Best CPU for 1440p 144Hz Gaming [2023]

ultimate guide to CPU meant for 1440p 144Hz gameplay
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For 1440 144Hz gaming, you’ll have to go for a powerful CPU. Stepping up from 1080p to 1440p resolution would add extra dollars to your shopping cart. Otherwise, it would be harder to break the 60fps barrier if you’ll just depend upon your GPU and higher refresh rate monitor.

For most games, having extra cores don’t play a big role in improving your gameplay. So, a CPU with more than six or eight cores would be an overkill for AAA gaming.

Also, few game developers have just begun to execute x86 multi-core architecture, whereas many still rely on the IPC or Instructions per Clock method to decide the performance of a game.

Our Top Pick

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

The Ryzen 5 5600X delivers excellent 1440p performance when paired with the right graphics card. It’s a 6-core CPU clocked at 3.7 GHz to conquer the toughest 1440p gaming workloads.

Therefore, to hit the 1440p 144Hz milestone in gaming, you’ll have to depend upon the single-core performance of a CPU. And this guide, we’ll put focus on the processors that offer the most value in 1440p gaming if you pair them with a compatible GPU.

If you have a good GPU and a monitor that natively supports a 144Hz refresh rate, then the CPUs in this guide would easily let you jump from 60fps to 144fps right away. Every chip in this guide is tested by throwing games on it or via a CPU benchmarking suite.

Within this guide, you’ll find reasons to buy these CPUs along with benchmark scores in different game titles. This would give you a rough idea about which CPU to go with depending on your budget and needs.

List of the Best CPUs for 1440p 144Hz Gameplay

For now, here are the top options to go with:

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X – The Overall Awesome 1440p 144Hz Gaming Chip

Cores: 6 | Threads: 12 | Base Clock Speed: 3.7 GHz | Boost Clock Speed: 4.6 GHz | Socket Compatibility: AM4 | TDP: 65W

Reasons to Buy:

  • Great performance in gaming workloads
  • Best value for the money
  • Overclocking
best cpu for 1440p gaming with 144hz monitor

The Ryzen 5 5600X is one the most affordable gaming chips in AMD’s Zen 3 architecture. It’s not as powerful as the Ryzen 7 5800X or Ryzen 9 5900X, but it still gives you a nice bump in gaming performance at higher resolutions.

It’s limited to six cores and twelve threads to play around with, however, this is sufficient to chew any complex gaming, 3D rendering, and video editing workloads.

Ryzen 5 5600X perfectly fits into the equation where you need a CPU that gives you the most bang in gaming for a lower price. It trade blows with its Intel counterparts in 1440p 144z gaming workloads.

All of the six cores on Ryzen 5 5600X are clocked at 3.7 GHz and there’s decent headroom to overclock it up to 4.6 GHz. The 5600X is an unlocked chip, so you can easily overclock it at higher clock speeds using an aftermarket beefy CPU cooler.

Also, it has a lower TDP of 65W and it can go as far as 76W if you overclock it. But even without overclocking, you’ll get better performance with Ryzen 5 5600X at 1440p resolution in many titles, if not all.

In 1440p gaming, the Ryzen 5 5600X offers the same level of performance as you’ll get with  Intel’s Core i7 10700K. Although the latter packs eight cores on it, it looks like many games still don’t need more than six cores even at 1440p resolution.

In games like Assassin’s Creeds: Odyssey, the Ryzen 5 5600X was able to hit 71fps at 1440p Ultra-high setting when paired with RTX 2080 Ti.

Also in the F1 2019 racing simulator, the Ryzen 5 5600X scored an average of 215fps at 1440p ultra-high resolution. Now, these scores are close enough to Intel’s Core i9 10900K which was able to hit 219fps with the same graphics card.

In 1080p and 1440p gaming tests, the Ryzen 5 5600X beats Intel’s Core i5 10600K by delivering 20% better performance. Even if you step up to the Ryzen 7 5800X, which is roughly $100 more expensive than the Ryzen 5 5600X, you won’t get any extra gain in performance.

So, the Ryzen 5 5600X remains our mid-range gaming champ among the chips that are similar or overpriced. And it holds the throne for being the most affordable 1440p gaming CPU from AMD so far.

Until the Zen 4 storm breaks through the market, this is the most decent mid-range chip to get this time of the year.

Here are the benchmark results that we got while testing the Ryzen 5 5600X in 1440p gaming.

GameAverage frame rates at 1440p Ultra
Far Cry 5149 fps
Hitman 3109 fps
Project Cars172 fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider154 fps
Microsoft Flight Simulator 202048 fps
Benchmark scores of Ryzen 5 5600X in gaming

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X – A Bit More Performance Punch in 1440p Gaming

Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Base Clock Speed: 3.8 GHz | Boost Clock Speed: 4.7 GHz | Socket Compatibility: AM4 | TDP: 105W

Reasons to Buy:

  • Stronger single & multi-threaded performance
  • Powerful in gaming
  • Overclockable
  • PCIe Gen 4 support
stronger 1440p 144Hz CPU

The Ryzen 7 5800X offers the same level of gaming performance that you can expect from the Ryzen 5 5600X but for a slightly higher price tag. It has two extra cores and four extra threads as compared to the Ryzen 5 5600X, but these factors don’t count toward more fps.

It’s backed by the Zen 3 architecture which gives you up to a 19% increase in IPC (Instructions per Cycle) performance as compared to its previous generation chips. Also, the extra cores and threads make it a workhorse when it comes to pulling complex productivity workloads.

In reality, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X looks like a step up from the first CPU on our list, the Ryzen 5 5600X. It’s packed with slightly more base and boost clock speed than what we had on the Ryzen 5 5600X.

For some extra cores, threads, and clock speed, the Ryzen 7 5800X is roughly $100 to $120 more expensive than the Ryzen 5 5600X. Also, there’s no stock cooler included with this chip as AMD has limited this option to 65W TDP chips only.

So, you are on your own to choose a reliable cooling solution for Ryzen 7 5800X chip. Definitely, this would add more $$ to your shopping cart at the end of the day.

And throwing more cash on the table for two extra cores might limit some budget-oriented gamers from buying this chip.

On another hand, the Ryzen 9 5900X, a 12-core and 24 threads CPU costs just $100 more than the Ryzen 7 5800X. And that is a more favorable option to future-proof your build for gaming and productivity workloads.

But apart from its cons, the Ryzen 7 5800X brings pure performance to your gaming desk. It’s readily made for gamers and content creators at the same time.

It consumes more power out of your motherboard board, sitting at 105W TDP as compared to the Ryzen 5 5600X’s 65W. It’s a higher TDP chip, so you’ll need a 280mm AIO solution to cool down this processor.

The Ryzen 7 5800X and Ryzen 5 5600X tie in our 1440p gaming benchmarks. There isn’t enough difference to tell which one wins over the other. The only way you can conclude is to find out which one is cheaper, and that definitely is the Ryzen 5 5600X.

Good to Know

As long as the games are limited to consuming 4 to 6 cores, you’ll not notice a great difference in average frame rates if you go for a CPU with a higher core count. You’ll only see the performance gain in titles that are designed to execute the available cores of a CPU.

In the longer run, the Ryzen 7 5800X beats some of the most compelling chips in the Intel Core i9 line-up, especially the Core i9-10900K. Given that the Core i9-10900K is more expensive than the Ryzen 7 5800X, it is suppressed by the Zen 3’s 5800X in a matter of seconds. And if you pair this CPU with RTX 4090 graphics card, then you can play any AAA game above 100+ FPS at 4K settings.

Again, there isn’t much performance difference to show when you compare the Ryzen 7 5800 with its own Zen 3 siblings, but it completely wipes out its Intel counterparts in 1440p gaming.

This CPU can easily let you play any game at 1440p resolution if you pair it with a powerful GPU like RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 3080, or RTX 3090.

If your intention is to game and create content at a higher resolution, then the Ryzen 7 5800X is the right bet for you. Again, if you are limited to gaming, then Ryzen 5 5600X is a much more affordable option than this chip.

Here are the benchmark results that we got with Ryzen 7 5800X at 1440p settings on a 144Hz display screen.

GameAverage frame rates at 1440p Ultra
Far Cry 5149.86 fps
Hitman 3114 fps
Red Dead Redemptions 2148 fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider153 fps
Microsoft Flight Simulator 202052 fps
Benchmark scores of Ryzen 7 5800X in gaming

Intel Core i5-12600K – Best Alder Lake CPU to Achieve 1440p 144Hz Milestone

Cores: 10 (6P + 4E) | Threads: 16 | Base Clock Speed: 3.7 GHz | Boost Clock Speed: 4.9 GHz | Socket Compatibility: LGA 1700 | TDP: 125W

Reasons to Buy:

  • Bang for your buck
  • Tremendous gaming performance
  • DDR5 memory support
  • Overclockable
Alder Lake cpu for maximizing gameplay to 1440p 144hz combo

The Alder Lake’s Core i5-12600K enters the market with a competitive $277 price tag and rolls down some of the top-performing chips in AMD’s Ryzen 5000 line-up.

The Core i5-12600K combines the faster Performance cores with powerful Efficiency cores to deliver unbeatable performance in gaming and productivity workloads.

Intel has released the Core i5-12600K along with its cheaper graphics-less “KF” model. The six “P” cores on this chip are hyper-threaded, whereas the four “E” cores are single-threaded. As a result, there are a total of 10 cores and 16 threads on this CPU to chew complex workloads.

Good to Know

“P” Cores or Performance Cores are responsible for carrying out heavy workloads. Whereas the “E” cores or Efficiency Cores take care of background tasks that are less important. With this new hybrid CPU architecuture, Intel has claimed the lost crown back from AMD.

This hybrid Alder Lake chip works easily with the old and new versions of the Windows operating system. However, to unlock its magical powers, we recommend you have Windows 11 installed on your PC.

The Alder Lake line-up brings you a lot of performance tweaks, one of which is the added support for DDR5 memory. But DDR5 kits and motherboards are expensive to get this time of the year.

So, we recommend you stick with DDR4-compatible motherboards as these won’t be slowing down your performance and you’ll save some money at the same time.

But if you are eager to run DDR5 modules with Alder Lake chips, then you’ll have to sacrifice for a premium motherboard, and this would break your bank account. At least spending your money on DDR5-compatible parts would make your build future-proof for upcoming years.

When it comes to 1440p ultra settings gameplay, there’s a close tie between the Core i5-12600K, AMD Ryzen 5 5600X, and AMD Ryzen 7 5800X in Windows 10. But if you are using Windows 11, then you’ll get a 5% to 8% extra kick in performance with Core i5-12600K.

Once game developers will start executing P/E cores more efficiently, this narrow performance gap between the Alder Lake and Zen 3 would become bigger.

During our research, we came across Tom’s Hardware Core i5 12600K review guide which shows that Hitman 3 utilizes E-cores for carrying out less important tasks. This makes Hitman 3 smoother on Intel Alder Lake chips as compared to Ryzen 5000 Series chips.

Overall, the Intel Core i5-12600K brings 20% more performance in 1440p 144Hz gaming as compared to the Ryzen 5 5600X and Ryzen 7 5800X. It’s slightly more expensive than the Ryzen 5 5600X, but way cheaper than the Ryzen 7 5800X. Also, if you need more performance out of this mid-range Alder Lake chip, then you can use a reliable CPU cooler to squeeze more juice out of it.

Here are the benchmark results of Core i5-12600K in 1440p gaming

GameAverage frame rates at 1440p Ultra
Far Cry 5158 fps
Hitman 3187 fps
Red Dead Redemptions 2151 fps
Watch Dogs Legion123 fps
Microsoft Flight Simulator 202198 fps
Benchmark scores of Intel Core i5 12600K in gaming

Intel Core i5-10600K – Best Chip for Breaking 60fps Barrier

Cores: 6 | Threads: 12 | Base Clock Speed: 4.1 GHz | Boost Clock Speed: 4.8 GHz | Socket Compatibility: LGA 1200 | TDP: 125W

Reasons to Buy:

  • Affordable price tag
  • Decent gaming performance
  • Excellent single and multi-thread performance
  • Overclockable
affordabe CPU to play at 1440p settings

Although Intel’s Alder Lake chips are going one on one with their AMD Zen 3 counterparts, there’s still plenty of computing packed in Intel’s Comet Lake line-up. For gamers who want to equip their rig with an affordable yet powerful CPU, the Core i5-10600K has plenty to offer.

It offers the right value for the money as one would expect from a six-core CPU clocked at 4.1 GHz out of the box. For just a $202 price tag, you get a CPU that delivers superb performance in 1080p and 1440p resolution.

The Core i5-10600K shows great improvement over the previous generation Intel chips when it comes to more clock speed, threads, and low power consumption. On top, its overclocking capability makes it a great choice for enthusiast gamers.

It’s a CPU that’s natively made for someone looking to squeeze more processing juice without investing in beefy aftermarket coolers. It’s slightly more expensive than AMD’s favorite Ryzen 3600 and its own sibling, the Core i5-10500K.

But to give you a better idea of how the Core i5-10600K performs in 1440p gaming, we thought of comparing it with the Core i5-12600K model. A much more in-depth comparison is also carried out by the CPU-Monkey, be sure to check that out as well.

One thing is clear, the latest Alder Lake 12600K would bring more power to our gaming desk. However, it will let us know if it’s still worth going after the Comet Lake model when we have a much-advanced chip with a narrow price margin.

In nearly every game that we tested, the Comet Lake Core i5-10600K fell behind the Alder Lake’s 12600K at 1440p ultra settings. But there’s one more factor that still compels us to go with the Core i5-10600K instead of the Alder Lake version, and that’s the socket compatibility.

Intel’s 12th-generation chips are compatible with LGA 1700 motherboards which are expensive at the moment. Even if you get your hands on a cheaper LGA 1700-compatible processor, you’ll have to throw more money into buying a motherboard.

Core i5-10600K requires an older LGA 1200 socket motherboard, which is still cheaper as compared to an LGA 1700 socket motherboard.

But as our intention is to look for a processor that can let us play any game at 1440p settings, the Core i5-10600K remains a great choice as far as you are an Intel fan. Pairing this chip with an upper-mid-range graphics card would enable you to push frame rates on a 144Hz display.

Here are the benchmarks that we scored in gaming with Intel Core i5-10600K.

GameAverage frame rates at 1440p Ultra
Cyberpunk 207775 fps
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla66 fps
Red Dead Redemptions 291 fps
Watch Dogs Legion70 fps
Horizon Zero Dawn116 fps
Benchmark scores of Core i5-10600K in gaming


Finally, these were some of the best CPUs for 1440p 144Hz gaming. If we had to pick out from one of these, then it would be the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X. It’s affordable and brings serious 1440p gaming performance when paired with high-end graphics cards in the market.


What Do You Need to Run 1440p 144Hz?

Apart from CPU, there are other factors that play a crucial role in boosting your performance in 1440p gaming.

  • GPU: Even if you have a powerful CPU, you cannot achieve the 1440p gaming milestone unless you have a graphics card that is capable of hitting those higher resolutions. For the purpose of this guide, we have used the RTX 2080 Ti. But you can also opt for any GPU that has at least 8GB of VRAM on it. Keep in mind that higher resolution eats more VRAM from your graphics card. So, make sure you have enough video memory on your GPU.
  • RAM: There’s no specific amount to describe at this point. As the amount of RAM won’t have much impact on the resolution that you are going with. However, most games these days require you to have at least 8GB of RAM on your computer. Our recommendation would be to go with at least 16GB of RAM on your machine if you want smoother gameplay at 1440p resolution.
  • Display: 1440p gaming is still achievable on any type of monitor, but for the 144Hz goal, you’ll have to opt for a higher refresh rate monitor. If you want to break the 60fps barrier, then you’ll have to go with a 144Hz display screen along with a reliable CPU and GPU. You’ll need a 1440p monitor that natively supports the 144Hz or higher refresh rate.

Can RTX 3060 do 1440p 144Hz?

Yes, the RTX 3060 comes with enough VRAM and video ports to deliver a 1440p 144Hz gaming experience. You can easily achieve higher frame rates with RTX 3060 in 1440p gaming if you pair it with a powerful CPU like Core i5-12600K or Ryzen 5 5600X.

What is good fps for 1440p?

60fps is the most recommended figure when it comes to games at any resolution. But for 1440p resolution, it’s better to have more than 80fps to have smoother visuals.

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