Best CPUs For VR in 2021- Buyer’s Guide

(Last Updated On: February 7, 2021)
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Virtual Reality is the experience of a world that doesn’t exist. It is created by computers that allow you to interact with a 3D world. Instead of going out every now and then to experience VR, you can now make your computer good enough to run it. Here, we have listed some of the best CPUs for VR.

We all love VR technology as it derives us immense entertainment. Not only this, but it also serves as a primary method for treating post-traumatic stress, anxiety, phobias, and depression. The display creates an unbelievable experience that allows you to encounter the virtual world. Virtual Reality is most commonly used in entertainment applications, including video games and 3D cinema.

FYI: We have also reviewed and listed some of the best VR headsets for VrChat and Gaming. You can also check out the best CPUs for video editing here.

As virtual reality technology has advanced, its access is now being available on private platforms such as televisions, computers, etc. You can now experience the astonishing virtual world just by sitting at home. You can customize your ordinary computers into specialized VR computers, or you can build one. Building a VR PC requires a lot of important and specialized components. Among all, the most important and critical is the Central Processing Unit – CPU. Just by choosing the right kind of CPU, you can experience the fantasies of the virtual world. Some of the best CPU for VR gaming is as follow:

Quick Search & Comparison of Best CPU’s For VR

CPU Cores Speed(CPU)
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X- Editor’s Choice 8 4 GHZ Check Price
Intel Core i9-9980XE 18 3 GHZ Check Price
Intel Core i5-9600K 6 3.7 GHZ Check Price



AMD Ryzen 7 1800X- Editor’s Choice

best cpu for vr

The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X processor is a high-quality processor designed for high-performance video encoding, content streaming, and gaming at 4k resolution. This processor was introduced in early 2017. It was the fastest model at the time of its announcement. It is the first AMD processor to support 2-way simultaneous multithreading. This processor allows you to experience elite performance in games, content creation, and intense multitasking. It definitely offers a balanced design for serious PC enthusiasts.


It is a 64-bit octa-core high-end performance desktop.

This CPU is based on AMD’s new Zen architecture that delivers the highest single-thread and multi-thread performance.

It is a fast desktop processor with 8 cores and 16 threads that provides ultimate performance and value for gamers and creators. Simultaneous Multi-threading allows each core to handle two simultaneous threads as if they are two virtual processors.

The processor operates at a base frequency of 3.6 GHz with a TDP of 95 W. By using the entire 8 cores. The CPU can reach up to 3.7 GHz. It can reach a maximum of 4 GHz turbo clock speed.

Ryzen 7 1800x has smart sensors that dynamically fine-tune its performance to meet applications’ needs by monitoring its usage and temperature.

It is based on ADM’s SenseMI technology that learns and adapts according to your computer’s workload.

Ryzen 7 1800x supports up to 64 GiB of dual-channel DDR4-2666 ECC memory.

It includes 16 PCle lanes for a GPU and 4 more lanes for storage.

The 1800X processor can handle a 4 MB L2 cache and a large 16 MB L3 cache.

It supports the AM4 socket that allows easy upgrades.


A Ryzen-7 compatible cooler is required as the 1800X processor doesn’t come with a bundled CPU cooler.

Secondly, overclocking will disable the extended frequency range (XFR) and Precision Boost.

Pros Cons
Impressive multi-thread performance Cooling device not included
New attractive AM4 platform Not great for overclocking
Smooth gaming
Unusually good value



In conclusion, The Ryzen-7 1800X processor is the fastest of the first generation Ryzen processors. It expresses the power and efficiency of the all-new ‘’Zen’’ x860 core. A number of architectural advances have been combined with all new processing technologies to propel users to the next horizon of computing. It provides great multi-core performance along with smooth gaming with a strong minimum frame rate. It is considered as one of the best processors, fastest and latest processors because of its capability to run VR and allowing its users to experience the magical Virtual world.

Intel Core i9-9980XE

18 cores fast CPU for VR

The Intel Core i9-9980XE is the fastest high-end desktop processor. It is one of Intel’s 9th Generation processors. Intel introduced it in late 2018. This processor is a great investment in your desktop experiences – whether for gaming, entertainment, general-purpose computing, or whatever you like. It is based on Skylake architecture. This processor can chew intensive multi-threaded workloads like a pro. It can handle your most demanding workload. It allows you to upload and edit your videos quickly. Along with this, you can now experience VR videos in all stunning 4k with the help of this Intel’s extreme edition CPU. It is an extremely powerful, lust-worthy high-end desktop processor.


It is a 64-bit octadeca-core desktop microprocessor.

Intel i9-9980XE has 18 cores and 36 threads in LGA 2066 socket. The cores allow the processor to run multiple programs simultaneously without letting the system to slow down. They also allow you to extreme mega-task when it is required. The threads allow the instructions to be passed through in an ordered sequence.

It also has 24.75 MB of cache memory and supports up to 44 PCle lanes.

This CPU is based on Intel’s Skylake architecture, which is fabricated on the 14nm process.

It operates at a 3 GHz with TDP 165 W. This CPU has a Turbo Boost frequency of up to 4.4 GHz.

It also supports up to 128 GiB quad-channel DDR4-2666 memory.

In addition to the Turbo Boost frequency, it has a Turbo Max frequency of 4.5 GHz.

It supports Intel Optane Memory.

This CPU also comes with other features such as SSD support, AES-NI encryption, Intel vPro technology, and Intel TXT.

The processor is unlocked to provide additional headroom.

Intel has also introduced many new features in this extreme edition processor, including the ability to overclock each core individually, AVX ratio, and VccU voltage. All these features combined control stability and extreme scenarios.

Other tools like Intel Extreme Tuning Utility (Intel XTU) and Intel Extreme Memory Profile (Intel XMP) provide you a powerful kit for maximizing performance.

All the features of this Intel processor are combined to allow you to experience the extreme performance, mesmeric 4k visuals, high-speed storage, and the latest technological advancements.

The processor allows you to edit your videos, render 3D effects, and compose the soundtrack at the same time by utilizing all of its features without compromising your computer’s performance.


The processor doesn’t contain any integrated graphics, so you need to buy a compatible dedicated GPU of your choice.

It also doesn’t support ECC memory.

It is compatible only with motherboards based on Intel x299 chipsets.

Pros Cons
Class-leading performance Too expensive as compared to the competition
18 cores
Runs Smoothly



Although it is the most expensive HEDT chip on the market, Intel’s Core i9-9980XE is a performance beast of a high-end CPU by all measures. It supports every cutting-edge non-enterprise feature that the company offers, from Turbo Boost to Hyper-Threading. It can breeze through any computer’s workload you’re planning to throw its way. This processor breaks all the limits of what you can create on your computer.  Above all, it supports Intel VT-d virtualization technology that allows its users to contact the astonishing and mind-blowing virtual world.

Intel Core i5-9600K

9th generation core i5 for virtual reality gaming and videos

The Intel Core i5-9600K is a hexa-core chip introduced by the company in October 2018. Intel’s 9th Generation processors are part of the most powerful family of Intel Core desktop processors ever. This CPU is based on Intel’s Coffee Lake architecture. It is powerful enough for your demanding applications. It is 10-15% faster than its predecessor because of architectural improvements and slightly higher clock speeds. The performance of the unlocked 9th Generation Intel Core i5-9600K allows you to game with confidence.


It offers 6 cores with 6 threads with 9MB SmartCache for more processing power.

I5-9600k has a 3.7 GHz base clock that can Turbo Boost up to 4.6 GHz.

This processing chip has an unlocked multiplier, which makes the CPU relatively easy to overclock.

It is integrated into Intel’s UHD Graphics 630 GPU that can clock up to 1.15 GHz, making the processor powerful enough to run the older games at reduced graphic levels.

I5-9600k has a 95 W thermal design power (TDP).

It supports DDR4 RAM technology, allowing systems to have up to 64 GB of memory and up to 2666 MT/s.

This CPU also supports Optane Memory and SSD that allows you to accelerate the loading and launching of the games you play the most.

It also has Intel Turbo Boost technology 2.0 and Intel vPro technology that offer powerful productivity, gaming, and overclocking.

Intel Core i5-9600k built with Solid Thermal Interface Material (STIM) that helps in maximizing efficient heat transfer from the processor to the cooler. It allows users to experience lower temperatures under load.

It also offers free Intel Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU) that allows you to get the most from your unlocked processor by fine-tuning your overclock.

This processor Utilizes Intel Quick Sync Video technology that allows you to live-stream, capture, and multitask without any interruption.

The 40 Pcle lanes allow you to power up and customize your gaming. It also provides outstanding flexibility.

This intel processor integrates advanced media technologies that bring premium, high-quality content to your desktop, including smooth streaming of premium 4k UDH entertainment.

It also integrates hardware-level technologies that help you strengthen the protection of your enabled security software.


It is only compatible with Intel 3600 Series Motherboard. It requires a Z390 chipset motherboard.

The cooling device is not included with the processor. It requires a decent cooler.

I5-9600k doesn’t support Intel Hyper-Threading technology.

If overclocked, the processor will consume up to 150 W.

Pros Cons
Excellent gaming performance No bundled cooler
Unlocked multiplier for overclocking Requires Z-series motherboard
bang for buck



Despite all the limitations, The Intel Core i5-9600K processor provides exceptional performance, immersive entertainment, and simple convenience. It extends all the capabilities that the users love from the previous generation CPUs with more advanced innovations. It allows you to enjoy excellent gaming and a very smooth virtual reality experience. i5-9600k provides full-size, screen-immersive viewing experiences with 4k video and 360-degrees. No matter if you’re a hungry professional, an exceptional enthusiast, or a first-time buyer, this processor will enable the experiences you seek.

How to Choose The Best CPU For VR

This image compares speed of best CPU's for VR

Incredible virtual experiences require incredible computing power. Whether you are building or upgrading your PC, the CPU is one of the most critical parts. If you choose the wrong processor for building an ideal virtual reality PC, you will end up with stuttering and glitches caused by bottlenecks. The right choice of the CPU matters a lot. We have provided you with a guide to choosing the best CPU for VR that will help you choose the right CPU that delivers a very smooth virtual reality experience.


Components like CPU processors often bottleneck. It takes place when a single component severely limits the capacity of an application of a computer system. It affects the processor’s performance by slowing down the flow of information. When your processor is too slow, the processes will start to back up, which causes freezing and dropped frames in your video. So, a fast processor is desirable to run VR.


A core is the thinking part of the CPU.  Like a CPU is the brain of the computer, a core is the CPU’s brain. Its function is to receive information, perform calculations and operations.  A CPU can have multiple cores, which makes it possible to process multiple calculations at the same time. A CPU having multiple cores is desirable as the more cores, the faster CPU. However, a CPU with a minimum of 4 cores is recommended as most VR games are programmed for them.


Threads refer to how many numbers of independent processes a chip can handle at a time. Many processors have multi-threading capability that allows a single core to create two threads. It is also called Hyper-Threading and Simultaneous Multi-threading. A processor with multiple threads is desirable as more threads result in better multitasking and enhanced performance.

Clock speed

Clock speed is matters more than the number of cores. It is also called the clock rate. It refers to the speed at which a processor executes information. Clock speeds are expressed in Gigahertz (GHz) or Megahertz (MHz). A processor is doing billions of calculations every second. It is desirable to have a processor with a higher clock speed. However, a clock speed of a minimum of 3 GHz is recommended for VR.


The clock speed being defined in the specs is the base clock speed. However, the processor can speed up a little when needed. The temporarily speeding up of the processor (for meeting the needs) is called boosting.

CPUs can also be overclocked. Overclocking is a different process from boosting. In overclocking, you speed up the normal operating clock speed of the central processing unit. This involves a little risk because the faster you run the chip, the hotter it gets. The processor may burn out due to overclocking. So, overclocking is not recommended, or buy those processors that don’t get much heated when overclocked.

Latest Generation CPUs

If you’re going with an older, previous-generation chip, you won’t save much money in the long run. So, the latest generation processor is always desirable to run VR smoothly. Intel 9th and 10th Generation microprocessors are recommended. If you are a fan of AMD, go for AMD ryzen 7 series.


If you’re pairing a strong CPU with weak storage, RAM, and graphics, then you’re not doing justice with your money. Only a processor paired with strong storage, RAM, and graphics is desirable to run VR efficiently. A VR capable graphics card and at least 8 GB of RAM is required to run VR technology on your computer.


The thermal design power refers to the amount of heat that a chip generates. It is measured in watts. CPUs put out more heat when overclocked. It’s good to know your processor’s TDP so you can choose the right cooling and power equipment to support your PC. A higher TDP is recommended as it usually coincides with faster performance.


A processor’s cache speeds up the access to data and instructions between CPU and RAM. Mainly, there are three types of cache; L1 is the fastest, L2 is roomier, and L3 is spacious. When the data isn’t available in any one of these places, then the CPU reaches for RAM, which is much slower as RAM is comparatively farther away from the processor’s on-chip cache. A processor whose on-chip cache memory can store maximum MB of data is desirable.

How important is CPU for VR?

CPU has its own importance for running VR stuff. If your CPU is outdated, you can experience lag and lower FPS in demanding games and videos. Even if you have the right amount of RAM and GPU, you can suffer stuttering in heavy games. So, In our opinion CPU is extremely important for running VR games and videos smoothly.

Final Conclusion

This article aims to familiarize you with a few of the best CPUs for VR for making your Virtual reality dream really smooth and efficient. You can now unlock your creative potential with the power you need to create, edit, and share with the processors listed above.

We have targeted the CPUs specialized in running VR. If you feel VR is something that you might want to try, these processors provide confidence that your system has enough processing power to handle this advanced workload. By listing the buyer’s guide, we have also made it easy for you to make the right choice of the processor. We are hopeful that this article will help you understand, interpret, and make the right decision that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

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