Last Updated on by Kevin Chidi

 

A Central Processing Unit is at the heart of any computer (CPU). It’s the component that performs all of the computations for a system, whether you’re writing a project, or browsing the internet. Because different CPUs are useful for different tasks, it’s one of the most common areas of concentration for PC builders.

Researchers working with complex linear algebra require distinct characteristics from their CPUs than gamers, and gamers want different characteristics than the average home or business user.

Here’s what to look for in a processor in 2022, according to our CPU buying guide.

1. Core Count

When checking up a CPU, the number of cores is one of the first things you’ll see. This is a measure of how many tasks it can handle at once. The more processing cores you have, the more tasks you can accomplish at once. However, even though four-core chips are increasingly standard, they are only suitable for the most basic of home and office tasks..

A dual-core will serve if all you want to do is answer emails, browse the internet, and watch Netflix, but four cores will make your experience faster, especially if you prefer to multitask. Budget six-core CPUs are also worth considering, especially if they provide simultaneous multithreading, as AMD’s hexacore designs do.

If you’re a gamer, you’ll need at least a quad-core processor with support for eight threads. There are several advantages to using a six-core CPU, and some games can benefit from having eight cores. You’ll experience declining profits after that. In most games, for example, the eight-core Ryzen 7 5800X outperforms the 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X. (and costs around half the price).

If you’re a video or audio editor, encode video, or work with massive databases, the sky’s the limit when it comes to how many cores you can use – albeit beyond eight cores, speed won’t be as dramatic. Still, AMD’s Ryzen 5900X and 5950X CPUs have 12 and 16 cores, respectively, and are two of the best multithreaded CPUs on the market, demonstrating that cores may be very useful when doing a lot of work.

There are even CPUs with up to 64 cores available, but these are prohibitively expensive and should be considered by professionals.

In summary, six to 12 is a good number for games, depending on what else you’re doing at the same time; for workstation users, virtual lab builds, and research, I’d recommend 16 to 64.

 

2. Clock Speed

I don’t usually recommend 64-core CPUs to most users because when you add more cores, the cores move slower, and most users will benefit from quicker clock speeds to get through little jobs faster. On AMD’s top-of-the-line Threadripper CPU, the 3990x, you’ll notice that clock speeds aren’t even close to the fastest stock clock speed on the market right now, which on paper belongs to the Intel Core i9-10900k, with the 3990x running at 2.4 GHz and 4.3 GHz, and the 10900k running at 3.7 GHz and 5.3 GHz.

Multithreaded and lightly threaded workloads are represented by these base and boost clocks, respectively. So, while the 3990x can run all 64 cores to 2.4 GHz, the 10900k can run all 10 cores to 3.7 GHz.

3. Thermal Design Power ( TDP )

The Thermal Design Power, or TDP, of a CPU is the maximum amount of power it can require from the computer as well as the maximum amount of heat it can produce. In general, the lower the number of cores and the faster the clock speed, the lower the TDP. For a particular CPU, the higher the core count and clock speed, the more power is used and the more heat produced.

There are low-power laptop CPUs with a 15 watt TDP, which is OK because laptops are designed to run on battery power and shouldn’t generate a lot of heat, but the AMD Threadripper 3990x has a TDP of 280 watts. That doesn’t usually matter, because such are typically installed in very big workstations capable of dissipating that much heat.

4. Brand

Intel and AMD are the two main CPU manufacturers for desktop computers. Because of the engineering that goes into AMD’s products, there are less and fewer use cases where Intel CPUs are superior than AMD CPUs. The CPUs are designed and made to be more efficient, and there’s no doubting that when engineering and manufacturing are both better, you’ll come out on top. However, there are specific circumstances in which you’ll desire an Intel CPU.

5. Overclockable

Overclocking your CPU is not usually suggested, but is something that you may do if you want to. It is the process of extracting greater power from your CPU by injecting more electricity into it and asking it to run at faster clock speeds. Anything in Intel’s lineup that ends with a “k” or anything in AMD’s lineup that ends with a “x” is capable of being overclocked.

6. Threading

The number of tasks that a CPU can perform at any given time is measured in threads. Simultaneous multithreading (also known as hyperthreading on Intel CPUs) is a feature found in many modern processors that allows them to use spare core performance for additional tasks. That’s why a CPU with four cores and eight threads or six cores and 12 threads is common. These extra threads aren’t as fast as the cores themselves because they’re utilizing underutilized parts of the CPU, but they typically improve performance by a significant margin.

Because some software can take advantage of more cores and threads than others, the number of cores and threads available on your CPU is an important indicator of potential performance. Having more cores than you require does not speed things up beyond what the software can handle, and it can cause your individual cores to be slower than those in chips with fewer cores.

PRODUCT  FEATURES WHERE TO BUY

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X 24-Core, 48-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor

 

 

  • Unbelievable 4. 5 GHz Max Boost Frequency, with a huge 140MB Cache
  • An Amazing 24 Cores and 48 Processing Threads for professional Designers and Artists
  • Unlocked, with new automatic overclocking feature. Base Clock – 3.8GHz
  • Quad-Channel DDR4 and 88 total PCIe 4. 0 lanes
  • 280W TDP
GET IT NOW
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X 32-Core, 64-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor

  • Unbelievable 4. 5 GHz max boost frequency, with a huge 144MB cache
  • Amazing cores and 64 processing threads for professional designers and artists
  • Unlocked, with new automatic overclocking feature
  • Quad-Channel DDR4 and 88 total PCIe 4. 0 lanes
  • 280W TDP, Cooler not Included. OS Support : Windows 10 – 64-Bit Edition, RHEL x86 64-Bit,
GET IT NOW
Intel i7-4960X Extreme Edition LGA 2011 Processors BX80633I74960X

  •  Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, LGA2011 socket, 6 Core/12 Thread, 3.6 GHz with accompanying 4.0GHz Turbo Boost, Native DDR3 1600/1866 MHz Support, PCI-E 3.0, 64 GB Maximum Memory, 15 MB Cache
  • Supplemental Streaming SIMD Extensions 3
  • Advanced Encryption Standard instructions
  • EM64T/Extended Memory 64 technology/Intel 64
GET IT NOW

Intel Core i9-9900KS Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.0GHz All-Core Turbo Unlocked LGA1151 Z390 127W

  • Brand
Intel
  • CPU Manufacturer
Intel
  • CPU Model
Core i9
  • CPU Speed
5.0 GHz
  • CPU Socket
LGA 1151
GET IT NOW

Intel Core i9 Comet Lake -10850K 3.6GHz

 

  • 10 core / 20 threads
  • Comet lake series
  • Core i9-10850K with 20MB cache
  • 3.6GHz Operating Frequency, LGA 1200 Socket
GET IT NOW

Intel BX80673I99960X Core i9 X-Series Processor Turbo Unlocked LGA2066 X299 Series 

  • Quad DDR4-2666 Memory channels;
  • 16 Cores/32 Threads
  • 3.10 GHz up to 4.40 GHz Max Turbo Frequency/22 MB Cache
  • Compatible only with Motherboards based on Intel x299 chipsets
  • Supports Intel Optane Memory
  • 165W Processors
GET IT NOW
Intel Core i9 Extreme i9-10980XE 

  • Octadeca-core (18 Core) 3 GHz Processor
  • 24.75 MB Cache
  • 4.60 GHz Overclocking Speed
  • 14 nm – 165 W – 36 Threads
GET IT NOW
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

  • Best Gaming Desktop Processor, With 12 Cores And 24 Processing Threads
  • Offers Elite 100+ Fps Performance In The World’s Most Popular Games
  • 4.8 Ghz Max Boost, Unlocked For Overclocking, 70 Mb Of Cache, Ddr-3200 Support
GET IT NOW
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

  • 16 cores and 32 processing threads
  • Offers elite 100+ FPS performance in the world’s most popular games
  • 4.9 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 72 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  •  Can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards for the advanced Socket AM4 platform,
  • Operating System Support: Windows 10 – 64-Bit Edition RHEL x86 64-Bit Ubuntu x86 64-Bit 
GET IT NOW

 

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X 24-Core, 48-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor

 

Brand: AMD | Number of Cores: 24 | Number of Threads: 48 | Base Clock Speed: 3.8 GHz |

Maximum Boost Speed: 4.5 Ghz | L3 Cache: 128 MB

 

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X  24-Core Processor offers a base clock speed of 3.8 GHz and a maximum turbo frequency of 4.5 GHz, allowing you to fully fulfill your creative ideas. This processor, which is part of AMD’s 3rd generation of Ryzen processors, has 24 cores and 48 threads in a sTRX4 socket with 12MB L2 cache memory and 128MB L3 cache memory. The processor’s 24 cores allow it to run numerous programs at the same time without slowing down the system, while the 48 threads allow a single CPU core to process a basic ordered set of instructions. The TDP of this processor is similarly 280W.

Read full review of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X 

PROS CONS
  • Great for video editing and other high capacity creative projects
  • Can work perfectly even without liquid cooling
  • Great productivity and excellent performance
  • Perfect processor for gaming

 

  •  Needs to be liquid cooled for overclocking

 

 

 

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X 32-Core, 64-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor


Brand:
AMD | Number of Cores: 32 | Number of Threads: 64 | Base Clock Speed: 3.7 Ghz |

Maximum Boost Speed: 4.5 Ghz | L3 Cache: 128 MB

 

Nothing in the world of desktop processors (below the server level) compares to AMD’s new Ryzen Threadripper 3970X, one of three elite chips in the third generation of AMD’s giant processor line . This chip, with 32 cores and 64 threads, should currently be the leader of the high-end desktop market, and it’s the silicon to go after for anyone who relies on programs that require as many cores and as much horsepower as possible. Although its single-core performance is average, the Threadripper 3970X and its surrounding platform (anchored by the new TRX40 chipset) break multicore records for its intended use—crushing core-aware tasks. It’s a worthy successor to both the Threadripper 2970WX and Threadripper 2990WX Threadripper processors. For multimedia makers, big multitaskers, and scenarios requiring massive amounts of device bandwidth and memory access, it should be one of the finest processors in the high-end-desktop (HEDT) world.

Read full review of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X

 

PROS CONS
Incredible 4. 5 GHz max boost frequency

Up to 256GB of memory, in quad channel, supported on TRX40 mainboards.

Huge 144MB cache Unlocked, with new automatic overclocking feature

Great Performance and speed

Very good for games

Low overclock ceiling.

 

 

Intel i7-4960X Extreme Edition LGA 2011 Processors BX80633I74960X

 

Brand: Intel | Number of Cores: 6 | Number of Threads: 12 | Base Clock Speed: 3.6 Ghz |

Maximum Boost Speed: 4 Ghz | Processor Cache: 15 MB

 

This processor features six cores and a total of 12 threads thanks to Intel hyperthreading. This CPU is capable of handling the most demanding tasks you can throw at it, including the newest PC games and high-end video editing software. Intel’s Core i7-4960X 3.6 GHz Six Core processor is designed to give high performance and low power consumption. The processor may be installed on motherboards with integrated Socket LGA2011 slots and is compatible with PC and Mac systems. Six cores, twelve threads, 3.6 GHz base, 4 GHz turbo, 15 MB cache, quad-channel memory, and a 22nm chip are all features of this processor. The Intel Core i7-4960X is a powerhouse, as seen by its specifications.

Without doubt, the Core i7-4960X, which will replace the Core i7-3970X as the fastest consumer processor, is one of the most preferred CPU by a lot of Computer users.

Read full review of the Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition

PROS CONS
The fastest consumer processor money can buy for multi-threaded workloads.

Asus makes a great motherboard now that Intel has killed its own manufacturing division.

Lacks support for latest Haswell features

 

 

Intel Core i9-9900KS Desktop Processor 8All-Core Turbo Unlocked LGA1151 Z390 127W

 

Brand: Intel | Number of Cores: 8 | Number of Threads: 16 | Base Clock Speed: 4.0 Ghz |

Maximum Boost Speed: 5.0 Ghz | Cache: 16 MB

 

The Intel Core i9-9900KS is one of the fastest gaming processors currently available. The purchase of this processor comes with a protection plan which offers rest of mind,  when overclocking select unlocked Intel Core processors. Also it allows you to request a replacement Processor in the unlikely situation where your Processor fails due to overclocking. Use the extra performance headroom of unlocked Intel Core processors to your advantage.

Read full review of the Intel Core i9-9900KS

PROS  CONS
  • Fastest processor to complement 1080p gaming on the market.
  • Good for multitasking.
  • Incredible performance for single-core tasks.
  • Works on established base of Z390-chipset boards.
Modest overclocking ceiling

 

 

Intel Core i9 Comet Lake -10850K

 

Brand: Intel | Number of Cores: 10 | Number of Threads: 20 | Base Clock Speed: 3.6 Ghz |

Maximum Boost Speed: 5.30 Ghz | Cache: 20 MB

 

The Core i9 Comet Lake -10850K is another member in Intel’s Core i9 lineup, featuring 10 unlocked cores and hyperthreading, as well as the ability to turbo up to 5.2 GHz via Thermal Velocity Boost. It also has the advantage of being more widely available than the Core i9-10900K.

This 10th Gen Intel Core i9 processor supports two channels of DDR4-2933, uses the LGA1200 socket on Intel 400-series motherboards, and has sixteen PCIe 3.0 lanes for add-in components, just like the other 10th Gen Intel Core i9 processors. It’s worth noting, though, that the chipset has an additional 24 PCIe 3.0 lanes.

The Core i9-10850K is effectively the top-tier Core i9-10900K chip, but with 100 MHz lower clock speeds throughout the board. The turbo frequency is 5.2 GHz, the base frequency is 3.6 GHz, and both processors have a TDP of 125 W.

Read full review of the Core i9 Comet Lake -10850K

PROS CONS
  • Good overclocker
  • Matches Core i9-10900K in most tests
  • As quick as AMD CPUs when overclocked
  • AMD CPUs faster at stock speed

 

 

Intel BX80673I99960X Core i9 X-Series Processor Turbo Unlocked LGA2066 X299 Series 

 

Brand: Intel | Number of Cores: 16 | Number of Threads: 32 | Base Clock Speed: 3.1 Ghz |

Maximum Boost Speed: 4.40 Ghz | Cache: 22 MB

 

The Core i9-9960X is consumer favourite Desktop processor from Intel. It comes with 16 cores and 32 threads. It also comes with a 3.1GHz base clock, a 4.5GHz maximum speed, and a 165W power rating. The Core i9-9960X is a component of the Core i9 series and is based on the Skylake-X 14nm generation.

It’s not surprise that a processor with 16 cores and 32 threads and a 4.5GHz boost clock works like a beast. Without getting into the HEDT scene, the Intel Core i9-9960X is the fastest piece of silicon you can buy.

The Intel Core i9-9960X is a monster processor, as it should be with its 16 cores and 32 threads. If you’re seeking for the best mainstream processor money can buy, you’ve come to the right place. The Intel Core i9-9960X is capable of handling a wide range of tasks, including PC games and intense video and 3D processing.

In other words, especially at this price range, the Intel Core i9-9960X is an absolute machine when it comes to multi-threaded workloads. You’ll notice a performance gain with the Core i9-9960X if you’re planning on doing some video editing or assembling a massive Excel spreadsheet.

The Core i9-9960X is available without integrated graphics from Intel  and is best suited for people who want to use it with a dedicated graphics card.

Additionally, Intel designed the Core i9 to run on an LGA2066 chipset with all of the modern computing features:  DDR4 RAM, the fastest NVMe SSDs, and Thunderbolt 3 connectors are all supported.

Another question now is how well Intel’s Core i9 chip can play games. The answer is affirmative, as it received a respectable gameplay score of 90% in our tests.

The Core i9-9960X demonstrates that it is capable of serving as your primary gaming machine as well as a capable media creation platform – two things that are becoming increasingly intertwined in this age of live-streaming, eSports, and posting gameplay footage.

To get the most out of this unexpectedly powerful processor, you’ll want to invest in an enthusiast-grade X299 motherboard.

Read full review of the Intel Core i9-9960X

PROS CONS
  • Excellent for gaming
  • A multi-threading beast.
  • Excellent boost clock speed for gaming and single-thread tasks
  • Relatively new
  • Excellent general gaming performance
  • Expensive

 

 

 

Intel Core i9 Extreme i9-10980XE 

Brand: Intel | Number of Cores: 18 | Number of Threads: 36 | Base Clock Speed: 3.0 Ghz |

Maximum Boost Speed: 4.6 Ghz | Cache: 24.75 MB | TDP: 165W

 

The Intel Core i9-10980XE 3.0 GHz 18-Core LGA 2066 Processor has a base clock speed of 3.0 GHz and includes features such as Intel Deep Learning Boost, Intel Optane Memory support, Intel Hyper-Threading technology, Intel Virtualization Technology (VT-x), Intel Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d), and more.

It is compatible with X299 chipset-based motherboards. The maximum turbo frequency this processor can achieve with Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology is 4.6 GHz, and it can be further enhanced to 4.8 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost 3.0 technology. This processor also has 18 cores and 36 threads, 24.75MB of cache memory, and 48 PCIe lanes in an LGA 2066 socket.

The processor’s 18 cores allow it to run numerous programs at the same time without slowing down the system, while the 36 threads allow a single CPU core to pass through or process a basic ordered sequence of instructions. This processor also supports up to 256GB of DDR4 memory running at 2933 MHz.

Because Intel did not include an integrated graphics chipset in this processor, users will need to acquire a compatible and dedicated graphics card. If you require even more power, this processor is unlocked, allowing you to overclock it to its full speed.

Read full review of the Intel Core i9-10980XE 

 

PROS CONS
  • Works with mature X299 chipset ecosystem.
  • Much cheaper than previous generation.
  • Support for up to 48 PCI Express lanes.
  • Decent overclocking potential.
  • Memory support to 256GB with supporting motherboards.
  • A CPU cooler is not included and will have to be purchased separately.

 

 

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

Brand: AMD | Number of Cores: 12 | Number of Threads: 24 | Base Clock Speed: 3.7 Ghz |

Maximum Boost Speed: 4.8 Ghz | Cache: L2 Cache: 6 MB/ L3 Cache: 64 MB | TDP: 105W

 

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X provides the best multi-threaded performance for professional and creative applications. It is also  the best processor for the job if you were looking to wring every ounce of performance out of the best PC games.

The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X leads AMD processors to finally take the CPU crown, rounded out by PCIe 4.0 capability.
No doubt, this processor gives value for money. There are very few processor of this specification that can compete with the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X price wise. So if you’re looking for a high-end consumer processor, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X should be a good bargain.
The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X is based on the Zen 3 architecture, which appears to be comparable to Zen 2 on the surface – after all, they’re both 7nm. AMD, on the other hand, has completely changed the architecture to improve IPC performance and efficiency to the point where no one is left behind.

The most significant architectural difference between Zen 2 and Zen 3 is that instead of having two Core Complexes (CCX) per computing die (CCD), each CCD now only has one CCX, with each CCX having up to eight cores, as opposed to four cores in Zen 2. This modification not only reduces latency when cores communicate with one another, but it also means that each CCX now has access to a full 32MB of L3 cache, rather than the 16MB available on Zen 2.

Because cache is so critical to gaming performance, this adjustment, together with the faster clock rates, results in a significant increase in gaming performance. AMD has actually improved performance across the board here, as we’ll see later.

On the other hand, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X is a 12 core, 24 thread CPU with a boost frequency of up to 4.8GHz in terms of raw statistics. It also has a TDP of 105W.
Another major plus is that we aren’t using a new chipset this time around. For AMD Ryzen 5000 processors, X570 motherboards are still the top-end boards, which is great news for anyone wishing to upgrade from an older Ryzen processor and also ensures we won’t have any serious stock difficulties.

Also note that the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X no longer includes a Wraith cooler in the package, so you’ll need to invest in an aftermarket cooling solution. We recommend at least a 240mm AIO liquid CPU cooler or a thicc air cooler like the Noctua NH-U12A.

Read full review of the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

PROS CONS
  • Great for gaming
  • Amazing performance
  • A new single-core champion
  • Same power consumption
  • Don’t need a new motherboard
  • No included cooler

 

 

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

Brand: AMD | Number of Cores: 16 | Number of Threads: 32 | Base Clock Speed: 3.4 Ghz |

Maximum Boost Speed: 4.9 Ghz | Cache: L2 Cache: 8 MB/ L3 Cache: 64 MB | TDP: 105W

 

The Zen 3 architecture is used in AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series of CPUs, which replaces the popular Zen 2 architecture used in AMD’s Ryzen 3000 line of desktop processors. The Ryzen 9 5950X, with a core count of 16 and a total thread count of 32, is the top of the consumer (as in, anything that isn’t a Threadripper) line. This is a monster .

AMD made various improvements to extract even more performance out of the Processor, using a new 7nm manufacturing process and architecture. We were fortunate enough to get our hands on a Ryzen 5950X to see how much of an upgrade it is over the previous generation and other Ryzen 5000 processors.

The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X is the company’s best non-Threadripper processor. Because of the amazing 16 cores and 32 threads, pairing this processor with the greatest graphics card would result in a captivating gaming experience. That’s correct, AMD managed to put a total of 16 cores with multi-threading capabilities into a device with a TDP of only 105W.

Although gaming is one task that the Ryzen 9 5950X excels at, it is far from the only one. In fact, for most PC configurations, it’s overkill. The 5950X is better suited to creators and professionals that need to build a good value workstation with a lot of performance.

On the other hand the possibility to use any Zen 3 CPU with existing B550 and X570 motherboards is the finest feature about them. Because the finest AMD Ryzen 9 5950X motherboards don’t have to be brand new, AMD’s AM4 architecture appeals to individuals who don’t want to replace their motherboard every time they change their Intel processor.

In fact, you could use any AMD 400-series motherboard as long as the vendor provides a fresh BIOS update to enable Ryzen 5000 functionality. That’s excellent support for newer product cycles.

Also as expected, the 16 cores and 32 threads are great. The 5950X is ideal for multi-taskers and individuals who frequently utilize software to take advantage of such numbers because it has so many cores and threads accessible for multiple processes within Windows or Linux. PCIe 4.0 compatibility is available, but a B550 or X570 motherboard is required.

Precision Boost 2 and Precision Boost Overdrive, two technologies that make overclocking easier and more reliable, are available on the 5950X, as they are on previous Ryzen 5000 series CPUs. With little overclocking and tweaking, you can easily use DDR4 RAM at 3200MHz and above for a solid experience.

When compared to previous-generation CPUs, AMD claims that Zen 3 processors have a 19% improvement in instructions per clock (IPC), making single-core performance significantly superior.

In terms of temperature, the X570 platform is the way to go if you want lower temperatures and all of the advantages that the Ryzen 9 5950X has to offer.

Read full review of the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

 

PROS CONS
  • Stellar productivity performance for the price
  • Low TDP
  • Strong gaming results across multiple titles
  • Outperforms competing Intel HEDT options
  • Price creep sets in above 12 cores for most users

 

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