How To Choose The Right Processor For Your Laptop? | Most Searched Products
You can understand a processor as an integrated electronic circuit that performs calculations that allow your computer to run programs. This integrated circuit does arithmetic, logical calculations to perform various tasks. Today, the words processor and Computer Processing Unit (CPU) are interchangeably used. However, it is to be noted that the processor is not the CPU, it is a part of the CPU. Similarly, the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is also a part of the CPU. These components together make up the CPU of a laptop.
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While buying a laptop, you must look out for certain details about the processor and the kind of tasks it can run. Just before you get into the world of processors, do know that there are only two processor making companies, Intel and AMD. You would be able to recognise Intel processors such as i3, i5, i7 and others. AMD on the other hand boasts AMD A8, AMD A9, AMD Ryzen series.
Refer to the table below to know which processor would suit your requirements. Then read the guide on how to choose a processor.
Following are the steps to choose the right processor. You can either purchase a laptop that contains the processor you want or you can upgrade your current processor.
Step 1: Choose between AMD and Intel
You must be wondering when there are galaxies of laptops available to purchase from and each laptop is different from another one in one or more specifications then why do you have to select between only AMD or Intel when it comes to processor. This is because AMD and Intel are the two largest manufacturers of processors.
Till a few years ago, if you were looking to purchase a budget laptop then you had no choice but to stick with Intel. Fortunately, AMD has also landed in the budget laptop market space. Each of them varies in performance and what comes along with them.
There is no better or worse comparison for these two, both are efficient in use and sit well under a reasonable budget. So do not worry about the name they carry, worry more about what different generations of these processors mean for your computer performance.
This processor consists of 6 cores and 12 threads making it an ideal processor for video editing and playing high-graphics video games. It has a base clock of 3.7 GHz that makes it ultra-fast and a boost clock of 4.6 GHz gives the user the ultimate experience. You would require a separate graphics set for this processor. This is best for those who want to stream video and movies in ultra HD 1080p 4K resolution.
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AMD Ryzen 3 processor makes your work and gaming fast and smooth. The laptop comes with preinstalled genuine Windows OS and Microsoft Office. The laptop has a battery life of up to 12 hours and has a fast-charging method as well. The RAM size of the laptop is 8 GB that can be extended up to 16 GB and the storage size is 1 TB. The thin and light design makes it easy to carry around and move.
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Step 2: Check processor labels and generations
Both AMD and Intel use almost similar terminology for different generations of processors. Let us understand generations and family members in a simple way. A generation is a group of processors that were launched in a particular year and had significant improvements from processors launched a year earlier or several years earlier. Over the generations, processors tend to get faster and can execute more tasks per second.
A family of processors is a group of processors that belong to a generation. Each family has different processors that are differentiated by their name and performance.
The latest generation of processors from the house of AMD is AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors. The first number in the name of the processor indicates the generation. In AMD’s case, it is the 5th generation of processors. The second number suggests the hierarchical position of the processor depending on its performance. AMD 5600 X or AMD 5800 X, for instance, sit higher in the family of a generation because they can execute more tasks and perform better.
In Intel, the naming is similar, the first number denotes the generation of the processors, the second number indicates where it sits in the family of processors.
Intel Core i5, Core i7, Core i9 are many tiers into which Intel classifies its products. Just like in AMD, the higher the number the better the performance. For example, 10400 and 10600K are both 10th-gen Intel core i5 processors but 10600 K would perform better than 10400.
So if you are on the lookout for a laptop, see the generation, see the family position of the processor and then seek further information.
This is Intel’s core processor belonging to the i5 tier and 8th generation that is apt for programming and streaming high-quality videos. This processor makes multitasking easy and fast. A budget processor that can be installed with most Intel chipsets. It has a graphic video memory of 64 GB.
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Step 3: Enquire about cores and threads
Cores are individual small processors that together make up the processor chip. The core can perform one task at a time, more cores are better for multitasking. Threads are tasks that the processor can do at any given time. Most processors tend to use a spare core to increase the speed of tasks.
If you have requirements such as answering emails, watching movies and randomly browsing through the internet then dual-core (2 cores) is enough, although you can still use a processor with 4 cores for better and faster performance. These processors are also apt enough for multitasking. If you are a gamer then you must have at least quad-core processors, there are even 6-core processors but as high you go, the difference in the individual performance of processors sinks yet the price gap increases significantly.
This laptop has Intel’s i5 11th generation Tiger Lake Processor that is best used for fast multitasking work and playing video games. It has 4 cores and Intel Iris Xe Integrated Graphics for video processing. The 15.6 inches full HD screen provides a breathtaking display while watching videos and playing games. It comes with pre-installed Microsoft Office Home and Student 2019 and Microsoft Windows 10 Home. It has 8 GB RAM and 1 TB storage. The new design philosophy makes it thin and lightweight.
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Step 4: Know more about Integrated Graphics
Integrated Graphics is a separate graphics processor that is present in the CPU of the laptop. The main task of this processor is to carry out graphics processing. Most of AMD’s processors do not come with graphics processors and you will have to purchase them separately and get them installed. Before you purchase graphics processors, do ensure that it is compatible with your processor.
On the other hand, most Intel processors come with graphics cards pre-installed. Do ask around, read the description of the laptop and choose the one that you like.
Read More: How to choose the right laptop for your needs
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Step 5: Clocks and IPC
Clocks can be considered the speed at which each core of the processor can fulfil different tasks. It is often denoted as megahertz (MHz) or gigahertz (GHz). If two processors belong to the same generation, have the same number of cores, the one that has a higher clock speed will be faster. Instructions Per Clock (IPC) denotes the number of instructions the processor can carry out in a single clock cycle (often 1 second). As a general thumb rule, CPUs with higher clock speeds and better underlying architecture are faster and better at performance.
Intel’s i9 10th generation processor has 10 cores and 20 threads making it a super-fast processor for your computer. It comes with Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology for enhancing performance. The clock speed on this processor at peak performance is 5.2 GHz.
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Step 6: Power and thermals specifications
You need a processor that works faster than the processor that you had previously. However, to our loss both Intel and AMD do not provide the numbers on the power the processors consume. They offer Thermal Design Power (TDP) rating that is expressed in wattage. Lower laptops have maxed out TDP of around 45 W. If you are on the lookout for high-power, silent processors then 100 W TDP would be ideal for you.
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- What is a good processor speed?
A good processor speed ranges between 3.50 to 4.20 GHz. You may also want to note down single thread performance speed.
- What is more important RAM or processor?
Both RAM and processor complement each other. Higher the capabilities of both, the higher the performance output.
- Which is the fastest computer processor?
Intel claims that i0 Tiger Lake-H is the fastest processor. It also claims that it is better than AMD Ryzen 9.
Disclaimer: The Times of India’s journalists were not involved in the production of this article.