How to build a desktop PC buying guide: Processors - April 2017

Last updated on 12/8/2016.

This guide is intended to advise users to make a more suitable purchase according to their own needs, avoiding the manufacturers marketing that lead to spending more money than is really necessary.

Processors

Processor

A6-6400K/A8-6600K and most recent A6-7400/A8-7600 are good models of APUs (Accelerated processing unit - A name given by AMD to its own new generation CPUs) good for limited budgets and for people who don’t want to invest a lot of money on a dedicated graphic card. They are optimal choices for HTPCs or in general for whom is using the PC mainly to watch movies, browse the internet and using Microsoft Office. However, they are not very suitable for playing video games, where you will not have a very good frame rate, even at lower resolutions.

Much more powerful are the new Intel i3 processors. These dual core CPUs, used in combination with a good dedicated graphic card, will allow you to play most of the video games without problems. Their architecture makes them even faster than AMD quad cores, with fewer exceptions for heavy multi threaded applications. Compared to AMD CPUs, they heat up and consume much less power, so we highly recommend them as it's probably the best choice for the average user.

For people who desire more performance, our recommendation is a processor from new Intel i5 generation. These CPUs are the best choice for a mid/high-end PC, being able to take advantage of any graphic card full potential, while keeping an acceptable price. K series CPUs are suggested only for only for users that like to overclock their processors, if you do not have any intentions to overclock your processor, you should save some money by picking the normal version of the CPU.

If you intend to make intensive use of multi threaded applications, then the best choice would be a processor from the Intel i7 generation. The key difference compared to the Intel i5 generation is the use of hyper threading, which is not used in video games.