Processor (CPU) buying tipsQuick links
Purchasing a processor is an important consideration when building or buying a computer. Below we have listed several considerations and additional information about what to ask and look for when purchasing a processor directly or already installed into a computer.
The processor can be a very important consideration for users who are building a computer. Today, there are three main processor manufacturers: AMD, Cyrix and Intel. Each of these companies have good and bad reviews, and really each of them are very close in compatibility and reliability. When considering any of these processors verify the motherboard is compatible. For example, if an Intel motherboard is purchased or currently installed into the computer, purchase a Intel Processor, an AMD processor will only work on a motherboard designed for AMD.
|Heat Sink||It is highly recommended that all processors have a heat sink. The heat sink helps to allow for the
processor to remain cool and therefore run more efficiently. A computer processor with a missing, bad or failing heat sink will cause the computer
to lock up, cause errors or encounter other issues.
When looking at a processor, also consider the heat sink that will be attached to that processor and ensure that the processor being purchased is compatible with that heat sink.
Additional information and help on computer heat sinks can be found on our heat sink page.
|Interface||Today, there is a wide availability of interfaces the CPU may connect to. Below is a listing of each
of the interfaces and a brief description on each of them.
When looking at the interface of the CPU, it must match that of what is on the motherboard unless it is possible to use a Slocket. Additional
buying tips on computer motherboards can be found on our motherboard buying tips page.
|Names||The names of the processors can be very confusing and are used as a method of helping to sell a computer
or computer processor. Below is a listing of some of the more commonly used names and a brief description on each of them.
Intel family names:
Pentium - The 80586, or P5, the Pentium is the generation above the 486 processor line.
Additional information and diagrams of each of the above can be found on our CPU help page.
AMD family names:
AMD K6-2 - Socket 7 processor with the 3DNow! technology and first to have the 100MHz bus.
|Speed||The speed of the processor is an important consideration as it is what will rate the speed of the computer
and help the computer run faster overall.
When looking at the speed of processors available, we highly recommend that you do not purchase or consider purchasing a processor that has
just been released. The price of the processor will be at a premium price and if you give that processor 2-4 months it will drop in price dramatically.
Upgrading the computer processor may have the below effects on the computer.
Allow for programs that may require steeper processor requirements to be run.
Help the computer or computer programs speed in load and opening time. Note: In many cases this may not be noticed or will not be dramatic.
Additional help and information about installing a computer processor and other computer hardware can be found through our Installation section.