Best CPU for NZXT N7 B550 in 2021
The NZXT N7 B550 is a killer mid-range motherboard for AMD processors, but which one is the best pick for your PC build? This decision largely comes down to price and what you plan on doing with your PC. We've rounded up the best CPU for the NZXT N7 B550, from the affordable AMD Ryzen 5 5600X to the insane AMD Ryzen 9 5950X.
Warning! Please be aware of inflated pricing. You will find most AMD processors listed for more than the original launch price, which is due to heightened demand and the global pandemic. Stay vigilant and spot good deals that actually save you money before giving in to temptation.
The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X may be considered a "mid-tier" processor, but it comes with eight cores and 16 threads, making it a compelling choice for a gaming PC. If your budget can't quite stretch to cover the entry AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, the Ryzen 7 5800X will be a good match for the N7 B550.
The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X is simply amazing. It really is incredible how AMD managed to cram inside 16 cores and 32 threads (yes, you read that correctly) for impressive computing performance. It's also the most powerful processor from AMD's 5000 series of CPUs. This CPU will be able to handle even the most demanding of games at 1440p and 4K, as well as any software you can throw at it.
The entry-level CPU for the Ryzen 9 series is the 5900X, which has fewer cores and threads than the top-tier 5950X. It could still be considered overkill for most PC builds, however, thanks to the 12 cores and 24 threads. It's brilliant at both productivity use and gaming. Pair it up with the best graphics card and you'll be able to enjoy butter-smooth gaming at 4K.
The Ryzen 5 5600X is a solid mid-tier CPU that's more affordable than AMD processors we've covered thus far in this collection. Don't assume that means it's not capable as it has 6 cores and 12 threads, making this one amazing value-centric CPU. Paired up with the latest NVIDIA or AMD GPU, you'll have one capable gaming rig.
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There are many good 5000-series choices from AMD for the N7 B550 motherboard, but this board will also work just fine with 3000-series processors. If you have an older CPU, you may not have to upgrade immediately. Just don't go buying an APU (processors with a "G" as a suffix) since these are not supported by the NZXT N7 B550 motherboard.
If we were to make a single recommendation for this board, it would be the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X. This is an excellent CPU for productivity and gaming without breaking into your bank account and draining it dry. If you need a little more guts from your CPU, there's always the mightily impressive Ryzen 9 5900X, which is touted as the best gaming CPU from AMD.
Then there's the Ryzen 9 5950X, overkill for most PC builds, which is totally awesome if you manage to keep it cooled enough to hit turbo clock speeds. Really, you could go with the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X and have a blast of a time. Modern processors are that good.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.