IdealCPU is supported by its readers. If you buy products through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more

Home / CPU / Best CPU for Office Use in 2021, Tested & Ranked

Best CPU for Office Use in 2021, Tested & Ranked

When it comes to finding the best CPU for office use, you really don’t need to consider high-end processors at all. Even a CPU with 4 cores could be enough to deal with office-related tasks like MS word, Excel, Outlook, etc. However, a high-end processor can handle the toughest workloads in less time while increasing your productivity.

As you know, there are two chip manufacturers in the market, Intel and AMD. The Intel CPUs are better to know for their single-core performance whereas AMD shines in the multi-core. Applications like MS Office and Outlook are single-threaded, so having an Intel CPU can give you more edge in performance.

AMD on other hand is cheaper than Intel but delivers almost the same kind of performance when dealing with MS Word, Outlook, etc. Also, most of the AMD chips are equipped with built-in graphics cards, this eliminates the need of buying an aftermarket GPU that you really don’t need in an office computer.

The processor that you need for your small business depends on what kind of applications you will interact with. It’s better to go for a CPU that can easily handle demanding applications and gives you an edge in multi-tasking without crashing or lagging.

Most people think that CPUs that are ideal for gaming can also perform very well in the office or small business environments. However, keep in mind that the gaming CPUs and work CPUs are different chips. So we’ve tested and compiled the list of CPUs that are the best bang for your buck when it comes to business workloads.

Before You Go for Productivity-Based CPUs

Consider the following:

  • Know your needs: If you are dealing with apps that make use of more cores/threads, then AMD chips could be the right fit for you. However, if you are dealing with single-threaded programs like MS Office, Adobe Acrobat, Outlook, then Intel CPUs can give you more edge in dealing with them.
  • Advanced CPUs: Older CPUs might save you a lot of money but also limit your chances of upgrade. Moroever, the motherboards that support old generation CPUs are expensive to get. So, it’s better to go for latest-gen CPUs that are at least future-proof for few more years.

Best Processors for Office Workload at a Glace:

  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  • AMD Ryzen 5 5600
  • Intel Core i7-10700K
  • Intel Core i9-10980XE
  • AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

List of the Best CPU for Office Use

Here are some of the top considerations:

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 – Best Entry-Level CPU for Office Work

Specifications

  • 6 Cores & 12 Threads
  • Socket AM4
  • Base Clock Speed 3.8 GHz
  • Boost Clock Speed 4.4 GHz

Reasons to Buy

Overall, the Ryzen 5 3600 is an affordable CPU for small business needs. It comes with a CPU Cooler right out of the box and is unlocked to achieve higher clock speed.

The best overall CPU for office use

The Ryzen 5 3600 is an entry-level CPU for small businesses or office environments. We’ve tested this processor with light and demanding applications at the same time, and it managed to go through them pretty well. Especially, when dealing with multi-threaded applications, the Ryzen 5 3600 outperforms the Intel Core i5 10600K in price and computing power.

The Ryzen 5 3600 comes with 6 cores and 12 threads clocked at 3.8 GHz. On top of that, it comes with an unlocked multiplier to achieve a higher clock speed. While overclocking isn’t something that you need out of a productivity-based CPU, it manages to make your machine future-proof for upcoming demanding apps.

If you pair this CPU with a B550 motherboard, you can get the most out of it when dealing with productivity and other related office tasks.

However, the only thing that this CPU lacks is the integrated GPU. But this isn’t a deal-breaking factor as most motherboards that support AM4 sockets do come up with an integrated graphics card.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X – Best Budget CPU for Business Workloads

Specifications

  • 6 Cores & 12 Threads
  • Socket AM4
  • Base Clock Speed 4.1 GHz
  • Boost Clock Speed 4.8 GHz

Reasons to Buy

The Ryzen 5 5600X is great in single as well multi-thread performance. It’s compatible with most motherboards in the B500 Series.

the best budget CPU for productivity workload

The Ryzen 5 5600X lies on a sweet spot between price and performance. It’s one of the most power-efficient chips in the AMD lineup, which makes this processor an ideal choice for a small office setup. Even on a budget price level, this CPU performs great in single and multi-threaded office applications, thanks to AMD’s Zen 3 microarchitecture.

With six cores and 12 threads, this is the most reliable CPU to cater your day to day workload needs at the office.

The Ryzen 5 5600X comes with a 4.1 GHz clock speed, and if we compare this with the base clock speed of Ryzen 5 3600, then you will see a huge difference in both.

In the Ryzen 5 3600, 4.1 GHz is the limit to which you can overclock your CPU. However, in the Ryzen 5600X, it’s something that you get right out of the box, and there’s still more room left to overclock up to 4.8 GHz using the stock cooler (included in the box).

The chip has a TDP rating of 65W, which means it would be significantly cooler even at peak loads. And if you are working in an office where you need dead silence, the 5600X would be the right choice for your machine.

The Ryzen 5 5600X is highly compatible with the B500 Series motherboard. And if you want to get more out of this CPU, we recommend you to go for B550 (especially if you want a taste of PCIe 4.0)

Intel Core i7-10700K – Best Value Processor for Office Use

Specifications

  • 8 Cores & 12 Threads
  • LGA 1200 Socket
  • Base Clock Speed 3.8 GHz
  • Boost Frequency 5.1 GHz

Reasons to Buy

The Core i7-10700K could be ideal for someone who needs a CPU with a higher core count and more room for overclocking. Some businesses have to deal with multiple tasks like MS Office, Outlook, Photo & Video Editing, for those the i7-10700K packs a lot of power.

The best value Intel CPU for productivity tasks

If you are looking for the best alternative to AMD chips, then the Core i7-10700K is the best chip from Intel to get the most value for your office machine. Spending around $350, you get a chip that comes with 8 cores and 16 threads to deliver optimal performance in business workloads.

The Core i7-10700K is clocked at 3.8 GHz with a capacity to boost it up to 5.1 GHz. For dealing with the complex threaded workloads, this CPU is a beast we might say. There’s plenty of room to overclock if you are using the right CPU cooler with this CPU.

On top of all, this CPU comes with an integrated graphics chip for light photo and video editing. Certainly, the Core i7-10700K is one of the best CPUs for video editing as well. So you can get the most benefit from this chip if your office workload involves retouching photos and videos.

The only thing that this CPU lack is a CPU cooler. Where AMD CPUs come with a good-quality stock CPU cooler right in the box, the 10700K needs you to buy an aftermarket cooler. And if you want to overclock over 5GHz, then go for a high-quality liquid cooler a motherboard with good VRMs.

If you are able to get this processor for retail price, then it would be a great purchase. If you are looking for a CPU with the best single-core performance, the Core i7-10700K is the one that you should consider.

Intel Core i9-10980XE – The Best High-End CPU for Business Needs

Specifications

  • 18 Cores & 36 Threads
  • LGA 2066 Socket
  • Base Clock Speed 3.0 GHz
  • Boost Clock Speed 4.8 GHz

Reasons to Buy

The Core i9-10980XE is the ultimate and future-proof solution for your business needs. It packs enough cores to meet the most demanding office-based applications. Even with 18 cores, it’s a low power consumption CPU and is backward compatible.

The most Reliable desktop for Office/Business

For most people out there, the Core i9-10980XE would be overkill. It is because of the 18 cores and 36 threads that it holds to chew the toughest workloads that you throw over it. Where most office-based applications are dependant upon the single-threaded performance of a CPU, having a powerful CPU with more than needed cores is less important.

But as the applications and programs will become multi-threaded, desktops like the Core i9-10980XE would be present to justify their power. The reason we have listed this CPU is because of its 14nm process architecture, faster single-core performance, and lower power consumption.

Also, the Core i9-10980XE has more room for overclocking as compared to its siblings. Moreover, it’s a highly compatible CPU with Intel x299 based motherboards.

The Core i9-10980XE is solely designed for content creators and business environments. You can edit and render content with a clock speed up to 4.8 GHz if you overclock it. But you won’t feel the need of overclocking this CPU if you use it for office works, even the base clock speed of 3.0 GHz would be enough to handle the intense workloads.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X – Best Overall Processor for Office Working

Specifications

  • 12 Cores & 24 Threads
  • AM4 Socket
  • 3.7 GHz Base Clock Speed
  • 4.8 GHz Boost Clock Speed

Reasons to Buy

The Ryzen 9 5900X packs enough power to handle every task that you throw on it. Either you need a CPU with single or multi-core performance, the 5900X will definitely fall to your expectations and budget.

workload CPU

If you really don’t have money to spend on a powerful business desktop like the Core i9-10980XE, you can go for a Ryzen 9 5900X that comes half the price of a Core i9-10980XE but delivers almost the same performance in productivity tasks.

The 12 cores and 24 threads clocked at 3.7 GHz make this CPU a great choice for office machines. Not only this chip excels in productivity workloads but also gives you an edge in a faster gaming experience.

There’s plenty of headroom for overclocking in this chip, you can easily boost from 3.7 GHz to 4.8 GHz. However, this time you might need an aftermarket cooler.

Unfortunately, the Ryzen 9 5900X isn’t bundled with the CPU cooler like the Ryzen 5 5600 and Ryen 5 3600. So, you will need a high-quality cooler to keep the temps at minimal.

The Ryzen 9 5900X supports the B500 and B400 series motherboards. Finally, if you are after a CPU that performs well in single and multi-thread workloads, the Ryzen 9 5900X sits next to you. If you can sacrifice a few more bucks more a CPU cooler, you get a great desktop to deal with your daily office workloads.

Conclusion & Verdict

Finally, these were some of the best CPUs for office workloads that we’ve rounded up in this guide. If you are looking for a low-budget desktop to deal with light productivity tasks, then Ryzen 5 3600 or 5600 are ideal to go with.

And if your office tasks are divided into content creation, sending emails, browsing the web, then the Core i7-10700K or Ryzen 9 5900X are great for handling those multiple tasks. The Core i9-10980XE, however, is an expensive choice to go with, if you have that much budget, it will surely make your office PC future-proof.

About Isaac Atia

Isaac AtiaAs an avid gamer for 20+ years, I spend hours researching custom PC builds and parts. I review various CPUs, motherboards, RAM, and gaming peripherals. I often test parts in my home office in New York City. To ensure the highest level of accuracy, I often consult with other experts and industry professionals.

Leave a Comment