Minecraft has sold more than 230 million units as of 2022, making it the greatest-selling video game of all time. If you're looking for a game you can play with your friends, you will do well to start there.
To run the Minecraft server application, you'll want a good computer. If you want to run a server for a lot of friends or with a huge number of mods, "cheap" doesn't pass muster.
If that has you worried, try not to be. With the computer parts market shifting, you can try to get the best CPU for a Minecraft server without blowing through your savings. You'll need to know what you're looking for, though.
That's why we're here. We'll help you sort through options for CPUs and find the one that best suits the size of the Minecraft server you want to build. Whether you want a small server for your friends or a large, mod-heavy one for your Twitch subs, we can help you find the right one.
Regardless of what size of server you intend to run, Minecraft uses only one CPU thread. This means that different Minecraft servers all still rely on the same core trait: strong performance on individual threads.
Different CPU architecture also plays a role in choosing a CPU. While the number measured in GHz, called the clock speed, also helps, different CPUs perform differently even at the same clock speed. Some work better doing the types of operations Minecraft does than others.
These two considerations should stay at the forefront of your thoughts when choosing a CPU for your new Minecraft server.
When it comes to single-threaded performance at the bleeding edge, your options include AMD and Intel CPUs. Computer spec buffs go back and forth on which one offers the better experience for Minecraft users.
These options will suit players who want to run a server for 50-100 concurrent users. Most Minecraft servers do not reach this size. If you work as a professional streamer, VTuber, or independent hosting business, however, you may want to spend the cash as part of keeping your Minecraft server working.
AMD CPUs get talked up for their high overall performance. Recent offerings like the Ryzen 9 5950x can reach clock speeds of nearly 5 GHz.
With a mix of strong single-thread performance and lots of cores, CPUs like these can support the Minecraft server application as well as anything else you might care to run. This power makes it a great choice for a dedicated server if you have no concerns about the price.
Intel CPUs jump up in performance every couple of years. Intel engineers work without rest to bring some of the best CPU architecture to bear.
One recent standout offering, the Intel i9-12900k, has a mix of lower-performance and higher-performance cores. This makes it a little cheaper than a competing AMD CPU while still living in the high-performance category.
This mix also makes it solid for users who want to use their server for other tasks. For instance, if you plan to run the game for a large number of users while still playing from the same computer, the i9-12900k will suit you well.
A budget CPU for a Minecraft server makes a great choice for users who plan to run for a small group of friends. If you don't have 50 users you intend to serve at all, let alone at the same time, and you don't need to shell out for a top-tier CPU.
For regular users, the power offered here will serve well enough. It also comes in at a price point of roughly a quarter of what the top-of-the-line CPUs demand.
The Ryzen 3 3100 serves as a great cheap Minecraft CPU from one of the most popular CPU brands. Coming in at between $100 and $200 depending on where you buy, it offers strong single-thread performance and a decent clock speed.
For similar reasons, the Intel i3-10300 provides the type of performance necessary for Minecraft server hosting at a price often below $150. The i3-10100 also has integrated graphics support, which can further bring down your costs for getting a server going on the cheap.
Not all processors work with all motherboards. Once you've got your CPU or motherboard picked, you'll need to make sure they work with each other.
Manufacturers list compatible CPUs with each motherboard. You should have options of dozens if not hundreds of motherboards to match your CPU of choice.
While you might have the best CPU for a Minecraft server at your size and budget, you need more than the CPU itself. The awesome power of your new device won't work if RAM or hard drive space bottleneck you.
Remember that scaling your server up requires investing in all of these. You want to synchronize scaling your parts up. If you can't afford to invest in both the best options for CPUs and the RAM to match, scale down and free up some of your cash.
The best CPU for a Minecraft server will depend on your size and budget. You may have to make some concessions to get to that point, but you should be able to put together a product you'll be happy with.
Does this sound like a lot of work to run a game for your friends? Don't worry, we can help. Our Minecraft server packages will suit a server of any size.