How to Compare Computer Processors (CPUs)

Tech Talker explains what to look for when buying a processor or CPU for your computer.

Eric Escobar,
July 18, 2013
Episode #084

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Over the past week I’ve been helping family members look for new computers for the upcoming school year. One question I got over and over again is how to compare one processor (or CPU) to another. There are many things that come into play when considering what “the right processor” would be for every individual. The reality is that the right processor is different for everyone depending on what they’ll be doing with their computer.

There are a ton of different features that come into play when looking for the right processor. There are different brands, numbers of cores, clock speeds, and a ton of other stuff that affects performance.

In this week’s episode, I hope to shed some light on what exactly these terms mean and how to use them to compare processors when buying your next computer.

Intel v. AMD

First, let’s go over the two major brands you’ll likely be comparing when you’re looking at processors. Chances are, if you're buying a new computer, you will be choosing between an Intel processor and an AMD processor. These are the two main processor producers on the market and they fill two different niches. AMD processors tend to be on the less expensive side, however they are best used in budget computers where price matters more than stellar performance.

Intel on the other hand has more expensive models, which tend to be a bit more expensive than their AMD counterparts. Personally, I install AMD processors in computers for people who don’t use their computers that often. These processors are great for people who just want to check their email, browse the web, edit a few documents, basically perform very light tasks that don’t require much power.

For users who are constantly editing videos, playing 3D games, and running a ton of applications all at once, Intel is the way to go.


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