CPUs: At the Heart of Your Computer
Whether you are using a laptop, a tablet, or a desktop computer, at its heart is a tiny microproessor called the central processing unit. It might be from Intel, AMD, or any other brand but they are configured to more or less deliver the same thing. CPUs are complete computation engines fabricated on a tiny chip. Though small in size, this micro wonder performs most of the computing work. It determines how many things your computer--be it a Windows laptop or PC, a MacBook or iMac, or a Linux, can do within a specified time frame as well as how fast it can accomplish those tasks. It is a computer's defining characteristic and is often advertised along with the product and they can also be purchased on their own should you want to upgrade or build your own computer.
Knowing the type and specifications of a CPU will help you in deciding which one will suit your needs and though there aren't so many manufacturers in the market, you should still have an overview of what makes a good one and what you should look out for and consider. Below are some information that can help you understand and select the right processing unit for your computer or laptop.
Cores and Clock Speed
Generally speaking, the more cores your processor has, the more computing functions it can handle simultaneously. Now, computing functions does not necessarily mean the number of software or application is your processor can run at the same time but the number of computations it does in the background. However, having the ability to do more computational functions often lead to the ability to multi-task without experiencing interruptions or lags. The number of cores is the biggest factor that determines the processor's performance and right now, having at least a dual-core is the best starting point. Dual-cores often come with a relatively affordable price. They are efficient and if you are just a regular user, that is your computing needs mostly comprise of browsing online, creating documents using Microsoft's office suite or its equivalent in Mac or Linux, and some streaming, then they will definitely suffice. However, if you are a multitasker or or you work in environments marked by lots of background processing, then you'll definitely benefit from multi-core systems (you can choose from a quad-core up to a 16-core model, although very few people would really need the power of a 16-core processor). They may be a bit more expensive but they are worth the investment as they will make your life so much easier.
The other important aspect to look at is the clock speed. Measured in gigahertz (GHz), the clock speed determines how responsive or how fast your processor can move various tasks around the cores. Simply put, between two processors with the same number of cores, you are better of with the one with a higher clock speed. Of course, you'd even be better off if you have one with a lot of cores and with a very fast clock speed. Having a processor with a 3.5GHz or more will give you the responsiveness you've always wanted and you'll never have to wait for a webpage to load.
Graphics and Cache
Regardless of brand, most modern processors come with integrated graphics. These built-in video technology are capable of producing stronger video processing even without an independent video card. If emailing, web browsing, and online video streaming are your main activities then the default integrated graphics will get the job done just fine. However (like in the case of the cores), if video gaming anf graphic intensive work is what you normally do, then perhaps you should consider getting a separate, specialized graphic card that are designed specifically to meet graphic demanding processes.
You might already be familiar with caches from your browsers, they are the bits of information kept by your browser which you have to clear every now and then. Processor caches aren't different, they store data in a very convenient and fast location. Without them your CPU's speed will be limited by your RAM (which you can find in our PC components category). The general rule in them is that the more memory you have in your processor's cache, the better it will perform. Its types are referred to as L1/L2/L3, but you should watch out for the size more than the type. Usually a 2MB or 3MB cache is enough, unless of course you're a hardcore gamer or a graphics professional then you'll need 6MB or larger.
Battle of the Brands
The CPU market is dominated by two brands, namely AMD and Intel. Both brands have their own strong points and they often differ in price. You have to take note though that you can't replace an AMD processor with an Intel processor and the other way around. Changing from one brand of processor to the other requires additional components such as a motherboard (compatibility issues including the socket in the motherboard as Intel Haswell requires a 1150 socket while AMD requires the FM1 socket), so you need to know which type of processor your computer currently possesses, and be sure to match it in your new purchase.
Find the Best Deals and Prices in Singapore
After you've considered all the factors we've mentioned then you are ready to buy your new CPU. Here you'll find not just the best deals on processors (the latest as well as hard to find ones) but also on almost all PC components. Build your new computer from scratch or make sure your old machine remain fast and responsive by purchasing the perfect processor and other components. You can also easily compare for prices from different retailers and stores while reading expert and actual user reviews so you can be sure that you are getting not just the best deal but also the best component for your computer.