Curious about the top gaming setups that allow you to play Valorant at its highest framerate and smoothest gameplay potential? We have just answered the very question here as we have discussed the five best CPUs for Valorant in 2023 money can buy in this brief guide. So do not skip anything and read until the end if you are keen to know which one would suit your gaming preferences perfectly.
Valorant, a sci-fi team-based shooter with a layer of MOBA style hero customization, is one of the most competitive and fastest-growing esports titles. While it is fairly new and one can run it on basically anything starting from an Intel Core 2 duo E8400 or AMD Athlon 200GE CPU (yes, that’s what the developer Riot stated on their official website), the hardware requirements are likely going to advance drastically over the next few years, according to some industry experts.
Since Valorant is a CPU-intensive game rather than depending on the graphics card to run on your PC, the newer CPUs will be iterated more quickly and get better efficiency out of faster clock speed and more advanced memory standards.
However, before you can choose the best CPU for Valorant, you first need to decide on the things that you will be using it for. Is it going to be for playing Valorant purely, or do you want to be able to play other AAA titles and plan to sort of future-proof it as well?
The following list contains current CPUs that can play Valorant and other esports titles without any problems and are based on different price points from $150 all the way up to $500.
In a hurry? Here are our top 3 picks when it comes to the best CPU for Valorant in 2023!
What Specs Are Good For Valorant?
Valorant’s requirements are not that rigorous – you can practically run it on a decade-old fossil computer if you intend to do so.
You need a decent processor – yes, but nothing mind-blowing. As long as your computer meets the minimum PC specs of an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU (or AMD Athlon 200GE) with an integrated Intel HD4000 (or Radeon R5 200) graphics card, you are good to go! Valorant will even run well on virtual machines, provided your host machine’s hardware is average to above average.
However, to guarantee a smooth 60 FPS frame rate, here are what Riot wants you to have –
CPU: An Intel i3 4150 or AMD Ryzen 3 1200
Graphics: Nvidia Geforce GT 730 or Radeon R7 240
RAM: 4 GB or better
OS: Minimum Windows 7
Now, if you want to play Valorant maxed out at silky smooth 144 FPS, below are the minimum recommended specs –
CPU: Intel i5 9400F with 2.9 GHz clock speed or AMD Ryzen 5 2600X
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti or AMD Radeon R7 370
Does Valorant use more GPU or CPU?
Valorant is more CPU-bound than GPU-bound. CPU-bound means you are CPU limited for your FPS, meaning reducing your graphics settings will not help much. However, based on our hours of gameplay experience in different gaming settings, low spec machines will be more GPU-bound because there is less demand for the CPU to render the frame. And as you go up to the high end of the spectrum, you see a split between GPU and CPU, with the CPU taking the lead.
Since the majority of the users use mid to high-spec systems, their Valorant performance depends more on the CPUs they have, while the graphics cards take a back seat.
1. Intel Core i5-10500 Desktop Processor – Best Overall
No one can stop you from enjoying your game sessions with Intel Core i5-10500 Desktop Processor. The new Intel 10th generation processor is one of the best for all your applications, thanks to its great performance, technology, and graphic support.
This processor has specs that allow you to play the most advanced games, including Valorant, with ease. The Intel Hyper-Threading Technology optimizes your PC usage, increasing multitasking and speeding up processes. It comes with a 3.1 GHz base frequency, 6MB cache memory, 8 GT/s DMI3, 65W TDP power consumption so that your programs work smoothly and without any problems. And to prove it, here are the critical tech specs: 6 processor cores, 12 threads, dual memory channels, and its clock speed goes up to 4.5 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 technology.
The new Intel Core i5-10500 is the latest in the powerful family of Intel processors. It’s time to get more done with multi-threading performance that cuts your gaming response times in half. Coupled with a fast and healthy SSD, you can enjoy excellent performance, professional 4K resolution multimedia quality, and smooth action in 3D titles and video editing software without interruption or stuttering.
Why is Intel Core i5-10500 the best CPU for Valorant?
When it comes to running Valorant at the highest settings possible, Intel Core i5-10500 is not only suitable but pretty much unbeatable in its price range. Thanks to its six cores and 12 high-power threads, Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology delivers up to 4.5 GHz in a single core when needed in order to have maximum performance in Valorant.
The Intel Core i5-10500 is a great processor and best suited for gamers who don’t want to spend on a dedicated graphics card and plan to use the integrated GPU. In order to play Valorant in ultra settings, you will need a dedicated graphics card, though.
We highly recommend it to all users who want to enjoy an excellent level of quality in graphics, video encoding, or other related activities.
2. Intel Core i3-9100F Desktop Processor – Budget Pick
Introducing the Intel Core i3-8100 3.6 GHz Processor, and it’s our best, most powerful processor in its class with Intel Optane memory support, Intel VT-x virtualization technology, up to 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes with four cores and four threads, 6MB of Intel Smart Cache, and a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz with a boost speed of up to 4.2 GHz. Since the processor does not feature an integrated GPU, you need a compatible and discrete graphics card purchased separately.
We got the i3-9100F for a while now, and it’s a beast for what we want to do, which is running Valorant. If you have no intention to overclock anytime soon and looking for a capable processor that allows you to enjoy Valorant at high settings, you can’t go wrong with this one, especially for the price tag it comes with.
Intel Core i3-9100F is an impressive CPU that is also pretty power efficient. We think the i3-9100F is a great choice for running apps, playing games, editing regular 1080p video, and multi-tab internet browsing. It’s big enough to handle almost any game you throw at it.
3. AMD Ryzen 5 3600 – Runner Up
The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is a 6-core/12-thread CPU based on the latest Zen2 microarchitecture that will have no problems running demanding games and intensive applications at impressive frame rates. It is built for mainstream users, aiming at mid and high-end gaming and content creating such as video editing, graphic designing & 3D rendering. The Ryzen 5 3600 looks like a very promising take on the latest 12nm Zen 2 core build with much higher IPC performance and increased clocks.
The processor comes with a 3.6 GHz base clock and a peak 4.2 GHz turbo frequency with 20MB of cache memory. With up to 64GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory support, this processor further features AMD SenseMI technology and comes unlocked, allowing you to overclock it and use it for some serious multi-core performance.
This is one of the best budget AMD processors for multitasking and gaming. A key feature of the 3600 is its powerful single-core performance. It unlocks responsive and smooth performance in everyday use, allowing you to get more done in less time.
4. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X – Premium Pick
Built for gamers who demand the very best from their gaming PCs, this is AMD’s fourth generation of Ryzen chips, one of the world’s most high-end desktop gaming CPUs, and they’ve really improved things. The largest generational leap came in the single-core performance, where the review says it’s their “biggest gen-on-gen jump in single-core performance in years.”
The Ryzen 9 5900X leads with a 12-core/24-thread configuration of simultaneous multi-processing power, making it perfect for streamers, gamers, or content creators looking to do any type of media creation and can be boosted from a 3.8GHz base clock all the way up to 4.8GHz using Turbo Boost Max 4.0 technology when you’re in need of some extra cores. It will work on any X570 motherboard (and most X470 and B550 models), and most importantly, the processor is unlocked and ready for some insane overclocking if you really want to go crazy.
By allowing high core counts, high frequencies, and an unlocked multiplier to maximize your gaming experience at a price that gamers can afford, AMD plans to bring you into a new era of affordable, extreme-performance desktop computing.
5. Intel Core i5-9400F – Good Value For Money
The i5-9400f is Intel’s latest Coffee Lake CPU and the perfect processor for anyone who’s looking to game on their PC while performing other tasks, such as photo editing or video streaming.
Intel might not be known for the greatest gaming processors, but they still offer up some good options. On the lower end of things, you will be looking at things like the Core i5-9400F, which is definitely an improvement over the previous generation i5-8400, dropping hyperthreading and with its integrated graphics and overclocking option disabled. Since it has no integrated graphics, meaning you’ll need a dedicated GPU.
The Core i5-9400F is a six-core processor with a base clock speed of 2.9GHz and a boost clock speed up to 4.1GHz. It has a TDP of 65W and support for DDR4 memory. In terms of price, it’s found in the same region as the Core i5-8400, making it an excellent value for money. This chip is designed for the mid-range gaming audience, offering that little bit more performance compared to models like the aforementioned 8th Gen i5-8400.
Take the pure stats and what we think about each processor as well as their cost into account before you decide which product will be the best for your specific requirement of running Valorant effortlessly. If you are a casual gamer and don’t have a lot of cash to spend on a CPU, we have given our budget choice above, which will serve the purpose just as well. We are eager to hear from you on these five best CPUs for Valorant in 2023, so do not hesitate to leave your comments below.