Picking a CPU



Picking a CPU one of the most important choices you’ll make when buying a new computer.  However, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Before we get into which one to pick, remember that a computer is an investment. You could get what you need right now, but an extra $50-$100 for a better processor will mean an extra few years before you need to replace (or upgrade) the computer. You’ll save a lot of money in the long run. If you follow the guidelines below, you should be able to find one that will last you a long time, even as the rest of your computer slows down.

The CPU is like the brain of the computer.  Your operating system, and every program you use, is run through the CPU.  The faster the CPU, the faster your computer runs.

Twenty years ago, you could check the frequency (often referred to as speed) of a processor and get a basic idea of how well it preformed.  Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case, because of something called the Power Wall.

Thankfully, there is now an even simpler method to judging if a CPU is what you need.  All you need to do is type the model number into the search box (right side of the page) on this benchmark site, select it, and choose “Find CPU”.  The “Passmark CPU mark” is what you need.  If you only plan on watching videos, word processing, and web browsing, a CPU with 4000 or above will work.  If you plan on doing any gaming, you need a bare minimum of 5000.  For products like Photoshop, you should buy a processor with a score of 8000 or higher.

The only other thing you need to consider is the brand.  At Expresstek, we strongly recommend Intel.  You can use AMD instead if you are on a tighter budget.

If you follow these two simple rules, you can find the perfect processor for your needs.