Tips & Tricks

What is My CPU Match?

The battle between Intel and AMD has been ongoing for decades, and the current market offers consumers a diverse range of options and aggressive prices and promotions. There is so much choice available that the average user often finds the current market to be daunting. With that in mind, let us consider how the consumer goes about selecting that perfect match.


1. Establish a budget.

Don’t start the research process before laying out a realistic budget. It will provide you with focus and eliminate a lot of unnecessary legwork, and the good news is that there are high-quality options available even at the lowest budget levels.

2. Strive for balance.

If you are buying an entire computer or multiple components, then do not rob Peter to pay Paul. In a modern machine, less than 2 GB of RAM will seriously hamper the usability of that sleek CPU.

3. Define your usage.

Express your computer usage honestly and thoroughly. If the majority of your computer access is web surfing, then the current budget options by AMD are going to provide you the most bang for the buck.

4. Is the motherboard a consideration?

If you are upgrading or replacing the CPU in a preexisting desktop computer, then you are limited to the CPU brand and architecture that the motherboard was designed for. You will still have options since both AMD and Intel sell multiple products for each architecture that they support.

5. Otherwise, avoid brand loyalty.

Both Intel and AMD make excellent CPUs. Intel has the superior technology right now and the upper hand in the market, but if Intel’s best is beyond your needs, then AMD offers considerable value.

6. Choose onboard or dedicated graphics.

Do you want a dedicated GPU? If you plan to play current video games or perform video editing, then the answer is likely yes. If not, then you can save money with integrated graphics. The two prominent options are the Intel Core i3 and the AMD Fusion.

7. Deemphasize GHz.

Back when the CPU wars first heated up, the marketing focused on gigahertz, which in simple terms is a measure of how fast the processor was. The current truth is that the important factors are architecture and core count, and the GHz is often useless or misleading.

8. Forget future proofing.

A common mistake that the average consumer makes is trying to future-proof their purchase. It’s an elusive endeavor and usually impossible due the volatility of the industry. Instead, buy the CPU that provides you the best tangible value right now. More often than not, that will pay off best long term.

9. Know why you need those advanced features.

What benefit will 6, 8 or 12 cores provide you? Will you take advantage of hyper-threading technology? Before investing in one of these advanced features, be able to express exactly how you’ll benefit. Otherwise, you’re likely not going to get your money’s worth out of it.

10. Consider utility costs.

Both AMD and Intel sell processors with an emphasis on energy efficiency. Some processors are even able to throttle down during periods of low usage in order to limit energy usage, and these types of measures can have a significant impact in the energy used over the course of a year.

This article was submitted by Gregory Adams, a blogger for Hughes Internet. He is a technology enthusiast  who specializes in computer programming and applications.

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