Picking out the best computer processor can be a daunting task. Some might say you need to spend X amount of dollars to get the performance you want or that you need to go with a certain brand. Well I am here to say that the best processor will be different for each person. So keep an open mind and don’t let all the information out there confuse or paralyze you from making a quick decision. So let’s make it a bit more simple. I want to start off by stating that this post will not contain many processor specs or any other information that will make you over examine your choices. If you are completely new at building computers, ideasandmind then follow my posts to get a foundation of where to begin.
So, the first thing you want to define is the amount of money you have for your build. Budgeting is very important! Some people go and buy parts before looking at their budget and don’t have enough money to finish their computer build (I have done this). When having the whole computer or just the processor in mind it is good to balance which parts you are putting in your computer. Why would you spend all your money on an expensive processor and then skimp on the RAM just to be bottle necked by your least performing part? There are better and free ways instead to increasing performance, like overclocking. In a future post I will talk about why overclocking is a great way to get the extra juice out of your components even if it’s that ageing computer and some of the best CPU overclocking software to use.
The next step is to identify if the motherboard you have now will support a newer processor or if you have to change out most of the internal parts. So, what if you don’t know which motherboard you have in your computer right now? Belarc Advisor is a great and free way to get your PC’s profile. With this information you can research if your motherboard is the correct socket type to support the latest and greatest new CPU. This will also give you an Idea of what other parts need to be upgraded like your graphics card.
Now that you have a better idea on what to buy lets take a look at products. Well, you have two very good choices in regards of processor brands to choose from. Intel and AMD. First we will mention Intel’s offerings because at this time Intel has taken the performance crown and ran away with the lead. Speaking about raw power, ideashackers Intel has been #1 since they have released the core 2 duo all those years back. I hope this reign doesn’t last forever but if you have the extra cash to spend on an I series processor and are looking for more computing power, than Intel is possibly the right choice for you. Now what if you only have 100 bucks to spend on a performance upgrade? This might help, AMD is still staying competitive by having cheaper processors that still handle applications at blazing speeds. This doesn’t mean you will have the most lightning fast processor, but there are some things AMD just does better. First off, AMD does like to keep the end user in mind by having backwards compatibility on all its types of processors. Unlike AMD, Intel has been coming out with new socket types left and right which makes it impossible just to upgrade with a new processor. You have to spend more of you hard earned cash on motherboards and possibly a RAM upgrade. The thing that matters most though is what you are wanting your processor to do. Do you like video editing or maybe some gaming once in awhile. The best way for you to find out what to buy is to check the benchmarks of each processor. Benchmarks show the results of performance in that area you are interested in. CPU Benchmark is a great place to see what the latest results and processor prices are.