How to select a CPU for your PC

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There are three factors to consider to choose the right CPU and these are performance, price and power consumption. While the first two are major ones, the last one is not as important as those.

How to select a CPU for your PC

You will be able to choose the right CPU only if you have a good understanding of your requirements and workload. It is for that reason that we have come up with this content on how you can choose the right CPU for your computer. Do take a look at the different factors involved in choosing a CPU from below.

Workloads

There are two types of workloads that are to be considered. One is single-threaded and the other is multi-threaded. Wondering what's the difference between the two? Single-threaded workloads involve simple tasks such as listening to music, word processing, browsing the web, etc. These are done better on CPUs with higher per-core dock speed and not by those that have many cores.

When it comes to multi-threaded workloads, it includes tasks such as gaming, video encoding, photo editing, etc. These are usually handled well by processors that have multiple cores. There are technologies such as Intel's Hyperthreading that are designed to accelerate some multi-threaded workloads such as video editing and encoding by letting two threads to be executed on a single core interchangeably.

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Some processors may involve many cores to handle the multi-threaded workloads, but these might give lesser results than expected. In fact, most consumer level software including games are not designed to be handled by multiple processor cores. It is for this reason that Intel despite being the largest maker of desktop CPUs refrains from making mainstream CPUs with more than four cores.

Overclocking

The other major factor that you need to consider is overclocking of the CPU. Overclocking is a process of increasing the processor's clock speed beyond its targeted limit. This often yields a considerable performance benefit, but not all CPUs can be overclocked. Those that can be overclocked need a special chipset and a motherboard that will make it expensive.

In the case of Intel processors, you will need the more expensive K-series CPUs to benefit from overclocking and you will need a motherboard with the Z series chipset to overclock in an efficient way. On the other hand, the AMD processors are trickier as they can be overclocked. In simple terms, the expensive chipsets can be overclocked in a better way than their inexpensive peers, but you need to ensure that there is a motherboard to support overclocking. As a downside, overclocking results in increased heat as well as power consumption.

Power Consumption

Now comes the last factor - power consumption. Though this is not a primary concern while choosing a CPU, it needs to be kept in mind if you indeed to overclock. The faster the processor, the higher will be the power consumption. As the power consumption increases, the concerns regarding noise and cooling will also increase. Though there are stock cooling fans to handle these issues, these work fine only with the stock processor speeds. If the processor is overclocked, then this fan becomes inadequate. Eventually, you will have to invest in cooler for the laptop so that the additional heat that is generated due to overclocking is handled better.

Taking a decision

Once you are aware of your needs, then you need to browse through the lists of best CPUs in the market based on your requirements. On analyzing the above mentioned factors, you will be able to come to a conclusion of what kind of needs you have.



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