Episode 3 – Computer Buying Guide: What processor you should choose.
In the previous episode we spoke about why you should consider more memory and how low memory effects computer performance. In this episode we talk about which brand of processor you should have in your computer.
Episode 2: How much memory do I need?
On face value processor choice should be easy. All processors are rated by the clock speed. This is represented in number form (gigahertz (GHz)). The higher the GHz the faster the processor right? Well not completely, not all processors are created equal. Some are multi-core, some single core, some have hyper-threading and some don’t.
Processors come in a range of speeds and functionality, and this is usually reflected in their price. In this circumstance, you absolutely get what you pay for and the cheapest is not the best choice. That doesn’t mean you should buy the most expensive but it does mean you should consider what you will be using the computer for and match that need to specifications.
So which processor should you choose; Intel or AMD? Both have a wide range of processors. If you’re looking for a computer under $400 you’ll likely be choosing AMD. This choice is fine for very simple computer use such as basic Internet browsing and email. But as the computer fills with programs and data you will notice a considerable decrease in performance.
When it comes to processor choice we always choose Intel. They have been part of the industry for many years and their processors are known for their reliability and speed. We recommend avoiding Intel’s budget processors (Pentium) and look for the Core I series (core i3, i5 and i7). This series of processor comes with multiple cores meaning you can run multiple programs simultaneously and the workload will be spread over the cores, translating to more open programs without sacrificing speed. If you want the best of the best the Intel Core i7 is for you. It has the fastest clock speed of the range and more features for high performance computers. If you’re looking for the best value we recommend Intel Core i5. The clock speeds are great for many applications such as gaming, HD video editing and general office tasks. The Core i5 also works well in laptops with Intel’s integrated HD Graphics.
Combined this with enough memory and a super fast solid state drive and you have the core of a quick computer that saves energy and performs tasks without any decrease in performance.