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Best Budget CPU in 2022

Building your own PC doesn't have to be ridiculously expensive, and building on a budget starts right from the heart. The CPU is what drives everything, and without a good one, your PC will suffer. Fortunately, there are good, low-cost options out there. We've rounded up the best, and they all have integrated graphics so you won't need to purchase an extra graphics card.

Building a PC can be fun and affordable

A lot of attention is spent on the super-expensive, high-end CPUs, but the truth is that for a lot of people, a good budget system will be all the PC they need. But choosing the right parts is essential. In the case of the budget PC builder, AMD's Ryzen 3 3100 (opens in new tab) is currently our top recommendation, thanks to its incredible performance while keeping its price firmly below $200. Its only downfall is that you can't use one without a graphics card, but for tighter budget gaming builds in particular, it's a champ.

If gaming is on your mind then you can also get going right away, no graphics card needed, with the Ryzen 5 3400G (opens in new tab). This is a pretty beastly thing to have in a budget system, with a quad-core CPU portion and 11 Radeon Vega GPU cores. Integrated graphics have come a long way, and yes, it can play Fortnite.

Intel isn't completely out of the budget segment, though, even if AMD has more to choose from. For a truly budget build, the Pentium Gold G5400 (opens in new tab) is a good way to go. Don't let the name put you off; this is a capable CPU that would be right at home in an office-based PC, an HTPC, or even a budget gaming build.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.