5 Best CPU for Fortnite in 2021

Last Updated on May 30, 2021

Compared to the rest of the AAA title games, particularly the simulation and strategy games, Fortnite does not require a top of the line CPU to reach FPS of 60 or even 120 or above.

Generally when building a gaming rig, we recommend going for either the AMD Ryzen 5 or the Intel Core i5 series depending upon your brand preference.

Unless if you are streaming on 1080p or 4k with the CPU x264 encoding on Twitch or other platforms, you don’t need a high performance processor.

The Ryzen 5 and Core i5 are the mainstream series of processor that are not just excellent for Fortnite but are also great for bigger and more demanding AAA titles. They are also great for productivity and professional software.

Again depending upon your budget and needs, you can opt for cheaper or more expensive processors. In the following article, we look at some of the best CPU for Fortnite from different price ranges.

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Recommended Fornite Processors Compared

ProductClock
Speed
CoresThreadsSocketiGPUCheck
Price
AMD Ryzen 5
5600X
4.6
GHz
612AM4No
Buy at
Amazon.com
AMD Ryzen 5
3600
4.2
GHz
612AM4No
Buy at
Amazon.com 
Intel Core
i5-10600K
4.6
GHz
612LGA1200UHD
630
Buy at
Amazon.com
Intel Core
i3-10100
4.3
GHz
48LGA1200UHD
630
Buy at
Amazon.com
Intel Core
i7-10700K
5.1
GHz
816LGA1200UHD
630
Buy at
Amazon.com

List of Best CPU for Fortnite in 2021

The following are the recommended processors for Fortnite.

  1. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X – Recommended CPU for Fortnite and General Gaming
  2. AMD Ryzen 5 3600 – Affordable Mainstream Processor
  3. Intel Core i5-10600K – Intel Processor for Fortnite
  4. Intel Core i3-10100 – The Least Expensive Recommended CPU
  5. Intel Core i7-10700K – Processor For Playing and Streaming Fortnite

System Requirements for Fortnite

fortnite system requirements
Source: epicgames.com

Before we start reviewing the recommended processors for Fortnite, it is worth a shot to look at what the official system requirements have to say.

For the CPU, the requirements are as follows

  • Minimum: Intel Core i3-3225 | 2 cores / 4 threads | 3.3 GHz
  • Recommended: Intel Core i5-7300U | 2 cores / 4 threads | 2.6 GHz – 3.5 GHz

Of course the overall stability of the game also depends upon your graphics card as well as the RAM, but as for the processor the official requirements are as stated above.

It is also worth noting that the minimum requirements will not guarantee a stable gameplay particularly on high graphics. You may have to tweak the graphics settings.

Similarly, the recommended hardware is good enough for ensuring a stable 60 FPS Gameplay on 1080p (granted you have a decent graphics card). Playing on higher FPS and at larger resolution would certainly require a beefier processor.

How Do These Processors Compare with the Newer Processors of Today

Obviously, the processors mentioned in the system requirements are more or less obsolete. The Core i3-3225 was released back in 2012 whereas the Core i5-7300U was first seen in 2017,

Hence, if you are building a new PC, it is better to compare how these processors stack up against the newer generation of processors.

To do this, we will look at the Passmark benchmark results.

  • Minimum Intel Core i3-3225 has a Passmark score of 2190
  • Recommended Intel Core i5-7300U has a Passmark score of 3706

Let us see how this score compares with the newer recommended processors for Fortnite

  • AMD Ryzen 5 5600X: 22186
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600: 17864
  • Intel Core i5-10600K: 14661
  • Intel Core i3-10100: 8930
  • Intel Core i7-10700K: 19616

Hence you can see here that even the weakest of the recommended processor i.e the Intel Core i3-10100 is more than twice as powerful as the official recommended Intel Core i5-7300U processor.

Basically these processors are for the newer gen of Fortnite gamers who want to play beyond the 60 FPS frame rate, want to stream / record their videos and perhaps want to play on very high resolution.

Playing on high resolution i.e beyond 1080, can tax your processor particularly in the end game where there are a lot of objects and structures built all over the map.

What Kind of Processor Do You Need for Streaming Fortnite?

Most Fortnite players love to stream their gaming sessions, however, if you play the game on high graphics as well as stream at the same time, then you are putting a lot of workload on the processor.

This is particularly true if you are using the CPU x264 encoding instead of GPU hardware encoding. If you use CPU encoding, like most streamers do, then you need to have a processor with a high core count.

The more cores you have the better would the encoding and the game play as the processor would be able to allocate a certain amount of cores for the game and allocate the rest for encoding your streams.

Higher encoding settings, playing and streaming on higher than 1080 resolution and playing on FPS higher than 60 FPS would require a more and more powerful processor.

You can choose to build a dedicated streaming PC if you do not want your primary PC to lag.

But if you are playing, streaming and recording your streams all at the same time, you can expect to push the limits of your CPU.

Does Fortnite Use Multiple Cores? How Many Cores Does it Use?

According to a study conducted by Tomshardware.com, a CPU with two cores is quite sufficient for Fortnite with highest graphics settings at 1080 resolution.

Fortunately, almost all of the processors these days feature way more than 2 cores. 4 Cores is the standard for even the weaker Core i3 and Ryzen 3 processors.

Single Core vs Multi Core Performance of the Processor For Fortnite

Like most games out there, Fortnite does not scale very well with a high core count. As mentioned earlier, you would not see a drastic improvement on a processor with more than 2 core count.

Hence, if your goal is to primarily maximize the performance of the game, we recommend you look for a processor with an excellent single core performance i.e a higher clock speed.

However, if you plan to play, stream, encode your streams using the processor, record your gameplay and perhaps perform video editing for a Youtube gaming channel you own, then multi core performance becomes very important.

A higher core count would basically allow you to do all that simultaneously.

Fortnite Processors Reviewed

1. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X – Recommended CPU for Fortnite and General Gaming

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is, hands down, one of the most recommended processor for mainstream PC builds particularly for gaming.

While this is certainly an overkill for Fortnite if you simply need to play it on 60 FPS on Epic settings, this is actually a processor that you can use for so much.

If you want to ramp up your frame rates to 144 FPS perhaps on your 144Hz monitor, stream on Twitch at best quality presets at 1080 resolution as well as record the stream to your hard disk all at the same time, then this is a processor that can enable you to do so.

The processor is based on the AM4 socket. It is a 6 core processor with 12 threads. It has a base clock speed of 3.70 GHz with boost of upto 4.60 GHz.

Therefore, as far as the performance goes, this is one of the best CPU for Fortnite gameplay and streaming. Unfortunately, this can be expensive for those who are looking to build a budget PC for Fortnite. For this we have more recommendations below.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Cinebench R20 Benchmark

  • Single Core: 604
  • Multi Core: 4562

2. AMD Ryzen 5 3600 – Affordable Mainstream Processor

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is a lower-mid range processor with one of the best performance / dollar value. This is a processor that should appeal to most gamers who want to build a decent Fortnite PC on a budget.

This too is a 6 core processor with 12 threads. It has a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz with boost up to 4.2 GHz per core.

If you do not want an over the top performance, but do not want to completely cheap out either, then this is one of the best CPU for Fortnite in our opinion.

Like most of the AMD processors, this too is unlocked and can overclocked.

As far as streaming goes, you can work with 720p streams at perhaps 60 FPS of gameplay. But anything beyond this may start to push the limits and you may have to tweak the settings a bit.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Cinebench R20 Benchmark

  • Single Core: 472
  • Multi Core: 3689

3. Intel Core i5-10600K – Intel Processor for Fortnite

One of the catchiest aspect of this processor is its single core performance. While this may not have the same multi-core performance as its AMD competitors, if you do not care much for streaming, recording your videos etc, then this can certainly be worth it.

The processor has 6 cores and 12 threads with 4.1 GHz base clock speed and boost upto 4.8 GHz. This is an unlocked processor and therefore can be overclocked too.

Another point to note here is that this has an integrated graphics card. Hence, with this processor you would be able to use the onboard video outputs of your motherboard.

To do the same on an AMD system, you would need dedicated processor that have the “G” designation. Only the “G” processors like the AMD Ryzen 3 3200G feature an integrated graphics cards.

Intel Core i5-10600K Cinebench R20 Benchmark

  • Single Core: 501
  • Multi Core: 3629

4. Intel Core i3-10100 – The Least Expensive Recommended CPU

If you are on a budget and you are looking to build the cheapest possible Fortnite PC for yourself and you do not care much for streaming or recording your gameplay, then this processor is highly recommended.

This is a 4 cores and 8 threads processor with a base clock speed of 3.60 GHz and Max speed of 4.30 GHz. Like most Intel processors out there, this too has integrated graphics card.

Unfortunately though, since this is not an unlocked processor, you would not be able to overclock it.

As far as performance of this processor goes, it is still far more capable than the official recommended Intel Core i5-7300U processor.

Hence if you couple this with a decent graphics card, you should be able to achieve higher than 60 FPS on Epic settings at a high resolution.

But if you do not have the budget yet to spend on a dedicated graphics card, you could use the integrated Intel UHD 630 graphics card on this processor to play the game albeit you would need to tweak the graphics and resolution settings to achieve good frame rates.

Here is the benchmark video of this processor playing Fortnite


Intel Core i3-10100 Cinebench R20 Benchmark

  • Single Core: 448
  • Multi Core: 2284

5. Intel Core i7-10700K – Processor For Playing and Streaming Fortnite

Finally, here we have a processor for those who want to build a high performance streaming build for Fortnite.

This is a fairly reasonably priced high performance processor with 8 cores and 16 threads. It has a base clock speed of 3.8 GHz and Max boost upto 5.1 GHz.

The high core count and the high single core performance of this processor can enable you to both play the game at high settings with about 100 frame rates, at 1080p resolution as well as allow you to record and stream your gameplay on high presets as well.

The following benchmark conducted by CPUAgent.com of this processor coupled with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080Ti details its result for Fortnite.

Best CPU for Fortnite
Core i7-10700K streaming benchmark. Source: CPUAgent.com

It can be seen here that on Fortnite, the processor can allow you to achieve 100 FPS on 1080P ultra settings with OBX x264 Fast preset streaming.

Of course, if you want to go beyond this i.e 144 FPS, 4k streaming etc you may need to look into even more powerful processors like the Core i9 and the Ryzen 9 processor with their 16 cores / 32 threads and beyond specs.

But for most streamers, this should more than suffice.

Intel Core i7-10700K Cinebench R20 Benchmark

  • Single Core: 524
  • Multi Core: 5292

Final Words

Fortnite itself is not a very demanding game, however, depending upon the graphics settings, and the resolution of your gameplay, the requirements of the CPU would change drastically.

The need for a better and a more powerful processor would be even more pronounced once you start delving into streaming, recording and editing your gameplay videos.

In this article, we looked at the best CPU for Fortnite for different type of needs, players and budgets.

Atif Qazi

Atif Qazi is the founder of PCGearLab. He is a PC enthusiast as well as engineer with a keen interest in PC hardware and all stuff related to tech and games.

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