Low Price Supplier Of AMD and Intel processors. We carry the best deals on the latest Skylake and AMD FX/A Series. Save Up To 50% Off. CPUs or Processors (also known as the Central Processing Unit) are the main part in any computer. The computer processor determines the power, speed, & architecture of the PC. Two manufacturers control the majority of the processor market - AMD and Intel. There are advantages and disadvantages between going with one company vs the other in terms of price and performance. In general, both brands have models aimed at every budget so the choice is largely yours. Choosing your processor first is a great starting point for building your PC as doing so will determine your socket and many other considerations. We carry a full line of high end, gaming, mid-grade performance, and budget chips to satisfy any budget so feel free to browse or contact us to get you started.
What is a CPU?
Best Bang for Your Buck Upgrades: Choosing a ProcessorUpgrading your processor can be tricky; there are a lot of compatibility issues which can make the whole operation a headache. However, if your system is bogged down with an ancient, out-of-date processor, nothing will give you better bang-for-your-buck than will a shiny new CPU.
Determining compatibility is far-and-away the most difficult part of a successful CPU upgrade. This is because compatibility is entirely determined by your computer's motherboard-a component about which you probably know very little.
The first thing you should know is that every motherboard is built around a socket, which is the slot where the processor plugs into the computer. This socket cannot be upgraded, adapted, or modified to accept any processor for which it was not originally intended. In other words, you're stuck with the socket you've got unless you want to go through the hassle of buying a new motherboard altogether.
Since different processors are compatible with different sockets, your CPU choices will be limited by the type of socket found on your motherboard, though this isn't the only factor. What you'll ultimately want is a list, provided by the motherboard's manufacturer, of which processors will work with their board. Big name manufactures provide these on their websites, but you have to know your motherboard's model number, and that requires a little bit of foot-work.
Information about your motherboard can be found in a few different ways. First, if you're lucky enough to have your motherboard's manual you can check there, this is the absolute best and most reliable source of information and will end your search right there. Unfortunately, if you, like most folks, bought your computer from Dell, HP, or some other big name manufacturer, you're more likely to have gotten a scary warning that you should never open your computer, than to have gotten a manual about your motherboard. In these cases I like to turn to a free, downloadable program called CPU-Z (Click here to download it) which will quickly analyze your PC and tell you exactly what you've got under the hood.
Once you've determined which motherboard you've got, it's time to turn to Google. Use the motherboard's model number in the search and, hopefully, in the top few results you'll find your motherboard's product page which will provide a list of compatible CPUs. If not, you can always ask an expert, post your motherboard's manufacturer and model number in the comments below and I'll give you a hand!
When it comes down to it, the motherboard's manufacturer is the ultimate decider when it comes to CPU upgrades, if you can't find information anywhere else about which processors will or won't work with your board, you'll have to take it up with the man.
Once you've figured out which processors you can use, you can start thinking about which one you should use.
The number of cores found on a processor should be the first thing you look for, the more the better. Going back to the processor-as-a-guy-at-a-desk analogy I used in the RAM section (click here to read it), having a multi-core processor is like having multiple guys at the desk. These workers function together, dividing smaller tasks amongst themselves and breaking larger tasks into smaller chunks that they can split as well.
Having multiple workers, or cores, will improve your computer's performance in a couple of ways. First, since each core is able to work on tasks independently, you'll enjoy better multi-tasking, i.e. faster performance when you've got two programs open at once. Secondly, large programs like games, video encoders, and such will be able to divide and conquer, again resulting in better performance. Nearly all modern processors possess at least two cores, though four and six-core CPUs are also available.
The next factor is GHz, which is basically the speed of the processor. This spec can be a little bit tricky to gauge because the unit used to measure it, a hertz (GHz stands for giga-hertz or one billion hertz) is pretty ambiguous. While we think of it as a measure of speed, it's actually a measure of the amount of time it takes to complete one cycle of work. However, it doesn't define or indicate how much is actually completed during that cycle.
Think of this like the gears on a bicycle. One full pedal on 1st gear while riding a bike won't get you very far, maybe a few feet. However, completing that same full pedal on 5th might get you a few yards. This is because, on higher gears, you complete more work with one pedal than you do on lower gears. In the same way, two processors can complete one full hertz, or cycle, and yet accomplish a very different amount of work.
Because of this, the GHz rating of a processor is really only an accurate indicator of speed when considering two CPUs of the same brand and series. For example, you can accurately assume that an Intel Core i5-2600K 3.4GHz processor is faster than an Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz processor because the first completes its cycles more quickly than the second. Yet an AMD Phenom II X4 970 which runs a 3.5GHz actually runs more slowly than either of the Intel processors because it accomplishes less with each hertz.
The best way to compare processors is to check their benchmarks. Benchmarks are scores gleaned from computer programs that act like obstacle courses for your computer, enabling users to accurately test which components are better/faster than others. These scores are available from many sources online, but the biggest and thus most accurate is called Passmark. This site provides an easy to read database of all the CPUs in use and ranks them from best to worst. Visit Passmark.com
This refers to the processor's clock speed, which is the amount of time it takes for a computer to complete one round of accepting, calculating, and returning data. Generally a faster clock speed is better, especially when comparing processors from the same line (i.e. one Intel Core i3 against another Core i3 processor); however it is not the only factor to consider.Cores
Most modern CPUs integrate multiple "cores", each core able to receive and complete its own set of instructions but both housed on the same chip-imagine one car with multiple engines. Processors today range from one to eight cores with more and more on the horizon.
The advantage of multi-core processors lies in their ability to compete multiple operations at once. For example, a dual-core processor running Windows, could dedicate one core to regular Windows operations and use the other core to control a web browser, word processor, or game, allowing both programs to work almost as if it were the only one running.Heat and Noise
As processors work they generate heat as a byproduct. For this reason all processors are equipped with a cooling unit, most typically a fan. It is this CPU fan that is responsible for a vast majority of the noise your computer makes. A processor with fewer cores and a lower clock speed will generally expel less heat and generate less noise than a more powerful processor.Bringing it Together
Processor choice ultimately comes down to the need your computer will fulfill.
So what's out there? Here's a listing of some of the more popular lines of processors out on the market today. Be sure to research each processor you're serious about and look at processor comparisons (ie - the i5 processor vs. i7 processors, etc.) and pick the fastest processor your budget can afford.AMD AMD A Series
AMD FX CPUs
Intel Intel Celeron
Intel Core i3
Intel Core i5
Intel Core i7
Intel Dual Core
Intel Pentium 4
Intel Quad Core