The best Intel processors in the UK 2023

Are you starting to feel a slowdown on your computer when playing recent games, streaming or using 3D software? You've added a bar of RAM, but nothing helps! It's probably time to change your processor. But which one to choose? i3, i5 or i9? Check out our buying guide to sort through the options and find the one that's right for you.

Intel Core i5-10600K 1

Best value for money

Intel Core i5-10600K

The best Intel processor

The Intel Core i5-10600K has a lot going for it, thanks to its higher performance than the 9600K in single-core. An ideal solution for gamers looking for the best gaming performance.

172 £ on Rakuten

Succeeding the Core i5-9600K is no easy task. But the Intel Core i5-10600K manages to do it brilliantly. It must be said that the disappearance of the AMD Ryzen 3600X makes its task easier, both in terms of power and price. Dedicated to gaming, this processor has 6 cores and 12 threads, a frequency of 4.1 GHz and up to 4.8 GHz in Turbo mode.

The 12 MB cache ensures excellent performance while giving it a 10% leeway for overclocking. On this point, the Core i5-10600K is superior to AMD's 3600K. On the other hand, the 14nm etch helps keep the TDP at 125W. Note that this Intel processor is compatible with Intel 400 Series motherboards.

INTEL Core i3-10100F 2

Best value for money

INTEL Core i3-10100F

The best entry-level Intel processor

Upgrade to the 10th generation Intel processor for less than 100 euros! Yes, it's a reality with the Core i3-10100F capable of running games like Project Cars or Kingdom Come Delivrance.

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Low budget, but want to feel the power of the 10th generation of Intel CPU? Don't wait any longer, with the Core i3-10100F, socket LGA 1200, and its 4 cores with a base speed of 3,60 GHZ, turbo mode 4,30 GHz, you will have access to the latest games. The fluidity of your programs will be ensured by the 8 Threads, for a total of 12 cores, while saving energy with a TDP of just 65 W. Competitive, it supports PCI-Ex 3.0 and up to 128 Gb of DDR4-2666 RAM.

Faster than the i3s of previous generations, it has a 6 Mb Smart cache and can run with its original cooling unit even for hours. Since it doesn't have an integrated graphics card, you'll have to get an entry-level or mid-range GPU.

Intel Core i9-10850K 3

Best value for money

Intel Core i9-10850K

The best high-end Intel processor

With 100 MHz less than the i9-10900K, the i9- i9-10850K is just as powerful and is less expensive. Moreover, it is an unlocked CPU that can be overclocked.

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For a very good price, given that the i9-10900k costs more than the Ryzen 3900x with 2 cores less, the i9-10850K is a real beast in games or in video processing applications or in 3D. Capable of supporting 2K or 4K programs, it has 10 logical cores and no less than 20 threads. For less than 400 euros, this is huge and we advise you to change the original ventilator.

All these cores run at a base speed of 3.60 GHz and thanks to Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, this CPU reaches 5.10 GHz with a TDP of 125 W. More than autonomous, it is equipped with a huge Smart cache of 20 Mb. On the RAM side, it is compatible with DDR4-2933 and has an integrated graphics chip capable of 4K.

Intel Core i7-10700K 4

Very good

Intel Core i7-10700K

A good Intel Gaming processor

If you are looking for a more powerful processor than the Intel Core i5-10600K, go for the Intel Core i7-10700K. This CPU has arguments that make it super interesting for large gamer configurations.

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By all accounts, the Core i7-9700K was the ultimate gamer processor. This tenth-generation version, dubbed the Intel Core i7-10700K, starts off on the same footing. This 14nm CPU has 8 cores, 16 threads, 3.8GHz base frequency, up to 5.1GHz boost and 16MB cache.

Its gaming capabilities put it ahead of the Ryzen 3 3300X. But in multitasking, it does not compete with the 12 cores and 64 MB cache of the AMD CPU. In terms of power consumption, the TDP is 125W. Finally, the price is more interesting compared to its Intel counterparts, even if it is higher than AMD's.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best Intel processor

Any specific needs?

The best Intel processor

The best entry-level Intel processor

The best high-end Intel processor

A good Intel Gaming processor

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Comparison table of the best Intel processors

Intel Core i5-10600K 5
INTEL Core i3-10100F 6
Intel Core i9-10850K 7
Intel Core i7-10700K 8
Intel Core i5-10600K
INTEL Core i3-10100F
Intel Core i9-10850K
Intel Core i7-10700K
The Intel Core i5-10600K has a lot going for it, thanks to its higher performance than the 9600K in single-core. An ideal solution for gamers looking for the best gaming performance.
Upgrade to the 10th generation Intel processor for less than 100 euros! Yes, it's a reality with the Core i3-10100F capable of running games like Project Cars or Kingdom Come Delivrance.
With 100 MHz less than the i9-10900K, the i9- i9-10850K is just as powerful and is less expensive. Moreover, it is an unlocked CPU that can be overclocked.
If you are looking for a more powerful processor than the Intel Core i5-10600K, go for the Intel Core i7-10700K. This CPU has arguments that make it super interesting for large gamer configurations.
Frequency (Base/Turbo)
4.10/4.8 GHz
4 Cores/8 Threads
10 Cores/20 Threads
3.8/5.10 GHz
Number of cores
6 Cores/12 Threads
3.60/4.30 GHz
3.60/5.20 GHz
8 Cores/16 Threads
12 Mb
6 Mb
20 Mb
16 Mb
125 w
125 w
Gaming and application

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Buying guide - Intel processor

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How to choose your Intel processor

The choice of an Intel processor is not made at random, especially with the appearance of several models with characteristics that are difficult to understand for the uninitiated. In this section, we will decode for you what a CPU is and make your decision easier when you buy.

#1 - The number of hearts

It all starts here! This criterion will help you understand your real needs for an Intel processor. You need to understand that the more cores a CPU, or processor, has the more expensive it will be. And ending up with an i9 when all you want to do is stream is a waste of money and potential.

In a processor, the cores are the worker ants that take care of the various tasks that the PC needs to do to function. The more cores, the faster the computer. Before the advent of the 8th generation, Coffee Lake, we can distinguish 3 uses for Intel PC CPUs:

  • The i3: these processors had only two logical cores and were called Dual Core. They were more than enough for office work, multimedia or surfing the web.
  • The i5: The first 4 cores and 4 threads, they were perfect for gaming with a more versatile use.
  • The i7 and i9: The top of the line. They have 4 cores, and more, with more Threads with more than enough usage for professional tasks like 3D software. Nowadays, they are still the most powerful processors.

Since the appearance of the Coffee Lake range, Intel has changed its strategy to be able to challenge the Ryzen CPUs of AMD. The latter has decided to ignore the two-core models and to privilege the 4 logical cores. For an assembly, Build, current PC or an upgrade, we suggest the 9th Generation CPUs, and more, because they are faster with an equivalent price.

  • The i3: Nowadays, these are the entry-level 4-core processors from Intel. They are powerful and sufficient for office use and even light gaming like Fortnite or Dota 2.
  • The i5: The new i5 from Intel now have 6 logical cores and Threads. They are the current all-round CPUs with an excellent price/performance ratio. With a few euros more, you get processors capable of doing everything, especially with the appearance of the 10th and 11th generation. For gaming, this is the perfect CPU to play at 1080p with 60 Fps.
  • i7s: For 2K or 4K display, it is wise to choose Intel i7 or i9 CPUs with 8 or more cores. The extra cores will not be a luxury. This is also an excellent choice for processing, editing and video or recently released software for 3D modeling.

If you plan to upgrade your old processor, choose the CPUs skipping a generation. On the other hand, if you have CPUs of the 6th generation or less, it will be more than beneficial to upgrade to the 8th or 9th Gen, and higher, directly. Obviously it will depend on your budget, but given the current prices it is an excellent investment in the very long term.

#2 - Speed


Intel processors, you usually have the base frequency and boost or turbo mode listed. Base frequency is the speed that all cores, including Threads, can achieve at the same time. While the turbo mode is based on the temperature of each core. This task is handled by the Intel Turbo Boost Technology that is already installed in your PC.

Simply put, this program analyzes the temperature of each core and increases the frequency of those with lower temperatures, here we are talking about the maximum allowed temperature for the CPU or TDP, than the others in order to get a performance Boost.

#3 - The graphics card

First of all, the range of Intel processors based on socket 2066 does not have a built-in graphics card as a basic


In addition, you are advised not to choose CPUs with "F", as it means that the model in question does not also have a graphics chip.

The other models have a graphics chip capable of playing high-definition video, but with very limited gaming capabilities. The new CPUs, from 9th and above, now have the integrated Intel Graphics Iris solution, which is 10 times more powerful than the old generation. However, for those playing recent games or working with greedy software, they will have to acquire an external graphics card from Nvidia or AMD.

#4 - The socket


you decide to change your Intel processor, you will also need to buy the motherboard with the right socket. It's very rare that a new generation of CPU will work on an old one. It's not rocket science, the socket is defined by 4 digits and the mention LGA and it is listed in your product description. For example, the Intel i5-10600K is compatible with the LGA 1200 socket. So you need to buy a motherboard with the same socket like the Z490 or H470 series for example.

On this subject, we advise to choose products made by big brands like Asus, Gigabyte, MSI or ASRock for example.

#5 - The buffer memory


known to the general public, the buffer memory of a processor influences its general performance. Indeed, it's like RAM, but it's built into the processor. The CPU stores in its buffer the data it needs quickly, which translates into a better reactivity. The old generations are the L1, L2 and L3 buffers. Now Intel uses the Smart Cache which is more dynamic, faster, and reduces latency enormously.

Intel i3 processors have a limit of 8Mb while i5s have about 12 Mb and i7s are at 16 Mb, on average.

What do the letters next to the Intel processors mean?

Unlike AMD, Intel processors are classified according to a letter code that affects their overall performance.

  • The letter K: This means that your CPU can be overclocked. With the help of third-party software, you will be able to run the processor beyond the Boost frequency and TDP limit. Also, an i7-4790K will perform better than an i7-4790. Obviously, they will cost more.
  • The letter F: Intel processors with this letter do not have an integrated graphics chip.
  • The letter S: These are already existing processors, but Intel has decided to rework them by increasing their TDP and frequency. A good performance boost, which translates into a KS or S designation only. The mention KS means a makeover (S) with the possibility of overclocking (K).
  • The letter T: These are CPUs that are optimized to consume less electricity.
  • The letter X or XE: These are Intel's Extreme CPUs. They are expensive solutions with unmatched performance.

These are the important suffixes when purchasing CPUs for a Tower PC. Below you have the letters for mobile processors.

  • The letter H: This letter indicates that the processor has an extremely powerful graphics chip.
  • HK: These are powerful solutions when it comes to laptops. HK also denotes increased power consumption.
  • HQ: This type of processor has a high-performance graphics solution (H) and has 4 cores (Q).
  • The letter M: The suffix M means that the CPU is a laptop model.
  • The letters U and Y: The letter U means that the CPU has been optimized to save energy. The letter Y goes further into the extreme when it comes to power consumption.

6 or 8 logical cores?

6-core processor

Processor manufacturers are currently setting a minimum of 6-core CPUs. This is due to the world of Gaming with the release of the PS5 and the Xbox X-Series featuring this type of CPU. 3D software and games will follow the same trend in the coming years. Offered at an excellent price/performance ratio, Intel's i5s are multi-purpose processors.

8-core processors

More expensive than the i5 with 6 cores, around 300 euros, are the i7 from Intel which offer 8 cores and the i9 with 10 logical cores and more. These products are suitable for more professional use or for people who want to do gaming in 2 or 4 K. However, take into account your needs, because for the sake of power consumption, CPUs with many cores have a lower base frequency. So, a good new generation i5 might perform better on a task than a big i9.


It all depends on your usage habits. For example, if you like to play recent games in 1080p, 2K at the limit, while working with an office suite, an i5 with 6 cores will be sufficient if you couple it with an entry or mid-range GPU. However, if you're demanding or your work requires it, an i7 or i9 will be the bare minimum.


Renew your thermal paste

If your Intel processor is starting to get hotter than usual, it may be time to renew the thermal paste. This is an electrically conductive substance that acts as a buffer between the CPU and the Ventirad. After a year or two, it tends to be ineffective, especially if you have been using an entry-level brand. To replace it, you need to open your Tower and remove the Ventirad on the CPU. Take the CPU and clean its surface. Put it back on and apply a dose, a nut, of thermal paste.

Change the original Intel cooling unit

Usually, the Intel-supplied Ventirad was designed to support normal use. If you're gaming for hours or using 3D software, you'll want to look to more appropriate solutions. When your CPU is well ventilated with normal temperatures for hours, it will work optimally. Otherwise, you will have slowdowns.

Install it the right way round!

All processors, no matter the brand, have a specific direction that you must respect when installing it. Locate the notches present on your CPU and put it on the socket so that the motherboard notches fit.

Ventilating your PC Tower

Heat is the enemy of all components of a PC. It is therefore important to set up an efficient ventilation system especially if you have in i7 or i9. If adding a fan, in the case, does not solve the problem, you will either have to buy a new, more efficient case or a Watercolling as a replacement for the ventirad.

Cleaning your box

Dirt that can accumulate inside your case can get stuck in the ventirad mechanism. This will result in poor airflow and a rise in CPU temperature. It is therefore important to clean regularly.


What is the best Intel processor?

The best Intel processor depends on your needs and your budget. Read our buying guide for the best products available.

How to choose an Intel processor?

You need to consider your needs, your usage habits and choose the Intel processor that fits them. In our guide, we present you the important characteristics to take into account.

How to know if an Intel processor can be overclocked?

You must purchase a processor with the suffix K. Models without this letter are impossible to overclock.

What is a Thread on a processor?

Threads are instructions that allow your CPU to perform more tasks at once. They depend on the number of cores a processor has. To put it simply, a logical core, the one that exists, can create 2 Threads. This allows to speed up the execution of a program.

When should I change my PC's processor?

If your PC continues to perform its daily task without any effect of slowdown or execution in your programs, it is perfect. However, if you have an old CPU and you want to play recent games, you will have to upgrade.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Intel Core i5-10600K 9
Intel Core i5-10600K
INTEL Core i3-10100F 10
INTEL Core i3-10100F
Intel Core i9-10850K 11
Intel Core i9-10850K
Intel Core i7-10700K 12
Intel Core i7-10700K


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