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Best CPU for Elden Ring in 2024 – our top Intel and AMD picks

These CPUs will back you up in every fight in Elden Ring.
Last Updated on June 18, 2024
Best CPU for Elden Ring
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Shadow of the Erdtree is the latest DLC of Elden Ring that will introduce new bosses to fight, weapons to level up, and skills to master. Whether it’ll be more optimized or not, we’ll have to wait, but this title was notorious for being plagued with random stuttering issues. 

This could be more of the case if you’re playing at lower resolutions, as the CPU has to churn out instructions more quickly. No one wants to experience lag or stuttering while exploring the land or fighting a boss, and if you’re of the same opinion, it’s understandable. 

However, the recommended CPU options for this game are the i7-8700K or the Ryzen 5 3600X, which are old processors and may not be the best choice for pairing with modern GPUs. We also understand that selecting a single processor is challenging as there are numerous options from Intel and AMD available.  

So, to help you kick off your buying journey in the best possible manner, we’ve put together this in-depth guide that lists multiple CPU options ranging from the best to budget options, along with their details, reviews, and pros and cons.

How we picked

There are various aspects you need to consider while pairing any CPU with a GPU. For a game like Elden Ring, which has almost iconic in-game graphics and tons of elements to process, we need to look at various factors like the brand, architecture, cores, threads, base and boost frequencies, motherboard compatibility, and other important factors into account. This helps us filter our options and also gives us an idea of which CPU and GPU pairing would be the closest to ideal.

However, other than specifications that anyone can read, we take a more hands-on approach by thoroughly testing the CPUs for synthetic and real-world performance. If you’re interested in learning more about that, we recommend you head to our PC Guide Testing Lab, which will show the process in detail.

Best CPU for Elden Ring
01
  • Close-up of a computer's motherboard featuring a mounted Intel Core i5-13600K processor with visible socket and screws on a detailed circuit background.
  • Close-up of an Intel Core i5-13600K processor in focus, with a blurred blue computer case in the background.
  • An Intel Core i5-13600K processor displayed in front of a blurred computer case.
  • Intel Core i5-13600K CPU against a plain white background.
Excellent
4.5 /5
Editor’s Rating
How We Review
Specifications
  • Cores: 14 (6P-8E)
  • Threads: 20
  • Boost speed : P-Core 5.1GHz / E-Core 3.5GHz
  • Base speed: P-Core 3.5GHz / E-Core 2.6GHz
  • L3 Cache: 24MB
  • TDP: 181W
  • Platform: Intel (LGA 1700)
Reasons to Buy
  • Excellent gaming and synthetic performance
  • It is very competitively priced and you can get it for even cheaper on sale
  • Its performance matches that of the 14600K
Reasons to Avoid
  • An LGA1700 motherboard is required to run this CPU
  • The performance takes a hit when coupled with DDR4 RAM

The first processor on our list for Elden Ring is the Intel Core i5-13600K. We went for this pick due to the amazing performance it showcased in our i5-13600K review

Games don’t use a lot of cores and threads for their processing, which is why a CPU’s single-core performance is looked at to gauge how it’ll perform in gaming. That said, Elden Ring isn’t any different, although it does require a fast processor with good single-core and thread utilization. 

During our testing, the 13600K managed to score 830 and 1,992 in CPU-Z and Cinebench single-core tests, respectively. For reference, these scores are solid, and this CPU’s overall performance is just as good as the 14600K, which says something. 

In addition to that, it has a 24MB Intel Smart Cache, which allows all the cores to access the last cache level. What this does is allow for more efficient and faster processing, as the cores don’t have to call and wait for the data to be fetched. 

The LGA 1700 and DDR4 + DDR5 compatibility makes it a fantastic choice no matter what rig you have.

PC Guide

In terms of gaming, it means that game elements can be worked on faster, as whichever core is being used can access the data whenever it wants. This should result in a streamlined gaming experience without running into stuttering issues in populated areas where the CPU and GPU have to process the terrain texture, 3D models, and other aspects. 

This processor also makes use of Intel’s big.LITTLE core architecture, which divides the cores into performance and efficient cores for maximum performance and power efficiency. So, this CPU has 14 cores divided between 6 P-cores and 8 E-cores. 

The E-cores are responsible for handling minor tasks and don’t consume a lot of power. On the other hand, P-cores kick in when heavy processing is required as they have Hyper-Threading and are physically larger. When the task is dealt with, the E-cores take over. This dynamic ensures stable performance while prioritizing power efficiency.

So, no matter how much processing power Elden Ring requires, this processor has enough hardware under the hood to handle it across all resolutions, delivering a seamless gaming experience. 

What users say

According to Amazon reviews, this processor is a “true powerhouse.” One reviewer stated: “his processor has far exceeded my expectations, providing seamless multitasking and blazing-fast performance for all my computing needs,” which perfectly sums up this CPU.

Best high-end CPU for Elden Ring
02
  • Product packaging of an AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D processor featuring 3D V-Cache technology, with an orange and black color scheme.
  • Close-up view of an AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D processor installed in a motherboard socket
  • A close-up of an AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D processor
  • A close-up of an AMD Ryzen 7 processor on a white table
  • 7800X3D facing down showing contact pads on a white table
Excellent
Specifications
  • Cores: 8
  • Threads: 16
  • Boost speed : up to 5 GHz
  • Base speed: 4.2 GHz
  • L3 Cache: 96 MB
  • TDP: 120 W
  • Platform: AMD (AM5)
Reasons to Buy
  • Top-notch gaming performance
  • It is not overly expensive despite its results
  • Excellent for future-proofing
Reasons to Avoid
  • The AM5 upgrade can be expensive as it requires a new motherboard and RAM
  • It’s non-gaming capacity is limited

If you want to experience everything Elden Ring and its DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, has to offer in pristine quality without any issues, we recommend giving one of the best gaming processors, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, a shot. 

AMD’s “X3D” chips are known for having excellent gaming performance, but our Ryzen 7 7800X3D review showcased that performance in our suite of synthetic benchmarks. In CPU-Z and Geekbench single-core tests, it scored 634 and 2,624 points, respectively.

For reference, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D scored 461 and 1,655 points in the same tests. So, the difference in performance is clearly visible, but what’s surprising is that the 5800X3D is still being used to run modern games without facing any difficulty. 

So, the 7800X3D’s performance should be more than enough to handle any amount of complexities Elden Ring can throw its way. On top of that, the 8700K and 3600X can’t even hold a candle to its prowess, so gaming in various resolutions without stuttering shouldn’t be an issue. 

he 7800X3D is a fantastic chip and much improved over the previous generation. This CPU will smash through any gaming workload you throw at it.

PC Guide

The secret behind this processor’s amazing in-game performance is the 3D V-cache technology. What this does is stack additional cache on top of the L3 cache, increasing its capacity. So, this CPU has 96MB of L3 cache, meaning more game data and elements can be stored on board for faster and more efficient processing. 

However, the drawback is that its productive performance takes a hit. This is visible when we compare the multi-core results on the 7900X and this CPU. The 7900X wipes the floor with it, and if productivity is important to you, we recommend opting for the Ryzen 9 7900X as it has better results overall. 

That said, this CPU from Team Red isn’t a bad option, and you won’t be disappointed with its in-game performance whether you’re running Elden Ring or Cyberpunk 2077. The AM5 platform should also future-proof your setup, as it is supported till 2027.

What users say

According to Amazon reviews, this CPU is being praised for its gaming performance, efficiency, and stability. One user stated: “Decided to move from an i5-13600K over to a 7800X3D since I mostly use my PC for gaming and not productivity work. This CPU is a beast for performance and runs rather cool for what you get out of it, and it’s power efficient as well!” Another reviewer said: “One of the best cpu if not the best for gaming.”

Best mid-range CPU for Elden Ring
03
  • 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.
Excellent
4.5 /5
Editor’s Rating
How We Review
Reasons to Buy
  • It comes bundled with a CPU cooler
  • It has an energy-efficient design
  • Better single-core performance than the 7800X3D
Reasons to Avoid
  • Not the best option for workstation-level workloads
  • It tends to run hot when used for intense programs
  • The 13600K outperforms it with a hike in price

If you’re looking for the best CPU for Elden Ring that strikes a good balance between performance and value, the Intel Core i5-12600K might be right up your alley. In our Intel Core i5-12600K review it showed great in-game and synthetic performance.

As we’ve discussed before, we look at the processor’s single-core results to determine how it’ll perform in gaming. That said, in CPU-Z single-core, it scored 764 points, 130 points more than the 7800X3D. However, it does have two more cores than the latter, so it makes sense that it scored more. 

Either way, this processor shouldn’t have any difficulty running Elden Ring. We also tested it in Days Gone and Cyberpunk 2077 at 1080 low resolution to really grind its gear, but it fought back and churned out 222 and 301 FPS, respectively. This should tell you everything you need to know about this CPU, and despite its “mid-range” title, it is capable of punching way above its weight class. 

It effortlessly combines power efficiency with single-core performance to make for one fierce competitor in the budget CPU space.

PC Guide

It has ten cores, 16 threads, a 2.8 GHz base clock, and a 4.9 GHz boost clock. These impressive specifications are what helped this CPU score such high numbers. However, this level of performance also comes with a high TDP, as according to Intel, it has a maximum turbo power of 150W. 

On top of that, the “K” moniker means that it is unlocked by the manufacturer for overclocking. This means that you can increase its base and boost clock for faster processing, but that will also increase its TDP and thermal output. In that case, we recommend using the best thermal paste in combination with the best CPU cooler to keep it running optimally. 

Looking at the system requirements of Elden Ring, you can rest easy knowing this CPU won’t land you in hot water as it is woefully superior to the recommended 8700K and 3600X. It is also reasonably priced, which is another win for this processor. 

What users say

The Amazon reviews of this CPU are praising it for its headroom for overclocking, cool operation, and amazing performance. One reviewer said: “If you’re looking for a CPU that offers solid performance, low heat, and great value, the 12600K is a fantastic choice. Highly recommended for both gaming and general productivity!”

Best budget CPU for Elden Ring:
04
  • 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.
Excellent
4.5 /5
Editor’s Rating
How We Review
Specifications
  • 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
  • It comes at a very reasonable price point
  • It is compatible with plenty of motherboards
  • It has a low TDP of 65W
Reasons to Avoid
  • It isn’t the best CPU for super heavy workloads
  • The path to upgradation will be limited to AM4 CPUs
  • The 7600X outperforms it

Everyone deserves to enjoy the latest releases regardless of their budget. So, if you’re operating on limited funds, we recommend opting for the Ryzen 5 5600X as it is a pocket-friendly option but can also power your rig to play Elden Ring and other titles. 

In our Ryzen 5 5600X review, it didn’t disappoint despite its “budget” title, as we witnessed it churning out 641 points in the CPU-Z single-core benchmark and delivered 177 and 282 FPS in Days Gone and Cyberpunk 2077, respectively. 

These games, at one point, were notoriously difficult to run, and the 5600X managed impressive FPS at 1080p with low resolution paired with an RTX 4070 Ti Super. So, this should give you an idea about how powerful this CPU is; it is much better than the 3600X and should be able to run Shadow of the Erdtree without any issues across any resolution you want. 

The Ryzen 5 5600X is a fantastic budget CPU that can bring you a lot of power if you don’t need the cutting edge in your system.

PC Guide

Generally, nowadays, people use 1440p as their default resolution but if you’re someone with a 1080p monitor, this processor shouldn’t be the limiting factor stopping you from thoroughly enjoying the world of Elden Ring. 

That said, despite its performance, it has humble specifications with six cores, 12 threads, a 3.7 GHz base clock, a 4.6 GHz boost clock, and a 32 MB L3 cache. On top of that, it has a low TDP of 65W and comes bundled with a Wraith Stealth cooler, which should be enough to keep its temperature under control. 

However, if you’re living in a hot region, the ambient temperature can increase the base temperature of your components. In that case, we recommend using the best AIO cooler to keep it from thermal throttling, especially when you’re so invested while playing Shadow of the Erdtree that hours have gone by and you haven’t noticed it. 

Overall, this is a solid CPU for productivity and gaming. While it might not be at the level of CPUs like the 13900K, we need to keep in mind its price point. At the time of writing, it will set you back $137.85. It should be able to run this title without any issues as it runs on the Zen 3 architecture compared to 3600X’s Zen 2 architecture. 

What users say

At the time of writing, this processor has a 4.8 out of 5.0 rating and 90% 5-star reviews. People are praising it for its performance, value, efficiency, and thermal design. One reviewer said: “Whether I’m gaming, video editing, or running resource-intensive software, the processor handles it all with ease.”

How we picked the best CPU for Elden Ring

There are a handful of factors that you need to consider before choosing a CPU. We’ve listed some of those factors below so you can make an informed decision on your next CPU, regardless of application.

System requirements 

It’s always recommended to look at the game’s system requirements. In the case of Elden Ring, the recommended CPUs are the Intel Core i7-8700K and the Ryzen 5 3600X. In comparison to the GPU recommendations, the CPU recommendations are more recent, as they were released in 2017 and 2019, respectively. So, what we can take away from that is Elden Ring is more CPU-dependent and would require a fast CPU to run it. 

That said, you won’t be getting your hands on a new 8700K and 3600X, and the latest processors from Intel and AMD are massively more powerful than them. So, you should be able to run Elden Ring at lower resolutions without facing stuttering issues if you pair your GPU with a processor like the 13600K or the 5900X from AMD. 

In addition, they should also be able to handle UHD resolutions, but the GPU primarily handles that, so you don’t need to worry about it. 

Budget 

Your budget is the most important factor to consider while choosing a CPU. While the appeal of overkill CPUs like the 14900K is understandable, as you won’t have to worry about whether it’ll be enough for a game or not but that performance comes at a premium. 

If you have enough funds for that, you should opt for such powerful processors, as they’ll last you a while and should handle professional workloads as well. However, if there are some budget restraints, it’s best to filter the options presented, look at their performance by checking our Reddit threads and reviews, and go for the CPU that offers a good balance between performance and value. 

Performance 

Your CPU options could open up or become limited depending on the level of performance you want out of your system. For example, if you want a system for just gaming, you can get an X3D chip from AMD and call it a day. 

However, their professional performance isn’t as great as that of AMD’s “X” and Intel processors. So, if you also have creative workloads to handle, it would be better to opt for an Intel “K” or AMD “X” processor as they balance productive and gaming performance well. 

Ussamah works as a content writer and editor at BGFG. He is experienced in tech, hardware, gaming, and marketing.