Best LGA 1155 CPUs for Gaming and Light usage (in 2021)

Out of cash to build a new PC with the latest Ryzen or Intel CPUs? Are you currently sitting with an old LGA 1155 Computer and looking for the best LGA 1155 CPU to revive it? Then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I review 5 of the best LGA 1155 CPUs to buy in 2021.

 Best LGA 1155 CPUs

1.Intel Core i7-3770K (Best CPU overall)

2. Intel Core i7-3770 (Runner up)

3. Intel Core i5-3570 (Runner up 2)

4. Intel Core i5-3550 (Best mid-range)

5. Intel Core i3-3220 (Best Cheap CPU)

1. Intel Core i7-3770K (Best CPU overall)

The Intel Core i7-3770K is the head of the Ivy Bridge (3rd Generation Intel CPUs) family making it the best CPU for LGA 1155 Sockets. It is the fastest of the bunch and is likely to fulfill your needs. It has a huge jump in performance compared to Sandy Bridge (2nd Generation)CPUs. 

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This particular CPU has a base clock of 3.5GHz and boost clock speeds of 3.9GHz. It has 4 processor cores and 8 Threads with an 8MB Intel smart cache. The “K” in the Intel Core i7-3770K means it is unlocked for overclocking. This is a desirable feature for gamers and performance users. The awesome thing about this third-generation range of CPUs is that they feature 22nm architecture. The previous version (Second generation Intel CPUs) had a 32nm architecture

It features Intel Graphics 4000 which is handy for users who will be using this CPU for light work. It supports up to 32GB of DDR3 memory with a maximum memory bandwidth of 25.6GB/s. This helps improve processing speed. This CPU does well in gaming on low to mid-range settings in new-age games but one can’t expect to get ultra 4K gaming from a CPU that dropped in 2012. Most users recommend as the best LGA 1155 CPU.

Specifications

  • Number of Cores: 4
  • Number of Threads: 8
  • Processor Base Frequency: 3.50 GHz
  • Max Turbo Frequency: 3.90 GHz
  • Cache: 8 MB Intel Smart Cache
  • TDP: 77 W
  • Max Memory Size: 32 GB
  • Memory Types: DDR3 1333/1600
  • Processor Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000

PROS

  • Fantastic all-round performance
  • Huge Improvements compared to 2nd Gen intel CPUs

CONS

  • Gaming may not be at modern-day standards

2. Intel Core i7-3770 (Runner up)

The Intel Core i7-3770 has similar characteristics to the Intel Core i7-3770K except it is not unlocked for overclocking. It is considered one of the fastest Ivy Bridge (3rd Generation Intel CPUs) CPUs around. This CPU has a base clock speed of 3.4GHz which is 100GHz slower than the Intel Core i7-3770K. When boosted, however, it hits the same boosted clock speeds as the Intel Core i7-3770K. 

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The Intel Core i7-3770 has a slight hiccup. It was originally released at a higher price than the Intel Core i7-3770K which is strange as the Intel Core i7-3770K has more features. It is a 4 core processor with 8 threads and is one of the most recommended CPUs for LGA 1155 setups. It has an 8MB Intel Smart Cache and a TDP (Thermal Design Power) of 77 Watts just like the Intel Core i7-3770K. It too supports DDR3 memory of up to 32GB and has a maximum memory bandwidth of 25.6GB/s for speedy processing. 

It comes featured with intel HD Graphics 4000 which is handy for daily tasks like surfing the web and consuming media. The Intel Core i7-3770 is one of the best LGA 1155 CPUs as it features some of the fastest processing power for its league.

Specifications

  • Number of Cores: 4
  • Number of Threads: 8
  • Processor Base Frequency: 3.40 GHz
  • Max Turbo Frequency: 3.90 GHz
  • Cache: 8 MB Intel Smart Cache
  • TDP: 77 W
  • Max Memory Size: 32 GB
  • Memory Types: DDR3 1333/1600
  • Processor Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000

PROS

  • Fantastic all-round performance
  • Huge Improvements compared to 2nd Gen Intel CPUs

CONS

  • The retail price is more than the Intel Core i7-3770K

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3. Intel Core i5-3570 (Runner up 2)

In 2012, Intel released a range of third Generation CPUs for all markets. Amongst all CPUs released was the Intel Core i5-3570 Processor that was the midrange processor. This processor is geared for those who are not looking to spend more on a top of the range i7 Ivy Bridge CPU. 

This CPU has a clock speed of 3.40GHz and 3.8GHz turbo-boosted. It has 4 CPU cores and 4 threads which decreases its performance potential compared to the i7 CPUs. This CPU has a 6MB Intel Smart Cache and features Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0. Like the i7 CPUs, the Intel Core i5-3570 has a Thermal Design Power of 77 Watts. 

It supports DDR3 memory of up to 32GBs and has a maximum memory bandwidth of 25.6 GB/s. This is quite swift compared to the generation of Intel CPUs that came before. If you are looking for a good mid-range CPU for an LGA 1155 socket. Then, this is a good pick for the best LGA 1155 CPU because it comes at a decent price for mid-range performance in its league.

Specifications

  • Number of Cores: 4
  • Number of Threads: 4
  • Processor Base Frequency: 3.40 GHz
  • Max Turbo Frequency: 3.80 GHz
  • Cache: 6 MB Intel Smart Cache
  • TDP: 77 W
  • Max Memory Size: 32 GB
  • Memory Types: DDR3 1333/1600
  • Processor Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 2500

PROS

  • Good Clock Speeds for its time
  • Fantastic minimal task performance

CONS

  • Only has 4 Threads
  • Embedded graphics aren’t as good as the i7 Ivy Bridge CPUs

4. Intel Core i5-3550 (Best mid-range)

Heading towards the entry-level spectrum of LGA 1155 CPUs we have the Intel Core i5-3550 CPU. This CPU has a clock speed of 3.3GHz and 3.7GHz when turbo-boosted. This is considered one of the “not so annoying CPUs” when it comes to performance. Ivy Bridge brought some major improvements and features to the CPU game which made this particular CPU a big deal for average users. 

It has 4 Cores and 4 Threads and an Intel Smart Cache of 6MB. It has a Thermal Design Power of 77 Watts just like the previously mentioned CPUs. This is desirable if you have a GPU that consumes a lot more energy. It supports DDR3 memory of up to 32GBs and it works well for light gaming on older games. 

It has Intel HD Graphics 2500 which comes embedded in the CPU for light graphics users. If you’re looking for a CPU that costs a lot less than the i7 versions then this is your best candidate. It is also considered one of the best LGA 1155 CPU. 

Specifications

  • Number of Cores: 4
  • Number of Threads: 4
  • Processor Base Frequency: 3.30 GHz
  • Max Turbo Frequency: 3.70 GHz
  • Cache: 6 MB Intel Smart Cache
  • TDP: 77 W
  • Max Memory Size: 32 GB
  • Memory Types: DDR3 1333/1600
  • Processor Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 2500

PROS

  • Cheaper compared to i7 Ivy Bridge CPUs

CONS

  • Performance is mediocre 

5. Intel Core i3-3220 (Best Cheap CPU)

The Intel Core i3-3220 is the cheapest LGA 1155 CPU (with decent performance) you’ll find on the market currently. It is the entry-level of CPUs and it is not recommended for anyone who is looking to game. It has 2 Processing Cores and 4 Threads which isn’t much power compared to today’s standards.

It has a clock speed of 3.3GHz and that is all you get as it doesn’t have any turbo boost. This CPU is for those who want to build a PC for media consumption and some internet surfing. It has an Intel Smart Cache of 3MB and a Thermal Design Power of 55 Watts. It supports DDR3 memory of up to 32GBs and features an Intel HD Graphics 2500. 

If you’re looking for a best LGA 1155 CPU on the cheap, the Intel Core i3-3220 is your best bet. Don’t consider this a gaming CPU as you will be disappointed.

Specifications

  • Number of Cores: 2
  • Number of Threads: 4
  • Processor Base Frequency: 3.30 GHz
  • Cache: 3 MB Intel Smart Cache
  • TDP: 77 W
  • Max Memory Size: 32 GB
  • Memory Types: DDR3 1333/1600
  • Processor Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 2500

PROS

  • You can get it on the cheap

CONS

  • Low performance and clock speeds

LGA 1155 CPU Buyer’s Guide

Consider the Core Count and Clock Speeds

Give time to think through how you’ll be utilizing the CPU. Will it be used for light tasks or for gaming? If you’re considering gaming, the best option is the CPU with the highest clocks and cores. Going with that will allow you to play recent games and low (or mid)settings and this mainly depends on your build. Games in 2021 require more cores, clock speeds, and intense GPUs to play at high settings. LGA 1155 CPUs aren’t the best at managing to keep up with today’s standards. Having the fastest Ivy Bridge CPU can help you enter the ballpark slightly.

If you plan on building a PC for the kids to watch movies on, a mid to low-range LGA 1155 CPU will do. I am convinced that these CPUs can handle small tasks.

Motherboard Compatibility for highest performance

You may already have a motherboard but if not it is worth noting that motherboards play a role in performance output. Some motherboards will make these CPUs perform less than expected. Taking the time to review compatible motherboards and asking users what they think is best can save you heartaches down the line. 

The right motherboard will help you reach peak performance.

Motherboard

Thermal Design Power

TDP determines how much energy the CPU consumes. If you are looking to build a Computer with good graphics then you may need to upgrade your Power Supply Unit. Graphics cards consume the most energy so having a high TDP CPU and a low voltage PSU may cause system crashes which may cause issues down the line.

Take your time to find the best Power Supply. Be careful not to pick one that is overpowered as this may cause problems for other components later.

Computer case with a small motherboard
Photo by Luke Hodde on Unsplash

Consider The Smart Cache

A higher CPU cache can save you headaches when trying to recover files. A higher CPU cache also allows for faster processing times which helps performance overall.

Final Words

The Intel Core i7-3770K is by far the best LGA 1155 CPU. It has the highest clock speeds and the highest turbo boost clock speeds. It is the ideal LGA 1155 CPU for gaming and light tasks. It is brilliant all-round as it features an 8MB Smart Cache which aids improved processing. It comes featured with Intel HD Graphics 4000. This is the best pick for the best LGA 1155 CPU on the market currently.

As usual, leave me a message using the contact form if you have any hiccups. Glad to help move things along.