12 Best Budget CPU to Buy in 2024

Looking for a budget CPU for your PC build? You have come to the right place. We have included several options for the best budget CPU you can buy in 2024. This list includes affordable processors from both Intel and AMD, so you will easily find suitable options to upgrade your PC build. Once you buy a CPU from this list, make sure to follow our guide for step-by-step instructions on how to install an AMD or Intel CPU in your PC build.

We will be looking at the best budget CPUs under the $250 price range in this list. We include several CPUs under $150, and even cheaper CPUs under $50 is also part of this list. Ensure that you confirm compatibility with your motherboard by checking the CPU socket, and do this before you decide to buy a CPU. Note that for many CPUs, you might need to update the BIOS as well. With that out of the way, let us check out all the options:

1. AMD Ryzen 5 7600 – Best Budget AMD CPU

Ryzen 5 7600 - best budget AMD cpu
  • Manufacturing Process: 5nm
  • Core (C) / Thread (T) Count: 6C / 12T
  • Base / Turbo Frequency: 3.80GHz / 5.10GHz
  • TDP (Base): 65W
  • Integrated GPU: Yes
  • CPU Socket: AM5
  • Stock Cooler Included: Yes

The Ryzen 5 7600 is the cheapest AM5 CPU available presently. I’m quite eager to see AMD releasing more affordable CPUs for the AM5 Socket, as many have been waiting. The Ryzen 5 7600 is an excellent budget processor and I would consider it the best budget Ryzen CPU you can buy right now. You get 6 cores and 12 threads, and it’s definitely fast enough for any task you throw at it, whether it be for content creation or gaming.

The performance will be as per modern standards. The multi-core performance is on-par or sometimes stronger than older Ryzen 7 chips (due to each core being stronger), so don’t take the Ryzen 5 branding lightly.

AMD has also added an integrated GPU on the new Ryzen 7000 CPUs, which is a welcome addition. You also get a stock cooler, which you don’t get with the 7600X. This saves additional money, although the overall entry cost for a new Ryzen 7000 PC build is slightly higher. In my opinion, this is the best CPU under $250.

ProsCons
Incredibly fast multi-core & single-core performanceOnly compatible with DDR5 Motherboards (AM5 Socket)
Most affordable AM5 CPU
Promised upgrade path to Ryzen 8000

Buy from Amazon ($219.99)

2. Intel Core i5-13400 – Best Budget Intel CPU

best budget Intel cpu
  • Manufacturing Process: 10nm
  • Core (C) / Thread (T) Count: 10C / 16T, 6 P-Cores + 4 E-Cores
  • Base/Turbo Frequency: 2.50GHz / 4.60GHz (P-Cores)
  • TDP (Base): 65W
  • CPU Socket: LGA 1700
  • Integrated GPU: Yes (i5-13400), No (i5-13400F)
  • Stock Cooler Included: Yes

The Core i5-13400 or i5-13400F are excellent choices for a budget CPU. Due to Intel’s limited upgradability potential, which is usually less than AMD, this CPU sits a notch below its Ryzen competitor. But performance-wise, these are both one of the best processors you can buy in the $200 price range.

The 13th Gen Core i5 CPU is on-par with the Ryzen 5 7600. It will handle all tasks seamlessly, whether it be for content creation or gaming, and the CPU will definitely deliver impressive performance. Also, being a new-gen processor with overall faster cores, it’s better than some older i7s (counting from 11th gen). So you should definitely consider this i5 variant over those options.

This is also the best budget gaming CPU from Intel and comes with many Raptor Lake features such as Intel Thread Director and the hybrid P-Core and E-Core design. If you’re going to use this CPU in a PC that will have a dedicated GPU, then you can buy the i5-13400F, which will save you some money. Otherwise, buy the i5-13400 with an integrated GPU.

ProsCons
Incredibly fast multi-core & single-core performanceUpgrade path includes 13th/12th Gen only
Compatible with both DDR4 & DDR5 RAM motherboards (LGA 1700 Socket)

Buy from Amazon ($208.99)

3. AMD Ryzen 7 5700X/ 5800X – Best Multi-Core Budget CPUs

12 Best Budget CPU to Buy in 2024
  • Manufacturing Process: 7nm
  • Core (C) / Thread (T) Count: 8C / 16T
  • Base/Turbo Frequency:
    • 3.40GHz / 4.60 GHz for 5700X
    • 3.80GHz / 4.70GHz for 5800X
  • TDP (Base): 105W
  • CPU Socket: AM4
  • Integrated GPU: No
  • Stock Cooler Included: No

The Ryzen 7 5800X and 5700X offer you the most amount of cores you can get in the budget price range. To put it simply, you get 8-cores and 16-threads with both of these processors, and they offer a ton of performance at quite an attractive price. Comparing the launch MSRP of $449 (5800X), people can now buy the same CPU for close to third the price.

By the way, since this processor doesn’t come with a stock cooler, check out the best CPU coolers you can buy in our linked here. The Ryzen 5 5700X is the best CPU under $200 with its awesome core count.

This is one of the best budget CPU options if your preference is a processor that would benefit workloads such as content creation since the higher multi-core performance will definitely come under use. Gaming is also great on these CPUs. Also, since this CPU is supported on the AM4 socket, if you have an older AMD motherboard such as B450 or B350 you can easily upgrade to this processor as long as the VRMs on your motherboard are sufficient for it.

ProsCons
Strong multi-core & single-core performance, with high core countPart of the older generation hence limited upgradability potential
Compatible with a wide range of AM4 motherboards

Buy from Amazon: Ryzen 7 5800X ($159.00)
Buy from Amazon: Ryzen 7 5700X ($129.00)

4. AMD Ryzen 5 5600/ 5600X – Best Value AMD CPU

12 Best Budget CPU to Buy in 2024
  • Manufacturing Process: 7nm
  • Core (C) / Thread (T) Count: 6C / 12T
  • Base/Turbo Frequency:
    • 3.70GHz / 4.60 GHz (5600X)
    • 3.50 GHz / 4.40 GHz (5600)
  • TDP (Base): 65W
  • CPU Socket: AM4
  • Integrated GPU: No
  • Stock Cooler Included: No

The Ryzen 5 5600X (and the 5600) are definitely the best value for money budget CPUs you can buy. They both feature a 6-core and 12-threaded design, which is quite well-balanced. These have also gotten a significant price drop from their original MSRP of $299 (5600X), and hence, offer excellent value. One disadvantage of this CPU is that it doesn’t have integrated graphics, which adds additional cost if you didn’t intend on getting a discrete graphics card.

If you were looking for a cheap AM4 AMD CPU, this might not be the cheapest (look at the #10 option for a super affordable one), but it’s worth paying the premium to get the Zen 3 cores. These CPUs offer enough performance for a variety of tasks, whether it be for creative applications or gaming use cases. It’s clearly the best cheap CPU for gaming.

ProsCons
Strong single-core performance, decent at multi-corePart of the older generation hence limited upgradability potential
Compatible with a wide range of AM4 motherboards

Buy from Amazon: Ryzen 5 5600X ($149.99)
Buy from Amazon: Ryzen 5 5600 ($110.00)

5. Intel Core i5 12400- Best Value Intel CPU

12 Best Budget CPU to Buy in 2024
  • Manufacturing Process: 10nm
  • Core (C) / Thread (T) Count: 6C / 12 T
  • Base/Turbo Frequency: 2.50GHz / 4.40GHz
  • TDP (Base): 65W
  • CPU Socket: LGA 1700
  • Integrated GPU: Yes (i5-12400), No (i5-12400F)
  • Stock Cooler Included: Yes

The Core i5-12400 & 12400F are essentially direct competitors to AMD’s Ryzen 5 CPUs we were discussing in the last pick. You get 6 cores and 12 threads here as well, and the architecture definitely packs enough punch in every core making this CPU a reliable option to consider buying in 2024. If you prefer Team Blue, this is the best value budget CPU you can get from Intel. You can easily consider this CPU for your mid-range PC and get decent performance in the Adobe creative suite, or in gaming.

To be honest, I say mid-range because of the price and the fact that better processors have come out. But this CPU is strong even in 2024, and a well-balanced option to buy for many users. Before you buy it though, ensure you select the i5-12400 if you are not going to have a discrete GPU. But if you will have a dedicated video card on your PC, you can consider the i5-12400F instead.

ProsCons
Strong multi-core & single-core performanceUpgrade path includes 13th/12th Gen only
Compatible with DDR4 & DDR5 RAM motherboards

Buy from Amazon: Core i5-12400 ($174.99)
Buy from Amazon: Core i5-12400F ($149.99)

6. Intel Core i3 13100 – Cheapest Raptor Lake CPU

12 Best Budget CPU to Buy in 2024
  • Manufacturing Process: 10nm
  • Core (C) / Thread (T) Count: 4C / 8T
  • Base/Turbo Frequency: 3.40 GHz/ 4.50GHz
  • TDP (Base): 60W
  • CPU Socket: LGA 1700
  • Integrated GPU: Yes (i3-13100), No (i3-13100F)
  • Stock Cooler Included: Yes

The Core i3-13100 & 13100F are the cheapest Intel CPUs you can buy that are part of the Raptor Lake lineup. Now that we are in the i3 territory, multi-core performance is not that substantial – but you could still get away with using it for some light content creation workloads. For gaming, performance is still quite satisfactory as they don’t really take advantage of multi-cores.

So, for many people, the performance won’t be too far behind when compared to an i5. You get 4 cores and 8 threads, and at some point in the past i3s did not feature these many cores. It’s definitely awesome to see that you can get a quad-core CPU that is hyper-threaded as well in the form of an i3. I remember my first desktop CPU which was an i3-6100, and it only had 2 cores and 4 threads.

ProsCons
Strong single-core performanceUpgrade path includes 13th/12th Gen only
Compatible with DDR4 & DDR5 RAM motherboards

Buy from Amazon: Core i3-13100 ($139.99)
Buy from Amazon: Core i3-13100F ($110.99)

7. Ryzen 7 5700G & Ryzen 5 5600G

12 Best Budget CPU to Buy in 2024
  • Manufacturing Process: 7nm
  • Core (C) / Thread (T) Count:
    • 8C / 16T (5700G)
    • 6C / 12T (5600G)
  • Base/Turbo Frequency:
    • 3.80 GHz / 4.60 GHz (5700G)
    • 3.90 GHz / 4.40 GHz (5600G)
  • TDP (Base): 65W
  • CPU Socket: AM4
  • Integrated GPU: Yes (7 cores in 5600G, 8 cores in 5700G)
  • Stock Cooler Included: Yes

The Ryzen 7 5700G & Ryzen 5 5600G are APUs – these are specialized processors that also focus on offering you a decent bit of graphical horsepower in addition to the CPU power. You can read all about CPU vs APU here. Depending on whether you get a Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7, you will get a hexa-core or octa-core CPU, respectively. Performance for multi-core heavy workloads such as content creation will benefit from the 5700G, but get the 5600G if that’s not a major priority.

The onboard Radeon graphics are also slightly better on the Ryzen 7 APU, and both of them are overall capable performers for mid-range PCs. Buy it for its special use-case: you won’t need dedicated graphics as this has in-built Radeon graphics which perform than most other iGPUs of other best budget CPU options.

ProsCons
Decent multi-core & single-core performance, on-board GPU better than most iGPUsPart of the older generation hence limited upgradability potential
Compatible with a wide range of AM4 motherboardsLower overall performance compared to non-APU proccessors

Buy from Amazon: Ryzen 5 5600G ($121.80)
Buy from Amazon: Ryzen 7 5700G ($169.29)

8. Intel Core i3-12100 – Best Affordable Modern CPU

12 Best Budget CPU to Buy in 2024
  • Manufacturing Process: 10nm
  • Core (C) / Thread (T) Count: 4C / 8T
  • Base/Turbo Frequency: 3.30 GHz / 4.30 GHz
  • TDP (Base): 65W
  • CPU Socket: LGA 1700
  • Integrated GPU: Yes (i3-12100), No (i3-13100F)
  • Stock Cooler Included: Yes

Intel’s Core i3-12100 & i3-12100F are both excellent choices for a cheap CPU in 2024. These are best affordable CPUs you can buy to slot into the LGA 1700 socket and are suitable for a budget to mid-range PC. This processor is quite strong for general tasks & also gaming at 1080p – it actually won’t bottleneck much with a GPU like the RTX 3050. Light use in content creation workloads works fine on this CPU.

Being Core i3s, they don’t offer a lot of multi-core performance under the hood but it’s still quite decent for the price you pay — you get 4 cores and 8 threads, and this was not common in the i3 CPUs at some point in the past. But presently, Intel has been offering 4-cores in their i3 models for multiple generations.

ProsCons
Strong single-core performanceUpgrade path includes 13th/12th Gen only
Compatible with DDR4 & DDR5 RAM motherboards

Buy from Amazon: Core i3-12100 ($114.99)
Buy from Amazon: Core i3-12100F ($89.99)

9. AMD Ryzen 5 5500 – Best CPU Under $100

12 Best Budget CPU to Buy in 2024
  • Manufacturing Process: 10nm
  • Core (C) / Thread (T) Count: 6C / 12T, 6 P-Cores + 4 E-Cores
  • Base/Turbo Frequency: 3.60GHz / 4.20GHz
  • TDP (Base): 65W
  • CPU Socket: AM4
  • Integrated GPU: No
  • Stock Cooler Included: Yes

AMD’s Ryzen 5500 is in an awkward position because while it’s part of the 5000-series lineup the performance is more in line with the 3000-series (like the Ryzen 5 3600). It’s also marginally slower than the Intel Core i3 option listed above. It’s still a decent CPU to buy for the price; powered by 6 cores and 12 threads.

Ryzen 5500 will perform decently with games or content creation software, but expect nothing special. Moreover, being an AM4 CPU, you can update the BIOS of an older generation motherboard such as B350/B450 and use this processor on it.

The only drawback — you also don’t get integrated graphics with this CPU. So if you are looking for a budget CPU that will also save you the cost of adding a GPU, keep reading below. Still, as I said it’s a decent CPU to buy for the price and one of the best budget CPUs under $100. There’s also the Ryzen 5 4600G available under $100, but it’s better to spend the extra few bucks and buy the 5600G we have suggested in the list above.

ProsCons
Decent multi-core & single-core performance for the pricePart of the older generation hence limited upgradability potential
Compatible with a wide range of AM4 motherboardsPerformance is below i3 12th Gen but still decent

Buy from Amazon ($89.99)

10. AMD Ryzen 3 4100 – Cheapest AM4 CPU

12 Best Budget CPU to Buy in 2024
  • Manufacturing Process: 10nm
  • Core (C) / Thread (T) Count: 4C / 8T
  • Base/Turbo Frequency: 3.80GHz / 4.00GHz
  • TDP (Base): 65W
  • CPU Socket: AM4
  • Integrated GPU: No
  • Stock Cooler Included: Yes

The Ryzen 3 4100 is the cheapest AM4 CPU you can buy in 2024. Technically, the most affordable one would be the Ryzen 3 3100 or Athlon 3000G CPU, but there aren’t sufficient stocks for these variants – not much has been revealed as to why. You get 4 cores and 8 threads with this CPU, and it’s quite decent for general tasks as well as light gaming.

It’s a good entry-level processor and will deliver satisfying performance for the price. Pairing this with a decent low-cost dedicated GPU (no integrated graphics onboard) will make for an excellent budget PCs. Although, it is important to note that performance is marginally worse compared to a 12th-Gen Core i3. Still, it’s one of the best budget CPU once we factor in the price.

ProsCons
Decent performance for the pricePart of the older generation hence limited upgradability potential
Compatible with a wide range of AM4 motherboards

Buy from Amazon: ($64.99)

11. Intel Pentium Gold G7400 – Cheapest LGA 1700 CPU

12 Best Budget CPU to Buy in 2024
  • Manufacturing Process: 10nm
  • Core (C) / Thread (T) Count: 2C / 4T
  • Base Frequency: 3.70 GHz (no turbo boost)
  • TDP (Base): 46W
  • CPU Socket: LGA 1700
  • Integrated GPU: Yes
  • Stock Cooler Included: Yes

The Pentium Gold G7400 is an incredibly cheap CPU from Intel you can buy for an entry-level PC, mostly suited for general use tasks such as web browsing, light gaming with older titles, and multimedia consumption. Under the hood, it is a dual-core CPU with four threads and to be honest that’s quite abysmal to have in 2024 considering even the Core i3s have quad-cores.

Still, you get a reliable CPU for the price, that consumes very little power and has an integrated GPU too. It’s absolutely fine to get this CPU if your use-cases don’t involve anything specific such as editing or gaming, but if you wanted to do so it can be done on a basic level. I would advise against getting an Intel Celeron 12th Gen CPU, since the Pentium is one class better and costs extremely similar.

ProsCons
Decent for entry-level PCs, intended for basic tasksOnly a dual core CPU
Low cost, cheapest LGA 1700 CPU to buy
Good upgrade path to 12th/13th Gen CPUs

Buy from BestBuy: ($89.99)

12. Intel Celeron G5905 & G5900 – Cheapest CPU Overall

Intel Celeron - best budget cpu
  • Manufacturing Process: 14nm
  • Core (C) / Thread (T) Count: 2C/2T
  • Base Frequency: 3.50GHz (G5905), 3.40GHz (G5900) [no turbo boost]
  • TDP (Base): 58W
  • CPU Socket: LGA 1200
  • Integrated GPU: Yes
  • Stock Cooler Included: Yes

The Intel Celeron G5905 & G5900 processors are one of the cheapest CPUs you can buy, with a somewhat modern architecture (as close as it can get). While the 12th Gen Celeron processors also exist, they are available at an unreasonable price currently and if that changes, we’ll update this list accordingly. This is a 10th-Gen CPU, so you’ll need to get an older motherboard for it.

You get a dual-core CPU that isn’t hyper-threaded either, so it’s just these two cores. Obviously, these options are the bottom of the barrel when it comes to CPU performance but it works quite well for tasks such as web browsing, multimedia consumption, and extremely light games. So, if you want to build a basic PC, this budget CPU is quite suitable and often sells for about $30.

ProsCons
Decent for entry-level PCs, intended for basic tasksOnly a dual core CPU, not hyperthreaded either
One of the cheapest CPUsBelongs to Intel 10th generation family, which is somewhat old in 2024

Buy from Amazon: Celeron G5905 ($49.99)
Buy from Amazon: Celeron G5900 ($39.99)

Frequently Asked Questions

Which CPU is best for everyday use?

An Intel Core i3 or Ryzen APU (such as the 5600G) are the best everyday-use CPUs. On a budget, Intel Pentium Gold is quite decent too. The overall performance and features support on new processors is much better, so it’s not very advisable to go for older i7 or i5 CPUs for everyday use.

Is Ryzen 5 better than Intel i5?

AMD Ryzen 5 & Intel Core i5 are on-par with each other, and both offer similar performance levels. In order to judge which processor is better, the user must look at the multi-core & single-core benchmarks of the CPUs.

Which CPU is slowest to fastest?

The Intel Celeron & AMD Athlon CPUs are the slowest, and Intel’s Core i9 & AMD Ryzen 9 are the fastest CPUs.

What is the best budget CPU for gaming in 2024?

Intel’s Core i5 and AMD’s Ryzen 5 CPUs are the best budget gaming CPUs available – try to get the latest models, and you won’t have any bottleneck issues with GPUs up to the RTX 4070 Ti.

Which is the best CPU in low price?

The best CPU available at a low price for mixed usage (gaming, everyday tasks) would be the Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 models. But if you want the cheapest CPU, look for the Intel Celeron & Pentium processors.

Which is the cheapest processor with 6 cores?

The Ryzen 5 4500 and 5500 CPUs are currently one of the cheapest processors with 6 cores, but the cores themselves are not very strong. A highly recommended modern CPU called the Ryzen 5 7600 is based on the latest architecture and costs under $250.

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