Looking for a CPU that can handle the latest VR titles without a hitch?

Your CPU is the unsung hero that can elevate your virtual escapades from “meh” to “mind-blowing!

A top-tier CPU doesn’t just run your games; it catapults you into alternate realities with zero lag.

Pair it with a killer GPU for your PCVR; you’re not just playing; you’re living the game.

This guide sheds light on CPUs’ vital role in VR performance. With a top-notch GPU, you’ll have everything you need for the perfect VR experience.

So, buckle up, and let’s find the best CPU for your VR gaming adventures!

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What Are the Best CPU For VR?

Before we jump into the thick of it, let’s take a moment to understand the role of a CPU in VR.

How workloads are distributed in virtual reality is crucial, especially since each eye’s display requires high resolution and a rapid refresh rate.

It’s crucial to strike the right balance between your CPU and GPU.

Think of it as a dance duo, where both partners are crucial, but the GPU leads just a step ahead for that flawless performance.

With that said, here are the best CPUs for VR:

1. Intel Core i9-13900K – The Ultimate Choice for VR Enthusiasts

Intel core i9


After the ultimate gaming performance, look no further than Intel’s beastly Core i9-13900K. This processor is a VR powerhouse that’ll blow your mind.

With 24 cores and 32 threads, multitasking is a breeze. Imagine effortlessly switching between your favorite VR games and streaming, all without breaking a sweat.

And with speeds that can skyrocket up to 5.8 GHz, you’re not just playing; you’re dominating.

Intel’s Core i9 is the king of CPUs, especially for VR gaming, where power is everything.

Say goodbye to lag and hello to immersive gameplay.

Pair this beast with a quality GPU, and you’ll take your virtual reality experience to a new level. Whether exploring vast landscapes or engaging in intense battles, your gameplay will be top-notch.

For a deeper dive into the performance of this powerhouse, check out these detailed reviews on PC Gamer.

Key Benefits 

  • Stay Cool Under Pressure: Thanks to its high thermal design power, this CPU ensures you never break a sweat, even in the most intense VR showdowns.
  • No GPU? No Problem: With integrated graphics support, you can dive into lighter VR games without splurging on a separate GPU. That’s right, it’s more fun for less money!

  • Unbeatable Speed: Exceptional single-core performance means you’ll enjoy buttery-smooth refresh rates that make your VR world as real as possible.

  • Game Like a Pro: Pair it with a robust GPU, and you’re looking at gameplay so smoothly that you’ll forget you’re not fighting dragons or racing cars.

The Good Stuff

  • Sky-High Single-Core Performance: This isn’t just fast; it’s lightning-fast, making your VR experiences unbelievably immersive.
  • Multi-Core Mastery: Exceptional performance across all cores means you can multitask like a champ—even in VR.
  • Overclock Away: Want to push the limits? Go ahead, and this CPU can take it.
  • Integrated Graphics Support: Perfect for a quick VR fix without the full setup.

Things to Ponder

  • Power Hungry: This beast loves to feast on your electricity bill.
  • Cool It Down: Exceptional performance comes with heat. Make sure you’ve got a top-notch cooling solution.

2. Intel’s Core i7-10700K – Editor’s Pick for Budget-Friendly Power

intel core i7


If you’re looking for a processor that delivers impressive results without breaking the bank, check out Intel’s Core i7-10700K. This powerhouse CPU is like a superhero in disguise, offering top-tier performance at an affordable price.

The Core i7-10700K is a VR powerhouse with eight cores under its hood.

It proves you don’t need to sell a kidney to enjoy smooth virtual reality gameplay.

The cost-to-performance ratio is crucial when choosing a CPU. The Core i7-10700K is an ideal choice for those looking to maximize their budget, as it provides a formidable performance at an economical cost.

This processor offers excellent value, providing powerful capabilities at a wallet-friendly, lower price tag.

Don’t be deceived by its cost – it’s an absolute powerhouse.

Key Benefits

  • Speed Demon: Among its peers, this CPU boasts one of the highest base clock speeds. Translation? Faster processing and zero lag in your VR world.
  • Smart Multitasking: Thanks to Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, this CPU knows where to channel its energy for maximum efficiency. It’s like having a built-in task manager for your most demanding VR games.
  • Double the Power: Hyper-Threading technology lets each core handle two tasks at once. Imagine a CPU that can juggle and never drop the ball.
  • Budget-Friendly Beast: Want powerhouse performance without the premium price? This is your CPU soulmate.

If you want solid performance without completely emptying your wallet, the Intel Core i7-10700K might be your CPU soulmate.

The Good Stuff

  • Overclocking Heaven: Push the limits; this CPU is up for the challenge.
  • Value for Money: Exceptional performance at a per-thread price that’ll make your wallet smile.
  • Turbo Boost Max 3.0: Smart tech for smart gaming.

Things to Ponder

  • New Motherboard Required: Be ready to upgrade your board for this beauty.
  • Cooler Not Included: Performance This hot needs a separate cooling solution.

3. AMD Ryzen 9 Series – The Gamer’s Dream CPU from AMD

AMD ryzen


The AMD Ryzen 9 series has gained immense popularity for its high-performance CPUs, especially the Ryzen 9 3900X and 3950X. Models like the Ryzen 9 3900X have been widely recognized as great value propositions.

Let’s delve deeper into these offerings. The Ryzen 9 3000X, for instance, is known for its excellent multi-threading capabilities, making it ideal for VR gaming where multiple tasks must be processed simultaneously.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something even more powerful, consider investing in the Ryzen 9 3950X. It boasts impressive clock speeds that can handle heavy-duty applications effortlessly – perfect for those intense VR games or simulations.

So whether you’re new to VR gaming or looking to upgrade your current setup, AMD’s Ryzen 9 Series offers some fantastic options.

Key Benefits 

  • Balanced Brilliance: AMD Ryzen 9 CPUs perfectly balance price and performance. That’s VR gaming done right.
  • Virtual Reality Virtuoso: With multiple cores, these CPUs excel at complex tasks like VR rendering and world exploration. Say goodbye to lag!
  • Smooth Operator: High refresh rates ensure your VR gaming is as smooth as silk, even in battle.
  • Intel Who?: Get Extreme Edition-level performance without the price tag.
  • Future-Proof: Planning to upgrade? These CPUs are a solid foundation for your next gaming rig.

The Good Stuff

  • Socket AM4 Compatible: Easy installation? Yes, please!
  • Multi-Thread Magic: These CPUs are multitasking monsters.
  • Cool and Collected: Lower TDP than Intel options means less heat and more gaming.

Things to Ponder

  • Bring Your Cooler: These hot performers need a separate cooling solution.
  • Limited Overclocking: They’re fast, but don’t expect to push them to the extreme.

4. AMD Ryzen 7 7700X – The Sweet Spot for Mid-Range VR Gaming

AMD ryzen 7


For those seeking an optimal processor for virtual reality gaming, the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X 8 Core stands out as a top contender. This eight-core beast is one of AMD’s top performers and comes highly recommended by gamers worldwide.

It operates at a base clock speed of 4.5 GHz and can reach a max boost clock speed of up to 5.4 GHz.

This processor is designed with VR gaming in mind, offering top-notch performance for intensive multi-threaded workloads—a decent pick but not the best, but good enough.

Key Benefits

  • High Clock Speeds: With a base clock of 4.5 GHz and a boost up to 5.4 GHz, you’re guaranteed a smooth and immersive VR experience.
  • Multithreading: The 8 cores and 16 threads make this CPU a multitasking powerhouse, perfect for VR games that require heavy computational tasks.
  • Precision Boost Overdrive: This feature allows for automatic overclocking when you need that extra performance kick, ensuring your VR games run without a hitch.
  • Connectivity: With support for PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 memory, this CPU is future-proof, making it a wise investment for upcoming VR titles.
  • Graphics: While a dedicated GPU is recommended for the best VR experience, the CPU does come with AMD Radeon Graphics, offering basic graphics support.

The Good Stuff

  • Versatile Performance: This CPU is designed to handle various tasks, making it ideal for VR gaming.
  • Future-Proof: With support for the latest PCIe and DDR5 standards, this CPU is a long-term investment.
  • Efficient Cooling: While a cooler is not included, the CPU is designed to operate efficiently with a premium air cooler.

Things to Ponder

  • No Included Cooler: You must invest in a separate cooling solution for optimal performance.
  • Limited Overclocking: While it supports Precision Boost Overdrive, the overclocking potential may not be as high as other options.

5. Core i5 10th Generation Processor – Budget-Friendly Option

intel core i5


The Intel Core i5 10th Generation processor combines performance and affordability, bringing VR gaming to life. Intel Core i5 can run VR games but may not perform best for more demanding VR titles.

It provides the perfect balance of cost-effective computing power and performance, making it an ideal choice for those seeking maximum value from their purchase.

This CPU delivers value without compromising your virtual reality experience.

The Intel Core i5 10th Generation processor comes equipped with Turbo Boost tech, providing an enhanced VR gaming experience when required.

In addition, the Gen 10 model of the Core i5 series also features Hyper-Threading Technology, improving multitasking and speeding up workflows.

This combination of advanced technologies ensures smooth gameplay in demanding VR environments. So this CPU won’t let you down whether you’re exploring vast open worlds or battling enemies in intense combat scenarios.

If you’re on a budget but still want top-notch performance for immersive virtual reality experiences, this chip should be on your list.

Key Benefits

  • The Intel Core i5 10th gen processor offers fast performance for intensive VR workloads.

  • It features multiple cores and Turbo Boost technology for enhanced VR gaming experiences.

  • Efficient cooling system designs ensure optimal thermal design power during intense VR sessions.

  • Integrated graphics offer enhanced gaming performance for demanding VR games.

  • Despite its top-tier features, it’s affordable, providing excellent value for money.

How Important is CPU Strength for VR?

CPU and GPU must work together to achieve high VR performance and minimize motion sickness.

The CPU is the crucial player in VR experiences, whether you’re gaming or exploring virtual worlds.

CPU strength is crucial for VR as it enables smooth processing, maintains high frame rates, handles complex simulations, multitasks effectively, and future-proofs your system for VR games.

Selecting the right CPU can significantly enhance your VR performance, ensuring you can enjoy your VR games without lags or stuttering.

I like how this guy explains it.

Related: Want to improve your CPU usage? Check my guide here!

High-Performing CPUs for VR Gaming

CPU and GPU combo is king in VR gaming.

It’s not just about having a powerful processor; it’s essential to have one that can collaborate with your graphics card for an engaging, traditional gaming experience.

AMD and Intel, two leading names in the CPU world, offer standout options perfect for VR gaming.

Understanding the Importance of CPU and GPU Combination

A CPU and GPU combination is essential for running high-demand applications such as VR games or simulations, as the former manages physics calculations while the latter renders images.

Your CPU handles tasks like physics calculations while your GPU renders images for video editing – vital processes in creating realistic virtual environments.

The key lies in balance: A high-end CPU won’t do much good if paired with a low-end GPU, as bottlenecks could occur where one component waits on another to finish its task – causing lagging or stuttering gameplay.

Conversely, pairing a top-tier graphics card with an underpowered processor might result in wasted potential as your shiny new GPU sits idle, waiting for instructions from the slower-paced CPU.


So remember: Achieving harmony between these two components is essential for smooth performance in VR gaming.

The Importance of Single-Core Performance

While many modern CPUs like AMD’s Ryzen series offer fast multi-core performance essential for running heavy-duty applications smoothly, single-core performance remains vital, especially when dealing with slightly higher clock speeds required by most current-gen VR games.

Regarding sheer single-core prowess for optimum gaming performance on a VR headset, Intel Core Desktop Processors like the Intel Core i9–9900K, part of Intel’s Extreme Edition CPU lineup, are hard to beat.

Affordable Yet Powerful Alternatives

If you’re searching for cost-effective CPU options that meet VR CPU requirements, the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and AMD Ryzen 5 3600 are good choices.

The Ryzen 5 3600 is a lower-tier but powerful processor with excellent thermal design power (TDP) efficiency. It can handle demanding virtual reality gaming scenarios without sacrificing frame rates.

CPU Cooling Systems: A Must-Have Feature?

A robust cooling system becomes critical when pushing these CPUs to their limits during intense sessions inside virtual realms, where maintaining stable temperatures aids longevity and consistent, top-notch performances.

Remember, whichever chip you opt for should be compatible with motherboards based on respective chipset platforms, so ensure compatibility aspects beforehand before making final decisions.

Always keep drivers updated and fine-tune settings for the best outcomes, regardless of hardware setup.


If you need help deciding which CPU best suits different purposes, look at this page.

Importance of Storage-Efficient VR Performance

SSDs are the optimal choice for VR, far surpassing HDDs.

Why SSDs Important

Firstly, speed is key.

In the virtual world, lag kills the vibe. With an SSD’s lightning-fast capabilities, loading times are slashed, giving you smoother gameplay.

Data reliability matters. Unlike HDDs with their moving parts that can fail, SSDs use flash memory technology, keeping your data intact even during intense VR sessions.

Noise reduction is a bonus. SSDs operate silently so that nothing will distract you from your virtual reality experience—no annoying humming or buzzing.

Lastly, not as much power is used.

SSDs are energy-efficient, producing less heat.

This is crucial for high-intensity tasks like VR gaming or simulations.

In conclusion, if you want seamless VR experiences, investing in a solid-state drive is a no-brainer. Say goodbye to lag and hello to VR bliss.

That’s a Wrap

And that’s a wrap!

So, there you have it – for an awesome VR gaming experience, the right mix of CPU and GPU is key.

Regarding VR gaming, finding the best CPU is a combo deal with the GPU. The AMD Ryzen 7 7700X 8 Core and Intel’s flagship model, the Core i9-9900K, are two top contenders.

The Ryzen 7 series brings the heat with high core count and clock speeds, while the Core i9 flexes impressive performance muscles.

Looking for value for money?

Intel’s Core i7-10700K strikes a fantastic balance between cost and performance. And for those balancing a mid-range budget, the Core i5 Gen10 hits that sweet spot of affordability and capability.

Let’s not forget AMD’s Ryzen 9 series, with value-packed models like the Ryzen 3000X and Ryzen 3950X.

FAQs About The Best CPU For VR

Get answers to a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions.

The AMD Ryzen 7 Series and Intel Core i9 are the top CPUs for VR performance.

A higher-performing CPU can significantly improve the frame rates and smoothness of virtual reality gaming.

It’s recommended for a minimum of four. But 8 is highly recommended. Most VR games use quad-core processors. Few of the games currently being played use cores.

It’s important to consider benchmarking when comparing CPUs of the same brand, as two chips with the same clock speed or core count may perform quite differently due to their infrastructure.

Comparing chips from different brands can be tricky, so comparing chips of the same brand and family is common.

The Intel Core i7-10700K offers an excellent balance of cost and performance for use with Oculus Quest 2.

A four-core processor may handle basic VR tasks, but an eight-core processor like the AMD Ryzen 7 series is advisable for high-end games.

The CPU’s clock speed gives you a rough indication of what the processor can do at any moment. Are Speed Training exercises still in maths classes? You probably did 20 or 30 mathematical tasks every minute.

The computer’s processor can do thousands of calculations in seconds. The higher the frequency, the more the CPU can perform some calculations per MHz per core. Notice that clock speeds vary across cores.

The core performs thousands of computations every second. I feel as though four people worked together in these math speed tests. It will take you a good number of minutes to solve a problem. Tell me the fastest speed.

The Intel Core i9-13900K is a better VR CPU than the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D. The i9-13900K has a more robust and efficient architecture, and its higher core count and clock speed make it better suited for demanding workloads such as VR. Here is a comparison.

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