How To Choose The Right CPU For Your Build—A Complete Guide

How To Choose The Right CPU For Your Build—A Complete Guide.

Choosing a CPU is all about discovering the proper steadiness between your price range and desires. You undoubtedly wouldn’t need to compromise efficiency only for a slight distinction in worth.

It’s important to grasp the fundamental processor specs, at least. Generation, clock pace, cores, threads, cache, and TDP all play essential roles in figuring out CPU efficiency.

Along with that, attending to know the reminiscence and graphics assist can be necessary. Only then do you have to take into account what RAID ranges, USB variations, PCIe lanes, and different options the processor helps.

When selecting a CPU that has the very best price-to-performance ratio, it primarily is dependent upon what you’re going to do.

Here are my normal suggestions on the processor specs that may be supreme for the required duties:

Specifications General Use  Multitasking  General Gaming Heavy Gaming and Streaming For Enthusiasts
Cores / Threads 2 to 4 / 2 to 4 4 to eight / 8 to 12 2 to six / 2 to eight 4 to eight / 4 to eight 8 and better / 12 and better
Clock Speed (in GHz) 1.3 to 2.0 2.0 to three.2 3.2 or larger 3.7 and better 3.7 and better
TDP (in Watt) 35 to 65 65 to 95 65 to 95 75 and better 90 and better
L3 Cache (in MB) 4 to eight 8 to 12 8 to 16 16 to 24 24 and better
Memory (DDR Type/Speed/Size) DDR4 (Upto 2400), 4 GB DDR4 (Upto 3200), 8 GB DDR4 (Upto 3200), 8 GB  DDR4 (Upto 4266), 16 GB DDR 4 (as much as 4266) or DDR5, 16 GB or more
Graphics Integrated Graphics Integrated Graphics Add a devoted GPU Add a devoted GPU Add a devoted GPU
General CPU specs for various use instances

First, Understand Your Needs

The first query is—are you constructing a brand new PC or simply attempting to improve to the most recent CPU era?

Your choice is additional narrowed when you’re already geared up with a motherboard. The processor you select needs to be suitable with all the opposite elements—primarily the motherboard.

But if it’s the opposite approach round, selecting the suitable CPU is the very first thing to do. Based on this selection, you now want to buy different suitable elements (motherboard, RAM, graphics card, and many others.).

The next query is—what are you going to do along with your rig? Gaming, streaming, multi-tasking, enhancing, or a mixture of those duties? You’ll probably discover a vary of products that matches your demand.

Take a fast peek on the under chart on how I’ve chosen the very best processor for various builds.

Purpose CPU Motherboard
General Use at Home (For Budget) Intel Core i3-10100F ASUS PRIME B560-PLUS
Office Use (Intense Multi-tasking and Editing) Ryzen 7 5700G MSI MAG B550M MORTAR
Main Home PC (Gaming, Streaming, and Rendering) Intel Core i5 12600K ASUS ROG STRIX B760-A GAMING WIFI
My programs for various functions

As you may see, there’s no compulsion in selecting the newest CPU. If it satisfies your calls for and comes on the deliberate price range, you might go for it!

However, when you’re trying to construct a server or workstation, there are devoted CPUs for that as nicely. For instance, Intel affords Xeon processors and AMDs have Threadrippers.

Also, there are AMD Athlon, Intel Celeron, and Intel Pentium processors. All are in style amongst price range customers however are comparatively slower than Ryzen and Core.

Compatibility With Motherboard

Your processor should match completely into the respective motherboard slot/socket. If you select one which’s incompatible, it gained’t get adequate energy to function.

In truth, there’s an opportunity you might injury/bend the pins through the CPU set up.

cpu fitting in motherboard socket
i3-12100 completely suits into the LGA1700 Gigabyte GIGABYUTE H610M S2H

The factor is—customized PC construct isn’t nearly becoming the elements to the correct place. It’s more about compatibility! That’s the explanation I like to recommend buying the motherboard and CPU collectively.

Firstly, perceive that there are two socket sorts. LGA (Land Grid Array) signifies pins within the motherboard, whereas PGA (Pin Grid Array) refers to pins within the CPU.

pga amd vs lga intel
AMD Socket AM4 (left) vs Intel Socket LGA1700 (proper)

Almost all Intel processors observe LGA packaging whereas a majority of AMD sockets are PGA.

Picking the correct model is a separate matter in itself. Just perceive that producers design completely different motherboards for Intel and AMD.

The CPU sockets have a naming conference. Understanding this offers you an thought of which processor can match into your motherboard.

For instance, most Alder Lake (twelfth Gen) and Raptor Lake (thirteenth and 14th Gen) go together with LGA1700 sockets. So, you could pair an applicable LGA1700 motherboard. Note that solely a handful of motherboard chipsets assist the most recent processors.

asus product catalog page for shopping motherboard
Example: ASUS Product Catalog Page affords buying motherboards primarily based on completely different

When looking for a motherboard, I at all times test the producer’s Product Catalog web page on-line. 

But when you’re attempting to improve the CPU within the current system, you’ll probably discover CPU/Memory within the mannequin’s Support part.

Since the listed products are correctly examined, you might select one which best satisfies your calls for.

cpu support list for asus prime b450 plus
Example: Supported CPUs listed in ASUS PRIME B450 Support web page

Beginners might even get assist from on-line utilities. Sites like PCPartPicker, PC Builder, and PCspecs allow you to select suitable elements in a matter of seconds!

Check General Specifications

Before buying any product, I counsel creating a behavior of checking the specs.

The similar goes for the CPU—this doesn’t simply decide the compatibility however even its efficiency capabilities.

Depending on what processor model you’re going for, you may examine the official web site for full specs. Don’t fear even when you don’t know what they imply.

I’ll briefly clarify probably the most fundamental ones right here.


AMD Ryzen and Intel Core aren’t simply accessible for desktops. These corporations produce CPUs for laptops and cellular units too.

checking whether cpu is for desktop
Checking whether or not the CPU is for desktop

For AMD, examine the Product Line area, and for Intel, search for Vertical Segment. They clearly let you know whether or not the CPU you’ve chosen is for desktop use.


Understanding the naming scheme offers you a further thought when looking for the correct CPU.

The suffix within the product mannequin specifies whether or not a processor helps built-in graphics, has unlocked cores, is power-optimized, and many others.

For instance, G sequence AMD processors are known as APUs (Accelerated Processing Units) as they arrive with graphics cores.

Likewise, Intel’s Okay and F sequence are the commonest. Okay are unlocked CPUs, whereas F doesn’t assist built-in graphics.

Brand Suffix Meaning
Intel  F No iGPU assist
Okay Unlocked multipliers (best for overclocking)
S Special processors optimized for efficiency
T Optimized for energy
X, XE For excessive efficiency (higher than the Okay and S sequence)
B Processors supporting Ball Grid Array (BGA) sockets
G1-G7, HX, HK, H, P, U, Y, E, UE, HE, UL, HL CPUs for Mobile/Laptops/2-in-1s/Embedded programs
AMD G Supported Integrated Radeon Graphics
GE Radeon Graphics + Energy Efficient
X Better than the bottom model (for instance, 2600X > 2600)
X3D Processors supporting 3D caching expertise
Intel and AMD Suffixes

Cores, Threads, and Clock Speed

All fashionable processors have a number of cores and threads. The query is—what number of are required for you, and will it essentially be larger?

As a content material creator myself, I might say YES—they’re necessary! On my twin monitor setup, I’m at all times multi-tasking, which entails rendering, writing, enhancing, working checks, and designing. 

This is simply doable with a excessive variety of cores and threads. So, for me, pace is secondary.

cores and threads in intel and amd
Cores and Threads comparability between i7-12700 and Ryzen 7 5700G

But when you solely play video games, these specs don’t matter a lot! It would moderately be a wise transfer to go for the next clock pace.

In truth, for many older video games, 2 to 4 cores are greater than sufficient. However, fast-paced video video games now benefit from a number of cores, involving 6 to even 8.

Thus, it actually is dependent upon what you’re attempting to play!

Moreover, the processor is accountable for fundamental duties (primarily involving physics calculations, recreation logic, and many others.). Therefore, it definitely can influence the FPS, particularly when the video games are CPU-intensive.

For excessive avid gamers, it’s important that you just pair your CPU with the very best graphics card.

The chart under reveals the benchmark scores (each single and a number of cores) of various Intel and AMD CPUs at our office. The larger the quantity, the higher the anticipated efficiency.

cinebench cpu benchmark scores by technewstoday
CPU Benchmark Scores (using Cinebench R23)

Thermal Design Power (TDP)

This specification tells us how a lot energy a CPU might devour when it’s underneath the best load.

Note that TDP is only a tough determine portrayed by the producer and may not at all times relate to the real-world situation.

Keep TDP as your baseline when buying the correct cooler in your construct. If the cooling answer can’t deal with the ability consumed by the CPU, you may find yourself damaging the chip.

choosing cooler based on tdp
When on the lookout for a cooler, be sure that the cooler’s rated TDP matches or is larger than the CPU’s TDP

If you’re solely going to make use of the processor for fundamental duties, a decrease TDP ought to suffice. But for avid gamers and fanatics, overheating is unquestionably a priority.

So, the very best guess can be to go for the next Watt together with adequate cooling that matches the rated TDP.

AMD CPUs with the ‘X’ and ‘X3D’ suffixes are those with the best TDP. Such processes don’t get shipped with a Wraith Prism, which is commonly included with those having decrease TDP. 

amd cpu with thermal solution vs without thermal solution
Ryzen 5 5700G comes with Wraith Stealth (high) however Ryzen 9 7950X3D recommends using a liquid cooler (backside)

This is as a result of even the producer needs you to make use of the very best liquid or air coolers. Interestingly, that is even included within the CPU specs.

Not all lntel processors present the precise TDP score. Instead, you could search for Processor Base Power and Maximum Turbo Power

The former tells you the common warmth era throughout complicated workloads (on the base frequency). The latter represents the warmth era when the CPU runs in Turbo Frequency.

Additional Tip: When performing intensive duties or overclocking, CPU temperature can rise greater than anticipated. To keep a baseline, I recommend noting the utmost temperature from the Specifications.

Total Cache

Not all processors entry information from the RAM. CPU shops a few of these in their very own unstable cache reminiscence to execute duties quicker.

There are three ranges of cache (specifically, L1, L2, and L3). Among these, the primary degree is the quickest, and the third has the best capability.

check for total cache
Checking CPU Cache in Intel (high) and AMD (backside) Specifications Page Online

The more the CPU can retailer information within the cache, the higher the efficiency. The latest processors now include 32 to even 128 MB L3 cache capability. 

So, your main focus needs to be on L3. In truth, this degree is shared by each CPU core and is accountable for feeding the opposite two.

Memory Support

Whether you need to run a number of reminiscence channels or future-proof your rig with DDR5 assist, the CPU should assist them.

checking cpu memory specs
Checking Memory supported by Intel and AMD CPUs

Besides, different components, together with most reminiscence capability, RAM pace, and ECC assist are additionally decided by the processor.

Understand Generation and Brand Modifier

Both Intel Core and AMD Ryzen carry enhancements to each new era. Thus, you may count on higher efficiency, more cores, and total higher specs on their latest CPUs. 

Going for the model modifier wouldn’t be a foul thought when evaluating CPUs from the identical era.

For instance, each desktop CPU from Intel Core i9 twelfth gen will outperform these from the i7 twelfth gen.

But what if we examine a decrease era from the next Intel Core with a larger era from a decrease one?

Let’s see the distinction under:

CPU Cores/Threads Base/Max Frequency TDP Max. Memory Support
i9-9900K (discontinued, solely taken right here for instance) 8/16 3.6/5.0 GHz 95 W DDR4 2666 MT/s
i7-10700K 8/16 3.8/5.10 GHz 125 W DDR4 2933 MT/s
i5-11500T 6/12 1.5/3.9 GHz 35 W DDR4 3200 MT/s
i3-12100 4/8 3.3/4.3 GHz 60 W base and 89 W max DDR5 4800 and DDR4 3200 MT/s
Comparison between completely different Intel CPUs

The CPUs from the i9 and i7 have the higher specs regardless of the decrease era. But it’s value mentioning that the Tenth-gen i7 processor barely beats the Ninth-gen i9 in each side.

However, the CPU era issues when you’re planning for higher RAM specs.

As you may see, the high-generation i5 and i3 assist higher reminiscence pace. In truth, in case you have a DDR5 motherboard, solely the i2-12100 can be your choice.

The case is an identical for Team Red customers. Let’s test the comparability on Ryzen 7 and 5 AMD CPUs from completely different sequence:

CPU Cores/Threads Base/Max Frequency Max. Memory Support
Ryzen 7 2700 8/16 3.2/4.1 GHz DDR4 2933 MT/s
Ryzen 7 4700G 8/16 3.6/4.4 GHz DDR4 3200 MT.s
Ryzen 7 5700G 8/16 3.8/4.6 GHz DDR4 3200 MT/s
Ryzen 7 7700 8/16 4.5/5.4 GHz DDR5 5200 MT/s
Ryzen 5 2600 6/12 3.4/3.9 GHz DDR4 2933 MT/s
Ryzen 5 4600G 6/12 3.7/4.2 GHz DDR4 3200 MT/s
Ryzen 5 5600G 6/12 3.9/4.4 GHz DDR4 3200 MT/s
Ryzen 5 7600 6/12 3.8/5.1 GHz DDR5 5200 MT/s
Comparison between completely different AMD CPUs

You can clearly see that Ryzen 7 beats Ryzen 5 by way of variety of cores and threads. But in the case of pace and reminiscence specs, the upper the era, the higher.

For instance, the 7000 sequence from Ryzen 5 is approach forward of 2nd gen Ryzen 7.

Integrated Graphics and PCIe Support

‘Integrated graphics’ is one other necessary factor to contemplate when selecting a CPU. As mentioned earlier, most Intel processors (besides the F suffix) and AMD APUs assist built-in GPUs.

It’s principally those with the ‘G’ suffix for Team Red. However, there are exceptions!

For instance, all Ryzen 7000 sequence (besides Ryzen 5 7500F) have graphics cores within the processor chip.

You definitely can add a discrete graphics card and disable the iGPU choice from BIOS.

But when you’re actually planning to put in a GPU, it’s higher to choose the bottom variant (for fundamental use) or the one with the ‘X’ suffix (for fanatics).

setting graphic adapter to external graphics in msi
Example: Setting Graphics Adapter to PEG will disable built-in graphics in MS motherboards

When on the lookout for the very best CPU with built-in graphics, it’s important to contemplate the related graphics specs. These embrace core counts, frequency, variety of shows supported, and many others.

Also, right here’s a information that will help you select the very best motherboard with built-in graphics.

Users who plan to put in an add-on card together with an M.2 SSD are suggested to decide on a CPU that helps sufficient usable PCIe lanes.

Also, to get the utmost advantages, I recommend matching the PCIe model (2.0, 3.0, 4.0, or 5.0).

graphics specs intel and amd
Checking Graphics Specifications: Intel and AMD CPUs

Don’t get too burdened about this, although! All PCIe revisions are ahead and backward-compatible.

The setup will work however use the bottom specs and will even result in efficiency bottlenecks.

That’s precisely what occurred to us when pairing RTX 4080 with Ryzen 5 5600. We couldn’t get the advantages of PCIe 4.0 because the graphics card ran on the CPU-supported PCIe 3.0 specs.

Additional Features and Future Proofing

While most components have now been coated, there may be further options you may need to lookup. These embrace assist for superior applied sciences, like,

These options are literally secondary. What issues is future-proofing.

If you don’t want to improve your construct for the following few years, I recommend going for the most recent CPU.

Amidst the recognition of crypto buying and selling, we now have obtained you coated with the very best CPUs for crypto mining. For such, you’ll must go for prime specs—more cores and threads, quicker pace, larger TDPs, and higher cooling.

Research, Compare, and Find Deals

Considering the most recent era, the variety of cores, threads, energy supply, and whole cache are all necessary.

But as I acknowledged earlier, it comes all the way down to your wants—and most basically if it suits into your price range.

Through this information, I consider I’ve executed the groundwork for you. Now, it’s your flip to match the completely different CPUs by your personal analysis.

For demonstration, I’ve in contrast i3-8100 with Ryzen 3 2200G for a price range construct office setup:

Specifications Intel Core i3-8100 Ryzen 3 2200G
Cores/Threads 4/4 4/4
Base Clock Speed 3.6 GHz 3.5 GHz
TDP 65 W 65 W
Cache 6 MB 4 MB
Memory DDR4 2400 MT/s DDR4 2933 MT/s
Graphics (Frequency) 350 MHz 1100 MHz
Benchmark Score (Single/ Multi Core) 719 / 2990 751 / 3456
Cost (Amazon) $110.00 $150.00
Intel Core i3-8100 vs Ryzen 3 2200G

Here, Ryzen 3 has a slight edge over the Intel Core i3 processor. Specifically, the reminiscence and graphics are a lot better. That’s in all probability why it scored larger through the benchmark using Cinebench R23.

The higher one at all times prices more—and the above instance reveals all of it. But right here’s a shock—we obtained this Ryzen CPU within the Black Friday deal (with 33% off).

So, you see, a wise transfer can be on the lookout for such affords on-line. I’m not recommending Amazon—you could find offers wherever, even within the nearest brick-and-mortar shops.

And throughout your analysis, simply don’t follow one YouTube video or a information from a single tech web site.

Take your time and test critiques and benchmarks from a number of sources.

List down the professionals and cons, and attempt to see how one can deal with the drawbacks that you just discover.

Check out more article on – How-To tutorial and latest highlights on – Technical News