it may be too costly for some users who don’t want to excel in the top 10 CPU under $500. That is where the Intel Core i7-10700K steps in at a lower cost.

The i7-10700K ranks amongst the top 10 CPU under $500 for gamers, with its base clock locked at 3.8 GHz. It is unlocked, meaning that it can be boosted up to an extent depending on the gaming need.

The i7-10700K performs better in single-core performance and produces better benchmark scores than the 3900X. If you are a user looking for gaming as well as other multi-threaded tasks, this might be the right choice for you among the top 10 CPU to buy.


  • Cores: 8 cores
  • Threads: 16 Threads
  • Clock Speed (Frequency): 3.8 GHz
  • Weights: 1.41 lb (639.57g)
  • Best Price: $399

3. AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT

Just like our previous entries in the top 10 CPU category, the AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT also consists of 8-cores and 16 threads. Seating in the middle of 3000 gen Ryzen XT trio processors, this PC CPU is undoubtedly a powerful chip. But at the same time, it doesn’t do justice to the price point. Performing below the mark in gaming and content creation for this price.

But there is no denying the fact that it is AMD’s fastest processor for the conventional desktops, which boost clock can hit the 4.7 GHz mark in maximum boost and hence forces us to include it in the list of top 10 CPU under $500.This CPU can regularly produce 100+ FPS in most of the games, like, GTA V, Red Dead Redemption 2, Overwatch, and League of Legends.


  • Cores: 8 cores
  • Threads: 16 Threads
  • Clock Speed (Frequency): 3.9 GHz
  • Weights: 0.26 lb (119.07g)
  • Best Price: $399

4. Intel Core i9-10850K

I9-10850K is a pure beast when it comes to fast gaming performance. It has identical performance features to the fastest gaming CPU, Core i9-10900K, but available at a lower price, giving avid gamers a clear choice.

Boosted by 10-core and 20 threads this processor is unlocked and can reach up to 5.2 GHz. The i9-10850K has the Intel-400 series motherboards support and also supports Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, making it a worthy inclusion in our top 10 CPU under $500 list.


  • Series: I9-10850K
  • Cores: 10 cores
  • Threads: 20 Threads
  • Clock Speed (Frequency): 3.6 GHz
  • Weights: 0.18 lb (79.95g)
  • Best Price: $399.99

5. Intel Core i7-9700K

If you are looking to play Apex Legends, Fortnite, PUBG, GTA V, Rainbow Six Siege, League of Legends, and Minecraft, this top 10 CPU under $500 lists’ entry-level CPU may be the right one for you. Compatible with Intel-300 series motherboards, this CPU has a base clock of 3.6 GHz, that can be boosted up to 4.90 GHz.

The i7-9700K has integrated graphics, Intel UHD Graphics 360. Although it doesn’t come with a cooling device, it is supported by Intel Optane Memory and is a budget pick. At the price tag of below $400, this entry in the top 10 CPU under $500, can offer you good performance without spending a fortune.


  • Cores: 8 cores
  • Threads: 8 Threads
  • Clock Speed (Frequency): 3.6 GHz
  • Weights: 0.1 lb (45.36g)
  • Best Price: $269

6. AMD Ryzen 7 3800X

Among the top 10 CPU under $500 list, the AMD Ryzen 7 3800X is the globe’s most advanced process in PC gaming. The Ryzen 7 3800X is a mid r ange option and is the real deal, cranking up 105W in TDP dial up on its 8-core 16-thread chipset, producing results similar to its equivalent to the 65W Ryzen 7 3700X.


This chip was the first reveal of the AMD Ryzen 3000 series and gave the Core i7-9700K a run for its money.

The 3800X is an amazing blend of single and multi-threaded performance as stated by tom hardware. It also supports PCIe 4.0 interface on x570 motherboards and has a bundled cooler at its disposal.


  • Series: AMD Ryzen 7
  • Cores: 8 cores
  • Threads: 16 Threads
  • Clock Speed (Frequency): 3.9 GHz
  • Weights: 1.41 lb (639.57g)
  • Best Price: $339.99

7. AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

Like our previous entry in the top 10 CPU under $500, the Ryzen 5 3600X is also an advanced processor meant for gaming pc. It can produce super-fast 100+ frame rates while playing the most popular titles.

Its 6-core and 12-threads are bundled with AMD’s powerful Wraith Spire Cooler. The 3600X is unlocked for overclocking which can be boosted up to an amazing 4.4 GHz. It has 35MB of Game Cache and supports DDR 3200. This processor is built for the new-advanced AM4 sockets that can support PCIe 4.0 on x570 motherboards.


  • Series: AMD Ryzen 5
  • Cores: 6 cores
  • Threads: 12 Threads
  • Clock Speed (Frequency): 3.8 GHz
  • Weights: 1.12 lb (508.02g)
  • Best Price: $379

8. AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2920X

The Ryzen Threadpiper 2920X is such a processor that will allow you to comfortably play games, stream your work, and create unlimited wonders with the use of its 12-core and 24-processing threads.

This beast a proud member of the top 10 CPU under $500 list, sports a 3.5 GHz base clock that can be boosted up to an incredible 4.3 GHz. It has a huge 38MB cache. Due to the presence of Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO), you don’t have to overclock the unlocked manually, the technology does it automatically.

It has 180W TDP and supports Quad-Channel DDR4 and 64 PCIe lanes for uninterrupted traffic.


  • Cores: 12 cores
  • Threads: 24 Threads
  • Clock Speed (Frequency): 3.5 GHz
  • Weights: 0.92 (416.75g)
  • Best Price: $486

9. Intel Xeon E5-2690 v3

The Intel Xeon E5-2690 v3 is our penultimate entry into the list of top 10 CPU under $500. It has a 12-core and 24-performance thread. It can run almost all top-level games including PUBG, Apex Legends, Minecraft, GTA V, etc.

The processor runs 2.6 GHz clock speed that can be boosted up to 3.5 GHz. At 135W, it stretches the power budget but delivers top-quality performance.


  • Cores: 12 cores
  • Threads: 24 Threads
  • Clock Speed (Frequency): 2.6 GHz
  • Weights: 2 lb (907.18g)
  • Best Price: $499

10. AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

For users who are unwilling to spend too much but are looking for i7-10900K level performance, they might opt for the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X. It offers amazing multi-threaded performance.

The 3700X will provide an excellent alternative slotted in the $300 price section that provides solid in-game performance. The processor is a good choice among the top 10 CPU under $500.


  • Series: AMD Ryzen 7
  • Cores: 8 cores
  • Threads: 16 Threads
  • Clock Speed (Frequency): 3.6 GHz
  • Weights: 1.41 lb (639.57g)
  • Best Price: $324.95

Bonus Pick

11. AMD Ryzen 5 3600

This entry-level can also be a viable option for gamers. This one is the best value option for gamers presently.


  • Series: AMD Ryzen 5
  • Cores: 6 cores
  • Threads: 12 Threads
  • Clock Speed (Frequency): 3.6 GHz
  • Best Price: $199.99

Things To Consider While Buying A CPU


If you are looking to buy a top 10 CPU under $500, you must head to their website. They offer various lucrative combos that are budget-friendly.


Like Newegg, pcpartpicker also provide good deals on top 10 CPU under $500. You may want to have a look at their website and check out if they are offering any discount on your desired product.

Solid State Drives:

They are the modern-gen storage device that quickens up the read and write speed enabling fast inter-connection between your memory and storage.

Best budget CPU for gaming 2020:

You can play as many games as you like by simply building a PC that can handle the heavy graphics and processes. In 2020, various anticipated games are set to be released, and building the best budget CPU for gaming in 2020 which can play almost all the titles are listed above for your convenience.

Power supply:

More calculations mean more power-hungry, resulting in more power usage. We have enlisted the power supply for each CPU we have listed.

Price point:

Various expensive and cheaper CPUs are available in the market. So, which product meets your budget is an important factor while building your best CPU under 500 2020.

Desktop pc:

You can play games either by building a gaming PC or by buying a laptop that is already powerful. If you are an avid gamer, we suggest you go for a desktop PC.

Intel core:

Indicates a processor family by Intel. It consists of a large number of processors available for both PC and laptops.

Intel processor:

Buyers can be confused about what processor brand to choose. Intel or AMD. Having ruled the CPU-sale for almost several years, Intel faces stiff completion from AMD. But Intel continues to develop high-level processors that are easily among the top 10 CPU under $500.

Core i5:

This CPU by Intel is available in dual-core or quad-core and ranges from 1.90 GHz to 3.80 GHz. The ‘i’ represents one of the four-processor types in the Intel Core Family. You can use it for both laptops and desktops.

Technical Things To Watch Out For

16 threads:

16 thread allows a CPU to concurrently execute 16 programs.

Frame rates:

It is the speed at which images appear on a screen while playing games. Higher the number better the display.

Multi threaded:

Multi threads allow the CPU to execute several tasks on a single process at a time.

Clock speeds:

It is a rate at which a CPU can complete a processing-cycle.

Integrated graphics:

It a graphical unit that is part of the motherboard.

  • What is the best gaming PC under $500?
    • There isn’t any pre-build. You have to choose the right CPU, GPU, and memory to assemble one.
  • What’s the best gaming PC I can build for under $600?
    • You can choose, Ryzen 3 1200 3.1 GHz Processors, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GB graphics card, and 8GB DDR4 RAM.
  • Is the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 worth buying?
    • Yes. Definitely. You can go check our listed specs above.
  • What is the best gaming computer I can build for $900?
    • With greater budget flexibility, you can opt for any top 10 CPU under $500, choose a heavy graphics card, memory and you are ready to go.
  • Who needs an AMD Ryzen 3900X?
    • If you are a content creator, then it will mostly suit your needs.
  • Which is the best gaming laptop under $500?
    • You have three options. 1. Acer Aspire 5, 2. ASUS Vivobook 15, 3. Acer Nitro 5.
  • What is the average price for a gaming PC?
    • Building a gaming PC will cost you anywhere between $500 and $1000.
  • What are the best laptops to buy under 500$?
    • There are various options, such as Acer Aspire 5, Acr Swift 3, Microsoft Surface GO 2, Lenovo IdeaPad Duet, Lenovo IdeaPad 330.
  • Which is the best gaming laptop under $500 in 2019?
    • HP Business Laptop and ASUS X555DA represent a good value-for-money option in this section.
  • What’s the most powerful CPU on the market right now?
    • The Intel i9-9900K is the quickest gaming CPU and the AMD Ryzen 2990WX is the quickest in throughput.


While our list covers almost all level of CPU that is under the list of top 10 CPU under $500, it solely depends on your budget and requirement which CPU you are going to need. Some of the given options are an absolute beast when it comes to gaming.

Some provide excellent value for money. To sum it up all, if you are looking to build a PC that will cater to your needs for years to come, you have the afore-mentioned top 10 CPU under $500 that are flexible with your budget to choose from.

Sources: AMD Official Website, Desktop CPUs, 23rd December 2020.

Kathrina Davis

Editor In Chief Katharina Started young in the field of Internet Marketing & Digital Graphics, along with her college studies in 2010. Her hobby is keeping updated with latest tech news around the globe.

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