Having a higher GHz CPU gives you a lot of benefits in tasks that depend upon per-core performance. If you need faster gaming or content creation performance, then you’ll have to opt for a processor that comes with a higher clock speed.
There are two different ways you can achieve higher clock speed on your processor. The first one is overclocking your CPU, which is a little bit technical if you have never done this before. Another way is to buy a processor that already comes with a higher clock speed on each core out of the box.
But a higher clock speed on your CPU comes at a fairly high price. Not only your processor will consume more power but it’ll also need more voltage. Lastly, you’ll have to take care of the massive heat produced by your CPU.
And this is the sole reason you see the latest generation multi-core CPUs with a slight increase in clock speed compared to previous generations. CPU manufacturers are reducing the die size to fit more cores on a CPU rather than increasing the clock speed.
If the manufacturer kept on increasing the clock speed, then this would result in more heat and crystal minimization. And currently, there are no technologies available to handle the massive heat produced by nano-meter scale chips.
In a NutshellFaster clock speed will help you finish any fast within a matter fo seconds whereas more cores will help a CPU perform multiple tasks at the same time without putting them in queue
Still, AMD and Intel have managed to produce processors with faster clock speeds while staying under thermal limits. The latest generation Alder Lake chips from Intel have shown significant gains in clock speed as compared to previous generations.
AMD for a very long time has been introducing CPUs that pack more than 3.0 GHz clock speed on each core. Even in the second generation AMD CPUs, we have come across CPUs that offered better clock speed at an affordable price tag as compared to competitor chips from Intel.
List of the Best Highest GHz Processors for Gaming & Content Creation Workload
The aim is to find a CPU that consumes less power and delivers more performance at base clock speed. As you know that if a CPU consumes more heat, it will generate a lot of heat. And to handle this heat, you’ll need to invest in a better cooling solution.
So, we’ve rounded off the faster clock speed processors that consume less power and deliver impressive performance in gaming and other CPU-intensive tasks.
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X – The Overall Best CPU with Higher Base Clock Speed
Base Clock Speed: 3.7 GHz | Boost Clock Speed: 4.8 GHz | Cores/Threads: 12/24 | L3 Cache: 64MB | TDP: 105W | Motherboard Socket: AM4
Reasons to Buy:
The Ryzen 9 5900X is an absolute monster of a CPU in terms of single-core and multi-core performance. It’s built on AMD’s latest ZEN 3 Core architecture to grind any complex gaming or content creation workloads that you’ll throw on it.
The best part is, that you don’t need a new motherboard to install this beast. It can easily be installed on your older AM4 motherboard and overclocked up to 4.8 GHz without any issue.
No doubt, the Ryzen 9 5900X is the fastest CPU we ever had in our lab. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that, this is the “Intel Core i9 killer” as it beats Intel’s mainstream Core i9-10900K in single and multi-core performance.
The best way to test the per-core performance of a CPU is by throwing the most demanding AAA titles. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X manages to deliver higher FPS in many famous titles like Assassins Creed Odyssey, Total War: Three Kingdoms, and Red Dead Redemption II.
This chip beats out the Intel Core i9-10900K by 8 to 10% in all of these games. The Ryzen 9 3900X, which is an older generation CPU, manages to even the score with Ryzen 9 5900X in these titles only.
You can expect the Ryzen 9 5900X to jump over 80fps in most games at 1080p high settings. We’ve tested this CPU with Nvidia RTX 3060 12GB graphics card.
However, using a better graphics card like RTX 3080 or RX 6700 XT, you can expect the frame rates to climb over 100 FPS in almost every game at 1080p settings.
If we talk about the pure CPU workloads, then the Ryzen 9 5900X manages to score 1650 in single-core workload and a whooping 13959 score in multi-core workload in a test carried out by Geekbench.
Overall, this CPU shows 11% better performance than Core i9-10900K in single and multi-core workloads. In Cinebench R20 which is a creative workload benchmarking software, the Ryzen 9 5900X easily beats out previous generation chips and its competitor Intel i9-10900K by a 31% score.
Concluding the whole story, we see the Ryzen 9 5900 showing excellent single-core performance as compared to Intel’s mainstream chip.
This also breaks down the phrase that Intel will remain the best manufacturer for producing CPUs with higher single-core performance. The ZEN 3 architecture fuels up the performance of the Ryzen 9 5th generation to claim the single-core performance from the Intel.
The only thing to worry about is the higher price of this chip, it’s expensive to get if you are limited on budget. However, paying more than $350 for a CPU promises higher performance on your desk.
Also, AMD misses out on their tradition to include a CPU cooler with Ryzen 9 5900X. As it’s a 12-core CPU with 105W TDP, you’ll need a good CPU cooler to cool this beast down.
Apart from the higher price and no stock cooler, there’s nothing that pulls you out from not buying this CPU. It’s a powerful CPU with higher clock speed and surplus cores to tackle the toughest workload.
Intel Core i9-10900K – Best Value CPU with Boost Clock Speed 5.3 GHz
Base Clock Speed: 3.7 GHz | Boost Clock Speed: 5.3 GHz | Cores/Threads: 10/20 | L3 Cache: 20MB | TDP: 125W | Motherboard Socket: LGA 1200
Reasons to Buy:
The Core i9-10900K is a worthy upgrade over the Core i9-9900K. This CPU offers decent single-core performance due to its higher clock speed. Also, the thermal performance of this chip is way better than the previous generation Intel CPUs.
On top of all, the Intel Core i9 10900K gives you a free hand to boost your clock speed up to 5.3 GHz.
With Core i9-10900K, Intel has tried its best to get its lost legacy from AMD, to deliver more single-core performance. And it truly did what it was made to do, it threw out AMD Ryzen 9 3900X in the gaming battle.
The Core i9 10900K sets back into the market with 10 cores and 12 threads and a base clock speed of 3.7 GHz. As compared to Core i9 9900K, this CPU has two extra cores to deal with complex multitasking workloads.
And this is one of those chips where it looks like that Intel has taken things seriously, and planted its new CPUs with higher clock speeds. Also, there’s enough headroom for overclocking this CPU up to 5.3 GHz.
But squeezing that extra amount of power would need you to have a powerful cooling solution, nothing less than a high-end CPU liquid cooler.
Moving down to the performance, it’s been years that this CPU is in the market, but it still fails to outperform many 3rd Generation Ryzen 9 chips in multitasking workloads.
However, the Core i9 10900K still manages to deliver 5% extra single-core performance as compared to many Ryzen 9 3000 chips and its sibling the Core i9 9900K.
But in GeekBench 5’s test, the Core i9 10900K falls behind the Ryzen 9 3900X. However, in the same benchmark test, it beats out the Ryzen 9 3900X in single-core workloads.
So there’s no doubt that the Core i9 10900K would show up as a great gaming GPU, especially if you are more into 4K gaming. But for that, you’ll need to pair this CPU with a powerful 4K graphics card like RTX 3080 or RTX 3090.
This CPU averages at 75 FPS at 1080p ultra-high settings in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey as compared to 85 FPS of Ryzen 9 5900X. However, the average frame rates are well above the recommended 60fps range, so there wasn’t much difference.
In Total War: Three Kingdoms, the Core i9 10900K evens the score with Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 9 3900X at 1080p ultra settings.
Rendering tests carried out in Cinebench R20, the Core i9 10900K scored 6,191 as compared to the Core i9 9900K score of 4,812.
In traditional workloads, where Intel always has been the King, the Core i9 10900K holds the flag at the top position.
Overall, the Core i9 10900K remains the best choice for someone looking to buy a processor with a higher clock speed just to get an advantage in tasks where single-core performance matters.
Just like the Ryzen 9 5900X, this CPU also comes with a higher price tag. But it’s still 40% cheaper than its competitor, the Ryzen 9 3900X.
Also, you’ll need to buy a new motherboard with LGA 1200 socket if you don’t have one. Moreover, the Core i9 10900K doesn’t support the PCIe 4.0 interface, so if that’s your taste, then stay out of it.
As long as games are taking advantage of the higher clock speed per core, chips like Core i9 10900K would deliver the most bang for the buck. Especially, if you really don’t do anything other than play games on your computer.
Intel Core i7-12700KF – Most Reliable Alder Lake CPU with High Clock Speed
Base Clock Speed: 3.8 GHz | Boost Clock Speed: 5.0 GHz | Cores/Threads: 8/16 | L3 Cache: 16MB | TDP: 125W | Motherboard Socket: LGA 1700
Reasons to Buy:
The “F” version of Core i7-12700K packs a bit more clock speed as compared to the “non-F” version. Also, the Core i7-12700KF is slightly cheaper in price as compared to the standard model. It’s a great CPU for dealing with coding, rendering, and any other CPU-intensive tasks.
With the arrival of Alder Lake chips, Intel has managed to sweep away many high-end CPUs from AMD. The Core i7-12700KF is one of those CPUs that holds some serious processing power for gamers and content creators.
Right out of the box, you get your hands on a 3.8 GHz base clock speed on all of the eight cores. Now, this number is slightly higher than the previous chips we’ve reviewed here in this guide.
A fraction of the difference in clock speed won’t help in performance gain, but it is still worth the money you invest in buying this processor.
In Cinebench R23 benchmark tests, the Core i7-12700KF performs 20% faster than the AMD’s Ryzen 5800X chip. This percentage hits almost 40% in Cinebench R23 when compared with its sibling, the Core i7-11700K.
The Core i7-12700KF takes it even further in the Cinebench R23 and beats our top CPU, the Ryzen 9 5900X by showing 11% more performance. However, in the same benchmark results, it gets beaten by the Core i7-12900K due to fewer E-cores.
Let’s talk about some gaming benchmarks carried out with the Core i7-12700KF CPU. In gaming, the i7-12700KF is 10% faster than the AMD’s 5800X.
In racing games like F1 2021, the Core i7-12700KF managed to score 200+ FPS at 1080p ultra-high settings when paired with a powerful GPU like the AMD RX 6900 XT. And if you have a powerful CPU like RX 6900 XT, then you can easily play at 4K 60fps without any issue.
Borderlands 3 managed to put more stress on the 11700KF CPU despite having a powerful GPU like RX 6900 XT. At 1080p settings, we were only able to hit around 150 FPS on average.
We also tested our favourite game title, Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1080p ultra-high settings with the same graphics card. To our surprise, the Core i7-12700KF kept well with the RX 6900 XT and managed to deliver 150+ FPS.
There were many other games that we tested with this CPU and RX 6900 XT graphics card like Hitman 3, Age of Empire 4, and CyberPunk 2077 at 1080p settings. Every one of these games was easily playable with over 100+ FPS at 1080p and even 1440p settings.
In terms of power consumption, despite having a 125W TDP, this Alder Lake CPU is power-efficient as compared to other chips in the market.
We managed to compare the power consumption of i7-12700KF with the 5900X, and it consumed 24% more power just to deliver that extra 11% performance.
All in all, the Core i7-12700KF is the most powerful Alder Lake CPU for high-end AAA gaming, 4K video editing in After Effects or Premiere Pro, animation creation, and music production. It destroys some of the high-end chips from AMD like Ryzen 7 5800X and Ryzen 9 5900X in all-core workloads.
Not only this CPU delivers solid multi-core performance but it also has a stronghold in squeezing extra watts in single-core workloads. In gaming, it delivers a strong performance as compared to its AMD counterparts.
The only thing that might worry you is buying a new LGA 1700 motherboard if you don’t have one. Although this CPU supports DDR5 memory, there’s no need in buying one to put a hole in your wallet at the moment. Even a high-speed DDR4 memory would do the job here.
It’s a power-efficient and powerful gaming CPU for a decent price tag. At least going with this CPU won’t put you in any doubt for the coming few years.
AMD Ryzen 5 5500 – A Cheaper CPU with Higher Clock Frequency
Base Clock Speed: 3.6 GHz | Boost Clock Speed: 4.2 GHz | Cores/Threads: 6/12 | L3 Cache: 16MB | TDP: 65W | Motherboard Socket: AM4
Reasons to Buy:
The AMD Ryzen 5 5500 consumes as low as 65W power at full load despite having a 3.6 GHz clock speed on each core. It’s the cheapest CPU in the Ryzen 5 5000 line-up that has all that it takes to be a decent gaming and content creation processor.
If you are upgrading from an older CPU like the Ryzen 5 3600 to a Ryzen 5 5500, then you’ll surely experience the gains in your FPS while playing AAA titles.
And again thanks to the Zen 3 architecture that has enabled this chip to deliver the last watts out for tremendous gaming performance. This mid-range CPU is packed with 6 cores and 12 threads to crush any CPU-intensive workload.
Also, just like many other AMD chips, the Ryzen 5 5500 comes with a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz. Also, there’s a narrow gap between the base and boost clock speed (4.2 GHz) on this CPU. So there’s limited room for hitting higher clock speeds if you are a fan of overclocking.
But being a Zen 3-based CPU, the Ryzen 5 5500 still manages to handle any gaming or content creation workload without any hassle.
Running the Assetto Corsa Competizione benchmarks, the Ryzen 5 5500 was beaten by the old Ryzen 5 3600 CPU. Maybe this is due to the fact that the Ryzen 5 3600 has double the amount of L3 cache that the Ryzen 5 5500 has.
Also, the ACC benchmarking software takes more advantage of the L3 cache of the CPU, this might be the reason that Ryzen 5 5500 lost the battle to the Ryzen 5 3600 in ACC.
However, Cinebench R20 manages to score 15% better than the Ryzen 5 3600 in single-core and multi-core performance.
When it comes to gaming, the Ryzen 5 5500 performs somewhat similar to the Ryzen 5 3600. At 1080p settings, the Ryzen 5 5500 manages to hit 100+ frame rates in Forza Horizon 5 if paired with RX 6600 XT.
To know how Ryzen 5 5500 reacts to the most-demanding game title in the market, we tested Dying Light 2 at 1080p settings. With the same graphics card (RX 6600 XT), the Ryzen 5 5500 was unable to deliver more than 55fps.
We know that Dying Light 2 is a GPU-intensive game and demands a powerful graphics card. It’s not the CPU that’s limiting the frame rates here. A six-core CPU like the Ryzen 5 5500 would be enough to fuel the CPU-intensive side of any AAA title these days.
The Ryzen 5 5500 is a budget-oriented CPU and you cannot expect it to perform like other high-end CPUs in the market. You can play many famous titles at 1080p if you pair a decent graphics card with this CPU.
To be honest, there isn’t much difference in the performance of the Ryzen 5 5500 and the Ryzen 5 3600 in gaming. But the Ryzen 5 5500 is a cheaper Zen 3-based CPU, which means it will deliver better performance in gaming and content creation tasks as compared to older generation chips.
Verdict – Which One to Go With
Finally, these were some of the best highest GHz CPUs on our list. If we had to pick from one of these then it would definitely be the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X. Not only does this CPU delivers the best value in gaming, but it also tailors all type of workload that is CPU intensive. Also, the higher clock frequency and 12 cores on Ryzen 9 5900X make it a future-proof deal for gamers and content creators.
How does Higher Clock Speed Affect Gaming Performance?
Most games in the market are programmed to execute a single core of a CPU. So if your CPU comes with a higher clock speed, it’ll execute the gaming tasks more quickly.
If you are playing Esports games like league of legends or CS: GO, then you are highly dependent on the higher clock speed of the CPU.
Game developers are programming codes to execute multiple cores of a CPU, but each core needs to pack higher frequency to get things done quickly.
For example, AAA games depend upon the single and multi-core performance of your CPU as there are a lot of processes happening in the game at the same time. In this case, you’ll need a processor that has more cores as well as a higher clock frequency on each core.
Higher clock speed also contributes to higher frame rates in gaming. Although you’ll need a reliable graphics card, your CPU needs to be faster to keep up with the pace of your GPU.
How You Can Increase the Clock Speed of Your CPU?
There’s only one way to increase the clock speed of your CPU, and that’s by overclocking it. To do this, you’ll need a motherboard that’s capable of overclocking your CPU.
Moreover, you’ll need a good CPU cooler to take care of the extra heat that your CPU will generate at a higher clock speed.
Not every motherboard is meant for overclocking, so you’ll have to be careful in choosing the mobo for increasing the performance of your CPU.
List of Games that are CPU Speed Sensitive
Here are some games that can get more benefit out of a higher clock speed processor.
- CS: GO
- Rainbow Six Siege
- League of Legends
- Dota 2
- GTA V
Hi, my name is Masab, a die-hard PC enthusiast and founder of this blog. I love to share my prior experience with computers on this blog. Ask me anything about building a PC or troubleshooting PC errors, I’m here to help.