What is the best computer processor for 2012?

By Liz Cornwell | January 17, 2012 |

greater than 3 minutes

what is the best computer processor

When you think of buying a new computer, the most important choice you have to make is what is the best computer processor. That’s because the computer’s central processing unit (CPU) is the most important part of your PC. Your computer’s speed, performance and multitasking abilities depend on the processor. You can add RAM, tweak Windows, but if your CPU is no good, your computer will never perform as well as you want it to. So, if you are looking for a new desktop or laptop, you need to decide which processor to buy.

So, what is the best computer processor to buy? Well, if you are looking for a processor that will give you top performance, high speed computing, good 3D graphics performance, and a large cache to diminish memory load, then your ideal CPU is Intel Core i7. This new processor from Intel uses Sandy Bridge-E technology and offers a Quad-channel memory controller, 40 PCI-Express 3.0-capable lanes and super-fast performance.

If you are getting a CPU for your desktop computer, then the most powerful ones are Intel Core i7-3930K and Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition. The Core i7-3930K is a Turbo six core with Hyper-Threading processor. It runs at 3.2-3.8GHz and has 12MB of L3 cache. As for the Core i7-3960X, well this is a really powerful piece of Intel magic. This processor is called the Extreme Edition and you can see why – it runs at 3.3-3.9GHz, is a Turbo six-core CPU with Hyper-Threading, and it comes with 15MB of L3 cache and an unlocked multiplier. So, if you are looking for extreme performance, this answers the question “what is the best computer processor”. However, there is one big negative factor – the price. Core i7-3930K costs about $600 and the Core i7-3960X costs a whopping $990. So, if you are not ready to spend that much money on a processor alone, there are some other, more affordable options from both Intel and AMD.

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But what is the best computer processor from Intel that doesn’t cost a fortune?

Basically, if you are looking for an Intel CPU and expect high-end performance, go for the Core i5 line. Intel Core i5 CPUs use the Sandy Bridge technology, which means they give your PC a turbo boost. If you are happy to spend about $210 on your CPU, then Intel Core i5-2500 Quad-Core 3.3-3.7GHz (Turbo) is the way to go. Another good choice from Intel is Core i5 750. Well, that’s as far as Intel is concerned. But let’s not overlook AMD processors – they are quickly gaining in popularity and have the potential to outperform Intel.

If you ask me what is the best computer processor from AMD, I will recommend the AMD Phenom II line. Phenom II are not the newest processors from AMD, but they are the best choice when it comes to the performance and price combination. Even though AMD have released AMX FX processors that are commonly called AMD Bulldozer, these processors have trouble outperforming Intel Core i5 and i7 in most cases. And when it comes to some operations, Phenom II works better than Bulldozer.

But what if you are looking for a budget CPU that will offer you decent performance? What is the best computer processor to buy for less than $100? Well, there are a few choices from both Intel and AMD. From Intel you should consider Intel Celeron G530 Dual-Core 2.4GHz, Intel Pentium G620 Dual-Core 2.6GHz, and Intel Pentium G850 Dual-Core 2.9GHz. As for AMD, check out AMD Phenom II X2 555 3.2GHz Dual-Core 80W 6MB L3 Black Edition AM3 and AMD Phenom II X4 925 2.8GHz 6MB L3 Cache Quad-Core. Both of these processors offer good performance and will suit the needs of most home computer users.

These are the choices when it comes to choosing a processor for your computer. But to tell you the truth, only you can answer the question what is the best computer processor for your budget because it depends on the tasks you run and your particular computer performance requirements.

Fed up with your slow PC? Tired of waiting for Windows to start up? Take a look at the most common reasons behind poor performance and the best ways to deal with them here.
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