2023 CPU Hierarchy: A Comprehensive Tier List for PC Processors

by Jack Prosser
2023 2024 CPU Hierarchy

Are you trying to build ultimate gaming rig or updating your work-from-home setup? The CPU is the heart of your machine, and picking the right one can significantly improve experience. Whether you are immersed in high-tier gaming, indulging in graphic designing, software development, or managing large datasets, we got you covered. We have an organized tier list of CPUs available in 2023 and early 2023 based on their performance.

Now that we have established the importance of a CPU, let’s look at how the CPUs are categorized. This categorization will work as a functional guide to identify the CPU that best suits your requirements and budget.

TechWafer hierarchy list classifies CPUs into different tiers ranging from Tier 1, the high-end, performance-oriented processors, to Tier 4, the budget-friendly processors. This list takes into account general reviews, benchmark performance, energy consumption, and price. These are decisive aspects in categorizing the processors.

Keep in mind that the actual performance can vary based on other hardware components, software optimization, and specific workloads. TechWafer team has built several tools to help you in building your next perfect PC. They include an SSD Tier List, a Bottleneck Calculator, a PSU Calculator, and a PSU Tier List.

Let’s begin with the CPU hierarchy list 2023 and provide you with an updated, efficient, and ultimate guide to selecting the best CPU for your next build!

Tier 1 CPUs in 2023/2024

Absolutely, let’s delve into the Tier 1 CPUs. These powerful processors are the cream of the crop, providing top-tier performance for both gaming and productivity tasks.

Tier 1 CPU List

CPUs for Gaming from Tier 1

These CPUs take gaming to another level. Expect ultra-high frame rates and unwavering game performance, even when playing the most demanding AAA titles at their highest settings.

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • AMD Ryzen 9 5950X: Mastering processing power and efficiency, this CPU guarantees smooth gameplay at peak settings. (Frequents the top of gaming CPU charts)
  • Intel Core i9-13900K/KS: Living up to its Core i9 label, this CPU offers exceptional single and multi-core gaming performance.
ModelCores/ThreadsClockTDPLatest Price (USD)
Ryzen 7 7800X3D8/165.0 GHz120W$449
Ryzen 9 7950X3D16/325.7 GHz120W$699
Ryzen 9 7900X3D12/245.6 GHz120W$589
Intel Core i9-13900K/KS8P/16E/32T5.8 GHz125W$569
Ryzen 7 7700X8/125.4 GHz105W$399
Intel Core i7-13700K8P/8E/24T5.4 GHz125W$399
Ryzen 9 7950X16/325.7 GHz170W$799
Ryzen 9 7900X12/245.6 GHz170W$599
Ryzen 5 7600X6/125.3 GHz105W$299
Ryzen 9 790012/245.4 GHz65W$449

CPUs for Productivity from Tier 1

In terms of productivity, these CPUs handle intensive tasks and workloads, keeping up with your demanding software requirements:

  • If you’re here, it means you’re looking for comprehensive insights about the AMD Threadripper 3990X, and we’ve got you covered. Let’s unravel the capabilities of this beast.
  • The AMD Threadripper 3990X stands as the confirmation of AMD’s commitment to high-end desktop computing.
  • AMD Ryzen 9 5950X: With 16 cores and 32 threads, this CPU is ideal for video editing, 3D rendering, and multitasking.

Note: Remember, Tier 1 CPUs command a higher price tag, but offer best performance in gaming or productivity.

ModelCores/ThreadsClockTDPLatest Price (USD)
AMD Threadripper 3990X64/1284.3 GHz280W$3,990
AMD Threadripper 3970X32/644.5 GHz280W$1,990
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X16/325.7 GHz170W$799
AMD Threadripper 3960X24/484.5 GHz280W$1,390
AMD Threadripper 2990 WX32/644.2 GHz250W$1,799
Intel Core Core i9-10980XE18/364.8 GHz165W$999

Tier 2 CPUs in 2023/2024

The second tier in our CPU hierarchy constitutes a blend of newer and older-generation CPUs that offer significant value for money. These processors are cost-effective and have a modest core count, making them accessible to various end-users looking for a balanced CPU option.

Tier 2 CPU List

Key players in this tier include AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X and the Ryzen 5 5600, which are contending with Intel’s I5-11600K.

Older yet powerful, the 10th-gen Intel CPUs, the 10700K and 10900K, and some of AMD’s third-gen processors, such as Ryzen 3900X and 3700X, also retain a place in the top category. Their enduring performance ensures they remain viable options in 2023.

ModelCores/ThreadsClockTDPLatest Price (USD)
Intel Core i9-11900K10/165.3 GHz125W$549
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X12/244.8 GHz105W$549
Intel Core i5-12600K6P/4E/16T4.9 GHz125W$329
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X8/164.7 GHz105W$449
AMD Ryzen 7 5700X8/164.6 GHz65W$399
Intel Core i7-11700K8/165.0 GHz125W$429
Intel Core i9-10900K10/205.3 GHz125W$499
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X6/124.6 GHz65W$299
Intel Core i5-124006P/0E/12T4.4 GHz65W$219

Tier 3 CPUs in 2023/2024

Let’s talk about Tier 3, which contains CPUs that strike the perfect balance between price and performance. CPUs in this tier offer superb performance for daily computing tasks. Not to mention, these CPUs are perfect for mid-range to higher-mid-end gaming setups as well.

Tier 3 CPU List

Arguably, one of the most renowned processors in this category is the AMD Ryzen 5 3600In addition to the Ryzen 5 3600, some of Intel’s 9th-generation CPUs seamlessly fit into this category.

ModelCores/ThreadsClockTDPPrice (USD)
Intel Core i9-9900K8/165.0 GHz95W$399
Intel Core i7-9700K8/84.9 GHz95W$349
Intel Core i9-99008/165.0 GHz65W$449
Intel Core i7-97008/84.7 GHz65W$399
AMD Ryzen 5 55006/124.2 GHz65W$159
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X6/124.4 GHz65W$199
AMD Ryzen 3 3300X4/84.3 GHz95W$129
Intel Core i5-9600K6/64.6 GHz95W$249

Whether you’re a casual gamer or an aspiring content creator, these processors in Tier 3 will serve you well.

Tier 4: Best for Tight Budgets

Moving into Tier 4, the lowest rung of our CPU hierarchy, we venture into the territory of budget processors. While they still carry merit for those on a tight budget, it’s clear that they need more punch.

CPU List of Tier 4

  • AMD’s Ryzen 2700X: The second generation of Ryzen continues to provide excellent value for money. Despite the evident drawbacks of IPC, it still holds a remarkable charm.
  • Intel’s 9th Generation i5s and i3s: With the likes of the i5-9400F, this series may appeal to the budget-conscious buyer. Regrettably, these CPUs do exhibit their age and not in an acceptable wine sort of way.

Note: While these CPUs may feel outdated, they still can get the job done for basic tasks and light gaming. However, if high performance is what you’re after, you should reconsider and aim for a higher Tier.

ModelCores/ThreadsClockTDPPrice (USD)
Intel Core i3-103004/84.4 GHz65W$129
Intel Core i5-9400/F6/64.1 GHz65W$179
Intel Core i3-101004/84.3 GHz65W$109
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X8/164.3 GHz105W$199
AMD Ryzen 3 31004/83.9 GHz65W$99
AMD Ryzen 3400G4/84.2 GHz65W$119


In wrapping things up, understanding the CPU hierarchy in 2023 is critical to choose processor that fits your needs. Whether you are a serious gamer, a productivity-focused user, or just someone with a tight budget, it has you covered.

The Tier 1 CPUs, led by top-tier processors optimized for exemplary gaming and productivity performances, are your go-to choice if high performance is a non-negotiable factor for you. These CPUs deliver outstanding speeds that translate into smoother and faster gaming and productivity experiences that you will undoubtedly appreciate.

Tier 2 CPUs are a pretty versatile set, striking a balance between price and performance. They are designed to handle moderately heavy tasks smoothly and can handle most games and productivity tasks without breaking a sweat.

For CPU enthusiasts who grasp the best performance for their spending, Tier 3 CPUs are the most tailored choice. These units come with some severe processing firepower. Tier 4 CPUs are an excellent fit for professional gamers, streamers, and professionals.

Lastly, Tier 4 CPUs, although being the most budget-friendly, are a solid choice for PCs used for basic tasks or light gaming. They provide good value for cash-strapped buyers or those who only require a CPU for casual use.

In conclusion, CPUs are not a one-size-fits-all component. Understand your needs, evaluate the tiers, and select a CPU unit that’s best suited for your particular situation. You’ll save money, enjoy better performance, and set yourself up for future improvements. Happy CPU hunting in 2023!

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