Best CPUs

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 28, 2017
Does a PC have a heart? Sure! And it's called a central processing unit (CPU). It performs the processing of all the input data and maintains the concurrent and effective operation of all the PC components. We’ve reviewed the best CPU models to help you make a right choice! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Architecture
Socket
Physical Cores/Threads
Clock Rate
PassMark Score
Cache L2/L3
Integrated Graphics
Max supported RAM
Thermal Design Power
Proprietary Technologies
 
PROS
Owing to the use of the cutting-edge 14-nm process in the fabrication, this CPU processor offers high energy efficiency and small standby exit time. The IGP of this CPU supports the connection to multiple displays and can output 4K-resolution videos.
CONS
This modern CPU processor is not compatible with the older socket version motherboards, though it still supports DDR 3 memory.
OUR VERDICT
Choosing this CPU processor, you can be sure it will cope with any problem when operating it in both server environment or home environment and using for high-end gaming even for the forthcoming titles.
detailed parameters
Architecture
Skylake 14nm
Socket
LGA 1151
Physical Cores/Threads
4 cores / 8 threads
Clock Rate
4 GHz
PassMark Score
10990
Cache L2/L3
1 MB / 8 MB
Integrated Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 530 (1150 MHz)
Max supported RAM
DDR4 2133 MHz
Thermal Design Power
91 W
Proprietary Technologies
Intel Turbo Boost Technology Intel TSX-NI Intel Hyper-Threading Intel Data Protection Intel Platform Protection
PROS
Having decided on this Intel CPU processor, you will be able to use a high-bandwidth DDR4 memory in your system to unleash the full CPU potential. The Intel Platform Protection gives you a peace of mind in terms of data security.
CONS
The CPU of this Intel processor is comparatively much more powerful than its IGP.
OUR VERDICT
Professional users can appreciate the capabilities of this CPU processor, which offers a trouble-free running of designer and specialized media processing software.
detailed parameters
Architecture
Skylake 14nm
Socket
LGA 1151
Physical Cores/Threads
4 cores / 4 threads
Clock Rate
3.5 GHz
PassMark Score
8000
Cache L2/L3
1 MB / 6 MB
Integrated Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 530 (1150 MHz)
Max supported RAM
DDR4 2133 MHz
Thermal Design Power
91 W
Proprietary Technologies
Intel Turbo Boost Technology Intel TSX-NI Intel Data Protection Intel Platform Protection
PROS
The availability of 6 physical cores in this AMD CPU processor provides excellent multitasking performance and the capability of switching between multiple applications with no lag while running them smoothly.
CONS
The bundled cooling system is noisy despite its efficiency.
OUR VERDICT
This CPU processor offers a high performance at a comparatively low price and is an optimal choice for those, who wish to build a high-end PC, but have a small budget.
detailed parameters
Architecture
Vishera 32nm
Socket
AM3+
Physical Cores/Threads
6 cores / 6 threads
Clock Rate
3.5 GHz
PassMark Score
6340
Cache L2/L3
6 MB / 8 MB
Integrated Graphics
-
Max supported RAM
DDR3 1866 MHz
Thermal Design Power
95 W
Proprietary Technologies
AMD Turbo Core AMD Power Now! Enhanced Virus Protection AMD Virtualization
PROS
The unlocked multiplier allows manual overclocking of this CPU by changing a single BIOS setting. The Enhanced Virus Protection technology performs a hardware anti-virus protection.
CONS
The outstanding performance of this AMD CPU results in its high heat dissipation.
OUR VERDICT
This 8-core AMD CPU processor is indispensable for building a high-performance gaming system. The CPU will enable you to fully immerse in any game and to enjoy its plot and the designer solutions implemented.
detailed parameters
Architecture
Vishera 32nm
Socket
AM3+
Physical Cores/Threads
8 cores / 8 threads
Clock Rate
4.0 GHz
PassMark Score
8940
Cache L2/L3
8 MB / 8 MB
Integrated Graphics
-
Max supported RAM
DDR3 1866 MHz
Thermal Design Power
125 W
Proprietary Technologies
AMD Turbo Core AMD Power Now! Enhanced Virus Protection AMD Virtualization
PROS
Thanks to its low heat dissipation and power consumption, you will not need an additional cooling system for this CPU processor. In addition, Hyper-Threading allows using the 2 cores of this CPU for working with 4 threads.
CONS
There is no automatic overclocking on this CPU processor, the basic clock rate is quite high, however.
OUR VERDICT
This entry-level CPU is a perfect choice for any office PC and is capable of performing everyday tasks with high efficiency.
detailed parameters
Architecture
Skylake 14nm
Socket
LGA 1151
Physical Cores/Threads
2 cores / 4 threads
Clock Rate
3.7 GHz
PassMark Score
5490
Cache L2/L3
0.5 MB / 3 MB
Integrated Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 530 (1150 MHz)
Max supported RAM
DDR4 2133 MHz
Thermal Design Power
51 W
Proprietary Technologies
Intel Hyper-Threading Intel Data Protection Intel Platform Protection

What is a Cpu Processor?

A central processing unit (CPU for short) is one of the main components of any PC (computer brains), which performs various logical and arithmetic operations, the so-called computations, and controls the operation of other PC components. CPU microchips are manufactured as a rectangular silicon wafer-plate, encased in a plastic or ceramic package with an array of metallic pins underneath. Today, such devices as CPUs are installed in almost every electronic equipment unit, ranging from TVs, panels, smartphones to various children toys. This review concerns the high-performance CPU models, of which you can choose the best option based on the tasks you are planning to perform on your computer.

Since the CPU is only the one of PC components, we recommend you to choose one of the best motherboards. And don't miss out on graphics - look through our review of the best graphics cards.

What Features to Compare

The first thing you should pay attention to when selecting a CPU computer processor is its Performance. To a great extent, this aspect will depend on the number of CPU processor cores and the clock rate (frequency) of each core. CPU processor’s clock speed (measured in MHz or GHz) represents the number of cycles (and thus, the number of instructions), which the CPU core is capable of repeating in 1 second. The more cycles per second the core performs and the more cores there are in a CPU processor, the higher the processor performance is. Modern CPU processors have from 2 to 8 cores with a clock frequency of at least 2 GHz. To further accelerate the data processing by a CPU processor, there is a so-called cache memory embedded in the CPU chip. Similar to RAM, the cache stores and processes the data, but does it much quicker and in a more effective way. The cache memory has a much smaller size than the RAM and has a hierarchy or levels (from 1st to 4th). As a rule, high-performance CPU processors are equipped with three levels of cache memory, which increases the cost of such processors, but also considerably improves their performance. Therefore, if you are choosing a PC for performing simple working tasks, it is worth considering the dual-core CPU processors with a clock frequency around 2-3 GHz. If you plan to use your PC, for example, for processing and editing photos, taken with a high-resolution digital camera, or for playing modern dynamic games, then you should consider the 4-core model with a clock rate of 3.5 GHz and higher.

The Energy Efficiency is also an important feature to consider when choosing a CPU processor. The main parameter, which impacts the energy efficiency is the fabrication process used for manufacturing the processor. This parameter indicates the scale or the size of the smallest functional elements (transistors) of the processor measured in nanometers (nm). The smaller this value, the smaller the amount of energy dissipated and consumed by the CPU in comparison with an analogous CPU manufactured using a rougher fabrication process. The power consumption and heat dissipation of a CPU processor are determined by the Thermal Design Power (TDP) value (Watt), which enables you to estimate the heating rate of a CPU processor during the operation and pick the necessary cooling system. The TDP of the current CPU models ranges from 25 to 200 W, but the optimal TDP is in the range of 45-95 W. Consumer CPU processors are available in 2 versions: Tray (includes only the processor) and Box (includes the processor and the cooling system). The supply package version of a CPU computer processor is to be selected based on its intended use. In other words, if you plan to use the CPU for performing some intensive tasks or for overclocking, you should buy the Tray CPU version as the Box bundled cooling system is not designed for a long-term cooling of the CPU under high loads and you’ll need to purchase an advanced cooling system separately.

All the CPU processors are installed on a motherboard, so CPU Compatibility is very important. The physical interface for connecting a CPU processor to a motherboard is called the Socket. In view of this, you should remember that if you choose a CPU with a modern LGA 1151 socket, you need to select a motherboard with the same socket. Otherwise, your computer won't work! Don't forget to check the socket compatibility if you wish to upgrade your CPU processor to a newer model. Another thing you should be aware of is the type of RAM supported by the CPU, as the support of modern and faster memory type helps fully realize the full potential of a CPU. Modern computer CPU processors offer the support of the DDR3 memory with the maximum operating frequency of 3200 MHz as well as the support of more recent DDR4 memory with the maximum frequency of 2133 MHz.

Finally, after considering the main features of a CPU processor, pay attention to the implemented Proprietary Technologies. To achieve the maximum clock frequency and performance of a CPU processor, some units have Turbo Boost and Turbo Core technologies (automatic CPU clock frequency adjustment). However, in addition to the standard clock frequency increase means, the CPU processors allow overclocking their cores manually. Considering that, one should choose a CPU processor model with an unlocked multiplier, which gives the benefit of wider overclocking abilities. The availability of the unlocked multiplier will be useful for those users who want to take the most out of their CPU processors. The support of Hyper-Threading or similar technologies makes it possible to use the CPU hardware resources in a more efficient way, enabling one CPU core to handle two data streams at a time. When choosing a PC for simple tasks, you may consider the CPU models with integrated graphic cards, which allow working with documents, watching videos, and browsing the Internet without buying a discrete graphics card.

...Read more ...Read less

Intel Core i7-6700K

Performance

This high-performance CPU processor model has 4 cores each clocked at 4 GHz. The CPU computer processor of such level will provide enough computing power to perform such complex tasks as the processing of massive video or audio files. When playing the demanding games at the maximum settings, you can get the frame rate of around 60 FPS (frames per second) if you use a modern graphics card with this CPU processor. For fast data processing, this model is equipped with the second level cache memory of 1 MB, and with the third level cache of 8 MB volume.

Energy Efficiency

It is worth mentioning that for maintaining the most energy efficient operation of this CPU processor the vendor manufactures this model using the 14 nm technology. It ensures a small level of CPU heat emission and low power consumption. When operating in the normal mode, this CPU computer processor dissipates the heat of about 91 Watts. The cooling of this CPU processor in this mode can easily be handled by the stock cooler that comes in BOX version. However, if you plan to overclock this CPU above the recommended clock rates, you need to supply the CPU with a more efficient cooling system.

Compatibility

If you decide on this model of CPU processor you will need to opt for a motherboard carrying an LGA 1151 socket compatible with modern Intel processors. This model of CPU computer processor works with all types of DDR3 memory operating at frequencies of 1333/1600/1866 MHz and higher, as well as with DDR4 memory with an operating frequency of 1866/2133 MHz. This CPU processor is furnished with Intel HD Graphics 530 integrated graphics card that allows streaming the video encoded at the resolution of 4096x2304 pixels without installing a dedicated graphics card.

Proprietary Technologies

Owing to Intel's proprietary Turbo Boost technology the system can increase the frequency of each processor core up to 4.2 GHz. Intel Hyper-Threading technology enables this CPU processor to allocate 8 threads among 4 cores, which makes it possible to process more information in a time frame. In addition, such technologies as Intel Data Protection and Intel Platform Protection provide hardware protection of your data. The unlocked CPU multiplier enables you to overclock this CPU processor manually by changing the multiplier value.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


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Intel Boxed

Performance

This CPU processor model refers to the 6th generation of Intel Core processors and is manufactured based on Skylake architecture. The base frequency of this 4-core processor is 3.5 GHz. After installing such a CPU processor on your PC, you will not experience any difficulties when carrying out some truly resource-intensive tasks. The processor is equipped with the third-level cache memory of 6 MB and the second level cache of 1 MB, which are responsible for the quick data exchange and caching of the information that can be reused.

Energy Efficiency

This computer CPU is manufactured using the 14 nm fabrication process. The CPU is characterized by a low heat dissipation and low energy consumption rate. The supply package for this CPU computer processor includes the CPU itself and the cooling system, which is capable of coping with the CPU heat dissipation amounting to 91 Watts. However, the bundled cooling system may be insufficient for maintaining the reliable operation of this CPU computer processor in case of overclocking, so you should think of equipping your PC with a more powerful cooling system.

Compatibility

This CPU processor is compatible with the motherboards having the LGA 1151 socket. To ensure the quick operation of the system, this CPU model is designed to work with the DDR4 RAM (that operates at the clock frequency of 1866/2133 MHz). The integrated graphics processor (IGP) of this CPU allows you to connect up to three monitors to the PC as well as to stream the video files at a resolution of 4K without downscaling.

Proprietary Technologies

The standard Turbo Boost overclocking enables the system to overclock the CPU from the frequency of 3.5 GHz to 3.9 GHz, and the unlocked multiplier enables the manual overclocking by means of adjusting the BIOS settings. For ensuring safety and confidentially of your personal data, this CPU processor uses the proprietary Intel Data Protection and Intel Platform Protection technologies, while the orderly and efficient operation of the cache memory is supported by Intel TSX-NI technology.

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Intel Boxed
Intel Boxed
 

AMD FX-6300

Performance

For the purpose of ensuring the high performance of this CPU, the manufacturer has designed it with 6 cores onboard that are clocked at the base frequency of 3.5 GHz. This CPU is considered to be one of the best in terms of price/performance ratio in many CPU processor comparisons. This AMD PU processor is equipped with L2 cache memory - 6 MB and the L3 cache - 8 MB, ensuring faster data processing without using the computer's RAM too often.

Energy Efficiency

AMD FX-6300 computer CPU is fabricated using the 32 nm process, which is not the most cutting-edge one, but it is worth mentioning that the processor has a thermal design power value of 95 Watts. Therefore, using it for simple tasks saves you the worries of the BOX version cooling system efficiency. Though the overclocking of this CPU processor will make you purchase a more sophisticated CPU cooling system, which is capable of removing more heat effectively.

Compatibility

For installing the AMD FX-6300 CPU (designed as a part of Piledriver microarchitecture), you need to select a motherboard with the AM3+ socket, which is compatible with all the current FX series processors. This CPU computer processor is compatible with DDR3 RAM operating at 1333/1600/1866 MHz frequencies, but pairing this computer CPU with a faster RAM will make no sense since DDR4 isn't supported by both the motherboard and CPU.

Proprietary Technologies

By using the Power Now! proprietary technology, this CPU processor reduces the energy consumption when running at idle or when it isn't heavily loaded with some tasks. Increasing the frequency of each core is possible in two ways: using the AMD Turbo Core 3.0 technology, and manually by changing the processor multiplier value. The hardware malware and virus protection in this CPU computer processor is performed by the Enhanced Virus Protection, which is used in tandem with the Advanced Encryption Standard instructions (AES) set, thus offering another safeguard for your sensible information.

VIDEO
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AMD FX-8350

Performance

AMD is characterized by its preference for physical cores over the virtual ones, owing to which this CPU processor demonstrates excellent multithreading performance. This CPU computer processor by AMD has 8 physical cores clocked at 4 GHz each, which make it possible to use the CPU as a part of a powerful gaming computer, and allows you to enjoy a photo-realistic picture at a comfortable FPS rate. Note that this model is furnished with 8 MB of second-level cache memory and 4 blocks of 2 MB of the third-level cache (thus, 8 MB in total), which makes the FX-8350 stand out in terms of cache organization in our CPU comparison.

Energy Efficiency

Like most models of the FX range of this generation, this CPU processor is manufactured using the 32 nm technology, which is characterized by a high heat dissipation according to our today's understanding, and a TDP amounts to 125 Watts. Typically, such high-performance CPUs are used to build gaming PCs, as many CPU processor reviews report. For this kind of use, the CPU processor will require a more efficient cooling than the bundled one to realize its full potential. However, if you are not planning to use this boxed CPU at high long-term loads, you can use its bundled cooling system.

Compatibility

This 8-core CPU processor is compatible with the motherboards based on the AM3+ socket. We should emphasize that most of such motherboards also retain compatibility with Socket AM3 AMD CPU models. To unleash the full potential of this CPU computer processor, we recommend using it with the DDR3 memory clocked at 1866 MHz, which will establish the fastest CPU-to-memory data exchange rate possible. The tests show that this is the best way to use this processor at its full potential.

Proprietary Technologies

In order to scale down the power consumption, this CPU processor is equipped with the Power Now! technology. On the other hand, for utilizing the full performance of this model, the manufacturer has equipped it with an automatic overclocking function (via the Turbo Core technology). This in-house developed technology controls the automatic increase of the CPU processor clock rate from 4 GHz to 4.2 GHz. On the user side, it is possible to overclock this FX-8350 model by increasing the clock multiplier while leaving the system bus frequency unchanged; in the end, you will achieve a higher overall CPU frequency. The Enhanced Virus Protection technology works alongside the anti-viral soft installed on your OS and this tandem ensures a fairly high protection level.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
AMD FX 8350 8-Core 4.0GHz Processor Black Edition Unboxing
 

Intel Core i3-6100

Performance

This Intel CPU is manufactured based on the Skylake architecture. The CPU computer processor has two physical cores with a clock frequency of 3.7 GHz each. A processor with such specifications is an ideal choice for any office or for a home computer used mainly for Internet browser, emailing, watching movies, etc. Despite this CPU's relatively low performance, you should not completely rule out the option of using it for building a gaming PC. However, in this case, a really powerful graphics card must be used to make the whole system high-performing enough.

Energy Efficiency

The producer builds this processor on 14-nm lithography, which marks off the 6-series CPUs with the Core architecture and ensures their high energy efficiency and low heating rate. According to the specifications of this processor, this model has a very low heat generation rate equaling to 51 Watts, thus you can use the bundled cooler for cooling this CPU computer processor and not bother yourself with buying an additional cooling system. In other words, Intel Core i3-6100 is a money-saving solution and it's certainly a reasonable choice!

Compatibility

This CPU processor model is compatible with socket LGA 1151-equipped motherboards and is not backward compatible with the previous socket types. This Intel CPU can work with several types of RAM memory, namely DDR3 (running at 1333/1600 MHz) and DDR4 (running at 1866/2133 MHz). This double compatibility gives this Intel i3-6100 CPU an advantage since you can use both types of RAM memory and, therefore, save up and get DDR3. If you want to upgrade your system, just install DDR4 and the whole performance will rise quite considerably.

Proprietary Technologies

Owing to the Intel Hyper-Threading technology, the 2 physical CPU cores of this unit can process up to 4 virtual threads, which increases the efficiency of the CPU processor use when running multiple applications and improves the system responsiveness. The integrity of your data can be maintained by such proprietary technologies as the Intel Data Protection and Intel Platform Protection, which are responsible for data encryption with its subsequent secure transmission on the Internet.

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


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