Are you currently looking for a new PC and are you thinking of putting it together yourself ? The right CPU is the heart of every PC or computer . Especially with this purchase, you should spare no expense.
Purchase advice: How to find the right CPU in 2019
- When you buy a motherboard, you decide whether you want to use Intel processors or AMD processors, because the sockets can not accommodate any processor. The clock rate is determined by the bus clock on the motherboard: The clock speed of the processor is always a simple or multiple of the clock of the system bus.
- The desired applications should determine the type of processor. If you like to play demanding computer games, it is best to choose a powerful gaming CPU with additional commands.
- CAD applications benefit greatly from processors with more than one core as well as multi-threading. As an alternative to the expensive CPUs, parallel processes can also be outsourced to a high-performance graphics card.
The main processor, where the CPU abbreviation means central processing unit , is the core component of the whole system in the computer. It performs the calculations and is supported by the other system components . In particular, fast system buses as well as sufficient and fast memory are important, so that the PC processor can test its strengths in the test.
Of crucial importance is the often underestimated RAM ( Random Access Memory ), which proves to be the bottleneck for the performance of PC processors. While all current CPUs are sufficient for office work today, processors for CAD or computer games must bring particularly high performance. A specialized gaming processor has special additional commands (like MMX) that optimize it for gaming.
Find out in the buying guide to our CPU Comparison 2018 which characteristics and key figures you should pay particular attention to if you want to buy a very good CPU privately.
1. CPU: the heart of the computer
1.1. What do you need a CPU for?
CPUs provide above all the computing power of the computer through their internal arithmetic unit. The computing work is done by integrated transistors based on the output of 0 and 1, on which build all programs, no matter which programming language they are written.
1.2. What is a CPU?
The CPU abbreviation means Central Processing Unit . In addition to the calculator, a CPU also contains memory in the form of cache. It can contain multiple cores and process multiple processes at the same time. The integration of graphics functions has also been possible since the year 2000. The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the main processor.
What do you need boards for?
There are also other chips on the motherboard and expansion cards inserted on it, such as sound cards and graphics cards. With these, the CPU is connected through the system bus provided by the motherboard. Due to its speed and timing, the system management is significantly influenced. For example, the CPU is always operated at the single or multiple times of the system bus clock.
1.3. Various CPU types at a glance
Buy not only the CPU that has the best rating in popular CPU testing, but the processor that is compatible with your current systems . Although you can be guided by the results of a CPU ranking, you can not rely on the result in this category.
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2. Definition of Terms: Gaming CPU and CAD CPU
In particular, laypeople are particularly easily confused in technology issues due to the range of different abbreviations of the systems. So here are two important distinctions.
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3. How to buy the right CPU
There are several ways to buy a CPU, which we will show you below.
3.1. The easy way: The ready-made CPU
You can buy a finished system, eg. B. a high performance gaming system. Here you have the guarantee that the CPU benchmark values are correct and the CPU utilization does not lead to overloading. Such systems are offered by numerous specialized manufacturers; Of course, this also applies to powerful servers and CAD systems.
3.2. For advanced: build yourself instead of buy finished
Buyers with a good knowledge can assemble their personal computer according to their ideas but also from individual components and assemble them themselves. The advantage here is the fine tuning of the system components and their perfect coordination with each other.
Even the subsequent replacement of individual components is easily possible in this way, such as the installation of a new graphics card, a new processor or new, powerful SSD hard drives .
If you build your own PC, you also have the option of overclocking the CPU. This can be done, for example, by inserting metal bridges in the base of the CPU or by increasing the system clock. Often, the BIOS of the mainboard also offers special options to separately raise the clock of the CPU. Some manufacturers have geared themselves specifically to the needs of gamers and produce hardware that is already designed for the possible overclocking of individual components or the whole system. You should always proceed in a step-by-step manner, approaching the point where the CPU benchmark performance is highest, while keeping the system stable and not producing crashes. In addition to a good CPU cooler it requires good expertise.
In addition to a good CPU cooler it requires good expertise.
3.3. In the socket used CPU: pick locally and put together
That’s why there’s a third option for those who do not trust DIY and overclocking: they can buy the components individually and have them assembled in-store. So you get a PC whose components you have selected yourself and save the assembly at the same time. Many mail order companies also offer the assembly and assembly of PCs from individual components. You can select the components yourself on the Internet and receive the assembled PC and ready for connection delivered to the house.
4. You should pay attention to the following advantages and disadvantages
- AMD processors such as the Ryzen brand play their strengths especially in gaming. As hardware, they are therefore especially suitable for professional gamers and enthusiastic hobby players.
- Intel processors such as the i 7 processor are particularly strong in office applications and in the notebook sector. They also provide enough power for CAD. Both in the field of notebooks, the desktop software as well as the server is preferred to use Intel processors.
- Powerful processors provide enough power for complex programs such as computer games and CAD.
- By overclocking, the maximum power can be extracted from modern PC processors.
- The integration of graphics functions in some modern processors saves costs.
- A powerful gaming graphics card can also support the CPU in large arithmetic operations, providing additional valuable computing power.
- Powerful computer-optimized PC processors consume a large amount of electrical power.
- Strong CPUs develop a lot of waste heat at full power. This can lead to thermal overload of the main processor itself, but also to excessive heating of the personal computer itself. This can lead to system failures in the form of crashes and bluescreens. However, reducing CPU utilization today is easy: with suitable cooling systems, even powerful systems with high-performance processors can be efficiently cooled down.
- Powerful processors require a system environment that optimally supports their performance. In particular, there must be enough memory available, otherwise the performance of the CPU will be limited. Even a fast system bus and fast hard disks such as solid state disks, allow the CPU only to play their performance. A CPU test with a comparison to a current CPU benchmark list or CPU ranking provides clarity about the performance.
- For gaming systems, the graphics capabilities built into some PC processors are not enough. An expensive graphics card is required for modern 3D computer games.
5. Questions and answers about the most important part of the computer
The CPU provides the computing power of the computer. That’s why it should not be too weak , especially for the performance hungry purpose and the required number of threads . If it is optimally connected to the system through sufficient main memory, SSD hard disks and fast busses, every type of processor, be it a gaming CPU, an everyday CPU or office CPU, can fully exploit its performance.
5.1. How to reduce the CPU usage?
There are several methods to reduce CPU usage. Proper, high-quality main processor packaging is important to avoid thermal overload and thus reduce CPU utilization. In this case, the use of thermal grease over the installation of pads, as found in many fully assembled computers, should be given preference. A powerful cooler should also be available.
Traditionally this is a fan, but water cooling systems are also popular with professional gamers to increase cooling performance and thereby overclock the processor. This can not only lead to overheating, but too high overclocking , also to calculation errors of the CPU, the blue screens (crash of the computer system) produce. If these occur frequently, the overclocking level should be lowered again.
Here, different processors of the same type may be capable of different levels of overclocking. In addition to cooling, the number of cycles can be reduced below the intended number, if the full power is not needed. This can be done for example in the BIOS or by manual adjustment of the bus frequency on the motherboard with the help of dip switches or contact bridges. Some PCs also have a switch on the front, which allows you to switch from normal to turbo, sometimes with a digital display of the then set clock frequency.
5.2. How much thermal grease do you have to do on the CPU?
The thermal paste, which should also contain metallic components, is used to produce the heat transfer from the top of the processor to the CPU cooler as effectively as possible and to ensure the greatest possible temperature transfer. For this it is important that there is no gap and minimal unevenness on the processor and heat sink is compensated.
At the same time, both components should be as close together as possible . The thermal compound should therefore be applied only gossamer. If paste spills out at the side, that’s a sign that has already been taken too much. In this case, it is recommended to remove the existing paste again and to apply new paste very thin.
If both components are completely connected by a thin film of thermal grease on the contact surface, the purpose is fulfilled.
5.3. Which processor is right for me?
But how can you tell which PC processor is right for you? In order to measure the CPU utilization, CPU benchmarks can be used , which give an overview of the performance of the tested processors in a CPU benchmark list. Such a CPU ranking is available on the homepage of many manufacturers of CPU benchmark software.
If you buy a CPU, you should also pay attention to a balanced price-performance ratio : Often the CPU test winner for a significantly higher price only slightly better performance than the cheaper models. In order to be able to buy a CPU cheaply, you should consider the price jump to the best CPU.