How to Choose a CPU

Are you trying to upgrade your PC or trying to build a new one altogether? Well, you want to get it right at the first chance, don’t you? This will require the best decision when it comes to buying a CPU.

Generally, schools introduce computers as a subject in the second grade. The first thing that is taught to us is that the “CPU is the brain of the computer,” and it is rightly so.

Selecting the best CPU for your computer is essential as it will determine its overall functionality. To make this task more straightforward for you, we have provided a comprehensive guide to help you choose the right CPU.

 

Factors that Determine a Good CPU/Processor

As the CPU is a machine, it has several factors that could help in determining its functionality. The following are some of those factors that you must examine before making a purchase:

Your PC Requirements

Your PC Requirements

Everybody has varying PC uses. For example, some might use it for gaming, while others might use it for work purposes. Therefore, before you set your mind to a CPU, you must define your PC requirements.

If you are going to use your PC for basic work, you will not need a PC with high performance. But if you are going to use it for gaming or your work requires software, you will need a PC with a powerful processor.

An entry-level chip with two or four cores will be sufficient for basic work. Gaming will require a graphics card or a powerful processor.

If your work demands speed and constant load, go for a high processor. Workstations will also require a high-end processor.

 

Core

As the CPU is the computer’s brain, a core is the brain of a CPU.

It receives instructions and performs accordingly.

A CPU can have more than one core. For example, a CPU with two core is known as a dual-core processor, while the one with eight cores is known as octa-core.

With every extra core, the performance of your CPU will get enhanced. Most of the new CPUs have multiple cores to live up to the expectations of modern software and games.

When you buy a CPU with multiple cores, the task of the processor gets divided. This makes the device fast and more efficient.

 

CPU Frequency

CPU Frequency

CPU frequency, also known as clock speed, is an indicator that determines the speed and performance of a CPU. It shows how fast the CPU can process data.

Generally, it is measured in hertz (Hz).

A high CPU frequency means that your PC will perform faster and more efficiently.

 

Threads

Threads in a CPU determine the number of tasks that can be performed by the cores at a time.

If you want to enhance your CPU’s performance, you must focus on getting the one with more cores. But along with that, adding threads can help in improving the speed.

More threads can give your device more power and efficiency in completing the tasks.

 

Cache

A cache is like a computer’s memory. It stores temporary files. If your processer has a larger cache size, it can store more data.

Cache memory is crucial as it enhances data retrieval efficiency. In addition, it speeds up the access to instructions and data shared between the CPU and RAM.

Generally, there are three cache types:

L1: This is a basic and first level of cache memory. Only a small amount of memory is stored in this type of cache.

The size ranges from 2KB to 64KB. It works at the same speed as the CPU.

Furthermore, it has two types: Data cache and Instruction cache. The first one stores the data needed by the CPU, while the latter one stores the instructions needed by the CPU.

 

L2: This type of cache can either be inside or outside the CPU. If it is placed outside the CPU, it is connected with it through a very high-speed bus.

Its size ranges from 256KB to 512KB.

This is slower than the L1 cache.

 

L3: This type of cache is only present in some high-end processers to enhance the L1 and L2 cache performance.

It is stored outside the CPU. Its size ranges from 1MB to 8MB.

It is slower than L1 and L2 but faster than RAM.

 

Generation

When the processors get updated, newer versions are introduced. These help in improving the overall performance.

It goes without saying that newer generations are more expensive than the older ones.

When we talk about Intel Core Processors, there are five different generations.

i3: Supports laptops with built-in AI. Has Wi-Fi 6 integrated with next-generation graphics.

i5: Built for content creation with built-in AI and Wi-Fi 6.

i7: Delivers an excellent gaming experience.

i9: Seamless 4K Ultra HD and 360 video.

X-series: Supports powerful desktops for gaming.

i11: The latest one in the series with 2.7x faster content creation, 2x faster gaming experience, and 20% faster office productivity.

When it comes to AMD, the latest processors are a part of the Ryzen 5000 line.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X. Known for high-end gaming; single-core.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X. Known for gaming, high clock speed.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X. Best affordable.

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X. Best for heavy work with sixteen cores.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X. Best single-threaded performance.

 

Graphics Card

Graphics Card

Most CPUs have integrated graphics. They do not need an additional graphics card to be connected.

But if you have to buy a graphics processing unit (GPU), consider its memory as well as the bandwidth.

It can help you improve your gaming performance, as well as the display of images and videos.

Compatibility with the Motherboard

Before you set your eyes on a processor, ensure that it is compatible with the motherboard. To check whether they match, you must verify the following factors:

  • Manufacture
  • Pocket socket
  • Memory
  • Chipset

 

Takeaway

Buying a CPU can be technical, but you can choose the perfect one with ease if you segregate the factors. Examine correctly and take the factors as mentioned earlier as a buying guide while buying a processor for your computer.

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