How to Choose the Right PC Processor in 2020

Everyone knows that the processor is the heart of any computer. And the performance and performance level of the entire system often depends on its choice. Sooner or later, everyone who needs a computer comes to the question of choosing a processor. There are a great variety of them for absolutely all types of tasks. In this article we will tell you how to choose exactly what you need in this limitless variety. It should be noted that this article is intended for desktop PCs and the selection criteria will be different compared to notebook “stones.”

Intel vs AMD

This topic is quite controversial and a lot has already been said here. I’ll just try to point out some basic points.

  • AMD is cheaper for similar performance. Yes it is, but they also have a higher TDP, which means the need for a better cooler.
  • Integrated graphics are better at AMD too, but I consider this point to be negligible for desktops, as even a simple discrete card will be much better.
  • Intel Core i3 and Core i7 processors have Hyper-Threading technology, which splits 1 physical core into 2 virtual ones, which doubles the number of threads. This feature will be especially useful for file archiving and video encoding.
  • The Intel Core i5 and Core i7 models feature Turbo Boost technology that boosts clock speed and thus performance for a short period of time.

It turns out that if you need a simple typewriter or a multimedia and average gaming computer for little money, then your choice will most likely fall towards AMD. Intel, on the other hand, has very productive solutions (for a lot of money), less heat, hyper-threading technology and a more advanced technical process.


There are 2 kinds of one processor model: OEM and BOX. The first type comes without a cooler and with less manufacturer’s warranty. The second one has a cooler, a big guarantee and, accordingly, a higher cost. In principle, this cooler will be enough for most tasks, but for the difference in price between these two specifications, you can buy something better.

Performance selection

First you need to define your needs. For the office and films, very simple solutions will do. For example Intel Pentium or AMD A4.

If you want to play modern games, then you should pay attention to more efficient chips. The desired minimum is AMD FX-4300. Yes, not cheap, but what did you want? You don’t want to change your stone after a year. Athlon 860K should not be taken because it has no L3 (L3 cache), which can cause short freezes. Here is a table showing processors that reveal the potential of modern video cards from NVIDIA.

If you need a real monster of the processor world for very complex professional tasks with a margin for many years, then you need the most expensive (top) solutions.

How to compare performance

When you realize that you need to start comparisons. Benchmarks will help you with this. These are programs that, by performing various synthetic tests, allow you to find out the speed of a particular processor. There are heaps of results and comparisons on the Internet. You can go to the manufacturer’s website to clarify the data: Intel and AMD. Here’s another very useful resource: CPU-World. You grasp the algorithm: look for the desired processor, see the results and compare with other possible options.

Some helpful tips

  • There is no need to chase the newest generations. Processors 3 years old do very well with all tasks, but they are cheaper. And in this case, you can save on the motherboard.
  • When buying a powerful processor with high power consumption, you need to look at your power supply and motherboard, because they may not withstand the increased load.
  • Pay attention to the socket of the motherboard and processor, no matter how trite. Give preference to processors with a more modern socket, this will simplify further replacement of the motherboard and chip.
  • You can take a used one and save a lot, but the risk in this case is greater.
  • Almost all processors can be overclocked to increase their performance. But this topic is for those who understand, because there are certain risks, and in inept hands, they are quite impressive.
  • The choice between 2 or 4 cores should be made according to needs. If you do not need a large number of parallel running programs, then opt for 2 cores with a higher clock frequency. If more threads are required, then your choice will drop by 4 cores even with a lower frequency.

I understand perfectly well that the topic is far from fully disclosed, and there are many more factors when choosing a processor, especially for advanced users. The most basic of them were also discussed here. I really hope that this material was useful to you and helped you at least a little to make your choice.

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