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Best CPU for Software Development in 2021

A software developer has to deal with a lot of coding, compilation, live testing, and modification of an application. A low-budget processor can let you deal with basic application development without any problem. But for dealing with complex programs and workloads, you need to have a powerful CPU that can minimize the wait time and has the capacity to deal with multiple tasks.

There are a lot of things that we need to keep in mind when choosing a processor for programming or development. Let say you are into mobile application development, in this case, you should at least go for the six-core processor. Likewise, for full-stack applications, you need a faster single-core performance CPU.

To deal with advanced workbench applications, you need a CPU that is good at single as well as multi-core performance. The latest generations of Intel and AMD processors have enough cores and threads to get your job done. And if you are wondering which CPU you should choose between Intel & AMD for programming, then read our guide here.

As a software developer, you need to write the code, build the program, and run it. Writing the code is simple and easy, it doesn’t use a lot of CPU power. However, running and testing your application uses a lot of computing power. The more demanding the application is, the more powerful processor you will need to run it. This is why developing a AAA game needs you to have at least an 8-core CPU apart from just a powerful graphics card.

To test software that is under development, you need to at a 4-core processor. However, if you are writing single-threaded programs, then a dual-core CPU could be enough. So if you using IDEs like Visual Studio, Xcode, VS Code, or Eclipse to compile your programs, then we’ve rounded up some of the best CPUs for software development in this guide.

List of Best Processors for Software Development & Programming

Here are some of our top considerations:

AMD Ryzen 5 3400G – The Best Budget CPU for Software Developers

Reasons to Consider

The Ryzen 5 3400G sits on the sweet spot between price and performance. It is integrated with Includes Radeon RX Vega 11 graphics card eliminating your need to buy an external GPU. So it’s a combo of CPU and GPU to deliver you the best performance in software development.


  • 4 Cores & 8 Threads
  • 3.6 GHz Clock Speed
  • 4.2 GHz Boost Clock Speed
  • AM4 Socket
The best CPU for software development

The Ryzen 5 3200G is one the most highly-rated entry-level GPUs in the market. It packs 4 cores and 8 threads to deliver ideal performance in basic programming and app development. Each core is clocked at 3.6 GHz and can be overclocked up to 4.2 GHz for added performance. Thanks to AMD’s Stock Wraith Cooler that eliminates your need of buying an aftermarket CPU cooler.

The 3200G is a great choice for software professionals who are dealing with lightweight applications, not complex ones. In the software development industry, a four-core CPU is enough to fuel many workbench applications.

This APU comes with a built-in Radeon RX Vega 11 GPU to save you a lot of money on buying an external one. And if you are developing software that involves visual graphics as well, the Radeon RX Vega 11 would be enough to cater your that need.

Also, Ryzen 5 3200G is compatible with most AM4 socket motherboards on the market. And if you don’t have one, you can easily find a cheaper one for around $100 on Amazon or eBay.

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All in all, this chip packs a handful of features that can let you complete your development tasks in a short time. The Ryzen 5 3200G is a great improvement over the first generation 2400G with 10% more productivity.

Intel Core i5-10400F – Best Value Intel CPU for Programmers & Software Developers

Reasons to Consider

A great CPU for coding and software development keeping in view its lower price point. The i5-10400 comes with six cores and 12 threads, enough for demanding software creation.


  • 6 Cores & 12 Threads
  • 2.9 GHz Base Clock Speed
  • 4.3 GHz Boost Clock Speed
  • LGA 1200 Socket

best valued CPU for software developing

Intel’s mid-range CPUs can deal with any kind of tasks that you throw over them. And the Intel Core i5 10400F is one of those CPUs that tackles multiple processes at the same time with its 6 cores and 12 threads. Also, this processor is favored by Intel’s Hyperthreading technology for faster computing.

Now this CPU has plenty of cores to deal with the toughest of the software development tasks. If you are a software developer who works with multiple workbench applications and windows at the same time, the i5 10400F would give you are lag-free processing in that scenario.

Whether it’s about video editing, gaming, programming, or 3D rendering, the i5 10400F gives you the best value for all that. So, if you deal with other tasks apart from just application development, then this CPU can easily let you through that.

With the Intel i5 10400F, Intel somehow manages to take the budget crown from AMD. Where the 4 core CPUs like the Ryzen 3200G cost over $300, the 10400F costs half that price with two extra cores.

However, there’s the only thing that might square this equation, and that’s the LGA 1200 socket. As the LGA 1200 compatible motherboards are expensive than the LGA 1151 mobos, the motherboard alone will cost you more than the processor.

But overall, the Core i5 10400F gives you the best value for your investment. It consumes less power and can be easily overclocked up to 4.3 GHz by installing an aftermarket CPU cooler.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 – Most Reliable CPU for Complex Software Workloads

Reasons to Consider

The Ryzen 5 3600 comes with six cores and 12 threads to deal with complex application development processes. For programmers and software makers, this powerful processor is a great option to deal with multitasking.


  • 6 Cores & 12 Threads
  • 3.6 GHz Clock Speed
  • 4.2 GHz Boost Clock Speed
  • AM4 Socket
A reliable CPU for coding or application developing

The Ryzen 5 3600 has been our most favorite CPU from AMD so far. It’s more of an all-rounder CPU in our list. Whether it is about gaming, coding, programming, virtualization, etc, the Ryzen 5 3600 got your back covered.

This 7nm architecture packs a tremendous amount of power to handle multiple tasks at a single time. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Ryzen 5 3600 is the most reliable processor for heavy programming and app creation right now.

If we compare this CPU with the Intel Core i5 10400F, then this one has very little room for overclocking. But get a slight edge in performance over the i5 10400F, and that is due to the higher base clock speed of 3.6 GHz. And for software development, you really don’t need to overclock your CPU if you have over 3.0 GHz base clock speed. Also, AMD’s new architecture makes this CPU unbeatable in single-core computing.

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But if any case, you need more clock speed, then AMD has introduced the PBO feature to safely overclock your processor to higher speeds. This is something you don’t find in the previous generations of Ryzen 5.

Overall, the Ryzen 5 3600 is the best CPU for software development with an ideal single-core performance at an affordable cost. The only thing it lacks is the built-in graphics, however, this isn’t a deal-breaking feature when going for a good programming CPU.

Intel Core i7-10700K – A Powerful CPU for Professional Software Developers

Reasons to Consider

The i7 10700K is a beast when it comes to handling the most intense computing tasks. It packs more computing power without breaking your bank account. This CPU is meant for Data Science, AI machine learning, coding, programming, app development, and all those tasks that make you a professional developer.


  • 8 Cores & 16 Threads
  • 3.8 GHz Base Clock Speed
  • 5.1 Boost Clock Speed
  • LGA 1200 Socket
a high-end processor for coding, software developing, and related tasks

With the arrival of Intel Core i7 10700K, Intel managed to get back its lost legacy from the AMD. It’s a high-end processor from Intel with unbeatable performance in multi-tasking. This CPU might be best for professionals who deal with intense development tasks like game development, AI learning, demanding heavy-threaded software creation, etc.

The Core i7 10700K is packed with 8 cores and 16 threads to handle the toughest of development tasks. You can open multiple windows and workbench software and this processor will not even let you feel that heavy load. This is an ideal CPU to work with Visual & Android Studio, the power-demanding applications in the software industry.

There’s more room for overclocking this CPU up to 5.1 GHz. The opportunity to achieve higher clock speed makes this processor future-proof as well. Make sure you use a high-quality CPU cooler if you plan to overclock this CPU.

At the moment, the 3.8 GHz would be sufficient to meet your every need in software development. Just like the Core i5 10400F, this CPU needs an LGA 1200 compatible CPU to fit in. Having an 8 core CPU for coding or developing is the cap, anything over this would be overkill. The workbench application used to create software can easily hang around in an 8 core processor.

Conclusion & Recommendation

Finally, these were some of the best CPUs for software development, programming, coding, etc. If you are a beginner who has just started his career in software creation, it’s worth going for a 4 core CPU like the Ryzen 5 3200G. For advanced-level software developers, a six-core CPU from Intel or AMD could be enough to test multiple workbench software. And for professionals, the Core i7 10700K with 8 cores could be a future-proof solution for software development.

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