As a PC gamer, the CPU (along with the motherboard and RAM) used to be the last thing on my upgrade list. For most PC games, the CPU is still rarely the bottleneck. On average, I used to upgrade the GPU 3 times before doing a single CPU upgrade.
But that has changed with DCS in general and VR specifically. VR will bottleneck both your CPU and GPU. After quite a bit of testing and tinkering getting DCS to run optimally, I have shortlisted the following CPUs. But first, lets look at what DCS does to your CPU.
DCS is not like those other games
The vast majority of games out there are bound by your GPU (graphics card). The higher the resolution, the truer this becomes. But this is not the case for DCS. DCS still uses a very outdated engine that does things very differently. What this means is that CPU choice for DCS, especially in VR, matters a lot.
Even if Windows Task Manager doesn’t show your CPU to be bottle-necked, it still likely is. Know that Task Manager averages the CPU utilisation over the course of the tick time. So if you had 100% usage for the first half of the second and 0% for the second half, Task Manager will average it to 50% and show that. You can easily verify this using some advanced windows tools.
Check the following screenshot:
You are looking at CPU utilization over the course of 0.01 seconds (horizontal axis). As you can clearly see, the CPU is reaching 100% and bottlenecking for microseconds. But Task Manager will show the average and the average in this graph would probably be closer to 30% or something like that.
DCS still needs max single core performance. It does utilize the other cores for some very minor tasks, but the majority of stuff still happens on the main core.
The fact is that most game still use just one core heavily. Even if you see all cores being utilized, that is because of the same averaging effect mentioned earlier. Core1 gets used 100% for the first half of the second and then the task moves to Core2 (windows does this to allow cores to cool down). However, on Task Manager it will seem like Core1 was used 50% and Core2 was also used 50% because it will just average it!
Which are the Best CPUs for DCS?
Based on all of this testing, the conclusion is that you still need the fastest possible single-core CPU for DCS (and most other games as well).
Based on all of these facts, here are my top recommendations:
1. Best CPU for DCS (Premium)
- The world's fastest gaming desktop processor and first gaming processor with 3D stacking technology
- 8 Cores and 16 processing threads with AMD 3D V-Cache technology
- The processor features Socket LGA-1700 socket for installation on the PCB
- 30 MB of L3 cache memory provides excellent hit rate in short access time enabling improved system...
The 12900K is the best consumer grade CPU for DCS right now. It over-clocks to 5.0 GHz easy-peasy and even goes beyond if you push it or get lucky with the silicon lottery. That means you get the best single core performance and that is what you need. It is indeed expensive and it gets hot, which means you’ll need a 240mm or 360mm radiator to cool it down. I have used the Corsair Hydro for over 8 years now and it just keeps on kicking. This is the latest version of the Corsair Hydro) . If you are looking for the best, this is it.
AMD’s Ryzens are actually better in many applciaitons but for such a core limited game like DCS, Intel is still king. However, you are paying a lot of extra dough for that last 2-3% of extra performance. The Ryzens have an advantage in terms of price-performance and they are also more upgrade-friendly. Which essentially means you don’t have to buy a new motherboard as often with AMD as you have to with Intel. The bottomline is you won’t go wrong with a top end AMD chip either.
2. Best CPU for DCS (Mid-range)
- Intel® Core® i5 Deca-core (10 Core) 3.70 GHz processor offers hyper-threading architecture that...
- The Socket LGA-1700 socket allows processor to be placed on the PCB without soldering
- AMD's fastest 6 core processor for mainstream desktop, with 12 processing threads
- Can deliver elite 100 plus FPS performance in the world's most popular games
The 12600K hits the sweet spot in terms of price and performance. This is the default best option for most users. This is the chip that would be my final recommendation to a friend who was building a DCS rig. This chip has been one of the most popular gaming processors and with good reason. It gives you performance that is only slightly lower than the top dogs, but it does that at less than half the price. You can overclock to 5.1 Ghz (maybe more or less depending on silicon lottery) without worrying about the tremendous heat that the i9 chips generate.
AMD also has a contender in this range and it offers even better price performance than the Intel. AMD has shaken up the CPU market quite a bit and in the mid range they actually outperform Intel these days. The benefit is not just in the price performance of the chip itself but also in motherboard longevity and saving on electricity costs. That might not seem like much, but if it adds up over time.
3. Best CPU for DCS (Entry Level)
- Intel Core i3-12100F Desktop Processor 4 (4P-0E) Cores Up to 4.3 GHz Turbo Frequency LGA1700 600...
- Can deliver fast 100 plus FPS performance in the world's most popular games, discrete graphics card...
- 6 Cores and 12 processing threads, bundled with the AMD Wraith Stealth cooler
The older Ryzens still offer the best performance per dollar. These options are the minimum I would urge you to consider for DCS if you intend to play in VR. You can of course go lower but there will be stuttering as the CPU gets bottlenecked quite a bit.
These budget chips can go up to 4.4 or 4.5 GHz and some push it a bit higher than that. But they have other limitations like cache that makes them slower than the other top end chips.
Intel also has a few offerings at this price point. The 12100F goes up to 4.3 GHz but some push it a tiny bit higher than that. It’s also a viable option and the decision boils down to your budget.
About the Author
Gary has been "hard landing" into runways and driving his Mitsubishi Evo off of cliffs since the early 2000s. These days, he spends most of his precious hobby time with his favorite flight, racing and space simulations in VR.He also has an Engineering Degree in Computer Science which helps a lot with his obsession with optimizing PC hardware like CPUs, Graphics Cards, VR Headsets, HOTAS, Racing Wheels etc. for high end sims.
Best overall: Intel Core i5-13600K
That was true of the 12th Gen Intel Core i5 and now its 13th Gen replacement is here it remains the same. For most people, especially gamers, the Intel Core i5-13600K is Intel's absolute best all-around CPU.
The Intel Core i9-13900K has taken the title of the fastest gaming processor on the planet, wresting it away from AMD's Ryzen 7 5800X3D and the Ryzen 7000 family.What is the best CPU for streaming 2022? ›
The AMD Ryzen 9 7900X takes the top spot as the best CPU for streaming.What is a good budget CPU for gaming 2022? ›
AMD Athlon 3000G
Intel's new Core i3-12100 is also an excellent choice, as is its AMD alternative, the Ryzen 5 3600. Both of these processors can also double up as great gaming chips for an entry-level gaming PC in 2022.
|1||Intel Core i9-12900KS Processor DirectX 12.00||$739|
|2||Intel Core i9-13900KF Processor DirectX 12.00||n/a|
|3||Intel Core i9-13900K Processor DirectX 12.00||n/a|
|4||Intel Core i7-13700K Processor DirectX 12.00||n/a|
The fastest processor you can buy right now is the Intel Core i9-12900K. It comes with 24 cores and high clock speeds, allowing it to rip through games and intense productivity applications. AMD has its Ryzen 9 7950X, which is also very fast.What is the strongest CPU ever? ›
Which processor is fastest? If we're talking about the fastest CPU in the world, that would be AMD's monster 64-core/128-thread Ryzen Threadripper Pro 5995WX, but that's a High-End Desktop (HEDT) processor.Is an i7 better than an i9? ›
i7 vs i9 – How do they compare? Speaking generally, i9s are simply faster processors than are i7s – more cores, higher clock, more cache. The big differentiator is when it comes to Hyperthreading, the feature that creates two processing threads for every physical core.What CPU has the fastest GHz? ›
A 64-Core TR 3990X Is Faster Than A 16-Core 5950X
AMD's 64-core, with 128 threads, Ryzen ThreadRipper 3990X desktop PC processor is considered the world's fastest CPU in 2021. The CPU features a 2.9 GHz base clock and a 4.3 GHz max boost clock that facilitates multitasking and fast load times.
Streaming can become rather CPU intensive without the inclusion of GPU. Therefore, most streamers prefer hardware encoding with GPU to CPU-intensive software encoding.
While going through the market for processors that are ideal for gaming, the Core-i5 and the Core-i7 stand out. The Core-i5 is better priced, but the Core-i7 gives better performance while multi-tasking. If you are a streamer, then perhaps investing a bit more money and buying the Core-i7 makes more sense.Does CPU affect streaming quality? ›
A good multi-core CPU is more important to a streamer than a regular gamer. With so many high-intensity programs like the game, the streaming software and even the video and audio encoding running simultaneously, a streamer needs a robust chip that can handle this large volume of processing concurrently.Is Intel or AMD better for gaming in 2022? ›
AMD has the overall lead with the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, but that chip comes with a string of caveats that you should be aware of if you plan on the upgrade — the cache doesn't accelerate all games, and it also doesn't impact performance in applications.
For a gaming laptop, 16GB RAM is considered a good starting point. This amount of RAM is sufficient for most people and can run several programs at the same time. And if you are using your laptop for professional-grade applications and games, you should consider going up to 32GB RAM.What is the slowest CPU? ›
Intel Pentium 4 (Prescott)What is the fastest overclocked CPU? ›
Core i9-13900K is the fastest desktop CPU Intel has ever made. A new CPU frequency world record achieved by Elmor. It was August 2014 when the highest frequency ever for a desktop CPU was achieved with AMD FX 8370 processor. It was a 8722.78 MHz overclock for a CPU that had a default frequency of 4.0 GHz.Is there a 1000 core processor? ›
Meet KiloCore, a 1,000-core processor so efficient it could run on a AA battery. This monstrous CPU is 100 times more power-efficient than today's laptops. If you were impressed by Intel's first-ever 10-core consumer processor—and there was a lot to like!Is Intel better or Ryzen? ›
AMD Ryzen 5 processors are often less powerful than Intel Core i5 processors. They feature a clock speed of up to 4.4GHz faster than the i5's 4.6GHzi5'sey do; however, they have twice as many threads. The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is also notable for its low 65W power consumption.Is M1 better than i9? ›
While the overall performance output of Intel Core i9 might be higher, Apple's M1 Pro and M1 Max chips offer better performance-per-watt.What processor is faster than i7? ›
In Intel's simple terms, the Core i9 is faster than the Core i7, which is faster than the Core i5. But faster isn't always better, and most people don't need the extra horsepower.
The best gaming CPU you can get right now is the Intel Core i5-12600K. It has a base clock speed of 3.6GHz, but allows you to boost it to 4.9GHz for even higher performance. It also has integrated graphics so you don't need to invest in an expensive, dedicated GPU to play less graphically intensive games.What CPU is too high? ›
If you're unsure whether your CPU usage is too high, here are a few indicators to look out for: High idle CPU usage: You're not running any programs and your CPU usage is still above 20%. Higher than usual CPU usage: You're not using any new programs, and yet your CPU usage is higher than it used to be.Can CPU goes beyond 100 %? ›
CPUs are designed to run safely at 100% CPU utilization. However, you'll want to avoid these situations whenever they cause perceptible slowness in games.What CPU is the most power efficient? ›
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
However, the 5600X brings more than enough extra application performance to justify the pricing, not to mention that it's among the most power-efficient desktop PC processors we've ever tested.
The Intel Core i7 12700K is a great processor for, gaming in 2022. It has a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz and a boost clock speed of 5 GHz. It has eight cores and sixteen threads, making it a very powerful CPU.Is the Intel i9 overkill? ›
Yes of course. But it is a bit overkill if you are only going to play games. Firstly, if you are looking to play games on a 60 Hz monitor, then no need for such a high-end CPU, an i7, i5, Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7 is enough for that.Is i9 an overkill? ›
Yes the Core i9 will be an overkill for most of the users.
Processors like Pentium and core i3 or even i5 with good clock speeds and RAM will be enough for doing daily office work.
This 13th gen Intel Core i9 will hit over 6GHz "out of the box." During the Intel Innovation 2022 keynote, CEO of Intel and apparent push-up (opens in new tab)enthusiast Pat Gelsinger launched its 13th gen processors, more commonly known as Raptor Lake.Is a higher GHz CPU better? ›
In general, a higher clock speed means a faster CPU. However, many other factors come into play. Your CPU processes many instructions (low-level calculations like arithmetic) from different programs every second. The clock speed measures the number of cycles your CPU executes per second, measured in GHz (gigahertz).Is 10 GHz possible? ›
It is already possible to make 10GHz processors today, but it would use a lot more power to do the same amount of work as a current 3GHz processor. Instead of increasing the clock speed, we made the CPU do more work per clock cycle.
Increasing a computer's RAM can improve streaming video playback if the device is struggling to optimally display content. If the device doesn't have enough RAM, the video may be choppy upon playback and take more frequent breaks to load content during the stream.Is streaming CPU heavy? ›
Is CPU or GPU more important for streaming? encoding is ideally done on the CPU so is generally CPU heavy unless you use something like NVidia NVENC or AMD AMF.What is a good CPU when streaming? ›
- AMD Ryzen 7 5700G. ...
- Intel Core i5-10400F. ...
- Intel Core i5-12400F. ...
- Which is The Better Choice? ...
- Intel Core i7-12700K. ...
- AMD Ryzen 5 5600X. ...
- AMD Ryzen 7 5800X. ...
- Intel Core i9-12900K.
Both the CPUs perform extremely well in terms of benchmarks but it is the Intel i7 that beats AMD Ryzen 7 5800X by a margin of up to 15-20% better performance.How much faster is an i7 than an i5? ›
The Core i5's clock speed is set at 1.6-GHz (3.4-GHz with Max Turbo), while the Core i7's is faster at 1.8-GHz (3.6-GHz with Max Turbo). The Core i7 also has a bigger processor cache at 8MB, compared with the Core i5's 6MB.Is Core i7 worth the extra money? ›
A Core i7 will typically be better for multitasking, media-editing and media-creation tasks, high-end gaming, and similar demanding workloads. So, yeah it's worth the extra money.Is CPU or RAM more important for streaming? ›
A more powerful processor will help with tasks such as streaming or running multiple programs. At the same time, large amounts of RAM will help with multitasking but will primarily improve performance in complex programs and operations.How much CPU usage is too much for streaming? ›
How Much CPU Usage Is Normal for Streaming? 30% to 70% is the normal CPU usage for streaming when streaming normal videos with moderate FPS rates. Light streamers usually use about 30% of their CPU, while heavy streamers will naturally use more, usually up to about 70%.What graphics card do streamers use? ›
An ideal starting point is the GTX 1650, which is a great entry level GPU (as we will discuss further into this article), but a superb mid-tier graphics card for casual and hardcore gamers – an all-rounder – is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060.Is Ryzen better than Intel in 2022? ›
If you're planning on building a cheap system with no discrete graphics, Intel is probably your best option. Although AMD's new Ryzen 7000 CPUs do have onboard graphics and AMD's previous-generation APUs are relatively capable, they aren't as affordable.
Still, high-end Intel CPUs are always better for enthusiasts and professional careers because of their overclocking abilities and brilliant single-core performance. Ryzen is much more affordable if we talk about gaming. They not only provide improved gaming performance and more threads but are also slightly reasonable.Is Nvidia still better than AMD? ›
Nvidia – The Verdict. I'll be blunt: Nvidia beats AMD, and it's not even close. Nvidia takes a big lead in ray tracing, however, and has a superior upscaling solution in the form of DLSS, which makes ray tracing playable on a wide range of Nvidia hardware.Is 32 GB of RAM overkill? ›
Most of the time, 32GB of RAM is more than you need, but this isn't always the case. There are times when 32GB is the right amount to have. It's also a good way to make sure your PC can keep up with changing needs as time goes on.Is 64 GB of RAM overkill? ›
Is 64/128 GB of RAM Overkill? For the majority of users, it is. If you plan on building a PC purely for gaming and some general, basic, everyday activity, 64 GB of RAM is just too much. The amount of RAM you need will ultimately depend on your workload.Is 128GB of RAM overkill? ›
If your CPU can't take full advantage of 128GB memory, then surely it's going to be overkill. The CPUs found in servers can have much more cores found on desktops. In servers having such large memory is justified. The server used in our branch office has 32GB memory and is reasonably fast.What is the best PC of 2022? ›
- Lenovo IdeaCentre 5. ...
- Dell XPS Tower. ...
- HP Pavilion. ...
- Compact Desktop Computers. ...
- Apple Mac Mini M1. ...
- All-in-One Desktop Computers. ...
- Apple iMac. ...
- Lenovo IdeaCentre 3i 22.
Intel Core i5-10400.What is the best CPU for Minecraft 2022? ›
|Intel Core i3 10100||4||4.3 GHz|
|Intel Core i5 10600K||6||4.8 GHz|
|AMD Ryzen 3 3200G||4||4.0 GHz|
|AMD Ryzen 5 3600||6||4.2 GHz|
NVIDIA TITAN V has the power of 12 GB HBM2 memory and 640 Tensor Cores, delivering 110 TeraFLOPS of performance.What is the hardest game to run on PC 2022? ›
- Spider-Man Remastered (August 13, 2022) ...
- Elden ring (February 25, 2022) ...
- Dying light 2 Stay Human (February 4, 2022) ...
- God of War (January 14, 2022) ...
- Final Fantasy 7 Remake (December 16, 2021) ...
- Halo Infinite (December 8, 2021) ...
- Far Cry 6 (October 7, 2021)
A good rule of thumb is: 8GB bare minimum, 16GB for most gaming needs, and 32GB if you want to run multiple high-intensity programs simultaneously. There's a little more to it than that, but we'll get onto things like DDR and RAM speeds in a moment.What is the fastest gaming PC in 2022? ›
Best gaming PC overall
The Alienware Aurora R14 Ryzen Edition is the best gaming PC you can buy right now. It's built with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900 CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card for all the power you need to play the hottest triple-A titles and most graphically demanding games.
The Intel Core i7-12700K will support DDR4 memory, but we advise going all-in with a future-proofed system to keep up with the ever-growing demands of modern games.How much RAM should you have in 2022? ›
At a bare minimum, you should have 8GB of RAM so you don't run into bottlenecks, especially because your OS and other applications that you have opened, such as your browser, don't limit your development experience. We recommend 16GB for most use-cases and 32GB if you work on more complex games and apps.What CPU do pro gamers use? ›
If you're after purely the fastest CPU for gaming then your two choices are either the Intel Core i9-13900K or the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X. This is because both processors are capable of being overclocked to 5.8 GHz and 5.7 GHz respectively. Seriously fast.Is EPYC better than Xeon? ›
EPYC processors have demonstrated better performance in purely CPU-based operations according to published benchmarks. EPYC platform has lower costs compared to the Intel Xeon platform.What CPU is better AMD or Intel for gaming? ›
If you want to game and go for budget, AMD is better for gaming. The difference isn't huge, but AMD can consistently overclock their processors much better than Intel. On the other hand, if you're doing professional work with your PC, I'd recommend using an Intel Core i3/i5/i7 than the Ryzen 5/7 series.Is GTX or RTX better? ›
Because NVIDIA's current generation only hosts RTX cards, the most powerful NVIDIA cards are now all RTX only (no GTX). RTX cards are therefore not only better for graphics, but also for traditional rendering performance.What is the #1 GPU in the world? ›
1. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti.Is Nvidia Titan V better than RTX 3090? ›
While there are some areas where the Titan RTX is ahead of the RTX 3090, by and large, the newer GPU's specs show a decent bump in potential performance. Even where things look equal, such as the amount of memory, the RTX 3090 edges it, thanks to the faster GDDR6X memory used.