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How to choose a processor? — guide


How to choose a processor? — guide

When choosing a processor for a gaming PC in 2024, especially in the context of its compatibility with the graphics card, it is important to consider many factors that determine the performance and functionality of the system. The processor plays a key role in making games and other tasks run smoothly. In this guide, we will look at the main aspects of choosing a gaming processor, conduct a comparative analysis of its key parameters, and determine what factors should be considered in order to choose the right processor for your PC.

Determining needs

Before you start choosing a processor, it is important to clearly define what tasks the computer will perform. If you plan to use it for games, you may need a processor with a high operating frequency - the higher the frequency, the more powerful the processor. Working with multimedia content, such as video editing or 3D modeling, may require a processor with high multitasking and a high number of threads. For office purposes, a more budget-friendly mid-level performance option is suitable.

Processor architecture

Let's take a closer look at the architectures from Intel and AMD, as well as their main differences, advantages and disadvantages.

Intel processor architecture

Intel processors have gained popularity due to their efficiency and long history in the computer hardware market. They often have high operating frequencies and are optimized for running programs that require high performance within a single computation thread. Intel processor architectures typically feature high core frequencies and are compatible with a wide range of software.

Advantages of Intel processor architecture:

  • Wide distribution and support of software;
  • Good compatibility with various system components.

Disadvantages of Intel processor architecture:

  • Often the price is higher compared to similar AMD products;
  • Less efficient use of multitasking and multithreading in some models.

AMD processor architecture

AMD also offers a diverse set of system components, with the Ryzen line standing out as a strong rival to Intel products. Currently, AMD processors provide fewer cores and threads than the latest generations of Intel, but still have good power and excellent support for multitasking and multithreading.

Advantages of AMD processor architecture:

  • Best price/performance ratio in some product categories;
  • High multitasking and multithreading;
  • Wider selection of models in different price categories.

Disadvantages of AMD processor architecture:

  • AMD processors use more power than comparable Intel products, which increases energy costs and reduces the amount of time the device can run without a power source.
Understanding these differences will help you choose the right processor architecture based on your needs and budget.

Which processor model should I choose?

Researching different models is an important aspect when building a new computer or upgrading its hardware. There are many processor manufacturers on the market, including Intel and AMD, which offer a wide range of products.

Intel is one of the leaders in the production of processors for personal computers. Their Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9 models are designed for various market segments, ranging from budget systems to high-end workstations. Core i5 is generally considered a good choice for home and office computers as it offers good performance at a reasonable price. While the new generations of Core i7 are designed for more demanding users, such as gamers and professionals in the field of graphics and video editing.

Intel Core i9 is the most expensive series of processors from Intel, which is aimed at high-performance systems. These processors offer more cores and higher clock speeds than other Intel models. However, the cost of the Core i9 is significantly higher compared to alternative models.

If you need a processor for gaming, graphics, or other tasks that require high performance, then choosing this series may be a smart choice. But if you're looking for a more affordable alternative, you might want to consider other models like the Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen processors.

AMD is also a major player in the processor market with its Ryzen and EPYC series. Ryzen processors offer high performance at a more affordable price, making them attractive to users looking for value for money. Depending on the generation, different Ryzen models have different numbers of cores, clock speeds, and other characteristics, which allows you to choose the most suitable option for a specific task.

When choosing a processor, it is important to consider not only its model but also other characteristics, such as:

  • Number of Cores;
  • Clock frequency;
  • Cache memory size;
  • Thermal Dissipation (TDP).

What are CPU cores and threads?

The number of cores and threads is a key parameter of a processor that determines its ability to process data and perform multiple tasks simultaneously. A higher number of cores and threads allows the processor to operate more efficiently and enable faster multitasking.

Multi-core processors enable multiple tasks to run in parallel, which improves overall performance and reduces latency. This is especially important for users running multi-threaded applications such as video editors, 3D modeling programs, and games.

What are CPU cores and threads

Threads in the processor help distribute the load among the cores, improving overall performance. However, it's worth noting that not all apps and games can make good use of multi-threading, so before choosing a new processor, it's important to make sure it suits your specific needs.

What is processor clock speed?

The processor frequency is one of the key characteristics that determines its speed and efficiency. It reflects the number of operations that the processor can perform in one second. The higher the frequency, the faster the processor is able to process information and perform tasks.

However, it should be understood that frequency is not the only determining factor in processor performance. Other characteristics such as the number of cores and cache size also affect its performance. Therefore, when choosing a processor, it is important to consider all these parameters and choose the model that best suits your needs.

For most everyday tasks, such as working with documents, watching videos, and browsing the web, a 2.6 GHz processor will be sufficient. But if you do resource-intensive tasks like photo editing in Adobe Photoshop or video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro, you may need a faster processor to ensure smooth, uninterrupted performance.

What is cache memory?

Cache memory in processors plays a key role in accelerating data access and improving overall system performance. It is represented by several levels (L1, L2, and L3), each of which has its own characteristics and functions.

  • L1 Level: This cache level is the fastest and is located directly inside the processor core itself. It is typically divided into an instruction cache (for storing instructions) and a data cache (for storing data). The size of the L1 cache is several tens or hundreds of kilobytes.
  • L2 level: L2 cache is located between L1 cache and RAM. It has a larger capacity than L1 and runs at a lower frequency, but is still much faster than RAM. Typically, the L2 cache is shared by each processor core and can range from several megabytes to several tens of megabytes.
  • L3 Layer: This layer is located outside of the processor cores and is usually shared among multiple cores. It is a higher-level cache that provides fast data access for the entire processor. The size of the L3 cache is significantly larger than that of L1 and L2, and can reach several megabytes or even tens of megabytes, depending on the model.
For gamers, it is especially important to pay attention to the size and speed of the processor's cache memory. Especially at the L3 cache level, as it provides access to data for all processor cores and can significantly improve overall performance in multitasking games or those that require a large amount of RAM.

Memory and interface support

When considering the compatibility of a processor with a video card, RAM, and other system components, it is important to consider several key aspects:

  • Type of RAM: Modern processors can support different types of RAM such as DDR4, and DDR5. When choosing a processor, you need to make sure that it is compatible with the type of RAM you plan to use. For example, newer generation processors may only support DDR5, so choosing DDR4 may require an older processor model.
  • Number and speed of memory channels: Some processors have support for dual-channel or even quad-channel memory, which allows for increased system memory bandwidth. Make sure the processor you select is compatible with the required number and type of channels for optimal performance.
  • PCI-E interfaces for connecting graphics cards and SSDs: Processor compatibility with PCI-E interfaces is important for connecting graphics cards, SSDs, and other expansion devices. Consider the number and speed of PCI-E lanes that may be required for certain devices. For example, to connect a video card with a PCI-E 4.0 interface, you may need a processor and motherboard that support this standard.
  • Compatibility with various sockets and chipsets: When choosing a processor, you also need to consider its compatibility with the motherboard socket and chipset. Make sure that the processor you choose is suitable for the motherboard you choose and is compatible with the chipset you are using for optimal performance of the entire system.
Pre-checking the compatibility of the processor with other system components will help avoid potential problems and ensure that the entire configuration works harmoniously. When choosing components, it is important to consider not only their technical characteristics but also evaluate the interaction with each other to achieve optimal compatibility and performance of the system as a whole.

How to choose a processor for the motherboard, video card, and other components?

The compatibility of the processor with other system components plays a critical role in ensuring the stable and efficient operation of the computer. Let's consider the main points:

  • Motherboard: When selecting a processor, it is important to ensure that it is compatible with a specific motherboard model. This includes checking compatibility with the appropriate socket (such as LGA 1200 for Intel processors or AM4 for AMD processors), and updating the BIOS if necessary to support new processors.
  • RAM: Processors have certain limitations on the types and frequencies of RAM they can support. Therefore, when choosing RAM, it is important to make sure that it is compatible with the selected processor and supports the necessary characteristics, such as frequency and timings.
  • Video card: Processor compatibility with a video card means not only the physical connection through the PCI-E slot but also the ability of the processor to provide the necessary performance to work with the selected video card. For example, weak processors can become a weak link when using powerful graphics cards, especially if you are building a gaming PC.
  • Other components: In addition to the main components such as the motherboard, RAM, and graphics card, it is also worth considering the compatibility of the processor with other devices. Pay attention to the availability of available connections to the motherboard when purchasing coolers, as well as whether the power supply matches the combined needs of the processor and video card.
Checking your processor's compatibility with other components in your system will help you avoid compatibility issues and ensure that your entire system works harmoniously.

Heat dissipation. How to choose CPU cooling

Considering processor heat dissipation is key when choosing the right processor. During operation, processors generate a large amount of heat, and improper cooling can lead to overheating, which in turn will affect the performance of the entire system.

A variety of methods are used to cool the processor, including air and liquid systems. The choice of a specific system depends on the processor power, the design of the computer case, and the user's preferences. An important aspect in the process of heat exchange between the processor and cooling systems is the use of thermal paste and sufficient internal volume of the system unit.

Some processors come with cooling, which can be quite effective for regular users. However, if you need to overclock your processor or perform demanding tasks such as gaming or video processing, you may need a more powerful cooling system.

Which budget processor to choose?

Selecting a processor with a good price/performance ratio will help you get the best solution for your limited budget. This involves analyzing the characteristics of the processor and comparing them with its cost. We invite you to familiarize yourself with some of them:

  • Intel Core i3-13100F.
  • AMD Ryzen 5 5600.
  • Intel Core i7-11700F.
  • Intel Core i5-13400F.
  • AMD Ryzen 7 5700G.
  • AMD Ryzen 5 7500F.


Before purchasing, you should study reviews and reviews of various processor models from reliable sources. This will help you get a more objective picture of each model's performance, reliability, and value for money.

Which thermal paste to choose?

When choosing thermal paste for your computer, it is important to consider thermal conductivity and thermal resistance. The higher the thermal conductivity and lower the thermal resistance, the more efficient the cooling. Thermal pastes with any characteristics are suitable for office processors, but for gaming and specialized PCs and laptops, it is necessary to choose thermal paste with a thermal conductivity of at least 8 W/mK. It is also important to consider the plasticity of thermal paste: beginners are advised to choose more flexible options for easy application. Thermal pastes that are too thick can make it difficult to distribute evenly across the surface of the processor.

Future system improvements

Understanding where technology is heading will help you choose a processor that will suit your needs over the long term. This includes assessing how processor architectures will evolve and what new features and improvements can be expected. Keep up with the latest developments in the world of central processors to choose the most modern and efficient model.


When choosing a processor, first consider the following key factors:

  • Compatibility: Make sure the processor is compatible with the rest of your system.
  • Purpose: Determine what tasks you need your computer for so you can select the appropriate processor power.
  • Budget: Align your choice with your financial constraint.
  • Specifications: Pay attention to the cache memory, frequency, and power consumption of the processor.

Taking into account these factors, you can choose the best processor that suits your requirements and budget.