5 Best CPU For League of Legends in 2021

Last Updated on May 30, 2021

League of Legends is not a resource heavy game. You do not need a top of the line processor in order to enjoy the game at Very High settings with 60+ frame rate.

In any case, if you are not familiar with the current gen processors and if you are building a new PC for yourself, then this guide will help.

In this article we will review some of the best CPU for League of Legends. Most of the CPUs that we review here are entry to mid range CPUs because frankly speaking you don’t quite need more than an Entry Level CPU anyways.

Unless you plan to stream your game and play it at 4K resolution at the same time, a basic processor with or without a dedicated graphics cards and a decent amount of RAM would be quite sufficient for LoL gaming.

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Comparison of Recommended CPU for LoL

ProductClock
Speed
CoresThreadsSocketCheck
Price
Intel Core
i3-10100
4.3
GHz
48LGA1200
Buy at
Amazon.com
AMD
Athlon 3000G
3.5
GHz
24AM4
Buy at
Amazon.com 
Intel Core
i5-10400
4.3
GHz
612LGA1200
Buy at
Amazon.com
AMD Ryzen
5 3400G
4.2
GHz
48AM4
Buy at
Amazon.com
AMD Ryzen
5 5600X
4.6
GHz
612AM4
Buy at
Amazon.com

List of Best CPU for League of Legends in 2021

The following are out top selected processors for this game.

  1. Intel Core i3-10100 – Recommended Budget CPU for LoL
  2. AMD Athlon 3000G – Cheapest Recommended CPU for LoL
  3. Intel Core i5-10400 – Low Mid Range CPU
  4. AMD Ryzen 5 3400G – Low Mid Range Ryzen CPU with Vega 11 iGPU
  5. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X – High Performance Processor for LoL Streaming

What are the System Requirements for League of Legends

Gauging over the minimum and the optimal system requirements should give you a better idea about what kind of processor to go for.

According to the official requirements, the recommended system specs are as follows:

league of legends system requirements
League of Legends system requirements

The official system requirements give you a vague idea about what kind of processor to go for. It does not state specific models.

However, as far as the graphics card is concerned, it does tell you that having a dedicated graphics card is recommended. However, as you will see below, League of Legends can perform quite well just with integrated graphics in the newer processors.

How many Cores Does League of Legends Utilize?

As stated in the system requirements, the maximum amount of cores League of Legends utilizes is 2.

This means that LoL, like most games, would not benefit much from a CPU with an overkill amount of cores and threads.

Like most games, LoL too would benefit more from a good Single-Core performance as compared to Multi-core performance of a CPU.

The game has been intentionally designed to use fewer cores because a majority of the players still use very old systems. Hence, to cater to a greater audience, multi-core scaling is not feasible for most online games.

Streaming Would Require More Cores

If you are are s professional LoL gamer as well as a streamer using a service like Twitch to showcase your skills to the audience, then this arrangement would warrant an investment in a decent processor with a fair core count.

If you are using hardware encoding for your streams, then the more cores you have the faster would be your renders.

Hence, while you may still do not need an over the top number of cores i.e 8 or 12, a 6 Core CPU with 12 threads would be quite feasible for a streaming LoL build.

Also Read: Best CPU for Dedicated Streaming

Is Integrated Graphics Cards Enough for League of Legends

best CPU for league of legends 3

If you have a newer processor with either Intel UHD 630 integrated graphics or an AMD processor with the RX Vega integrated graphics, then you should have no issues running LoL at high graphics and 60+ frame rates.

The following video shows LoL being playing on AMD Ryzen 3200G with RX Vega 8 Integrated graphics card.

You can see that game maintains higher than 60+ frame rate at very high settings and 1920×1080 resolution.

As such, an iGPU is quite sufficient for LoL. However, note that not all integrated graphics cards are created equally.

The following table shows performance comparison between the various integrated graphics cards.

iGPUFrequency
MHz
GFlops (1)notebookcheck.net 3D Performance
Benchmark
As Seen On
AMD Radeon
RX Vega 8 (Renoir)
2100215015.6 ptAMD Ryzen 7 4700G
AMD Radeon
RX Vega 7 (Renoir)
1900170213.6 ptAMD Ryzen 5 4600G
AMD Radeon
RX Vega 6 (Renoir)
1700130513.9 ptAMD Ryzen 3 4300G
AMD Radeon
RX Vega 11
14001971.213.5 ptAMD Ryzen 5 3400G
AMD Radeon
RX Vega 8
1250128010.4 ptAMD Ryzen 3 3200G
AMD Radeon
RX Vega 3
11004247 ptAMD Athlon 3000G
Intel
UHD 630
1150460.87 pt10th Gen
Intel Core Series
  1. All GFLOPS results are based on Single Precision Performance
  2. Information extracted from Wikipedia and Wikichip

AMD APU vs Intel Processors

A key point to note here is that unlike Intel processors most of which feature an integrated graphics card, the same cannot be said about AMD processors.

In fact, and this important, only the AMD processors with ‘G’ suffix from AMD have an integrated graphics card i.e AMD Ryzen 3 3200G, AMD Ryzen 5 4600G etc.

Another important point to note is that AMD CPU with iGPU feature the powerful Vega graphics cards (you can see the benchmark comparison in the above mentioned table), whereas the Intel Processors use the weaker Intel HD or Intel UHD iGPU. Intel UHD 630 is the current gen Intel iGPU.

But the bottom line is that League of Legends can work well even with a processor with the weaker Intel UHD 630 graphics card.

Also Read: Best AMD CPU with Integrated Graphics

Do You Need a Dedicated Graphics Card?

We have already established that for an average Joe, iGPU can be quite sufficient.

However, if you are an enthusiast who wants to play on 4K display or on displays with more than 144 Hz refresh rate and have multiple of those for a multi-monitor gaming experience, then this may warrant an investment in a good dedicated graphics card.

Processors for League of Leagends Reviewed

1. Intel Core i3-10100 – Recommended Budget CPU for LoL

Intel Core i3-10100

An entry level Intel CPU with UHD 630 integrated graphics.

First up, we have our most recommended CPU particularly for those who are on a budget.

This processor has a decent score for both single core and multi-core performance, but the critical component it features that makes it viable for LoL is the  integrated Intel UHD 630 graphics card.

The following video shows this processor running the game at very high settings, 1920×1080 resolution and 60+ FPS.

Hence, for the ultimate budget option, this is the best CPU for League of Legends.

The processor features 4 cores and 8 threads. It has a base clock speed of 3.60 GHz with max turbo boost to 4.30 GHz.

Besides League of Legends, this is an excellent processor for casual home and office work.

Intel Core i3-10100 Cinebench R20 Benchmark

  • Single Core: 448
  • Multi Core: 2284

2. AMD Athlon 3000G – Cheapest Recommended CPU for LoL

AMD Athlon 3000G

Entry level AMD Ryzen processor with a decent Vega 3 integrated graphics.

If you are seriously tight on budget, then this is the cheapest processor that we can recommend for your LoL build.

Make no mistake, despite being an entry level processor from AMD, it can still deliver excellent performance with very high settings and 60+ frame rates. (Watch this processor in action).

This is one of a very few APUs from AMD that features the Vega RX graphics. This particular model offers the Vega 3 graphics, which, according to benchmarks shown in the table above, has the same performance as the Intel UHD 630.

Therefore, for gaming performance on LoL this is quite sufficient. However, for work purposes and for doing any thing strenuous like editing, streaming, this is just not the right processor.

As far as the CPU specs go, this is inferior to the Intel Core i3-10100. It features 2 cores and 4 threads and has a clock speed of 3.5 GHz. With a Core count of 2, this processor just about meets the recommended LoL requirements.

AMD Athlon 3000G Cinebench R20 Benchmark

  • Single Core: 339
  • Multi Core: 887

3. Intel Core i5-10400 – Low Mid Range CPU

Intel Core i5-10400

A lower mid range CPU with an excellent single core performance and value.

If you want to build a decent machine that can play LoL and also allow for productivity and casual work then this mainstream processor is excellent for a budget-minded gamer.

It features the same Intel UHD 630 graphics as in the Intel Core i3-10100 above. However, with 6 cores, 12 threads and a clock speed of 2.90 GHz base and 4.30 GHz Turbo, this offers a significant punch particularly in the multi-core performance.

Hence if you multitask, stream and play LoL all at the same time, then this is one of the best CPU for League of Legends in our opinion.

Intel Core i5-10400 Cinebench R20 Benchmark

  • Single Core: 450
  • Multi Core: 3197

4. AMD Ryzen 5 3400G – Low Mid Range Ryzen CPU with Vega 11 iGPU

AMD Ryzen 5 3400G

A mid range Ryzen processor with a powerful integrated RX Vega 11 graphics card.

AMD Ryzen 5 3400G is yet another APU from AMD, however, unlike the Athlon 3000G, this is much more formidable both in terms of CPU and graphics performance.

The processor features a powerful AMD RX Vega 11 graphics card built in. In terms of performance, this is twice as powerful as Intel UHD 630 and RX Vega 3.

The processor features 4 cores and 8 threads with a max clock speed of 4.2 GHz.

This is a processor that can allow you to game on multiple screens while maintaining a decent frame rate all without a dedicated graphics card.

AMD Ryzen 5 3400G Cinebench R20 Benchmark

  • Single Core: 412
  • Multi Core: 1969

5. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X – High Performance Processor for LoL Gaming and Streaming

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

A high performance processor for professional league of legends players and streamers.

Finally, here we have not just the most powerful processor in this list, but also one of the most powerful mainstream CPUs in the market.

This does not feature an integrated graphics card and hence if you want to play or connect any display to your system, you will need to invest in a dedicated graphics card first.

If the CPU does not have integrated graphics, the motherboard video ports located on the back I/O panels do not work.

This option is essentially for professional gamers and streamers. If you plan to stream, play on 4K resolution at very high settings and have multiple monitors attached to the system, then you will need a beefier processor along with a good dedicated graphics card.

This processor supersedes the famous Ryzen 5 3600X. While the 3600X is available at a cheaper price tag, we have selected this because the Ryzen 5 5600X offers a phenomenal increment in both Single and Multi-core performance over its predecessor.

Hence we believe that the higher price tag is certainly worth the performance difference between the two.

This is a 6 core processor with 12 threads. It has a max turbo boost clock speed of 4.6 GHz.

Again, this processor is meant for professional PC builders who want to setup an ultimate LoL gaming and streaming rig.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Cinebench R20 Benchmark

  • Single Core: 604
  • Multi Core: 4562

Final Words

In most cases, a processor with a decent integrated graphics card can suffice for League of Legend players as it will literally save you from investing in a separate dedicated graphics card.

However, if you have robust requirements like gaming on 4K display, or on a 240 HZ monitor and stream at high quality settings all at the same time, then that would warrant an investment not just in powerful CPU but also on a decent dedicated graphics card.

In this article, we looked at some of the best CPU for League of Legends from various price ranges. We did not delve too much into high performance Core i7/i9 or Ryzen 7/9 processors because these are an overkill for LoL.

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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