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Best CPU for CS2 in 2024 – Our top picks

Here are the best CPUs for CS2

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on May 7, 2024
Best CPU for CS2
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In this article, we will cover the key considerations and options when it comes to choosing the best CPU for CS2. It’s paramount for any serious gamer to equip their rig with a processor that can handle modern games. With CS2 presenting a more substantial load compared to its predecessor, the choice of CPU becomes even more critical.

The Counter Strike 2 (CS2) represents a significant leap from the previous CS:GO. Despite the game being more GPU-heavy, having a potent CPU is essential to manage the game’s mechanics efficiently, ensuring smooth gameplay and maximizing the graphical output and physics that the game offers.

How we selected the best CPU for CS2

In determining the best CPU for CS2, extensive research into publicly available benchmarks and user reviews is conducted. This approach gives insight into real-world performance, reliability, and potential issues of various processors.

Furthermore, the selection process considers the balance between performance and cost. While high-end CPUs guarantee outstanding performance, not everyone has the budget for top-tier processors. The aim is to find processors that offer excellent performance for CS2 while ensuring good value for money.

If this isn’t quite what you’re looking for, why not check out one of our other best guides? We’ve got a great guide to the best CPU for Starfield, or the best CPU for video editing.

  • Intel Core i5-12600K processor in front of its packaging box with "core" and "unlocked" visible on a blurred blue background.
  • An Intel Core i5-12600K processor with its retail box displayed on a desk with a blurred background.
  • An Intel Core i5-12600K processor chip on a plain, light-colored background.
Best in ClassExcellent
4.5 /5
Editor’s Rating
How We Review
  • Cores: 10 (6P + 4E)
  • Threads: 16
  • Boost Clock Speed: 4.9 GHz P / 3.6 GHz E
  • Base Clock Speed: 3.7 GHz P / 2.8 GHz E
  • L3 Cache: 20 MB (shared)
  • TDP: 125W
  • Platform: Intel (LGA 1700)
Reasons to Buy
  • Excellent performance
  • Value for money
  • Good at multi-tasking
Reasons to Avoid
  • No bundled cooler
  • Limited overclocking
  • Higher power consumption under load

The Intel Core i5-12600K offers a base clock speed of 3.7 GHz with the ability to turbo up to 4.9 GHz. It operates with 10 cores and 16 threads, ensuring smooth gameplay and efficient multitasking. While it’s a mid-range processor, its performance is nothing short of impressive, making it an excellent choice for CS2 enthusiasts who want reliable performance without breaking the bank.

This processor is perfect for those who love to game and dabble in other creative tasks. The 12600K’s hybrid architecture, which combines performance and efficient cores, offers a perfect balance, providing enough power for intense gaming sessions and other demanding tasks. This CPU can hold its own, ensuring that your CS2 gameplay is smooth, responsive, and stunning.

What users say

Stunningly, users on Amazon overwhelmingly praised the i5-12600K, scoring a 5 star rating from 91% of users who reviewed. Reviewers praised the shape, ease of installation, value, and overall performance in gaming capacities. One user even noted “despite of being an older generation it can play any game you put in front of it. Great deal, 100% worth it.”

  • A retail box for an AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D desktop processor, featuring prominent orange and black design elements and AMD branding.
4.5 /5
Editor’s Rating
How We Review
  • Cores: 16
  • Thread: 32
  • Base Clock Speed: 100 MHz
  • Boost Clock Speed: 5.7 GHz
  • L3 Cache: 128 MB (shared)
  • TDP: 120 W
  • Platform: AMD Socket AM5
Reasons to Buy
  • High thread count for multitasking
  • Excellent 1080p gaming performance
  • Reduced latency with 3D V-Cache
Reasons to Avoid
  • High price point
  • Limited overclocking headroom
  • High power consumption

With 16 cores and 32 threads, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D is a beast that clocks up to 5.7GHz. It supports PCIe 5.0, and DDR5 RAM, and features a 105W TDP, placing it firmly in the high-performance category. This powerhouse of a processor is perfect for those desiring to game in 4K, offering top-notch performance and the ability to handle the demands of CS2 effortlessly.

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D is far from the cheapest chipset on the market, but with unparalleled performance, it’s also one of the best.

PC Guide

The Ryzen 9 7950X3D stands out for CS2 primarily because of its exclusive 3D V-Cache technology. This feature adds 64MB of L3 cache directly to the cores, substantially decreasing latency and enhancing average frame rates. For gamers dedicated to CS2, this means smoother gameplay, faster responses, and a significant edge in the competitive arena. It’s a worthwhile investment for serious players seeking to maximize their in-game performance and experience.

What users say

User reviews on Amazon were mostly positive for the Ryzen 9 7950X3D, with 5 star reviews from 83% of customers. Particular highlights included the quality of the build, performance, and power. One happy used stated it “runs like a dream and temps are being kept low with a thermalright peerless assassin air cooler. No need for water cooling this CPU in my opinion”.

  • Product packaging of an AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D processor featuring 3D V-Cache technology, with an orange and black color scheme.
Reasons to Buy
  • A large amount of cache
  • Supports PCI Express 5.0
  • Versatile gaming performance
Reasons to Avoid
  • Pricey for the performance level
  • Relatively slower in CPU-intensive tasks
  • Tends to run hot

Boasting 8 cores, 16 threads, and a base clock of 4.2 GHz (with a max boost clock of 5 GHz), the AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D is a notable contender in the CPU market. It holds a substantial 96 MB of L3 cache and supports PCI Express 5.0, enhancing its performance and ensuring smooth and efficient gaming, particularly in demanding titles like CS2.

Where the AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D truly shines is in its capability to handle a diverse range of game genres with ease. From intricate strategy games like those from Paradox Interactive to fast-paced first-person shooters, this CPU can manage it all, providing high FPS and performance levels that gamers crave. Its ability to deliver unimaginable FPS for shooter games sets it apart, making every gaming session an exhilarating experience.

  • A close-up photo of an AMD Ryzen 5 5600X processor box on a blurred background.
  • AMD Ryzen 5 5600X gaming CPU on a plain white background.
4.5 /5
Editor’s Rating
How We Review
  • Cores: 6
  • Threads : 12
  • Boost speed : up to 4.6 GHz
  • Base speed: 3.7 GHz
  • L3 Cache: 32 MB
  • TDP: 65W
  • Platform: AMD (AM4)
Reasons to Buy
  • Low price point
  • Consistent performance
  • Good for budget gaming build
Reasons to Avoid
  • No integrated graphics
  • Limited overclocking potential
  • Behind the performance of other suggested CPUs

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X, with its 6 cores and 12 threads, offers a base clock of 3.7 GHz and a turbo boost up to 4.6 GHz. This budget-friendly CPU brings a balanced performance for gaming, making it an excellent choice for gamers who need efficient power without going overboard on cost. It’s the go-to option for budget-conscious gamers who still want robust performance in CS2.

This processor stands out for its value-for-money proposition. It’s designed for gamers who don’t necessarily focus on ultra-settings but still want smooth, lag-free gameplay in CS2. The Ryzen 5 5600X delivers consistent performance, ensuring that gamers can enjoy their favorite titles without breaking the bank. This makes it an appealing choice for a wide range of users.

What users say

With a 90% 5 star rating, the Ryzen 5 5600X has certainly made a good impact on the customers which choose to purchase it. User reviews on Amazon indicate that the Ryzen 5 5600X is excellent value for money and is sufficient in most modern titles – meaning it is prime for entry-level users or those who are content with a mid-range performance. One user stated “if you are looking for a powerful and affordable CPU for your next PC build, you should definitely consider the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X”.

Considerations for the best CPU for CS2

When thinking about the best CPU for CS2, consider not only the clock speed but also the number of cores and threads. A higher number of cores and threads will allow your system to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, providing a smoother gaming experience. Given that CS2 is more intensive than its predecessors, having a CPU that can efficiently handle more processes at the same time is crucial.

Another significant aspect to keep in mind is future-proofing. Opt for a CPU that not only meets the current requirements of CS2 but is also capable of handling upcoming updates and future titles that may be more demanding. Balancing performance, price, and longevity is key to making a well-informed decision.

As a tech and AI writer for PC Guide, Gloria is interested in what new technology means for the future of consumer electronics and digital and broadcast journalism.