How To Pick a CPU for Your Computer

With as many powerful CPUs on the market as there are today, it’s tough to decide which one will work best with your PC setup. Intel and AMD make a huge range of processors, all intended for different PC types. So how do you pick which one will work when you’re figuring out how to build a computer?


If you’re strapped for cash, consider looking for a CPU that has been discontinued or a newer budget CPU. AMD offers a very affordable line with their Athlon series. These CPUs are great for gaming on a budget. The Intel Celeron line at 2.4 GHz and up is also good. You won’t get optimal performance with gaming, video editing, or watching movies, but a budget processor should be fine to get you through basic tasks and lower end gaming.

Middle of the road

Mid-range processors are going to be the average computer user’s best bet. The Intel Core 2 Duo is a fantastic, basic processor that gives you enough power to effectively multitask and get good speed. Quad core processors should only be considered if you are running multi-threading applications or planning to do video editing and top end gaming. Higher AMD Athlon series processors give you an alternative if you don’t want an Intel processor.

High end

The Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition falls into this category, but high end processors are often unstable because they use so much power. New, powerful CPUs are prone to crashing and overheating. It’s often wisest to stick with a mid-range CPU and opt for a better graphics card if you just need more raw power for gaming.

Ultimately, you need to consider your own computing needs when you’re deciding on what processor to buy and figuring out how best to build a computer that will suit you. If all you use your PC for is general word processing, net browsing, and basic tasks, you can easily settle for a low-range budget processor. Gamers and video editors will need a mid-range to high end processor to get the most out of your computer.

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