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Best CPUs for Windows 11

What is the best CPU to buy for Windows 11? PCGuide gets through the best from Intel and AMD to decide what's best for gaming, creatives and daily use!
Last Updated on September 14, 2021
best cpu for windows 11

Windows 11 is coming and while Microsoft has said they’re reconsidering their list of CPUs, as of right now, things are looking forward rather than considering those running machines with anything below 8th Gen Intel or 2nd Gen Ryzen. So what is the current best CPU?

CPU, or Central Processing Unit, is essentially the brains of your computer. While everything is else inside is vitally important for different things, the CPU controls pretty much all the different bits of the computer, from USB ports to your graphics card.

Of course, in the meantime, if you’re not ready to upgrade your CPU or even look for other options and want to see if whatever is in your machine will work just fine, we do have a full list of every CPU that Microsoft has confirmed to be working with Windows 11.

Also bear in mind that if you’re going to get into the Insider’s Program developer version before the beta hits later this year, Microsoft has removed all restrictions, which is why you can currently install the OS to a Raspberry Pi!

Products at a Glance

Our Recommended

Best CPUs for Windows 11

  • Perfect for a refresh
  • Excellent gaming performance
  • Great creative performance
  • Best all rounder without being too expensive
  • A little hamstrung in anything more than light video or photo work
  • Really made for gaming/general PC use only
  • Great performance if you're moving up a couple generations
  • Access to PCIe 4.0
  • Unlocked for Overclocking
  • Still stuck on older hardware
  • Not terribly brilliant at anything
  • Little difference in performance between 9th, 10th and 11th gen
  • Monsterous performance
  • Game, render and compile at the same time
  • The current end-all-be-all for creatives
  • Worth every penny
  • Ridiculously expensive CPU
  • Impossibly expensive to build around
  • Seriously, it's so much money
  • Cheap, Powerful
  • Better performance than some more expensive, older CPUs
  • Access to PCIe 4.0
  • Simple, budget entry
  • No overclocking
  • Intel's Comet Lake has been disappointing
  • Will most likely be chucked out on upgrading

Our Verdict

So of course, I’m going to choose the 5600X, a mighty CPU that while focused on gaming with its meagre six cores, can still absolutely do some content creation. If you have more money to spend, maybe look at the 5900X or above, as these might last you a lot longer and especially if you’re working in a non-linear video editing software like DaVinci Resolve, more power is always better.

But for the every-person out there, I’d absolutely recommend this processor, it’s more than capable to take on almost any task you throw at it, with minor caveats.