Hardware Guide

The Best Processors For Football Manager

Getting an affordable processor that will strike a good balance on the number of leagues you can load in football manager while still having quick processing times between breaks, can be a bit of a chore. I have therefore spent the past few days, finding the best processors at different price points that strike a balance between how much they cost and the performance you get from them.

The Best Budget Processor For Football Manager

For years, AMD has dominated the budget segment for processors, but this changed with the release of Intel’s Core i3 10100F. The Intel Core i3 10100f is currently the most affordable 4 core, 8 thread processor from intel.

With this processor supporting hyper-threading, football manager will be able to take advantage of the 8 threads to quickly process breaks between days or the conversations with your players or the board when requesting upgrades to the club’s facilities or a new contract.

It is worth noting that the Core i3-10100F does not have an onboard graphics card. You will therefore have to get a budget graphics card to partner it with. Luckily, football manager is not graphically intensive, so most graphics cards will do well. The Radeon RX570 from AMD or a  GTX 1650 from Nvidia will all work well here, so pick whichever one you fancy.

Once you have settled on the graphics card you like between the two above, the B460 and the B560 are affordable motherboards, therefore pick the one you prefer, and you will be good to go.

When it comes to RAM, football manager is not overly sensitive whether it is DDR3 or DDR4, just make sure you have at least 8 GB of it. If you can sneak in 16 GB, the better.

FM by nature isn’t demanding, and you will be able to load a fair amount of leagues with the Core i3 10100F, I have a guide here on how to load a balanced save game. However, if you play other intensive AAA games, or you want to future-proof your PC for the next three or four years, then this processor might struggle, and you would be better served by the best value processor below. 

This build, built around the Core i3-10100F, will also work well for daily office work and other productivity tasks like coding, creative work using UE and 1080p video editing.

The Best Value Processor For Football Manager

If you can spare a little more cash to spend on your processor. Football manager’s processing speed greatly improves, while you can also load more leagues for more immersion. I mean, who doesn’t like checking on how the South African league has shaped up after 30 years in the game.

You will also be able to comfortably take on FM challenges like the San Marino Challenge or the Youth Academy Challenge that require loading quite a few leagues for them to work well and will typically last for more than 10 in game seasons before you complete them.

The Core i5-10400 from Intel provides this middle ground of performance and affordability. With 6 cores, and the ability to use 12 cores through hyper-threading, the core i5 10400 will handle virtually anything football manager can throw at it. This processor will also perform well in productivity work including photoshop, video editing and the like.

To get the best out of the Core i5-10400, you will also need a graphics card that can keep up.  The Radeon 6700xt from AMD or the RTX 3060 from Nvidia are all viable choices, so pick one you like. These two graphics cards fall in the midrange to high performance space and should last you for more than 5 years before you require a change. They will also play the latest AAA games at the highest settings at 1080p and 1440p.

To bring the build together, find at least 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and a good quality motherboard. For the motherboard, the B560 is a solid choice, and will serve you well.

In terms of price to performance ratio, this build is as good as it gets, unless you manage to buy a high-end second hand processor from a friend who’s upgrading to something newer.

Highest Performance Processor For Football Manager

For enthusiasts who are more likely to stream football manager videos on Twitch or YouTube. More performance is obviously needed. Despite this being a section about the very best processor you can get, I have excluded the very expensive ones because the extra money you would be paying for them is not worth the performance improvement you will get should you go for them.

The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X is the highest you can go in terms of processor performance before you start seeing diminishing returns. This processor has 8 cores with the ability to use 16 threads in hyper-threading.

If you are a fan of carrying out various tests in football manager like locking Guardiola in a National League side then holidaying 20 seasons to see how he will perform, then this is the processor for you. The increased number of cores will ensure the Ryzen 7 5800X chugs through the seasons in not time.

To get the best out of it, you will also need a high performance graphics card. The Nvidia RTX 3080 or the AMD RX 6800 XT are all viable candidates, and it all comes down to your preference. However, if you play other AAA games, the RTX 3080 performs better in ray tracing.

For the RAM, ensure you have at least 32 GB of DDR4 memory, the faster, the better, especially if you pick the AMD RX 6800 XT.

The x570 motherboard is an excellent choice for the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X as it has all the bells and whistles expected of a high-end motherboard including PCIe Gen 4 support, more SATA ports than on a cheaper board, and it also handles overclocking well.

Final Thoughts On The Best Processor For FM

As already mentioned, football manager is not a very demanding game, and the budget processor will run it well, albeit with a reduced number of leagues loaded for best performance. Keeping in mind the processor is more important than the graphics card for football manager, it is better to buy a more powerful processor and pair it with a slightly weaker graphics card.

However, If you also play other games, then this arrangement of a strong processor with a weaker GPU might not work for you, and it is better if you allocate equal resources for the two to have a balanced build.

If you find yourself preferring a laptop for its portability, I have a guide here to help you pick one that matches your needs.